When your feet aren’t working correctly, you may experience injuries and pain in other areas of the body, such as the knees, hips and back. Even the slightest changes from the norm, such as leg length discrepancies or fallen arches, can have a huge impact on your entire body’s ability to function properly without pain or injury.
If you’re an athlete, many sports-related injuries develop from poor biomechanics of the foot. Athletes with poor foot mechanics are more prone to sustaining lower extremity injuries. As your body tries to compensate for any anomalies, your muscles, joints and tendons are placed under excessive stress.
It’s important that athletes visit their podiatrist for a thorough assessment of their biomechanics at the first sign of a problem or pain, including foot discomfort, poor balance or unexplained corns and calluses. An assessment of your low limbs will help identify what happens in your legs and feet when you walk, stand and run. A professional evaluation is critical for successful prevention and treatment of any injury or condition.
Many sports injuries can be traced back to biomechanical problems, including:
- Sprained ankles
- Back pain
- Hip pain
- Shin splints
- Calluses and corns
- Plantar fasciitis
Once our practice has identified the problem and cause of your pain, a tailor made treatment plan can be created to restore your lower extremities and feet to their normal function, thus improving your game. Treatment may involve one or more of the following:
- Exercises and therapy to stretch or strengthen muscles
- Orthotic devices are worn inside the shoe to control, realign or cushion the abnormalities, thus reducing discomfort
- Footwear modifications
Don’t let poor foot biomechanics compromise your game. Whether you are a full-time athlete or a weekend warrior, your podiatrist can help you return to your favorite sporting activity. Not only will your performance improve, but you’ll significantly reduce your chance of injuring yourself again. So do the right thing for your body and contact your podiatrist today!
Your feet are the foundation of your entire body—complex structures consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints and 126 muscles and ligaments. They support your weight, act as a shock absorber, serve as a lever to propel the leg forward and help maintain balance.
Since your entire body is interrelated, any mechanical issues with the feet can lead to chronic musculoskeletal problems in other parts of the body, including your back.
One common foot disorder affecting the back is excessive pronation. Also known as flat feet, this condition causes the foot’s arch to flatten and collapse under the body’s weight. While a normal arch promotes stability and alignment of the entire body, the ability to cushion and absorb forces is greatly reduced when the arch collapses. As a result, increased stress is placed on the joints of the body. This continued stress can cause deformities of the foot over time, such as misaligned bones, hammertoes and bunions, eventually making its way to the legs, knees and lower back.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, visit our practice for an evaluation. Your feet may be the source of your pain. If your back pain is caused by poor mechanics of the feet, orthotics may be an effective treatment option. These custom devices are designed to support and restore the arch of your foot. Restoring the alignment of your foot helps normalize posture and alignment of the lower body. This can reduce unnecessary stress to areas of your back.
Choose the Right Shoes!
The shoes you are wearing may also be contributing to your back pain. Good, proper fitting footwear will provide your feet with the support they need to stabilize your body’s weight and relieve the stress on the rest of your body.
If you suffer from back pain, visit your podiatrist for an evaluation. Your feet may be causing your pain. With proper treatment, you can achieve proper foot biomechanics and eliminate your back pain once and for all.
Though it often goes unnoticed and does not always cause discomfort at first, an untreated bunion can become a painful, even disfiguring condition over time. Luckily, this problem is treatable and, in some cases, preventable. Find out more about the signs and symptoms of a bunion and its treatment options with Dr. Gary Rogers at Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic in Wilmette, IL.
Do I have a bunion?
A bunion is a bony growth which occurs at the base of the big toe. A bunion usually begins painlessly with a hard lump on the inside of the foot. The tips of the toes may begin to point toward the outside of the foot. As the bunion grows larger, the toes grow further and further to the outside of the foot, eventually overlapping. The overlapping then causes corns and calluses where the toes touch and rub together. You may experience irritation or redness where the bunion rubs on the shoes or pain and discomfort when standing for extended periods of time due to the bunion’s location at the ball of the foot.
Can I prevent bunions?
Bunions are usually related to the type of foot you inherit and wearing too-narrow, high-heeled, or too-tight shoes. To prevent bunion growth, you should wear comfortable shoes which have enough room in the toe box for the toes to lie flat. Regular foot examinations with your podiatrist can help you to keep your bunion under control and understand the best ways to prevent its growth and, if necessary, treat your condition.
Bunion Treatments in Wilmette, IL
Some bunion treatments involve simply wearing more comfortable or practical shoes and trying to stay off your feet for extended periods of time. However, if a bunion begins causing consistent issues, you may require a surgery to remove the bunion and, in some cases, realign the toes to lie flat. This surgery, called a bunionectomy, is performed by your podiatrist. If you think you could benefit from a bunionectomy, you should consult with your doctor.
For more information on bunions, please contact Dr. Rogers at Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic in Wilmette, IL. Call (847) 256-4434 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Rogers today!
Following an ankle injury or ankle surgery, you’ll inevitably lose some strength and range of motion from being immobilized for an extended period of time. A weak ankle can hinder normal mobility, and even lead to another injury. So what can you do to strengthen your ankle and get back to your old self again?
Strengthening Your Ankle
Your ankle or leg may feel stiff, especially if your treatment required wearing a cast or a walking boot. Stiffness and instability are common symptoms following an ankle injury that will need to be addressed in order to get you back to your normal range of motion and activity level.
Your podiatrist may recommend post-injury physical therapy or home exercises that will help you strengthen weak muscles surrounding the ankle joint and restore mobility to lower your risk of reinjury. These include range of motion exercises for the injured ankle, which help loosen stiff ankles, and stretching exercises for the calf muscles, which help decrease your risk of hurting your ankle again. As with all exercises, progress slowly and discontinue if painful. Pain is most certainly not gain when it comes to physical therapy!
Choosing the Right Shoes
The shoes you wear will also play an important role in protecting your injured ankle and restoring your mobility. Supportive shoes will provide more comfort, better balance and help stabilize the weak ankle to prevent re-injury. Stay off high heels or flats and flip flops without support until your ankle is completely mended.
Proper care and rehabilitation following an ankle injury is critical to ensure your ankle fully heals. Always consult your podiatrist if ankle pain or stiffness persists or worsens and before starting any new exercise program.
Chronic ankle instability is a condition characterized by a recurring "giving way" of the outer side of the ankle. It most often develops following an ankle sprain. When the stretched or torn ligaments do not heal properly or completely, ankle instability is often the result.
If you have chronic ankle instability, you may find it difficult to walk on uneven surfaces. Other symptoms include a repeated turning of the ankle during physical activity, tenderness and persistent discomfort and swelling.
How Can I Treat My Ankle Instability?
Treatment for an unstable ankle will depend on the degree of instability. Bracing, medication and physical therapy are all conservative treatment options that may help strengthen your weakened ankle. Often patients with ankle instability can be treated without surgery by strengthening the muscles that control the ankle joint, avoiding or limiting high impact activities and using a supportive brace to decrease the risk of recurrent ankle sprains.
In severe cases, or when conservative treatments aren’t successful, your podiatrist may recommend surgery, which involves repair or reconstruction of the damaged ligaments.
If your ankle feels unstable or if you have had recurring ankle sprains, visit your podiatrist for an evaluation. Left untreated, chronic ankle instability leads to activity restrictions, tendon complications, arthritis and continued instability. Your podiatrist can provide a recommended treatment plan based on the severity of your instability, so that you can get back to the activities you enjoy!
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.