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February 9th, 2009
12:10 PM ET

Ohhh my aching feet!

By Karen Denice
CNN Senior Medical Producer

Another day, another training walk and my feet are feeling the pain. I’m training for a half-marathon walk and even though I know walking is good for my health, I also figured it would be pretty easy on my body. However, I did not check in with my feet before making this assumption. Granted I like to call my feet “special”: I overpronate, have flat arches and bunions – special.

Still, walking with good shoes and, for me, shoe inserts should normally do the trick. But the foot is a complicated specimen with 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 ligaments, tendons and muscles. The list is long as to what can cause foot pain - from plantar fasciitis and tendinitis to toenail injuries - and experts warn not to put up with foot pain – see a health professional.

But first you may want to try these tips to see if they cure the hurt. Wear socks that wick away moisture to reduce blisters. Always stretch legs and feet before activity and try to make stretching at the end of your day a habit as well. Also, consider the terrain you’re walking on – choose trails rather than pavement. This should cut down on stress to your joints which can lead to arch and heel pain. Avoid walking barefoot. Experts say this can leave your feet more susceptible to injury and infection.

I’ve tried nearly all of the above tips, and will probably be heading to a foot specialist myself if this discomfort continues.
Do you have foot pain when you walk? What do you do to cure the ache? We want to hear from you.

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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