Monthly Archives: April 2013

#1 Secret to avoid foot and bunion pain: Evaluate your own feet with this one tip

Pain in your feet or in the bunions that formed usually comes from the times you are on your feet. If you’re going to be on your feet a lot, the right shoes, as you probably know, are essential in decreasing pain at the end of the day.

The bunions you may have probably formed from the lack of good motion in your feet, which usually stems from the types of shoes that you have worn through the years and a lack of added support needed to meet your specific foot structure.

While you can easily get a recommendation for good shoes from a friend, you also need to find good shoes that are good for you and your feet specifically which takes more work.

But what are the right shoes? Everybody’s feet are different, so what may be right for one person may not be right for another. There’s skinny feet, wide feet, high arches, flat feet, feet with genetic differences that are passed down, and feet with old injuries. All of these factors have to be taken into consideration when looking for the right shoes.

There are two ways to get a good shoe for your specific foot needs; one is through trial and error. You’ve probably already tried a bunch of shoes before and you know what feels good to you now; this is a test you’ve undertaken on your own to find the right shoe. The only thing you have to watch for is that sometimes your shoes can mold or stretch to your feet so they seem comfortable for a time, but they are still not giving your feet the proper support. This will eventually fail you in avoiding foot joint degeneration and in stopping pain, especially if you put a high demand on them for a long period of time.

The second way to get good shoes is to ask an expert who knows about the specifics of how a shoe should be fitting your feet. There’s not only one arch in your foot, but there’s three important arches that need to be supported and 26 bones in your feet that can easily get ignored and left hanging without support and gets squished together, which causes pain. Also, your feet are different even from each other for a number of reasons.

Here’s one tip you can use to evaluate your own feet: Take a look at your feet when you are standing barefoot on the ground.  Notice how some joints look more bent or rotated in your toes than the other side, and how one foot may flatten out more than the other. This tells you that your feet are different on each side. If one foot is flatter, that arch needs more support. If the outer toes are more rotated in on one foot more than the other, that side’s arch needs more support too. If you have a bunion at the big toe that’s bigger on one side than the other, that foot needs more arch support. Without the proper support, you leave your foot bones open to injury and degeneration in the near future, which will permanently deform your foot.

There are three major arches in the foot. Most people just think of the one big one in the middle that touches when you have your feet together. But all of them are important to stabilize your foot and offer foot pain relief. The one on the front, under the toes and the one along the outside of your foot are also important.

Feet are different from each other for many reasons; the main being that since your feet, ankles, knees, and hips get so much mileage that there is a small difference in bone lengths from your foot to your hips and joint. Muscle, ligament, and tendon strength may also decrease after injuries or overuse. Just like how you always turn right up a hill in your car, you can get more wear on the right tread of your tires, these small differences that you usually don’t notice can effect one foot differently than the other, especially with a lot inevitable use over time.

All of these factors can be analyzed by an expert so you can get the shoes that fit your feet comfortably. Our office can evaluate your special foot anatomy and help you diagnose the reason for your foot pain with a simple visit where we do our “Athletes Foot, Ankle, and Knee Evaluation”. This is effective for evaluating the cause of foot pain in non-athletes, as well as active athletes.

Support your feet for pain relief in any activity: The #1 exercise that prepares your feet

You’ve got a big active day scheduled in two weeks. You know you might have a lot of pain from being on your feet all day. Here’s how to prepare your feet so you support them and stop the foot pain before it starts.

You want the muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons to be ready for any event so they aren’t stressed and painful at the end of the day. Strengthening your foot muscles is like getting a better and stronger handle on a plastic bag needed to hold heavy groceries. Your muscles need to be strong and pliable to hold your bones in the joints properly and move your bones through the force of walking, jumping, or running. With weak muscles, the bones don’t hold strong in the joint spaces they are meant for and shift causing your foot joints to hurt.

Here’s the exercise you want to do 10 times a day two weeks before you have a big, on-your-feet event scheduled or you will be participating in an athletic event. This is one of the many tips that I give for every person’s unique needs.

Stand squarely on both feet. Put a pencil, length-wise, gripped under your toes on one foot. Act like you’re heightening your main foot arch (the arch that touches the other when your feet are together) and roll the pencil to you by pulling the arch of your foot up towards your head while keeping the outside of your foot, your heels, and your toes touching the ground. Do this 20 times on each foot every day. In two weeks this major arch should be stronger and help your foot get closer to being pain free when you need them most.

This is a great foot strengthener that will relieve pain. However, everyone is different and depending on your feet, any injuries your feet have had in the past, the stage of degeneration some of your joints may be under, disease processes that can affect the foot or just your unique body structure genetics, you may benefit from other exercises or treatment options. Any one piece of advice given doesn’t substitute for a thorough foot evaluation by an expert who can see the specific needs of your feet and ankles as you go about your sports and daily activities.

Put this tip to task for your next planned activity and feel free to let our office know how well you did.