Ask The Trainer #170 – Foot Pain

Ask The Trainer #170 - Foot Pain

QUESTION:

Hey Chad, I am trying to lose weight but when I work out I feel extreme pain in my feet, especially the left one. The pain is in both bones of the foot. I have got training shoes, but my feet still hurt.

Jia


ANSWER:

Hi Jia. Plantar fasciitis is a common injury involving the feet. Even though it feels like the pain is radiating from the bones in the feet, it’s actually stemming from inflamed ligaments running along the soles of each foot.

These ligaments attach to the bottoms of your heel bones, which is why people suffering from plantar fasciitis often believe the pain originates from their heels.

Plantar fasciitis is due to excessive stress on the heel bones and soft tissues surrounding them. The source of this stress can be running, walking, or standing for long periods of time.

Individuals who carry significant excess bodyweight are less resilient to these types of activities. Their heels and soft tissues of the feet compress further and receive more stress than those who maintain a healthier weight. Shoes without proper support will definitely make the problem worse.

Podiatrists who specialize in foot and ankle issues generally try and determine the cause of the issues. They then try to manage them by prescribing more supportive footwear, arch supports, and sometimes physical therapy.

Natural Treatments

Although cortisone and other anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed as well, I suggest trying a few natural alternatives first. Herbs and spices such as turmeric, ginger, rosemary, and cloves alleviate inflammation. Animal-based omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil and krill oil are also good for helping to control inflammation.

People suffering from plantar fasciitis will sometimes find relief from performing simple foot stretches on a regular basis. Wall stretches, where you press your hands against a wall while placing one foot in front of the other and lift the heel of the back foot helps elongate the calf muscle and take tension off of your heels.


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Sitting on the floor and looping a belt or towel around your toes, while gently pulling them towards your body, helps stretch your plantar fascia.

Also, stepping on a racket ball or tennis ball, then rolling it around your heel and the bottom of your foot will help promote blood circulation and promote healing.

These are simple practices you can do on your own that should help relieve your pain if you remain consistent with them on a daily basis. If these things don’t help, I would definitely try to get in to see a podiatrist for a more comprehensive look at your foot issues.

One final thought on this: Whenever I’ve been in a situation where my activity was strictly limited because of an injury, I always made a conscious effort to consume fewer calories. That way my inactivity didn’t result in fat gain.

Eat Healthier

It only stands to reason that when you’re not burning as many calories, you don’t need to eat as many calories! Focus on consuming unprocessed lean meats, veggies, some minimally processed grains, and a little bit of fresh fruit.

The bulk of your meals should be veggies first, lean meat second, whole grains of starchy carbohydrates third, and fruits last.

Try to stay away from fats high in omega 6 that increase inflammation in the body. This includes fats like canola oil, soybean oil, margarine, nearly all butter substitutes, safflower oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, and grape seed oil.

Instead, try and obtain your dietary fat from extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, fish oil, and krill oil. Just remember that when it comes to pain and inflammation, the fats you put in your body really matter!

I hope this information helps you resolve your issues. I wish you all the best with your health and fitness goals!

Prove ‘Em Wrong,

Chad Shaw

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