It’s as Easy as Tying Your Shoes
Relacing Your Shoes to Relieve Pain
Your toes shouldn’t tingle and your feet shouldn’t feel broken when you put a shoe on, right? Well, this is exactly what can happen if your shoes are laced in a manner that is inappropriate for your foot type. Now, this doesn’t happen to everyone, of course. Certain people, like those with higher arches, thicker feet, and long-distance runners, are more at risk for these complications.
How Does This Happen?
The main irritant is caused by the compression of a nerve on the top of the foot. Tight shoelaces combined with either bony prominences or swollen feet can lead to excessive pressure on the nerve. Excessive pressure basically causes the nerve to go to sleep, which in turn produces an array of symptoms. Among the most common we hear about here at Lexington Podiatry are tingling in the toes, shooting pain, as well as feeling that your foot is broken which is exacerbated with every step. The best diagnostic factor is that the pain usually resolves simply by removing your shoes! Barefoot walking actually makes you feel better, but walking barefoot can cause or exacerbate other underlying issues.
Yikes!! So, what can be done?
Usually, the simple technique of re-lacing your tennis shoes is all it takes to get you back on your feet again and resuming normal activity. This is accomplished by skipping a lacing hole in the region of the irritated nerve. This area can be different for everyone based on where your pain is located. There are multiple techniques that can be used, and it is merely a preference for what is comfortable for your foot. Any of the techniques should accomplish the same goal, to alleviate pressure on the top of the foot, while at the same time allowing you to tighten your shoe to prevent slipping of the heel. This will provide better control and support overall.
Dr. Carter demonstrates this relacing technique on our YouTube channel. You can watch the tutorial here:
If you continue to have pain after relacing your shoes, there may be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed by a physician.