Question: How important is it to discontinue activity with foot pain if I can still walk normal?
Answer: Foot pain should never be taken lightly. Whether your gait is altered or not I guarantee there is adapting biomechanics throughout your body. Your feet make the foundation of your balance and allow stability to the rest of the weight bearing structures. Your proprioceptive ability (orientation to change in position) is originated in the feet. Your brain adapts the remainder of the joints involved including the ankles, knees hips, and spine. Just because the pain is not too severe in the feet does not mean it is causing dysfunction to these other joints, muscles or ligaments.
It would be wise to investigate any lingering symptom in the foot, especially if it follows an accident, sports injury, or other trauma. Additional symptoms that should be examined include; stiffness, pain that worsens with pressure on the toes, unusual foot pain after long periods of standing, pain with exercise, pain in the heal, swelling around the heel, tendon stiffness, decreased strength, decreased range of motion, foot numbness or tingling.
A common symptom of foot pain is plantar fascitis, a condition in which the plantar fascia, a ligament on the bottom of the foot, develops small tears. If not treated, the condition can become chronic and may lead to constant pain while standing or walking. Another common ailment is Achilles tendonitis in which the Achilles tendon, which stretches from the calf muscle to the heel bone, (the largest tendon in the body) becomes inflamed. This tendon can get micro tears or in some cases completely tear. Partial tears can be treated conservatively but complete tears require surgery.
Chiropractic is more often associated with back pain and spinal adjustments but understanding that the entire biomechanics of the body, especially the feet, play integral roles in our health and well-being is part of our scope of practice. Chiropractic examination of your foot problems may include palpation, orthopedic testing, muscle testing, x-ray, and an MRI referral if necessary. Getting to the cause of your foot condition is a primary goal.
Treatment of your foot problems may consist of foot, ankle, knee, hip and spinal adjustments. Therapies such as electric stimulation, ultrasound, and exercise therapy are common. Some foot problems require orthotics which are personalized inserts designed to correct and re-educate foot structures. Our office is getting excellent results with laser light therapy, which is a painless and quick treatment of soft tissue irritation in the feet.
Quote of the week: “Happiness is a by-product of what we share with others.” –Douglas M. Lawson