What are your feet saying at this time of year? Are they feeling the love or are they being ignored, neglected or even tortured? The feet are one of the most neglected parts of the body – but not this year. As we pause to think of all the persons and things we love in our lives, think of your feet. They have been good to you. They have taken you everywhere you want to go, they function every day without complaint and get up and do it all over again after a day of aches and pains. If your feet are hurting, looking tired and worn and are not jumping for joy, remember your feet deserve some love too.
After all, feet are located way down at the bottom of your legs, out of sight and often, out of mind. It’s easy to forget that your foot health is as important as the health of the rest of your body and mind. Your feet are very important to the functioning of your entire body. Your feet hold you up, take you places, and keep you balanced. Let’s face it, if your face or some other part of the body was in pain, you’d do something or see a doctor pretty fast. But with the feet, we tend to wait and see, often too long. Remember, foot pain is not normal. It tells us something is wrong and that we need to see a podiatrist to find out what is wrong and to treat the problem.
The feet are praised as a masterpiece of art and science. They contain more nerve endings than any other part of our body and also contain 25 percent of all the bones in the body. On these amazing masterpieces, we walk on average 65,000 miles in a lifetime (the equivalent of walking two-and-a-half times around the earth) often in ill-fitting shoes. Well, no wonder they hurt! Ill-fitting shoes can lead to corns, calluses, diabetic foot ulcers, bunions, foot pain and plantar fasciitis as well as other symptoms elsewhere in the body including the back. Remember, when your feet hurt, you hurt all over!
It’s time to pamper your tired feet and show them some extra TLC (tender loving care) and attention so they don’t feel like they are the most abused, tortured and probably the most neglected part of the body. Pampering doesn’t need to be expensive; there are alternative and reasonable ways. We want to stress that your feet are precious, they deserve be loved and pampered too. Here are some ways to pamper your tired, aching feet.
Practice proper foot hygiene: Wash your feet every day and dry them properly especially between the toes. Dry your feet completely before putting on socks and shoes to avoid fungal infections. Wear clean socks/hoses every day and rotate the shoes you wear.
Wear the correct size shoes: Not too tight and not too loose. Make sure your shoes are well made, supportive and fit properly with at least a finger’s width of space beyond the end of your toes. This is to avoid getting corns, calluses, blister, ulcers, ingrown toenails and other foot complaints. Wear the right shoes for the right sport.
Moisturize your feet while asleep: At night, before going to bed, apply moisturizers or your favorite foot oil and lotion. Wearing socks or booties can also help keep the moisturizer on your feet. It will help get rid of the dry and cracked skin on the heel and foot. If the feet are still dry and scaly, you may have a fungal infection that needs to be treated.
Foot spa and bath: One of the most super relaxing ways to pamper your feet, is a foot spa. It can have a soothing effect on your feet after all the tiredness of the whole day. You can do it in the comfort of your own home or go to your favorite spa or salon.
For those who choose to have a pedicure, let the dirt and dry skin be scrubbed and washed away. At home, you can put your feet in a basin of warm water with fragrant soap for 10 to 15 minutes, then use a foot file to scrub and exfoliate the dead skin; cut and file the nails. All persons with diabetes are strongly advised not to soak their feet especially not in hot water.
Foot massage: A relaxing foot massage stimulates the nerves in the feet and improves blood circulation. It helps eliminate stress, feels great and has many other therapeutic benefits. And, everyone loves a foot massage!
Your feet don’t need to be super tired or in bad condition before you actually pamper them. Make it a habit. Pampering them is just like pampering your whole body and mind. Just do it and enjoy.
• For more information email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or to see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre, Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996 or Bahamas Surgical Associates Centre, Hilltop Medical Centre, East Terrace Centreville or telephone 394-5820; or Lucayan Medical Centre, East Sunrise Highway, Freeport, Grand Bahama, every first and third Thursday, telephone 373-7400.