20 Sep How to Deal with Foot Pain?
The fall weather is here, and what better way to enjoy the great outdoors than running or hiking?
The only downside about being a runner is that you might experience foot pain from time to time. Stress fractures can sometimes occur when small cracks form in one of the foot bones due to overuse injury. Without rest, the pain usually intensifies. Rest is important because, without it, small stress fractures can turn into more serious fractures. Shin splints are also very common in runners. The pain forms on the front or inside of your leg near the shin and is common when a runner changes his or her daily routine, such as running for more days than you normally do or increasing the distance of your run. Flat-footed people are also more likely to have shin splints.
The large tendon that stretches from the back of the heel up to the calf is the Achilles tendon, and runners can often experience the pain and stiffness of tendinitis in that area. If your calf muscles are too tight and not properly stretched, this can cause Achilles tendinitis, as can repetitive stress to the tendon.
Repeated stress on the feet can also cause the painful condition known as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia tendon that runs along the arch of the foot becomes strained and tight. The tendon helps maintain the arch of the foot and absorb forces on foot impact. When the inflammation of fasciitis occurs, every step you take can be a painful one. People describe the pain as a sharp burning pain or a pulling sensation, and it’s usually worst first thing in the morning as you take your first few steps after getting out of bed. Again, having flat feet worsens the condition, and wearing shoes with little to no arch support doesn’t help either.
While pain in the heel is usually an indication of plantar fasciitis, heel pain could also be caused by heel spurs, which are abnormal bone growths on the bottom of your heel. The spurs are more common in people with high arches or flat feet but are also caused by improper footwear, improper posture or gait, or even repetitive stress from running. You will usually have pain while standing or walking.
Tendon issues don’t go away overnight, so it is best to have a proper stretching program so you can gradually recover. We have extensive experience treating plantar fasciitis and other foot injuries. We can teach you a proper home self-management program so that you can not only overcome your foot injury but also prevent re-injury. For example, we might recommend a stretching regimen and dorsiflexion night splints to relieve the plantar fascia tension. Here’s an example of a stretch you can do at home: roll the arch of your foot over a golf ball for five minutes to stretch out the strained tendon. When you come in for your visit, we will discuss proper footwear for your particular sport, activity level, and foot structure. If you’re experiencing foot pain, come see us. We will have you back on your feet in no time!