“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.“ – Abraham Lincoln
No one likes pain, especially chronic pain. However, there are certain types of pain that can be far more debilitating and even crippling than others. For example, a minor yet chronic back or neck pain may be bothersome but for most of us, we can continue in our daily activities. Yet a chronic pain in your hand can be a problem.
But perhaps one of the most common and crippling types of pain is foot pain. Not only can foot pain restrict your activities, but it can also affect your mood, increase your risk of falls, and diminish your quality of life. If you are suffering from chronic foot pain, you’re not alone.
An article from the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research reports that foot pain afflicts anywhere from 17 to 42 percent of adults at any given time. Among these sufferers, the most common sites of pain consist of the arch area of the foot, the big toe, and the bone just behind it – the sesamoid – and the bottom of the heel.
Foot Pain and Its Causes
There are literally dozens of conditions that can cause foot pain. Some are relatively mild and temporary, such as blisters or ingrown toenails. Others are much more uncommon, a fractured bone in your foot, for example. But there is a relatively short list of very common causes of foot pain.
Heel pain is probably the most common location for foot pain. This can be caused by the following:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel spurs
- Achilles tendonitis
- Heel fracture
- Stone bruise
Another common area for foot pain is in the ball of the foot. The common sources of this type of pain include:
- Morton’s neuroma
A third region of the foot that is subject to common causes of pain is in the arch due to these conditions:
- Flat feet, or fallen arches
- Plantar fasciitis
And, finally, the toes can be subject to pain, especially those on the outside and inside of the foot, the small and large toes. Pain in these areas can be caused by the following:
- Bunions, corns, and calluses
- Ingrown toenails
- Claw toe
- Turf toe, or sprain
Each of these conditions has its own causes and associated treatments. In addition, to these common causes of foot pain, other condition such as arthritis, tendonitis, neuropathy and tarsal tunnel syndrome. This last condition is triggered by a pinched or irritated nerve. According to one medical source,
“With this condition, a person may experience shooting, burning, aching, numb, and/or tingling pain that radiates from the inside (big toe side) of the ankle into the arch and sole. The pain tends to be worse at night, and sometimes it travels up to the calf or higher.”
Treating Common Foot Pain
Perhaps one of the most common – and painful – an affliction of the foot is plantar fasciitis.
The Mayo Clinic describes it as an “inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).”
For most people, the pain typically decreases as they walk around during the day but tends to come back after long periods of standing or getting up from sitting. While it is common for runners to develop plantar fasciitis, so are overweight or obese people and those who have inadequate shoe support.
While these are the more common causes related to plantar fasciitis, sometimes it is caused by abnormal biomechanics in the joints of the foot, knee and or hip. An unusual, or dysfunctional, joint motion in one or more of these areas can affect your walking gait. This, in turn, can increase stress on the soft tissues of the plantar surface leading to plantar fasciitis.
Effectively treating plantar fasciitis begins with a comprehensive analysis of the position of the foot bones. This allows us to develop a therapy plan for correcting their position. In addition, we work on strengthening misfunctioning and atrophied muscles.
Using manual therapy combined with a corrective exercise plan can restore normal foot mechanics and help prevent the plantar fascia from experiencing further excess force and stress. Active Release Techniques®, or ART®, therapy has been an effective tool for patients recovering from plantar fasciitis.
If you are experiencing chronic foot pain, it’s important to see our health provider for an evaluation. This is the first step to feeling well and getting back to your usual activities. With proper diagnosis and an effective therapy plan, you’ll be able to do just that!
Foot Pain Relief with Pain and Performance Solutions
When you come to your first appointment, we want to learn about your present discomfort as well as any history of discomfort. Treating and relieving foot pain starts once we understand where and how your pain started.
A full examination will help us determine which form of treatment is best suited to get you on your road to recovery. Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body healthy and working properly is the only way to achieve total recovery. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have.
We will conduct a full examination to help us determine which form of treatment is best suited to put you on your road to recovery. Because our bodies will compensate for pain to allow us to function during our day, the pain can shift around and lead to other forms of pain.
Our goal is to work through the sequence of pain and dysfunction in order to get your body healthy and working properly and to achieve total recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have. You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form