Most of the time your feet take a beating without you even realizing it. Often, it's not until you feel pain that you begin to consider the health of your feet.
Did you know up to four times your body weight gets placed on the joints in your feet during every step?
With all that weight, it’s a good idea to give your feet a little extra attention. Here are a few tips to help take care of your feet and prevent foot conditions:
1. Be shoe smart.
Too many smart people often wear not-so-smart shoes. It's important to take a few things into consideration when you're buying a shoe. The first is to go shopping in the evening. Late in the day, your feet are tired and most relaxed/stretched. By doing your shopping in the evening, you'll be able to get the right fit for the whole day.
Next, be extra sure that you're buying the right size. If you shoe length or width is too small, it can cause a number of conditions like hammer toes, corns, ingrown toenails etc. With that said, overly large shoes can cause problems like calluses and blisters. As you can see, finding the right fit is very important. If you'd like more detail on selecting the right size shoe, check out our previous post.
Finally, pick a style of shoe that has the right support for you. A comfortable every day shoe that breathes well and doesn't trap your toes is a smart style choice. Most high heels do not provide support and can be extremely damaging to your foot's structure. Pick a round toe shoe so that each of your digits has enough room to be stretched out fully, with no cramping or pinching inwards.
2. Get daily foot exercise.
Each foot is made up of 26 bones and a collection of ligaments, tendons, nerves, and muscles. It's important to get your foot muscles the exercise they need to stay strong. Go out for a walk every day if you can. The length of the walk isn't as important as just getting out there and doing it. Keep your ligaments, tendons, and joints flexible and loose while strengthening the muscles in your feet!
3. Wash your feet thoroughly.
Make sure you give your feet an extra scrub every day. Your feet tend to be a hotspot for bacteria and fungus. No special foot washes or scrubbers are needed, just some good old-fashioned h2o and soap. If you are diabetic make sure your washing with the correct temperature water and soap that does not irritate your skin
For those of you who have dry and cracking skin, it's important to put on lotion. We recommend 2x/day. It doesn't have top be a specific brand, but try to get a colourless, non-scented lotion. REMEMBER: do not put lotion in between your toes!
5. Wear socks.
Wearing socks gives your feet an extra layer of protection. Calluses and blisters form much easier when you don't wear socks regularly. Additionally, if you are over-weight, are prone to varicose veins, or have bad circulation it is important to wear compression stockings. Compression stockings will assist with blood flow and alleviate added stress on your veins. Compression stockings are recommended for:
6. Avoid immediate skin contact in public areas.
Children, teenagers, and adults alike should all bring personal footwear when you're around a public pool, shower, change room, etc. These areas are common breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses, fungus and other pathogens. By bringing and wearing your own footwear, you will decrease direct contact and prevent spreading. Likewise, if you do have any foot condition it is important that you always wear shoes in public area's to avoid passing it along to others.
Please contact us at the Waterloo Foot Clinic if you have any questions about any material mentioned in this blog post or any of our other posts.
The Waterloo Foot Clinic Team