The soles of our feet must withstand all the pressure placed upon them during our lifetime by walking, running and standing. According to Foot Pain Info, there are 26 bones and associated ligaments in the foot, structured to allow the foot to function as a shock absorber and a lever. Foot pain can affect any part of the foot. Pain on the sole of the foot can be felt under the heel, in the middle of the foot under the arch and under the ball of the foot due to a variety of conditions. Plantar Fasciitis and Heels Spurs
Achilles Tendinitis. Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendon that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendinitis is caused by small tears in the tendon from overuse or injury. It is most common in people who engage in high-impact exercise, particularly jogging, racquetball, and tennis. People at highest risk for this disorder are those with a shortened Achilles tendon, which can be due to an inborn structural abnormality or can be acquired after wearing high heels regularly. Such people tend to roll their feet too far inward when walking and bounce when they walk.
Most (young) women like to look stylish and wear a shoe with a medium to high heel. The problem with high heels is that your bodyweight is not evenly distributed across the underside of the foot, but rather 80% of your weight pushes down on only one area of the foot, the forefoot area. i.e. the balls of your feet. This is totally unnatural and before long the entire forefoot structure collapses, leading to constant pressure and friction in the ball of the foot. The body reacts and builds up thick layers of callous in this area which in turn leads to a burning sensation under the foot.
Diabetes related pain in the feet means that there is some nerve damage happening to cause these pains. It is an extremely serious warning that veins in the foot are closing up - the circulation of blood in foot is being closed off. If you suffer with diabetes and feel any Achilles Pain tingling sensations at all in your feet, report it immediately. Did you know that 15% of all people with diabetes will suffer foot ulcers - the foot is being poisoned to the extent it can tear a hole open in the foot. 3% of these sufferers will lose their legs - FACT!
The blood must be released to relieve the pressure. Some people will tell you that you can do this yourself with a razor blade or a hot needle, which you poke through the skin. That takes guts; you're probably better off seeing a doctor to take care of it. If you don't take care of it in the first couple of weeks, the nail will probably start to come off, and several weeks later it will ultimately drop off. Not to worry, while this is not a particularly attractive process, it's not painful or unhealthy either.
Rather than buy insole inserts start where the problem may be in the first place; comfortable shoes. preferably rubber sole shoes without a heel. Take a look at a Nurses shoe, they have no heels, Why? they stand on their feet all day and walk around all day tending to patients. But if you still want to use a ready made insole, draw a circle on it just above the painful area and cut a hole the size of a quarter. This will offer support to the rest of the heel while relieving pressure on the painful spot itself.
Achilles tendonitis can really put a damper on anyone's day. The shrinkage of this vital tendon can cause contracting in the lower leg. It can also be a major contributor to becoming so short that it eventually tears. The way to help the tendon relax and elongate in order to lessen pain is to administer gentle stretching to the area. Sit on the floor with both legs extended in a seated position. Then, slowly lean the upper body forward and the hamstring will begin to stretch out. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds, rest for 60 seconds, and repeat 5 times.
On the whole, the feet are very small when compared to the rest of the body. During the day, most people spend about 12 to 14 hours on their feet. Because the feet are used so much during normal daily activity, the excessive loads that are placed on the feet mean approximately 75% of people worldwide will suffer foot pain at some stage in their lives. Foot pain can also reduce your mobility and independence, as is often seen in the elderly. When your feet hurt, it not only disturbs your body but it can prove to be distracting to your work and concentration.
Causes of foot pain
Prolonged standing, over pronation and the pressures that this places on the joints, muscles and ligaments of the foot are major causes of foot pain. There are many occupations that require long periods of static standing such as the health, retail, fashion and construction industries. Standing for long periods of time causes the muscles of the lower limb to become fatigued and overworked. Blood pooling due to decreased venous return also increases discomfort in the lower limb. The overall result of this being tired aching legs. Ill fitted shoes and wearing high heels can also contribute to foot pain. High heels make women to look smart and taller, however they can become very uncomfortable if they wear these for long periods or during inappropriate activities. High heels increase the pressure on the ball of the foot and toe region above what the foot is designed to withstand. This overloads the structures of the forefoot leading to ball of foot pain and discomfort.
Aging, being overweight and many other systemic diseases such as diabetes, gout, arthritis all increase the likelihood of foot problems. Generally these systemic (whole body) diseases affect the function and structure (depending on the disease) of the foot. This changes the function of the foot and often leads to foot pain. Certain age groups also suffer foot pain at different times of their lives. Children suffer from aches and pains during their growth and development. This was traditionally called growing pains, however today we know that there is treatment for these aches and pains. The two most common children's pains are, Severs disease (pain at the heel) and Osgoodschlatters Syndrome (pain at the knee). These are both growing related problems that are aggravated by over use and poor mechanics. The elderly are another group that often suffer foot pain. This is largely due to over use from a life time of wear and tear. Although wear and tear are not reversible, there are still treatment options available for this group of patients, to make walking pain free.
What people do when they face the problem of foot pain?
In most of the cases when people suffer foot pain the first thing they do is to reduce their activity. This usually works quote well as it will rest the foot. They apply pain removing gel to the painful area or take anti-inflammatory medications. This approach masks the symptoms of their foot pain. The real underlying problem of most kinds of foot pain is a functional abnormality that will need to be corrected. Over weight and unfit people who are trying to lose weight often walk for exercise. The extra weight and activity further strains the feet, making walking less enjoyable, making exercise and weight loss even less likely. Some people have no option other than to continue activity. This patient group wither either has to work due to financial commitments or has to continue activity as they are part of a sporting team. This group usually tends to push through the pain barrier until it is impossible to go on any longer. Some people chose to ignore their foot pain and continue to wear their fashion shoes (Fore example ladies wearing high heeled fashion shoes). Over time the strain on the foot compounds and eventually results in an overuse injury. When the foot injury gets to this stage it is often impossible to ignore.
The solution for foot pain
Overall the best solution to the above mentioned problems is to support the foot and help to limit excess wear and tear on the foot. This is best done with orthotic innersoles and appropriate footwear. Orthotic innerosles help to support the foot, prevent over pronation and limit wear and tear on the joints, ligaments and muscles of the foot. Orthotic innersoles align the foot in its most efficient functional position and help to reduce the wear and tear on your feet and ankles. The use of these orthotics results in a reduction in the pain in the feet. It is important when selecting orthotic innersoles to select an orthotic that matches your activity level and also your shoe type. For example different orthotic innersoles are used for running as opposed to ladies fashion shoes.