Stand on guard for feet
Keeping your tootsies glorious and pain free
If you look after your feet, they will look after you
With all we ask of our feet, it’s no wonder our tootsies get tender. Sometimes foot pain is merely a case of wearing the wrong shoes (especially if you step out in stilettos). But, in some cases, a more serious medical condition is afoot.
Calluses, bunions and corns are common causes of foot pain.
“Corns are particularly bad,” says Natalie Nanninga, a site supervisor and licensed practical nurse working out of the Shepherd’s Care Foundation in Barrhead. “If you put a piece of unpopped popcorn under your foot and you walk on it, that’s exactly what corns feel like. People with corns start putting their weight on the other foot when they walk so then you’re not just getting foot pain, but knee pain and hip pain. It affects the whole body.”
Foot pain can also be a sign of bursitis (bone spurs that can make walking and standing painful), osteoarthritis (inflammation of the joints), or plantar fasciitis (damage to the supportive sheath that protects the arch of the foot).
Another cause of foot pain can be poor nail care, says Nanninga. Seniors with failing sight and flexibility, may find it difficult to reach and care for toenails. Nanninga recalls an elderly woman who was wheelchair-bound due to foot pain.
A nail on one of her big toes was so overgrown, it was digging into the bottom of her toe. Once treated, the woman was eventually able to walk again. People with diabetes are also at greater risk of having foot-pain issues, Nanninga says. Poor circulation due to diabetes can numb the feet, meaning serious side effects, such as sprains or stress fractures, aren’t identified early enough.
Caring for your feet
If you look after your feet, they will look after you. These easy tips will keep them in good health.
- Wash and moisturize your feet regularly. After washing, fully dry between the toes to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus (athlete’s foot).
- Footbaths feel good, but footbath equipment is difficult to disinfect. If you own one, avoid sharing it.
- Avoid letting your toenails grow too long, or cutting them too short. • Wear good quality shoes with appropriate arch support. If your shoes lace up, avoid tying them too tightly. Ensure your shoes allow your feet to breathe. Give your feet a break from high heels when possible.
- If you develop corns, calluses or bunions, deal with them immediately by speaking with your health-care provider or pharmacist.
By SHELLEY ARNUSCH
We welcome your thoughts and feedback about this article and anything you read in Apple magazine. You can reach us at email@example.com or call us at (403) 943-2892.