A young mother brought in her 8 year old daughter today to see me. They had been to their family physician due to a recent injury to her ankle and the physician recognized that she had flat feet and wanted her seen by me. The mother had brought x-rays on a CD for me and I was very well informed about the injury due to the x-rays. I noticed that even at 8 years old, the young girl had calcifications along the joints of her big toe on the x-ray. This is not alarming in a person with severely flat feet. When asked, there was not any major pain except in the ankle where the initial injury had occurred. At this point I wanted to bring to my readers that even though things are not painful, there is clear damage to an area on x-ray and that we need to intervene before it gets worse. In this case, specific exercises were given to strengthen up her legs and feet as well as getting her into a pair of custom orthotics to address the flat foot problems and support the collapsing bones.
I wanted to mention this case this week in my blog as an example that prevention is the best medicine. Just because you don’t feel like there is a problem, doesn’t mean that damage isn’t already occurring. Pain is a result of the inability of the body to recover and fix areas of damage and stress. Sometimes pain is from direct trauma like dropping a can of soup on your toe. Ouch! Other times, it is repetitive stress on one’s feet because of flattening arches putting excessive pressures on the joints of one’s big toes. When the stress is repetitive and small, one doesn’t feel it as a person often recovers from the damage with rest. When the repetitive stress is too great and the rest in insufficient to recover, then you’ll get pain. This is already too late in terms of existing shape changes to the bone. You can still fix the structure and alleviate stress, but oftentimes the damage has been done and we are simply trying to prevent further damage rather than fix existing damage.
So come on in to get your feet examined if you do a lot with your feet in general. You’d be surprised at what you might find your feet have been hiding from you!