Minnesota Orthotics | Foot Pain | Heel Pain | Plantar Fasciitis
You probably realize that health is complex … if one part of the body system suffers, you’re likely to see consequences in other areas of your life. No discussion about bones, muscles, and joints would be complete without talking about your feet. They keep us grounded, get us where we need to go and bear the brunt of every step you take. But instead of treating our tootsies with the attention they deserve, we often sacrifice the health of our feet for fashion.
The human foot and ankle is an incredibly strong and complex mechanical structure containing exactly 26 bones (One-quarter of the bones in the human body are in the feet), 33 joints, and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The ankle serves as foundation, shock absorber and propulsion engine. The foot can sustain enormous pressure (several tons over the course of a one-mile run) and provides flexibility and resiliency.
Don’t Forget De’ Feet!
Have you ever wondered why so many people walk around with a stiff neck and low back pain? Look at their shoes!
In today’s society, it might be important to you to look fashionable. Ladies often reach for a pair of 5-inch stilettos (after all, according to Carrie Bradshaw, aren’t shoes a girl’s best friend?), but despite mounting evidence of the damage ill-fitting shoes can cause, they have became deforming forces on the foot and the source of a lot of pain.
The spine has a natural curve. Constantly wearing two-, three-inch heels or more alters the biomechanics of the spine, increasing the back’s curvature. When the curvature increases, the body will extend backwards. Two things happen; when the back is extended: It causes stress and load to the facet joints at the back, and the muscular component is changed.
Structure (spine) and muscular conditions are related; one cannot change without affecting the other. As the structure increases in curvature, putting additional stress on the facet joints in the back, the muscles will shorten and contract and tighten. Overtime those two factors can lead to foot pain, knee pain, lower back pain and even neck pain.
Although it’s tempting to slip on those pumps before a night on the town, the price of wearing them isn’t pretty. The achy pain experienced after the first few struts is a tell-tale sign something is wrong.
Heels aren’t the only fashion faux pas; flats can be just as damaging.
The biggest culprit for heel pain, or plantar fasciitis, is wearing the wrong shoes for the activity you’re doing. For example, if you wear ballet flats for taking a daylong sightseeing stroll, your heels won’t get the support they need. Improper shoes are like dessert: If you wear them in excess, there are likely to be negative consequences.
Be smart about your shoes. If you have to wear heels to a meeting, bring a pair of sneakers for the commute. Also, try to keep your high-heeled, high-fashion shoes for a special occasion and stick to a more supportive shoe on a daily basis.
You may not be the heel-wearing type, but even some flats can be, well, too flat. When your feet are close to the ground and your heel isn’t supported properly, you can pull the tendon that attaches the heel to the foot. Flip-flops, flats or any shoe that bends, folds or twists at the center shouldn’t be worn for prolonged periods of time.
While many people take their feet for granted, always focusing in on your foot health can ensure that you never lose a step to heel pain. Remember, if detected early, chances are high that your heel pain can be treated successfully.
Research indicates in cases of mechanically induced heel and arch pain which does not initially respond to treatment, the most effective treatment is custom made orthotics.
Custom foot orthotics are precision balanced medical devices worn in your shoes to allow the feet and lower extremities to function properly and help eliminate pain and deformity caused by improper function. They are specifically designed to fit your feet and act to restore the normal bio-mechanical function of the lower extremities.
Kinesio Taping is another technique that has been very successful at treating plantar fasciitis. Kinesio Taping gives support and stability to your joints and muscles without affecting circulation and range of motion. Traditional sports tape obstructs the body’s fluid, so while it offers support during an injury, it has the negative side effect of preventing your body’s fluid from moving freely about your body.
Happy Feet Are Healthy Feet
Given the many responsibilities of the feet, it’s pretty clear just how important it is to keep them happy and healthy.
Your feet carry you for a lifetime. Our goal is to keep them healthy for the journey.
If you are experiencing foot pain, heel pain, or arch pain, take the first step to healthier feet and talk to your St Paul MN Chiropractor about custom made Orthotics today!