Management of Body Pain When Walking: Effective Strategies

May 06, 2024 | 3 min read

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Pain when walking can stem from a variety of foot and back issues, each causing discomfort and impacting mobility. Conditions like gout, bunions, and arthritis can affect the big toe, while poor posture and spinal issues often lead to lower back pain.

Ankle Pain When Walking

Ankle pain when walking can often be traced to common issues such as sprains, where the ligaments are stretched or torn; arthritis, which involves inflammation of the joint; and tendonitis, which affects the tendons connecting muscle to bone. Each of these conditions disrupts normal movement and can cause significant discomfort.

How Can You Alleviate Ankle Pain When Walking?

  • Rest: Avoid putting weight on the ankle to help reduce swelling and stress on the joint.
  • Ice: Apply ice packs to the ankle for 15-20 minutes every two to three hours to reduce swelling.
  • Compression: Use an elastic bandage or a compression wrap to help stabilize and support the ankle.
  • Elevation: Keep the ankle raised above heart level to help reduce swelling.

If these home treatments do not improve your symptoms after a few days, it is advisable to seek medical advice.

Pain on Top of Foot When Walking

Pain on top of the foot can be caused by stress fractures (small breaks in the bone from repetitive stress), extensor tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons that straighten the toes), or wearing footwear that is too tight and restricts foot movement.

To alleviate pain on top of the foot, consider:

  • Modifying Footwear: Ensure your shoes fit properly and provide adequate room without compressing the top of your foot.
  • Rest: Limit activities that put stress on your feet.
  • Ice Packs: Apply ice to the affected area several times a day to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Pain on the Outside of the Foot When Walking

Pain on the outside of the foot when walking can often be attributed to conditions such as peroneal tendonitis, which involves inflammation of the tendons on the lateral side of the ankle, cuboid syndrome, a condition related to the dislocation of the cuboid bone, and the use of improper footwear that fails to provide adequate support or fits poorly.

To alleviate pain on the outside of the foot, consider the following treatments:

  • Rest: Reducing activity can help lessen stress on the foot and allow it to heal.
  • Ice Application: Apply ice to the affected area to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Supportive Footwear: Wear shoes that offer good arch support and cushioning to help distribute pressure more evenly.

Pain Behind the Knee When Walking

Pain on the outside of the foot when walking can often be attributed to conditions such as peroneal tendonitis, which involves inflammation of the tendons on the lateral side of the ankle, cuboid syndrome, a condition related to the dislocation of the cuboid bone, and the use of improper footwear that fails to provide adequate support or fits poorly

To alleviate pain on the outside of the foot, consider the following treatments:

  • Rest: Reducing activity can help lessen stress on the foot and allow it to heal.
  • Ice Application: Apply ice to the affected area to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Supportive Footwear: Wear shoes that offer good arch support and cushioning to help distribute pressure more evenly.

Big Toe Pain When Walking

Big toe pain when walking can be caused by several conditions, including gout, which is an accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint; hallux rigidus, a form of degenerative arthritis causing stiffness and pain in the big toe and affecting 5.4% of adults aged 18 to 44 years, as per CDC publication; and bunions, which are bony bumps that form on the joint at the base of the big toe.

To alleviate big toe pain, consider the following:

  • Appropriate Footwear: Choose shoes with a wide toe box and soft insoles to reduce pressure on the big toe.
  • Orthotic Devices: Use custom or over-the-counter orthotics to help redistribute weight and relieve pressure.
  • Pain Management Techniques: Follow a regimen of icing, gentle stretching, and over-the-counter pain relievers as recommended.

Lower Back Pain When Walking

Lower back pain when walking can result from factors such as poor posture, muscle strain from overactivity, or underlying spinal conditions like herniated discs or spinal stenosis.

How Can You Alleviate Lower Back Pain When Walking?

  • Ensure proper alignment while standing and walking.
  • Strengthen Core Muscles: Engage in exercises that build abdominal and lower back muscles, enhancing support for your spine.
  • Supportive Aids: Consider using aids like back braces to support the lower back during activity.
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