The feet are the foundation of the body. The feet carry the body’s entire weight allowing for movement with ease. The feet are a complex structure that consists of:
Because of this, the feet are a high-impact area taking the everyday forces that come from:
Symptoms commonly caused by foot issues include:
Flat feet, fallen arches, injuries, bone spurs, and other issues can cause problems with the rest of the body. The most common are:
When foot issues are present, changing walking postures is common to avoid pain and discomfort. Individuals often do not realize they are doing it until the awkward postures begin to present with pain and discomfort. Overcompensation combined with unhealthy walking patterns can cause back pain. This is because the spine is becoming misaligned. Balance of the body is crucial. When something shifts the proper balance, the whole spine can shift out of alignment. This is especially true for individuals with flat feet. Flat feet can cause the ankle/s to lose alignment. This leads to problems up the body, from the knees to the hips to the spine and neck.
Imbalances cause the feet and spine not properly to absorb shocks from everyday activity. This means the rest of the body, especially the joints, have an added job of absorbing the shock/impact. As time goes on, the stress and shock can lead to severe ankle, knee, and hip discomfort/pain and malfunctions.
These misalignments cause imbalance and posture problems. When the feet have lost the proper anchoring and alignment, overall posture and balance become affected. This increases the risk of dangerous slip-and-fall accidents that can exacerbate or cause new injuries. Posture problems are usually the result of the body trying to redistribute weight to reduce the pain and because it works, then becomes a bad habit.
The muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the feet connect to the rest of the body. Any pain/issues like calf pain or weakness in the feet can begin to present in the lower leg since that is where the soft tissue is most closely connected.
The most common foot problems podiatrists see that lead to the aforementioned ailments.
Flat feet are also known as fallen arches. This is a condition where the feet lack or have lost the arch when standing. This can be quite uncomfortable and creates weight distribution problems. It can be a genetic condition but is also the result of wearing shoes without arch support for a prolonged time.
Corns are circles of thick skin on the toes or on the soles of the feet. The body forms them naturally to prevent blisters, but they could be the result of poorly fitting shoes. Typically they are not painful when they form but can become irritated over time. Bunions are bumps on the side of the big toe that can cause a bending inward toward the other toes, creating a painful angle. This can cause severe irritation and inflammation in the bump and toes. These can be genetic or caused by structural problems. But they can be caused by tight-fitting shoes or excess pressure on the feet for prolonged periods.
Hammertoe, also known as mallet toe, is a condition that makes one or more of the toes point down rather than straight. Walking can cause pain, and movement of the toe can reduce or stop completely. This is caused by arthritis or an injury; it can be genetic or the result of poor footwear.
This condition causes pain that goes from the bottom of the heel to the middle of the foot. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament, also located in this area. A wide range of pain levels can range from dull to stabbing. It is often caused by poor footwear with no arch support that has been worn for long periods when walking, standing, and running. Weight gain is another cause, as the added weight could be too much for the foot to manage, causing strain.
Individuals who wear high heels, shoes of the wrong size, or other uncomfortable footwear consistently will more likely develop the aforementioned issues. Shoes with proper support are essential to optimal foot and body health because they evenly distribute the weight of the body, lessening the impact of everyday activities.
Another recommended option for alleviating foot issues is custom foot orthotic inserts. These can be fit into any shoe and are customized to an individual’s feet. They’re affordable and allow individuals to wear their shoes without pain.
Chiropractic and physical therapy can help alleviate the pain that is resultant from foot problems. Seeing a podiatrist can treat the condition’s root cause, but the rest of the body could need chiropractic readjusting from the misalignment/s.
Heat-related illnesses vary in severity, but even light symptoms need immediate action to correct the problem before it becomes severe.
When exercising in the heat, painful cramps can present. The affected muscle/s might feel hard, spasm, or generate sharp pain. The body temperature could still be within normal limits.
Syncope is a loss of consciousness that is usually recognized as exercise-related collapse. However, before this happens, there may be a feeling of lightheadedness or fainting. This happens when temperatures are high, and the individual has been standing or exercising for a long time. The same can occur when standing up quickly after sitting for a long time.
Heat exhaustion happens when the body temperature exceeds normal limits and rises as high as 104. This can cause nausea, weakness, cold, fainting, headaches, and vomiting. The body continues to sweat, but the skin may feel cold and clammy.
Heat exhaustion untreated leads to heatstroke or sunstroke. In a life-threatening emergency, the body’s core temperature is greater than 104 degrees. The skin is no longer capable of sweating and can feel dry or moist. Individuals can become confused and irritable and experience heart arrhythmias. Immediate medical emergency treatment is necessary to stop brain damage, organ failure, and death.
Joint Bone Spine. (December 2014) “Effects of unstable shoes on chronic low back pain in health professionals: A randomized controlled trial” www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1297319X14001456
Your Foot Type Matters: Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. (July 2018) “Association between the hyper-pronated foot and the degree of severity of disability in patients with non-specific low back pain” www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1360859217303388
How to Find the Right Shoes: International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. (December 2001) “Biomechanical effects of wearing high-heeled shoes” www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0169814101000385
The information herein on "Problems/Issues With The Feet Can Affect The Entire Body" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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