Visiting amusement parks can be darn good times. Being thrown around on wild roller coasters, eating too-expensive but horribly delicious food, and seeing kids get so excited about meeting their favorite cartoon character that they’re nearly fainting in your arms, all make wonderful memories (and even better photographs). Unfortunately, a visit to an amusement park also means standing in hour-long (or longer) lines, threading your way through crowds and chasing after escaped toddlers. By the end of the day your feet will probably be killing you (although most of the time not literally).
Tired feet aren’t really a particular medical condition, although they can be caused by medical conditions. Of course, achy tired feet can come from standing around on them all day, obviously. If you’re overweight, pregnant, have swollen legs, or wear completely unsuitable shoes, you may find that your feet tire out rather more easily. Your tired feet could also stem from a structural problem in your foot, such as too-high arches or flat feet. Injuries can also make you use your feet in ways that’ll put strain on them, or you may notice that your feet are more achy than usual after you begin a new exercise program. Other medical conditions such as tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, inflamed nerves, neuropathy, or circulatory problems could also make your feet a bit more prone to curl up and whimper to themselves.
Depending on the cause of your tired feet, you may notice that your feet feel achy all over, or the aches and pains may be specific to one area of your foot, such as the arches or the heel. Your feet might also feel heavy. Problems may be present if these symptoms don’t go away with rest, or if they’re particularly bothersome.
Whether your feet are getting worn out at the amusement park, at the store, or on the job, your podiatrist can help you pinpoint the cause. He or she will likely examine your foot or feet and may observe your gait as you walk. Taking a look at your shoes to check where they’re wearing out may also help your foot doctor to find abnormalities. Depending on the suspected causes of your tired feet, your podiatrist may order imaging studies (such as X-rays or MRIs) or other tests to find out what’s happening inside your feet.
While rest and elevation can often be helpful in treating tired feet, you may not find these gentle treatments quite adequate. Your podiatrist may suggest orthotics (prescription shoe inserts) to help support your foot and correct for any abnormalities or misalignments in the foot. Massages and soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salts or other soaking products might also be helpful (although if you have diabetes you’ll want to clear these with your podiatrist first). Some causes of aching tired feet may require surgery, although your podiatrists can discuss all treatment options with you thoroughly.