Preventing Foot Problems

Posted on February 20, 2016
Woman taking off her heels and massaging her feet on the sidewalk

Pay Attention to Your Feet

The number one thing you can do to prevent foot problems is to simply pay attention to your feet. Several ways you can give your feet the attention and care they deserve include:

  • Check Them Out – It seems obvious, but many people don’t really look at their feet. Give your feet a quick check and look for any blisters, cracked skin, cuts or sores. These are often minor problems, but it if these issues are related to your nerves or circulation, they could indicate larger problems.

  • Cleanse and Moisturize – It’s important to take the time to actually cleanse your feet every day, and adding moisture does more for your feet than make them look smoother in sandals. When you have dry, cracked skin on your feet, you are more vulnerable to infection, so it’s best to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

  • Clean Socks – Experts at the Arthritis Foundation advise wearing socks to prevent food problems saying, “always wear socks or hose with your shoes to help protect your feet and reduce friction, which can cause blisters.”

Wear Sensible Shoes

Yes, your three-inch pointy-toe heels look amazing, but to prevent foot problems you want to limit the amount of time you spend in shoes that don’t provide your feet with support. High heels do far more than putting pressure on the balls of your feet, they actually change the makeup of your feet. “A three-inch heel causes pressure seven times your body weight. This changes the pattern of (cushioning) fat on the bottom of your foot,” says Dr. Marlene Reid, former president of the American Association for Women Podiatrists. That doesn’t mean you have to forgo all heels forever, but be sure to take a break from them every now and then. Additionally, look for platform shoes that raise both your heel and your toe for better cushioning.

Exercise

Foot exercises help keep your feet strong and flexible, and will help to prevent foot problems. The Arthritis Foundation recommends the following foot exercises:

  • Toe Pull – Place a rubber band around all five toes and then spread your toes. Hold for five seconds and repeat 10 times per foot.

  • Big-Toe Stretch – Put your rubber band around your big toes, then pull your toes away from each other towards your other toes. Hold for five seconds and repeat 10 times

  • Achilles Stretch – Lean against a wall with your palms flat on the wall and place one foot forward, and one foot back. Keeping your heels on the floor, lean forward and feel the pull in your Achilles tendon and calf. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat three times.

You don’t have to spend hours each week working out your feet or buffing them to perfection, but be sure that you are taking the time to properly care for your feet. Paying attention to your feet and giving them the care they require helps to prevent future foot problems. Be good to your feet, and they will be good to you.

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