When you have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, pain can hit anywhere, at any intensity, for any length of time. Sometimes you can foresee that a certain thing will trigger a certain pain, but it's largely unpredictable.
While all pain is unpleasant, some have a bigger impact on your life. Chief among these is foot pain -- something I've dealt with and also heard about from several readers, who say things like:
- "The bottoms of my feet felt like they were on fire. These pains come and go, sometimes [lasting] for months."
- "[I] can't wear a flip flop or any kind of shoe."
During my bouts of foot pain, just resting my foot on the floor causes a burning pain. Shoes can hurt not only the soles, but the tops as well. Walking? Agony. A stepped-on electrical cord can feel like a razor blade.
What triggers foot pain? Who knows. It's not likely to be an over-reaction to injury, since it typically strikes both feet at the same time. For me, it doesn't seem to result from tired feet, either -- it can strike after several sedentary days. Sometimes, I'll wake up in the morning and my feet will hurt like I've been standing for hours. It could, theoretically, stem from aggravated myofascial trigger points in the legs, sciatic nerve problems, or a tight iliotibial band (ITB) -- then amplified by the hyper-excitable pain regions in our brains.
What works for foot pain? It's likely to be different for different people, but the best thing I've found is a pair of memory foam slippers, covered in ultra-soft terry cloth. I wore those almost continuously for a few weeks when I had my worst episode because I could walk with much less pain. Extra cushiony socks, in shoes that don't have too hard a sole, also help me get through it. I get some relief from very gentle foot massage with soothing lotion as well, or an Epsom salt bath.
If foot pain is caused by trigger points, sciatica or the ITB, acupuncture or back-and-leg massage could help relieve it.
Do you get this kind of foot pain? What seems to trigger it? What helps? Leave your comments below!
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