Risk Factors For Foot Pain By Chiropodist/ Foot Specialist

19 Jun
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The Foot Clinic at the Erin Mills Optimum Health, prevention is high on the list.

As the chiropodist at the foot clinic, it is important for me to explain to my patients, the need to explore to find and understand the underlying cause of their symptoms. Treatment is based on controlling the cause of the problem, rather than the symptoms.  This treatment approach may naturally resolve the symptoms and prevent other pathologies from developing.

So, to that point, it is important to consider risk factors which can give rise to foot and foot related problems. A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop foot pain with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing foot pain. If you have a number of risk factors, pop in and have me check you to reduce your chances of developing preventable conditions.

Risk factors for foot pain include the following:

Age

Nearly everyone who wears shoes has foot problems at some point in their lives. Those who are at a slightly greater risk, include children, women and men wearing dress shoes inadequately fitted for their feet. The group most vulnerable is the elderly.

Children Foot pain is fairly common in children. Heel pain is common in very active children between the ages of 8-13, when high-impact exercise can irritate growth centers of the heel. This is also a great age to start prevention intervention, or to control conditions that already exist. E.g., flat feet.

The Elderly These groups of people are at very high risk for foot problems. With age, feet becomes wider (forefoot flare) and flatten, and the fat padding on the sole of the foot wears down. Older people’s skin is also drier and thinner and may have less blood supply.  Foot pain can be the first sign of trouble in many illnesses related to aging, such as arthritis, gout, diabetes, and circulatory disease.

Gender

Women are at higher risk than men for severe foot pain, probably because of the style of footwear, and possibly because of wearing shoes that may be too narrow and too shallow with an elevated heel.

Older Women —Severe foot pain appears to be a major cause of general disability in older women. In one study, 14% of older disabled women reported chronic, severe foot pain, which played a major role in requiring assistance for walking and doing daily activities.

Pregnant Women —Pregnant women have special foot problems from weight gain, swelling in their feet and ankles, and the release of certain hormones during pregnancy that cause ligaments to relax. These hormones help with childbearing, but can weaken the soft tissue structure of the feet.

Occupational Risk Factors

An estimated 120,000 job-related foot injuries occur every year, and about one-third of them involve the toes. A number of foot problems have been attributed to repetitive use at work. These include:

  • Arthritis of the foot and ankle
  • Toe deformities
  • Pinched nerves between the toes
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Adult acquired flat foot
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome

Sports

People who engage in regular high-impact aerobic exercise are at risk for planter fasciitis, heel spurs, sesamoiditis, shin splints, Achilles tendinopathy, and stress fractures.

Medical Conditions

Certain conditions increase the risk of having foot pain, these include:

Diabetes People with diabetes are at particular risk for severe foot infections, due to impaired circulation, nerve function, reduced sensation and bony and skin changes and therefore must take special precautions.

Excess Weight Anyone who is overweight puts increased stress on his or her feet and is at risk for foot or ankle injuries, as well as knee and back problems.

Other Medical Conditions Many other medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, arthritis, gout, spastic and collagen diseases can predispose people to foot problems, as do some other inherited abnormalities.

Smoking A 2000 study reported that smokers are at higher risk for blisters, bruises, sprains, and fractures, most likely because they tend to be less fit than nonsmokers. Smokers may also heal less quickly, which affects some foot surgeries.

 

The message is clear. Execute preventative screening of your foot today. Don’t wait until it breaks. Let’s prevent it before it breaks. A detailed visit to the Foot clinic of Erin Mills Optimum Health is a good place to start, where an educational exam and consultation will be the best “Step” forward to better health.

By Kiran Dave D.Ch. Chiropodist / Foot Specialist in Mississauga at Erin Mills Optimum Health

Chiropodist Foot Care Specialist

 

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