Foot health: Achy feet, achy body
Many people have no idea that pain elsewhere in their body could be related to their feet. When our feet do not have proper arch support, our bodies can start having problems.
Here are a few of the common problems that can affect your feet:
- High arches: If your arches are too high you may have trouble wearing certain shoes that are too tight because they create pressure on the top of the foot and the ball of the foot. High arches occur in about 3 percent of the world’s population.
- Flat arches: A more common occurrence is when the arches actually fall toward the floor or flatten out. People who have flat arches feel the stress on their body, such as a strain on the inside of the ankles, the inside of the knees, the outside of the hips and possibly the lower back. The stress can move up through the spine to the shoulders, the neck and the head. There are many painful conditions related to arches collapsing, including bunions, corns, callouses and toes that stick up or off to the side.
- Other conditions: Other foot conditions include plantar fascitis (inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the heel), Achilles tendinitis (inflammation of the Achilles tendon), Morton’s neuroma (thickening of nerve tissue between the third and fourth toes, causing sharp pain on the ball of the foot), anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, arthritis, and hip and lower back pain. These conditions can seriously affect someone’s health and quality of life. They are often the reasons why people consult doctors for help.
If you look inside almost every type of shoe, you will notice that there may be some inner arch support. Hardly any shoe has outer arch support or support for the arch under the ball of the foot. Each foot actually has three arches: one on the inside of the foot, one on the outside and one across the ball of the foot. Each of these arches are important and must be functioning properly for healthy movement and bearing weight.
Unfortunately, since most shoes do not have proper arch support for all three areas, it doesn’t matter as much what shoes you buy, but what you put inside them. Arch supports help to stabilize and support the feet so that they can have healthy movement patterns. This can reduce pain not only in the feet, but in other areas of the body as well.
Your feet take a beating, every day. If they start to hurt, you need to take that foot pain and any other problems seriously. If you have questions about foot health, please make an appointment with our podiatrist, Terri Quebedeaux, DPM, by calling 830.303.0005.