Over the years I have been asked the question “why do my feet hurt”? It’s so interesting to me how really obvious it is, yet our client (ourselves) choose to ignore it.
The answer is simple yet, there are many answers to that question.
However, it is human nature to be a creature of habit. And, it is human nature to go with beauty over comfort.
I’ve always been of the mindset if there is a problem, simply fix it. If you don’t know how, ask.
Yet, it appears that when it comes to the health of our feet, many ask the question and many get the answer. Yet most, don’t do anything about it.
It’s a funny thing though. The older we get, the more we realize how important all our body parts are to us.
As we get older, we finally understand why we “should have” done certain maintenance actions to care for the health of our bodies.
Our feet affect many parts of our bodies. They can affect the legs, the hip and the back. And, we all know when our feet don’t feel good, neither do we.
I credit this article to WebMD. Originally published in 2021 it is now starting to re-surface. It is one of the few articles, coming from the Medical industry which didn’t state “myths” as facts.
To explain; Many articles come across my desk with lots of great information. Yet, these Medical professionals don’t realize something like a foot “file” is not a “paddle”. Consequently, I won’t repost them due to the inaccuracy. That is just one example.
The following information is for you to share. The Holiday season is a great time of year to help people realize the importance of taking care of their feet and what they should or should not do.
The metatarsal or ball of our feet is where most padding is needed. As we age, our metatarsal drops and consequently our padding becomes thinner.
- Don’t wears heels when walking a lot and don’t wear heels higher than 2-1/4″
- Flip flops have no arch support and should be worn at a minimum
- Overly pointed shoes can scrunch our toes together and cause pain
- Flexible shoes have no support at all
Good rule of thumb when buying shoes – if you can bend the shoe in 1/2, there is not enough support.
Matching your shoes to your activity is always a good rule of thumb.
There are many types of arthritis which can cause pain in your feet
- Osteoarthritis – cartilage breakage causes bone to rub against bone
- Gout – causes uric acid crystals to build up in your great toe, causing pain and swelling
- Rheumatoid arthritis *
- Lupus *
- Other autoimmune disorders *
- *your immune system attacks the joints in your feet and ankles causing inflammation
Some of the things listed above are hereditary. However, early care over the years can certainly help reduce the symptoms.
Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, minimize the use of Alcohol. Supplements like calcium can add in healthy bones as well.
If you do have an autoimmune disease, study to find out which foods can irritate and which ones can help.
BUNION (HALLUX VALGUS)
Many believe that bunions are caused by improper shoe wear. In actuality, bunions are most often hereditary.
Yes, wearing improper shoes (pointed or too tight) will make a bunion worse. However, getting a bunion typically happens over time as your great toe pushes inward.
- Special pads
- Roomy footwear
All above can help in reducing pain and in some cases you may require surgery.
There are small fluid-filled sacs which cushion our joints, bones and tendons. These are called bursae.
Repetitive motion from improper footwear can cause them. Toes and heels are the most common areas.
- Over the counter pain meds (acetaminophen)
These are ways to reduce the pain, yet the only way to stop it from happening is to wear proper foot care.
In some cases, a cortisone shot may help and/or your Dr. may suggest surgery.
This may be one of the most painful conditions of the feet. It involves the ligament which connects the front and back of your foot which supports your arch. Causes of PF can be;
- High arches
- Tight calves
- Repeated impact on your feet
When injured, the ligament can get swollen and irritated. This is not something which can be surgically fixed.
I always advise people if you are a runner or you work out frequently….stretch, stretch, stretch. Stretch your calves, rotate your ankles, bend your foot forwards and backwards.
I also recommend “proper” arch supports when doing long standing activities.
If you do get PF, stay off the foot is the only and best remedy for quick repair. Ice it and roll it (on a water bottle).
Archilles is a thick tendon which connects your calf muscles to your heel. It can be injured often during sports, a jump or a fall.
You would feel it and would also hear it (pop). Swelling will happen and you won’t be able to stand on your toes.
Be safe of course is the only thing which can make it NOT happen, yet that’s why they call these types of injuries accidents.
- Sometimes surgery
There is no magic cure unfortunately. And, it is very painful. However, rest and icing can relieve the pain and inflammation.
TARSAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
There is a nerve called the tibial which goes through a tunnel between your ankle bone and a group of ligaments near the top of your foot. This tibial nerve helps you feel the bottom of your foot.
- Bone spurs
- Fallen arches and more
All the above are conditions which could push on the nerve and cause pain. Symptoms could be shooting pain, numbness, tingling or burning feeling in your foot.
This is a very common condition which results from damage to the nerves which connect your spinal cord to your feet. It might begin with numbness and tingling and then begin to progress to jabbing pain.
What can cause PN?
- Diabetes (most common cause)
- Kidney failure
- Toxic chemicals, infection, poor nutrition
The thing about PN is there is no reversing it. Once you have it, the best any Medical Professional can do is offer pain relief.
Believe it or not, there are more;
- Raynaud’s Phenomenon
- Plantar Warts
- Morton’s Nueroma
- Broken bones
- Sprains and Strains
- Stress fractures
- Ingrown toenails
Notice the common denominator. Except one (bunions) all other conditions are secondary conditions. It is what we do or not do to protect our feet which causes everything above. What a reality check huh?
As you invest in yourself to further your education, learn and retain everything listed above. Knowledge is power.
As I’ve said in many previous articles;
- Educate your self, Educate your client
In addition, just don’t point out the problems….follow up with a solution. Your solutions can and will make your client feel better.