Stress is a common and unavoidable part of life and it can affect our bodies in a variety of ways. While it may be surprising, stress can actually contribute to foot and ankle pain. The human body releases hormones, such as cortisol, when stressed to trigger a “fight or flight” response. This can have a variety of effects on the body which will certainly impact your feet and ankles.
When you’re stressed, cortisol and other stress hormones call for the redirection of blood flow away from the feet and ankles toward more essential organs. This can result in a lack of oxygen and nutrient supply to your feet and ankles causing pain. This may feel like a burning, cold, numb, or tingling sensation in your feet and ankles.
In addition to reduced blood flow, stress can cause muscle tension throughout your body. When the muscles are tense in your feet and ankles, it can lead to stiffness, pain, and weakness. If the muscle tension persists, it may result in an injury including plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis, both involving the inflammation of the tendons in the foot and ankle.
Stress can also have an effect on posture resulting in the imbalance of weight distribution to your feet and ankles. This can also cause pain and increase the risk of injury.
If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, it is important to consider the role that stress may be playing in your symptoms. Contact Dr. Daniel Dean for expert advice on your foot and ankle pain today!
Dr. Daniel Dean is a fellowship trained foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon. He treats all musculoskeletal pathologies of the foot and ankle in adolescent and adult patients. He has specialized training in total ankle arthroplasty, sports injuries, flatfoot, complex fractures, and minimally invasive techniques in bunion correction.