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Shin Pain (Shin Splints)



Shin Splints refer to a generalized pain in the front or inside section of the lower leg, otherwise referred to as the shin area. The pain is often the result of and/or accompanied by inflammation.


The most common symptoms associated with shin splints are a stabbing pain along the shin bone accompanied by tenderness and/or a feeling of tightness along the front or side of the shin. Shin splints almost always occur in tandem with physical activities such as running or walking for long periods of time or for long distances. The pain typically diminishes with rest. People who are new to walking or running—or who train frequently or competitively—are most at risk for developing this type of pain.

Why Am I Getting Shin Splints?

While the precise etiology of shin splints is still unknown it appears that this condition is caused by an excessive stretching of the muscles and tendons that run along the tibia and fibula, which are better known as shin bones. Runners and athletes are two of the demographics most susceptible to suffering from this condition as this excessive stretching frequently occurs as a result of over-training.

Over-pronation of the feet can also cause shin splints and shin pain to develop, as the excessive internal rotation of the tibial bone puts added tension on the muscles and ligaments of the lower leg and creates uneven pressure points to develop as well.

Treatment and Prevention Options

Treating shin splints after they have already developed usually begins with a reduction in physical activity so the muscles and tendons have time to heal. In severe cases NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) may be used to reduce pain and inflammation, otherwise, cold therapy, deep tissue massage, gentle stretching of the lower limbs and rest are the best option.

To prevent shin splints from occurring (or from flaring up again) it’s important to thoroughly warm up before undertaking any kind of physical activities, and the calf muscles should be well stretched after the workout is finished.

It’s also important to gradually build up to new activity levels so that sudden and excessive pressure is not placed on the shin area. Orthotics are also a wonderful way to reduce strain on the lower leg muscles, stabilize the feet and ankles, and cushion the lower body against the force of impact during the strike phase of the gait cycle. Dr Foot orthotics also correct over-pronation of the feet and reduce the negative effects that sub-par foot mechanics have on the rest of the body, including the development of shin pain and shin splints.

View Dr Foot Orthotics to treat Shin Pain


Metatarsalgia Ball of the Foot Pain




Metatarsalgia is the medical term used to refer to a painful condition better known as ‘pain in the ball of the foot’, or ‘ball of the foot pain’. This is an extremely common foot condition that is caused by inflammation in the ‘ball’ or metatarsal area of the foot, and while it can be caused by a number of factors the two most common reasons for its development are the wearing of high heel shoes and feet that over pronate. It’s important to know what has caused pain to develop in the ball of the foot; otherwise it will be very difficult to choose the correct method for treatment.

Symptoms: Typical symptoms of metatarsalgia include the sensation of a burning or sharp pain in the ball of the foot and the feeling that there is a lump or pebble in the shoe. It is not unusual for calluses to form on the ball of the foot as well.

Causes: The wearing of high heel shoes is the most common cause of metatarsalgia; with people who do not wear high heel shoes the most common cause is over-pronation of the feet.

Treatment: The use of orthotics to support and cushion the metatarsal bones in the forefoot and to correct over-pronation is the most common and effective treatment for pain in the ball of the foot caused by metatarsalgia.

Pain in the Ball of the Foot in Relation to High Heels

The primary reason that wearing high heels causes pain in the ball of the foot is due to the design of the shoe; 80% of a person’s body weight is forced to front of the foot when wearing heels. This not only places the metatarsal area of the foot under a great deal of pressure, but it can cause the surrounding ligaments to weaken and become less supportive as well. This concentrated pressure point in the front of the shoe is also the source of friction that often causes calluses to develop.

The steep angle of the shoe and the resulting unnatural allotment of bodyweight results in excessive pressure being applied to the metarsal bones and the surrounding tissues, especially if the wearer is walking long distances or standing in this shoe for an extended period of time.

Wearing high heels can also cause problems with the Achilles tendon (which is found in the back of the heel) due to the gradual but intense tightening of the calf muscles often associated with this type of shoe. The Achilles tendon may become tight and tender to the touch, and if the situation is not addressed the biomechanics of the feet may eventually be compromised, which can lead to further problems down the road.

Wearing high heels often causes problems throughout the entire foot—from the metatarsal bones at the forefront to the Achilles tendon in the rear. It’s not unusual to experience pain not only in the ball of the foot but throughout the entire appendage if care isn’t taken to address the problem as soon as it develops.


Most women are not willing to sacrifice fashion for the health of their feet, no matter how practical that solution may be. That’s why a UK podiatrist created Dr Foot orthotics to restore optimal biomechanical functioning in the feet, no matter what type of shoe is being worn. These orthotics are a welcome relief to fashion devotees who will benefit from the superior support of both the arch and forefront (metatarsal area) of the foot.

Dr Foot orthotics distribute bodyweight evenly over the entire surface of the foot, thereby relieving hot spots and overloaded pressure points in the ball of the foot. This translates into a serious reduction in the burning pain that usually strikes after standing or walking in high heels for long periods of time. Wearing Dr Foot orthotics has been likened to feeling as though a low heel (or no heel at all) was being worn.
Dr Foot orthotics are available across Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

Ball of the Foot Pain and Over-Pronation

When metatarsalgia develops independent of wearing high heels or other damaging types of footwear it can be caused by intense physical activities such as running or dancing, and it commonly occurs in people employed as teachers, farmers, security officers, military personnel and police officers due to their propensity to stand and walk for long periods of time in hard shoes and boots. Being overweight or obese also increases the risk of developing serious pain in the ball of the foot.

The most common underlying reason for the development of metatarsalgia other than wearing high heels, however, is excessive pronation of the feet, which is generally referred to as over-pronation. This condition indicates inferior mechanical functioning of the feet in which they ‘roll in’ too deeply or for too long during the gait cycle. So while this is a natural motion when it occurs in excess it becomes unhealthy for proper foot and leg function.

Our feet are very complex structures comprised of 26 bones and an extensive supporting network of muscles and ligaments. The middle of the foot is actually made up of two arches: the longitudinal arch that runs from heel to toe, and the transverse arch, which crosses the foot horizontally.

Five of the most important bones in our feet are the metatarsal bones, which begin in the middle of the foot and end in the toes. When the feet over-pronate this often causes the longitudinal arch to collapse and the ankle joint to roll inward with every step that is taken. One of the primary side-effects of over-pronation is the resulting excessive tension that is placed on the metatarsal bones, which can then cause the transverse arch to collapse. This chain of events can cause a serious weakening in the forefront of the foot which can become quite painful and cause inflammation to occur in the ball of the foot.



Treatment Options

The first step in the treatment of metatarsalgia is to reduce walking and standing as much as possible. Supportive, well cushioned footwear should be worn at all times and it is recommended that you avoid going barefoot in the early stages of treatment. These steps, combined with daily ice therapy, should reduce inflammation and pain levels a great deal. Calluses can be removed either by a professional or by careful application of home remedies, such as foot soaks and a pumice stone.

Orthotic devices are an important investment in treating pain in the ball of the foot, as they correct poor biomechanical functioning and reduce or eliminate over-pronation of the feet. Dr Foot orthotics provide enhanced arch support, thereby reducing tension and friction points in the ball of the foot. These results provide substantial pain relief associated with metatarsalgia.

It should be noted that unlike Dr Foot orthotics most devices found in pharmacies and chemists are not designed to provide metatarsal support are therefore not an effective option for treating metatarsalgia and the pain symptoms associated with this condition.

View Dr Foot Orthotics to treat Ball of Foot Pain

Lower Back Pain


Lower back is a frequently occurring condition in modern society and far too many people suffer in silence thinking that this development is a natural part of the aging process.

Symptoms: Lower back issues often involve generalized pain and a feeling of tightness in both of the muscles, especially when standing for prolonged periods of time.

Causes: Poor body posture when sitting, standing and moving is the primary cause of lower back pain followed by over-pronation of the feet.
Treatment: The use of orthotics to improve body posture and correct over-pronation, combined with regular exercise and physiotherapy, is the primary method of treatment for lower back pain.


A dull, aching pain in the lower lumbar-sacral region of the back accompanied by a feeling of tightness and/or weakness or fatigue is the most commonly reported symptom for this condition. Symptoms tend to worsen after prolonged periods of either sitting or standing.

What Causes Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain may develop for several reasons but the most common underlying cause is poor body posture, which has become quite prevalent in society, particularly since we spend so much time sitting, working on computers, and watching television. Poor posture does not correct itself and it can be difficult to reverse as the majority of people are not aware of having poor alignment.

Another overlooked source of lower back is over-pronation of the feet; most people simply do not consider the dramatic effect that sub-par foot functioning can have on total-body health. If the feet are over-pronating, however, this will cause imbalances throughout the body that often lead to poor posture. Over-pronation causes the legs to rotate inwards and the pelvis to develop a forward tilt, which negatively impacts the hips and deepens the natural curve of the spine to an unnatural degree.

This causes undue and continuous pressure to build up in the lower back muscles, which eventually presents as chronic pain in the lower lumbar-sacral region of the back. Everyone who suffers from lower back pain would be wise to have their foot function examined for issues such as over-pronation.

An American research study reported that the majority of people suffering from chronic lower back pain were suffering from impaired foot function and that 68% of subjects reported a significant reduction in pain levels after they began using orthotics on a regular basis.

Dr Foot orthotics were designed to correct over-pronation of the feet and restore proper foot function, therefore reducing rotation of legs and preventing an excess pelvic tilt that are often responsible for lower back pain. Correcting over-pronation of the feet is necessary in order to re-align body posture and release the excessive pain and tightness found in the lower back muscles and relieving symptoms of pain and muscle fatigue.

Dr Foot orthotics were designed and created by a top podiatrist in the UK, who also recommends supplementing this type of care with daily stretching and strengthening exercises to reduce tension and restore mobility to the muscles.

View Dr Foot Orthotics to treat Over Pronation and Back Pain



Knee Pain Due to Chondromalacia of the Patella and Patello-Femoral Syndrome


Knee pain is one of the most common complaints heard in the doctor’s office today, but there are several different types and causes for this type of discomfort and the issue addressed in this article is knee pain due to chondromalacia of the patella, or patello-femoral syndrome.


Symptoms: The symptoms associated with this type of problem are pain felt in front of the knee joint which is often accompanied by a crunching or grinding sensation.

Causes: The most common causes of knee pain due to chondromalacia of the patella, or patello-femoral syndrome is wear and tear of the soft cartilage tissues from overuse, over-pronation, or the aging process.

Treatment: Primary treatments include rest, ice therapy, physiotherapy, and regular use of orthotics.


Chondromalacia is a vague term that refers to a pain between the knee cap and the underlying femur bone; it also the most common kind of knee pain and the type that is characterized by a crunching or grinding sensation. This condition causes tenderness and discomfort in the front part of the knee that tends to worsen after extensive periods of sitting. Climbing the stairs is also often an issue for people suffering from chondromalacia.

What Causes Knee pain?

While there can be several reasons for the development of knee pain (such as sudden injury) this particular type of pain is usually the result of wear and tear caused by overuse or age. Athletes such as rugby players, football players, and runners are all vulnerable to this type of deterioration.

When the cartilage found beneath the patella (knee cap) begins to soften this can lead to small patches of broken down tissue that causes the knee cap to rub against the femur (thigh bone) instead of gliding gently across it. The erosion of the cartilage can occur to varying degrees ranging from mild to severe.

Over-pronation of the feet is another common culprit with knee pain due to chondromalacia of the patella, or patello-femoral syndrome. The knee links the lower leg to the upper leg and while it was designed to flex and bend it was not meant to rotate. This means that when foot over-pronates (rolls inward too deeply or for too long a time) the lower leg also rotates inward, which eventually leads to wear and tear on the knee joint and the pain that is often the result of long-term damage.


Orthotics are by and far the best treatment method for addressing knee pain due to chondromalacia of the patella, or patello-femoral syndrome. Dr Foot orthotics prevent over-pronation of the feet and thereby help to re-establish proper function of the lower limbs and the knee. When the biomechanical functioning of the feet has been corrected through the use of orthotics internal rotation of the knee becomes limited, which leads to a substantial reduction in knee pain.

Dr Foot orthotics were designed by a top podiatrist in the UK and have helped thousands of sufferers word-wide reduce their pain levels and reclaim a more normal standard of living.

View Orthotics to treat Over Pronation and Knee Pain


Heel Pain, Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis



Heel pain is the primary foot problem reported to podiatrists, and there are literally thousands of sufferers seeking relief from this debilitating condition. Fortunately, most cases of heel pain are highly treatable without medical intervention.
Symptoms: The most common symptom with this condition is heel pain that tends to be most acute first thing in the morning or upon standing after long periods of repose.


Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain and heel spurs. It is caused when inflammation of the plantar fascia develops, and over-pronation of the feet is the one of the most common underlying issues associated with the development of PF.
Treatment: Specialized exercises and stretching routines, combined with the use of orthotics, is one of the most effective and frequently used treatment approaches.


Pain symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are most severe in the morning upon waking, when the first few steps of the day are taken. This type of discomfort often presents as a stabbing pain in the heel bone. The pain may occur at the bottom of the bone or the front of the front of the bone. The level of discomfort experienced is different for every person but most sufferers find there is an increase in pain levels when there has been a notable reduction in activity levels (such as sleeping or sitting down for a long time). The stabbing generally subsides into a dull ache after the first few steps have been taken.

Why Do My Heels Hurt?

While there are several reasons why heel pain and heel spurs may develop the most common underlying cause of both conditions is plantar fasciitis. When the plantar fascia (the thick, fibrous band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes through the arch of the foot) becomes irritated and inflamed it can eventually lead to the development plantar fasciitis. While healthy fascia is flexible and strong, excessive pressure, obesity, and sub-par foot functioning can all cause micro-tears to develop in the tissue, which causes this irritation and inflammation to develop.

The pain is usually most severe after a period of rest as the fascia tightens up and becomes shorter when it’s not being used, and when the sudden pressure of body mass is placed upon the cold fascia it is forced to abruptly stretch and lengthen. It is this sudden and violent stretching that causes micro-tears to occur, and the resulting tears cause the searing pain often experienced first thing in the morning.

This interplay of shortening and abrupt stretching causes a ‘pulling’ action on the heel bone, which may eventually create enough friction for a heel spur to develop.
There are several factors that can cause over-stretching of the plantar fascia:

• Participation in high intensity sports
• Running
• Over-pronation of the feet
• Standing or walking on hard surfaces for great lengths of time
• Being overweight
• Pregnancy
• Tight calf muscles
• Being 50+ years of age


Cortisone Steroid Injections

Cortisone injections are a potent anti-inflammatory that is inserted directly into the heel bone and provides near-instant relief of symptoms—once the pain of the actual injection has worn off. While cortisone injections reduce pain levels it is not a cure and relief of symptoms is temporary. Cortisone treatments should be used within a larger treatment program that addresses the underlying cause of heel pain, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis.

Shock-Wave Therapy

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy has become more accessible in the last few years and it is a great alternative to surgical intervention. Shockwaves are applied to the affected area in short, intense bursts, which promotes healing in irritated and inflamed plantar fascia tissue. While this treatment is lauded for being effective it can require up to 3 or 4 months of regular treatments to be fully effective.


Due to its invasive nature surgical intervention is only used as a last resort in cases that have failed to positively respond to traditional conservative treatments. This procedure requires the surgeon to make an incision in the ligament in order to release the plantar fascia, which also releases the extra pressure. Bone spurs also removed during this procedure.

Conservative Treatments

Conservative self-treatment is by far the preferred option when it comes to dealing with heel pain, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis. This type of treatment option should be considered before medical attention is sought, as many of the treatments listed below are accessible, affordable, and highly effective. It’s best to start treatment as early as possible, as this shortens the healing time and makes these steps more effective.

Rest/Reducing Activity Levels

The first thing that should be done is reducing the amount of time spent playing sports or engaging in physical activity as well as the time spent walking or standing in on spot for long periods of time. The feet need time to recover and heal, and this means that they should not be placed under continuous or intense pressures. Avoid any activity that places intense or protracted amounts of tension on the feet.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will reduce inflammation in the feet, providing more of an opportunity for the tissues to repair themselves while reducing the pain associated with heel pain. NSAIDS should not be viewed as a long term solution however, and directions on the packaging should be strictly adhered to.

Ice Therapy

Applying ice or an ice pack to inflammation often reduces both the swelling and the pain. The ice pack should be applied directly to the heel for 10-15 minutes every 2-3 hours until symptoms improve. Care should be taken not to damage the skin by an over-application of ice.

Therapeutic Stretching and Exercise

Tight calf muscles can pull on the Achilles tendon and cause excessive tension to occur at the back of the heel; it can also negatively impact natural walking patterns and cause over-pronation to develop in one or both feet. Gentle stretching and muscle warming exercises can re-establish flexibility in the muscles of the leg and feet, which can ease excessive pressure and the resulting pain.

Foot Support and Orthotics

Orthotic devices are the gold standard when it comes to treating heel pain, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis. Although they are best used in a comprehensive treatment plan the use of orthotics is practically mandatory as they treat the underlying cause of the problem and not just the pain symptoms. Dr Foot orthotic devices were created by a podiatrist to correct sub-par mechanics of the foot and to fully and effectively support the arches as well. By addressing the underlying issue Dr Foot orthotics relieve excessive pressures on the plantar fascia, which allows the problem to heal itself.

Dr Foot orthotics are used throughout North America and the United Kingdom and have provided relief for many thousands of people suffering from heel pain, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a common condition but with enough care and attention it is also avoidable, and anyone who has suffered from this painful affliction is well aware that an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!

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