The average person takes anywhere from 8,000-10,000 steps each day, over a typical lifetime this adds up to around 185,000 kms or 4 trips around the world. That is a long way to walk if you have got sore feet!
What does foot pain feel like?
Foot pain can present itself in many ways but most commonly individuals will feel a sharp, dull, throbbing or stabbing pain in one or both of their feet. Sometimes foot pain could feel like a tingling or burning sensation as well. Some people even describe this pain as feeling like they are walking around with a pebble in their shoe.
What causes foot pain?
Foot pain can be caused by a variety issues, however the main ones are:
- Inadequate cushioning on the soles of your feet – As we age the fat pads on the ball and heel in both of our feet break down meaning that there is less cushioning between our bones and the ground.
- Inadequate cushioning in our footwear – The fat pads on the ball and heel of our feet, as mentioned are important shock absorbers, they ensure we do not put unnecessary pressure on these bony structures. Having footwear that has minimal cushioning means that we are not adding/protecting those bony areas of our feet from shock during activity.
- Over-pronation of our feet – Overpronation or excessive rolling-in of our feet over time can cause flattening of our arches and an unnatural curvature in our ankles. This in turn can lead to the tearing or stretching of ligaments and structures in our feet, causing pain.
- Supination or a high-arched foot – Having a very high arched foot that rolls out/ supinates sometimes means that there is a big gap between your foot and the ground or shoe. In instances such as this our feet must work overtime to hold our arch up in this position causing strain to this area and our arches to ache.
How can insoles help?
Insoles can help alleviate foot pain in two main ways, these are through cushioning and support.
An insole is the perfect option to add an extra layer between the bony structures of your foot and the ground. An insole can act as a shock absorber which absorbs the forces acting on your feet to relieve pain. This action normally has a flow on effect that then reduces the force travelling up the body through your ankle and knee joints.
An insole can also support your arch and stop them from rolling in. By providing this support to the mid-foot we can hold this section of the foot up, giving the foot a more neutral position. A neutral foot results in the straightening of the Achilles tendon and the ankle joint improving overall foot posture.
On the other hand, if you have a high arched foot an insole can help fill the space between your shoe and your foot to prevent any collapse in this area, which takes the strain off the arch area. The insole itself will hold your arch in its desired position.
Insoles alone are not the sole answer to alleviating foot pain, but are a very important step in maintaining good foot health when used in conjunction with supportive footwear in the right size.