The human foot is a marvel of engineering, made up of more than fifty bones and joints, with over a
hundred ligaments and muscles. All work together in perfect synchronicity to hold up and carry the
entire weight of our bodies, and our feet typically do their job so well that we rarely give them a
thought—until they start to hurt, that is. If your feet are hurting, you’ll need to identify the source of
your foot pain before you begin looking for relief. A few common causes are heel spurs & plantar fasciitis,
flatfoot (fallen arches), and bunions.
The terms heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are often used interchangeably, but they are actually two
distinct conditions. In plantar fasciitis, the facia becomes irritated and swollen for any number of
reasons, causing pain in the heel. With heel spurs, calcium forms a bony protrusion on the heel bone,
causing irritation and inflammation to the plantar fascia, but it does not cause plantar fasciitis. Heel
spurs are a result of deterioration of the cartilage that cushions the joints in your foot. When the
cartilage breaks down, the body tries to replace it by creating calcium deposits. These built-up deposits,
or spurs, may go undetected for years.
SYMPTOMS: heel pain when walking or standing is usually the first and most common symptom of heel
spurs. Left untreated, patients often experience numbness and limited mobility in addition to the pain.
TREATMENT: massage to increase circulation and flexibility; stretches; orthotics; surgery.
The arch of the foot is crucial to the proper alignment of the whole body. Every time you take a step,
your arches flex and move, providing a springing motion that helps to properly distribute your body
weight when you land. If that doesn’t happen, your feet and legs, even your spine, must absorb the
shock. This in turn can cause problems over time for other parts of the body, not just the feet.
Flatfoot is characterized by a very low or non-existent arch to the foot. With time the foot tends to roll to
the inside when walking or standing, putting excessive pressure on the knee joint.
SYMPTOMS: The most common symptom of flatfoot is foot pain caused by strained muscles and ligaments,
but you may also experience pain in your hip or knee joint as the ankle turns inward (called pronation).
Lower back pain can also be caused by the misalignment resulting from pronated flat feet. Uneven
weight distribution may cause shoes to wear down unevenly. Stiffness in the feet is common with this
TREATMENT: massage to improve elasticity in muscles and tendons; strengthening exercises; orthotics.
Bunions are typically described as a bump on the side of the first joint by your big toe. These “bumps”
are caused by shifting of the bones due to fallen arches or wearing pointy toed shoes, among others.
While bunions are not technically genetic, they do tend to appear as a family trait because the inherited
foot structure makes you more susceptible to developing the deformity. They don’t start out being
painful, many people can watch a bunion forming for years without any associated pain, but most will
eventually become painful and some will require surgical intervention.
SYMPTOMS: The most obvious symptom of bunions is the presence of a slow growing bump on the side of
the big toe joint. The most common complaint is tenderness where the shoe presses against the
TREATMENT: massage for pain management; splints; surgery to shave down the protuberance.
One non-invasive solution that often works wonders for managing foot pain, regardless of what’s causing
it, is foot massage. A professional foot massage (IE Reflexology) can stretch tight muscles, improve circulation, even
release pressure on impinged nerves, all of which results in relief for your aching feet.
Massage can help to reduce swelling by improving circulation in the feet and legs, as well as restoring
elasticity to muscles and mobility to affected joints. The improved flexibility and mobility can often result
in better outcomes and quicker recovery should surgery, splints, or custom orthotics become necessary.
The massage therapists at Easy Cozy Wellness in Abbotsford, BC, are extensively trained in the art of
therapeutic foot massage (Reflexology) and they are ready to help you find relief for your foot pain. Call Easy Cozy
Wellness today to book your appointment.
For a broader overview of many different types of foot pain, read our new article, Finding Foot Pain Relief.
Easy Cozy focus on Acupressure (Body) Massage and Reflexology (Foot) Massage which are good for both males and females within any age range.