A recent New York Times article “Unhappy Feet” has inspired me to write about feet. I have also been thinking about feet a lot recently, due to the number clients that I am working with that have feet issues.
As the article mentions, feet are at such a high risk for injury, as a result of their complexity. So many tendons, muscles, bones and ligaments. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, regardless if for fun or work, your chances are high of encountering some sort of foot pain. The article refers to a great website www.footankleinstitute.com, that I have explored. It covers all sorts of possible conditions and shows some great photos (if you like to see bloody surgery photos of tendons). It does not replace going to the podiatrist to get a diagnosis, but is very informative.
There are 2 easy things that you can do to help prevent foot injuries:
1) Barefoot running. Best done outside on grass. Watch for glass and what the dogs leave behind. Increase the amount of barefoot time gradually, starting with just a few minutes and going up to 10 min or so. This helps strengthen all those little tendons and muscles in the feet.
2) Stretch your calves!!!! Tight calves can lead to tight achilles and tight foot muscles (as well as the infamous plantar fascia). Stretch both your gastrocmenius (straight knee calf stretch) and your soleus (bent knee calf stretch). The Foot and Ankle Institute website has a great stretching program online, not only just for your calves, but your whole lower body http://www.footankleinstitute.com/Stretching.html
I can help out with some foot problems, but ultimately you might need to see a podiatrist. Dr. Desena of Portland Foot & Ankle is someone I would recommend.