In our last blog titled, “Why Do You Have Foot Pain?,” we discussed how frustrating and debilitating foot pain and plantar fasciitis can be. It can take you out of your work, home, and exercise routine and force you to slow down. We also talked about a few of the most common causes for plantar fasciitis related to the function and structure of the foot and the foot arches.
In this blog, we get past discussing the possible causes of foot pain and we will show you how the top foot experts in the world evaluate foot pain. We have been fortunate enough to learn under these experts to help us not only relieve our patients’ foot pain but to figure out why they have it!
At St. John’s Chiropractic & Performance, we always start off our exams by getting to know you, the patient, and letting you tell your story. This allows you to tell the doctor, from beginning to end; when and how your foot pain started, how it has affected your daily activities and duties, and what hope to receive from our care.
After you have finished the doctor will make sure he understands the details of your story and then ask some additional questions that will help guide the upcoming evaluation. There are many different diagnoses for foot pain, though some much more common than others. Our doctor gathers information such as the time of day you have pain, the activities that bring on pain, and other important information that helps bring us closer to an accurate diagnosis.
The next step of the exam would be to test the structure, movement, and strength of your foot and other related structures! We start by determining what foot type you have, the height of your arch, and checking for any callus formation or wear and tear on your shoe soles that clue us into where you distribute force when you walk.
Next, we evaluate your range of motion of all the relevant joints. For foot pain, we would check the movement of your toes, feet, ankles, knees, hips, and even your back! We also test the strength and tension of your muscles.
With 26 bones and 33 joints in each foot’s detailed anatomy, you should only trust an expert to evaluate your foot pain.
We spend a significant portion of our exam testing the motion and strength of your joints and muscles in detail because we often learn a lot about your foot pain here. If a joint or muscle is not moving like it should then that means the tissues above and below it must compensate, and they often get overloaded. This is why we test so many joints and muscles – just because you are having foot pain, does not mean your foot is the main issue (1).
After we have gathered this information, we will have you perform some functional tasks that you likely do on a regular basis such as walking and squatting. It is important for us to see how your feet, lower body, core, and arms work together during everyday tasks and we often gather critical information from watching our patients perform these.
To finish our exam, we manually test the range of motion of all the key joints of your feet. There are 26 bones and 33 joints in each of your feet! If some of those joints are not moving properly, we can guarantee that the surrounding musculature is not functioning properly and that other joints are having to compensate for certain joints’ lack of movement. That’s why we take the time and check each key joint for movement!