Do you Suffer from:
Foot, Knee or Back Pain?
The human foot is a complex structure made up of 28 bones held together by soft tissue material – muscles, ligaments and tendons.
It is little surprise then that the average person taking 14,000 steps per day, damage often occurs to the soft tissue supportive structures of the feet. Over time, soft tissue slowly becomes stretched, and this loss of support can cause abnormal foot function during walking or running.
As a result knee, hip and lower back problems may be caused by abnormally functioning feet.
Plantar Fasciitis / Heel Spur – This is commonly caused by strain being placed on the fascia, which runs between the toes and the heel. This can cause a bony growth at the heel known as a heel spur.
• Sharp pain originating from the bottom and/or inside margin of the heel
• Pain experienced when rising from bed in the morning
• Pain in the arch/heel when standing following prolonged sitting.
Knee Pain – When our feet roll inwards, the tibia (lower leg) rotates inwards, exerting pressure, twisting the knee cap and damaging the surrounding muscle structure and knee cartilage.
• Pain when walking up stairs
• Pain increases with physical activity
• Pain is experienced on the inside of the knee.
Back Pain - When feet roll inwards (excess pronation) are caused the legs to rotate inwards and the hip to tilt forwards causing an increase in the curvature of the lower back. This results in increased stress on ligaments, cartilage and nerves.
Morton’s Neuroma – This affects the nerve that runs between the toes. This nerve is responsible for sensation and feeling on either side of the toe. Pressure and continued irritation may cause:
• A burning/sharp pain – usually between 2 or 3 toes
• Numbness between toes
Aching Legs - The main cause of tired and aching legs is stress and traction on the calf muscles at the rear of the leg. This is the result of excess pronation (feet rolling inwards) and the resultant internal leg rotation.
Bunions – This is an enlargement of bone or tissue, either at the base of the big toe, or on the outside of the foot. The enlargement is often due to excess pronation of the foot.
Achilles Tendonitis – This causes inflammation and degeneration of the Achilles tendon – usually affecting athletes. Pain can be a shooting, burning or aching sensation. The most common cause of Achilles Tendonitis is hyper pronation, which adds stress and exerts torsion on the tendon.
Some footwear can aggravate Achilles Tendonitis. Shoes that do not have adequate flexibility in the sole and have excessive heel cushioning will worsen the problem.
Claw Toe – Toe deformities are commonly caused by a muscle imbalance in the foot as a result of flat feet, traumatic injury or disease of the toe joints. There are at least 6 sets of muscles that control each toe, each muscle stabilising one of the bones in the toe. If a foot flattens (or ‘pronates’) this can cause a muscle imbalance in the foot leading to the toes clawing.
If pronation is the cause of the condition, a Podiatrist can prescribe and fit the patient with customised orthotics to provide better arch support and help aid the muscles in working together.
WHO SHOULD USE AN ORTHOTIC?
Because perfect feet are very rare, almost anyone can benefit from orthotics. They prevent and alleviate many of the common foot, knee, leg, hip and back complaints that cause discomfort in otherwise healthy people.
People who may be candidates for orthotics includes those who experience the following:
• One side of the sole of the shoe wears out faster than the other
• Frequent sprained ankles
• Chronic heel, knee or lower back pain
• Sore shins
• Toes that are not straight
• Feet that point inwards or outwards when walking (pigeon toe or out toe)
• General foot pain.
Podiatrist Tremayne Porter is also available for consultation for Sataday morning appointments at:
Northern Beaches Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Centre
Suite 4/ 2a Redman Rd Dee Why Sydney NSW, 2099
PH: 9907 6798
Mobile: 0416 090 680