Doctors of podiatric medicine, trained and accustomed to relieve foot pain arising from a variety of sources, have been discovering that some of the ways they overcome foot problems can also have a positive effect on one of mankind’s more mysterious kinds of pain – back pain. The keys are orthosis – hand-crafted “arch supports” inserted in footwear to correct foot deformities or abnormalities, which can cause irregular walking patterns and lead to pain in the legs, hips and back as well as the feet. Heel pain is commonly caused by plantar fasciitis (which is also referred to as a heel spur); this can affect 2.5 million people each year.
Children have their share of foot pain, just like adults. Many conditions that cause adult pain can also cause pain in children. At times, there are conditions unique to children that are the source of their pain. Prompt recognition and treatment is important for foot problems in children, as some conditions can have long-reaching complications into adulthood. Each foot has 33 joints, eight arches, 26 bones, more than a hundred muscles, ligaments, and tendons that all work together to distribute body weight and allow movement. Unfortunately, many people pay no attention to their feet – until they start to hurt.
An enlargement on the side of the foot near the base of the big toe (hallux). The enlargement is made up of a bursa (fluid filled sac) under the skin. The term bunion is also commonly used to describe a structural (bony) deformity called hallux abducto valgus (HAV). Bunions can be painful and can be aggravated by activity and wearing tight shoes. In the foot, a neuroma is a nerve that becomes irritated and swells up. If the nerve stays irritated, it can become thickened which makes the nerve larger and causes more irritation. Pain from a neuroma is usually felt on the ball of your foot.
A stress fracture is true inflammation of the bone that weakens the structure of the bone and can become a real break. This is deep aching and throbbing with swelling of the foot in the area of the break. Usually you have increased your activity or changed shoes before this started. The muscles in your leg travel to your foot by tendons. Any of these tendons can become irritated, injured, or inflamed. The pain is usually along the line of the tendon and is commonly described as sharp, stabbing, aching, or throbbing depending on your activity.
Massaging the feet with warm mustard oil is also known to work wonders in relieving the pain. Mustard oil is known to have medicinal properties that seeps into the layers of the skin and relieves the pain. The kneading action and the strong strokes with the hands help to relieve the pain and muscle stress. For best results, heat the oil in a microwave oven for 10-15 seconds and then apply the oil all over the feet before massaging them. Massage for at least 10 minutes. Choose shoes that have a wider heel to them. This allows better balance and less stress and fatigue on the ball of the feet.