Foot pain? Foot care for all seasons
Most people tend to think about foot care only during the summer months, when flip-flops and trendy stilettos are in season. But sandals without good foot support can cause foot ailments, from tired, achy feet to more serious problems such as plantar fasciitis – painful inflammation usually felt on the underside of the heel. What you may not realize is that other types of footwear can cause these same issues as well as problems with the knees, back and other joints. Here are some foot care tips to keep you pain-free all year round.
Many people don't like to admit they're suffering, but 80 percent of Americans are affected by lower body pain, and it's preventing them from being active and doing the things they love. If this is you, don't be embarrassed or ashamed about your pain, and certainly don't let it go untreated. In addition to wearing supportive footwear, try the following foot care tips.
Many sufferers can find foot-pain relief simply by using specially designed insoles called orthotics, an effective and inexpensive solution for certain types of knee and lower back pain. As a first line of defense, I recommend that my patients start out with an over-the-counter product such as Dr. Scholl's Arthritis Pain Relief Orthotics, which are clinically proven to provide immediate and all-day pain relief.
Stretch your lower body
Stretching is a key way to decrease joint stiffness and maintain or improve range of motion. Stretching should be a part of your daily routine, and everyone can learn to stretch, regardless of age or flexibility. A regular stretching routine can help lengthen your muscles and make daily activities easier.
The foods you eat affect how you feel, so it's important to make healthy diet choices. Pro-inflammatory foods (like sugars and starches) can cause inflammation and increase pain, while anti-inflammatory foods (like fruits and veggies) can have the opposite effect.
Among its many benefits, exercise strengthens the muscles around your joints, helps maintain bone strength and gives you more energy to get through the day. Even moderate exercise can ease your pain and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Being overweight, even just moderately, puts stress on your joints, which can increase foot pain. For every pound you gain, you add four pounds of pressure on your knees.
One of the best ways to manage a foot condition is to surround yourself with others who are experiencing the same thing you are. Join a community where you can talk to other foot-pain sufferers and find support by learning from their experiences and sharing your story.
See a podiatrist
As with any medical condition, it's important to consult a health care professional to ensure a proper diagnosis. With the right treatment, managing lower body pain can get you on track to a more active lifestyle.