Do you feel burning pain in your feet? Or an uncomfortable persistent ache or pain in your soles, heels, joints or arches? If so, you may have one of the 6 most common and treatable foot complaints. Like your fingerprints your feet are unique. They have contours and curves that are often not supported by generic shoe insoles. However there are some simple things you can do to eliminate or avoid foot pain.
1. Wear shoes that fit
The key to happy feet is to get the best fitting shoes possible. While this may seem obvious, ask yourself how many pairs of shoes do you wear that cause your feet to move about in the shoe? Or how many of them make you toes take on the unnatural shape of the toe box of the shoe therefore causing pain by the end of the day? Shoes should be snug but not overly tight. It’s true that as we get older our feet can increase in size. It’s not that your feet are really growing, but over the years tendons and ligaments tend to get stretched and this leads to a larger foot size. Make sure to have your feet measured when you buy new shoes. And make sure you measure your arch length as this is your actual size. Also, don’t wear the same pair of shoes day after day. And finally, if you have bunions, hammer toes, or a neuroma, be sure to choose shoes that allow room for these deformities.
2. Avoid shoes that constrict the natural shape of your foot.
Anytime you wear shoes that constrict the natural shape of your foot it’s likely to cause foot pain. Women’s high heels are particularly bad and can accelerate damage to tendons and ligaments and create a lot of pain, not to mention long terms damage. If you have bunions and or bunionettes, hammer toes and claw toes, a neuroma, or a chronic illness like arthritis or diabetes that may be effecting your feet, make sure your shoes are wide enough and deep enough in the toe box as to not constrict the forefoot. This has most likely been the root of the deformities in the first place.
By restricting the foot in a tight fitting shoe, like a pair of high heels or a pointed toe box shape, you increase the weight on the area that is restricted. You not only crush your toes, you restrict blood flow to this area and at the same time you are putting weight on them. High heels can aggravate a lot of other conditions like bunions. And while high heels don’t cause bunions, they do aggravate foot pain. When the foot is pitched forward, like it is in a high heel it puts intense pressure on the bones in the ball of the foot it intensifies the bunion pain. Choosing the right shaped shoe is critical as both the heel height and the point of the shoe affect the pressure placed on the forefoot.
3.Foot Bio Mechanics. Not all deformities of the feet are caused by ill fitting footwear. Most conditions like bunions and bunionettes and hammer and claw toes are the result of improper bio mechanics fo the feet. Our feet are designed to walk on the earth, an uneven terrain. However we walk on flat hard surfaces like hard wood and tile as well as concrete and asphalt. The foot is not allowed to move properly on these types of surfaces and will suffer over time. To walk bio mechanically in balance the foot must strike on the lateral side of the heel and load body weight on the big toe joint or the first metatarsal joint. This is the largest metatarsal joint therefore it is better equipped to carry weight. The formation of this joint determines how well it will preform. If it is too large and hits the floor before the other metatarsal joint it must move out to the way for the other to plant on the ground. This movement is usually what causes a bunion. A very flexible subtalar joint will also cause a bunion. This is the joint where pronation takes place. Pronation is a necessary movement for proper bio mechanics, however if too much pronation occurs due to hyperflexibility of the ligaments and tendons, over pronation will happen and this will put the foot in an unbalanced bio mechanical movement. This joint must be controled to bring balance back to the step. To help this problem, a bio mechanically designed custom orthotic like the ezWalker custom orthotic from The Walkezstore.com will be necessary.
4. Get custom fitted orthotics: Most people think the more cushioning for your feet, the better. Many products offer shock absorption that fit into the shoes. This is ok but a firm base must be under the cushion. No matter what you body weight is, it is important to have a very firm orthotic. Of course the heavier you are the stronger the orthotic should be. Not only will your feet be happier, your entire body will be happier with this level of support. If you have shoes that unevenly distribute bodyweight, like heels, an ezWalker custom orthotic will re-distribute that weight and place it more in the hind foot and support the arch to relieve the unwanted pressure spots usually felt in shoes with high heels. Sometimes even as little as 2 inches can cause discomfort if not supported properly.
5. Consider a proper arch support
Millions of people walk around with constant foot pain due to poor arch support. Problems like painful plantar fasciitis and flat feet can be alleviated with the ezWalker custom orthotics. Custom arch supports are a supportive device worn inside the shoe which create the ideal balance between the foot and the weight-bearing surface. While over the counter arch supports are good and often an inexpensive starting point, custom orthotics made with proper bio mechanics for your feet are the key to long term comfort. Just as everyone has a unique set of finger prints, the contours of your feet are just as unique. Each device is made according to the specific contours and structural characteristics of each foot. The Walkezstore.com method of making an impression is the most bio mechanically sound method there is. By strategically placing the foot into the impression foam, your foot will determine just what it’s looking for in the way of proper support. Not guess work, no mathematical formulas, just your foot talking to the foam. Better impressions make better orthitics. And considering that you spend the major part of your life upright, you really do owe it to yourself to get the best possible support for your feet – this can only come from proper bio mechanically designed custom orthotic like the ones from The Walkezstore.com.
6. Exercise your ankles, toes and feet
There are many simple exercises that can help alleviate foot pain and at the same time strengthen, stretch and relax your for your ankles, feet and toes. Some simple ones are toe curls. Try picking up objects with your toes and moving them from one pile to another. Also try standing and then rising up on your toes by lifting your heels off the ground. Do ankle pumps by moving your foot up and down. Rotating your ankle and your feet in circles or make figure eights. Stretch your calf muscle by doing the runner’s stretch or wall stretch. Roll the bottom of your foot on a tennis ball or golf ball. All these exercises will help the overall health of your feet. You must not ignore your feet. They work very hard for you so you must give them the care they deserve if you are going to expect them to maintain proper pain free function.
7. Consider visiting a Podiatrist – If you have foot or legs pains that simply won’t go away even it you have tried proper shoes and orthotics, then it’s time to visit a podiatrist Sore knees, hips and lower back can sometimes be caused by problems with your feet too.
To recap: Proper fitting footwear, bio mechanically designed custom orthotics like the ezWalker custom orthotics for The Walkezstore.com, and the right type shoe for the job you are doing is the best way to avoid foot pain. If you are following all of these recommendations and pain still persists, consult with a reputable DPM or Orthopedic Specialist.