December may be the jolly time of year, but if there’s one thing we can agree in, it’s also the crazy-busy-always-on-your-feet-running-around time of year too! Our calendars are packed with events and end-of-year do’s that keep us on our feet long into the night (and potentially in uncomfortable shoes!), the kids are finishing school, and need to walk around the shopping centres looking for gifts and decorations are at an all-time high. With this being said…
How do we stop our feet from getting far too sore during this time? Here are FIVE practical tips that you can start implementing today!
If you’ve been noticing:
Then we highly recommend getting these removed so you can start at the beginning with soft, smooth skin and healthy nails. If you don’t, the hard skin will continue to build much quicker as you spend more time on your feet this month, and you’ll be left feeling like you’re walking on a pebble when you walk. Even worse, the cracks in your heels may crack the healthy skin underneath and you’ll be vulnerable to infection.
We take care of this very easily for you in our general care appointment. We’ll remove any callous (hard skin), trim and thin your toenails, remove any corns, treat any warts, and more. We guarantee that you’ll walk out feeling much better than when you came in!
Seems simple, right? Here’s the truth. When your skin is dry and the feet are under a lot of pressure, more hard skin will develop. You’ll develop a callus. You may even develop corns, which are just little cones of hard skins in areas that are particularly prone to plenty of pressure and overuse. As you continue to walk and your skin continues to be dry, the hard skin around your heels can crack. Cracks can affect the healthy, supple skin beneath and crack it too. The cracks will bleed. You’ll be vulnerable to infection. Because hard, dry skin is dead skin, you won’t be able to feel so well in these areas. If you have other conditions like diabetes where you’re also losing the sensation in your feet, this gets very dangerous. You may step on a pin or a sharp rock and not feel it as it gets embedded into your foot. That’s very bad news. Areas or hard, dry skin can also make you feel uncomfortable in your shoes. So you adjust the way you’re walking to try to feel more comfortable. You overdo it, strain a tendon, or accidentally injure yourself. We can keep going… but the morale of the story is, just take those 20 seconds to moisturise your feet every day.
You know what they say: If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Well, this is very much true for taking care of your feet too! Ladies, you know what heels do to your feet, but you also know that at times (especially around Christmas parties), wearing heels is necessary. So plan ahead! Spend the day in comfortable, supportive shoes before taking the night off and getting those heels out.
Alternate heel heights with your shoes at work to give your calf muscles a good stretch – heeled shoes shorten the achilles, whereas flat shoes stretch the calves. If your route to work involves over a kilometre of walking, get those joggers on! Regardless of how you think you look, it’ll feel much better when you’re not walking around with tired and achy legs later in the day.
Need to walk a couple of blocks over to a meeting? Stretch first. Actually, just stretch every morning and night to help your body feel better throughout the day. Prepare your body for the day and its activities. Prepare for success!
If you know you get aches and pains, even if they come and go with certain activities, then you have a problem. Pain doesn’t occur for no reason.
If it’s related to the alignment or movement of your bones, joints and muscles (we call this a ‘biomechanical’ problem), then it’s likely that these structures are being overloaded or overused. The problem is that the more time you spend on your feet, the worse your pains and aches will be.
The cause of your pain isn’t always biomechanical either – it could be from a condition or a systemic disease that you may not even be aware of. Gout is a good example that causes painful flares in the joints, particularly at the big toe joint in the foot.
Whatever the cause of your pain or discomfort, please make sure you have it check and sorted so it doesn’t continue to give you grief long after this busy season. The best you can give your family is taking care of yourself and your health!
As well as being good for the soul, putting your feet up is very good for your feet too! It helps to reduce swelling and move fluid away from the feet and legs. Reducing swelling means reducing the pressure on the soft tissues and structures within the feet and legs, which would otherwise lead to aches instead.
You can enhance these effects by giving your feet and legs a massage – or getting your partner too! Getting the circulation going will help move oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and decrease the tiredness you feel.
At the end of the day, don’t forget that your feet are the ones carrying you through not only this busy month but every busy December, relaxing January, rainy July and each day in between! Caring for your feet now means you will continue to walk comfortably for as long as possible throughout your life. Just like making good financial investments to see us through our later years, it’s important to invest in good foot care and helpful habits.
To start feeling great on your feet again, give our team of foot health experts a call on 1300-FX-FEET or book online here.