We will start off by introducing Professor Lorimer Moseley & David Butler, Australian pain scientists. A large amount of knowledge around pain science is derived from their work.
David Butler (photo credit to the original owner)
Lorimer Moseley (photo credit to the original owner)
Many studies have looked at the world to work out how many people suffer from lower limb pain. The statistics vary between populations, but 15-35% of the world’s population are affected by foot pain. In Australia we can estimate that nearly one in five or 20% of the population has foot and ankle pain.
The same factors stand out for groups that are at more risk of foot pain. Generally, increased age, female gender, obesity or high BMI is associated with foot pain as well other pain sites within your body e.g hip, knee or back pain.
While it is not that simple, it is easily thought that weight and weight-loss will help eliminate your foot pain. Some recent research has suggested that the positive effects of weight-loss on foot pain may not be due to a mechanical reduction i.e. less pain because of less force and weight on your feet, rather it may be due to high amounts of low-grade inflammation from the fat cells.
One thing we can all agree on is that foot pain is complex. Many different factors can interfere and result in your complex pain. Feet are very important in movement as they connect us to the ground so some mechanics or forces are at play, but they may not be the only factor.
The other point about your pain is that your foot pain is subjective to you, it’s a story of your pain, you are the expert. Health practitioners are here to listen and help you reduce your foot pain. It’s a team approach to getting you back to doing the things that you want to do.