Tag Archives: Pain

Heel Pain

Heel pain, though rarely indicative of a serious problem, can be a real irritant, because it typically affects the underside or back of your heel and can make regular activities like walking and exercise difficult.

The human foot is made up of over two dozen bones, which absorb the impact of nearly three times our body weight when running, so our feet are very susceptible to the damage that causes heel pain. Typically, this pain is not caused by a single injury, but repeated stress to the bottom of the foot or heel from ill-fitting footwear, stretching of the plantar fascia or bone spurs. Individuals with excessively flat or high-arched feet are much more likely to develop heel and foot problems without properly supportive shoes or sole inserts.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes and occurs when the soft tissue on the bottom of the foot is stretched too far and becomes inflamed, typically near the back of the heel where it is anchored. Patients with this condition also often experience calf and foot cramps. Heel bursitis is another common cause of heel pain caused by the pressure from your shoes, often high heels. This will cause deep pain that feels like it is in inside or at the back of the heel and can even cause the Achilles tendon to swell. Over time, pain increases, especially at the end of the day for individuals who are often on their feet.

Patients can seek a wide variety of treatments for heel pain, depending on the severity of the pain.  Simple remedies usually include icing the affected area, avoid walking around barefoot, and modifications to your shoes to offer better support. For more serious cases, taping your heal or wearing night splints can help restore the foot to its natural state and reduce excessive stretching or further inflammation. In very severe cases that are cause long term permanent damage, you may require treatment through surgery or prescriptions.  However, this is not common and you should seek medical advice before considering the options listed above. For more information on heel pain and how to prevent or treat it see the following articles;

Bunions

Bunions are a common foot problem that increasingly get worse over time. But what exactly are bunions and—more importantly—how can they be treated?

A bunion is a bump that forms at the base joint of the big toe. The big toe does a lot for helping us walk and stay balanced, and so developing a deformity around it is understandably uncomfortable. Bunions are produced when pressure pushes the big toe toward the smaller toe, sometimes settling under or over it. This alignment causes the base joint to slowly change shape, resulting in the infamous bony bump.

Bunions can result from many different factors, including genetics, injury, arthritis, and wearing tight shoes, so it pays to be aware of the symptoms of this disorder. Symptoms include:

  • A bump at the base of your big toe
  • Pain, swelling, or soreness
  • Numbness or restricted movement

Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do once it’s been diagnosed you have a bunion. Getting periodic x-rays and evaluations of your toe joint is always helpful. Wearing comfortable shoes, padding your foot, icing your foot, and reducing activity that causes bunion pain are also recommended.

Easing bunion pain will not cure the deformity itself, however. Due to the disorder’s permanent and progressive nature, bunions will continually worsen with time. If bunion pain persists to the point where it’s affecting your daily routine it may be time to consider surgical treatment. A variety of surgical options are available for bunions, picking the right procedure just depends on the extent of the deformity and personal factors such as age and activity level.

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Foot Pain

Many people try to ignore foot pain. But did you know that foot pain could be causing the pain in your back, knees, and hips too? Our bodies are like a chain and if a link in that chain is out of position then it affects the entire body. When it is painful to walk our normal way, we instinctively change the way we walk. Changing your walking pattern can also affect the whole chain of the lower body – from the ankle, to the knees, to the hip, and then to the lower back.

The way all of those joints move together is changed when foot pain or deformity causes a change in the way you walk. Ligaments and tendons can be stressed beyond their normal range, arthritis can set in, and cartilage in the joints can wear down. Other conditions such as flat feet, bunions, and heel pain can cause problems in your back, knees, and hips as well.

Find out more: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/content.aspx?id=1386

foot rub

My achy, breaky….feet?

Sing! Now don’t go breaking up with your feet!

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And please do not mistake this feature on foot arthritis just for the plus 60 crowd.

Dr. Jason Theodsakis, assistant professor at the University Of Arizona, College Of Medicine, and a specialist in sports and preventative medicine, says that everyone, especially the older you get will experience some form of arthritis. It starts presenting itself in your 30’s and 40’s. Ever squat down and hear a “snap, crackle, pop?” Yes. That’s the beginning stages of arthritis.

Is it becoming harder for you to walk a great distance? Are your feet stiff in the morning? Have they “locked up” on you recently? All of these are symptoms of foot arthritis. What can you do to prevent this? Here are a few tips:
1. drink plenty of water
2. lose weight or maintain your weight
3. exercise (swim, if you’re in a great deal of pain)
4. take your vitamins
5. stretch your toes
6. wear proper footwear

Pay attention to your feet, it’s hard to move without them.

Flat feet – To ease the pain of flat feet, reinforce the soles and tendons of your feet. Supportive (and comfortable!) shoes are key.

Are you flat footed? Orthotics can help stretch the soles and tendons of your feet and ease any pain or discomfort you may feel. These custom inserts are placed on the bottom of your shoe providing support and distributing pressure along the joints. They help create an arch in the bottom of your foot. This in turn helps to ease pain in the soles and tendons of your feet.

More importantly, (aside from inserts) you need to wear supportive and comfortable shoes. Your foot and ankle should be supported without the shoe being too large or too small.