Your feet are pretty far away from your head, so it might seem unlikely that foot pain could cause migraines and headaches.
However, these two are often very related. Your foot health can affect other parts of your body, like your back, hip, spine, head, and neck.
Your feet undergo a lot of stress throughout the day, supporting your body whenever you walk, jog, or run. Therefore, if you have a foot misalignment, it could start a chain effect on the rest of the body.
In this article, we’ll talk about the effect between a headache and foot pain. And as always, if you have pain in your feet, it’s best to consult with a podiatrist in Marietta.
The short answer to this question is yes. But how can foot pain cause migraines and headaches in the first place?
There are several ways that this can happen:
Can flat feet cause headaches? Absolutely. Flat feet can cause tendon damage, which sets off other issues, like posterior trivial tendon dysfunction (PTTD),torn tendons, or other foot injuries.
Understanding if you have flat feet usually comes down to three things:
1. a low or non-existent foot arch
2. the heel rolls inward.
3. the top of the foot rolls outward.
Even just a few of these characteristics can be a condition of flat-footedness. Genetics also play a role.
If you’re born with relaxed ligaments, your foot tends to roll in gradually. This means that a flat foot can be the end result after several years.
When you have flat feet, you tend to take steps rolling inward, which makes your muscles strain harder to keep yourself stable. The end result is a chain reaction starting in your feet, up to your legs, up to your core, and eventually even your head.
Flat footedness can be caused by genetics, lifestyle, and even footwear choices.
Additional Reading: Flip-Flops: Good or Bad for Your Feet?
Plantar fasciitis is when a ligament at the bottom of your foot, called the plantar fascia, tightens up and begins to tear away from the bone.
This causes a lot of pain and swelling, particularly after you’ve been sitting down for a while. You might even suffer chronic foot pain, causing headaches eventually. Arc support shoes can help with this condition.
Tight posture, bad posture, overstrained muscles, and a bad walking gait can contribute to radiating pain. This eventually makes it up your body all the way to your head, causing headache or migraine. Poor posture is associated with about one in four migraines.
If you have particularly bad posture, then it becomes more difficult for your brain to process the signals your body is sending it. This overload is what can cause tired muscles and overwhelming pain signals in the brain.
Your brain sends signals, creating expansion of blood vessels and inflammation, which is where that throbbing pain comes from. Ironically, those who only have slightly flat feet tend to experience headaches more often.
That’s because the pain or discomfort isn’t enough to make them change their posture, so they’re continuously overworking their tendons and muscles and causing a flurry of signals in their brain.
Weakened tendons in the foot will flatten your arches and make your heel tilt inwards, also contributing to headaches and pain in other areas of your body.
Thankfully, if you talk with your podiatrist, they can provide a number of treatments to relieve the pain in your foot, as well as the associated headaches.
Some examples are anti-inflammatory medication, compression socks, posture-improving devices, orthotics.
Orthotics, for example, offer extra cushioning at the right parts of your foot. This is so that your posture improves while walking and more evenly distributes the weight across your foot and ankles.
Custom orthotics require a doctor’s prescription, so make a custom cast to mold your feet perfectly. Orthotics are often combined with other types of treatments to get optimal pain relief and comfort.
If you were still wondering “can sore feet cause headaches?”, then you have your answer. The good news is that with the right treatment, you can resolve both issues in a relatively short amount of time. Contact your foot care specialist today to find out the best options for you and live a pain-free life.