It is a question we hear more often lately from our Macomb County patients at Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers. The most common answer is resuming your active life after spending several months confined to your home due to the COVID pandemic. Achiness, weakness, and pain in your lower legs and feet are all common signs of foot fatigue. In most post-quarantine case, foot fatigue will resolve on its own as your lower extremities get used to their regular level of activity again. Being patient and taking rest breaks during your day will help. There are instances, however, when foot fatigue signals another problem that needs attention. Below are some other potential causes for sluggish or aching feet.
Worn out shoes—sometimes, a pair of shoes may still look good on the outside, but inside, key structural components may be no longer working. Compaction of the insoles or heel cups and flattening of arch supports, for example, can result in arch or heel pain. Examine your shoes inside and out for signs of wear. If you need new shoes, get your feet professionally measured. Foot size can increase as you age, and improperly fitting footwear is another potential reason for foot fatigue.
Weight gain—another common complaint many people have coming off the COVID shutdown is that they’ve gained weight. Even a few extra pounds can significantly increase the strain on your lower extremities. For example, for each pound you gain, you put 3-4 pounds of extra pressure on your knees and feet.
Biomechanical problem—if you have an abnormality in the structure of your foot, such as fallen arches or posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, your foot may be out of alignment, and that can cause an unnatural strain which is the source of the pain and feelings of weakness.
Injury—an injury, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed, can be the underlying source of foot fatigue. The body’s natural tendency is to avoid pain, so you may have altered your gait without even realizing it to compensate for discomfort being caused by an injury.
If you have unexplained sluggishness, weakness, or pain in your feet and legs that doesn’t seem to be getting better on its own, make an appointment at our St. Clair Shores (586-779-6140) office so that one of our podiatrists, Dr. Anthony Benenati, Dr. Neil Shaw or Dr. Philip M. Watkins, can examine your feet and get to the source of your foot fatigue.