Foot Pain

Foot Arch Structure and Foot Pain

Foot pain, according to the Mayo Clinic, can occur due to “injury, overuse, or conditions causing inflammation involving any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the foot.” Most people have probably had some kind of foot pain in their life, attributing it to things such as poor fitting shoes, a blister or two, overheating and a general soreness, bad shoe design, poor selection of proper shoes, bad posture, standing or walking on hard surfaces for a long time, and past injuries, even if they are completely healed, just to name a few. What’s amazing is how many people actually put up with foot pain thinking that it is just a normal part of their day.

In a 2009 foot-ailment survey from the American Podiatric Medical Association, roughly 35% of those who said they had heel pain said that they had it for two years or longer! But “foot pain isn’t normal,” according to podiatrist Dennis Frisch, spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).

With all of the possible reasons for foot pain – the Mayo Clinic lists over 30 different reasons for that – inadequate arch support is one common problem that deserves a lot of attention. According to podiatrist and also spokesperson for the APMA, Hillary Brenner, lack of foot arch can “lead to knee, hip, and back problems,” while poor arch support is associated with the painful foot condition plantar fasciitis.

Foot Arch

It is easy to forget about the importance of foot arch and the amount of support the shoes we wear actually provide, especially when problems don’t seem to exist. Many people wear shoes that are designed more for looks rather than proper foot care, and the problems such shoes create are compounded when standing and walking on hard surfaces. When a foot lacks proper arch support, the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support the foot’s natural arch can become permanently stretched over time, resulting in pain and tired feet.

There are a number of ways to ensure healthy foot arch. First, of course, is to find out how much foot arch you actually have. This is as easy as getting your feet wet and then stepping on a brown paper bag or a dry sidewalk. Your footprint will show your foot arch as shown in Figure 1 below.

Foot Arch and Foot Pain

Figure 1

From left to right – flat foot, normal foot, high-arch foot

Once you determine the type of arch your foot has, you can find a shoe that best supports your foot. If your feet are flat, Dr. Frisch recommends trying “over-the-counter orthotic arch supports” and if those don’t work consulting with your doctor.

Proper Foot Support

In addition to good shoes and orthotics, it is recommended that high-heel shoes and sandals be avoided. If high-heels are very high, according to Dr. Brenner, they “can lead to everything from ankle sprains to chronic pain.” Sandals offer little arch support, which can aggravate plantar fasciitis as well as cause problems with the knees, hips, and back. Going barefoot is also not recommended because, even worse than sandals, going barefoot offers no support of any kind and can damage the plantar fascia – the ligament in the picture above that runs from the heel to the front of the foot.

Determining the best shoes for a certain activity is certainly subjective and dependent on the individual. However, orthotics can be easily added to almost any pair of shoes giving them the necessary arch support your feet need. There are lots of orthotic products on the market, of which Dr. Scholl’s is probably the most well-known.  But as good as Dr. Scholl’s products might be for each of their intended purposes, I don’t know if any product in that company’s product line offers the arch support I have found with Walkfit Platinum Orthotics.  For more information about what to watch out for when buying these, click here.

Getting Rid of Foot Pain and More

Walkfit Platinum Orthotics have three removable inserts allowing you to choose the correct amount of arch support for your feet. If you are flat-footed, you will want to start off with the low inserts; however, if your feet have a lot of arch – that is, if your footprint looks like the footprint on the right in Figure 1 above – then the medium or high inserts may work better for you. In addition, Walkfit Platinum Orthotics are not a rigid part of your shoes. They are free to move in your shoes so that they can adjust to the proper position under your foot. This is something you will notice when first putting on your shoes with Walkfit Platinum Orthotics installed.  You can read more about these in my Walkfit Platinum Orthotics Review.

As podiatrist Dr. Dennis Frisch has said “foot pain isn’t normal,” and with the proper shoes and orthotic insoles, you can not only help alleviate foot pain but also prevent it.  However, another thing to remember here is that they way you support your feet transitions up through your ankles, knees, hips, and into your back. You can read more about that here.  Walkfit claims that their Platinum Orthotics strengthen your heels and ankles, distribute your weight more evenly over your feet, and help protect your feet, legs, and spine from the shocks of walking.  I can’t discuss all of  Walkfit’s claims, and I have never had any bad foot pain. But I can say that since I have been using these, I have noticed a lot less pain in my back while standing for long periods.

Whether or not Walkfit Platinum Orthotics are something you want to try, taking steps to maintain good foot support is something that is important for everyone because poor support can lead to more than just foot pain. I have done that and found great success with Walkfit Platinum Orthotics. I hope you do the same for your feet!

 

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