Can Chiropractors Help Foot Pain?

chiropractor helping patient with Foot pain

Foot pain can drastically disrupt our daily lives, making each step a struggle and even rendering us immobile in severe cases. It can interfere with our ability to perform simple tasks, participate in recreational activities, and even affect our mood and overall well-being. With such a bad impact, seeking practical and immediate relief for foot pain is natural.

But where can we find such relief? Some may suggest a visit to a chiropractor. The question then arises: “Can chiropractors help with foot pain?” Many people get confused while answering this query.

The answer is, indeed, they can. Chiropractic care is not limited to just neck or lower back adjustments. It extends to treating a variety of conditions like foot pain. Chiropractors employ various techniques to alleviate pain, improve function, and increase mobility, thereby providing substantial relief for those struggling with foot pain. 

Let’s discuss when, how, and what conditions a chiropractor can deal with in a detailed way.

Anatomy of Foot

To understand the root causes of foot pain, knowing the foot’s anatomy is mandatory. The human foot is an intricate structure comprising 26 bones, a network of muscles, and numerous ligaments and tendons. It’s divided into the forefoot, midfoot, and hindfoot.

Forefoot consists

  • Toes (phalanges)
  • Metatarsals 

Hindfoot consists

  • Heel (calcaneus)
  • The ankle (talus) connects to leg bones

The midfoot is a collection of arches that helps to distribute body weight evenly.

Numerous interconnecting muscles help in the movement of these bones. This complex structure functions to support our body weight and facilitate movement. Any disruption in its normal functioning can lead to foot pain.

Foot Pain: Causes and Implications

patient with Foot pain seeking chiropractic care

Foot pain is so common that it accounts for about 60-80% in the United States at any stage. As our feet bear all the weight of our body and are superimposed with ill-fitted shoes, there is every chance to get the feet involved in conditions that cause foot pain.

In this section, we will dig deeper into the causes of foot pain and how it can impact our bodies.

Causes 

  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Flat feet
  • Gouty Arthritis
  • Autoimmune 
  • Trauma 
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Bunions 
  • Arch pain
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Diabetic neuropathy

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Foot Pain?

Ignoring foot pain can worsen symptoms and potential long-term damage, making simple activities like walking or standing increasingly difficult. Chronic foot pain can also signal underlying health conditions that need attention, such as diabetes, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Consulting a chiropractor can help address the root cause of the foot pain, providing relief and preventing further complications.

For What Underlying Causes Can Chiropractors Help Foot Pain

Chiropractors can treat a variety of conditions that cause foot pain, including:

  • Bunions
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Arthritis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Achilles tendonitis

Podiatrist or Chiropractor for Foot Pain

Two types of professionals can assist you if you’re experiencing foot pain: podiatrists and chiropractors.

Podiatrists are medical specialists focused on treating conditions of the foot and ankle. In some instances, they can offer treatments such as medications, specialized shoe inserts known as orthotics, and surgery.

In contrast, chiropractors approach your condition holistically, considering your entire body and its interconnected systems. They utilize techniques to adjust and align your body, enabling self-healing mechanisms. Unlike podiatrists, chiropractors avoid using medications or surgery.

Your choice between a podiatrist and a chiropractor depends on the specific issues with your feet and your preference for treatment modes. Both these professionals offer unique solutions to help you regain a pain-free life.

How Can Chiropractors Help Foot Pain?

Chiropractors can play a crucial role in alleviating foot pain by going through the following steps. 

Detailed history

Chiropractors ask a few questions before coming to treatment, moving around following categories.

  • Presenting complaint
  • Past medical and surgical history
  • Personal history
  • Family history 
  • Socioeconomic history

Assessment 

Chiropractors can treat foot pain effectively, but the first step is to assess the condition of the foot by different physical examinations, some radiological tests, and electrical stimulation tests.  

  • Forefoot pronation test (ankle test)
  • Forced dorsiflexion test
  • X-rays, MRI, and EMG

Treatment Options

After assessing the root cause and location from which pain originates, the question is, how can chiropractors help foot pain? Following are the

 Manual Adjustments

Manual adjustments are a common technique used by chiropractors. They involve the application of controlled force to the joints of the foot to improve function and reduce pain.

Soft tissue therapy

Soft tissue therapy focuses on the foot’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This can involve massage, trigger point therapy, and stretching exercises to relieve tension and reduce inflammation.

Orthotic exercises

Chiropractors often prescribe therapeutic exercises that can be performed at home. These exercises strengthen the foot muscles, improve mobility, and prevent future injuries.

Active Release Technique

This therapy is a type of massage that lengthens the muscles and ligaments. This lengthening of muscles helps chiropractors to lactate the deformity or scar. They apply gentle pressure, increasing blood supply to that location and reducing soreness, swelling, and pain.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care offers many benefits, particularly for those dealing with foot pain. 

  1. Increased mobility
  2. Reduced pain
  3. Better posture
  4. Noninvasive drug-free
  5. Holistic approach

Counselling

Medicated shoes, often recommended by chiropractors, serve a dual purpose. They not only aid in alleviating foot pain but can also contribute to weight loss. The design of these shoes can promote better posture and gait, leading to more efficient, calorie-burning movement.

Rest is another critical aspect highlighted in chiropractic counseling for foot pain. Adequate rest allows the foot to heal naturally, reducing inflammation and pain.

FAQS

1. Is physiotherapy or chiropractic better for foot pain?

While physiotherapy and chiropractic care can be effective for foot pain, chiropractic care often yields immediate relief. It focuses on holistic, long-term wellness by addressing root causes, making it a preferred choice for many.

2. Why do chiropractors push on your feet?

Chiropractors push on your feet because they are adjusting the joints there. This can help align your body better and relieve pain. They may also use soft tissue therapies like stretching or massage to help reduce inflammation and improve mobility. 

3. Who is the best person to treat foot pain?

Both podiatrists and chiropractors are well-equipped to treat foot pain, each with a unique approach. A podiatrist focuses specifically on conditions related to the foot and ankle, employing treatments such as medication, orthotics, and, at times, surgery. On the other hand, chiropractors provide a noninvasive, holistic treatment emphasizing aligning the body’s musculoskeletal structure to promote self-healing. 

4. What foot pain is severe?

Constant foot pain intensifies over time or is accompanied by swelling, redness, or heat, which might be severe. Immediate medical attention is advised if it hampers mobility or doesn’t improve despite home care measures. Because there may be underlying medical conditions going on that must be corrected.

5. What should I wear if my feet hurt?

If your feet are hurting, wearing medicated shoes can significantly help. These shoes are designed to lessen pain and promote better foot alignment.

Bottom Line

With its focus on addressing the root cause of pain and providing noninvasive, drug-free solutions, chiropractic care can be an effective option for managing foot pain. So, if you’re struggling with foot pain, consider consulting a chiropractor to find relief and get back on your feet. But before considering them, you must consult your routine doctor to get referred to a chiropractor.

I hope this blog post has increased your knowledge as a patient or a medical student. I would appreciate your feedback.

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