Fibromyalgia and your feetFibromyalgia is a chronic illness that causes muscle and joint pain throughout the body, including in the feet, ankles, and toes. Doctors and scientists aren't sure exactly what causes fibromyalgia, but research shows that it is a central nervous system pain processing disorder that may have a genetic component.

Foot pain is a common complaint among people with fibromyalgia. In fact, studies show that patients with the condition tend to have more podiatric problems than the average person. When fibromyalgia foot, ankle, or toe pain occurs frequently, affects balance, or reduces your mobility, it's time to see a podiatrist. Here's what you need to know about fibromyalgia-related foot issues, including how Massapequa Podiatry Associates' skilled podiatrists, Dr. Corey Fox and Dr. Justin LoBello, can help you find relief. 

Understanding Fibromyalgia and Foot Pain

Fibromyalgia not only can cause podiatric pain, it can also exacerbate the pain. Some research suggests that the disorder involves inflammation of the thin connective tissue that runs throughout the body. Known as fascia, this connective tissue surrounds and holds every organ, bone, muscle, blood vessel, and nerve fiber in place. During a foot pain flare, the soles, tops, and sides of your feet may feel as if they're burning. People also complain that their feet hurt when they wake up and feel as if they've been on them for hours.

Fibromyalgia may also amplify the pain associated with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis; plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the fascia that runs along the bottom of the foot; Achilles tendinitis, an overuse injury affecting the tendon that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone; and Morton's neuroma, a thickening of the tissue around the nerves that lead to the toes.

Other issues that may lead to podiatric pain for fibromyalgia patients include myofascial pain syndrome, which involves painful nodules in the fascia that can sometimes cause pain in other parts of the body (known as referred pain), and dysfunction of the subtalar joint, which is located just below the ankle joint itself. Additionally, fibromyalgia may worsen pain related to gait irregularities like overpronation, which causes the foot to roll inward as you walk, or biomechanical abnormalities such as flat feet or high arches.

Tips for Easing Fibromyalgia-Related Foot and Ankle Pain

When fibromyalgia makes every step miserable, making the following simple lifestyle changes may help ease your discomfort:

  • Switch to comfortable, well-fitting shoes with soft soles
  • Add supportive, cushioned insoles to your shoes to make them more comfortable
  • Wear soft, well-cushioned slippers rather than going barefoot
  • Opt for thick, comfortable socks
  • Soak feet and ankles in warm water and Epsom salts
  • Stretch gently before and after physical activities

How a Podiatrist Can Help Provide Relief From Podiatric Fibromyalgia Pain

When lifestyle changes and at-home remedies fail to relieve fibromyalgia-associated foot and ankle pain sufficiently, a podiatrist can help. After discussing your medical history and symptoms, and performing a thorough physical examination, we may suggest treatment options such as:

Schedule an Appointment

Let our accomplished podiatrists work to get to the bottom of your foot pain and connect you with the treatment that can help you get back on your feet as quickly and as safely as possible. Find out what Massapequa Podiatry Associates can do for you and your feet. Complete our online contact form, or call us at 516-541-9000 (toll-free 877-674-7422) to schedule an appointment to discuss your fibromyalgia foot pain and treatment options with Dr. Fox or Dr. LoBello. In the meantime, browse our blog for more information, or request our free book, Heal Your Heel Pain: A Guide to Understanding Its Causes and Treatments.

 

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