The benefits of walking run a gamut from fitness to health, as we all know. At times, however, problems creep in and we find it difficult to maintain this rather easy but effective exercise.
One such problem is walking pain. Should we stop walking because of this pain knowing all the possible health and fitness benefits we could obtain?
I guess not.
Rather, we must find ways to get rid of the walking pain and to continue on our path to great health.
If you have been suffering from walking pain then you might feel discouraged to continue. You may even wonder whether walking is really as good as fitness experts say. The good news is that you can eliminate the pain through certain tips.
Common Walking Pains and Tips to Get Rid Of Them
Ignoring this pain can be a source of major problems in the future. Statistics indicate that over 250,000 walkers limp due to walking-induced pain. This can hurt your motivation so stop exercising. The sequel of that is the loss of muscle tone and weight gain.
Here are some of the commonest pains emanating from walking and tips on how to manage them:
Bunion is results when bones on the side of the joint of your big toe or small toe become misaligned. This forms a painful swelling. You will feel it as pain on the side of your big toe. You are more likely to develop bunions if you are a walker with low arches, flat feet or arthritis.
If you suffer from bunion, you can minimize the pain by wearing wider running shoes, especially the toe box. Alternatively, you can ask your cobbler to expand your existing running shoes. Using OTC pads to cushion the bunion can help, as icing it for about 20 minutes following a walk. Revere cases may require surgery.
2. Ingrown Toenails
This presents with swelling and soreness on the sides of your toes. The pain develops when sides of your toenails grow sideways instead of the normal growth.
This exerts pressure on the soft tissues surrounding the nail. The nails may also grow into the skin. It usually results from going for a long walk or a hike wearing too tight or too short or shoes.
To get rid of ingrown toenails, you must replace your shoes with ones that leave a wiggle room for your feet. Go for sneakers that are half-size more than your actual size to give room for your feet during walking. This is because the feet tend to become larger during exercise.
3. Plantar Fasciitis
You will feel plantar fasciitis as soreness or tenderness on your heel or bottom of your feet. Plantar fascia is a band of strong tissue extends from your heel bone to the ball of your feet.
It acts as a shock absorber and provides support for the arch. Taking long walks as in hiking for long distances can cause the plantar fascia to sprain or develop micro-tears leading to inflammation. The result is pain after walking.
Wear sandals with contoured footbed or supportive shoes to reduce the pain. Choose walking shoes that are a little rigid in the midline. Such shoes should be able to bend at the ball but must provide a level of stiffness and support to the arch.
Alternative and very effective way to redice pain is Patriot Power Greens health supplement by Patriot Health Alliance which I am personally using with great results.
Another great option would be custom-made walking pairs made to absorb the impact of walking, especially on pavements or other hard surfaces.
4. Achilles Tendinitis
This is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon causing pain in the lower calf or back of the heel. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel.
Walking too much usually irritates the tendon leading to tiny tears and sprain with resultant inflammation. You are most likely to get Achilles tendinitis if you regularly walk on up and down a steep hill or uneven terrains.
In case you have mild pain, reducing your daily mileage can be of help. You can temporarily substitute walking with less or non-weight bearing activities, for instance, upper body training and swimming.
Try to avoid any exercise that worsens the pain. Once the pain subsides, avoid walking on steep hills or uneven surfaces. Instead, you can return to your walking progressively by using flat terrains.
5. Runner’s Knee
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You may feel this as a throbbing pain just in front of your kneecap. Every step you take walking translates the impact to your knees.
If you walk too much for or you already have a problem with your kneecap, chances are that you will develop runner’s knee. It results when you kneecap rubs against the bone that connects you hip and your knees (called the femur).
You can get rid of this walking pain by doing some quad strengtheners. This will align your kneecap and improve support around your knees.
Meanwhile as you recover, change to another type of exercise that does not overly use your legs. To avoid the problems in the first place, take smaller steps while hiking or walking downhill. Ensure you do not bend your knees excessively.
There may be more walking pains but the ones discussed above are the commonest. If you are currently suffering from any of them, then you can follow the tips discussed to manage the pain and continue with your workout.
Some home remedies such as hot and cold water, cayenne pepper, vinegar, clove oil, icepack, Epsom salt, asparagus and ground mustard seeds can help manage the pain if you apply them at the pain site. However, their efficiencies have not been proved. In severe cases of walking pain, it would be wise to see a doctor.