Have your toes started to spread apart for no apparent reason? Are they crossing over the top of each other and making it harder to find shoes that fit? Are the balls of your feet painful, especially when walking barefoot? All these issues are often linked, and may be a result of an injury to your plantar plate.
The plantar plate sits just below the joints of your toes, and helps to protect the joints as well as hold them in alignment. When injured, not only can the forefoot become quite painful, it can lead to spaces forming between the toes or cause them to cross over.
Accidents to the forefoot can be the cause of this injury, however it more commonly develops with overuse. Poor fitting shoes, especially high heels, put extra strain on the plantar plates and can damage them over time. Feet that overpronate or have higher arches also put higher pressure on this area, which with time can lead to tears. Once the plantar plates are injured with time the toes move out of alignment.
Podiatrists can help in a number of ways. Footwear and insoles are important in protecting the forefoot and allowing it to heal. Muscle releases and exercises are also vital to stretch and strengthen the muscles in foot. Lastly strapping and padding the foot can be useful in correcting the foot, allowing it to function as well as possible.
If you’re concerned about your feet call Active Care Podiatry at (07) 3823 5423 to book an appointment.