Little Love For Your Feet


 

Most of us are on our feet most if not all day. Our feet take a pounding regularly. What’s a “pounding”? On an average day, your walking will put a force equivalent to hundreds of tons on your feet. Where’s the love?

How often do you stop to take care of tired and aching feet? We are more likely to ask a friend or family member for a back rub than to reach down to pamper our toes. Having sore feet can be more than a nuisance. Sore feet can get in the way of proper foot function, can throw off our natural form and balance affecting walking, running and even standing around.

This is why you need to invest at least a little time in giving your feet some TLC. Ontario’s Podiatrists are foot health experts and they offer some of the best, most soothing methods for showing feet a little love. 

1. February Foot Soaker


Soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salt – Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfate that help to reduce soreness, aches and pains, decrease inflammation, improve circulation, soften and deodorize the feet. To pamper your sore feet, get a basin of warm water and add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt in it, then soak your feet inside it and relax for the next 20 minutes.

Studies have shown that magnesium and sulfate can be absorbed through the skin, helping you soothe muscle aches and reduce swelling. If you don’t have a lot of free time, you can start with 10-15 minutes until it becomes a relaxing “feel good” habit.

2. February Foot Pamper

If you are not in the habit of regular pedicures, this Valentine’s maybe treat yourself. You can do it yourself at home if a trip to a fancy spa is not possible. There are four “peddy” tips to safe and proper foot pampering.  They are –


♥ Soothe the Soles. Your feet will thank you for smoothing calluses on the heels, balls, and the sides of your feet. While doing this, avoid using a razor, which may take away too much skin and even cause permanent damage, not to mention breakages on the skin through which infections can enter the body. Use a pumice stone, a foot scrub, or a foot file instead. All are available at your local pharmacy.

Dry Your Feet. After a good foot soaking and scrubbing them, rinse your feet off and thoroughly pat them with a towel until they are dry. Moisture, especially in easy to miss areas such as between the toes, can cause fungal infections such as athlete's foot.

♥ Trim Toenails. Again, a good set of toenail clippers is a worthwhile investment in the TLC of your feet and can be purchased at the pharmacy in the foot care section. Look for clippers with a straight – not a curved – edge.  Curved edge clippers cause rounded nail corners that can make feet prone to ingrown toenails. Trim toenails just above the top of each toe.

Clean Under Nails. Use a wooded ,manicure stick to get gently under your toenails to remove any dirt. Be gentle and check not to rupture this sensitive skin. Careful you do not cut cuticles.  Cuticles act as barriers to bacteria. Then, finish this pampering and care by moisturizing nails and cuticles with foot cream.

 

3. February Foot Massage

A good foot massage makes everything seem better. Foot massage can help reduce stress, improve blood circulation and remove blood stagnation from wearing ill-fitting shoes. 

Massage can also remove knots and tension in your toes, the balls of your feet, the arches and ankles. If you apply massage oil, it can soothe the muscles, reduce inflammation that causes pain, stimulate the movement of blood and lymph fluid and make your feet more flexible. During a foot massage, look for tender spots and press them while you flex and stretch the feet. The spots are like sore nodules. 

Rub massage oil on the top of your foot gently using your thumbs and carefully move to your heel. Apply a little pressure as you do so to ease tension from the muscles. Repeat on the other foot. 

You can also roll your foot on a tennis ball. It is a great way to stretch your feet muscles and bones. Place the tennis ball on the floor and roll the arches of your feet on it to reduce tension. Press your foot down as hard as you can without causing pain to get the most out of it. 

It will feel good and can actually be performed while you watch TV at home, relax in the yard, or even at work in the privacy of an office or under your desk.


During Heart & Stroke Month, Podiatrists also want you to apply TLC to swollen feet. swollen feet are a not-uncommon sign of congestive heart failure. Heart failure doesn’t mean your heart stops working, just that your heart can’t pump enough blood. This means blood backs up in the veins, leading to fluid buildup.  The location of the swelling can help you rule out heart failure: usually swelling in the feet points to right-sided heart failure. And if you have heart failure, swelling in your feet is usually more pronounced than the swelling that happens after you've been standing on your feet all day. If it lasts long enough, you may also get pitting, which is when the skin stays indented after you put pressure on it. The key is to pay attention to your feet.

The average person will walk around 115,000 miles in a lifetime, that's more than 4 times around the Earth! Be kind to your feet.  Show them a little love.  It’s February and today is Valentine’s Day. 


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