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Help! My Feet are Killing Me!

By Christopher M. Cole, L.Ped

Help! My Feet are Killing Me!Each day, a great deal of pressure is placed on your feet. The average person walks between 7,500 to 10,000 steps per day, and the force placed on your feet with every step is two to three times your body weight. Your feet have more than 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons, 26 bones and 33 joints. That’s a lot of components for such a small limb that tolerates so much weight. In this complex body part, many things can cause foot pain. And if you’ve ever experienced pain in your feet, you know that there is little else you can concentrate on.

The causes of foot pain are vastly numerous and depend on your specific circumstances. Consulting a physician or podiatric specialist is the best decision for a proper diagnosis and a successful treatment outcome. The following are a few of the most common issues that can cause foot pain.

Bunions
More women than men experience the painful boney growth on their big toe, known as a bunion, or Hallux Valgus. One of the main causes of a bunion is from wearing shoes that are too tight, too narrow or too high. All of this causes pressure on your toe joint, which in turn starts to ache, become fluid filled and can have boney growths.

Uniquely, bunions can also be hereditary and run in families, especially in females, generation after generation. These painful, red, boney, growths can also be caused by a form of arthritis.

Gout
Too much uric acid being built up, and then circulating as bodily waste in the blood stream causes gout. It creates tiny needle-shaped crystals that accumulate in the joints and cause excruciating painful swelling. Although gout can cause pain in many parts of the body, often, the first symptom of gout is usually pain and swelling of the toe joint.

Common things that can trigger a flare-up of gout:
• Alcohol
• Stress
• Certain medications
• Foods high in Purines (Shellfish, organ meat, sugar)

Symptoms of gout:
• Burning, Tingling in the joint
• Joint stiffness
• Joint swelling and soreness

There are many diets and medications that can help alleviate the painful side effects of gout.

Plantar fasciitis
As mentioned above, the foot is comprised of many different bones, joints, tendons and ligaments these include the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue similar to ligaments. It stretches from the heel of your foot to the middle, and it is responsible for supporting your arch.

This is one of the most common foot issues; in fact, one in ten people will experience plantar fasciitis at some time in their life. Usually the pain is concentrated in the heel area, and it is normally caused by tiny injuries that occur over a long period of time.

There are many treatment options that you can do at home with the guidance of your podiatrist. This area of the foot in particular takes a long time to heal on its own, so good home care is the key to getting your foot health back to normal.

Hammer Toe
When the muscles in your toes get out of balance, they can start contracting into a claw like position. This causes the toe to bend in an upward position in the middle joint of the toe. When this happens, it can create severe pain. Hammertoe can be genetic and many times occurs in people with either a high arch or a flat foot. Various forms of arthritis can contribute to this issue as well. And unfortunately, ill-fitting footwear can also cause hammertoe, due to pushing the toes out of their normal position for long periods of time.

All of these conditions can be treated and addressed at foot solutions with footwear and custom inserts.

What can Foot Solutions do for you?
At Foot Solutions, we do just what our name says; we provide solutions. Whether you have bunions, hammertoes, fallen arches or just plain tired, aching feet (or knees, hips or back,) our staff of skilled fitting professionals will be able to help. During your initial consultation we’ll use computerized scanning technology as well as perform a gait analysis, and foot evaluation to determine exactly what is going on with your feet. With a broad range of footwear and the most innovative Perfetto™
arch supports and custom inserts on the market today, we’ll come up with a solution for minimizing or alleviating your foot and foot-related pain and discomfort.

Visit Foot Solutions of Estero for a free assessment!

Foot Solutions of Estero

(239) 495-8911
www.footsolutions.com

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