Our feet are what move to get us around, they are our support when we stand, and we often don’t think much about them unless they start to hurt. And anyone who has felt foot pain will tell you how it can stop you in your tracks and interfere with the tasks of life that we take for granted. Common conditions related to the foot and its movement are: plantar fasciitis, shin splints, metatarsalgia, heel spurs, bunions, calluses, medial knee pain, hip and low back pain. Let’s take a few moments to think and learn more about our feet.
Our feet are strong structures with each made of 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 different muscles and ligaments. Did you know that our feet can change even long after we finish puberty and stop growing? Multiple aspects like their size, shape, and pressure points change throughout our lives even into adulthood. This is why it is important to continually have your feet evaluated by a trained professional in order to ensure that you have the necessary support you need from your footwear.
Causes of the Pain
It has been my experience that most people are wearing the wrong shoe size. The size of our feet often change with weight gain, loss, or pregnancy. Very small changes in the size of our feet correspond to dramatic changes in shoe size. The common problem is that shoes are worn too tight for our feet, and this does not give enough room for the pads of our foot or the forefoot to spread out and evenly distribute the forces of our weight throughout our gait. The shape of our foot usually refers to the arch type, there are 7 different arches in the foot but people almost always talk about the medial longitudinal arch. You can have a low arch (flat feet), medium arch (biomechanically efficient), or a high arch. Each different arch shape requires a different level of support from your footwear to control overpronation, cushion shock, relieve forefoot pressure, and promote proper foot alignment. The muscles and joints of your foot can relax and change with time causing a change in foot size and shape. This can lead to increased pressure on specific points of the foot. The common pressure points are along our forefoot or pads of the foot and on the heel. Wearing proper fitting and supportive footwear will decrease and likely remove those pressure points.
Hopefully now with this knowledge you understand just how important your feet and having the necessary footwear to support them is. If you are experiencing any of these conditions listed…
First get some new shoes and if that is not enough get help from a trained professional such as a Chiropractic, Podiatric, or Physical Therapist physician.
Written by Dr. Jordan Wilde, DC
Milwaukie Spine and Sport