Don’t ignore foot pain! You want to get a correct diagnosis and the right treatment as soon as possible. Of course you want relief from the pain, but the right help will address the underlying reason for the pain. Getting professional help is also important because foot pain can be a symptom of other conditions like arthritis and diabetes.
Common reasons for foot pain include injuries and sprains, misalignments of the bones, ligaments and muscles, and inflammatory conditions like tendonitis or plantar fasciitis. Symptoms can show up suddenly and cause pain that have been there for a long time, or appear when you add a new exercise or change your routine, and put more weight on the feet.
Our feet work amazingly well most of the time, especially when you consider their complex design. The feet are designed to bear our whole body weight, keep us moving, throughout our lifetime. With 26 bones, 33 joints, multiple muscles, tendons, blood vessels, nerves, and lymphatics, our feet are held together mainly by their fit with each other. These bones come together and form joints which are surrounded by joint capsules and connected by fibrous tissues known as ligaments. The foot has internal muscles as well as external muscles that attach to the lower leg. We even have pads of fat in the foot to help with weight bearing and absorbing impact.
You can see there are many ways the mechanics of the feet can go wrong, and you want to discover and quickly treat any disease conditions that may be causing pain.
Let’s talk about plantar fasciitis, a common cause for foot pain. Here’s what you need to know and do about it. The main symptom is pain on walking that you feel in the bottom of your foot. Walking can be painful and the pain can even be debilitating. It’s more common in women and seen more in people as they age, as well as those who are overweight have flat feet or an unusually high arch or who have tight Achilles tendons, or "heel cords".
With plantar fasciitis the pain is felt in the bottom of your foot, especially at the front or center of the heel bone. Often the pain is worse when you first get up in the morning, when standing up after you've been sitting for some time, or after increased activity (especially in non-supportive shoes).
It’s caused by an inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick, fibrous band of tissue on the bottom of the foot. It reaches from the heel to the toes, supporting the muscles and arch of the foot. If the fascia gets overly stretched then it can get tiny tears in its surface--which leads to inflammation and pain.
There are many ways to treat the pain, prevent it from worsening and begin to heal, such as resting and avoiding the activities that make heel pain worse. You can ice or take pain relievers.
The right exercises are important also, and that’s where a skilled professional can speed your recovery. A chiropractor can help you not only with the pain, but will also recommend the right shoe inserts and a custom exercise program, with exercises for stretching and strengthening. The goal is to reduce stress on the ligament, help it become more flexible and strengthen the muscles that support the arch.
Whatever its cause, you don’t have to live with foot pain. Consult on of our Elkhart, Indiana health care practitioners today.