Fibromyalgia Foot Pain Symptoms and Solutions

What To Do About Fibromyalgia Foot Pain

by Mark Paigen 5 minute read

Foot pain isn't always caused by tendinitis or plantar fasciitis. Sometimes it happens as a result of another less common condition like fibromyalgia. While not all people with fibromyalgia will suffer foot pain, those who do can find it difficult to exercise, walk, or stand. 

The Basics ---

  • Not all people who have fibromyalgia will suffer foot pain, but those who do find it difficult to walk, stand or exercise. Biomechanical irregularities can exacerbate foot pain caused by fibromyalgia.
  • 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.
  • We recommend the Pace insoles to help correct the biomechanical irregularities make foot pain resulting from fibromyalgia even worse.

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What You Need To Know ---

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that affects the way your brain processes nerve signals, especially pain. People with fibromyalgia are more sensitive to pain. Fibromyalgia affects about 4 million adults in the United States, or 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

Could I Get Fibromyalgia?

While scientists have yet to discover the cause of fibromyalgia, they have found evidence that links it to an inflammation in the brain. You may be at a higher risk 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.

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."

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. 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.

Where Is Fibromyalgia Pain?

People with fibromyalgia have higher sensitivity to pain and lower pain tolerance. Studies have indicated that a significant number of fibromyalgia suffers report pain in their feet, though pain is more common in other parts of the body.

An Arthritis Research & Therapy study found that 50 percent of fibromyalgia patients surveyed experience pain in their feet. It is possible fibromyalgia-related foot pain is a symptom of underlying foot problems, may of which can be corrected with a quality pair of insoles.

If you have fibromyalgia foot pain symptoms, speak to your podiatrist about what you can do to eliminate the pain. It may be that adding a pair of arch support insoles that provide extra support and cushioning for your feet can help control or reduce your foot pain.

What Is The Best Pain Relief For Fibromyalgia?

Because there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, most treatments only help relieve symptoms. Health care providers tailor treatment to the individual, using medicine, physical therapy, and lifestyle advice to address their unique symptoms of each patient.

If you think you have fibromyalgia or are seeking treatment, start by talking with your doctor. You may be prescribed:

  • 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 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.

What Causes Fibromyalgia Foot Pain?

Symptoms of fibromyalgia in feet can include swelling, irritation, and inflammation of the tissues within one or both feet. Foot pain may be exacerbated by fibromyalgia, impacting your ability to walk, stand, or exercise. The exact cause of fibromyalgia foot pain is not understood.

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 the cause of it. Correcting the biomechanical irregularities that cause foot pain can be done easily by adding pain relief insoles to your footwear. 

How Can I Relieve Fibromyalgia Foot Pain?

Walking and running are the last things you feel like doing when your feet hurt.  Still, healthcare providers stress the importance of a healthy lifestyle for those living with fibromyalgia. To find what works best to relieve your fibromyalgia foot pain, talk to your doctor, wear proper footwear with insoles for support, and listen to your body. 

  • 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.

Pain management specialist, Dr. Benjamin Abraham, says patients can greatly improve their pain with physical therapy or tai chi. Medical research also points to other relaxation practices like yoga, massage therapy and acupuncture for helping to improve sleep, fatigue and quality of life.

Finding the right pain management techniques can hugely impact the lives of people with fibromyalgia. There are lots of different options available, and while finding the right one can take time, it can make all the difference.

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