Exercise Aggravating Foot Pain? Here’s What to Do

Our bodies benefit from regular exercise, but what if movement and exercise cause your body pain? It can be very frustrating when you want to go out for a walk, or a run and foot or knee pain stops you in your tracks. In this post, we’ll look at some of the underlying causes of foot and knee pain and what you can do to get moving again.

Common Issues Aggravated by Exercise

Standard foot, knee and ankle issues can be aggravated by exercise. Some of them may be due to improper stride, over-exertion, shoes that don’t fit or have the right support, or some may be due to other underlying causes. The good news is that there are treatment options for most foot pain issues, and custom orthotics can help.

Here are some of the most common chronic foot problems.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition for runners and other athletes. It can be caused by the foot tissue’s irritation and inflammation that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes. It is also usually caused by overuse, a high arch, tight calf muscles and repetitive impact activities. People with flat feet are also more likely to develop this condition.

What You Can Do

Stretching and rest are essential in treating plantar fasciitis. Stretch your feet, ankles and calves before and after exercising to help release tight calf muscles. Most people improve within ten months of starting treatment. Orthotics can also help with plantar fasciitis by stabilizing the foot’s arch and providing shock absorption in the heel to reduce tissue irritation.

Heel Spurs

Heel Spurs are bony growths on the heel bone and can make walking and running very painful. They are created by a bony growth, called a calcium deposit, that grows between your heel bone and arch. Heel spurs make walking difficult and can cause foot inflammation and pain, and swelling in your heel.

What You Can Do

Orthotics can help minimize your heel pressure through cushioning and shock absorption, making walking and running more comfortable.

High Arches

High arches can cause runners problems because their arches don’t provide as much shock absorption as lower arches. This lack of shock absorption can irritate the arches and cause tightness, leading to joint and muscle strain or muscle and tendon tears. People with high arches are also more vulnerable to overpronation, which can cause joint problems and lead to an unstable gait.

What To Do

Custom orthotics and the best running shoes for orthotics that support high arches can help alleviate pain and help control supination to take the strain off joints and tendons. Most store-bought shoes do not have the necessary support for high arches. It is essential to find arch support for the shape of your foot before conditions deteriorate any further.


Bunions are a painful lump on the side of the joint of the big toe. They can be caused by ill-fitting shoes or an improper walking gait that puts pressure on the toe joint.

What To Do

Treating bunions means finding comfortable shoes that fit correctly, and these are often the best shoes for orthotics. Orthotics can be made to help position and stabilize the foot in the proper position so that the bunion has space to heal. They also help take the pressure off the joint.

Knee Pain

Your knees connect to your entire body system, and if one part is out of alignment or irritated, it can cause issues with the rest of your body. It can be surprising for people to learn that the cause of knee pain can be something in their foot or misalignment in their gait. The force of running or walking, if not adequately cushioned, can send the force of the impact to your knees, causing pain and inflammation.

What To Do

You should see your doctor so you can diagnose the cause of your knee pain. They may suggest stretching exercises, physiotherapy or anti-inflammatory medication so you can reduce inflammation and strengthen the tissue surrounding your knee.

Custom orthotics can also be beneficial. Custom orthotics offer support and cushioning to your feet, which helps cushion your knees. Orthotics can also help with foot alignment and stability to help your feet absorb the impact from running and protect your knees.


Bursitis is a repetitive strain injury that occurs when the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) between our joints become inflamed and irritated. These sacs work to cushion our bones and can be found in the hips, knees and heel. They can be very painful and cause difficulty walking.

What To Do

Bursitis is often caused by a misalignment of your gait or foot overpronation. This misalignment can put pressure on your feet and ankles and up to your knees and hips. Custom orthotics and finding the best walking shoes for orthotics can help realign your foot and ankle and take the strain and pressure off your irritated bursae.

So what do you do if exercise aggregates foot pain? You should talk to your doctor or podiatrist. They can prescribe custom orthotics to help with alignment and take the pressure off your feet and joints.

At Orthotics Direct, we manufacture and ship custom orthotics right to your door, and we offer the best shoes for custom orthotics. We’ll craft orthotics to your exact measurements and ensure they give you the support and stability where you need it. 

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