Your foot pain is fixed so how do you stay pain free?
You’ve done the hard work, you’ve been disciplined and consistent (even when no one was watching), you’ve got the results and now you want to stay that way – so what do you need to do?
It is often at this point that I get asked “When can I stop coming in for treatment?” My answer simply is, “Whenever you like!”. It all depends on what you are attempting to achieve.
Let’s talk about pain!
One of the greatest motivators for us as human beings is pain. We don’t want to feel pain and we will typically do what we can to get out of pain. Pain by definition is simply a feedback mechanism that indicates that tissue damaged has occurred or is about to occur.
If your only aim is to get out of pain, then once you are pain free, well, you’re treatment is done. But, I’d like to think that we can be more proactive with our foot health and not so reactive, that is, not just coming back when pain presents or returns.
Have you ever gone on a diet?
We have all “had that friend” who decides to go on health kick – they make healthy food choices and start to exercise and workout on a regular basis. Before they know it they start to lose weight and look and feel great. But what happens if they stop? Generally, everything returns to what it was originally like (often plus some).
The same applies for your feet. You can do all the hard work by sticking to your appointments and doing your exercises, but if you don’t maintain the result you will start to revert back to old, painful patterns. Everything in life needs to be maintained.
How do forces impact you?
On planet Earth, we are bombarded with forces 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Gravity, sun, wind, driving in a car at 60kph+, walking, running etc. (life’s forces). These forces are inescapable – they are there no matter what we are doing.
If someone was exercising their biceps with a weight bar, two different scenarios may happen. When the weight (force) is heavy and able to be adapted to by the muscle (living tissue), it would become larger and strengthen. But, if the weight (force) is excessive, too heavy and not able to be adapted to by the muscle (living tissue), it could be damaged or even tear.
Your feet and feet and legs are constantly adapting to life’s forces like walking, running, uneven surfaces, poor shoe wear etc., and coping in the best way they can. When forces are excessive maintenance is needed to keep your body functioning at its absolute best and avoid injury and pain.
So what is Maintenance?
The definition of maintenance is providing support or upkeep to something. It’s like a mechanic servicing our car to keep it running at its best. Our friendly dentists have taught us well when it comes to teeth. If we don’t brush AND have our teeth checked regularly we are much more likely to get tooth decay.
Our feet and legs are the same. We need to maintain the structure and functioning of your feet and legs, so they are in the best condition to withstand the forces of life. On average we recommend a foot check-up every 1-3 months, (depending on your individual situation) and doing foot strengthening and stretching exercises matched to your foot type a few times per week.
By doing your recommended exercises and having regular foot checks you will be well on the way to maintaining pain free feet.