Common Causes of Foot Pain

Did you know that the human foot consists of 26 bones, 33 joints and hundreds of muscles, nerves and ligaments? Yet its marvellous, complex structure is often taken for granted. Most feet endure hours of punishment every day. Snug shoes, repeated pounding and cramped positions are all in a day’s work. Not surprisingly, pain spreads throughout the foot, including the toes, ball of the foot, arch, instep, sole, heel and ankle. Your doctor at Chiropractic for Life wants to share recent research about common causes of foot pain and how chiropractic can help.

Doctors of chiropractic thoroughly investigate the nature of foot pain to determine the underlying source. This examination typically begins with diagnostic tests, such as examining one’s gait and foot function and testing range of motion.

Your doctor at Chiropractic for Life knows that all structures within the body are intrinsically connected. Pain in any region should not be viewed as separate and treated in isolation. Foot pain is frequently linked to dysfunction in other structures, such as the spine, hips and legs.

Consider the relationship among the foot and the legs, hips and spine as a “chicken or egg” conundrum. Problems in one often contribute to or cause problems in the other. Why? The large muscles that move the extremities also move the spine, and the spine anchors the extremities.

That’s why, to start, your doctor at Chiropractic for Life may search for areas of the spine where motion is limited or spinal bones (vertebrae) are slightly out of place. This common condition is called vertebral subluxation, and is corrected with specialized maneuvers, known as chiropractic adjustments.

In addition to adjusting the spine, doctors of chiropractic may adjust other joints throughout the body. Extremity adjustments involve adjusting the joints of the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, ankles and feet. Extremity adjustments directly to the foot and ankle are frequently extremely effective in resolving pain.

In addition to chiropractic adjustments, the doctor may recommend shoe inserts, known as orthotics, to help solve certain foot problems. Ask the doctor for additional information about this option.

Doctors of chiropractic stress how essential exercise is to well-being. Try to get at least 60 minutes of exercise each day. Don’t forget to stretch, especially the muscles connected to the foot.

The following are some of the most common causes of foot pain;

Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is marked by inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the tissue along the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes. The pain is usually worse in the morning because the fascia contracts overnight.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs when cartilage in the joints wears down over time. OA can affect any joint in the body, including those in the foot. If left unaddressed, the condition gradually worsens with time.

Bursitis is an inflammation or irritation of the small, fluid-filled sacs (bursae) near or involving a joint or bony protrusion. The bursae lubricate and cushion pressure points between bones, tendons and muscles. Bursitis most often affects the joints in the hips, shoulders, elbows and knee — but it also occurs in the foot (by the heel and the base of the big toe).

Ankle Sprain
Ankle sprains are the most common orthopaedic injuries. They can happen anytime — simply planting the foot awkwardly can spark the condition. Many people are not aware that an ankle sprain involves the ligaments of the ankle joint, whereas an ankle strain involves tendons and muscles. Sprains ensue when the ankle ligaments are stretched beyond their limits.

This office teaches patients about the connection between mind, body and spirit. We know that pain in any segment of the body is connected to the whole system. That’s why the doctor encourages you to focus on preventing dysfunction in the body prior to theonset of pain. We’re your partners in health and want you to be well — from head to toe, including the foot!

Dr. Alexandra Muntean
Chiropractor and Acupuncturist 

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