When it comes to your feet, how much care and love do you give them? If you haven’t, you’re not alone. We often don’t think about our feet until something happens to them. When we get even a blister, it can limit our ability to walk or even wear shoes. What was once a natural, everyday activity we don’t put any thought in and in which we take for granted, now becomes more challenging.
There are many things that can put our feet at risk for injury. The most common culprits are flat sandals, high-heels, wearing shoes that are too big or too small, not properly washing the feet, not wearing socks white wearing shoes, not controlling underlying health issues that contribute to foot problems such as diabetes and not keeping one’s toenails properly trimmed.
However, what if you have an injured or infected foot? How can you prevent such discomfort to your feet from happening again?
Here are some easy, simple activities you can do to help keep your feet in tip-top shape. After all, happy feet mean a happy you:
1. Stretching. The act of walking, sitting, standing, going up and down stairs and the like can be seen as some sort of physical activity. While they may not technically count as exercise, you are putting in effort. Stretching your foot is a great way to strengthen the muscles, tendons and joins in your feet that can cause possibly painful discomfort. Those with plantar fasciitis, for instance, can greatly benefit from short, daily stretching of the feet.
2. Wear Inserts or Orthotics. Shoe inserts and orthotics are great for making shoes comfortable by shaping them to the individual shape and contours of your feet. They can make otherwise painful and uncomfortable shoes that you’d always wanted to wear, bearable to wear. Orthotics and inserts can relieve pressure, reduce rubbing and provide the unique, specialized support your feet need to be pain-free. There are many types and quality of orthotics out there, so it is important to consult with your podiatrist as to which ones will be best for your particular foot pain or condition.
3. Don’t Go Barefoot. While it seems to be popular both for hip style reasons and for perceived foot, joint and leg health reasons, to go barefoot or wear flat shoes that mimic being barefoot, it is advisable to avoid the temptation to go barefoot. While it may seem natural, going barefoot increases your chances of getting warts on your feet as well as tendonitis. When you go barefoot, you also risk injury to the bottom of your feet. Whether you’re walking on some cool grass or in the driveway, sharp objects such as rocks and pieces of glass can cut the bottom of your feet. Being barefoot can also increase your risk of getting burns and frostbite to the bottom of your feet as well, such as when you briefly walk on a sizzling road or driveway in summer or briefly step outside to get the newspaper on a cold, snowy, winter day.
4. Wear Proper Footwear. High-heels as well as flat shoes such as flip-flops and sandals can cause strain on your feet as well as give your feet blisters and warts. These types of footwear also can lead to joint, tendon and muscle pain in your legs, hip and back as well.
5. Wear Shoes That Fit. Wearing shoes that are too big can cause blisters. Shoes that are too small can lead to ingrown toenails and crunched toes. While it may not seem practical to be constantly buying shoes, it is well worth the investment. After all your feet are important and so is their care.
While you may not notice the difference your feet make in everyday life, their care and health are important. If you have chronic foot conditions or pain, talk to your podiatrist to get recommendations on effective treatment.