Foot Pain in New York City

by Dr. Neal Blitz

Living in New York City being able to walk comfortably around the city is extremely important. I have recently noticed my feet are staring to ache and my calves get sore and feel swollen. I don’t have a huge arch in my foot. Would this be the cause of my pain?

Nearly every New Yorker has developed foot pain from walking around Manhattan as this is a walking city. A persons foot type can have a lot to do with the development of pain in the arch, and the calves. Since you mention that you don’t have much of an arch, it is possible that you may flat feet (medically termed, pes planovalgus). Flat feet are known to cause foot pain, and they are also associated with a tight calf muscle, a condition called equinus.

There are two different kinds of flat feet – one that is flexible and one that is fixed. Both can be problematic. A flexible flat foot is one where the flatness of the foot worsens when weight is placed on the foot. A fixed or rigid flat foot is flat whether or not weight is placed on the foot.

In my experience, flexible flat feet tend to have more cramping pain, whereas rigid flat feet tend to have more achy pain. I believe that the reason flexible feet have more cramping and spasms is because the muscle of the foot and lower leg try to stabilize the collapsing foot throghtour the day, and they ultimately fatigue and cramp – causing the pain. On the other hand, symptoms from a stiff foot tend to be more boney and achy in nature as the flat position is fixed and the abnormal pressure on the foot causes pain.

Fortunately, treatments are available for all types of flat feet. A good place to start is begin calf stretches, and simple arch support.



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