How can I fix this foot issue?
March 17, 2010 9:34 PM   Subscribe

What's wrong with my feet or what can I do to make them work? My feet ache when I do any bouncing movements. I started taking kick boxing classes and when we do jumping jacks or jump rope or when we do any sort of extended bouncing (which is pretty much most of the class) I get an aching, burning feeling in the middle of both my feet. There are other factors...

It only appears after consistent bouncing... so maybe after 20 jumping jacks.
Once I stop the movement the pain fades and maybe 2 minutes later I can start jumping jacks again and 20 bounces later the pain comes back.
I'm 99% sure it's not cramping. I've had foot cramps before and this feels completely different.
Outside of class I have zero foot pain.
I run regularly (treadmills and long, flat distances) and don't experience this.
I wear running shoes I was fitted for... my foot turns inward when I run so the shoes I have help prevent that. I wear these shoes for kick boxing.

I have a few theories...
I just started kick boxing so maybe my feet/muscles in my feet aren't used to the motions? In addition to running I also swim and bike but they're all very precise, controlled, repetitive motions, whereas kick boxing we're moving everything in all directions and using so many more muscles.
Maybe I'm just wearing the wrong shoes? Should I be wearing an all around gym shoe or cross trainer instead of a specific running shoe?
Maybe my shoes aren't tied tight enough or they don't actually fit me well?
Maybe I have bad form/posture and this affects my feet?

Any ideas or insights would be very helpful!
posted by simplethings to Health & Fitness (15 answers total)
Do you have money/insurance to go to a podiatrist? The solution may be as simple as getting custom orthotics, which is what helped me. I had foot pain when exercising, tried various shoes, different exercises, etc. But the orthotics, which I only wear while exercising, solved it.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:39 PM on March 17, 2010

Running shoes, gym shoes, cross trainers nowadays are all very cushy. The nice part about the cushy is that it feels nice. The drawback of the cushiness is that it is too easy on your feet that your muscles actually atrophy. Perhaps try wearing Vibram Five Fingers or some other "barefoot"shoes. Or just go around barefoot.
posted by astapasta24 at 9:42 PM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

You probably just need new shoes.

I had a similar all-around-foot-pain problem in cross training... I was wearing shoes that I had somehow failed to notice were over 8 yrs old.

Good athletic shoes are a seriously justifiable indulgence. I live in SF and we have FLEET FEET, which I would recommend if you have one near you. They look at the shoes you have now, analyze the wear patterns, watch your normal gait, etc.. and make informed recommendations. A shoe store that sells to athletes will show you how to lace the shoes for your sport and all of that stuff. Let us know where you live and maybe some other mefite will be able to recommend a comparable store.
posted by muscat at 11:39 PM on March 17, 2010

Go to a podiatrist and discuss this with him/her. I know someone who did the same and surgery fixed the problem.
posted by SeƱor Pantalones at 11:46 PM on March 17, 2010

I used to have a similar feeling/problem but it would happen when I walked for any kind of long time. I did get new shoes, but I also liked the sporty socks with tighter material in the arch. I don't know what they are called, or if they really provided any true help. I just felt like I had support in the area that hurt and maybe that was enough (for me anyway). Maybe try stretching your feet before class, I know you don't think it's a cramp, but stretching feels SO good, and paying attention to the muscles, before they hurt might help you pinpoint the feelings.
posted by Swisstine at 11:51 PM on March 17, 2010

I have been almost immobilized with a foot problem because I was reluctant to go to the podiatrist because it was hard to find one here in Beijing. My gosh man, if you're able to afford it spend somewhere around $100-$300 for an appointment with one and get it checked out. the problems can immobilize you if they get bad. I wouldn't wish what I've had to go through on anybody.
posted by chinabound at 12:00 AM on March 18, 2010

When I got fitted for my running shoes I was told not to wear them for the ball games I also play as the running shoes have support for the ankles (I also pronate) and would prevent me from turning and twisting.

I think you may be onto something with the wrong shoes theory.
posted by Ness at 3:50 AM on March 18, 2010

The nerves in your leg may be trapped by trigger points in muscles further up, causing the painful spot. Can discuss more if you want.
posted by Not Supplied at 3:56 AM on March 18, 2010

seconding don't wear running shoes (with extreme prejudice) for a jumping/turning/bouncing activity. running shoes are designed to move you forward in a straight line. if you use them for anything else you are asking for a painful rotational torque injury (like, a sprained ankle would be the least of it).

for what you're doing, you want at least cross trainers, but probably tennis or basketball shoes, which are made for leaping, landing, stopping and changing direction. you can see the lateral support in the "Jersey barricade"-looking wedge built up on the outside of the wide part of your forefoot. that's for keeping you from rolling over when you're moving laterally.

lastly, running shoes are made to cushion your feet assuming a landing pattern of heel-midfoot-toe or at least midfoot-toe. hence the bulk of the cushioning is not where you need it - in the forefoot area. court and basketball shoes do have this.

I usually wear Nike basketball shoes and they have something called Zoom air, which refers to one of two things: a forefoot airbag or a full-length airbag. if the shoe has full length air, it will say "full length air," usually somewhere on the shoe. if it has two airbags, a forefoot and a heel bag, the shoe will say "Zoom Air" somewhere on the forefoot, on the sole or side of the midfoot area.

/worked at Foot Locker 20+ years ago when it was an athletic shoestore in the sense that it sold shoes for/to athletes. used to measure feet, look at gait and everything.
posted by toodleydoodley at 5:32 AM on March 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

Have you asked your kickboxing instructor? I'd start there (because they've probably seen this before) and then go to a podiatrist.

I did this myself when my right foot started hurting strangely during my dance classes. I spoke with my teacher and she showed me a different way to lace my shoes and my foot doesn't hurt anymore. If it hadn't helped, or if doing other things in addition to dancing caused problems, I would have gone to a podiatrist.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:13 AM on March 18, 2010

holy cow...everyone posting so far is overthinking it.

my theory? it's just fatigue of the muscles in your foot. solution: more high-rep strengthening excercizes for your feet.
posted by randomstriker at 6:55 AM on March 18, 2010

Sounds like tendonitis to me.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:46 AM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

It could be either tendonitis, or plantar fasciitis. Both of these things deal with the tendon in the middle of your foot, which is supposed to keep your feet aligned. Since your feet roll inward, it makes me think there's already an existing problem with your tendon. Just a guess, though.
posted by shesaysgo at 1:14 PM on March 18, 2010

Plantar fascitis (sp?) manifests as sharp pains in the arch of the foot as you initiate activity. The pain often abates as you gradually continue activity. What's happening is that you're mildly spraining tight tissues in the arch of the foot -- once they're sprained/stretched then the pain goes away (which is not to say that the problem has gone away).

OP described the sensation as aching, onset of which occurs after many reps. This is not consistent with PF.

Tendonitis is, however, consistent with described symptoms.
posted by randomstriker at 1:56 PM on March 18, 2010

Sounds somewhat like plantar fasciitis to me as well. Check it out on the internet a bit before you head in to a doctor. Stuff like this, it helps to be as well informed as possible.
posted by MrZero at 7:29 PM on March 18, 2010

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