According to Christopher E. Hubbard, MD, a surgeon at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in NYC (see his website here: http://www.footanklesurgerynyc.com/ ) foot pain is a common problem for adults who spend hours of every day walking or standing. Kids are seemingly able to enjoy life spending hours running and playing without complaining that their feet hurt. Unfortunately, as we grow older we work at jobs that require lots of standing and walking, so the problem of hurting feet increases. At the end of the day, most adults can hardly wait to get off their feet, kick off their shoes and relax.
Some of the most common reasons people develop foot pain are caused by ill-fitting shoes, and the symptoms can be made worse by weight gain. Women are especially guilty of wearing shoes that are stylish but harmful to the very structure of their foot. Shoes that have narrow toes and high heels can start the feet on the way to develop bunions. Once the process begins, there is little a person can do to reverse it and the resulting pain. There are ways to somewhat alleviate the pain, but surgery is required to achieve total correction of the deformity.
Ingrown toenails are also a source of considerable pain that could be prevented with proper nail trimming. The problem can be corrected by trimming the nail straight across, but there will still be discomfort until it grows out properly. Soaking in Epsom salt and elevating the feet helps, but a podiatrist should see the patient if there is any sign of infection.
Sometimes people wear shoes and socks that do not adequately absorb moisture from their feet. This is common among athletes who spend time at the gym working out or are involved in strenuous sports. When the body sweats feet also perspire, so moisture builds up and can create problems. Athletes foot is a condition that causes painful blisters, burning, itching and sometimes open sores. Anyone suffering from this condition should wear breathable shoes and socks during activity and avoid going barefoot in public locker rooms or around public pools.
Toenail fungus is another condition that can be caused by poor foot hygiene and too much moisture. This condition is difficult to treat once it has developed. Common treatments include oral medications, antifungal creams to be applied topically or laser therapy. Correcting the conditions that allow the fungus to exist is the best approach, but it will take at least several months for the damaged nail to grow out.
Hammertoe is similar to bunions since it is a disfigurement caused by improperly fitting shoes. The condition can be very painful since abnormal pressure is put on the end of the toe while the raised toe joint is exposed to pressure from the shoe. This is another condition that is best corrected by surgery, but some pain can be alleviated by orthotic shoe inserts and shoes with more room in the toe box.
The unfortunate fact is that people are generally required to walk in order to live a normal life, even if their feet are hurting. The best plan is to prevent the pain by wearing properly fitting shoes and practicing good foot hygiene. There is also a chance that surgery is needed but this is in extreme cases.
Also, depending on which area of the foot is hurting, there might be a different cause. Learn more about the foot types here: