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Agony for your Feet.... (pt. 3)

As the last installment of this series, we will now be seeing the suggestions to help many of the common foot ailments - Plantar Fasciitis, Bunions etc. Most of these things are easy to do and/or find in your own community. While everyone's feet are different if you are having foot challenges, the key is make sure you have proper footwear - in whatever form that may take. Sandals, wedges, slippers, flip flops, sneakers and boots are plentiful in many quality comfort brands. While that may not always be possible, an orthotic is an easy way to mediate the situation without reinventing your shoe wardrobe. From this last installment of the Review Journal's article (yes, the actual paper newspaper) you can find informative and timely suggestions to help with the return to work or play and your foot woes.

I wanted to share this article - and also interject some of (my opinions) - here and there. I hope you enjoyed this post series. The article was a great segway for information I really wanted to share with people and help with their foot issues. So much of what you see out there is too technical and you can't understand what they are really saying. I hope this helps a little to navigate the terms and suggestions. Please see the reference for the original post)

How to help your feet

Podiatrists say one of the fixes for foot pain can be quite simple:

Wear supportive footwear.

That means a semi-rigid sole (shoes that don't bend in half), a spacious toe box and a small heel lift. (Not everyone needs the heel lift, but the spacious toe box is almost a universal aspect. Keep the front part of your foot healthy and relaxed in the shoe)

Get properly fitted at a shoe store and, if you don’t want street shoes in your home, get a pair specifically for use indoors. (House shoes can be anything you want them to be - from traditional slippers to your orthopedic sandal that you can't live without!)

If using older shoes, be sure that the tread is not too worn, as those may have degraded too much to offer substantial support.

(Worn out soles can create a number of problems for your knees, hips and back. Sometimes repairs can be done depending on the brand and style, but many times it may just be time to get a new pair.)

Insoles can also be added for additional arch support. (There are so many types and styles of insoles that have a variety of properties. Sadly - there is no magic bullet. There is no one insole that is best. You must try on a few and see what works for YOUR feet. There are many amazing products out on the market now. Insoles can help immensely - but you really need to be wearing better shoes and not going barefoot on hard surfaces.)

Dylla said it was also essential to prepare our bodies for renewed activity by strengthening them first. This means exercising the feet with toe curls and foot doming. “There’s a crunch for the stomach,” she said, “doming is the crunch for the foot.” Hanna said the best advice may be to start slow. “If you’re going to start walking, do moderate pace at short distance,” he said. “If you tolerate that well, maybe go at a faster pace for longer distance.”

Podiatrists also say stretching is crucial to prevent and treat unhappy feet. “A proper warm-up,” Hanna said, “I cannot emphasize this enough.” In the morning, even before going to the bathroom, Hanna recommends flexing your feet by pulling your toes up toward your body. Then pretend your toes are a pencil and write out the alphabet. “If you do that,” he said, “you’ll activate all the joints and be much less likely to injure yourself.”

Even though the calf seems distant from the bottom of the foot, stretching it plays an essential role in pain-free walking. “When your calf and Achilles are tight,” Lee said, it “creates a lot more stress to all your foot joints.” He suggests getting into a lunge position with one foot in front of the other, your hands up against a wall and your feet flat on the ground. You should feel the stretch in the calf of the back leg. He suggests doing this several times throughout the day.

Massaging the arch area can also prevent injury by keeping the bottom of our feet limber. Lee advises grabbing a tennis ball or golf ball while sitting at a desk or while watching TV. “Roll your foot over the ball and massage into that area to loosen up those fibers,” he said. (I personally prefer a roller like this one here over the ball. I get a lot heel pain and the way the ball works I usually can't dig in to the heel area for relief. Also with this type of roller you can freeze and use cold - instead of the frozen water bottle trick - which can be quite messy.) However, if you suffer heel pain, get your foot checked by a doctor before stretching. In some cases, Positano said, there can be undiagnosed tears in the plantar fascia that stretching can worsen.

If you are experiencing any persistent foot pain, book an appointment with a podiatrist. There are many simple ways doctors can relieve pain and prevent chronic issues from developing. If you’re in discomfort, “seek care,” Baumhauer said, “because there are a lot of tricks up our sleeves.” “They let their feet do whatever they wanted,” Baumhauer said, “and now that they have to go back to work, their feet are rebelling.”

Dr. Judith F. Baumhauer, orthopedic surgeon, University of Rochester Medical Center


Thank you checking out this repost from the Las Vegas Review Journal. I was excited to see it in the paper and have some information provided to people that was easy to understand. While most of the foot related information presented wasn't rocket science - for most people it also isn't intuitive. Most of our clients have to be shown how all this works to make the biggest impact and difference in the health of their feet. Have more questions?? Come see us in the store! Check out our website for basic information - but come in for more detailed info. We are always happy to help. While we are not doctors, we try to be as knowledgeable as possible and use our experience with other clients to help you figure out a solution to your need.

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