Great Glorious Mane

Sore Feet Are Not a Normal Part of Aging November 28, 2015

There is probably nothing more common for aging population than sore feet. Nearly half will suffer some kind of foot problem at some time during their lives. With 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments in each foot, a lot can go wrong. The important thing to remember is that foot pain is not normal.
There are more than 300 different foot ailments. Some can be traced to heredity although more often they are a result of years of wear and abuse. Most of these problems can be successfully prevented or treated thereby minimizing pain and discomfort.

Properly fitted shoes are essential. A recent survey by the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) indicated that sixty-five percent of shoppers said they placed more importance on style than on comfort when purchasing new shoes. Often these shoes don’t fit properly.

Shoes that are too short or narrow can aggravate or even cause conditions such as bunions, calluses or corns, hammertoes and pinched nerves between your toes. For example, tight shoes on a foot with a bunion can push the toes inward and put pressure on the bunion causing pain and worsening the misalignment. The effects of high heeled shoes have been the subject of much discussion already.

Properly fitting shoes make a big difference. Stylish shoes in a variety of widths as well as specialty shoes with stretchy materials over bunion and hammertoe locations can prevent rubbing and pressure to these problem areas. Shoes such as the Chung-Shi and MBT can even help to correct posture and back pain.

Over time, the arches in the feet begin to flatten and your feet get longer and wider. The natural padding under the heel and forefoot also begin to wear. The thinning padding results in a decrease in shock absorption in the feet and less protection to the bones on the soles of the feet. Feet and ankles also begin to stiffen as a result of years of use and wear.  

Everyone can benefit from a properly fitted orthotic. Orthotic devices (supportive insoles) serve a wide range of purposes. Properly supporting the foot early in life can help to minimize the effects of time and gravity on your feet. Later in life, an orthotic can help to restructure a foot that has lost its proper shape and function. They can also improve an irregular or abnormal walking pattern by correcting the alignment of the foot and controlling its motion. Holding the feet in their intended alignment can often help with ankle, knee, hip and back pain. An orthotic can be intended to make the feet more comfortable by replacing the worn padding under the sole and distributing weight more evenly across the bottom of the foot.

Over the counter arch supports can be beneficial, but remember that feet come in many shapes. The arch on a pre-manufactured insole may not match the arch shape and position of the foot it is used on. This may put stress on the foot and could create additional problems.

A custom-made orthotic will provide a properly shaped and placed arch, which provides the ultimate in support and comfort. Customs can also be made from a variety of materials from firm to comfortably soft to fit an individual’s needs.

Custom orthotics allow special shapes to be used in the final product to accommodate certain conditions. A metatarsal pad placed in a custom can help relieve pressure on the ball of the foot, calming pain from pinched nerves between the balls of the toes such as a Morton’s Neuroma. Properly placed voids in a custom orthotic can provide pressure relief to sensitive points on the bottom of ones foot. The second important thing to remember is that stylish fit and supportive comfort are possible.

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