Foot Pain in Fibromyalgia

Does fibromyalgia cause foot pain? Certainly, with this condition, pain can hit anywhere, at any intensity, at any time. Several studies show that we fibromites have more foot pain than other people.

During a flare of foot pain, you may find that just resting your foot on the floor causes a burning pain. Shoes can hurt not only on the soles of your feet but the tops as well. Walking? Agony. Stepping on something like an electrical cord can feel like you’re being cut by a razor blade. A common complaint is waking up with feet that feel like you’ve been walking for hours.

What Causes Foot Pain? We’re just starting to see research specifically on foot pain in fibromyalgia. So far, we can’t say anything for sure about what causes it, but we’re starting to get support for some likely suspects. A study published in Arthritis Research & Therapy found that about 50 percent of people with fibromyalgia report pain in one or both feet. That seems like a lot of us, but the same study showed that 91 percent have neck pain 79 percent experience hip pain. In fact, the feet were among the least likely places to hurt.

Still, it’s important to look at foot pain because your ability to walk has a big impact on how functional you can be. Foot pain can make you walk differently, which may lead to back, hip and knee problems. Research lead by Ginevra Liptan, M.D., may shed light on one possible cause of our foot pain. It suggests that fibromyalgia involves inflammation of the fascia, which is a thin layer of connective tissue that runs throughout your entire body. If the word “fascia” reminds you of “plantar fasciitis,” there’s a good reason.

Easing Your Foot Pain. When foot pain is caused by an injury or an overlapping condition, your doctor can help you find the right treatment. Otherwise, you’ll need to find ways to manage it. The following is a list of things that have helped some people with these conditions ease their foot pain (remember than these are only personal experiences and they might not work for you):
soft, well-cushioned slippers
thick socks or diabetic socks
soft-soled shoes
soaking in hot water and Epsom salts
gentle stretching

A 2012 study on custom orthotics suggested that they may help people with fibromyalgia function better overall. (It did not look specifically at foot pain.) It’s likely to take some time and experimentation to find the best way(s) to relieve your foot pain.

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