by Dr. Tim Fargo, Chiropractor
There are few conditions more troublesome than painful feet. It is difficult to do, or enjoy, anything in life when your feet hurt. Of course, there are many reasons for foot pain, but some of the most common include:
- Bone spurs
- Morton’s neuroma
- Plantar fasciitis
- Hammer toes
Many of these problems have, as a common denominator, improper foot function which then results in inflammation and damage to the various tissues of the foot. Some of the factors that have made foot pain much more prevalent in our society include the fact that we live much longer lives than our ancestors, tend to be fatter, lead more sedentary lives, walk on hard surfaces, and wear constricting and often torturous shoes. All of these factors conspire to put a lot of additional pressure and demand upon our feet, which have become progressively weaker and more dysfunctional.
The first thing that you can do when you have foot pain is to make sure that you are wearing good quality and supportive footwear. Your shoes should properly support your arch and should allow your toes to move and work freely. This means that high heel shoes and shoes with tight toe boxes will generally compromise foot function and eventually result in foot pain. Footwear that prevents the foot from functioning properly will cause arches to flatten and ankles to roll in (pronate). When that occurs, the forefoot then spreads and increases the likelihood that the big toe will be pushed in and develop a bunion. In addition, the flattening of the arch and pronation of the ankle will also stretch the tissue on the bottom of the foot causing it to become inflamed (plantar fasciitis), and can, over time, result in nerve irritation (Morton’s neuroma), heel spurs, and arthritis, especially of the big toe joint. At Chiropractic Health and Wellness, the doctors specialize in identification of these various mechanical foot problems and can help you find the right shoe to improve your foot function. Dr. Kailey Fargo is particularly an advocate for a type of “barefoot” shoe that provides little support but strengthens the foot over time. This approach is not suitable for every person, but certainly warrants consideration. We do shoe testing at the clinic and are happy to evaluate your footwear.
In addition to footwear, it is essential to identify and correct malfunction and misalignment in the joints of the foot, ankle, knee, hip, and low back. The doctors at Chiropractic Health and Wellness are specially trained to identify and adjust misalignments and malfunctions in the lower extremity. Doing so is critical for those who demand high performance and longevity in a particular sport or activity. It is equally as important for the average person who simply wants to be able to live a pain-free life as they get older. If you don’t believe that proper foot function is important, ask your grandmother or one of your aging aunties and they will tell you the truth.
If you have issues with foot pain, chat with one of the doctors at Chiropractic Health and Wellness and we can evaluate both the mechanics of your lower extremities and your footwear.