ARE YOUR FEET FEELING THE PRESSURE?
During everyday activities, your feet are subjected to large amounts of pressure that need to be transmitted to other parts of the body.¹ If the pressure of every step is not properly dispersed, then this could result in pain being felt in your feet and elsewhere in the lower body.²,ᴲ
Commuting, doing the weekly shop, talking the dog for a walk in the park, your feet take you wherever you want to go and in return they get a whole load of stress.
The chances are, you’ll have experienced foot or lower body discomfort yourself in the past. That’s because nearly 80% of us suffer some form of pain in the metatarsal area during our lifetimes.⁴ Over 50% us struggle with sore feet after a full working day, and around half of those affected say that the discomfort has a negative impact on productivity at work.⁵
IS FOOT PAIN OR LOWER BODY PAIN SLOWING YOU DOWN?
Walking is one of the most natural things we do, yet pain in the feet, the legs or the lower back can make this simple task feel like an unwelcome challenge.
You may have tried treating the pain already, without much luck. That’s because you may not be targeting the source of the pain. Did you know that lower body pain can actually start from your feet? ⁶
Foot pain is something that many people often try to ignore, believing it is only to be expected now and then. But if foot pain is something that has been with you for a while, it could be causing problems in your ankles, knees, hip and even as high as your lower back. ⁶
HOW LOWER BODY PAIN DEVELOPS
Pain can occur when the movements of the foot and leg during the walking cycle generate forces that put additional stress on the tissues, bones or joints;⁷ a level of stress they were not designed to withstand. One of the major culprits of this is pronation.
Pronation is the foot's natural movement from side to side when a person walks or runs.² It occurs as the weight is transferred from the heel to the ball of the foot.² Pronation also occurs while standing, and in this case, it refers to the amount that the foot rolls inward toward the arch.²
Pronation usually around 15%⁸, occurs when weight is placed on the foot. For as many as 7 out of 10 of us, our feet roll over further than they were designed to do.⁷ This can lead to pain under the heel bone, pain at the back of the heel or knee joint pain.²,⁷
PROBLEMS CAUSED BY FOOT AND LOWER BACK PAIN
More than half the adults who suffer from sore feet find that the discomfort can occasionally limit their enjoyment of regular leisure activities and make it hard for them to stay active. Not surprisingly, foot and lower back pain is particularly likely to interfere with sport and fitness-related activities.⁵ It’s certainly no fun pounding away on the running machine in the gym when you’re experiencing pain with every step you take.
But it’s not just sport that can be compromised. Of those with foot pain, around two-thirds experience some level of disability in daily life.⁹ That might just be climbing the stairs or putting out the bins. Sound familiar?
The consequences of foot and lower back pain can also include depressive symptoms¹⁰, as well as poor balance and restricted mobility in older people.¹¹
ARE YOU SUFFERING IN SILENCE?
When it comes to foot pain, it seems as though we’re a nation of people prepared to just grin and bear it. Around 90%, of older individuals with foot problems put up with their pain for as long as 18 months without having any form of treatment or seeking medical advice.¹¹
Only 7% of adults with foot problems report having their walking gait analysed for biomechanical abnormalities.⁵
Even more surprising, perhaps, the use of supportive foot products for relieving pain still remains relatively low. Just 27% of sufferers buy over-the-counter shoe insoles; 7% use prescription shoe insoles; 14% wear ankle supports and only 8% are using custom orthotics.⁵
COULD YOU BENEFIT FROM ORTHOTICS?
Orthotics, which are also called foot orthotics or pain relief insoles, are devices that you slip into your shoes to restore the correct biomechanic balance to your legs. This, in turn, will help to realign your posture.¹²
There is a long list of possible symptoms to look for, if you think you might be one of those who’d benefit from an orthotics device: ¹²
- Do the soles of your shoes wear out unevenly?
- Do your feet point outward or inward, often referred to as being pigeon-toed, when you walk?
- Do you regularly suffer from undiagnosed heel pain, ankle pain, back of knee pain or lower back pain? ¹²
- Do you seem to sprain your ankle more than everyone else you know? ¹²
- Do you often have unexplained pain in your shins? ¹²
- Are your toes crooked? ¹²
- Do your feet start to hurt after you’ve been standing up for just a few minutes? ¹²
Scholl produce a range of highly effective orthotic products that can treat the symptoms and provide relief for your feet and lower back pain. These medical devices will decrease the amount of pronation as you walk and help you stay active and free from pain.¹ Click here to find out more about Scholl InBalance Pain Relief Insoles and how to find the right one for you.
¹ – RB data on file. Scholl foot science. Biomechanics. 2018.
² – Medical News Today What is overpronation? 2017 Available at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320383.php (accessed November 2018).
ᴲ – Cotoros D, et al, Int J mech Mechatron Eng 2011;5:2413-16.
⁴ – Arie EK, et al. Rev Bras Ortop 2015;50438-44.
⁵ –Institute for Preventative Foot Health. National Foot Health Assessment, 2012. Available at: https://www.ipfh.org/resources/surveys/national-foot-health-assessment-2012 (accessed November 2018).
⁶ – ACFAS Foot Health Facts. Available at https://www.foothealthfacts.org/article/that-pain-in-your-back-could-be-linked-to-your-feet (Sourced April 2019).
⁷ – RB data on file: School Foot Science Biomechanics 2018.
⁸ https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-pronation-definition-causes-treatment.html. (Sourced April 2019)
⁹ - Thomas MJ, et al, Pain 2011;152:2870-80.
¹⁰ – Awale A, et al, Arthritis Care Res 2016;68:871-6.
¹¹ – Menz HB, et al, Gerontology 2016;62:289-95.
¹² - https://www.nuffieldhealth.com/treatments/orthotics. (Sourced April 2019)
All images are taken from the Scholl InBalance Insoles Training deck