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Foot Health 102: How to Help Your Achin’ Bacon

By Sara Butler

Foot Health Part 2

Your poor feet. They do so much work, yet they really get overlooked when it comes to care. Sure, you buy shoes to cover and protect them, but sometimes those shoes can be the source of the problem. And in the summertime, most people’s feet take a beating from the flip-flop footwear that takes over.

You can help your feet go the distance by identifying problems you may be having with them and then taking figurative steps to correct them! Here are some of the most common foot problems that people deal with and how to address them, step by step.

Why Does Your Chiropractor Care About Foot Health?

The chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic may be known for treating spinal issues, but the truth is that chiropractors care about your whole body. After all, each part of your body has to work together to keep your health optimal -- feet and ankles included.

Your choices in footwear, the way you walk, the problems you may encounter with your feet, and how you care for your feet, all play a role in your overall health. Additionally, foot pain can be caused by spinal issues such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease, and even be a window into systemic issues such as gout, so it’s not something you should ignore. Make sure to seek your chiropractor regularly to address issues regarding the big picture of your overall health.

Common Foot Problems

Your feet have so much stress and strain placed on them all day that they are at high risk for injury -- more than any other part of your body. Many of the problems associated with the feet often develop because you’ve simply neglected to care for your feet the right way or you’ve prioritized fashion over function when it comes to footwear.

Here are some of the most common foot problems and their remedies.

Hammertoes - This may sound cool to say and invoke interesting questions such as “Is this what MC Hammer calls his toes?” But hammertoe is nothing to laugh about. This condition causes the toes to bend unnaturally, and is caused by shoes that don’t fit correctly. Look for shoes with a bigger toe box to help correct this problem before it turns into something more serious and more painful.

Bunions - I promised myself I wouldn’t make any Paul Bunyan jokes, so I won’t. I don’t want to give anyone an ax to grind. Suffice to say that bunions, the foot condition, isn’t nice to look at and even worse to experience. It occurs when the foot changes shape, causing the big toe to turn inward and create a huge bump on the inside of the foot at the toe joint. This condition is made worse by high heels and shoes that are constrictive. Get a pair of shoes that are wider and maybe try some padded shoe inserts to help.

Plantar fasciitis - This painful condition is caused by the ligament that connects the heel to the ball of the foot. This ligament becomes inflamed or torn, causing stiffness and pain. It’s an overuse injury that all people, regardless of activity level, can face. Your chiropractor can show you some stretches to reduce the tightness in the foot -- and icing it can help, too.

Gout - This is a form of arthritis that is triggered by the accumulation of uric acid in the fluid surrounding the joint and in the joint tissue itself. It’s technically not a foot condition, but since the big toe is generally the first place in the body where the buildup becomes noticeable, it falls into the category. The joint of your big toe will become swollen, red, hot, and painful, so don’t put off getting help for this condition. It may require you to make some changes to your diet and avoid foods that can trigger the rise of uric acid, such as alcohol and red meat.

Foot problems are something everyone should strive to avoid. To help, don’t shy away from talking to the chiropractors at The Joint about foot pain or problems you may be having. It’s a great way to put your best foot forward for your overall health.

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