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March 23, 2013 - Chronic foot pain treatment information






Here are the additional tips Dr. Cassaro promised to add to this week's show summary:

Tip! Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is a chronic pain condition characterized by pain and numbness in the extremeties. If you experience pain and/or numbness in your hands and treatments do not seem to be effective, get an x-ray and physical examination of your neck. If everything seems okay and you are still in pain, it may be a nerve condition known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. In this case, neurostimulaiton can be very effective. Learn more about neurostimulation here: NEUROSTIMULATION


Tip! Prescription topical medications are ordered by your doctor and filled by a compounding pharmacist. Anyone living with pain in the arms, legs, hands and feet should consider talking to their doctor about these highly effective medications. If your doctor is unfamiliar with ordering these, we have provided an easy guide to print and discuss with your doctor here: TOPICAL MEDICATIONS


Tip! If you have chronic neck, arm, or shoulder pain that seems to be "treatment-proof" then consider asking your doctor to order flexion and extension x-rays. In many cases, these specialized x-rays will uncover the source of your chronic pain and numbness. Many times, normal x-rays show everything is fine; even though they are still in pain.

This week, Dr. Cassaro discussed Chronic foot pain.

Chronic foot pain is very common. Sometimes it goes unnoticed until a great deal of exercise or stress is introduced. In addition to chronic pain in the feet, chronic pain can occur throughout the body as well.


Q- What is the number one cause for chronic foot pain?

A- SHOES! Although most shoes are not bad, or good...they just don't support your feet very well. Over time; this lack of support can lead to chronic pain in the feet and throughout the rest of the body. Perhaps the leading culprit for this pain is women's shoes (i.e. high heels)- there is not only a lack of support, but the very design of these shoes encourages lots of health complications.

Q- What are some pain conditions in the feet that result from poorly fitting shoes?

A- Here are just a few of the pain conditions that can occur in the feet; and can be directly caused by poorly fitting shoes:


  • Morton's Neuroma
  • Plantar Faciitis
  • Arthritis
  • Arch pain
  • Bunions
  • Bone spurs
  • Ligament/tendon weakness
  • Circulation issues

Q- Are there effective treatments for these conditions?

A- Yes! Each condition listed above can be treated by a physician, or foot specialist. However, if you continue to wear the shoes that caused the pain, the pain will return. Here are some treatments "in-office" and "at home".


Morton's Neuroma

Office: Injections, surgery, prescription topical medications, nerve blocks, radio frequency procedures, dietary changes, metabolic profiling and adjustment.

At home: over the counter topical creams (capsaicin, ben-gay, aspercream, etc.), epsom salts bath (soak foot daily for 10-15 minutes), fish oil supplement, alpha lipoic acid, restrict all sugar, all grains, and wear good supporting shoes.


Plantar Faciitis

Office: Injections, nerve blocks, radio frequency therapy, prescription topical medications, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, thyroid testing/metabolic treatment.

At home: Epsom salts bath (soak 10-15 minutes daily), roll tennis ball or soup can under foot for 15-30 minutes daily, restrict all sugar and grains, wear supportive shoes- good arch support orthotic inserts.


Arthritis

Office: Injections for pain relief, prescription topical medications, metabolic testing, MSM lotion topically, radio frequency procedure.

At home: MSM lotion topically, daily exercise (a simple 1-mile daily walk is fine), purchase properly fitting shoes.


Ligament/tendon weakness

Office: Specialized injections on the ligaments to strengthen (prolotherapy), physical therapy, metabolic testing and correction, special braces, possible surgery.

At home: Topical medications, avoid all sugar and grains, buy proper fitting shoes that are supportive, wear sandals or flip flops for alternate footwear, take a daily walk at a brisk pace.


Q- Are there other chronic pain conditions that may result from wearing my poorly-fitting shoes?

A- Yes! There are lots of pain conditions that can arise from poorly fitting shoes; here are just a few:


  • Back pain (upper and lower)
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Ligament injuries
  • Bone spurs
  • Deformations
  • Alignment in back, hip, legs, feet
  • Arch pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Changes in curvature of spine
  • Circulation issues
  • Digestive issues
  • Morton's neuroma
  • Plantar faciitis
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Bunions
  • Excessive pronation
  • Cysts (Ganglion)
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Shin pain
  • Sesamoiditis
  • Swelling
  • Nerve damage
  • Muscle pain

The main concern when discussing poorly-fitting shoes is the way they can alter the preferred curvature of the spine. A very complex network of crucial nerves travel along the spine...when it's natural curvature is altered (wearing poorly-fitting shoes), these nerves are pinched, crushed, and stretched. Since these nerves regulate digestion, balance, heart-rate, circulation, and many other things...these functions may all become compromised.

In most cases, treatment for all of these conditions is rather simple: STOP WEARING POORLY-FITTING SHOES. Yep, that's it...that simple. Although your doctor can treat each of these conditions with pain medication, surgery, and other treatments...they are short-lived. True effective, (lasting) relief will only come after you begin wearing shoes that are made to support your feet properly.