Pronation Explains Some Back Pain In Women, Study Finds

A recent news story may explain why some women have back pain: Pronation when walking is strongly associated with lower back pain in women.

If you’re a woman and you have constant or occasional pain in your lower back, you need to read this post. It may explain why you hurt and what you can do about it.

Pronation is the turning of the foot while walking so that the inner edge of the soles bear the pressure of walking. This what some people mean by “running over” the inside edges of their shoes. Pronation to a slight degree is completely normal, but excessive pronation can be corrected or partially corrected with proper shoe insoles.

What The Study Found

A study involving 2,000 showed a strong association between pronation and back pain in women only. Writing in the medical journal Rheumatology, the international author team said that the mechanics of the way the bones, joints and other associated structures in the lower extremities work together while walking are apparently the reason for the pain.

Put technically, the study authors explained that the foot pronates in the early phase of the gait cycle while the calcaneus everts — that is, while the heel bone turns outward. At the same time, the talus adducts — that is, the ankle joint turns inward and the plantar flexes.

It all sounds painful, doesn’t it?

This causes the internal rotation of the tibia leg bone, causing the femur in top of the leg to rotate too. And that connects to the pelvis. The study authors hypothesize that stress on the lower back and pelvis from all this rotating causes pain in women with excessive foot pronation.

And the problem seems to demonstrate itself clearly only in women for unknown reasons. It could, however, be because there are known gender differences in the alignment and function of the lower limbs and spinal joints, partly because female hips are designed for childbirth.

The researchers go on to note that orthotics and other devices that alter excessive pronation may play an important role in the treatment of lower back pain.

Not News To Us

While these details are interesting to us at FootCareDepot.com, none of this is exactly news for us. We’ve been hearing from women and men alike for years that the right shoe insoles improve their foot and heel pain, ankle and knee pain — and yes, even their back pain.

We’ve also always been aware that women’s hips and legs are different than men’s, and that’s why many of the shoe insole brands we offer have special insert types made just for the unique needs of women and women’s unique shoe styles.

So what are you waiting for? If your back hurts, take a look at our selection of shoe insoles. Soon, your back pain could be a thing of the past. And wouldn’t that be a great gift in your life

You don’t have to understand the science behind it if it works for you.

Overuse Syndromes Differ From Sport To Sport, But All Somehow Involve Your Feet

Every kind of sport has overuse syndromes attached to it that explain the various aches and pains the participants in that sport have in their feet, legs, back and other overused joints. But you can’t examine each joint, muscle or tendon in isolation. You have to see the body as a whole system and understand the biomechanics at work.

And no matter the pain or problem, the feet are involved somehow. Aren’t they always? Many kinds of health problems are associated with feet problems.

Need to talk through this just a bit to reach a clear understanding? No problem. We’ll explain how symptoms of feet with biomechanical weaknesses can show up in your ankles, back and elsewhere.

Foot Problems Are Body Problems

Problems with foot health are actually problems with your overall health in one way or another. A problem with the foot, for example, can lead to pain that displays itself in the forefoot or heel — or in the lower back, shoulders and neck.

Fully understanding foot health means understanding your body from you back all the way down through your legs and the feet themselves. Everything, as you probably already understand, is interconnected, after all.

Sports each have overuse syndromes related to them. Distance runners often have problems with the knee, heel and Achilles tendon and may experience shin splints, for example. Sprinters are more likely to feel pain in the balls of their feet — and they may get bunions or muscle tightness in the buttocks. Basketball players seem to have a high occurrence rate of hammer toes.

All athletes, however, have fewer symptoms of overuse syndromes when they use shoe insoles and otherwise take care of their foot health. That means one part of the system is being looked after.

Whether you’re an athlete or not, perhaps you can learn a lesson from this information and protect your feet from the daily strains you place on them — and shoe insoles are a great way to start.

It’s All One System

Explaining why athletes experience one kind of problem and not another is difficult, and treating any symptom without treating the whole back, leg and foot system just doesn’t seem to work. That’s why shoe insoles are part of a complete system of steps that help some athletes and regular people alike.

You see, foot pain may be caused by foot problems, may be caused by overuse and may be caused by problems elsewhere in the body. By the same token, pain in the leg or shoulders could be related to foot issues, so using shoe insoles may be part of the solution.

If this is all getting a bit convoluted and confusing for you, it need not be. In fact, it’s all very simple: Take care of your feet because your feet support a whole system of muscles, tendons and bones that support the activities you enjoy most.

And take care of all the other parts of your system too. When you do, you’ll feel great. But when any part of your system breaks down, it’s all in jeopardy of failure, leaving you out of the game.

If Icy Feet Sound Great To You…

If you don’t like it when your feet are cold, this post may not be for you. But if the idea of something cool and soothing sounds like just what you need to ease away your foot and heel pain, keep reading. We have just the thing.

And even if you aren’t so quite that something cool on your foot would help you, keep reading too. We just might be able to convince you that the Icy Feet cold pack is something you need to try. It’s a really smart idea — and it may leave you wondering why someone didn’t think of this before.

Getting To Know The Icy Feet Cold Pack

Plantar fasciitis and associated heel spurs as well as many other conditions can cause pain and inflammation of the feet. You can get pain in your arches, in tendons, following workouts and from standing, walking or playing sports too long.

Research has proven that ice is better for some new injuries and recurring injuries than heat — and that alternating heat and ice therapy can be effective for some foot pain patients. But applying ice to just the right place on the bottom of your foot can be nearly impossible without just sitting there and holding the ice pack.

Now, there’s a better way.

Icy Feet is a simple, no-nonsense product — a specially shaped ice pack that straps on for comfort and ease of use. Ask your podiatrist or a local running store. You’ll see this products is what many experts in your neighborhood recommend when you need ice treatment on the bottom of your foot.

Is It For You?

Whether you’re an athlete or simply a hard-working teacher, waiter or nurse, Icy Feet could be for you. In fact, it’s for anyone who benefits from ice treatment to the bottom of the foot and needs a smarter, easier way to make it happen.

Essentially, it’s an insole-shaped ice pack with a heel cup and an elevated arch that fits right onto your foot, giving direct contact in the places you’re most likely to need it the most. Just remember that most doctors recommend ice treatment to the foot for no more than 20 minutes, and use by diabetics isn’t recommended because of the risk of frostbite. Also, keep in mind that cold temperatures can cause other illnesses and injuries, so use with care.

But if an ice pack on your painful foot sounds like just the thing, try Icy Feet. It’s a smart decision that could help you find the pain relief you need. And it’s available now from FootCareDepot.com, your source for shoe insoles and more — everything you need to put aside foot pain and get on with your life. Click here for more information on Icy Feet.

A Heel Spur Is The Result Of Inflammation, Not The Cause Of It

There’s a bit of a misconception about heel spurs, and it’s time we clear things up a bit. Are you ready for some information you may not know about the relationship between heel spurs, plantar fasciitis and heel pain that could change the way you approach dealing with the pain in your foot?

The headline is this: a heel spur (LINK) happens because of inflammation; it doesn’t cause inflammation. And not all heel spurs cause pain. Let’s explore this idea further and see what it means for people trying to decide how to treat minor heel pain.

Understanding Heel Spurs

If you have pain in the bottom of your foot, it’s very likely caused by plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick tissue band that goes along the bottom of your foot, supporting your arch. The suffix “-itis” simply means inflammation, so plantar fasciitis is the irritation and inflammation of your plantar fascia.

Once you start having symptoms, you may have them frequently or only occasionally. But the foot and heel pain will probably return even if it goes away if you don’t take some kind of action. Statistics show that more than 2 million people seek treatment for PF heel pain each year in the United States alone.

But a heel spur isn’t a separate condition that also causes heel pain as many people believe. This condition develops because of chronic inflammation at the site in your foot where the plantar fascia goes through the heel bone. You see, it’s the result of the inflammation, not the cause.

If you have a heel spur, you’re in good company. About 10 percent of people have this condition. But here’s another interesting fact: only a small fraction of the people with heel spurs have any pain from them. So you can endure life with a heel spur for years and never even know it.

So What’s The Lesson?

Limiting inflammation of the plantar fascia throughout your life can reduce the chance that you’ll get a heel spur. And even if you do get this potentially painful condition, you may never actually have any discomfort because of it. Still, it makes sense to take action to limit inflammation and limit your chance of developing the condition.

Conservative treatment is often all that’s required for heel pain relief. That can include moderating activity when you have a flare up, taking anti-inflammatory medicine and using shoe insoles and other kinds of orthotics. In some cases, cortisone injections by your doctor and physical therapy may be necessary. Stretching exercises often relieve pain and when done regularly can prevent recurrences.

While surgery can be effective in relieving pain from plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, it probably shouldn’t even be considered unless all conservative treatment ideas have failed. Ask your doctor for more details on heel spur pain.

So with a better understanding of how heel spurs develop, isn’t it a smart idea to nip your heel pain in the bud to prevent further problems down the line? That makes sense to us.

5 Important Ways You’re Putting Your Foot Health At Risk

If your feet hurt, it could be your own fault.

Perhaps we don’t like to hear things like that, but it’s sometimes true. While some foot problems are inherited conditions, some develop because of conditions that are beyond our control and some can’t really be explained at all, many kinds of foot and heel pain are the result of our own actions.

Are you doing things that are putting your foot health in danger? It’s possible, and you can choose to make better decisions instead.

Here are five things that we know for sure are bad for your feet:

1. Wearing flip-flops, ballet shoes or anything without much support underneath. While they may feel comfortable enough at the time, the structures in your feet are used to being supported. The flat, soft footbeds in shoes like these cause your feet to roll toward the inside — moving beyond their usual range of montion. And that causes foot and heel pain.

2. Walking around without shoes on hard surfaces. While some make the case that feet were intended to be barefoot, we weren’t intended to walk on hard concrete floors all day either. Going barefoot on sand may be just fine, but when you do it on hard floors, you’re putting unnatural and unnecessary stress on the structures in your feet.

3. Letting your calf muscles get too tight. Many kinds of foot and heel pain are caused by or made worse by tight calf muscles. Stand on a step and allow the back of your foot to sink below the front of your foot to give your calves a bit of stretch. You can also explore more formal calf exercises with your doctor. You may be surprised how much difference exercising one part of your body can make for another.

4. Increasing your activity level without giving your body time to adjust. Start any new kind of fitness routine slowly and build up to your desired level of activity. And be sure you wear good shoes with good shoe insoles when you work out, do sports or even just stand or walk for a long time. Your feet will thank you with less foot and heel pain.

5. Letting your weight get out of control. Your feet aren’t designed to carry an unlimited amount of weight, so try to get moving with low-impact activities and take off some of those unwanted pounds. Water aerobics and swimming are great, and so is doing a bit of yoga and working out with a rowing machine. There are many things you can do to help your body by taking off some pounds.

Sure, there are other things that are bad for foot health too — but we know for sure the five things explained above can lead to foot and heel pain, and you can take action to keep from damaging your feet by avoiding these top offenders.

You can’t prevent all foot problems, but you need to do everything you can to prevent those that are within your control.

Nagging Heel Pain In Kids Could Be A Stress Facture, Experts Warn

While you and your children can see dramatic improvement in most kinds of heel pain from well-fitting shoe insoles and other orthotics, heel pain in children and teens that’s brought on by athletic activities could be caused by a stress fracture. And it can’t heal without rest and treatment.

It’s important that you don’t let your child keep playing through pain without a professional assessment. Foot and ankle pain is common in those who stand, walk or run a lot, but it’s never normal. And immature feet sometimes just aren’t ready for the daily stresses of an activity like football or soccer.

Moving side to side on cleats, which often don’t have much padding inside, can be especially painful for some student athletes. In many cases, specially made shoe insoles designed to combat heel pain in athletic shoes is all that’s necessary to ease the pain and allow it go away completely.

But a stress fracture is a more serious matter and could also be the cause of the pain. While such a break may or may not require a cast or crutches, rest is always prescribed. And athletic activities must certainly be avoided during healing. It’s also essential to seek medical treatment for a stress fracture to make sure the injury heals properly. Otherwise, your son or daughter could be in for a lifetime of foot pain.

Keep Watching For Problems

Unfortunately, a stress fracture is a tiny, thin break in a bone and may not show up on x-rays, so even a conscientious parent who is trying to do the right thing may not discover the abnormality at first. But if a player cannot live up to his or her usual level of competition, complains of persistent pain or starts shunning away from giving 100 percent when they have no history of laziness, there’s definitely a problem of some kind.

While the issue could be plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis — both painful conditions that can severely impact performance — it could also be a fracture.

Soccer and football are very popular sports, and both create conditions that can lead to stress fractures. If breaks aren’t detected and treated, traumatic arthritis and other conditions can develop in adulthood that could have been avoided.

Don’t Be Overprotective

While it can be tempting to be overprotective of a child, there’s no reason to severely restrict the activities of a child who is experiencing only mild heel pain. After a trip to the doctor, some analgesic tablets, shoe insoles and other simple treatments may be all that’s required.

But if your child has heel pain that doesn’t get better with treatment, ask your doctor to look again. The problem could be a stress fracture — and that’s something you simply can’t afford to ignore.

When you treat foot problems in children, you can help them avoid a lifetime of unpleasantness. And that’s worth doing. As you may know yourself, foot pain is something that demands to be taken seriously.

Start Your Plantar Fasciitis Treatment With Home Remedies That Really Work

Is plantar fasciitis starting to be a problem for you? Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be a lifelong issue that causes you pain every day — but it might be if you don’t take immediate action to lessen the pain, lessen the tissue damage and solve the underlying problems that are causing you to feel foot and heel pain.

So what can you do yourself to deal with plantar fasciitis?

PF Heel Pain Home Remedies

When you see your doctor to check that you don’t have any other foot health issues, he or she will likely recommend some common home remedies like these:

First, rest those tired feet. Figure out what activities are causing you the most heel pain — and stop doing them. That’s not always possible, of course, but you certainly don’t want to be on your feet while you heal except when absolutely necessary.

Second, try putting ice on your heel. Ice reduces inflammation — especially new inflammation. You might try alternating soaks in hot and cold water to reduce your pain. But you may find that using heat alone actually makes your pain and inflammation worse. Try heat alone only if ice proves unhelpful.

Third, go ahead and take a pain reliever. Many people try to avoid taking ibuprofen or naproxen, but these things are made to reduce inflammation and pain, so they might be just what you need to keep your symptoms in check while your PF pain heals.

Fourth, try some stretches and other exercises. Increasing your flexibility can help ease your symptoms — as long as your doctor says it’s okay. Strengthening your ankle and foot can be part of overcoming your foot pain issues too.

Some Other Heel Pain Tips

It’s also important to improve your shoes. The padding in shoes wears out quicker than the other parts — if there’s any there to start with. So replace shoes more frequently than you think your should. Also, consider adding shoe insoles designed with cushioning your sore heel in mind.

In addition, try night splints. These devices made especially for nighttime use provide some gentle stretching that will help keep your plantar fasciia and Achilles tendon from tightening during the night — and that means your first step of the morning won’t be excruciating anymore.

You’ll get best results if you start treatment when you first notice the symptoms. You won’t necessarily get immediate relief with home treatments, but that’s no reason to give up. Be patient and persistent if you want to see the best results.

Remember that healing from plantar fasciitis can take months — even a year. But if you keep trying your home remedies, support your efforts with good foot care products and resist the temptation to worry that the problem will never go away or get depressed about this treatable issue, you can see positive results.

You can complete recover from heel pain and never experience it again. And isn’t that a goal worth patiently working toward?

Why Free Shipping? It’s What Foot Care Product Customers Deserve

Free shipping is a smart idea for companies that want to reach consumers — and it makes sense for value-minded customers who want the most for their money too.

At FootCareDepot.com, we offer you free shipping, and we do it for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most important is that it’s what you deserve. It’s the least we can do for you since our business could not succeed without your support.

But there are many other intelligent reasons why we offer free shipping, and we’ll tell you about a few of them.

Our Shipping Policy

First, however, let’s explain our shipping policy. It’s really simple, actually.

We ship everything the next business day from our warehouse in Florida. If you order on a Monday just before midnight Eastern time, we ship on Tuesday. If you order early Wednesday morning, we ship Thursday. If you order Christmas day, we ship the day after Christmas.

Orders are sent via USPS First Class Mail, and the expected delivery time is 5 to 8 days. You can choose to upgrade to Priority Mail and a slightly shorter delivery time for an additional charge. But that’s up to you.

Why We Offer Free Shipping

Here are a few of the reasons we offer you free shipping:

First, it encourages you, we hope. You don’t have to guess how much your order will cost you once shipping charges are added. We hope that’s just the nudge you need to make your first purchase from us. Once you’ve ordered shoe insoles or other foot care products from us, you won’t need encouragement anymore. Our high-quality products and our high-level of customer service speak for themselves.

Second, there are no mistakes. Companies that charge you to ship products to your home often have mistakes in their online order forms that require you to contact them if you want to get the right rate. And that’s a lot of hassle. With free shipping, there’s no problem, no confusion and nothing to worry about.

Third, it keeps us from being at a disadvantage. You see, we know we have great products and superior service, but some people — perhaps you’re one of them — simply won’t pay shipping charges. And some of our competitors offer free shipping. By eliminating shipping charges, we eliminate their competitive edge and allow you the freedom to experience our superior service without paying more.

Think about it: we’re giving you service that goes above and beyond what’s expected along with products that our own testing and research has determined to be among the best. If you were as certain of your business as we are of ours, you’d do everything possible to make your products accessible too.

So why not place your first order with us now? You’ll get free shipping — and you’ll have your foot care products in just a few days.

Then, your journey toward a better life begins. Once you see how much difference shoe insoles and specialty items like night splints and bunions regulators make in your life, you’ll be a committed customer for life.

Tissue Density Restoration Massage Offers Another Approach To PF Heel Pain Relief

Some massage therapists and physical therapists are trying a relatively new approach to PF heel pain. They’re doing something called tissue density restoration — or TDR. The idea is that massage can return your foot tissue to a more normal state, and that can mean less pain for you.

Skeptical? Not sure how it could possibly work? Here’s some more information — and some good advice.

What is TDR Massage?

Used for a variety of pain issues besides just plantar fasciitis, tissue density restoration massage is based on the idea that there is an elevation in tissue density associated with muscle and joint pain — and that massage can restore this tissue to normal density and allow you freedom from your pain and greater function.

To perform TDR massage on you, a therapist will usually use standard massage tools like warm towels, massage cream and perhaps a heating pad. A treatment could take as long as 45 minutes and will likely begin with a massage of the whole foot, then the treatment will focus in on the specific tissues in the bottom of your foot where you experience heel pain. You’ll probably be told to speak up if your pain level gets too high during treatment.

The therapist will be able to feel abnormal tissue inside your feet and will focus on these most painful spots. You may even notice the therapist using a tool — perhaps a simple pink block eraser — to apply significant pressure to the worst areas. The tissue around a heel spur can even be manipulated in this way to ease pain.

The practitioner may make a diagram of the painful areas in your foot and work on those most in future sessions. You may be told that six to eight treatments are necessary to clear up your PF pain.

But does this work? In a word, yes. Or at least it can for some people. There are no guarantees, however. Also, some feet are too sensitive or too painful to endure the treatment. So what options are left in that case?

Tried-And-True PF Heel Pain Relief

Shoe insoles and heel seats are tried-and-true treatments for plantar fasciitis pain. And FootCareDepot.com sells a complete range of insoles designed to cushion your feet, massage away PF pain while you walk and keep your problem from getting worse as you sleep. To learn more about what’s available, explore the site.

Tackling heel pain requires a multifaceted approach in many cases. If your budget and your pain tolerance allows you to try out TDR massage, you may find it beneficial. If you want to take a different or an additional approach, however, why not try some cushioned shoe insoles? They’re all that many people need — and they’re part of a complete treatment program for everyone.

Plus, you can order shoe insoles, night splints and other foot care products now — without scheduling an appointments, getting anyone’s permission or delving deeply into your saving account. Doesn’t it make sense to order some things today that can help you feel better and get back into life?

Understanding Hammer Toes Can Help You Keep Them In Line

The term hammer toes sounds almost like an insult, but it’s really just a way of describing toes that don’t stay in a straight line as they should. If you have toes that sinks below the others, curl in or look like they can’t follow directions very well, you probably have hammer toes. And there may be some things you can do to reduce the problem or keep it from getting progressively worse.

Hammer toes are often the result of or a companion to a bunion and involve tightening of muscles. There are, however, some things you can do to help this problem.

Let’s take a closer look at this foot health issue and see what we can learn that might benefit you.

Understanding Hammer Toes

Hammer toes are generally the result of a muscle imbalance in the front of your foot that cause your toes to point downward or curl under. If your toes bunch together or don’t stick out straight as you think they should, you probably have this condition.

Other symptoms include hardened skin or corns on the top of toe joints, calluses on the bottom of downward-pointing toes and pain or fatigue in the front of the foot that can’t be associated with any other cause.

A condition called mallet toes is similar but technically impacts different joints. There is a related condition called claw toe that also results from muscle and joint issues with the second, third or fourth toes.

The Link To Bad Shoes

Many experts link hammer toes to wearing poorly fitted shoes over a long period of time. Shoes that forcibly bend toes under — including very high heels and shoes that are shorter or narrower than necessary — are the primary culprit. Over months or years of wearing shoes that don’t fit right, toe muscles can shorten, leading to hammer toes.

Hammer toes aren’t caused exclusively by bad shoes, however. They can result from nerve, joint or muscle issues related to arthritis, stroke, diabetes and other underlying health issues.

Since the same issues that cause hammer toes can cause bunions, this condition is often seen in conjunction with a bunion on one or both feet.

Treating Hammer Toes

There’s little you can do to treat severe hammer toes, but mild causes can be helped with spacers that hold toes apart and in natural positions. You can also use a bunion day splint to help hold the big toe in a more natural position, giving the other toes room to rest normally as well.

This kind of bunion treatment reduces pressure on the big toe joint, gently stretches muscles and tendons and can help slow the progression of the bunion deformity. As a bunion gets worse and the big toe turns more inwards, problems with the other four toes are sure to worsen. That’s why treating a bunion is an important part of total foot health — and an important part of treating hammer toes for many people.

Perhaps the best advice related to hammer toes is to prevent the problem by wearing good shoes. If you already have this condition, take action to keep it from getting worse by using a bunion treatment, toe spacers and always wearing roomy, comfortable shoes with cushiony, supportive shoe insoles.