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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Foot problems

07/19/2007

Question:

For the past 3 yrs years, I`ve had foot problems. Went to 2 foot doctors, one said it it plantar fasciitis. I had orthotics made. It did take the heel pain away. But in wearing these orthotics I developed pain going across my top on my foot. Felt like it wanted to crack, but it wouldn`t. The 2nd foot doctor said it was arthtitis starting up. Also made me orthotics to wear. Now I`m to the point where. I have pain on both outer sides of my feet, can`t even step on a rug where I`m half on and half off. The pain is too much. My once pain on the top of my foot, has moved up some. It`s more towards my ankle. But it still feels like it wants to crack. Every so often my ankle also hurts the same way, as the top of my foot. My reg. doctor has ran nerve test, blood pressure test, bone dentisty test. I do have back problems, had a disc taken out back in 77. Can my back be causing me all these problems with my feet? Any help or suggestions would be great.

Answer:

You are dealing with some complex issue. First it is indeed possible that your back could be causing your foot pain or could be adding to a local condition. Certainly arthritis can cause the symptoms you complain of and other conditions such as plantar fasciitis may also contribute. It sounds to me like your initial pair of orthotics was successful in improving your heel pain but caused some problems on the top of your foot. This is not uncommon as the shoe may have been too small for both your foot and the orthotic. This is the first place to start in your case.

I would take the orthotics that you currently use with you to the shoe store and make sure that they fit and are comfortable before buying a shoe. In addition the orthotic device is only as good as the shoe you put it in and you should go to a store that has trained shoe fitters. Additionally make sure you go to the shoe store late in the day or early evening as our feet swell some during the day and it is important to fit the shoe when your foot is at its largest point.

There are other conditions that can cause the type of pain that you describe and they require a comprehensive examination that is beyond the scope of this forum.

For more information:

Go to the Arthritis and Rheumatism health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jeffrey M Robbins, DPM Jeffrey M Robbins, DPM
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University