Plantar Fasciitis is due to an inflammation of the connective tissue that stretches from the heel to the base of the toes. This irritation can make the tissue too painful to stand on. Plantar fasciitis can be caused by arches that are too high or too low, working on hard floors, being overweight, trauma, or wearing improper and ill-fitting footwear. Because providing adequate support for the connective tissue will gradually reduce the inflammation, we recommend shoes with a good arch support as well as arch support insoles to customers with plantar fasciitis.
The #1 cause of blisters is friction. Friction causes heat; heat raises blisters. Blisters often caused by improperly fitting shoes or socks. To help treat blisters, recommend reduced friction socks, a properly fitting pair of shoes, and any insole designed to help reduce friction.
Posterior Tibial Tendonitis
The posterior tibial tendon attaches to a bone in the foot called the navicular, helping stabilize your arch. Posterior tibial tendonitis is inflammation of this tendon occurring from overuse. This inflammation is caused by extra stress, usually due to a collapsing arch. Because pain occurs along the inside of the lower leg, ankle, and foot, rear foot motion control or stability shoes are highly recommended to treat posterior tibial tendonitis. Your Physician will most likely prescribe a foot & ankle brace and/or an orthotic to be worn inside the shoe.
The Achilles tendon is the large tendon located in the back of the leg that inserts into the heel. The inflammation and pain of Achilles tendonitis can develop gradually without a history of trauma. When left untreated, there is risk of the tendon becoming weak and rupturing. Causes can include overpronation, improper shoe selection, inadequate stretching prior to engaging in athletics, a short Achilles tendon, direct trauma to the tendon, heel bone deformity, and dramatic changes in heel height in shoes. Your physician or physical therapist may suggest a temporary heel lift to be applied to both shoes in order to take stress off the Achilles. Proper stretching is important when it comes to Achilles tendonitis.
Generally, both joints of a toe are affected, causing it to bend upward in the middle, giving it a hammer-like or claw-like appearance. Hammertoe is caused primarily by improperly fitting shoes that force the toe against the front of the shoe, resulting in an unnatural bending. When hammertoe occurs, your toe may press against the top of the shoe, causing pain and pressure. Pain can result from corns or calluses that develop under the tip of your toe or on the ball of your foot. Properly fitted shoes with a broad and deep toe box, as well as cushioning insoles are recommended to help treat hammertoe.
Metatarsalgia denotes a painful foot condition in the ball of the foot or metatarsal region. This is a common disorder that can affect the bones and joints at the ball-of-the-foot. With this common foot condition, one or more of the metatarsal heads become painful and/or inflamed, usually due to excessive pressure over a long period of time. Patient’s will often complain that they feel like the sock is bunching under the ball of the foot, but it is actually the loss of the fat pad they are feeling. Ball-of-foot pain is often caused from improperly fitting footwear, excessive pressure over a long period of time, insufficient cushioning, and the natural aging process. Because the pain is in the forefoot metatarsal area, recommend properly fitting shoes with a wide toe box and maximum forefoot cushioning.
Knee pain is generally caused by overuse. It is often a result of excessive impact shock forces absorbed in the knee area as well as natural pronation of the foot. Besides reducing the level of exercise for a short period of time, extremely well cushioned shoes as well as replacement cushioning insoles are recommended to help treat knee pain.
Shin Splints are another common overuse injury characterized by pain in the front or inside portion of the lower leg. The pain develops gradually without a history of trauma, and might begin as a dull ache or tender area along the front or inside of the shin. Shin splints usually involve small tears in the leg muscles where they attach to the shin bone, and if not addressed, the pain will intensify. Due to an increased risk of developing stress fractures, shin splints should be promptly treated. Excessive impact stress, tight muscles, worn-out or improperly fitting shoes, collapsed arches, or excessively high arches can all be causes of shin splints. Stretching muscles is the best way to prevent shin splints.
Diabetes is a serious disease that is associated with many other complications. Diabetes disrupts and affects many areas of the body, including the legs and feet.
Of the 16 million Americans with diabetes, 25% will develop foot problems related to the disease. Diabetic foot conditions occur due to a combination of causes, usually including poor circulation and neuropathy. Diabetic Neuropathy is insensitivity or a loss of ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. Diabetics suffering from neuropathy can develop cuts, scrapes, blisters, or pressure sores that they may not be aware of. If these minor injuries are left untreated, many more serious complications may result. Neuropathy can also cause deformities such as Bunions or Hammer Toes. Because diabetics must not have their circulation restricted, recommend supportive shoes with a spacious toe-box as well as properly fitting socks that reduce friction and chafing. Certain insoles designed to cushion and evenly distribute pressure are also recommended.
A bunion is an inflamed swelling of the small sac on the first joint of the big or great toe. You can see it as a bump, but this bump is actually a protruding bone. With the continued movement of the big toe towards the smaller toes, it is common to find the big toe resting under or over the second toe. This causes a forefoot condition called overlapping toes. A bunionette involves the swelling of the small sac on the joint of the little toe. It is a smaller bump that forms due to the little toe moving inwards. Symptoms include swelling, inflammation, soreness, and discomfort while walking. Bunions are a problem experienced primarily by women. This deformity can be caused by an abnormality in foot function or arthritis, but is most usually caused by wearing improperly fitting footwear. Shoes with a wide toe-box and metatarsal padding are recommended to alleviate the pain and discomfort in the forefoot. Any cushioning or pressure distributing insoles will also help.
Interdigital Neuroma (Morton’s Neuroma)
This foot problem is associated with pain, swelling and/or an inflammation of a nerve, usually at the ball-of-the-foot between the 3rd and 4th toes. This condition is caused by the constriction of a nerve usually between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads. Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma often occur during or after you have been placing significant pressure on the forefoot area, while walking, standing, jumping, or sprinting. It is also caused by improperly fitting shoes. Shoes with forefoot cushioning, midfoot support, and a high wide toe-box are recommended. Any cushioning or pressure relieving insoles will also help.
Pes Planus is more commonly known as flat feet or collapsed arches. Most people with flat feet have a wide midfoot, wide forefoot, and overpronate. Left untreated, Pes Planus can lead to foot, ankle, leg, and hip pain. Any properly fitting shoe that offers substantial rear and midfoot support or motion control is recommended to correct Pes Planus. Supportive replacement insoles are also suggested.
Most people have an arch along the inside of the foot, leaving a gap between the ground and the foot. Some arches are higher than average. This condition is called Pes Cavus, and usually involves supination. Usually hereditary, people with high arches have very poor shock absorption in their feet, and while they may not always experience pain, it can occur in the arch area. Because high-arched feet are more rigid, they often underpronate. Therefore, neutral shoes with excellent shock absorption and moderate arch support as well as replacement insoles are recommended for the most comfort.
Sesamoiditis is an inflammation of the sesamoid area located in the forefoot. The sesamoids help absorb the impact forces that affect the forefoot during the gait cycle. A condition that typically affects physically active young people, it is caused by repetitive pressure on the forefoot, typically developing as the forefoot is subjected to chronic pressure and tension. The surrounding tissues respond by becoming irritated and inflamed. This is a common problem among people who spend a significant amount of time on their toes. Any activity that places constant force on the ball of the foot — even walking — can cause sesamoiditis. Damage to the sesamoid bone may also result in sesamoiditis. Stress fractures can produce this condition. Sesamoiditis causes pain in the ball of the foot, especially on the inside. Shoes with superior shock absorption and forefoot flexibility are recommended as well as replacement cushioning insoles.
Stress fractures often are the result of overuse or repeated impacts on a hard surface. Increasing the amount or intensity of an activity too quickly is a common cause of a stress fracture. It occurs because muscles fatigue and are unable to absorb the shock of repeated impacts. Over time the fatigued muscle transfers this stress to the bone, resulting in a small crack or fracture.
High impact sports such as running, track, gymnastics, and basketball can increase the risk of stress fractures. In these sports, the repetitive stress of the foot striking the ground can cause trauma. Without sufficient rest, all athletes risk developing a stress fracture. The most important treatment for a stress fracture is rest. Additionally, shoes with superior shock absorption coupled with replacement cushioning insoles are recommended to help prevent stress fractures from developing.
An ankle sprain is the most common injury to the ankle and the long term consequences of an ankle sprain is chronic ankle pain. The most common type is the inversion ankle sprain, in which the ankle rolls over on the outside. An ankle sprain involves the stretching and tearing of ligaments. Anything that causes the ankle to ‘tip over’ increases the chance of an ankle sprain – this can occur in sports, walking on uneven surface, twisting motions etc. Shoes with proper support (i.e. ankle, lateral, motion control, stability) as well as cushioning or motion control insoles are recommended to help limit the risk of ankle sprains.
Growing Pains (Apophysitis & Sever’s disease)
Growing Pains is a painful condition of the heel in growing children. It may frequently occur after activities such as running or jumping. Because of the pain, children have difficulty putting pressure on the heel and frequently will begin walking on their toes. There can be two types of growing pains, Apophysitis and Sever’s disease.
Apophysitis refers to the inflammation of the growth plate without movement, causing pain. Sever’s disease is an overuse syndrome in which the growth plate of the heel may become slightly displaced, causing pain.
Children with growing pains should reduce their amount of physical activities. The pain might persist until the growth of the foot is complete. Properly fitting shoes with adequate heel cushioning are recommended for growing pains.