The average adult takes 4,000 to 6,000 steps per day and 100,000 miles in a lifetime. According to foot.com, about three-quarters of Americans will experience foot problems at some point during their lives. When you consider that a pair of human feet contains 52 bones, more than 100 ligaments, muscles and tendons, and nearly 8,000 nerves, it’s easy to see why foot pain is so common.
Feet are susceptible to different types of stresses that cause everything from fractures and sprains to nerve damage. Foot pain can then affect how the entire body functions, creating a painful downstream effect that can reach all the way up to the neck and head. This is why podiatry is such an important service at Natural Healthcare Center.
Because the human foot is so complex, there are many different types of pain that can occur in various parts of the foot, such as:
Of course, fractures, strains and tendonitis, as well as nerve damage caused by diabetes, can occur in virtually every area of the foot. Foot pain should never be dismissed as normal, or something you just have to deal with, especially if it lasts more than a few days and affects your quality of life. Most conditions can be corrected or at least improved with the right treatment.
Foot pain can be caused by gradual wear and tear, trauma from an accident or injury, or a disease such as diabetes. Poor biomechanics caused by repeated awkward movements can lead to a number of painful chronic conditions, deformities, and even fractures. Foot pain can also be traced to more serious conditions such as cancer.
One of the most common causes of foot pain is poor footwear. Shoes that are too big or too tight can cause problems. Shoes that lack proper cushioning or arch support can cause problems. Shoes with high heels or pointy toes can cause problems. In fact, a 2 ½-inch heel can increase the load on the front of the foot by 75 percent, causing pain just below the toes around the ball of your foot.
Through a comprehensive examination and testing, our podiatrist, Dr. Nick Argerakis, can diagnose the root cause of your foot pain and work with our team of clinicians to develop a personalized treatment plan.
As always, the treatment plan depends on the individual and there are dozens of techniques we can use to alleviate foot pain. We always take a conservative approach and focus on stimulating the body’s natural ability to self-heal. For example, many strains and sprains can be treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Physical therapy is often used to help patients recover from injuries, and chiropractic care can improve mobility and alleviate in the foot and ankle joints.
We’ll always take a look at the patient’s shoes to determine if they’re the right size and offer proper support and cushioning. Patients often find that the shoes that are best for their feet are also the most comfortable.
Orthotics can also be used to improve foot biomechanics and reduce pain caused by a wide range of painful conditions, from flat feet and plantar fasciitis to arthritis and diabetes. Store-bought shoe inserts can provide additional arch support and conditioning, but orthotics are custom designed to fit the patient and achieve a specific outcome.
In addition to podiatry, we may integrate acupuncture, therapeutic massage and clinical nutrition to support the healing process. These services help to reduce inflammation and restore balance throughout the body, including the feet.
Although surgery is a last resort, it is sometimes an option that we have to consider. For serious injuries and chronic conditions that have been left untreated for a long time, surgery may be the only way to fix the problem.
If you’re dealing with pain in your feet from an injury, disease or chronic condition, schedule an appointment at Natural Healthcare Center. Let us help you find out the cause of your foot pain and restore proper foot biomechanics so you can feel better, function better and live longer.