Ask A Shoe Doctor

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Ask A Shoe Doctor

Did you know that your foot is composed of 24 bones that form two crossing arches of the foot? The ankles of your foot are formed by the interaction of the foot and lower leg. The bones of your foot are held together with ligaments. The foot muscles, along with a tissue known as planter fascia, provide secondary support. There are also fat pads in the foot to help with weight-bearing and absorbing impact. When you experience discomfort or pain, that’s an indication that something is wrong. How and when the pain occurs, can often help in determining the cause and severity of the condition.

banner-foot-heel-arch-painWHAT CAUSES FOOT PAIN

Trauma, disease and injuries are the most likely causes of foot pain. Poor biomechanical alignment and the type of footwear worn can also cause pain or discomfort. Shoes that fit tight or are    tied too tightly can cause pain on the top of the foot. High heels can cause pain around the ball of your foot just below your toes. Pain and tenderness in a specific area for a prolonged period of  time is telltale sign of a possible problem.

Achilles Tendonitis


Achilles-Tendonitis Definition: Inflammation & degeneration of the tendon in the back of the leg that inserts into the heel

 Causes: Over-pronation, improper fitting footwear, inadequate stretching

 Symptoms: Shooting, burning or extreme piercing pain

 Treatment & Prevention: Thorough stretching program, decrease in physical activity, heel cups or cradles, orthotics



BunionDefinition: A prominent bump on the inside of the foot around the big toe joint

Causes: Usually from wearing tight & narrow footwear with a constrictive toe box

Symptoms: Inflammation, swelling and soreness on the side surface of the big toe

Treatment & Prevention: Footwear with wide toe boxes, and stretch fabrics, orthotics, bunion shields, bunion night splints


Heel Pain Syndrome


heel-pain Definition: Extreme heel discomfort

 Causes: Plantar Fasciitis or over-use repetitive stress

 Symptoms: Pain underneath the heel or just behind it, where the tendon attaches to the heel bone

 Treatment & Prevention: Heel cups or cradles, orthotics with arch support, shock absorption, cushioning, footwear with elevated heels


Metatarsalgia (Ball-of-Foot Pain)


metatarsalgiaDefinition: Inflammation or pain at the bones and joints at the ball-of-foot

Causes: Thinning out of the fat pad, improper fitting footwear such as shoes with narrow toe boxes, high heels, excessive pressure

Symptoms: Pain in the region of the foot before the toes

Treatment & Prevention: Orthotics with metatarsal pads, proper fitting footwear with high, wide toe boxes, shoes with rocker bottoms


Plantar Fasciitis


plantar_fascia Definition: Inflammation of fibrous tissue along bottom of foot

 Causes: Over-pronation (flat feet), high arch feet, sudden increase in physical activity, excessive weight gain, flip flops

 Symptoms: Heel pain, heel spurs, arch pain first thing in the morning or after a period of prolonged rest

 Treatment & Prevention: Orthotics with arch support & rearfoot posting, footwear with proper cushioning and shock absorption, stretching, night splints


Pregnancy & Feet


Ask, doctor, baby, pregnant, foot, Definition: Over-pronation, edema

 Causes: Weight gain, hormonal changes, flattened arches

 Symptoms: Pain at the heel, arch, ball-of-foot, leg cramping, varicose veins

 Treatment & Prevention: Orthotics with arch support & rearfoot posting, wide width footwear that incorporates stretch fabrics



**The treatment and preventions stated on this page are recommendations given by Podiatrists and Pedorthists. This is not to be taken as prescribed treatment. If you are having ongoing foot or ankle issues, please consult your doctor.