Monthly Archives: August 2013
TLC for Your Painful Toes
Most people don’t realize that bunions and painful toes are a symptom of a larger problem in how their body is functioning…and that problem doesn’t just go away with foot surgery.
Often the bigger problem with your feet is that they are not given the TLC (Tender Loving Care) that they should receive. This isn’t because we want to abuse our feet but often we just assume they are hardy enough to be left on their own.
Once the bunions are bad enough, surgery is usually the only option left. Unfortunately surgery is costly, painful, and often doesn’t fix the true cause of your bunions. On top of this, the correction of a bunion may cause problems with your foot movement afterward. What one researcher, L.D. Lutter, noted regarding bunion surgery was that it is not the best solution for runners, he says, “…a runner must be willing to trade relief of pain for a lower ability to run.”
Dr. Presley Reed, MD of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine documented in “The Medical Disability Advisor” that bunions are 2 to 4 times more common in women than in men. Are those fashionable shoes truly worth the cost to your feet? There’s better ways to show your feet TLC than with a high heel.
Prevention at many stages of bunion and toe-pain development can relieve the problem and pain. A little TLC before your feet get worse can prevent the degenerative changes that may be starting to take place in your feet. The best part of it all is that this prevention is easy and natural.
With a natural cure, you won’t just be relieving your feet from pain, but you’ll be helping your entire body feel better from your ankles, to your knees, to your back. You’ll be able to get back out there and enjoy being active without the nagging pain in your feet.
Here are 10 quick tips on what you can do to love your feet and stop the pain:
1. Temperature therapy. The rule of thumb is: heat therapy at beginning of the day. Ice therapy at the end. Use a moist heat pad or an ice pack that conforms to your foot.
2. Use arch support in your shoes, especially for flat feet or if you already have a bunion or twisted toes on one foot that look different from your other foot.
3. Strengthen the arch in your foot. Lay a pencil on the ground under the knuckles of your bare toes. Curl your toes down grabbing the pencil and, while keeping your entire foot on the ground at all times, work to draw your arch upwards. Or in other words, move the knuckles of your toes and the pencil curled underneath closer to your heal. If you feel some tightening in your arch…you are exercising the right muscle.
4. Choose good shoes. Generally choose a flat sole on your shoe – meaning a sole where the heal portion is not much thicker than the portion of the sole by the toes.
5. Realign your big toe. Place a rubber toe spreader between your big toe and the toe next to it overnight, while you sleep. This will help to separate the large toe from the others and help to realign it during the long period of time you are not on your feet.
6. Loosen your foot joints and relax the supporting foot muscles. Do this by pulling your big toe straight (not trying to line it back up where it should be, just straight out very gently, then let go…do this a few times). Follow by massaging the bottom of your foot as well as your lower leg muscles for 5 minutes with deep comfortable strokes.
7. Foot adjustments and body alignment. Make sure your joints keep moving fluidly with chiropractic foot adjustments and most importantly, whole body adjustments for all over pain relief. We do this in our office.
8. Stretch the bottom of your feet, also called the plantar fascia. This tough connective tissue can tighten and cause the bones and joints in the foot to hurt. Stretch your toes back towards your knee and hold for a minute at a time or roll a golf ball under your foot firmly for at least 5 minutes on each side.
9. Consider taking a glucosamine chondroitin supplement if you have severe joint pain. The dose recommended to be effective is 1500 mg glucosamine and 1200 mg chondroitin.
10. Move to an anti-inflammation diet to decrease the joint irritation and swelling that can lead to arthritis. Get plenty of vitamin E, C, and flavonoids in your diet. Eat more vegetables, nut oils, yellow grains and cooked beans (black, red, speckled) to load up on these antioxidants.
Just a little TLC each day will help you keep the toe pain away. Of course, it can be more difficult than this and everyone has unique conditions happening within their own body. We help clients regularly manage their foot, ankle and knee pain and get to the bottom of what’s causing it.
One easy exam is all it takes to start getting help for your painful feet and toes.
Stop your body from cracking and aching
Joint pain can stop your activities and depress you, or at the very least make them a lot less enjoyable. Many people in the U.S. experience joint pain on a daily basis. In 2006, the CDC reported that 30% of adults experienced some type of joint pain.
Joint pain doesn’t have to be so prevalent; in fact there are simple ways to combat joint pain that many people don’t take advantage of.
Many people don’t realize that posture, body positioning, and undiagnosed but controllable joint swelling that cause stiffness and pain can be helped naturally. Often medications only mask the problem by dulling the pain sensing nerves or temporarily bringing the swelling down…but there’s a reason your body’s not comfortable or the joints are inflamed. These reasons can be easily spotted by a chiropractor.
To start naturally loosening your joints so you are pain-free, energetic and mobile, you can just look at what Kayla, a chiropractic patient did…
Kayla was suffering from extensive joint pain; so bad that it drained all of her energy on some days. She worked long hours on the computer during most days and thought she was doing well by running regularly almost every evening. She thought that she should be feeling great because of her fitness routine.
However, even though she was fit, many of her joints were still very painful and achy.
She was diagnosed with having rheumatoid arthritis and would regularly pay attention to her blood work and the high inflammation markers seen in the tests.
After following a natural therapy regiment from her chiropractor she finally started feeling pain-free during her days and her amazing energy came back again. She said that the inflammation markers found in her blood work were lower than ever. “My goodness I have never seen it this low since my pain started…” she exclaimed.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if you have joint pain that can be helped naturally:
1. Does your body feel worse after sitting for a long time?
2. Do your feet, ankles, knees or hips feel worse after wearing certain shoes? Do they feel better with others?
3. Does your body feel worse after sleeping? After working? After eating bad meals?
4. Do you have aches and pains that stick around and you don’t know what caused them?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, there is a good chance your aches and pains can be resolved by properly balancing your body.
Here are a couple of body balancing tips you can use to feel better quickly:
• Increase your water intake to balance the electrolytes in your body. Water flushes out the toxins that can irritate your muscles and joints and more water will help you think, feel and breathe better…there’s no better joint lubrication for your entire body.
• Get moving; do not let sore joints stop you. Your joints need to move to keep lubricated and healthy. And when you keep moving you also help to maintain a healthy weight. Both of these are beneficial to decrease your joint pain.
• It’s all interconnected…identify and stop food allergies for pain-free joints. If you find that your whole body feels bad after certain meals, you may have a food intolerance or mild allergy that can lead to inflammation (or swelling) in your joints. Be sure to pay attention to how you feel after meals.
• Get examined and treated by a chiropractor. We use “adjustments” to the bones, ligaments, and muscles of your body to move them to what is known as a “homeostatic” state – or a condition where the body is comfortable and moves and functions at its best. We can locate where your body is out of homeostasis and perform the correct adjustment to relax the joints and muscles.
• Consider using glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplementation if you have severe joint pain. According to a two year study conducted by the University of Utah in 2010, a dose of 1500 mg glucosamine and 1200 mg chondroitin sulfate daily can help decrease severe joint pain.
• Take care of your back, neck, shoulder, and pelvis posture. This is a tough one to assess on your own, and we do this for many of our clients. It is extremely important that your posture is correct (or very close to it) in order for every area of your body to feel great. If your shoulders are slouched and your neck and head are projected forward, the pain you feel could be in a completely different area of your body – from your back, to your hands, or shooting pain down your legs. Make sure to keep your posture in check.
I love to recommend tips and techniques that help your body feel energized, strong and pain-free. For more great tips and to learn how to evaluate your own posture, check out my free report “10 Questions to See if You are Heading towards a Foot, Ankle or Knee Injury…And How to Prevent it”.