We often take our feet and calves for granted. Or calves support our body and stabilize our ankles. They also help us with movements such as turning, bending, jumping, and walking. Our calf muscles move us forward and absorb the impact when we move. Our feet let us run, walk, jump, swim, and stand upright. It only makes sense that we want to take care of our calves and muscles. Below are some causes and treatments of foot and calf pain.
However you’ve experienced broken bones in your foot, ankle, or tibia or fibula, whether it’s from jumping over furniture, falling down the stairs, or running into something; the treatment is nearly the same. To treat a broken bone, you should visit your doctor where they’ll do an X-ray and then immobilize the foot or leg in a cast, removable brace, shoe, or boot. If you broke a toe, the only thing they can do is tape it to the neighboring toe. Be sure to elevate your leg and keep the cast from getting wet.
Bunions and Corns
A bunion forms when the big toe pushes into the toe next to it. The main symptoms include foot pain, bone deformity, and stiffness. Corns are hardened layers of skin caused by pressure and friction. To treat corns, affect the area in warm water for about 15 minutes to soften the skin before using a pumice stone to file away excess skin. If you take too much off, this causes bleeding and puts you at risk for an infection.
For bunions, avoid wearing high heels or shoes with pointed toes and make sure you wear shoes that fit correctly and don’t cramp or pinch the toes. Bunion pads or cushions do help once you develop bunions. Surgical options include cutting the joint of the big toe and realigning the toe back to normal position, removing the bunion from the joint without realigning the joint, and replacing the damaged joint with screws or metal plates.
Dehydration often causes aches and pains in both feet and calves. When you’re dehydrated, your body takes water from other areas, including your joints. When those areas no longer have water, the remaining toxins result in pain and inflammation.
To combat dehydration, you must first know the signs of dehydration and drink the right amount of water for what your body needs. Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as those are hydrating, and you can use an app for reminders and to track how much water you drink in a day. However, you shouldn’t drink too much water at once, causing water intoxication. Kidneys may remove 20 to 28 liters of water per day, but can only excrete no more than 0.8 or 1 liters per hour.
High blood sugar damages the nerves of the feet and legs and interferes with their ability to send signals to the brain and other areas of the body. High blood sugar also weakens the walls of small blood vessels that supply nerves with nutrients and oxygen. When the feet and calves don’t get the blood, oxygen, or nutrients they need, this causes pain and other issues.
To treat diabetic neuropathy, do what you can to maintain good care of your feet. Check your feet for any bruises, cuts, and blisters and keep your feet clean, moisturized, and dry. When you wash your feet, dry them carefully. Wear shoes that allow for toe movement and have cushioning and clean socks made with moisture-wicking fibers. Don’t wear socks that have tight bands or thick seams.
There are a few reasons for muscle cramps, such as a potassium or sodium deficiency, dehydration, holding your foot or calf in a position too long, or overusing the muscles. Proper stretching techniques relieve cramps, such as forcefully stretching your foot by flexing and pressing your foot down, or putting your weight on the leg that’s cramping and bending slightly. Massage the cramping area by gently rubbing the area. Foot and calf massagers are great, but make sure you find the best calf and foot massager to fit your needs. Learn more about calf massagers here.
Prolonged Physical Activity
Prolonged physical activity causes pain in the foot and calves for several reasons. You may have started your exercise without a proper warm-up or stretching. You may not have kept up with your hydration and nutrition needs before, during, and after exercising. Prolonged physical activity causes inflamed foot tendons, especially if you don’t wear proper shoes or socks during the activity. High impact exercises also cause foot and calf pain.
To treat this cause of foot and calf pain, don’t overexert yourself and make sure to stretch and warm-up before exercising. Use the RICE method to take care of foot and calf pain by resting, icing, wrapping, and elevating the injured foot or calf.