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The Framingham Foot Study: What Have We Learned?

Women walking with athletic shoes

As our population ages, many have become more active, and as a result, there has been an increased fall risk leading to more problematic injuries and medical problems.  Whether you are an older adult or you have a loved one that is older, the findings of the Framingham study effects us all.

The Framingham Foot Study looked for the association of foot pain, pain severity, foot posture, and foot function in people that reported falls.  They found that foot pain increased the risk of falls by 62%. Those that had severe foot pain had a risk of greater than 2 falls compared to those with no foot pain.  People that had a planus or flat foot had a higher incidence of arch and heel pain.  Those with higher arches were found to have less heel pain in this study.  However, it should be noted that high arches present a different set of problems that may cause foot or ankle pain.

Some of the most common foot pain occurs in the ball of the foot and the heels.  Both of these conditions can be the result of abnormal foot function.  When your arch drops or flattens, there is increased pressure on the metatarsal bones in the ball of the foot.  This is also known as metatarsalgia or painful metatarsals. There is also increased pressure on the heel and this is often called plantar fasciitis. There are many treatments available for both of these conditions but there is one important treatment that addresses the cause of the problems and not just the symptoms.

So, the solution to your problem is custom orthotic devices.  Over-the-counter devices are not recommended for these particular problems as a fall can be very serious.  It is important to obtain a custom orthotic device from a podiatrist.  Podiatrists study biomechanics and are your best option to get the ideal orthotic device.  These devices will have built-in correction for your arch and foot and this will be specific to your foot.  A model of your foot is electronically obtained and used for the best fit and correction of your abnormal foot and ankle motion.  Using this advanced technology can make a big difference and can help get rid of your pain long-term.

With these orthotic devices, you can now walk more normally and prevent foot and ankle pain.  So if you are an older adult, you can now see your podiatrist and get help to prevent falls. We also recommend these devices for anyone that has a fallen arch or foot pain caused by an unstable foot. All ages can benefit from these custom orthotic devices to treat the main problem that has led to your foot pain.

Many people ask why they need a custom device.  It is important to realize that every foot has its own unique shape and each foot and ankle functions differently.  Your foot function can change based on problems with the position of your knees and hips.  So, each person is unique whereas over-the-counter orthotics are all the same and can't possibly address your foot and ankle needs.  Also, many people ask about Dr. Scholl's orthotics.  These products are really not an orthotic.  They are more like padding and are unlikely to support your foot or help with long-term conditions and pain.

If you have foot pain, ankle pain, shin splints, or any other problems, call Dr. Cruz and have an exam to discuss a custom orthotic device to get you back to your activities and to prevent falls or any other injuries!  If you have a loved one or are caring for a relative that has foot pain, please bring them in so that you can help prevent falls.  

Dr. Cruz is currently seeing patients in Brandon and Zephyrhills and is offering Telehealth appointments.  The offices are taking full COVID-19 precautions. You can contact his office here.

Author
Dr Marc Katz Marc A Katz DPM Dr. Marc Katz is a podiatrist that previously practiced in South Tampa on Swann Ave with Dr. Jairo Cruz DPM. He works closely with Dr. Cruz to create educational materials to help patients and the community. Dr. Katz is recognized as a leader in the Tampa Podiatry community for over 23 years. Dr. Katz has extensive expertise in all areas of foot and ankle medicine and surgery and is Board-Certified. He was an early adopter and is a leader in Minimally-invasive procedures and Regenerative medicine in the podiatry community. Dr. Katz has had many articles published in podiatry journals discussing his procedures and techniques. In addition, Dr. Katz has advanced training in Functional and Holistic Medicine and Nutrition. He is one of a few podiatrists that has taken advanced courses in Prolotherapy, Neural Prolotherapy and Ozone Therapy. Please enjoy the content and I truly hope that you find great benefit. Dr. Katz can be reached at marckatz61@gmail.com For more information: https://marckatzdpm.com/

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