5 Causes of Foot Pain & How to Relieve It

Foot Pain

This article investigates 5 main causes of foot pain, and how you can relieve it, with the help of targeted chiropractic treatment, so that you can get back to doing what you love.

Getting out of bed. Going down the stairs. Taking a walk. Standing. Sitting. Skipping. Climbing. Hiking. There is so much that our feet help us do without us even realizing it. If your body is a house, then your feet are the foundation. And a bad foundation is bad news when it comes to your body. You can miss out on a lot of life because of foot pain–it affects everything else, including the way your body ages and how it handles stress. 

1. Plantar Fasciitis

This is one of the most common causes of foot pain. The bottom of each foot has a tough, fibrous band that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot. This band helps support the foot arch. If this fascia becomes inflamed, it can cause sharp, excruciating pain. Many patients have pain immediately in the morning when they get out of bed–as soon as they stand up.

How to relieve plantar fasciitis

When you first have pain that goes through the fascia, you should stretch your calves and rest. At Element Chiropractic, we can perform adjustments to the heel and other foot bones, as well as the pelvis, which helps relieve tension in the plantar fascia. Custom-made orthotics from a laser scan we can do in our offices are shown to be helpful during the beginning stages of plantar fasciitis by redistributing forces (increase the contact area) through the feet. If the pain persists for months, night splints and cortisone injections are the next steps. If the cause of the plantar fasciitis is not addressed, it may continue to flare up.

2. Bunions

Bunions are bony bumps that occur at the base of your big toe. Bunions can vary in severity, from a small bump to a large bump with a significant deviation of the big toe. Bunions can be due to heredity, poorly fitting shoes, a previous injury, or an inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, bunions can be caused by high heels because the heel is lifted, and weight is put onto the ball of the foot with a pointed or narrow toe box.

How to relieve bunion pain

Because poorly-fitting shoes regularly cause bunion pain, choosing shoes that fit correctly, especially across the toe box, is key to pain relief associated with bunions. Additionally, using bunion pads can cushion the painful area while wearing shoes. Other helpful options include stretching your calves and wearing bunion correctors or toe spacers at night. A key to finding a bunion pain solution is addressing the specific biomechanics of your body–or how your body movements impact your limbs. At Element Chiropractic, we address these biomechanical problems through foot adjustments, which can improve flexibility and mobility, and Kinesio Taping, which provides support and stability while the foot heals.

3. Flat Feet or Fallen Arches

Some people have naturally flat feet, but most flat feet or fallen arches develop over time. Pregnancy, excessive weight, and/or poor foot biomechanics can lead to foot arches dropping over time. Flat feet increase the area of impact while walking, affecting the knees, hips, pelvis, and low back.

How to relieve pain from flat feet

Wearing custom-made orthotics supports the feet, doing foot-strengthening exercises can help with fallen arches, and using K-tape around the area, taped specifically to give support where it is lacking, can give an idea of how the foot should function. However, using K-tape is only a temporary solution, and finding you should prioritize finding the right type of arch support. Element Chiropractic can help with finding the right solution for your flat feet.

4. Achilles Tendonitis

When the band of tissue connecting the calf muscle and the heel bone is overused, it can lead to tendonitis of the Achilles tendon–which is the body’s largest tendon. When the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed, it can cause tenderness, tightness, or swelling. Starting a new exercise program or repetitive activities like running can cause this type of foot pain.

How to relieve achilles tendonitis

Take a break and rest from activity–especially the repetitive ones involving your heels. Element Chiropractic can perform soft tissue manipulation, provide calf stretches for you to try, and aid with eccentric strengthening (placing tension on a muscle as it stretches). These are all good options when dealing with this pain in the heel. Also, look for shoes with additional heel cushions or use heel cups in your shoes to reduce impact.

5. Bone Spurs/Arthritis

Bone spurs are sharp projections that commonly occur at the heel bone and toes. Bone spurs are from arthritic changes and pulling from tight tendons or ligaments like plantar fasciitis. When the tendons and ligaments pull away from the bone, and the bone extends to form a new bone–the spur. Bone spurs can cause pain or stiffness in the affected joint.

How to Relieve Bone Spurs/Arthritis

Managing the pain from bone spurs can include changing shoes to a pair with more support or lift/wedge at the heel, using orthotics, and/or finding an over-the-counter pain medication. If the bone spurs cause significant pain, they may require surgery to shave down the spurs.

Foot Pain Treatment at Element Chiropractic
Feet are foundational to our everyday active lives and impact each part of our body. Element Chiropractic offers many options to help you address your type of foot pain, ranging from adjustments and assessments to exercise routines, kinesio taping, and orthotics. We work hard with you so that you can put your best foot forward!

Read on to find out more about our methods for foot pain.

Adjustments: For example, for plantar fasciitis, adjustments can be made to the heel, helping the fascia relax, thereby promoting healing. Adjustments can also be made to the ankle and other areas of the foot to promote healing.

Biomechanical assessments: At Element Chiropractic, we’ll look at every aspect of your body structure, especially your feet. Leg height discrepancies can cause some of the following types of foot pain. If your legs are not equal in length, your body may compensate, causing you to move your heel, your knee, your hip, and/or your foot unnaturally, putting more pressure on one of your feet. In addition, the biomechanics of your body are impacted by your feet. When your biomechanics are off, your body will find ways to compensate, or overcompensate, which can quickly lead to overuse and pain.

Exercise Routines: Foot pain can also be relieved with custom exercise routines. We’ll show you how to do them–correctly–and give you the rundown of how often you should do them, what signs to look out for, and we’ll help keep track of your progress.

Orthotics: If needed, custom orthotics can be created just for you. We use a specially made device with laser foot levelers, which essentially shows us the “hot spots” of pressure on your feet when you’re standing. The orthotics are made to compensate for those hot spots and relieve the tender areas causing you pain.

At Element Chiropractic, we want to help you with corrective orthotics, custom exercise routines, and chiropractic adjustments so you can tell your foot pain to take a walk.