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Hypermobility affects feet, there’s no doubt about it. One of the reasons for this is that are 30 joints and in excess of 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the feet.
As a result, two-thirds of people with hypermobility say they have problems with their feet.
So, let’s find out hypermobility affects the feet and what you can do to treat these issues.
How Does Hypermobility affect feet?
Hypermobility can cause foot problems in a number of ways. Firstly, it can put extra stress on the joints and ligaments in the feet. This can lead to pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Secondly, hypermobility can cause the feet to roll inwards too much when walking or running. This can lead to problems such as flat feet, bunions, and hammertoes.
Hypermobility can also make the feet more susceptible to injuries such as sprains and fractures.
Is plantar fasciitis common with hypermobility?
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the plantar fascia. This is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. It is the most common cause of heel pain.
The plantar fascia supports the arch of the foot and helps to absorb shock when walking or running. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, it can cause pain and tenderness in the heel. The pain is usually worse in the morning when you first get out of bed, and it can improve throughout the day.
Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Overuse – Plantar fasciitis is often seen in athletes who participate in activities that put a lot of stress on the feet, such as running, jumping, and dancing.
- Obesity – Extra weight puts more stress on the plantar fascia, which can lead to inflammation.
- Flat feet – People with flat feet have less support for the arch of the foot, which can put more stress on the plantar fascia.
- High arches – People with high arches have less cushioning in the heel, which can make the plantar fascia more susceptible to injury.
- Age – Plantar fasciitis is more common in people over the age of 40.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis
There are a number of treatments for plantar fasciitis, including:
- Rest – Avoiding the activities that cause pain is the best way to rest the plantar fascia.
- Ice – Applying ice to the heel for 20 minutes at a time can help to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Stretching – Stretching the plantar fascia and calf muscles can help to reduce pain and improve flexibility.
- Orthotics – Orthotics are shoe inserts that can help to support the arch of the foot and reduce stress on the plantar fascia.
- Medication – Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help to reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, prescription medication may be necessary.
TOP TIP: Wear plantar fasciitis socks as much as possible.
When I had a bad case of plantar fasciitis last year, the only relief I got was from wearing plantar fasciitis support socks throughout each day. I even found wearing them at night helped.
Prevention of plantar fasciitis
There are a number of things you can do to prevent plantar fasciitis, including:
- Warming up before exercise – Warming up helps to prepare the muscles and tendons for activity and reduce the risk of injury.
- Wearing supportive shoes – Wearing shoes that fit well and provide good support for the arch of the foot can help to reduce stress on the plantar fascia.
- Maintaining a healthy weight – Losing weight can help to reduce stress on the plantar fascia.
- Stretching regularly – Stretching the plantar fascia and calf muscles can help to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.
Piezogenic papules are small, hard bumps that can form on the soles of the feet. They are caused by pressure and friction on the skin.
People with hypermobility are more likely to have piezogenic papules than the general population. One study found that soft skin, hematomas, atrophic scars, piezogenic papules, and cutaneous stretchability are the key dermatological symptoms of hEDS.
Hypermobility can increase the risk of piezogenic papules by causing the feet to roll inwards too much when walking or running. This can put extra pressure on the outside of the feet, where piezogenic papules are most likely to form.
Piezogenic papules are harmless, but they can be painful. They are usually treated with padding or inserts to reduce pressure on the affected area. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the papules.
Flat feet are a condition where the arches of the feet collapse. This can cause the feet to roll inwards too much when walking or running. Hypermobility can increase the risk of flat feet by weakening the muscles and ligaments that support the arches of the feet.
Flat feet can cause a number of problems, including:
- Pain in the feet, ankles, knees, and hips
- Shin splints
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Stress fractures
Flat feet can be treated with orthotics, shoe inserts that help to support the arch of the foot. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem.
Wide feet are a condition in which the feet are wider than average. This can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, hypermobility, and flat feet. Hypermobility can cause the feet to spread out too much, which can make them wider.
Wide feet can be uncomfortable, but they are usually not a medical problem. There are a number of things you can do to accommodate wide feet, such as wearing shoes that are wide enough and avoiding shoes with pointed toes.
Wide feet are one of the biggest ways that hypermobility affects my feet. The biggest issue I have with wide feet is finding shoes that fit and are comfortable.
Crooked toes are a condition in which the toes are not aligned correctly. This can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, hypermobility, and wearing narrow shoes. Hypermobility can cause the toes to bend out of place, which can lead to crooked toes.
Crooked toes can be uncomfortable and can make it difficult to find shoes that fit well. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct crooked toes.
This is another way that hypermobility affects my feet. Two of my toes on each feet are particularly affected and I find shoes rub on them. Crooked toes seem to be genetic as my son has the same problem.
If your toes aren’t substantially crooked, try using toe straighteners. They can feel a little funny on your toes to begin with, but you do get used to them fairly quickly.