A Quick Guide On Foot Pain & How To Fix It!
With summer upon us, many people are ramping up their activity levels. Warmer weather often encourages people to get out and start moving. Oftentimes people are fairly inactive over the winter and once they start increasing their physical activity, they are feeling some aches and pains that they didn’t feel before.
One of the most common complaints we see when people start coming out of winter hibernation is foot pain. People are not used to walking, jogging, or hiking for the kilometres that they do in spring and summer. Another activity that is very common this time of year is golf (especially this year), and your feet are not used to walking on uneven ground for 4-5 hours at a time. We don’t want you to stop being physically active, there are just some small muscles in your feet and lower legs that have tightened up over winter that need to be released or strengthened before you start putting more miles on your feet. Once this takes place you’ll be able to enjoy all your favourite outdoor physical activities without having to worry about your feet slowing you down.
Pain in the bottom of the foot is the most common. This often gets diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. All this means is that the plantar fascia, the connective tissue on the bottom of your foot, has become irritated and inflamed. This can become very painful and makes walking or even just standing uncomfortable. Plantar fasciitis pain is also very common in people who have careers that require a lot of time on their feet such such as nurses, teachers, and construction workers. Pain in the bottom of the foot can also be other things other than plantar fasciitis. Low grade neuropathies are also common. This means that some of the small nerves that innervate the bottom of your foot have become irritated. This can create pain in your heel, your arch, or the ball of your foot depending on which nerve is irritated. Many times if conventional plantar fasciitis treatment does not seem to alleviate symptoms, it suggests the pain is coming from an irritated nerve instead. With a proper assessment these differences between nerves can be determined.
Many people have become runners during the pandemic as a form of exercise since many
gyms have been closed. It is common for a new runner to experience foot pain, especially if they do not have any previous experience as a runner. Structures in the feet are not used to the demand of running and after the repetitive impact on your feet, repetitive use injuries such as tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis can develop. Toe Spreaders by the Foot Collective are also a great tool to use to help create space in your tarsals (foot bones) and to help reduce tension in the small intrinsic foot muscles in your feet. These can be used after a long day on your feet, or after you have just completed a run or long walk.
We have many therapies at the clinic that prove to work very well at alleviating foot pain. Shockwave therapy and forms of acupuncture are the most popular. These two can be used individually, or for the stubborn cases of foot pain, they can be used together as a combo treatment. We have had great success getting people out of foot pain with these two modalities. Once we get rid of the pain and symptoms associated with a foot problem, we will then give you home exercises and stretches to prevent it from happening again. Many of the exercises revolve around strengthening the smaller muscles in your foot and lower leg. The at home stretches and releases focus on releasing the tension in the bottom of the foot and preventing tension building up in your feet as you get back to your desired exercise or activity. The combination of strengthening, and stretching is a great long term strategy for preventing foot pain from ever coming back!