Foot pain is a common complaint in my practice. Many people feel expensive surgeries, drugs, appliances, or just living with the pain are their only options. For most of my patients, chronic pain presents itself when their bodies are no longer able to recover between activities.
When you are performing an activity, like skiing, biking, or running, your body needs time to recover. Say you have mild foot pain and numbness while you hike. Usually when you are done, the pain and numbness go away within a couple of hours. If you continue to hike without proper recovery care, the pain and numbness may eventually become chronic pain. If you do nothing, the pain may last for days, months, or even years.
With age, all of our body’s natural processes slow down. It takes longer to heal injuries. As you get older, injuries with insufficient rest time and care will add up and become chronic. Most of us do not decrease the intensity of our activities or increase our rest time. One day you realize you have a serious and painful issue.
Acupuncture can help your body heal naturally and reduce recovery time. Acupuncture works by tapping into the body’s nervous, vascular, and cellular systems. When these vital systems are in harmony, the body can function properly and heal. Acupuncture is a proven side-effect-free therapy that not only helps you recover from injury, but can heal chronic pain.
For chronic foot pain, a couple of treatments may be necessary before you notice a change. During each acupuncture treatment, years of accumulated injury will slowly break down. For most patients, getting regular acupuncture treatments aid healing until their symptoms disappear. Once gone, maintenance treatments contribute to health and prevent new injuries.
During periods of heavy activity, you may need frequent maintenance treatments, otherwise a few a year may be enough. We will work with you to determine what is right for you. When not receiving treatments, it is important to take care of your feet.
Shoes can cause poor foot alignment. Those that squeeze your toes together reduce blood flow and decrease the spaces between your joints. This can lead to bone spurs, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, and arthritis. Choose shoes with a wide toe box and arch support. Simply changing your shoes or adding a quality orthotic can reduce your foot pain and prevent chronic conditions.
In addition to acupuncture, here are some ways to keep your feet healthy and happy:
- Sit in a chair. Bring your right ankle over your left knee. Press both thumbs into the center of your sole close to your heel. Apply pressure as you move toward your toes. Repeat five to ten times then switch feet. The gentle massage over your feet will reduce muscle and tendon tightness.
- Sit in a chair. Bring your right ankle over your left knee. Interlace your left fingers between your right toes. Hold for 30 seconds. If you can’t get four fingers between your toes, do two at a time. Make sure you stretch the spaces between your toes evenly. This opens the spaces between your toes and increases circulation.
- Sit in a chair. Take a hand towel and lay it underneath your feet. Grab the towel with your toes and scrunch it under your feet, moving the towel toward you (picture 3a and 3b). This will strengthen your feet and increase blood flow to your arches.
- Stand on a bottom stair holding onto a handrail for balance. Let the bottom of your heels hang over the edge. Flex your right toes and tighten the muscles in both legs. Bring your weight into your right foot. Let your left knee bend and keep your left foot on the step. Hold for 30 seconds then switch (picture 4a and 4b). Maintain good posture and tighten your core during this stretch. This stretches your calf muscles, the tendons that attach to your heel, and the muscles in the bottom of your feet. This stretch is easier with athletic shoes on.
- Sit in a chair and roll your foot over a golf ball. Make sure to roll it around the entire base of your foot. There are many great products available for rolling your feet.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology and a Master’s of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. I offer a safe option for your healthcare that is free of side effects. I have found treating patients to be incredibly rewarding. Non-invasive options should be everyone’s first route of care. I enjoy challenging cases. Give me a chance to help you. Consultations are always complimentary!