During the pandemic we were left with limited means to exercise other than walking, which may explain the rise in foot complaints as we have seen in our practice.
The foot is a complicated structure.
Pain can manifest itself in the toes. Most often the big toe is what causes us the most pain – this can be due to a bunion or development of a rigid first toe. A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the outside aspect of the greater toe. A simple bunion is when the outer aspect of the toe thickens, where a complex bunion involves movement of the greater toe that then affects the second toe. The smaller toes often develop claw or hammer toes where you see deformities develop, consistent with the name.
Pain can also develop under the ball of the foot or metatarsal region (metatarsalgia). If it feels like you are standing on a pebble in your shoe or a fold in your sock it could be Morton’s neuroma. Pain in this area can be debilitating and cause one to alter the normal gait pattern, which can lead to other problems.
Pain in the arch or heel is most commonly due to plantar fasciitis. However, other conditions less common may include fat pad syndrome or stress fractures. In rare cases, nerve entrapment. As we age osteoarthritis can develop in the foot, the same as it can in other joints.
First things first, make sure you have the proper footwear to support your walking habits. I can provide recommendations based on your specific symptoms.
If you are experiencing any of the pain mentioned above, please reach out to book a consultation. I offer conservative management for all these conditions. This may include therapeutic advice on corrective devices such as toe spacers, night splints or advice on shoes. If alignment of the foot is poor, this may affect the alignment of the knee or hip and may often require a custom orthotic. I can provide these and I use a local Toronto-based lab for a customized fit and quick revisions if needed.
Looking forward to helping you deal with foot pain so you can remain active!
Dr. Margaret Russell
PT BSc (PT), DC, FCCSC (C)
Doctor of Chiropractic