What To Do About Fibromyalgia Foot Pain

Fibromyalgia Foot Pain Symptoms and Solutions

People who suffer from fibromyalgia can experience foot pain that affects their ability to exercise, walk, stand, or perform daily tasks. Though foot issues are not always associated with fibromyalgia, the increased sensitivity experienced by people with the condition can lead to pain, with or without any other underlying cause.

If you have fibromyalgia foot pain symptoms, speak to your podiatrist about what you can do to eliminate the pain. It may be that you are someone who will benefit from adding a pair of arch support insoles that provide extra support and cushioning for your feet.


  • Fibromyalgia affects the way your brain processes nerve signals, especially pain. It affects more women than men and is linked to an inflammation in the brain.
  • Many fibromyalgia sufferers report pain in their feet. This pain can be exacerbated by an underlying foot condition. If biomechanical irregularities are making fibromyalgia foot pain more prominent, a quality pair of insoles can help. 
  • Treatments for fibromyalgia include anti-inflammatory medicines, over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, sleep medication, and anti-seizure medications.
  • For relief from fibromyalgia foot pain, speak with your doctor, wear proper footwear, take it slow and try using insoles.



What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that affects the way your brain processes nerve signals, especially pain. It affects about 4 million adults in the US, which is about 2% of the adult population.

People with fibromyalgia may experience:

  • Extreme musculoskeletal discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Bowel problems
  • Depression and other mood disorders
  • Sleep pattern disruption
  • Fatigue
  • Jaw pain
  • Memory issues

Am I At Risk Of Developing Fibromyalgia?

While scientists have yet to discover the cause of fibromyalgia, they have found evidence that links it to an inflammation in the brain. 

According to pain management expert Benjamin Abraham, MD, "We still don't full understand what causes fibromyalgia. But brain scans of patients with fibromyalgia show this neuroinflammation."

You may be at a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia if someone in your immediate family has the disorder. It is believed that the condition may be caused by a genetic mutation that can be inherited.

Severe physical or psychological stress may also contribute to the development of fibromyalgia, as can certain bacterial or viral infections. If you suffer from arthritis or other autoimmune disorders, you could be at a higher risk as well.

Women are more likely than men to develop the condition and to experience fibromyalgia foot pain. In fact, as many as 90% of cases are diagnosed in females, according to US government statistics. When men do develop fibromyalgia, their symptoms are typically fewer, milder and less frequent.

Can Fibromyalgia Cause Foot Pain?

While pain is more often felt elsewhere due to the condition, studies have indicated that a significant number of fibromyalgia suffers do report pain in their feet. In fact, an Arthritis Research & Therapy study found that 50 percent of fibromyalgia patients surveyed experience pain in their feet.

The bottom line is that people with fibromyalgia have higher sensitivity to pain and lower pain tolerance. If you are experiencing pain in your feet, it is very possible that it is a symptom of underlying foot problems.

While the pain may not be a direct result of fibromyalgia, an underlying foot condition could be making pain more prominent than it otherwise might be for those who do not have fibromyalgia. The good news is that many biomechanical irregularities in your feet can be corrected with a quality pair of insoles.

Fibromyalgia Treatments

There is no known cure for fibromyalgia. Most treatments are instead designed to help relieve symptoms. Because each case is unique, health care providers tailor treatment to the individual, using medicine, physical therapy, and lifestyle advice to address the particular complaints of each patient.

If you believe you are suffering from fibromyalgia or are seeking treatment, always speak to a doctor. Common medicinal treatments for fibromyalgia may include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) to help reduce joint inflammation that can cause pain.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers to help reduce the experience of pain
  • Prescription pain relievers for pain that is acute or chronic and debilitating
  • Antidepressants, including Duloxetine (Cymbalta) or milnacipran (Savella)
  • Muscle relaxants to reduce painful spasms
  • Sleep medication
  • Anti-seizure medications, including gabapentin and pregabalin to treat specific types of pain

In addition to medicinal treatments, physical or occupational therapy may also be helpful in reducing the impact of fibromyalgia on your body. Many people with fibromyalgia also benefit from counseling, which can help to address the mental, emotional, and psychological pain of living with the disorder.

If you suffer from foot pain, ask your podiatrist if orthotic shoe inserts would help to support your feet and ease your pain.

Understanding Foot Pain Symptoms

Foot pain may be exacerbated by fibromyalgia, impacting your ability to walk, stand, or exercise. Though the exact cause of fibromyalgia foot pain is not understood, it is most likely a result of overactive neural pathways sending pain messages to the brain.

If you do have an underlying foot condition, however, your fibromyalgia can intensify your discomfort—even when that same condition would be painless for another individual. Common foot irregularities contributing to pain include:

  • Overpronation. When your foot overpronates, the arch flattens, the toes pivot toward the outside, and the knee rotates inward. This can place imbalanced weight on your feet and lead to pain over time.
  • Flat-Footedness. Occurs when the arch of your foot falls or is too low to properly support foot flexibility when walking. Some people are born with flat feet, while others develop them over time.
  • High Arches. High arches place additional strain on your foot’s metatarsal (ball of the foot). This can lead to pain and other foot issues. Metatarsal pads can help to ease your pain.
  • Plantar Fasciitis. The swelling or stretching of the fascia—a group of connective tissues located on the bottom of your foot.

If you are experiencing pain in your feet, a podiatrist can help to identify if you have any of these common conditions. If you do, a pair of firm, supportive insoles may help to correct the irregularities and ease your pain.

Finding Fibromyalgia Foot Pain Relief

The last thing you feel like doing when your feet hurt regularly is walking or running. Still, healthcare providers stress the importance of a healthy lifestyle for those living with fibromyalgia, including daily exercise and a nutritious diet. Here are some things you can do to help you regain your active lifestyle despite the pain you’re experiencing:

  • Speak with your doctor. Your doctor should be your go-to resource for information regarding treatment and getting back on your feet. A podiatrist can help to identify any issues beyond your fibromyalgia that may be contributing to pain.
  • Wear proper footwear. With fibromyalgia, you are more sensitive to pain that can be caused by issues resulting from ill-fitting footwear. Look for shoes that have a wide toe box and a firm arch support.
  • Take it slow. Don’t get too hasty to return to your active lifestyle. Listen to your body and the advice of your doctor or physical therapist.
  • Try using insoles. Pain relief insoles can enhance the fit of your shoes and provide the support you need to help correct common foot problems and ease your pain.



Questions? Drop us a line at hello@treadlabs.com. We're here to help.

Mark Paigen
Mark Paigen

Mark has always believed exceptional footwear can change lives. He's been in the footwear industry for over 30 years, working with podiatrists, pedorthists, foot care experts, and footwear makers. Mark started Chaco sandals in 1989 and developed a game-changing sport sandal that delivered comfort and durability. After Chaco sold in 2009, Mark ultimately started Tread Labs to continue transforming people's footwear so they can walk better, feel better, live better.

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