Here at Oahu Spine and Rehab in Kailua, we are dedicated to finding ways to cure your pain. Every single day at our office we are faced with patients that have foot and arch pain. If you are taking a look at your foot, there should be an upward curve towards the middle inside. This is called the arch of your foot. The arch is formed by tight bands of tissue that attach at the heel and foot bones. The average person has one of three arch types: high (present in 20% of the population), low (present in 20% of the population), and neutral which is the most common and present in 60% of the population.
If you have high or low arches or flat feet, you are at a greater risk of suffering from foot pain. In Hawaii it is common to wear slippers or go barefoot quite often, which can actually cause more damage to your arches. There are many ways to prevent or stop foot pain due to arches.
One main way to fight foot pain is to wear the right kind of shoes. Because there are so many foot types, the best place to find shoes for your feet is a running shop or athletic store. These places will be able to tell you what kind of arch support you need in your shoe. Going to places that sell cheap shoes can result in foot pain due to the lack of support. If you are trying on shoes and they are tight or uncomfortable, don’t purchase them and try to “break them in” by wearing them more often. If a shoe hurts, it is not the right size and shape for your feet. This is especially important for work out shoes as the wrong workout/running shoes can lead to injury.
Another great way to support your arches is to wear an orthotic in your shoes. They give your foot a little extra support and make it so there is more padding between your foot and the impact while you are running. There are simple gel insoles that you can buy from the store that can help foot pain in uncomfortable shoes, but you can also get insoles that are custom made to fit and support your foot specifically!
Two other ways to avoid foot pain are to keep in shape, and lose weight. If you are overweight or your BMI is high for your height, your feet have to put in extra work and carry extra weight during the day. If you’re getting regular pain in your feet during minimal movements, make sure that you are trying to keep in shape. The stronger and more frequently used your muscles are, the less likely you are to strain them or get injured.
Here at OSR if you are experiencing pain in your arches, we can determine the cause and chart a course of treatment. By examining your gait, joint mobility, flexibility, strength and balance, we can determine whether you have a low or high arch, plantar fasciitis or something more significant, such as a broken bone, sprain or heel spur. When you come into OSR you will meet with our medical team in order to find the best plan of action for you where it is chiropractic care or physical therapy here in Kailua.
If you have plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of connective tissue that stretches from the heel to the ball of your foot, we may suggest wearing shoe inserts, cushioned insoles or night splints to stretch the tendon while you sleep. Physical therapy involves stretching exercises of the foot and great toe that sometimes include the use of a towel or tubing, taping the foot, massage and other non weight baring exercises.
Regardless of the size, shape, height or length of your arch, taking good care of your feet is very important to assure that you are able to maintain your overall health. Having foot pain can prevent you from doing day to day activities as well as being able exercise. With an early diagnosis and a successful fitness regimen, OSR is here to help relieve your aching arches and get you back on your feet pain-free.