DID YOU KNOW…
- 25% of the bones in your body are in your feet.
- The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day.
- Women have four times as many foot problems as men.
- More than 75% of people will experience foot problems in their lifetime.
The Different Types of Foot Pain
While there are many different types of foot pain, some of the most common seen by chiropractors are:
Heel pain; Plantar fascia, a band of connective tissue that cushions the muscles at the bottom of the foot, supports the arch while protecting the foot from shock. In most cases, heel and arch pain are caused by over-pronation (the rolling in of the foot) of the foot and foot subluxations. A dropped or fallen arch is now an over-pronated foot, which eventually leads to an inflammation of the fascia, muscles, and ligaments on the bottom of the foot. This condition is diagnosed as plantar fasciitis.
Those who suffer from heel pain often notice that it’s worse first thing in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time. It’s important to have heel pain examined, as it can be indicative of a more serious problem like heel spurs or calcium deposits. This condition is commonly seen in those who spend a lot of time on their feet for work or who participate in sports that are hard on the feet.
This is usually extremely painful upon rising in the morning. Many individuals state that they can barely hobble around for the first 30 minutes every morning. As the day progresses, the pain diminishes. This is due to the changes in the bursa sac. Eliminating running or aerobic activity may lead to a reduced pain level, but in most cases, the injury will reoccur if the bio-mechanical problem of over-pronation is not corrected.
Achilles tendonitis; This large tendon connects the lower leg to the heel bone. This type of tendonitis is both extremely painful and quite debilitating. While the pain starts off relatively mild, it can quickly worsen, and in severe cases may even rupture the tendon entirely. Athletes and dancers who run and jump frequently are especially vulnerable to developing Achilles tendonitis, as are women who wear high heels regularly.
Flat feet; If you’ve ever spent any time around children, you’ve noticed that we’re all born with flat feet; our arches begin to develop while we’re in grade school. However, much of the population never develops that arch. While flat feet don’t always cause pain, it can become very uncomfortable for some individuals.
As you can see, foot pain is often found in those who spend long periods of time on their feet or athletes who put added amounts of stress onto their feet or ankles. However, anyone can suffer from foot pain; particularly those with poor posture, have aged, or are obese.
Treatment of any type of foot pain should start with conservative treatment before requiring radical treatment. Fortunately, in most cases, conservative treatment will resolve the problem. Treatment starts with chiropractic treatment to correct foot, ankle, knee, and pelvic subluxations. The talus is the keystone of the foot and is frequently subluxated. Also recommended is that individuals have a series of deep tissue massages to reduce the plantar muscle spasm and assist in breaking up any adhesions. Ultrasound and EMS may also be prescribed as apart of the treatment plan. This type of treatment program has been shown to be tremendously effective in the treatment of heel and foot pain.
Stretches for Foot Pain
Towel Stretch: Sit up in bed, legs stretched in front. Loop rolled-up towel (or exercise band if you have one handy) beneath ball of right foot. Keeping leg straight, gently pull towel toward you and hold 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 to 5 times, then switch sides.
Sitting Stretch: Cross left leg over right knee. Grasp base of toes on left foot and stretch toward your shin. Hold 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 to 5 times, then switch sides.
Heel Stretch: Stand arm's length away from wall; place hands flat at eye-level. Step left foot back and push against wall, bending right knee while keeping left heel on floor; don't bounce. You should feel a stretch in the muscles in the back of your left leg. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds (or about 4 to 5 breaths). Repeat 3 to 5 times, then switch sides.
Kneeling Stretch: Kneel on mat with toes tucked beneath you. Gently sit back on heels, stretching bottoms of feet. Hold 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
Heel Raises: Stand on edge of step and hold onto railing for support. Stretch left heel down at least 30 seconds. Press up with same foot 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times and then switch sides.
Ice Roll: While seated in chair, place frozen water bottle beneath arch of one foot. Gently roll back and forth 5 minutes. Switch sides.
Magnesium and Calcium
Calcium deposits can be minimized with the appropriate intake of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Most people realize calcium is required for bone growth and is essential in keeps bones healthy. It is also responsible for regulating the bone growth and can be beneficial in reducing the risk of unnatural calcium deposits.
Along with calcium, the right level of magnesium should also be ingested. Magnesium helps prevent the calcium from being absorbed in the body leaving it to be available for bone growth instead. By not having enough magnesium in the diet, even if you have the right amount of calcium, you may still have a deficient amount (as not enough is available for healthy bone growth) so the right level of both is highly recommended.
Vitamin C is thought to help accelerate the natural healing process of the body and have additional anti inflammatory properties.