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Leg and Foot Pain
Advice from an Expert Physical Therapist

Q. After moderate walking, I experience a burning pain on the top/front of my foot, mainly where my foot and leg meet. It's a burning or aching pain.

What is this caused by and what can I do to avoid this pain? I would really like to get a good exercise from walking.

Thank you.

A. This pain could be many things - a bone spur (yes, they do occur in the top of the foot too!), tendonitis, or even a neuroma (a collection or ganglion of nerve fibers).

No matter what the diagnosis, I agree with you that it is important to keep walking. Several things to try would be to get new shoes - a good running shoe store has sales people trained to fit the shoe to your foot type!

You might also benefit from orthotics to help support your foot.

Change your walking surface - try walking on a high school track for terrific shock absorption.

Lastly, an appointment with a podiatrist (foot specialist) or orthopedist is certainly warranted to get you "stepping" in the right direction!

Q. I get really severe cramps in my legs - especially at night but also during the day. And by legs I mean from the top of my foot (sometimes even my toes) all the way up to my groin area.

All I know to do is try to walk it off, but that's easier said than done. I drink a lot of water and my doctor has checked my potassium and said it is fine.

What can I do to prevent this and how do I get rid of these cramps once they come. Thanks

A. There are many causes of leg cramps including the metabolic issues like you described, to restless leg syndrome and sometimes even claudication problems.

Return to your doctor and continue to push for a more thorough work up to get to the root of the problem.

Q. At what age do we stop building muscle? What I believe to be true, is we can always build muscle if we continue to work at it, No mater the age. Is this true?

A. Keep weight lifting (under a doctor's direction) - the older you are - the more important it becomes.

To learn more about NovaCare Rehabilitation, with 24 NE Ohio outpatient clinics,please visit us online at

Or call 216-292-6363 ext. 236

NovaCare (Hanesbrands Inc.) - the home of health information for seniors and boomers age 50 and over

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