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Muscle Strain in Feet: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Posted By On 16 Nov 2022
Muscle strain in feet: Causes, prevention, and treatment

Your foot is made up of 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Your feet also have tissues like plantar fascia or fat pads that act as natural cushions and shock absorbers to prevent your feet from getting hurt during walking, running, or jumping. 

Experiencing foot pain is common and happens to most people as a result of improper footwear, small injuries while walking or running, or working out. If the bony architecture of your foot is not properly aligned, you may experience “fallen arches” and pronation (where your foot rolls inward) which will also cause foot pain.

Painful corns on the bottom of the foot, ingrown toenails, bunions and plantar warts are among some of the many foot ailments that can affect the way you walk and put an uneven strain on the foot causing chronic foot strain.

It is always wise to consult a Chiropodist (a licensed foot specialist) if a muscle strain in your foot lasts longer than a few days to a week. All muscle strains are classified into three grades depending on the severity of the tearing you have experienced:

  1. Grade I (mild): Less muscle fibres have been torn or injured. Muscle pain is usually felt the day after the injury or sprain, and there is no swelling or bruising in the affected area.

  2. Grade II (moderate): In a grade II muscle strain, there are multiple muscle tears that result in limited movement. It is painful to stretch the muscles or test the strength of the muscle as well. There is some amount of swelling or bruising that is visible.

  3. Grade III (severe): This is the most severe form of muscle tear where all the muscle fibres are completely torn. There is severe pain, swelling, and bruising even when the muscle is relaxed and not stretched.

  4. Chronic:  When mechanical issues with foot movement persist, the foot’s ligaments and tendons can be chronically strained.

The Causes of Muscle Strain in Feet

It is a misconception that muscle strain in feet is only experienced by athletes. In fact, it is very common for anyone to strain the muscles in their feet by accident. Muscle strain is common among people who suffer from chronic fatigue, poor muscle flexibility, and dehydration.

You can strain your muscles accidentally during walking, running, or jogging. Pulling your muscles is very common in Canadian winters, as muscles tend to be stiffer at lower temperatures.

Here are some common causes of muscles strain and who is most susceptible to it: 

  • Ageing: People above the age of 45 tend to start experiencing foot pain if they undergo strenuous activities that they are not used to. Regular examinations and sticking to a well-balanced diet are helpful ways to support our bodies and health. 

  • Abnormal walking style: Those with an unusual walking style need to correct their walking posture, especially the feet. They should avoid rolling their feet inwards while walking to eliminate the chances of pulling their muscles.

  • Being overweight: Weight plays an important role in muscle creation. Too much weight, however, can add strain on your knees and feet.

  • Poor-fitting shoes: Wearing ill-fitting shoes increases the risks of muscle pulls, shoe bites, and bruises.

  • Standing, running, or jumping on hard surfaces: Constant shock on the feet tends to injure the ligaments around the feet that are meant to protect them from external shocks.

  • Lack of exercise and low fitness level: Leading a sedentary lifestyle makes the muscles stiff and more prone to injuries. You should thus stay active and often exercise so your body is flexible and agile.

How to Prevent Foot Strain

You can adopt certain measures to ensure that your feet are well-protected from external injuries that can take a long time to heal, such as the following:

  • Buy the right shoes. Finding shoes that are the right fit and do not strain your feet while walking is key to protecting your feet from any damage that may occur while on the move.

    Depending on your lifestyle, it is vital to choose the right type of shoes that accommodate your needs.

  • Stretch your muscles. You do not have to be an athlete to build up your muscle stamina. However, you can practice a few good stretches that allow your muscles to become flexible.

    Not stretching them leads to muscle stiffness that can become extremely painful with old age.

  • Listen to your body. If you have any kind of seasonal chronic pain that you tend to ignore because it fades away, then get yourself checked.

    You should not ignore any warning signs of chronic foot pain and should immediately seek attention from a Chiropodist. 

  • Get active. Go for a brisk walk to increase circulation and allow your body to become more agile and active.

    Being active is also an antidepressant and instantly boosts your mood.

  • Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water ensures that you are hydrated at all times, as dehydration reduces muscle healing drastically.

    Your body needs the extra fluids to flush out toxins and keep your metabolism and immunity stronger.

How to Treat Muscle Strain in Feet

Mild muscle strain in the foot can be treated with simple remedies like hot and cold packs and some basic stretching. Depending on the severity of the strain, there are multiple ways by which muscle strain can be treated. 

Chiropodists are trained to identify the exact spot of the pain that needs to be treated and use multiple techniques to find the best diagnosis for chronic foot pain.

Custom Foot Orthotics are often prescribed for chronic foot strain. 

After doing a complete history and examination of your feet, posture and gait, the Chiropodist at Erin Mills Optimum Health will make a plaster cast of your foot and have Custom Foot Orthotics made that will hold and support your foot in the proper position to cure and prevent foot strain. 

It is wise to get your foot examined by a wellness Chiropodist so that you get the right kind of treatment that you need. 

For more information, please contact Erin Mills Optimum Health. You can visit our chiropody clinic in Mississauga or book an appointment at 905-828-2014. You can also visit our website here to find out more details about our different treatment options.

This information and linked articles should be taken for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for health care advice. Enjoy these testimonials. However, a result for one patient may not be typical of all patients. Our aim is to help you have an excellent experience at our Mississauga office and to help you reach your health goals.

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