Pamper Thy Feet



Slide your feet into a pair of shoes, and the senses are immediately heightened.  As the first heel is lifted and placed on the ground, termed a heal strike, the body begins a complex cycle of steps. Energy from the ground is transferred through the feet up into the ankles, past the hip; then, up to the spine and reaching the head.  Underneath the leather, nylon, canvas, or other covering material, the foot deserves to feel as though every step is a symphony of comfortable strides. While the foot has 42 muscles, 26 bones, 33 joints, 50 ligaments and tendons, and over 250,000 glands, it is capable of handling weight while in motion; however, without proper care and the right footwear, aches, pains, and injuries can occur.

The Right Shoes

Have you ever bought a pair of shoes knowing the appearance weighed more than the correct size, and, realized much too late you couldn’t wear them because ?  Yes, it happened they hurt your feet to much? Yes, it’s happened to most of us!  These valuable lessons often change our outlook by selecting shoes which have a sturdy base.  High heels, for instance, can alter the center of balance.  As the weight is shifted to the ball of the foot, the pelvis is tilted forward, which results in the body leaning backward. With every inch in height, the heels will present greater strain on the lumbar spine, hips, and knees.  A condition from placing pressure on the toes, termed Morton’s neuroma, is based on the symptoms of pain burning in the ball of the foot and radiating to the third and fourth toes.

Tip:  It is important not to wear the same shoes day after day; instead, chose a shoe which suits the proper activity.

Tip:  The best time to go shoe shopping is at the end of the day when your feet have reached their maximum size.  Always measure your foot while standing.

The Temperature of Your Feet

On a daily basis, touch your feet to assess dryness, cracks, swelling or sores in the skin, as well as wash, dry, and thoroughly moisturize them. If you discover your feet are both excessively dry or cracked, and cold for most of the day, there may be a greater medical problem you need to address. Most often, cold feet may be linked to nerve damage, diabetes, or circulatory problems associated with smoking, high blood pressure, or heart disease.

A sensation of burning or hot feet is not only common among diabetics with peripheral nerve damage, but it can be due to a vitamin B deficiency, poor circulation in the legs and feet, athlete’s foot, or chronic kidney disease.  A doctor can inform you of any serious correlations to either cold or hot feet.

Swollen Feet

When muscles are overworked, blood vessels have the propensity to widen, which allows blood to supply an area.  The feeling of pain is the body’s way of helping.  Many individuals may experience swollen feet due to poor circulation or standing too long.  Additional internal causes are from a blood clot, kidney disorder, or an underactive thyroid. While swelling is often just a symptom, it can be connected to a disorder.  The first action is to sit down, remove your shoes, and quickly elevate your feet. Place an ice pack or cool cloth on the swollen areas for 20 minutes as the first action.

Tip:   Whether you drink eight glasses of water daily, soak your feet in Epsom salt, or engage in swimming or yoga exercises, these extra efforts will help relax muscles and give you comfort.  Throughout the day, take a few minutes to wiggle your toes, and rotate your ankles.

Tip:  Absolutely put up your feet when sitting, and do not cross your legs for extended periods of time.

Foot care is more than just maintaining soft and smooth skin with pumice stones and lotion, or trimming the toenails straight across and filing edges with an emery board.  It requires an effort to respond to those aches and pains and determining if a greater problem is starting to develop.  Diet and water intake are vital to the comfort of each stride taken. It’s not always about style. A great, comfortable pair of shoes contributes to a great attitude and happy feet!

 

 


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