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Oh! My Aching Foot! Plantar Fasciitis - Plantar Heel Pain - Supinated Foot (High Arch Version)

Plantar fasciitis, plantar heel pain, supinated foot/ankle ….. what does it all mean? Usually it means pain on the bottom of your heel extending across the arch of your foot that hurts so bad when you first step out of bed in the morning that you can’t hardly walk. This heel and arch pain gets worse with prolonged standing, (especially on concrete) wearing stiff shoes or boots, walking, hiking, impact sports and of course running.

The supinated foot/ankle is more commonly known as the high arched foot. The high arched foot is a more stable, less flexible structure than the flat foot making it vulnerable to developing stiffness and even rigidity with aging, mileage and impact activities.

Our foot/ankle complex is the great torque and impact converter of our bodies. It’s the only joint mechanism that can move in all three planes of motion simultaneously. This torque converting capacity takes ground and body weight impact forces and attenuates or dissipates the shock through your foot/ankle, so that it doesn’t focus the stress locally or move it upstream.

As your high arched foot hits the ground you strike on the outside of your heel. Instead of rolling inward to absorb shock your foot/ankle/heel rolls outwards creating increased impact stresses and progressive stiffness. This stiffness and lack of shock absorption lead to more direct loading of your heel and foot which becomes sore and inflamed causing plantar fasciitis and plantar heel pain.

Growing up with high arched feet I’ll bet you loved going barefoot, wearing flipflop and sandals and when you had to wear shoes the worn out ones were the best. The high arched supinated foot is strong and stable so it naturally doesn’t like the restriction of a stiff shoe or boot.

Alas, you can’t go barefoot all the time especially with prolonged standing at work, running, hiking and playing impact sports. So what type of shoes are best for the high arched foot? The answer is, flexible shoes.

A foot/ankle that tends to be stiff likes a shoe that is not. For your work, daily walkers or running shoes look for neutral or flexible type styles.

No matter how comfy those worn out shoes might feel, they are not doing your feet any favors. I’m sure you’ve noticed that you wear out the outside of your heels on your shoes. This wear shifts your weight even more to the outside of your foot compounding the problem. Replace your work shoes and daily walkers at least once a year.

Custom foot/ankle orthotics are helpful in most cases especially if you stand on concrete all day, distance walk, hike or jog. The orthotic is molded to your foot with your ankle in a neutral position and is posted to shift your weight off the outside of your heel and foot to a more central position. This allows for greater shock absorption and less heel and foot pain.

If the arch of your foot never touches the ground while standing barefoot, you have pain on the bottom of your heel extending down the arch, you hate to wear stiff shoes and all of your shoes show wear on the outside of the heels try these exercises and activities.

1. Calf/achilles stretches

2. Gravity drop

3. Foot flutters (emphasis on internal rotation)

4. Point flexes/ankle circles

5. Dynamic dorsiflexion stretches

6. Proprioceptive/balance training

7. Taping

8. Use of flexible shoes/custom orthotics

9. Icing

All of these recommended exercises and activities should be easy and pain free. If any exercise is painful please discontinue. As always with any new exercise or activity program consult with your physician or medical provider to get clearance that these activities are appropriate for your current health status.

Of course, there is nothing better you can do for your sore, aching feet than getting skilled hands on treatment like you’ll receive from the therapists at MCOPT. We will identify and treat painful pressure points in your foot, heel, ankle, achilles tendon and calf that are diagnostic sensors indicating the true source of your pain. Treating these diagnostic pressure points will shut off the pain and restore your ability to weight bear and heal. Addressing the source of your problem rather than chasing your pain will result in long lasting positive outcomes. Skilled hands on treatment in combination with your specific home exercise program and the right shoes will get you back on your feet for many happy and healthy miles to come.

You can “Get Better and Stay Better”.


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