Treating Foot Pain the Right Way
Foot pain is a very common problem, and all too often people do not receive the right treatment for their pain. Most people will assume that since their foot hurts, it must be plantar fascitiis, but that is not always the case. Understanding basic foot function is the best way to treat foot pain correctly and could possibly prevent other issues. Here is a quick guide to the basic mechanics of your foot.
The foot has three main purposes: to keep you balanced, to transfer and distribute body weight as you move and to keep you moving. Typically, the foot will strike the ground at the heel, move the weight of your body through the arch of the foot and end on the toes. Most foot pain issues result from overpronation in the foot, and if not corrected, could lead to other foot and joint issues.
Overpronation is when the arch of the foot rolls inward toward the floor, causing stress on other foot muscles and joints. While overpronation is not an injury itself, it is a part of foot function that causes other injuries from overuse and stress. Issues that could arise from prolonged overpronation could be bunions, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis, knee pain, and lower back pain.
The most common methods of correcting overpronation is with the use of orthotics. Depending on the severity of the overpronation is, special orthotics that are molded to the feet can be made. In addition to orthotics, shoes with good arch support are an absolute must. In certain cases, it is beneficial to focus on the muscles in your foot and legs as tight or weak muscles could be causing your feet to overpronate.
If these methods for correcting overpronation do not alleviate the foot pain, it would be best to have the gait evaluated by a professional. A gait evaluation will give you a better idea of how much your foot pronates and show you the mechanics of the foot as you walk and run. From that information, a professional will be able to guide you in treating your foot pain.