The foot is the distal part of the lower limb. It is connected to the leg by the ankle joint. Its main role is to support the body weight while standing and therefore allows locomotion. It also plays an essential role in balance, damping and propulsion.
The good health of the foot and ankle is therefore essential for walking and standing. Any pain that appears in this area becomes quickly disabling.
Foot pain can have many explanations. Indeed, the foot is a complex structure that consists of 26 bones, muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. This set is also vascularized by several blood vessels and traversed by many nerves.
Some foot pains combine several mechanisms such as plantar fasciitis that combines inflammation of the joints and ligaments.
The best attitude is to think of the foot as of the tire of a car. Indeed small defect or a simple asymmetry can affect the whole of the machine. In any case, every persistent joint or muscle pain should alert you and make you consult a doctor or podiatrist to maintain as much mobility as possible.
The purpose of this article is to expose some new and very effective techniques that are proposed by our lead podiatrist in London foot expert to treat foot pain, like plantar orthoses and shock wave therapy.
Long after been used to destroy kidney stones, shock waves began to be used in the early 90s in orthopedics for their ability to promote fracture healing and then treat different types of musculoskeletal lesions.
These shock waves are characterized by a very steep increase in pressure, followed by a rapid phase of negative pressure. Two types of shock waves exist; the first high energy is used for fragmentation of kidney stones. The second is used for the musculoskeletal system and is currently represented by “radial” shock waves, produced by very sophisticated machines like the smart 20 Shock-wave FRM EMS.
This technique stimulates the metabolism all around the pain area. The result is an acceleration of the healing process (by the formation of new blood vessels and destruction of damaged tissues) so that the person suffering from it regains all its physical capacity with a diminution of pain.
This treatment consists often of 3 to 6 sessions (one per week) and causes a transient discomfort that is easily tolerated in the majority of cases.
Shockwave therapy is very effective. According to the latest studies, the success rate is about 70% to 85% in chronic cases that did not respond to other treatment modalities. It also has a 90% percentage of success in Plantar Fasciitis treatment.
During treatment, the patient usually feels an immediate decrease in pain and an improvement in mobility without any side effect. This technique is minimally invasive and may allow a patient to avoid X-ray treatments or medication. Even better, this therapy is an effective way to avoid a more invasive surgical procedure.
Plantar (foot) orthoses
Plantar orthoses are intended to regulate the body pains related to the feet. A simple instability, a malformation like a “flat” feet is more than enough to wear the joints or the muscles.
The use of orthotic orthoses makes it possible to remedy to certain pains or postural problems. According to the prescription established by your podiatrist, wearing foot orthoses will have short and long-term effects on your muscles.
Their main goal is to make the body work optimally. According to the prescription, plantar orthoses can realign the body to its optimal position and thus, favor a better muscular performance. In some cases, they slow down the aging of the joints and the loss of muscle tone.
Foot orthoses allow the patient to maintain his quality of life and continue to do his activities without feeling pain. For athletes or workers, their use can prevent injuries to the lower limbs.
By improving or correcting the posture of the patient, this podiatric treatment can reduce or cure mechanical and postural problems.
It should be noted that it is wrong to believe that the use of orthotics can have harmful effects on the muscles especially in what concerns causing their weakening. On the contrary, the use of orthoses allows the muscles to work properly in a better alignment of the lower limbs.
To conclude, foot pain treatment have evolved a lot thanks to foot orthoses and shock wave therapy. However, if you suffer from foot pain, consulting a podiatrist will help you to identify the cause of your problems and receive the right treatment. It is not advisable to endure pain too long to avoid aggravation.
The sooner a problem is taken care of, the more effective the treatment will be.