Article 1 of 2 - (Come back on Wednesday April 26th for part 2)
One of the most common human maladies is foot pain. It is so prevalent in our society that it has given rise to enormous technological growth in shoe and sneaker manufacturing. There are shoes for different activities, for different foot types and for different objectives. All fine and good. More specialized shoe gear has certainly been a partial answer to some of the pain syndromes we treat. However, it is woefully inadequate to assume that all foot pain is caused solely by the wrong fit or the wrong type of shoe.
It’s extremely important to understand that the foot is not an appendage that is autonomous. It is intimately connected to the body, not just in terms of its locomotion duties, but in all of the physiologic aspects of human homeostasis. Feet are complex structures. They house 25% of all of the bones in the human body. As small as they are, feet are called upon to support and propel the body, at times carrying 2 to 4 times body weight in pounds per square inch for literally thousands of steps daily. The level of metabolic activity needed to successfully carry out this demand is huge. As such, circulation (the delivery of oxygenated blood and nutrients) must be adequate to supply what is needed. Neurologic feedback to the brain is critical so that the foot can navigate terrain, fire intrinsic muscles and relay messages to the brain. The foot contains sensory fibers for stability, pain fibers for protecting injured cells, temperature fibers to protect bare feet from freezing and burning and motor fibers for locomotion and all aspects of foot function. The musculoskeletal configuration of the human foot is an architectural wonder. These small appendages are designed to support and propel a comparatively large body with very little surface area and very compact anatomy. And they do it for many decades.
Many people who suffer from foot pain will naturally think only of their foot and its relationship to their shoes or sneakers. Blaming shoes may be the default thinking, but there is a much larger pink elephant in the room. Since the foot requires adequate delivery of blood, it is intimately connected to the circulatory system. Its neurologic duties connect it to the nervous system. Its structure and function connect it to the musculo-skeletal system. Its metabolic demands connect it to the respiratory and endocrine systems. Clearly, the foot is part of the whole and is affected by the whole as much as the whole is affected by the foot.
Dealing with foot pain, especially chronic foot pain, requires a much deeper understanding of human physiology than meets the eye. Our current health care system looks at pain as the problem and addresses it with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs or pain relieving medications. In fact, pain is not the problem. Pain is a symptom of the underlying problem. Suppressing pain and inflammation with medications does nothing to address the cause of the pain. In fact, the very nature of medications adds toxic load to the body, thereby feeding mechanisms that may be the actual cause of the pain.
Walk strong…with orthotics,
a Special Thanks to our Guest Blogger
Dr. Robert A. Kornfeld, Founder
Chronic Foot Pain Center of New York3693
Doc Rick , DPM
#StartWithYourFeet | Holistic Podiatrist | Hollywood Florida