The Three Types Of Foot Pain We Diagnose & Treat

Foot pain is a hot topic at the moment. I think one of the reasons that is because our footwear changes when the sun comes out.

It’s really important that we use the correct footwear especially if we are walking or doing any physical activities in order to maintain our foot health.

Why is the foot important?

We walk around on our feet every single day. They hold us upright and I think sometimes we do take them for granted.

The foot has many small bones and intricate muscles that do more than just provide a platform for us to stand on.

When they start to dysfunction, it can cause problems elsewhere and if you sit down with a podiatrist for a coffee, they will tell you how important the feet are to the rest of the body and even look at reflexology, which can alter the physiological functions of the rest of the body just by treating the foot.

We’re going to talk about three foot conditions that we see but this is not exclusive to all the conditions in the foot.

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  • Fallen arch

This is often referred to as overpronation where the foot arch starts to collapse. This can be due to a lack of support and muscle structure. Looking back thousands of years, cavemen had strong feet with big arches, which keep the knees in a good position and helps support the hips and the pelvis.

Over time, we started to put two-inch rubber on the bottom of our feet, and we lose a lot of the muscle control and strength which is why barefoot running and barefoot shoes became popular 10 years ago. People could feel the floor on their feet and they found that they started to develop muscles in the feet that they didn’t have before.

It’s so important that when we’re not wearing shoes, we try and use the feet as much as we can. My advice would be never to wear shoes in the house or the garden and try and keep your feet working all the time, adapting to the contours of the ground and develop strength and musculature in the arch.

Other options to improve the arch is by using certain exercises which you will find here on YouTube or orthotics for the arch to strengthen and can really help with knee, back, hip issues in the long term.

  • Plantar fasciitis

This is a common condition of the sole of the foot where the muscle that runs from the heel to the toes becomes very tight and inflamed. It can be very debilitating. It can be first thing in the morning when you put your feet down and can happen on both sides.

There is often an unknown cause to plantar fasciitis and it can be incredibly debilitating for a year or often two years. Getting it treated early is one of the main ways to stop it developing to a more chronic condition.

Firstly wearing the correct footwear that you find comfortable and supportive is one of the most beneficial ways to help with plantar fasciitis. Skechers shoes, HOKA running shoes provide a good cushion to support the plantar fascia.

Wearing flip-flops is not a good idea as it starts to tense up the bottom of the foot as your big toe and first toe tries to hold on to the flip-flop.

Rolling the sole of the foot out on a frozen water bottle is a great to improve the circulation and if you can stand it on a golf ball helps.  Another way is to increase the length of the calf muscle by stretching on the stairs. It will help to take pressure off the base of the heel and then also trying to minimise the amount of calf raising you’re doing like pushing up on the stairs and resting it as much as possible.

  • Locked navicular

Navicular is a foot bone in the midfoot and it can become locked and cause a lot of problems with moving the foot through the gait cycle. This can cause to the other parts of the foot to lock up and can cause fallen arches. It can cause bunions to form as there’s more weight being taken up. A way to unlock the navicular is by not using shoes and getting adjusted by another therapist. Getting a chiropractor or osteopath can help to mobilise the navicular.

To keep the feet and the navicular as healthy as possible I would advise wearing shoes with minimal cushioning. If you are starting to do more running and more minimal or barefoot shoes, try slowly. It often takes 6 to 12 months to fully adapt to a midfoot or barefoot shoe as the body goes through the whole process.

If you feel like you have a problem with any of these areas please give us a call on 01932 355529 and we can send some more information out to you.

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