Looking and feeling your best every day means that you are not in pain and can get through your day without wincing or itching. By taking care of your feet you actually are taking care of the rest of your body and improving the way that you stand, walk and look to those around you. Those who have a peripheral vascular problem or who have diabetes must also take care of their feet every day in order to prevent any significant health care issues. At some point or another, 90% of people will suffer foot pain. Your goal is to prevent that pain and improve the way you feel.
There is some thought that many people suffer from foot pain that has gone unidentified and could be the root of other pain throughout their body, including back pain, hip pain, leg pain, knee pain and arthritis. Consider that your feet are the base of your entire body. When one of them is in pain, you throw your weight off balance; it isn’t hard to imagine how one foot can cause pain in your hip. In other words, even a slight limp that may not be terribly noticeable to anyone watching will place an unnecessary amount of stress on the hips, knees and ankles of the other side. This added stress will also contribute to pain and arthritis in those joints.
One such disorder is Morton’s Toe which is a condition where the second toe is longer than the big toe. This leads to an excessive pressure on the ball of the foot underneath that toe resulting in pain while walking or standing. With proper treatment and footwear individuals are often able to decrease pain and improve the way in which they can walk.
Corns are another issue which affect many people, often originating from poorly fitting shoes. These are calluses that developed from an accumulation of dead cells but contain a cone shaped core that presses on the nerve. Corns can also become inflamed because of friction and pressure. Individuals who suffer from corns should avoid shoes that are too tight or too loose and may require the use of an orthotic or shoe insert that helps to absorb shock.
Another problem which many athletes suffer from at one time or another, is a fungal infection called athlete’s foot. In this condition the foot becomes red, dry and flaky. Sometimes it is accompanied by pain or itching and usually happens between the toes or on the soles of the feet. This fungal infection can spread to the toenails. Athletes can pick it up in the showers, gym, dressing rooms or swimming pool locker rooms. The fungus lives in damp warm areas and the name comes from the fact that athletes spends the most time in these environments and are so at higher risk for these infections.
Get in the habit of taking a look at your feet at least once a week after your shower. Make sure that your toenails are cut straight across so that you can prevent the formation of ingrown toenails. If your feet are particularly dry use a moisturizer after the shower or two or three times a week to help decrease the sharkskin that can happen over the heels and ball of the foot.
Wear proper fitting shoes and reserve those spiked stilettos for the annual Christmas party or spring cotillion. These shoes do not belong in your daily wardrobe and only contribute to leg, back and hip pain when worn on a consistent basis. High heels may help to make the legs have a better shape but they also contribute to misshapen feet and shortened Achilles tendons that are the bane of women who spend the majority of their working years in high heels.
When wearing athletic shoes be sure they also fit correctly. Individuals who have flat feet or high arches should have their feet fitted and wear shoes that provide the correct amount of support. Always wear socks inside your shoes in order to absorb sweat and reduce odor and fungal growth.
Avoid going barefoot as much as possible. This increases the risk that you can stub your toe or break your small toe. Pamper yourself once in a while with a foot scrub or moisturizer developed specifically for the feet. It is amazing what kind of a difference it makes in your daily routine when your feet not only do not hurt but also feel wonderful inside your shoes.