Relieve foot pain with simple exercises
Did you know that pain in the foot may be due to an inability to fully bend your ankle? Did you also know that the type of shoes you wear (ie high heels) may be the cause of the cause of pain? Do not despair. There are some simple exercises that can help relieve pain in the ball of the foot.
Walk without pain requires the precise integration of numerous joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. One of the joints most critical and complex process involved is the ankle. The ankle is necessary to bend the foot downward towards the ground (plantarflexion), upward toward the head (dorsiflexion), rotate inward (inversion) and outwards (eversion) . For this discussion, we will focus on the problems posed by the limitation of dorsiflexion of the ankle joint during walking.
Inability to dorsiflex the foot results in a condition called equine ankle. It is called equine equine term that refers to a horse. I do not mean that a person with equine ankle joint has a shoe. However, if you notice a horse’s hoof, the forefoot is in a downward direction, it seems to be in plantar flexion (pointing down toward the ground). The person with the ankle joint equinus may seem to have one foot in plantar flexion and may tend to walk more on their toes.
Rarely, equine ankle is caused by a piece of bone from an old fracture blocking proper motion of the ankle or Achilles tendon by a congenitally short that prevents full dorsiflexion of the ankle. Ankle joint equinus may also be caused by arthritis that results in a deformation of the bones of the joint that interferes with the full dorsiflexion of the joint. In most cases the ankle joint equinus is caused by tight calf muscles. If the calf muscles are too tight ankle is not able to fully ankle dorsiflexion.
Spending too much of your day in high heels can lead tight calf muscles and then the ankle joint equinus. The body adapts to the demands that are placed on it. If you wear high heels on the distance between the heel and the knee is decreased and the calf muscles to contract to compensate for the shorter distance. Then when you put on your flat shoes and try to walk the tight calf muscles interferes with the ability of the ankle joint to function as it should provide pain-free walking.
The person with ankle equinus tends to walk on the ball of the foot. They have trouble keeping the heel on the floor when they walk and lift the heel off the ground early in the cycle stage. Equine ankle joint causes the normal biomechanics of walking to get all screwed up. When humans have biomechanical problems that interfere with the normal biomechanics of walking they compensate. People with equine compensate by walking on their toes. They can lift their heels at the beginning of the step that makes them appear as if they bounce along their march. They can compensate for the flattening of their bow, to take some load off the toe. Sometimes they cut the feet out as they walk and ground contact with the inside of the heel. All these compensations to disrupt the normal biomechanics of walking. Biomechanics is disrupted when the joints are not loaded as they should, muscles, tendons and ligaments are stretched. Tight muscles, tendons and ligaments causing pain.
People with the equinus deformity may feel pain in the ball of the foot, because they tend to walk foot and the forefoot overload. They can develop a pain in the center pillar to compensate by flattening the foot and the overuse plantar fascia, the pain can develop Achilles heel by pulling tight the less its insertion on the heel.
To properly treat the pain associated with equine, it is first necessary to determine the cause. Obviously, if the problem is due to a fractured piece of bone blocking the movement of ankle or Achilles tendon congenitally short, it would require an evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon for possible surgery. However, if the ankle equinus is caused by the tightness of the calf muscles, which is often the case, it can usually be treated conservatively.
The goal of treatment for a person with tight calf muscles is to first reduce the pressure in the calf muscles and give the floor to meet the heel. This is usually accomplished with a heel inside the shoe that is used temporarily as the calf muscles are slowly stretched through exercise. The patient may also require a brace to support the arch. The orthotic can incorporate what is called a metatarsal pad that fits just behind the heads of the metatarsals (long bones of the foot) to take the burden out of the ball of the foot. The long-term treatment, however, involves stretching exercises and ensure that the patient is placed in appropriate footwear. In addition, your doctor may prescribe what is called a dorsal night splint holds the foot in a dorsiflexed position while you sleep to facilitate the stretching of the calf muscles. Let me describe some simple techniques that are used to stretch the calf muscles two main, the soleus (single-ee-us) and gastrocnemius (gas-Trock-knee-me-us).
To stretch the gastrocnemius muscle you stand facing the wall with your feet about 12 inches from the wall. Step back about 6 inches with a leg. Then while keeping your back knee straight, knees slightly bent forward, back straight and both heels on the floor, lean into the wall. When you feel the muscle begins to stretch hold for 10 seconds. Do this ten times in a row stretch for each leg and repeat three times a day.
To stretch the soleus muscle to stand facing the wall, as described above to stretch the twins with one foot further back. But this time crouching as if in a sitting position while keeping your hands on the wall for balance. When you start to feel the muscle stretch as you lean toward the wall, hold for 10 seconds. Do this ten times in a row stretch for each leg and repeat three times a day.