Don’t you think your feet deserve a little more credit? After all, they carry your entire body weight during your day to day ventures. Being aware of your feet throughout the day can help prevent many associated pains of unsupported or un-cared for feet. No matter what time of the day it is, there is always something you can do to help improve your overall foot health. From the time your alarm goes off in the morning to the time you set it at night, here’s what your feet endure on a daily basis.
After resting (like you), throughout the night, your feet are in their peak condition. They’re least likely to be swollen or tired. However, if you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, unfortunately this would be the first thing you feel in the morning when stepping out of bed. A staggering 10% of the Australian population experience heel pain at some stage of their lives... Plantar Fasciitis usually causes pain under the heel. However, some people may experience pain under the arch of the foot. Both heel pain and arch discomfort are related to Plantar Fasciitis.
There are some small things you can do yourself before seeking any specialist medical treatment:
Rest/reduced activity: The body is capable of healing itself and can overcome inflammation, provided you give it time to. Avoid any running sports, walking distances, walking up or down hills and standing for prolonged periods for at least 6 weeks. Avoid barefoot walking on hard tiles and floors, especially first thing in the morning!
Foot and leg exercises:
Many people have tightness in their calf muscles and Achilles tendons, which can put pressure on a natural walking pattern and places excess strain on the plantar fascia. Flexible muscles are very important in the treatment and prevention of foot injuries, so get stretching!
Ice and anti-inflammatories:
Applying an ice pack directly onto the heel and holding for 5-10 minutes two or three times a day can help cool down the inflammation and provide temporary pain relief. Anti-inflammatory medications will also help decrease the inflammation.
Orthotic insoles to re-align the foot:
Orthotics are corrective foot devices. They are not the same as soft, spongy, rubber footbeds or gel heel cups which do not provide any biomechanical correction. They work by supporting the arches while re-aligning the ankles and lower legs.
Most people’s arches look quite normal when sitting or even standing but when you put weight on the foot, the arch lowers which places added tension on the plantar fascia which then leads to inflammation of the heel bone. Grundy’s Shoes has one of the largest ranges of orthotic friendly footwear, and we also stock a wide range of podiatrist designed brands already fitted with supportive footbeds for any of your foot health needs.
It’s at this stage of the day where your feet may start to feel tired, especially if you’re wearing heels or unsupportive shoes. Just as you would, your feet may start to feel a little more sluggish or heavy. At this stage, the last thing you want to do is go for a walk!
However, going for a quick 10-minute walk around the block can do wonders for your mental and physical health. It increases blood circulation in your legs, prevents weight gain and can de-stress your mind if you’ve had a busy morning.
So, remember to keep a pair of athletic/walking shoes by your side at work so you can quickly duck out for that highly beneficial break!
Massage anyone? Massaging your feet during the late afternoon can further improve blood circulation in the legs and feet and can help relieve muscle tension, plus there’s also the added bonus that you could always get someone else to do it!
If you think of your body from the feet-up, it really helps to understand how connected your feet are to the pains in the rest of your body. Things like sore hips/back or neck aches and headaches can all be associated with the misalignment of your ankles, knees and hips and can be linked to your feet not being properly supported.
Like your mind, your body needs to repair and rejuvenate overnight so anything we can do to help this process will be an added benefit the next day. Try applying lotion to your feet to help dry and cracked heels, magnesium oil can help you sleep when rubbed on the feet before bedtime and wearing socks can always improve the results.
It is always recommended that diabetics wear diabetic socks at night to encourage healthy blood circulation. If you’re experiencing bunion pain, wearing a splint at night to hold the toe straight can ease discomfort.
It’s easy to take our feet for granted but here at Grundy’s, we’re passionate about foot health. It just goes to show that you don’t need an expensive spa treatment to take care of your feet. Spending just a few minutes a day on foot care and choosing the right shoes can keep you free of problems that may lead to pain and even disability. For any of your footwear needs, visit us in-store or shop online.
If any types of pain in your feet continue after taking these preventative measures, consult your local podiatrist.