1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

Adrienne Dellwo

Does Fibromyalgia Make Your Feet Hurt?

By January 3, 2014

Follow me on:

Here's a symptom I really hate: waking up with my feet sore like I've been standing for hours, stepping on something and having it feel like I've been cut, and not being able to find shoes and socks that don't cause more pain.

For about half of us, foot pain is a very real part of fibromyalgia. It wasn't one of my early symptoms, but it did creep up on me a couple of years in. It was mild at first, then got so bad that at times I couldn't stand touching a foot to the floor.

However, if you've got foot pain, don't assume it's "just" a fibromyalgia symptom. Something else could be wrong, and the additional source of pain can rev up your nervous system and make fibromyalgia worse.

To learn more about our foot pain and what else could be going on, see:

Do you have foot pain? Has a problem been diagnosed? What makes it worse, and what helps? Leave your comments below!


Photo Stockbyte/Getty Images

January 3, 2014 at 4:51 pm
(1) Kathy says:

I’ve had fibro for over 20 years, recently also diagnosed with primary sjogrens. The foot pain symptom only began about 2 years ago. It comes and goes, just like all my other regional symptoms. I have not figured out what causes or relieves it other than stretching. It is exactly as you described. It’s worse in the morning on first steps and after sitting for a while. The good news is that it goes away after about a month.

January 3, 2014 at 5:28 pm
(2) Dee says:

I’ve had fibro for 22 years now, and foot pain started about 5 yrs ago. Had X-rays, blood tests for arthritis that didn’t show anything. Dr said it could be an anti inflammatory arthritis. Never mentioned it being caused by fibro. Offered nothing for pain and I haven’t found anything that helped and is getting worse. Left foot bottom bones under the last 3 toes. Right bottom of the big toe & ball. I also have pain & trouble with my ankles on and off. Having trouble finding shoes to wear for comfort. I am open to any ideas if anyone has some. Thanks

January 3, 2014 at 5:48 pm
(3) Gayle Brown says:

My feet do hurt if I have been on them too long. They (along with my ankles) also swell really bad if I have been standing too long or sitting with my legs down instead of up (in my lazy-boy recliner). They also are too hot all night long if I have eaten too many carbs during the day. Hot enough that it keeps me from being able to sleep.

January 3, 2014 at 5:51 pm
(4) Juli W says:

My late husband sold shoes in the late 50′s and early 60′s. He was a firm believer in making sure shoes fit properly. Shortly after we got together, he took me to a shoe store to get fitted for shoes. Since then, I don’t have as much of a problem with foot pain since my shoes fit my feet.

Ask if the store has a Brannigan and a clerk who knows how to use it, or go to an athletic shoe store–most of them have people trained on how to fit shoes. Also, feet keep growing. Your feet will not be the same size at 20 as they are at 40.

January 3, 2014 at 6:47 pm
(5) blue says:

I can only wear Birkenstock shoes Before that I was in horrible pain all over my body Now I can walk all the time and have very little pain Jaw /neck back legs and head All over Before that it was a struggle to do the shopping

January 3, 2014 at 7:02 pm
(6) Kathy says:

I have had FM for 37 years. It ceases to amaze me of all the different symptoms we seem to have but no one in the research area can find a cure or at least something that will make us comfortable. Yes I have had foot pain off and on for about 5 years. I wake up in the morning with, as I describe, my feet feeling like I’ve been walking on small rocks all night. I do have arthritis in my feet but its a different feeling from the rock feeling. All I can do to help is massage and stretch my feet, then I sit in the recliner feet up. Thank you, Kathy

January 3, 2014 at 9:35 pm
(7) Connie says:

I’ve been on full disability with fibro since Jan 2000. Foot pain has been a constant problem for me. I must be especially careful when I first stand up in the morning. The pain can be so intense as to make me unstable.

The pain does lessen during the day but it is always with me.

And yes … sensible, well-fitting shoes are essential!

January 4, 2014 at 9:38 am
(8) Dana says:

Crocs may not look great but my feet love them. With regular shoes my feet swell and overheat. The ventilation and cushioning of the crocs is the best.

January 4, 2014 at 10:16 am
(9) Gert says:

I went to my GP about this and we discussed it. She saw little point in referring me to a podiatrist because all they do is prescribe inner soles.

She suggested that about five years of yoga should strengthen my core muscles and that should help the problem.

I’ve also discovered that I don’t walk properly – I bring my foot down on the sole rather than the heel. I wrote a blogpost about this, and am trying to change the way I walk http://gertsamtkunstwerk.typepad.co.uk/weblog/2013/12/learning-to-walk-again.html

January 4, 2014 at 10:42 am
(10) Peggy McCoskey says:

How go I get my Dr to listen? I have tried to talk to my Dr. about Fibromyalgia but I get no response. I would go at least 3 times a month to talk to the Dr that I had in the past about being very fatique, along with severe hot flashes I believe from anxiety I am on paxil.With little helpmwith hot flashes but anxiety is better. I have CFS also. I use a bipap at night that does not help with my fatique. I will try the suppelments that you suggest. I also have depression being treated for that is some better also multinodules on thyroid I have tested every 6 mths. along with OA in knees and lower back. Thank you PeggyMcCoskey

January 4, 2014 at 1:16 pm
(11) Pam says:

My foot pain started up about a year ago,when all my Fibro pain was at its’ worst….I work in retail,that means long hours on my feet on concrete floors.My feet have felt like they’ve been stomped on by a cow,my ankles have felt like all the bones in both ankles are crushed and soldered,if that makes any sense…I usually have slight swelling in both areas if I’ve been on my feet too long at work,like most normal feet would experience,so when I’m home,I stay off my feet as much as possible.It can take up to 3 days for the pain to recede.

January 4, 2014 at 7:32 pm
(12) lori says:

Dansko shoes help not just with foot pain, but also help my ankles, knees and hips. they are expensive but worth the cost. I still have extreme morning stiffness but wearing these shoes make the days alot easier. I teach first grade and spend most of my day on my feet. Doctors and nurses often wear these, but with more people showing interest there are better styles and colors now.

January 4, 2014 at 8:51 pm
(13) Rain says:


‘So glad you opened this discussion, I have had the fibromyalgia for the last 14 years and I thought it was only eight years, there goes the memory and the recall going and fading. Anyway, since I have retired from the nursing profession, my thoughts were that because of our occupation and the demands of the job, the painful feet went with it, however i discovered the pain never went away from the waking hours till way past bedtime which really isn’t bedtime when one is wake in the wee hours of the morning . Most of the remarks given on this article are right on the spot. Thanks again,Adrienne!

January 4, 2014 at 10:39 pm
(14) Abot Bensussen says:

I have neuropathy in both feet now. The pain was so bad that it made me yelp outloud. Like walking on glass, and having pins stuck in my feet, numbness and fire. Lyrica has helped me a lot with these kinds of pain. However, it has caused me to gain weight, which hurts all of me, and my mood.

I need to wear expensive shoes with good arch support, usually Austrian shoes by Paul Green feel the best and fit the best. My son has helped me pay for them. (It’s very nice to have good kids).

When my feet hurt, my whole day is ruined. Cannot get anything done with these kinds of pain. The reason are feet seem to grow, is that they pronate, our arches get flatter, so our toes move forward. I’m 1/2 a size longer now.

January 5, 2014 at 9:36 am
(15) Barbara says:

Yes I have this problem on and off. My feel feel like they are all swollen, the soles of my feet and the ball under my big toe, They are not but feel like I’m walking on sponges, I’ve had ME for 12 yrs now

January 5, 2014 at 7:57 pm
(16) Marim says:

My foot pain became really unbearable several years back. I could not wear anything but one style of athletic shoe. I found out I have Morton’s Foot (not Morton’s Neuroma), a condition where one’s second metatarsal is longer than the first.
I put felt pads under my first metatarsal heads (Behind the big toe, where your foot bends if you were to tiptoe). I could actually tiptoe without being in excruciating pain. The metatarsal pads in my shoes have definitely made a difference. I felt like I was walking on straight bone before.
The pad makes the first metatarsal head make contact with the ground so that your foot can act as a tripod, instead of an ice skate blade. Look up Morton’s Foot for a more thorough explanation if you are interested.
Also … trigger point therapy. Pain can be referred from other places, and can be lessened by massaging the area that refers pain to that site. I set a lacrosse ball under my calf and move my leg back and forth to work trigger points for foot pain. If you are interested, do an Internet search on trigger point therapy. There is a lot of info out there.

January 5, 2014 at 9:06 pm
(17) pudgy48 says:

Hi, my feet hurt to especially as of late! I also have my soles burn along with legs from knees down burn when I lay down some nights. Added another 300mg of neurontin (now up to 1200mg total) helps with burning. Wearing a two big pair of Crocs someone gave me around house helps with foot achiness. Will get better quality street shoes when I can. Does anyone else have the burning sensations? Thanks so much!

January 6, 2014 at 3:15 am
(18) DOLLAR - SA says:

Hi – my feet burns a lot and i just let them do till they are fine sometimes. i use Alkiline,Citros Soda in an empty stomach before brushing teeth every morning it helps me. i prefer using Croc’s shoes they are better than others. this has happen since i was young i cannot even remember. i have never enjoy wearing a shoes beside running shoe.

it hurts under my toes as if i’m walking with my bones. As in now the pain is here 24/7 no one understands what we going thru. i cannot blame them even us sometimes we cannot explain the pain. yesterday it was my elbow that was in pain and can you imagine the bone with pain.

i’m on methotraxate and it helps me for deformation and my skin but the side effects kills me shame let me not lie.Yesterday i did not go to family gathering as iw as in pain and no one seem to understand.

i wish all who have auto immune condition to be strong and know that you not alone we all suffer but we the hope that one day things will be better.

January 6, 2014 at 11:47 am
(19) Bobbie4201 says:

I was diagnosed with FMS 3 years ago, but have had it 10 years. Six months ago I ruptured a disc and had to have a partial discectomy. This threw my fibro into hyper-overdrive! I have never experienced such a flare up! The worse is the sensitivity to sounds, lights, noise, touch, etc. I am hoping this calms down (gradually getting better). It seems that operating on my spine and the nerves involved caused horrible things to happen all over my body. There is definitely a connection to the spinal nerves and fibro!

January 6, 2014 at 1:49 pm
(20) GeekyGranny says:

My problem are my heels. I have bone spurs on top of the fibromyalgia. They have been incredibly painful for many years and gradually have gotten worse.

My doctor gave me Flector Patches and I cut them in strips and wrap them around my heels which help a lot with the pain when I’m walking a lot.

January 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm
(21) Benia says:

I have Morton’s Foot (knuckle under second toe is longer that knuckle under big toe) and also have Delayed Pressure Urticaria (DPU) which means I cannot stand or walk or do anything that causes sustained pressure for very long, or I will develop hives in the area of pressure. For my feet, that means I frequently deal with deep tissue pain and swelling on the soles of my feet for days if I stand around at a party or walk around downtown or anything like that. The first steps each morning are also always tense e and careful.

January 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm
(22) pudgy48 says:

Hi DOLLAR -SA, sorry about your pain. Seems harder to take when its on the very members(feet) that we are supported by! Many answering the question about feet hurting have some difficult situations to deal with. Truthfully I read a ton of medical items and have never heard of some of these conditions! Believe me thats not saying I dont believe the conditions are real, just so much can go wrong with the human body. My question for you is what does alkaline and citrate soda do? I take the neurontin for the sharper pains I have body wide with the fibromyalgia and the burning in feet and legs also seems to be helped by it. Does the.alkaline help with fibro? Thanks!

January 10, 2014 at 12:19 am
(23) Tami says:

All I can say is “Orthaheel”. I cannot walk in the mornings but putting on my Orthaheel slippers gives me great relief. The walking shoe is amazing too. Some of their other shoes are not comfortable. My foot pain was so bad and I was starting to develop bone spurs but Orthaheel brand shoes have done wonders. (even Dr. Oz recommends them)

January 10, 2014 at 1:52 pm
(24) Mark London says:

I’ve had fibromyalgia and very sensitive feet for many years, but only in the last few years, did I start to have really bad pain in one foot, because I favored it while recovering from an injury. Even though I recovered from the injury, the pain in the foot never went away. I now believe that I have small fiber neuropathy. Painful feet, is one of the major symptoms of this condition, and studies are now showing that many people with fibromyalgia, have this form of neuropathy. I first went to a podiatrist, but I couldn’t tolerate the orthotics that they gave me. So I did some research, and went to a “pedorthist”. This is a person who will help to try and find both the best orthotic, and the best shoe, that will fit you.

January 10, 2014 at 9:31 pm
(25) cath says:

Crocs rock! Do yourselves a favour & get your tootsies into a pair as theyre like walking on sponge & are shaped to your arch. I swear by them. I have about 5 pairs in diff colours styles & design.

Cath……a fm sufferer of 29 years & know how bad it gets.

January 16, 2014 at 2:18 pm
(26) barbara shaeffer says:

HI everyone I’m Barbie my feet first started on the bottom but that went away. then the pain started on top of my feet. it is like needle jabbing in my feet. pain much worst than on bottom. the meds. that help is gabapentin 900MG. makes me so tired cause I already have fatigue, then I got neck pain that wouldn’t go away. Doctor first said arthritis but nothing helped. So I asked the Doctor if I could take more gabapentin I now take 1500MG. It helps, so to me that means nerve ending pain. If I cut back on dosage cause of the side affects the pain starts again. Thanks to all for sharing <3

January 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm
(27) kurtis says:

All sounds like hell to me,just been diagnosed after 2 years of ruling out tests,my feet and ankles are v stiff in the morning but at the moment the pain is bearable,can I expect my symptoms to become more severe?hope not,already had enouugh from my back,neck,hips arms and legs,how bad does this get,I’m 47 and have always been as strong as an ox but I now struggle to remove the lid from a pop bottle :-( :-(

January 31, 2014 at 10:00 pm
(28) Helen says:

I was diagnosed variously with heel pad necrosis, plantar fasciitis and given soft orthotics to wear. Due to my unsteadiness and lack of balance I ended up breaking my ankle while wearing the recommended shoes and orthotics. I retrained my gait to walk around mainly barefooted inside and wear Merrel sandal most of the time. Thanks to my herbalist and some centella asiatica I have less foot pain than I did. I still have my “walking on cut glass” mornings but survive them because the feeling no longer lasts all day.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.