Sore feet are not only uncomfortable; they can put a big dent in your productivity and turn even the simplest task into a burdensome chore. Causes for sore feet can range from ill-fitting shoes to physical deformities, but luckily there are as many different solutions as there are problems; the trick is finding what works best for you. Many common foot problems like heel spurs, flat feet and torn ligaments can be solved best by using bio-mechanical intervention that can range from drug store variety inserts to custom-made orthotic devices.
Determining the Problem
To find the source of sore feet, start with the obvious culprit, ill-fitting shoes that do not provide the proper support for your body frame. So called “sensible shoes” with low profiles, sturdy arches and ankle support often provide instant relief from minor foot issues caused by inappropriate footwear. Under some conditions, like standing on hard or uneven surfaces all day, additional relief can be provided by drug store inserts that create a layer of cushioning for your feet to reduce the impact of each step. If these simple tactics do not yield favorable results, it is wise to consult with The Podiatrist to examine your feet to determine if you are suffering from treatable foot maladies that would benefit from custom-made orthotic devices.
The Podiatrist can examine your foot to determine if your problem results from an injury to or is the result of the way your foot functions in relation to the rest of your body. Injuries from sports and recreational activities can often be cured by providing proper support during the recuperation process so that the injury is not irritated and can heal properly. These types of inserts, pads and braces are temporary and will eventually become unnecessary.
If the problem lies in the basic structure of your foot, however, a more permanent orthotic will be recommended that is strategically designed to make your foot function correctly when you take a step. A cast of your foot is made and The Podiatrist uses this model to create the proper orthotic out of plastic, wood or rigid rubber. This kind of treatment can not only provide relief for sore feet, it can also have a direct impact on your legs and torso because it subtly changes your posture and corrects muscular issues that stemmed from improper balance.
See The Podiatrist for any foot problems.
Heel pain affects a large portion of the population, often resulting in visits to The Podiatrist. Plantar fasciitis is typically the diagnosis the patient receives during the visit; however, plantar fasciitis is only one potential cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a strong, dense strip of tissue that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot. Its sole job is to support the arch of the foot. .
It is easy to see how the plantar fascia may be causing all this pain as the foot impacts the ground when you think about how often the full weight of the body is concentrated on the plantar fascia. This forces it to stretch as the arch of the foot flattens from the full weight of the body, possibly leading to stress where the plantar fascia attaches at the heel bone. If this keeps up, the result can be pain caused by small tears of the fascia.
If it is not the plantar fascia then what else could be causing my heel pain?
Calf muscle weakness (muscles on the back of the lower leg) can result in referred pain directly to the heel.This is seen after someone has changed/added a workout program or modified the type of shoes they wear. This adds additional stress to the calf muscles that they may not have been ready for and lead small areas of irritation in the muscles.>
Calf muscle tightness – this causes the connective tissue surrounding the muscle to pull harder on the Achilles tendon leading to tightness at the heel, possibly resulting in the pain you’re feeling.
Sciatic nerve irritation – the nerve that runs from the low back through the hip and down the leg to the foot can get tight or pinched not allowing the nerve to move easily as you walk. This can lead to irritation of the nerve causing pain that is located at the heel. This is very common for anyone with any history of low back pain or hip pain.
Poor Posture – if you sit slumped forward most of the day the muscles and structures from the back of your neck, upper back, lower back, and hips can get tight and shortened, consequently pulling on the heel.>
Weakness of the muscles around the hip can cause muscles in the leg to shorten to help stabilize, consequently pulling on the heel.>
Why is this so confusing?
It may be hard for you to pinpoint the cause of heel pain yourself because the symptoms are the same for all of the above listed causes. No matter what the cause, you will experience pain on or around the heel when weight is placed on the foot. This is usually worse in the morning, especially with the first few steps after getting out of bed. In most cases, there is no pain at night, but this is not a rule as many of our patients report increased pain at night. Pain of typical plantar fasciitis is typically believed to decrease over the course of the day as the tissue warms up; however, patients have also reported increased discomfort as the day progresses, leading on to investigate other areas as the source or cause. Additionally, prolonged standing, walking, or getting up after long periods of sitting are commonly reported with all of the above causes. Again, the reports can be as varied as the potential causes.
Activities that make the pain worse:
Excessive running or jumping
Changing physical activity (especially for athletes)
High arches, flat feet, abnormal gait
Wearing improper shoes while walking or running
The Steps to Relieve Heel Pain
In most cases, heel pain does not require surgery and can be treated conservatively, but the first step is to obtain an evaluation by The Podiatrist who can help pin point the actual cause of the pain that’s specific to you. It is important to not treat the symptom of heel pain, but to isolate and treat the cause.
The Podiatrist may then recommend treatment , depending on the needs of your particular condition. In extremely painful conditions, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, and in severe cases give you a cortisone shot to address excessive inflammation.
Most people with heel pain get better with the help of The Podiatrist, but don’t wait. The longer you “live” with the pain the longer it may take to get rid of it as your body adapts. Most acute cases (less than 30 days) can get better within 6-8 weeks. Additionally, treatment should include activities that directly address the cause of your heel pain and are designed to include you in the healing process, so your participation is critical.
The Podiatrist specializes in the treatment and management of all foot related problems and will assess what is the cause of your foot/heel pain, not the symptom.
For more information or to find out if you are a good candidate for our services contact The Podiatrist
When was the last time you had your feet measured? If you can’t quite remember, your so-called tried-and-true shoes may have your feet crying out for a different size.
That’s right, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 40 percent of male and female respondents couldn’t remember the last time their feet were measured. Additionally, 65 percent of American women between the ages of 18 and 49 haven’t had their feet measured within the last five years — meaning they are probably trekking around in shoes that don’t fit.
And since the survey also reports that 84 percent of both male and female respondents chose comfort over style when buying non-athletic shoes, its surprising that foot measurements have gone by the wayside.
Many people don’t realize that shoe size can change with age, from manufacturer to manufacturer and for many women during pregnancy. Not to mention, an ill-fitting shoe can wreak havoc on your feet. With the possibility of painful blisters and unsightly corns to unnerving neuromas and irritating bunions, there’s nothing like finding a shoe with the perfect fit.
Here are a few tips that will help you put your best foot forward:
* It’s important to remember that when you’re getting fitted for a new shoe, you should wait until later in the day because your feet swell throughout the afternoon. And be sure to stand when your feet are being measured or fitted.
* Don’t be surprised if your feet aren’t the same size. If you have this problem, try to buy for the larger foot.
* You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, so the same rule should apply to your shoes. Always try on both shoes, and walk around the store, preferably on a hard surface.
* Stay away from shoes that require a “break-in” period. Properly fitting shoes should be comfortable immediately.
* Conduct a “dress rehearsal.” Try on shoes while you are wearing the same type of socks or stockings you expect to wear with the shoes.
For more information and guidelines on caring for your feet see The Podiatrist.
All of us have experienced tired and aching feet at one point or another, especially after long periods of dancing, shopping, walking or standing. As we age, the incidence of tired and aching feet become much more frequent and prolonged. Research has shown that fallen foot arches, or what is described in podiatric terms as over-pronated flat feet, causes a person to use more energy when walking, resulting in greater fatigue at the end of a day than people with normal feet. Strenuous walking or standing for long periods has an obvious effect on your feet. Other factors include ill fitting, poorly padded shoes, tight socks or stockings and tight garters. Reduced blood circulation to the ankles and feet also causes tired aching feet.
Contributing factors to tired and aching feet
There are multiple factors that contribute to the development of tired and aching feet:
• Age: as we age, the natural thick pad on the soles of our feet begin to thin. Additionally, our feet widen and flatten, and the skin on our feet also becomes drier. In some cases, foot pain in older people may be the first sign of arthritis, diabetes, and circulatory disease.
• Gender: Women are at higher risk than men for severe foot pain, especially women who wear high-heeled shoes. As a result, severe foot pain is a major cause of general disability in older women. Pregnant women have an increased risk of aching feet due to weight gain, swelling in their feet and ankles, and the release of certain hormones that cause ligaments to relax.
• Dehydration: your feet have approximately 250,000 sweat glands, and can excrete as much as a quarter of a litre of moisture each day. Therefore, it is important to remember to drink plenty of water, throughout the day.
Treatment and relief for tired, aching feet
• Lie on the floor and put your feet up on a couch or bed for about 15-20 minutes. This is a way of clearing the lymph modes and the water retention, which is a fairly common and very likely cause for aching feet.
• Soak your feet in Tea Tree Oil in warm water either in a basin or you can use a foot spa if you have one. Peppermint oil is good for the feet and has a soothing affect. Or use a good foot cream to relax your feet.
• Wear orthotic insoles in your shoes. Orthotics control over-pronation and support your arches, taking away one of the major causes of tired, aching feet!
• Have your feet massaged regularly
• Exercising your feet can help to keep them healthy. It tones your muscles, helps to strengthen the arches, and stimulates blood circulation. Here are some foot exercises:
1. Rise on your tiptoes: Stand with feet parallel. While holding on to a steady piece of furniture for support, rise slowly up and down on your tiptoes. This exercises the leg muscles and helps strengthen the foot muscles.
2. Extend the sole of your foot while sitting down. Extend and stretch the foot in as straight a line with the leg as possible.
3. Rotate the feet while sitting. Extend feet one at a time and rotate slowly at the ankle, as if trying to draw the largest circle possible with the big toe. Do this first in one direction, then the other.
4. Move your toes: Remain sitting with feet resting on the floor. Move the toes up and down. This will decrease internal rotation of the legs and the stretching on the leg muscles, thereby reducing tired, aching legs.
The Podiatrist is an expert for all your foot problems.
These days, the vast majority of people are working to improve some aspect of their overall health. Popular resolutions can range from increased exercise and healthier eating habits to quitting smoking or simply taking a daily multivitamin; but amidst all these other goals, proper foot care often falls by the wayside. Common foor problems such as foot pain, ingrown nails, athlete’s foot or bunions, are all too often neglected at the outset – and subsequently permitted to progress to the point where professional treatment is required to reverse the problem. In most cases, improved preventative care is all it takes to keep these conditions at bay. However, some conditions may require professional treatment or even surgery: and before attempting to self-diagnose or self-treat any foot injury, pain or infection, it is important to consult The Podiatrist to ensure proper diagnosis and a safe solution for lasting health.
The following guidelines can help individuals keep their feet healthy and happy all year long – and make it easier for them to detect early symptoms and warning signs in order to seek prompt and effective podiatric treatment:
- Ingrown Nails – Ingrown toenails can develop easily and without warning if nails are trimmed incorrectly or constricted in ill-fitting shoes. Left untreated, they can result in painful infections. Prevent ingrown toenails by cutting nails straight across and rounding the edges with a clean file — and take care to prioritize proper trimming and sanitation techniques when frequenting nail salons to reduce the risk of infection.
- Nail Fungus – Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a common ailment that is particularly likely to affect athletes, elderly individuals and anyone with a genetic history of the disease. Fungus can start in a tiny portion of the nail and spread over time to the full nail, so frequent inspections (after bathing or while grooming, for example) are an essential preventative step. Take steps to avoid toenail fungus by keeping feet dry and clean, changing socks regularly and wearing shoes in public areas. For those already with nail fungus, consider advanced laser therapy for drug-free, long-lasting eradication of fungus and unsightly symptoms.
- Bunions – Despite popular belief correlating bunions and badly-fitting shoes (such as high heels, flats and flip-flops), most bunions are in fact the result of inherited structural defects and have little relation to one’s footwear. That being said, shoes that lack the proper support may well exacerbate the pain and swelling symptomatic of bunions. Individuals suffering from continous foot painvisible swelling on the big toe joint or restricted motion of the foot should consult a podiatrist and consider the benefits of bunion surgery: because bunions are a progressive disorder, only surgery will reverse painful symptoms and allow patients to return to their normal activities in comfort.
Don’t wait to begin taking better care of your feet: commit to a better preventative care routine today, and consider visiting The Podiatrist for a consultation.