Chronic Pain in Feet

If you have chronic pain in feet, you know how terrible it can be! I mean, walking can be challenging sometimes but when you have chronic pain in your feet, it gets MUCH harder! This condition occurs more often in older folks but would be even worse if you’re younger.

After all, if you are in your younger years, you still have a very active life! Our feet are the way we get around and if they are constrained, it greatly inhibits the lives we live! If the tendons or ligaments get injured, it can greatly limit your mobility. Let’s look deeper into what’s going on.

Anatomy of the Foot

Believe it or not, the foot is one of the most complex parts of the body. It is made up of 26 bones connected by many joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and nerves. The foot must be flexible to adapt to uneven surfaces and remain stable when you’re walking. The biggest potential complication is the achilles tendon that connects the calf muscle to the foot. The foot is susceptible to many stresses.
Foot problems can cause pain, inflammation, or injury. These problems can result in limited movement and mobility. The average person has walked about 75,000 miles by the time they are 50 years old. Given how many moving parts the foot has it makes sense that it’s very vulnerable to injury or overuse.

Common Types of Foot Problems

The most common type of chronic pain in feet is plantar fasciitis. That’s when the bottom of the foot hurts and even though the causes aren’t well known, it happens more often with runners, walkers and people who are overweight. Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that often occurs early in the morning when you 1st get up and start walking.

Other types of chronic pain in feet include: bunions, flat feet, heel spurs, hammertoe, mallet toe, claw toe, corns, ankle sprains, fractures, Morton’s neuroma and Baxter’s Neuropathy. Baxter’s Neuropathy is VERY similar to plantar fasciitis so if you think you might have plantar fasciitis, contact me and I’ll tell you the difference – the treatment is not the same.

Foot problems are often caused by shoes that don’t fit properly or by an intrinsic foot dysfunction. That means that there is a problem within the foot somewhere. But, shoes are usually the biggest complication, and ones that fit properly can remedy problems.

A Deeper Look at Some Foot Problems

1] Flat feet: flat feet can cause pain in the mid-foot area as well as swelling of the ankle and arch. The imbalance can also lead to hip, knee, or lower back pain.
2] A Bunion: a bunion is a bony protrusion on either the inside edge of the foot or the pinkie toe side. Bunions form gradually when the bones in the foot get misaligned, often from wearing shoes that don’t fit or that squeeze the toes together tightly. The big toe can bend so far inward that it crosses under or over the adjacent toe, causing a secondary misalignment called a hammertoe.
3] Heel Spurs: since it’s the largest bone in the foot, the heel is easily injured by problems with your gait. One of the more common problems is a bony overgrowth (heel spur) that causes severe pain when standing or walking. Heel spurs are most common in people who have plantar fasciitis, flat feet, or high arches.
4] Morton’s Neuroma: Morton’s neuroma is a common foot problem where compression on a nerve in the ball of the foot causes burning, tingling, and pain near the third and fourth toes. It can make you feel like you have a pebble in your shoe or on a fold in your sock. Wearing high heels is a common cause of Morton’s neuroma.

If you need an assessment of the pain in your foot, contact me and we can talk and then set up an appt for a therapeutic bodywork session. Feet are important and you don’t want to take chances!
Here is a good reference for chronic pain in feet.

Getting Help for Chronic Pain in Feet

If you think your foot problem might be from improper shoes, confer with a person who knows the ins-and-outs. One solution could be to wear special inserts called orthotics. But 1st, if you notice that your feet get sore after wearing certain shoes, try different ones.
There are herbal anti-inflammatory medicines that are affective. Another option, if your healthcare provider recommends, is OTC meds.
Physical therapy can help to make your feet more flexible as well as strengthen your foot and toes. If conditions are pretty bad, talk with your primary healthcare official about possibly having surgery – this is something you need to consult about with a knowledgeable health official before making a decision.

In Conclusion – Chronic Pain in Feet

The foot is a complex part of the body that is made up of many bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It can easily be injured, develop diseases, or get infections. Plantar fasciitis, bunions, claw toes, flat feet, hammertoes, heel spurs, mallet toes, metatarsalgia, Morton’s neuroma and Baxter’s Neuropathy are a few examples of foot problems that commonly cause pain.
A structural foot problem can be diagnosed by a massage therapist, a D.O. or a PT who can review your symptoms, medical history and a gait analysis. Chronic pain in feet can affect your walk and/or transfer up your leg into your hip,

Feel free to contact me for an analysis of any foot issue you have. I had a client who had broken a bone in her foot and the pain eventually went up into her hip. So, I worked on the pain in her hip but the real work was in her foot!

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