Are Sore Feet and Legs Normal?

Sore feet, legs and knees can seem to be a normal part of life for many of us, but should they be?

Pain can be a very useful tool. When we are young it teaches us to avoid dangerous situations which could put our overall health at risk. Sharp objects, hot and cold, hard and soft, we learn about these partly through trial and error.

Can you imagine how your body would end up looking if it didn’t hurt to get sunburnt, to have a nail go through your foot, or to break bones? We’d end up looking like crash test dummies. Actually we might even put our hand up to be one!

Pain when we are doing normal exercise can be from a few different causes. Pushing yourself hard in exercise can create DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), normal breakdown of muscle tissue which stimulates the growth of new stronger muscle. 

This is a goal of some exercise and the way we increase our strength and overall fitness.

A young woman is performing a lunge whilst carrying a weight in a gym

But pain that is not short term muscular pain, and which prevents us from performing the exercise or daily functions we take for granted, is certainly not normal. It can be caused by poor alignment in your lower limbs which then places too much stress or demand on tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscles or bone. 

Eventually this can result in a long term injury such as a stress fracture, tendon rupture, muscular tear or joint capsule damage.

A man clutches his right thigh on the beach

If you are feeling pain in your lower limbs or feet that cannot be easily explained, it is important to get it assessed by a podiatrist. 

Podiatrists are able to assess your biomechanics (alignment of your legs, feet, hips etc., whilst standing, walking and running), find out where any imbalances may be and help to address them. 

This may be done by stretching tight muscles and strengthening others through an exercise programme, footwear advice, or custom foot orthotics. Orthotics can have the most dramatic effect as they directly adapt the forces acting on your feet.

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