How to stop chronic foot/ankle pain?
April 5, 2009 9:40 AM Subscribe
Flat feet + bow legs + active lifestyle = near-constant foot pain. What can I do to make my feet ache less?
My feet are flat as boards, and my ankles pronate badly. Also, with my ankles together I can fit a full fist and a half between my knees. And I'm very active - gym, biking, rock climbing, etc.
So the net result is, my feet and ankles ache badly pretty much all the time. they often hurt outright, right from first thing in the morning.
My knees used to give me all the problems - I've had both operated on (ACL and meniscectomy) - but now it's my feet and ankles that hurt much more, and it's getting worse every year. (me: 36 y.o. male) I'm worried because I have my father's feet and he can barely walk now, even after numerous foot/toe operations.
I basically slam my heels down when I walk, and they hit at a slight outside-in angle. I've worn orthotics for years. Most of the pain is in my arches and the bones around the front and sides of my ankles. There's a line of incredible tightness from my big toe all the way down the back of each foot. When I kneel on my heels like a monk - the rare times that's not too painful to stand - my arches cramp up instantly. Jogging? Forget about it.
My orthopedist says there's nothing I can do to help short of major surgery (if that), besides wear my orthotics, but I find that hard to believe.
When I lie on my stomach and have my wife stand on the bottoms of my feet, that feels great. Foot massages are orgasmic, but expensive. Same with the chiropractor/myofascial person I've gone to a few times: feels great for a few days, then everything tenses right back up.
Are there any stretching or strengthening exercises I can do to release some of the weird, misaligned tensions in my feet and ankles? And, down the road, what sort of surgical options are there? Can you build arches and straighten knees?