Take the heat off the feet
It is easy to overlook proper foot care. After all, for most of the year, our feet are hidden from site.
But as we start to get some decent weather, they come out of hiding. And we start to notice some imperfections.
The fact of the matter is, most of us don’t care for our feet as well as we should. However, healthy feet are more important than we might realise.
Let’s take a look at how to look after them.
Common foot complaints
Let’s face it, the feet work hard. They carry a load around each day and are highly involved in balance. And the list of ailments or injuries that can hamper the feet is long.
Some are very familiar. For example, flat feet, bunions, corns or ingrowing toenails are all things we will have heard of.
In contrast, some conditions are less well known and come with fancy sounding names. These include plantar fasciitis, peripheral neuropathy and Metatarsalgia.
If you have suffered from any of the above, you will know how distressing and disruptive they can be.
Causes of foot problems
The foot is an intricate and complicated body part. With 26 bones and 33 joints, there is a lot that can go wrong. Amazingly, there are also over a hundred muscles, ligaments and tendons in the foot too.
The foot forms the base for standing, walking, running and jumping. This can lead to the first category of problems which is created by excessive force (stress fractures) and overuse.
Overuse injuries, in particular, can lead to inflammation. And because we are often on our feet out of necessity, inflammation can be problematic to control.
But the alignment of the feet is also of great importance. Poor foot alignment often leads to injury. And these alignment issues can stem from a number of factors.
Some alignment issues that affect the feet can be inherited. However, we are more interested here in lifestyle factors that can cause problems. If you don’t maintain good flexibility, muscle tension in the lower limbs can affect the feet. Try and at least incorporate a maintenance level of stretching in your day to day life. Especially in areas like the calves.
In addition, wearing certain types of footwear will often compromise foot alignment. Ill-fitting shoes, boots and unsupportive trainers can all have a negative effect. And it goes without saying, that high-heels really take their toll. You don’t have to eliminate them altogether, but look to wear flats on a more regular basis.
Proper foot care maintenance
There are many ways to manage issues with your feet when they arise. Depending on the condition, this might include the use of pain medicines and antibiotics. Or in more severe cases, the use of cortisol injections or even surgery.
There are, however, many measures you can take to mitigate against these issues. To maintain proper foot health physical therapy can be of great help. A professionally qualified physiotherapist or osteopath can help guide you. They can provide a variety of exercises and stretches that can aid flexibility, strength and support for the feet and ankles.
If you would like to find out more, please contact us. We would be glad to help.