Foot Myths That Are Hurting You
#1: THIS PAIN WILL GO AWAY ON ITS' OWN
Your foot hurts !!!
There are many scenarios in which you might decide to wait it out and see if your foot pain will go away. Waiting seems the prudent thing to do. It was an extra long hike, you wore your flimsy shoes, you had a little turn of your ankle, … Even your doctor may have told you to wait and see.
Podiatrists tend to have a more assertive approach to treating foot pain.
Indeed, some foot pain will go away and never come back to bother you. For instance, a mild strain injury due to an extra long hike. If pain or swelling disappear completely within a week, you likely do not need to seek treatment.
But if you wait while the pain gradually goes away, there may be a hidden cost. If the pain continues for long enough, your body will have to compensate.
How does the body compensate for foot pain ?
It uses muscles, starting in the lower leg, to shift weight and change gait patterns to alleviate the injured area. Then, the muscles further up the chain compensate. It all happens automatically and it is nearly impossible to feel this chain reaction. It just happens as your brain tells your body what to do to alleviate pain and related symptoms like swelling.
Months or years later, you may end up with a “leg length discrepancy”, a “bad knee”, a tight hip or chronic low back pain. Or even, neck and shoulder pain may be the result of untreated or under-treated foot pain.
AND, an even more devastating impact of continuing to walk around on a sore foot, is that the foot itself will tighten – usually the plantar fascia and ultimately the calf muscle. These structures are often the first to compensate for “antalgic gait” – which is, walking in spite of having pain. Without knowing it you may be causing a chronic plantar fascial or achilles tendon tightness. These issues can take a very long time to resolve.
If you knew that by not addressing the original pain, you are subjecting your body to biomechanical changes that can lead to long term foot, leg, back and neck issues, you would act much sooner. It may seem silly to be so proactive, but podiatrists are here for this very reason.
There is a high degree of connectedness between your feet and the rest of your lower extremity.
The inside of your arch all the way up through your ankle consists of multiple joints with interconnecting ligaments, muscles, arteries, veins and nerves. It is a very specialized area and system of the body. It is no surprise there is a highly trained medical specialist that deals with foot issues.
Foot myths are commonplace. There are many opinions about how to treat foot issues.
You wouldn’t go to your doctor for tooth pain, or your dentist for stomach pain.
See your podiatrist for foot pain.