For many people, colder weather brings an increase in foot pain and discomfort. While it may seem like there is no correlation between more intense foot pain and the time of year, there are actually a few scientific reasons why and how the seasons affect foot pain.
3 Reasons Your Feet Hurt More in the Winter
Weight gain during the holiday season is common for many people. Winter clothes—including bulky coats and heavy snow boots—carry a fair amount of weight. This added weight places more stress and pressure on the feet, leading to foot pain that may not be present at other times of the year.
A Shrink in Tissue
When temperatures drop, tissues in the body tend to shrink in response to the weather. The contracting tissue pulls on nerve endings that then send pain signals to the brain. While any part of the body can be impacted by this, the feet are especially sensitive since the soles contain more nerve endings per square inch than any other part of the body.
A Decrease In Circulation
Cold weather causes vasoconstriction of microscopic blood vessels. This is nature’s way of preserving body heat in the internal organs that dictate our survival. Microscopic blood vessels are what bring blood to tendons, ligaments, nerves and joints. The decreased blood flow makes it harder for the body to repair tissue that is stressed and can lead to a protective inflammatory response.
A Switch in Footwear
During the spring, summer, and even parts of the fall, most people wear different types of footwear than they do in winter. Flip flops and tennis shoes are far lighter and more comfortable than heavy and constricting winter boots. When the feet are suddenly forced to conform to the more restricting contours of winter footwear, pain is the natural result.
The good news about foot pain, whether it occurs in winter or any other season, is that it can be managed with the help of a medical professional. Foot specialist and podiatrist Dr. Robert A. Kornfeld of the Chronic Foot Pain Center in Manhattan can help. He has nearly 40 years of experience treating all types of foot-related issues, including any chronic foot and ankle pain, bunions, plantar fasciitis, and torn ligaments. Call (516) 369-3172 to schedule an appointment or visit his website to learn more about his therapeutic approach to relieve burdens on the immune system, improve local circulation to the foot, and enhance the body’s ability to foster homeostasis.