Are you taking care of your feet?
Taking care of your feet is generally the last thing on your mind until you experience pain that stops you in your tracks – quite literally. Foot pain is something that can affect anyone from any gender, age or ethnicity. No one is immune to it, but the good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to ensure you don’t develop painful foot conditions and even if you do start experiencing pain in your feet, you can take steps to relieve these symptoms and give foot pain the flick for good.
How you might ask? Well, that is the easy part! Taking care of your feet all starts with good education and prevention. We’ve prepared our Top 10 Footcare Tips for making sure you stay on your feet, pain free for longer and manage working long hours in workboots whilst also being physically active.
Think about how many steps you walked today. If you don’t have a pedometer that tracks them for you, trace your steps from getting out of bed until your head hits the pillow again. When you actually think about how many steps your poor feet endure on a daily basis it is no wonder you experience pain. On top of that, think about the types of shoes or boots you wear. They are often heavy and can be uncomfortable.
Here’s our Top 10 Tips for keeping your feet in tip top shape this year!
1. Select the appropriate shoes for the activity
- If you wear workboots during the day, find a pair that fits your foot type the best ie. narrow feet need a boot that contours to the foot; wide feet need a boot with a wider fit. It is important that your workboot has laces or retainers rather than elastic side support. Elasticated workboots will stretch over time which means they will become unsupportive, increasing the risk of developing foot complaints.
- It is also important to ensure you have a thumbs space at the end of your longest toe in relation to the end of the workboot. If you have trouble measuring with steel caps, use the sockliner or removable liner to measure a thumb’s space from the end. This is vital as tight boots can cause toe and toenail pains, and blisters, with boots that are too big leading to frictional blisters. We recommend using Steel Blue, RedBack or Ascent workboots.
- If wearing runners, make sure a supportive sneaker is worn, that has a strong heel counter and bends or flexes at the toe area only. If the shoe bends in half when holding the heel, it won’t be supportive enough, especially when exercising.
- Keep unsupportive shoes to a minimum. We all like wearing slip on and thongs on occasion, but the trick is to keep these type of shoes to a bare minimum. If you’re already experiencing foot pain then try to avoid slip on shoes and thongs for several months to begin the recovery, sticking to sneakers and more supportive shoe options.
2. Wear breathable cotton socks
Thick polyester socks will increase moisture and perspiration leading to skin conditions such as fungal infections and cracked skin which can be painful. We also recommend changing socks during the day if you are finding they are getting wet or the perspiration is too much. This can really help reduce the risk of developing skin conditions on the feet and between the toes.
3. Use emollients or creams regularly
It is important to see a podiatrist to have these debrided which is a painless procedure involving removal of the hard skin with a surgical blade leaving the skin supple and fresh. Creams with urea can be very effective in treating dry and cracked skin, as they help to remove the outer layer of hard skin and encourage cracks to heal. Examples include; Dermal Heel Balm and it can be used with gel heel socks, which help to protect the heels and provide a barrier for healing to take place.
4. Wear supportive insoles
Insoles can help support the body by and relieving strain and impact on muscles and joints and holding you in a more optimal position reducing risk of injury.
5. Protect big toes with toe sleeves
It is very common to experience pressure on toenails and most commonly on the big toe when wearing workboots, and when doing activities such as running and cycling for fitness. Signs of increased pressure include blackened, thickened nails and occasionally nails falling off after they have been traumatised (they become loose and start lifting off the nailbed). If you are experiencing this or have in the past, the Synxgeli Toe Sleeves can help prevent this occurring again.
6. Protect lesser toes with gel toe sleeves
Much like a gel sock for your toes, they can reduce friction and protect your toes from rubbing, which is commonly experienced in workboots or any shoes where rubbing is a potential issue.
7. Address ankle pain
These common conditions shouldn’t be left to escalate. If you are experiencing pain and aching in these areas try a compression sleeve designed to reduce swelling, promote healing and recovery.
8. Address burning under the ball of the foot
Gel Forefoot Cushions under the ball of the foot help to reduce pressure and impact, commonly experienced in this area.
9. Protect the bump on your big toe joint
This bump is called a bunion and the important thing to remember about bunions is that they grow from friction and trauma, so once they are aggravated by rubbing from shoes or from not having enough support in your shoes. If you have a bunion it is important to ensure you wear a gel bunion shield or sleeve.
10. Look after your muscles and joints
Even though your problem may be felt in your foot, it is important to note that your legs or another part of your body could be referring pain to the foot area. So it is vital to take care of the rest of your body too. Massage, stretching, dry needling and soft tissue therapies on the foot, legs, hip and back muscles are great options to reduce your risk of pain and help promote healing and recovery for those already in pain.
We hope you have learnt something new about your incredible feet and we encourage you to think more about your health before you experience pain and discomfort that slows you down.
Wishing you happy feet,
Team Synxsole 😃