Why Do I have Pain in One Foot Only?

Don’t take it personally, you’re in good company.  Most of us are created, well, somewhat unevenly.  And how does this affect my NYC podiatry patients?  More often than not, patients present with unilateral pain, that is, pain on one foot only.  And almost invariably, the painful foot is the longer foot, attached to the longer leg.  In fact, one leg is longer than the other in up to 96% of the population.

For the most part, we are not symmetrical.  From head to toe, when comparing one side of the body to the other, some parts are bigger, longer, or may hang higher or lower.  And one leg is longer than the other.  This is usually apparent to me as my NYC podiatry patients are sitting in the chair, much to the surprise of the patient at my deductive and diagnostic skills.  But it is just obvious, to reveal a trade secret, as one leg hangs lower than the other.  The longer foot, attached to the longer leg, also has a lower arch.  And this is because, to compensate for the leg length discrepancy, the foot pronates more, reducing the arch height and exerting more pressure on the longer leg.  This pressure is transmitted up the chain - to the knee, hips and back.  And that is why patients present with pain on the longer foot almost 96% of the time.

So what can we do for this most common of human inequalities?  Well my young NYC podiatry patient, that is where custom foot orthotics work their magic.  A lift is generally added to the short side, thus compensating for the limb length inequality.  And this is not just beneficial to the foot, it also has been demonstrated to relieve back pain in patients with a history of lower back pain and a demonstrated limb length inequality.

So my friends, do not hide from your asymmetry, embrace it, and better yet, compensate for it.  It may just relieve your lower extremity pain from heel to back.

See you in the office.

Ernest Isaacson

Ernest Isaacson Dr. Ernest Isaacson is a graduate of the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. After completing two years of comprehensive training in various medical specialties including internal medicine, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, vascular surgery, plastic surgery and podiatric medicine, Dr. Isaacson completed a comprehensive one-year podiatric surgical residency. Dr. Isaacson is active in research and publication in basic and clinical science. Dr. Isaacson is also a dedicated family man who enjoys running, reading and spending time with his family.

You Might Also Enjoy...

When Should I Get Bunion Surgery?

Here’s a question I get pretty often: why feet?  And I answer, because I love feet. And usually I’ll add a comment about how it’s a good thing I’m not a gastroenterologist or a urologist or something along those lines.

Heal the Heel

Ok kids time for a little word association. Tell me the first thing you think of when I say - plantar fasciitis. If it starts with an F no need to articulate the sentiment, but you might want to read on.

And I Thank You

Shocking, yet not surprising, the year is coming to a close and it’s already time to shop bargains on turkey and squash.

Why You Should Call Your Podiatrist (even after hours)

It’s relatively late at night in the city as I write this, and many of my dear Manhattan podiatry patients may be wondering what it is I’m doing at this late hour, other than filling the annals of this most holy and sacred blog with more consecrated verbia

Heal Thyself

Summer’s over now kids, although if you’re like me summer is just winter with heat. Still, I do get a little pit in my stomach as Labor Day looms large on the calendar and the waning days of summer transform into the crisp breezes of autumn, and other line