Man and women 's feet standing next to each other

Tips and Treats for Healthy Feet

Since May is Foot Health Awareness Month we decided to get a little sole-ful.

Your feet are amazing machines! Do you know that:
•    Each foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and a multitude of muscles, ligaments and tendons.
•    The majority of your weight rests on only 2 bones in each foot.
•    Your feet can product almost half a litre of sweat each day.
•    The incredibly high concentration of nerve endings makes the soles of your feet one of the most sensitive places on your body.
•    The health of your feet can reveal clues to your overall health.

It’s common practice for most of us to ignore our feet unless they hurt, at which point they become impossible to ignore.  When was the last time you gave your feet some TLC? Here are some tips:

Wear shoes that fit: If your shoes, boots or bunny slippers hurt your feet get rid of them right now. Pain is your body’s emergency broadcast system. Do your feet hurt? When you wear shoes that pinch, rub, or contort your feet you wreak havoc on the multitude of bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves of the feet, which could creep upwards and affect your ankles, knees, hips, back, and even the way you stand and walk. If you’ve chosen style over comfort there’s hope! Your chiropodist will assess the damage and customize your path to healing, which may include orthotics, physio therapy, or surgery.

Pamper your feet: Feet are magnets for bacteria and are easily susceptible to bumps, bruises, and cuts. After a bath, shower, or swim, dry your feet thoroughly – in between toes too, please! While you’re drying off, if you notice your feet are tender, discoloured, or swollen make an appointment with your chiropodist to find out why. And follow up with moisturizer to prevent fissures (a.k.a. cracks) that can accompany dry skin.

Always wear shoes, boots, or sandals, even on the front lawn, even at the beach, and even indoors to protect your feet from hidden obstacles like stones, table legs and toy building blocks.

Be pedicure savvy: Tell your nail technician to push your cuticles back, but not to trim them because cuticles are a barrier between your nail bed and infection. Have your nails trimmed straight across to prevent ingrowns and be sure of the tool-sterilization process. Avoid the whirlpool or jets in your foot bath because the jet outlets can host bacteria and fungus. We know the jets feel good, but part of the pedicure is a manual massage anyway!

All footwear, all the time: There is appropriate footwear for all of your needs be they athletics, yard work, music festivals, a career standing or walking, an evening out dancing, or even your wedding – you really don’t want painful feet on one of the happiest days of your life. Or ever.

And if you have trouble finding comfortable shoes that you’re willing to wear in public chat up your chiropodist. They have excellent footwear resources and are excited to help you fit fashion and function into your wardrobe. Call Wilson Health Services to book an appointment with our Guelph Podiatrist Patricia at (519) 624-8000.