According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, the average person takes between 8,000 and 10,000 steps per day, logging approximately 115,000 miles in a lifetime, roughly the equivalent of circling the globe four times. Walking puts about one-and-a-half times your body weight on your foot; running increases this pressure to about three or four times your weight; and as shock absorbers, our feet cushion up to one million pounds of pressure during one hour of strenuous exercise.
With so much expected of our feet, it is not surprising that one in four people experience foot pain during their lifetime, however, we quite often treat our feet like footnotes and only when we experience pain or another problem do we focus on them. While foot pain is common, it is not normal.
Some of the more common podiatric problems include bunions, hard, painful bumps on the big toe joint; calluses and corns, thickened skin from friction or pressure; plantar warts, warts on the soles of the feet; tendonitis, inflammation of a tendon; planter fasciitis, heel pain and fallen arches, also known as flat feet.
While foot trouble plagues both men and women, women are four times more likely to have foot problems. Part of the reason is that women’s bodies have a lighter bone structure than men’s bodies making them more susceptible to certain bone problems, including bunions and fractures. In addition, female hormones can affect women’s bones and ligaments. But, the primary reason women suffer so much foot pain is because of their choice in footwear. It is estimated that 90 percent of women in the US wear a shoe size that is too small. And those 2 ½ inch high heels increase the load to the forefoot by 75 percent.
If you or a loved one is experiencing foot pain, I invite you to attend the free community seminar, Chronic Heel Pain and Bunions, on Thursday, November 6, 2014. The seminar will be held in the Pebble Creek Auditorium in Portneuf Medical Center. Doors open at 6pm and the presentation will begin at 6:30. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. Registration is preferred; to register, please call 208-239-1048.
Similar to other medical conditions, early detection and diagnosis of foot problems is important. When problems are diagnosed early, patients often have a broader range of treatment options available. If pain is compromising your daily activities or if you are plagued by gout, plantar warts, athlete’s foot, hammertoes, heel pain, bunions, ingrown toenails, neuromas, or other pain or swelling of the feet, consult a medical expert.
Painful feet should not have you back on your heels. Here at Pocatello Orthopaedics the goal of any treatment plan is to reduce pain, restore function and prevent further injury. We commonly recommend the most conservative treatment options to alleviate pain and suffering.