The foot comprises 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 ligaments, and other muscles, fatty tissue, tendons and nerves.
Our feet carry our full body weight throughout most of our lives.
The roles of the foot are, for example:
- To carry body weight
- To absorb shock and torsion
- To maintain physical balance
- To move the body along.
Foot pain may occur in any part of the foot, from the toes to the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel. Sometimes foot pain is just irritating whereas other types of foot pain are more severe – especially if they are due to injury, disease or illness.
Most mild attacks of foot pain can be treated at home. More severe foot pain in the foot may require medical attention – possibly a specialist consultation. If you have painful feet and do not seek treatment, the damage to your feet may ultimately be irreparable – with impaired mobility as a result.
If you play a sport that includes running and you feel pain during or after running, you should be particularly attentive to certain factors, including your footwear and running style. Insoles can help you here.
Most foot pain is due to either inappropriate footwear, injury or strain. Structural foot defects and conditions such as arthritis and diabetes can also cause foot pain.
In many cases, foot pain is due to a combination of causes, e.g. ill-fitting shoes in combination with a strain on the foot.
There are many causes of foot pain. The commonest causes are:
- Sunken forefoot
- Flat feet
- Heel spurs
- Pronation or supination: crooked gait
- Hammer toes
- High arches/hollow foot
- Painful Achilles tendon
- Plantar Neuroma
- Ill-fitting footwear
- High heeled shoes
- Inflamed or ruptured/torn Achilles tendon
- Foot deformities, e.g. Hallux valguss
- Inflammation of the heel pad
- Foot strain
- Repetitive foot movements
- Foot injuries
- Broken ankle or foot
When should I seek medical advice?
As a rule, you should seek medical advice if:
- Your feet are so painful that you cannot engage in normal activities
- You have large open sores on your feet or toes
- Your foot, toes or toe nails are deformed or change colour
- Impaired function or sensitivity in your feet
- Your feet are very swollen or very painful
- Parts of or the whole foot are warmer than the surrounding tissue
- Your feet or toes are sensitive to touch
Five ways to avoid foot pain
– You can avoid foot pain in the following ways:
- Do not wear shoes that are too tight or ill fitting. Do not wear high heels or flip- flops.
- Make sure that your work or sports footwear fits perfectly. Always wear footwear that is appropriate for the occasion.
- Consider wearing insoles to support the foot
- Cut your toenails regularly and check for ingrowing nails
- Note that our feet change as we get older (usually at 40-50 years of age) and you may need to discard and replace certain types of footwear
If you focus on aligning your feet in their natural position, you correct the pressure on the joints, in particular the ankle, knee and hip, and spinal column. When your feet and ankles are aligned in their natural balanced positions, your knees, hips and shoulders are automatically aligned too. Good alignment often brings about very good pain relief. Good alignment also eliminates unnecessary strain on the muscles, joints, bones and ligaments because in an aligned body, body weight is optimally balanced. You can also avoid conventional compression pads, wedges and arch supports as good alignment also ensures healthy mobility in the muscles under your foot. Your feet get to work more naturally, using all the foot muscles, which may also ameliorate a sunken forefoot.
Align Footwear® insoles – feel better!
Align Footwear® insoles help to align your body into an optimal physical position. The insoles control ankle and foot movements when you stand and walk, and have a positive effect on the entire skeleton from ankle up.
Physical alignment from the feet through the body to the neck improves your balance, body weight distribution and posture.
Align Footwear® insoles improve mobility, comfort and performance. They encourage a better posture and physical adaptation in the kinetic chain, to make you feel well-being. When the insoles coax the body into a correct natural posture, the strain of each step is more evenly distributed. Our insoles reduce the destructive shock waves running through your entire body every time your feet touch the ground. This reduces strain in your joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
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