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Foot Pain and Injuries


Foot pain and injury is very common. Foot pain can be caused by either local structures such as the muscles, fascia, tendons, bones and joints, or it can be caused further up the chain, acting a symptom of things like lower back strains, or internal by diabetes for example.


Because foot pain can have so many causes it is very important to have foot pain assessed by a health professional. Only then can you be confident that your foot pain treatment is managing the "right" cause of your foot pain, not just masking the symptoms of a different imbalance.


So why does the bottom of your feet hurt? Common sources of foot pain are: Flat Feet. Plantar Fasciitis, Bunion, and Ankle Injuries.


Flat Feet


What is having Flat Feet?

Flat Feet is a postural deformity causing a collapse or flattening of the arch. It can also be referred to as hyperpronation or overpronation.


What Causes Flat Feet?

This condition can be congenital (e.g. from birth) or acquired (e.g. adults, increased exposure to weight-bearing).  Acquired flat feet are caused by a loss of active and/or passive support during weight-bearing activities. Muscular insufficiency in the ankle and arch stabilizers are the most common etiological factor for flat feet.


Treatment

Pilates! Passive arch support, Restore Normal Calf & Leg Muscle Control


In pilates we do so many great and supportive forms of footwork, not to mention we have a piece of equipment called the Foot Correcter! A great way to actively build supportive foot muscle is through pilates.

Passive arch support, aka, orthotics are a soft temporary way to help provide protection and relief through over-loaded structures.

Restoring normal calf and leg control is as important as having a balanced foot alone, because all of your leg (calf, thigh and hip) muscles play an important role in controlling your ankle position and foot arch mechanics. Want proof? Next time you do your snake feet (because you guys are doing your footwork daily right?), feel what happens up your leg as you put your weight on the outsides of your foot vs the inside vs balanced tripod feet!


Plantar Faciitis


What Is it?

Plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue originating on the bottom of the heel bone and extending along the sole of the foot towards the toes. Your plantar fascia acts as a limitation to the flattening of your arch. When your plantar fascia develops tears or becomes inflamed it is known as plantar fasciitis.


What causes Plantar Faciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is most often associated with impact and running sports, especially those that involve toe running rather than heel running styles.

It is also common in individuals with Flat feet or weak foot arch control muscles are two common causes of plantar fasciitis.


Treatment.

Stretching and rolling out the bottom of the foot can help relieve symptoms and pain of plantar fasciitis, however to treat poor foot mechanics, scroll up to the treatment of Flat feet! It's the same! Just do Pilates 😉


Bunion


What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a deformity of the big toe.The big toe points at a sideways angle towards your second toe. There is also a characteristic bump on the inner side of the foot and as the bunion becomes more prominent, bunion pain can develop.


What causes Bunions?

Foot Biomechanics, footwear, genetics.

As we know, foot mechanics means a proper role through from heal to toe, equal pressure big toe to baby toe, active arch, and a balanced leg all the way up to the hip.

Tight-fitting shoes are thought to be the main cause of bunions. Shoes such as high heels and shoes with tight toe boxes, eg women's fashion shoes and cowboy boots (sorry!), are especially damaging to the toes. These shoes have a sloping foot bed and a narrow toe box, and prolonged wear of these types of shoes is proven to cause deformations in the toe, aka a Bunion.

Now sadly, it is believed that genetics have a part to play, some feet are just prone to developing deformations in the big toe, and that's ok! if this is you then you just need to stay on top of your foot mechanics and avoid those tight toed shoes to prolong your happy feet for as long as possible!


Treatment.. Seeing a pattern yet? Proper foot mechanics, PILATES!, no bad footwear, and a balanced calf, leg, and hip! If your body is balanced then you shouldn't have anything to fear from pain to injury!


Ankle Injuries


As you saw, in all 3 foot pain treatments, we spoke of having a strong ankle, calf, and hip. Well Ankle injuries, past or present, can cause foot pain, so its so incredibly important to be looking at the BIG PICTURE! You can't build an empire on a bad foundation, and you cant maintain a proper foundation with a crumbling empire!


In my next post we will continue up the leg and cover Ankle injuries, and you will see the same pattern, there will be foot, knee, and hip talk yet again! Everything is connected in more ways than we can imagine!


Until next time, keep those feet happy and your body's balanced.


Katya MacDonald.




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