Is it fibromyalgia foot pain? What it feels like and what you can do

  • Fibromyalgia


Leva Clinic

First Published 5/14/2024

Last Updated 5/16/2024

Fibromyalgia foot pain


This article has been reviewed by a Leva pain specialist clinician May 2024. Please remember that all herbal remedies should be checked with your GP due to interactions with other medication.

Understanding fibromyalgia symptoms can be confusing, especially when foot pain becomes part of the puzzle. Uncertainty often looms large: is this a manifestation of fibro, or something else entirely?

Foot pain can be a subtle but persistent signal of fibromyalgia's presence. Studies suggest that a significant proportion of individuals grappling with fibromyalgia experience foot discomfort, with a 2011 study indicating that 50% of patients report such symptoms (vs 12% of the control group) [1].

Another study found that in a podiatry setting, people with persisting foot pain were more likely than the general population to live with fibromyalgia [2].

Clearly, there’s a strong and substantial link between fibro and foot pain.

In this article, we go into the nuances of fibromyalgia foot pain, making sense of its symptoms, impact on mobility and offer practical tips for relief and management.

Jump to section:

What are the symptoms of Fibromyalgia in the feet?

In the realm of fibromyalgia, foot pain can manifest in various ways, often accompanied by distinct signs.

Look out for widespread tenderness and sensitivity in the feet, particularly at specific tender points associated with fibromyalgia.

Additionally, tingling sensations, numbness, or a feeling of pins and needles may indicate fibro-related foot discomfort.

However, it's essential to consider other potential culprits for foot pain, such as plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the bottom of your feet), arthritis or neuropathy (nerve damage).

Consulting a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis can help differentiate between fibromyalgia-related symptoms and other causes of foot discomfort.

Fibro foot pain symptoms

Does Fibromyalgia affect your walking? Should you walk a lot with Fibromyalgia?

Navigating foot pain associated with fibromyalgia can understandably raise concerns about mobility and walking. Despite the challenges, many individuals with fibromyalgia can still walk, even with foot pain.

“I’d emphasise the importance of listening to your body, pacing yourself, and being mindful of any discomfort or changes in your feet during activity”.

This advice is especially important if you’re a proponent of practices such as ‘grounding’ - barefoot walking - as this may pose unique challenges for some due to increased sensitivity.

11 things you can do to try to relieve fibro foot pain

In the pursuit of relief from fibromyalgia-related foot pain, guidance from a trusted source can make all the difference.

We asked Leva Clinic clinicians for their invaluable insights into effective strategies for managing fibro foot discomfort.

Foot pain-specific

1. Gentle stretching exercises

Incorporating gentle stretching routines specifically targeting the feet and calves can help alleviate tension and improve flexibility

One gentle exercise to try is seated toe stretches: while seated, extend one leg and gently flex and point your toes, holding each position for a few seconds to stretch the muscles in your feet and calves. Repeat on the other side for balanced relief.

2. Orthotic inserts

Custom or over-the-counter orthotic inserts can provide additional support and cushioning to relieve pressure on sensitive areas of the feet. Research suggests that, as part of a wider comprehensive pain management plan, people living with fibro who had custom foot orthotics had greater improvements in function. [3]

3. Wear proper footwear

Wearing supportive shoes with adequate cushioning and arch support is essential for minimising impact and reducing discomfort during walking and daily activities.

4. Low-impact exercises

Engaging in low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling, or Tai Chi can help maintain mobility and strengthen muscles without exacerbating foot pain.

5. Foot massages

Regularly massaging the feet can help improve circulation, reduce muscle tension and alleviate discomfort associated with fibromyalgia foot pain.

A 2016 study found that pain intensity was reduced in people who received reflexology on their hands and feet [4] - it might just convince your partner!

6. Foot exercises with resistance bands

Performing gentle resistance exercises using resistance bands can help strengthen the muscles in the feet and ankles, improve stability and reduce the risk of injury associated with fibromyalgia foot pain.

7. Physical therapy and foot mobility exercises

Under the guidance of a physiotherapist, targeted exercises and manual therapy techniques can improve strength, flexibility and mobility in the feet and lower extremities.

8. Temperature therapy

Alternating between warm and cold compresses or foot baths can help soothe sore muscles and reduce inflammation in the feet.

Fibro foot pain what you can do

Broader self-management techniques that can be applied to foot pain

9. Mind-body techniques

Practices like mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or guided imagery can help manage stress, which often exacerbates fibromyalgia symptoms, including foot pain.

10. Lifestyle modifications

Making lifestyle adjustments such as maintaining a healthy weight, practicing good posture and avoiding prolonged standing or sitting can reduce strain on the feet and alleviate discomfort.

11. Pain management programmes

Participating in a pain management programme tailored to fibromyalgia can be highly beneficial - including for foot pain.

These programmes typically include a multidisciplinary approach, involving physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and pain specialists.

Through education, cognitive-behavioural therapy and relaxation techniques, individuals learn effective strategies for coping with fibromyalgia-related foot pain. The aim is to help participants learn how to self-manage their pain.

By actively participating in a pain management programme, individuals with fibromyalgia can gain valuable tools and support to effectively manage their foot pain and improve quality of life.

👀 Try our own self-guided digital pain management programme free here.

PMP on Phones

Find pain-life balance for your Fibromyalgia

Finding pain-life balance amidst fibromyalgia and foot pain involves a holistic approach, combining self-care practices, possibly medical interventions and lifestyle adjustments to minimise discomfort and maximise quality of life.

Best of luck on your journey to finding foot pain and fibro relief.






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