About 75 percent of people in the United States have foot pain at some time in their lives. Most foot pain is caused by shoes that do not fit properly, have heels that are too high or not enough arch support.
Do you have foot pain when walking?
If so when buying shoes, have your feet measured. If you have foot problems such as bunions or hammer toes, buy shoes with wider toe boxes.
The elderly and overweight, especially women, are at very high risk for foot problems.
The foot is one of the most complex parts of the body, consisting of 26 bones connected by numerous joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Foot functions include:
- Support weight
- Act as a shock absorber
- Serve as a lever to move the leg forward
- Maintain balance
- Bunions – a protrusion at the base of the big toe, which can become inflamed. Bunions often develop over time from wearing narrow-toed shoes.
- Hammer toes – toes that curl downward into a claw-like position.
- Calluses and corns – thickened skin from friction or pressure. Calluses are on the balls of the feet or heels. Corns appear on your toes.
- Plantar warts – from pressure on the soles of your feet.
- Fallen arches – also called flat feet.
Morton’s neuroma symptoms include tingling and sharp, shooting, or burning pains in the ball of your foot and sometimes toes, especially when wearing shoes or pressing on the area. Pain gradually gets worse over time and affects women more than men.
Other common causes of foot pain include:
- Broken bones
- Stress fracture
- Gout — common in the big toe, which becomes red, swollen and very tender
- Plantar fasciitis
- Bone spur
- Bursitis of the heel
What are simple exercises you can do at home?
- Sit on the floor and wrap a TheraBand around the sole of your foot. Then flex and point.
- Stand on one foot at a time and this will also reduce your tendency to roll and strain your ankle.
- Trace the letters of the alphabet with your feet. Your foot will go through the entire range of motion as you make the shapes from A to Z.
- Touch your toes, which also strengthens your Achilles tendon and hamstring.
Robert W. Ferguson, D.C., F.I.A.M.A., state-licensed chiropractor and acupuncturist, sees patients at 2250 W. 86th Street, Ste. 100, on the north side of Indianapolis by Metro Diner. Just look for the orange sign.
Chiropractic Rehabilitation & Acupuncture now accepts Healthy Indiana Plan for chiropractic services, and most insurance for chiropractic therapy and acupuncture.
Dr. Ferguson also offers a noninvasive low-energy or low-level laser therapy that is Food and Drug Administration approved for temporary pain relief. But most insurance plans don’t cover it just yet.