Lateral Column Overload

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Most structures have a weight limit for what they are able to support effectively. Once they reach that limit, further weight risks damage to both the supports and the structure they are holding up. Bridges, support beams, and even buildings have weight limits, whether they are publicly advertised or not. The individual structures in your body have limits, too. Your feet are able to absorb and support incredible amounts of force, but when one area of the foot must carry more than it normally can, you develop problems like lateral column overload.

Too Much Pressure on Your Foot

Lateral column overload is pain in the outside of the midfoot from excessive pressure. The lateral column includes several tarsals and metatarsals—the calcaneus, cuboid, and the 4th and 5th metatarsals—that make up the outside part of the midfoot. Typically this condition is associated with arch problems. Both overly high and flat arches are inefficient for distributing weight evenly though the lower limbs. It results in too much force on the middle area. Other conditions can create stress in the lateral column as well. Arthritis, stress fractures, ankle sprains, and peroneal tendon dysfunction can cause uncomfortable weakness, inflammation, and connective tissue problems.

As a result, you develop increasing discomfort along the outside of your foot, especially toward the tops. The pain typically feels worse with the pressure of standing or walking and is somewhat relieved when you rest. Unless weight is redistributed and the affected tissues allowed to heal, the pain will continue and may even worsen.

Support the Foot, Relieve the Pain

Most treatments for lateral column overload are conservative and noninvasive. They involve identifying the root cause of your condition and readjusting the weight on the foot. You’ll need to have a thorough examination to be able to apply accurate, targeted remedies. Our well-trained doctors will perform different diagnostic tests and may request images to check for potential causes for your discomfort. Once your diagnosis is pinpointed, Country Foot Care doctors will develop a treatment program to help you return to optimal health.

Adjusting your footwear is one of the most important and effective aspects of remedying this condition. Your footwear helps cushion and support your foot. Choose styles that stabilize the arch and help your foot correctly distribute your body weight. You may need custom orthotics to provide any extra stabilization as well. If inflammation or damage to surrounding tissues is present, you may need medication and icing. Sometimes physical therapy can help the foot regain some stability and strength.

Foot pain doesn’t have to be inevitable. Your feet are designed to be able to handle your body weight. Excessive pressure can cause discomfort, but with a little conservative intervention, you can intervene and restore your lower limbs to full health. Don’t wait until your activities are limited by the pain. Contact Country Foot Care right away to take care of the issue before it worsens. Call either of our locations during regular hours to make an appointment with our attentive staff or use the online appointment form that can be reached by clicking on the MAKE AN APPOINTMENT button at the top of this page.

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