FOOT PROBLEMS GETTING IN THE WAY OF WALKING? WE CAN HELP!
So you have thought about it and decided that you are going to get fitter NOW!
You dust off the trainers and either go for a jog, a run or just a walk … and after a few days of doing these, your foot starts to hurt. Do you keep going and hope to ‘walk it off’ or should you rest and find out what you have actually done?
When we walk we need our feet to act as many different things so that we don’t fall over!
They must provide a cushion for the body and allow us to be able to adapt to uneven surfaces while also providing traction so that we can push off. We then need to be aware of our body position so that we can balance on the one foot that is in contact with the floor while remaining upright and then we also need muscles, ligaments and tendons to function together to give us good leverage so that we can propel our body forward.
It all seems so simple but foot problems are very common. We cram our feet into shoes when really, our feet were designed to allow us to grip the terrain and not for being put into shoes – particularly high heeled ones!
All parts of our body skeleton are connected so if we have tight muscles or tendons in our legs or low back or even neck then that will mean every time we put our feet to the ground, something further up the chain can be causing the foot to function incorrectly. We often have one leg shorter than the other so we are permanently off balance. Our body may cope with that or it may not – we are all different.
Help IS at hand though – chiropractic treatment can be very helpful in the relief of foot pain, and it is always worth coming in for some advice before you spend money on expensive ‘cures’ that you read about in the newspapers. Often you need the parts of your body that are contributing to the poor mechanics of your feet to be corrected and the pain will disappear!
If we think we can help then we will explain the issues and what we are going to do and then we will work both on the area affects and probably distant to the foot if necessary, providing you with a support under your heel if you have a significantly short leg on one side.
Problems we can help with include:
We often associate bunions with old people – remember those pictures of feet with a huge big toe joint protruding from the side of someone’s shoes?
They can be inherited or develop if we don’t look after our feet properly.
Pain underneath the heel is most commonly caused by a strain of the plantar fascia, or the main ligament on the bottom of the foot. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia. Strain on the fascia can occur if you wear high heels for long periods.
Normal activity, especially exercise, can be extremely painful every time you put your heel to the ground it can feel as though you are standing on a sharp stone and it will affect how you do walk so that if you adapt to it for long enough you can develop leg or back pain as a result
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue and Morton’s Neuroma is used to describe a neuroma that occurs between the third and forth toes close to the ball of the foot.
Pain can be particularly irritating when you wear shoes and when walking it can often feel as though you are walking again on a sharp stone – but this time between those toes.
High heeled shoes can be a cause because you expose the base of your toes and the nerves to the ground and when walking you put more pressure on that area than when you wear flat shoes.
Other foot problems can lead to Morton’s Neuroma because the biomechanics of the foot changes and overloads the nerve tissue. If left untreated you may require an operation to remove the neuroma before it damages the nerve itself.
Metatarsalgia is an injury to the surface of the foot bones from overuse. The term refers to inflammation and pain that occurs in the ball of your foot. In most cases, metatarsalgia is considered a symptom of another condition and isn’t considered to be a disease of its own. Injuries to the forefoot tend to be common among high-impact exercisers and athletes. There’s a high risk of injury to the forefoot if you participate in high-impact sports involving running or jumping. If you participate in track and field events you have the highest chance of developing metatarsalgia. However, the condition is also common in soccer players, baseball players, football players, and tennis players.
A bursa is a cushion of fluid that reduces friction between two types of tissue and bursitis is caused when an inflammation occurs and excess fluid builds up in one or several bursae. This build up of excess fluid can be caused by many different factors. The biggest factor is the bursa becoming inflamed due to strain or something (like a muscle, bone or tendon) rubbing against it too hard.
In the feet bursae in the bottom of the foot can become irritated when again the biomechanics of the foot change.
Bursitis can occur on the top of the toes as well. Those suffering from conditions like hammertoe often develop bursitis as a secondary condition. The constant rubbing will make the toe tender, swollen and red as bursitis sets in. Wearing shoes is painful and even the pressure from wearing socks can cause pain and discomfort.
The extensor tendons in your feet connect the bones of your toes to the muscles at the front of your legs. The extensor tendons allow you to move your toes. There are different factors that could lead to extensor tendonitis. These include:
- Spending a lot of time on your feet
- Wearing shoes that are very tight
- Running or using running shoes that press too hard on the tendons.
Non-surgical Rehabilitation. Treatment can be quite helpful if the deformity of the foot is not too advanced and the tissues of the foot remain flexible.
Spurs occur when calcium deposits build up on the underside of the heel bone, a process that usually occurs over a period of many months. Heel spurs are often caused by strains on foot muscles and ligaments, stretching of the plantar fascia, and repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone.