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Does anxiety have an impact on your feet?

Updated on 15 March 2024

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When you walk, do your feet feel achy, chilly, or even numb? You might have anxiety if you are feeling any of these discomforts. In addition to its psychological effects, anxiety can also lead to a variety of physical issues, the most prevalent of which are palpitations, insomnia, and stomach aches. Anxiety’s effects can be felt on the feet as well. However, be careful not to associate it with stress fractures, which are the result of repeated shocks.

What exactly is anxiety, and how can it impact the foot?

Anxiety is a state of discomfort in the mind that causes strong fears of dramatic situations based on a negative view of the future.

When faced with danger or upheaval, anxiety is a common mental state and even a form of survival. As soon as the stressful situation is resolved, normal anxiety goes away. A person with an anxiety disorder, however, will continue to experience anxiety long after the event.

There is a good chance that you have already experienced tingling, cold, or pain in your feet if you frequently feel anxious.

How anxiety affects the feet

In order to get us ready for fight or flight, the body produces more adrenaline, a hormone that increases heart rate and blood circulation. This is a life-saving feature that, in an emergency, multiplies our energy tenfold. However, anxiety can quickly become exhausting when it is experienced frequently, and your feet may experience excessive sweating, tingling, and pain. Here are a few ways that anxiety can affect your feet.


If you are anxious, the tingling you experience in a limb after a prolonged period of inactivity can repeatedly affect your feet. This is brought on by high blood pressure, which enables the blood in the hands and feet to contain more carbon dioxide. This causes tingling, which can also feel warm to the touch in the foot.

Tremors and spasms

The breathing quickens, and the pulse accelerates during an anxiety attack. Uncontrolled muscle contractions brought on by hyperventilation can cause tremors as well as more severe twitching or spasms.

Heat or cold sensations

Because sweating allows the body to release heat, it causes a sensation of coldness as the sweat glands to become active when the heart rate rises as a result of anxiety. Your blood circulation may also be impacted by the mechanisms of anxiety, which can result in the sensation of coldness in your extremities.


We become more vigilant in situations that make us feel anxious. It is common to suddenly notice itchiness, pain, or discomfort that we usually can handle without any trouble. These discomforts may be felt more strongly, even in the feet, during an anxiety attack.

Pain while walking 

Stress causes us to become more conscious of actions that are usually automatic. Breathing becomes difficult, which contributes to the sensation of heaviness in the chest, but it also has an impact on our posture and gait. Our footing will become less natural as we walk more intentionally, which can cause discomfort.

Some treatments for foot pain brought on by anxiety

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce anxiety’s negative effects. You can experiment with a foot self-massage technique to reduce your anxiety-related foot pain. There are various methods that either involve rolling a tennis ball under your sole with your foot or using your hands. An orthotherapist or massage therapist can also give you a massage.
You could elevate your legs when you are sitting to improve blood circulation if you experience cold feet as a result of your anxiety, or you could take a foot bath using alternating hot and cold water.

How can you tell if your foot pain is brought on by anxiety?

Despite the fact that the majority of Canadians claim to have dealt with anxiety, it is best to avoid self-diagnosis. Foot pain and circulatory issues can have a wide range of causes. Consult one of the foot health specialists at FootNetwork for the proper treatment of your anxiety and its effects on your feet.

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