We’ve been having a string of really beautiful spring days here in Monmouth County. There couldn’t be a worse time to get held back by foot pain. After all, as anyone with a chronic foot condition will tell you, often the only activity that doesn’t hurt is sitting down. Neglecting to seek help for any painful condition can mean a total surrender to pain and begins a cycle in which becoming increasingly sedentary causes even more pain, less movement, and worse overall health.
In the spirit of springtime, let’s continue this blog’s recent focus on staying active by discussing some effective and healthy solutions to foot pain.
Once again, we need to discuss age-related pain. Over 95% of people will eventually develop a foot condition because of age-related collapsing arch structure. Basically, your feet are getting flatter over time. This causes pain not only in your feet, but can also affect your knees, hip, back, and cause general postural/spinal alignment concerns. Pain and deformity in the foot will only get worse with time.
In order to provide real, long-term solutions for foot problems, we need to address the way your feet function on the ground by using custom, biomechanical orthotics. Such orthotics apply force directly up under the arch of the foot.
Today’s orthotics are different from those made in the past because they are manufactured out of modern materials that provide a custom and supportive platform. This is a crucial distinction; it’s important to maintain some degree of flattening of the foot for shock absorption while providing a rigid enough structure to keep the arch of the foot up. This is a delicate balance.
I recently completed a certification in order to provide Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation’s patients with custom foot orthotics. Sole Supports’ orthotics are different because Sole Supports requires that all providing practitioners complete certain educational criteria.
The creation of such orthotics also takes into account an individual’s activities, weight, and the flexibility of the foot. The more flexible the foot is, the more support it will need. These factors (and others) help Sole Supports—and our office—provide customized devices to control the feet.
Sole Supports is so particular about the casting process that the company will actually reject casts that aren’t done to their specifications. This is why I completed the company’s certification process—in order to provide the very best in casting techniques.
These orthotics will actually change how your foot functions on the ground. The following painful conditions may be treated with orthotics:
- Sports-Related Foot Pain: It’s necessary to maintain activity in order to stay healthy. Recent studies have shown that remaining seated all day increases a person’s risk of dying from a heart attack by over 50%. However, your feet bear the brunt of healthy activities such as basketball, running, volleyball, tennis, etc. It’s important to find answers to foot pain so that you can remain in motion;
- IT Band Syndrome (Iliotibial Band Syndrome): For patients suffering from pain associated with running, hiking, or cycling in Monmouth County, IT Band Syndrome may be the culprit;
- Plantar Fasciitis: This common cause of heel pain is often associated with running, obesity and overweight, pregnancy, and arthritis. The mechanics of the foot (having flat feet or abnormal gait) are major contributing factors in Plantar Fasciitis;
- Bunion: This enlargement of bone or tissue around the joint of the big toe is associated with Arthritis;
- Big Toe Arthritis: The big toe is particularly susceptible to osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint condition;
- Pregnancy: Foot pain during pregnancy is usually related to changes in posture and gait; weight gain; swelling; and looser joints (the hormone responsible for relaxing the ligaments associated with childbirth affects the entire body, causing an overall loosening of the ligaments and, consequently, additional foot pain); and
- Morton’s Neuroma: Related to the flattening of the feet, Morton’s Neuroma may be experienced as pain, burning, and/or numbness.
Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation: Foot Pain
It seems like every time I turn around something new and exciting is happening at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation. In addition to an ever-growing list of interventional procedures for pain management (Our M.D. is now offering Radiofrequency Ablation for hard-to-treat lower back pain), we’re truly becoming a place where patients don’t hope to get better, they actually do. This is incredibly important, especially during the aging process; by reducing pain and increasing your ability to move, you can live a life of higher quality and longer duration.