Fibromyalgia Foot Pain Symptoms & Solutions

by Mark Paigen September 28, 2018

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you may have foot pain that affects your 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. Speak to your podiatrist if you have fibromyalgia foot pain symptoms. You may benefit from semi-custom orthotic insoles that can provide extra support and cushioning for your feet.

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What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that affects the way your brain processes nerve signals, especially pain. People with fibromyalgia may experience extreme musculoskeletal discomfort, headaches, bowel problems, depression and other mood disorders. They may also have sleep pattern disruption, fatigue, jaw pain, or issues with their memory.

Am I At Risk Of Developing Fibromyalgia?

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.

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.

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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.

Getting Back On Your Feet & Finding Pain Relief

The last thing you feel like doing when your feet hurt regularly is walk or run. 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. Semi-custom insoles can enhance the fit of your shoes and provide the support you need to help correct common foot problems and ease your pain.

Tread Labs offers medical-grade orthotic insoles in a variety of sizes and arch-heights that can help support your feet and may lessen fibromyalgia foot pain symptoms. Our insoles are guaranteed for life and include antimicrobial top-covers that can be easily removed for cleaning. Semi-custom inserts may be your solution to staying active despite your pain.

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Mark Paigen
Mark Paigen


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