Many of you reading this are going to experience a foot problem at some point in your lifetime. Some of you are even going to develop a chronic condition that will introduce your body to a new level of suffering. Ever heard the old saying – “when your feet hurt, you hurt all over”?
The tendency for most of you will be to try to figure out what is wrong, and find a way to alleviate your discomfort. You may self-treat with over the counter products such as insoles, anti-inflammatory or pain medicine. Some of you will seek professional advice from your primary doctor or a specialist. A lot of you will look for answers online, to determine a diagnosis.
After doing this you may think that you’re going to get to the solution you’re after, but in actuality there’s something that should be looked at long before pursuing any of the steps mentioned above. From the 22 years I’ve been taking care of people’s feet, I can tell you that there is a key piece of information many never find. It’s honestly something few know about, but it’s much more likely to be causing your foot troubles.
The fit of your shoes
Yes, the commonly accepted shape of shoes and the method of assigning your feet a number and letter, based upon measurements with the Brannock device, are the most likely reasons for your foot pain. Why? Having your feet measured in this way ignores the natural shape of your feet, and guarantees that you will change this natural shape and inhibit proper function. For many of you this started in infancy, but because of the amazing compensatory abilities of your feet you are likely able to function fairly well in unnatural alignment. For a while, that is.
Studies show that about 75% of people in the United States have foot pain at some point in their lives. When that day comes for you to experience your own personal suffering; instead of resorting to the means mentioned above, perform a free and simple in home test to show yourself the most likely reason for your pain.
We perform this test on every patient that comes in to our clinic, and the majority of their feet spread beyond the sock liner. This ensures that their feet are going to be misaligned, because the upper part of the shoe is the same shape as the sock liner.
This goes for you men as well. Even in athletic shoes.
So when your feet begin to hurt – resist the temptation to self-medicate, seek professional advice or try to figure out your diagnosis, until you have checked the fit of your shoes.
Be skeptical of any advice or treatment of your foot pain that does not include aligning your feet naturally. Your feet are designed to be widest at the ends of the toes, so be wary of any professional who ascribes your foot pain to genetics, biomechanics or overuse, but fails to ensure that your feet are aligned as they are naturally designed to be. It is impossible to achieve lifelong foot health and ignore this basic anatomic fact.
Register for Dr. Ray’s upcoming free webinar, Fashion Footwear Does Not Belong In Medicine Or Fitness
Originally printed on the Correct Toes blog. Reprinted with permission.
Dr. Ray McClanahan’s practice, Northwest Foot & Ankle in Portland, Oregon, allows him to care for those who find their highest joy when in motion. In his 18 years as a podiatrist, he has learned that most foot problems can be corrected by restoring natural foot function. He is also the inventor of Correct Toes, silicone toe spacers. His professional goal is to provide quality natural foot health services with an emphasis on sports medicine, preventative and conservative options as well as education on proper footwear.
Dr. McClanahan is an active runner and athlete. In 1999, he finished 14th in the U.S. National Men’s Cross-Country Championships and had a near Olympic Trials qualifying 5,000 meter mark of 13:56 in 2000. He then qualified for the World Duathlon Championships in 2001.”