Did you know that 25% of our bones and muscles are located below the ankle? Our feet were designed to be versatile with an infinite number of movements due to the number of joints and muscles within our feet. The feet are the true foundation of the body. Most of us forget this as we wear various types of shoes, with no regard to how the shoe may impact the health of our feet (high heels anyone?)
Today’s wide array of foot problems including plantar fasciitis, bunions, osteoarthritis, flat feet, ball of the foot pain, heel pain, and additional comorbidities such as diabetes and compromised circulation are considered par for the course. Oftentimes we blame genetics, not our choices in shoes or lifestyle.
What if a core solution to some of the most common foot conditions was having the correct knowledge in choosing the right shoe, and when needed, the correct insert to properly support the foot?
We do have control over guiding our own health and wellness, and that starts with our feet. So how best can we take care of our feet? It’s best to take inventory of your current foot situation. What kind of shoes do you wear? How much time do you spend with your shoes off? Do you have pain? If yes, where? Are their foot issues such as calluses, skin irritation, or nail problems, and if so, where? Understanding the answers to these key questions can help put your feet on a good foundation.
The most common foot condition today is plantar fasciitis. It is one of the most typical causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain in the heel during someone’s first steps in the morning. Through continuous movement throughout the day, the pain is likely to decrease but can return after long periods of standing or sitting. Individuals who are more at risk are those who wear shoes with inadequate support, those with increased body weight, old age, improper foot mechanics, and heavy loads placed on weak connective tissue in the feet. The most common treatment for plantar fasciitis is selecting the proper footwear in combination with the ideal foot support needed to improve the alignment of the foot and to reduce the impact of the plantar fascia.
Plantar Fasciitis is just one of many foot ailments afflicting people today. It is important to pay attention to any pain in the feet in order to heal and restore the tissues. Proper shoes, foot supports, corrective exercises, and in extreme cases, injections can help with pain and swelling. The sooner you can get your feet onto a good foundation, the sooner you’ll restore alignment, balance, and control in your overall wellness.
Writer: April Wilson
National Clinical Educator of Footcare for medi USA