Feet get made fun of for being ugly. When was the last time you heard someone admire a beautiful pair of feet?
In spite of the lack of admiration, your feet are amazing feats of biology. They not only bear your weight all day, they also absorb shock with every step you take. The bounce in your step? It’s thanks as much to your amazing feet as it is to your good mood!
Unfortunately, along with being powerful and functional, feet are also susceptible to a number of conditions that cause pain. Plantar fasciitis, arthritis, bunions, ingrown toenails, fallen arches, and other conditions can all make your feet hurt.
The experts at all three locations of Apex Medical Center are skilled in identifying the underlying cause and treating foot pain — but they’d rather you not experience foot pain at all.
1. Make sure your shoes fit properly
Whether you’re on your feet all day, you’re a runner, a dancer, or you enjoy an after-dinner stroll, having properly fitting shoes is crucial. In fact, even if you spend most of your time sitting behind a desk, you need shoes that fit you well.
The best shoe for you depends on several factors, including whether you have flat feet, a high arch, or something in between the two. The width of your feet matters when it comes to your shoes, as well as what you plan to do when wearing the shoes in question.
Making sure that you’re wearing the right shoe for your body and for the activities you plan to do can prevent foot pain, and may even prevent injury. If you’re not sure what shoes are best for you, talk to your provider at Apex. We’re happy to help you stay out of pain!
2. Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity is often associated with foot pain. More American adults are overweight or obese than aren’t. It may not come as a shock to you, but research has shown a direct connection between higher body mass index (BMI) and foot pain.
Think about wearing weights around your ankles, and what a difference that makes to how it feels going up stairs or even walking on a flat surface. When that weight is part of your body, all of the structures of your feet that stretch, flex, and spring have to work harder.
3. If you have diabetes, control your blood sugar
There are many good reasons for you to pay attention to your diet and to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions when you have diabetes, and good foot health is one of them. Too much sugar in your bloodstream can cause permanent nerve damage in your feet and legs.
The nerve damage from diabetes is called peripheral neuropathy, and it can cause tingling, burning, pain, or numbness. It can disrupt your life, and even make walking difficult.
4. Check your gait
Biomechanical problems are one of the main causes of foot pain. You may not have any idea that you have a biomechanical problem until you’re already in pain.
Your gait is the series of complex and connected events that happen in your joints, muscles, and soft tissues that allow you to walk. If your foot rotates too far inward when you take a step, or your knee collapses to the inside, you have a gait problem that could eventually lead to foot pain.
If you’re not sure if you have a gait problem, talk to your provider about it during your next visit to Apex. A qualified provider can identify gait issues relatively easily.
5. Practice perfect foot hygiene
Taking good care of your feet is one of the best ways to avoid foot pain. Thoroughly wash and dry your feet daily. Pay careful attention to your toenails, and use lotion or moisturizer liberally.
A bonus of good foot hygiene is that you’re regularly visually inspecting your feet. For people with diabetes, a visual inspection of your feet daily is critical. But everyone can benefit from simply looking at your feet and making sure everything looks as it should.
Tips on dealing with foot pain
If your feet already hurt, there are a few things you can do at home that may help:
- Apply ice for swelling or inflammation
- Apply heat for cold, aching feet
- Use a foot soaking tub
- Massage your feet gently
If your feet hurt, book an appointment at Apex Medical Center today. It’s possible that not addressing the problem could make it worse, and there may be effective treatments that could help. You can easily schedule an appointment at the location of your choice online, or you’re welcome to call us and we’ll help you.