Corns and Calluses
Dr. Sam Dubé discusses corn and calluses
Learn about the symptoms, causes, and benefits of different treatment options.
Corns and calluses are caused by localized points of inappropriate pressure and friction.
In an attempt to protect itself from the ongoing friction, the body responds with an over-zealous, and reactively thick, growth of cells within the skin.
Generally, the presence of corns or calluses is indicative of poor foot mechanics – feet with collapsing arches (that over-pronate) concurrent with footwear that has excessively narrow toe boxes, is too tight (i.e., too small), or is too rigid in its material construction. Such shoe characteristics worsen the severity or speed the development of corns and calluses.
Historically, over-pronation (collapsing arches) has been thought to be hereditary. However, modern science has identified that the nervous system plays a critical role in stabilizing the feet and ankles when walking or running. It is now understood that over-pronation is a symptom of inefficient neuromuscular function caused by conventional footwear use. In fact, conventional footwear use can result in poor neuromuscular function in the feet, legs, hips, and back, when:
the soles of the feet don’t receive the subtle, varied stimulus that the nervous system requires for healthy function, and
snug toe boxes, stiff midsoles/outsoles/uppers and tight lacing restrict healthy foot movement.
To learn more about the latest science, click HERE.
The best way to prevent and treat corns and calluses is to eliminate the excessive foot movement caused by the collapsing arches and to use footwear that is soft, flexible, and roomier in the forefoot.
Conventional treatment methods for corns and calluses
Since the late 1890s, the standard treatment for over-pronation (collapsing arches) has been to artificially support the arches with an orthotic. Other conventional treatment options include:
Modern science has transitioned away from using long-term support on any body part because it causes a progressive weakening of the body part being supported.
The modern approach to treating corns and calluses
Science has shown that merely challenging the body to “do its job” is the best way to restore and enhance function.
The modern approach to address poor neuromuscular function is to employ a “Proper Technique” rehabilitative therapy to regain healthy function. This approach is extensively used pre- and post-surgery and is also the foundation of virtually all sports training/rehabilitation programs. By employing a therapeutic approach, the feet become stronger and more stable, thereby addressing the cause of the collapsing arches that contribute to the formation of corns and calluses. Proper Technique therapies employ exercise that focuses on safely training healthy neuromuscular function, i.e., optimal mobility, muscle strength, stability, and alignment.
Proper Technique therapies require both Right Stimulus and Right Movement.
Right Stimulus occurs when the information that the brain receives from the senses triggers an efficient protective reflex function or Right Movement. The nerve endings in the soles of the feet play a critical role in providing the brain with the information required for Right Movement in the feet, legs, hips, and back. When the brain receives insufficient or inaccurate information from the soles of the feet, the protective reflex function Right Movement will be ineffective or absent altogether. This is what happens when conventional footwear is worn. For more information on Right Stimulus and Right Movement, click HERE.
To therapeutically address the cause of oversupination and to prevent it from reoccurring, do the following:
- Walk barefoot on natural terrain as much as possible. This provides the optimal Right Stimulus and allows for the Right Movement required for healthy neuromuscular function.
- Use Biopods® Stimsoles® Footwear or Insoles. Biopods Footwear provides the ultimate Proper Technique shoe environment. Biopods Insoles improve the stimulus in your conventional footwear. Use in loosely laced, soft, flexible footwear with ample toe room that allows your arches and toes to rise easily for best results.
- Consult with your healthcare practitioner to ask about employing soft tissue mobilization therapies to address the fibrotic scar tissue that may have formed prior to using Biopods.
For more information on what to expect when using Biopods, click HERE.