Understanding Foot Pain and How to Treat It

When we have a headache it may be because we are tired or hungry for example. Yet with any pain, there could be a multitude of reasons as to the cause. The foot and pain in the feet is no different. Therefore understanding foot pain and how to treat it is an important factor for your health and well-being. Yet with all of the complexities of the foot (33 joints, 26 bones and over 100 tendons, ligaments and muscles); understanding foot pain and how to treat it in association with your feet and the methods of treatment can afford us an understanding of our bodies at work.

understanding foot pain and how to treat itThe Foot
As mentioned above, the human foot contains over 30 joints, over 25 bones and over 100 tendons, ligaments and muscles. This is regarded as a mechanical wonder – the parts of our body that carry our body weight while walking and standing everyday. Each of these over 150 components work in conjunction with one another step after step for an average of between 8,000 – 10,000 steps we take everyday. Therefore if one or more of these components is injured through activity for or problematic elements e.g. through genetics; your walking, stride and posture becomes out of sync. After time this becomes an ongoing issue that can manifest itself as pain. Yet as you will read in the next section ‘Foot Pain’, this pain may not always manifest itself in the foot pain.

Foot Pain
With this understanding of the working of the foot (this is known in association with the lower limbs as biomechanics), a knock-on effect is ascertained. For example, a flat left foot will impact the entire left side of your body. If the foot is lower to the ground than the right side due to this flat foot or collapsed arches, this in turn means that your knee is positioned lower down on the left-hand side of your body to compensate for this as then in turn is the lower back (spine). This puts a near constant strain on the foot, knee, leg and back as it is misaligned to the right-hand side of your body.

Treatment for Foot Pain
However it is not all doom and gloom – there is a proven treatment for foot pain known as orthotics. Orthotics are insoles that are placed seamlessly into your shoes to alleviate a myriad of foot complaints, symptoms and pains. As we know from reading the above ‘Foot Pain’ section, a problem with the foot can have long reaching effects to other parts of the body therefore orthotics can also alleviate knee pain, leg pain and back pain. PhysioCare offers what is called an orthotic assessment (a full foot and leg examination) to deduct if you are a candidate for orthotics and if so whether you need a fully customised pair of orthotics or not. Coupled with an exercise programme and clinical advice, orthotics have been proven to alleviate the symptoms of certain foot, knee, leg and back pains and help with bodily misalignment.

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Guardian. (2015). ‘How to Stop Foot Pain for Good.’ [online] Available at: http://www.guardian.co.tt/lifestyle/2015-02-19/how-stop-foot-pain-good [Accessed 20/02/15]

Weller, M. (2015) ‘A Dozen Foot and Leg Injuries.’ [online] Available at: http://www.medicaldaily.com/pulse/no-pain-no-gain-high-heels-can-lead-dozen-foot-and-leg-injuries-320096 [Accessed 20/02/15]

Healio. (2015). ‘Postural Insoles.’ [online] Available at: http://www.healio.com/orthotics-prosthetics/news/online/%7B045c059b-2803-45ff-b10e-489cdea6b8fa%7D/study-postural-insoles-combined-with-afo-improve-balance-in-children-with-cerebral-palsy [Accessed 20/02/15]