Monday, Oct. 21st 2019

It All Starts With Your Feet

It all starts with your feet! Did you know that a normal foot and ankle has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The average person will walk the equivalent of four times around the world in his or her lifetime. So it’s hardly surprising that nearly three-quarters of people will eventually experience some type of foot problem. In athletes, these problems are even more prevalent.

Common Injuries

Strains and sprains in the foot and ankle are extremely common and can occur from something as simple as walking on an uneven surface.
To treat a sprain or strain, you’ll want to remember R.I.C.E: rest, ice, compression, elevation.
Sit down to take weight off of your feet, wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply to the injured area for 15-20 minutes (any longer and you could give
yourself minor frostbite). After the time is up, wait 40 minutes to allow tissues to return to normal temperature then repeat as needed throughout the day.
You’ll also want to wrap the injured part of the foot or ankle with an elastic bandage or compression wrap to keep it immobile and supported. Just don’t
wrap it too tightly! If your toes start turning blue, get cold, or lose sensation, the wrap is too tight. Lastly, elevate your foot to at least the level of your
heart if not above it. Stack up books and pillows to help you get the right amount of height.
Healing will take between several weeks to several months, depending on the severity of your sprain

Stress fractures are common sports injuries and usually result from overuse, such as increasing the intensity of an activity too quickly.
A fractured ankle can range from a simple break to several fractures that force the ankle out of place. The more bones that are broken, the more
unstable the ankle and ligaments become.
When it comes to foot fractures, bones are most commonly broken from direct blows, crush injuries, falls, and overuse or stress.
Typically, bones take about 6 weeks to heal, but large fractures can take up to three years to get back to normal function.

Inflammation

Arthritis occurs from inflammation of one or more of your joints. It can cause pain and stiffness and is common in the small joints of the foot and ankle.
There are several types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis – all of which can occur at any age.
X-rays will help determine the severity of arthritis as well as any joint deformity associated with it.
If you’re living with arthritis, start by minimizing activities that aggravate the condition and incorporating more low-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling.

Inflammation can cause many issues in the body, arthritis being one of them. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce inflammation in the body
overall – let’s explore one of the best ways to do so – by switching up your diet!

If you’re living with any chronic pain or recovering from an injury, you’ll want to consider switching to an anti-inflammatory diet.
An anti-inflammatory diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, lean protein, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. You’ll want to cut way back on refined sugar, simple
carbs (like bread, pasta, pastries) and processed foods.

Other conditions

Nerve injuries of the foot and ankle can occur due to several reasons, including stress, genetics, autoimmune disorders, or trauma – to name a few.
One of the most common types of nerve disorder is Morton’s Neuroma, which is created by a thickening of the tissue around the nerves leading to the toes. A common symptom of Morton’s neuroma is persistent pain in the ball of your foot or the feeling that you’re “walking on a marble.”
Luckily, about 80 percent of cases of this condition are treatable through non-surgical methods such as anti-inflammatory measures, icing, massage,
and custom shoe orthotics.

Bunions are a deformity of the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint at the base of the big toe. A bunion develops when the first metatarsal bone (a large
bone in your foot that’s connected to your big toe) turns, causing the big toe to point inward.
Bunions affect women more so than men and are most likely to develop when feet are repeatedly squeezed into narrow, pointed-toe footwear. While footwear can trigger a bunion, they’re not always the underlying cause. Bunions run in families, and since foot shape and structure are hereditary, some people are just more prone to bunions than others.
People who spend a lot of time standing, like teachers and nurses, or people who commonly wear high heels or practice ballet, are more likely to
develop bunions.

Many people suffer from the pain of plantar fasciitis but don’t know it! If you have pain concentrated near your heel but runs along the arch in your foot, you might have plantar fasciitis. The pain may also feel worse in the morning. This condition can start in your 20’s and is more common in people who regularly run, are overweight, wear unsupportive shoes, or whose jobs require them to stand for prolonged periods of time. If left untreated, this stress can cause minor tears, which continue to progress over time and can cause inflammation and pain.

Orthotics

What can help when your feet hurt

When it comes to supporting ankles and feet, proper footwear plays a significant role! If you’re suffering from arthritis, bunion pain, nerve damage, or any other type of pain, look for shoes with a wide, flexible sole, and enough room in the toe box (the park surrounding the front of the foot) to accommodate any deformities. Avoid shoes with any type of heel – if you want some height, opt for a low platform instead. Shoes with a back should have a sturdy heel counter to keep the foot snugly in place. Protect bunions with moleskin or a gel-filled pad – available at drugstores. I prescribe custom orthotics which are specialized inserts. In addition, I use a cold laser for inflammation and pain which is very effective for plantar fasciitis and sprains and strains as well as other nerve problems in the feet.

I hope this helps you understand a little about your feet. They are pretty important aren’t they?

sources: https://www.incorporatemassage.com/blog/diy-foot-massage https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/arthritis-of-the-foot-and-ankle/ https://www.thehealingsole.com/blogs/news/10-home-remedies-foot-pain https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320964.php https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/plantar-fasciitis-stretches-and-exercises https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/ankle-injuries-causes-and-treatments#4-8 https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/what-to-do-about-bunions https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-clinics/foot-and-ankle-services/conditions.html https://www.verywellhealth.com/ankle-sprain-stretches-2696356 https://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/surgery/ortho/foot-ankle/Pages/nerve-disorders.aspx https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/transcripts/1460_what-you-need-to-know-about-foot-ankle-health




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