(originally published in World of Westchase Nov ’14)
Feet are extremely important for even the most basic activities.
As long as they are functioning properly and not causing any pain or discomfort, we take them for granted. When an issue arises, however, it becomes paramount to get some relief and correct the problem.
If not corrected, trouble with feet can lead to issues with your knees, hips and back. Sometimes the secondary issue is the symptom, and the correction is to fix the feet. It is the quintessential kinetic chain. You know – the toe bone is connected to the foot bone; the foot bone is connected to the ankle bone, and so on.
The trouble can stem from your foot’s anatomy. No arches or high arches can cause over pronation. Supination can lead to problems as well since your bodyweight is distributed more on the outside of your foot. Standing for long periods of time, or being overweight, can also cause problems with your feet.
One very common condition is plantar fasciitis, a painful tightening of the tissue in the heel of the foot. Another foot condition is plantar fibroma, in which a knot develops under your foot’s arch. It also causes tightening and can be most uncomfortable in the morning. Ingrown toenails and bunions can be caused by the positioning of your feet inside your shoes.
Strengthening leg muscles when there are muscular imbalances can help take pressure off overactive areas of your feet. Stretching can help provide relief from some of the tightness. Taping your feet for particular activities can provide temporary support. The shoes you wear can also make a huge difference. Some shoes are fashionable but not practical, especially if you are going to be on your feet for long periods of time or do activities that require running or jumping. Corrective shoes can be an integral part of the solution.
Alternatively, investing in custom orthotics that can be placed inside your shoes can be costly but worthwhile investments. These are designed specifically for your feet and can be transferred from one pair of shoes to the other. Visit a good physical therapist or podiatrist to help you determine the best course of action for you.
By Shannon Thigpen