Many people lament having tired, achy feet. That's especially so among women who routinely squeeze into uncomfortable shoes in the name of fashion.
Feet carry the weight of the entire body while a person is upright. That can mean hours of enduring pressure from walking or standing.
The Pedorthic Association of Canada says that, when a person stands, the same muscles in the feet fire repeatedly as the pressure on them remains constant. This differs from when one walks about and the pressure shifts to and from different areas of the foot so the same muscles aren't working all the time. That is why feet may not ache as much after walking as they do after long periods of standing still.
These factors may be exacerbated by wearing uncomfortable shoes or high heels. Heels position the foot to point the toes downwards, which can put stress on the balls of the feet and also on the toes. Stress fractures of the metatarsal bones can occur if the strain is great enough. Pain also may extend into the knees and lower back.
These foot-pampering steps can help women take care of their feet.
· Wear supportive shoes. Podiatrists state that foot and heel pain is a common byproduct of plantar fasciitis, which is a stabbing pain felt under the soft part of the foot and around the heel. Proper arch support can relieve such pain. Supportive shoes or custom insoles can provide ample support to the arches.
· Stretch your feet. Regularly stretching the feet or practicing yoga can help alleviate tight muscles in the feet and around the ankles that can contribute to discomfort.
· Skip the flip-flops. We know that flip-flops are the ultimate warm-weather footwear, but the lack of support such footwear offers can lead to pain. Furthermore, trying to keep the flip-flops on by "toe scrunching" can trigger tendinitis, offers the custom shoe insole company Wiivv. Opt for more supportive and secure sandals.
· Soak and massage feet. Epsom salt soaks are great for dealing with muscle aches and reducing inflammation. After the soak, rub on an essential oil moisturizer and either massage your feet or ask a partner to do so. Don a pair of cotton socks to let the oils penetrate and moisturize the feet.
· Don't walk barefoot. Walking barefoot on hard surfaces, even indoors at home, can lead the foot to collapse. This can lead to a tremendous amount of stress on the foot and the rest of the body, advises Dr. Miguel Cunha, a podiatrist and the founder of Gotham Footcare in New York. Going barefoot also exposes the feet to bacteria and fungi that can infect the skin.
Women who are concerned about the health of their feet and any feelings of discomfort in their feet should speak with a podiatrist.
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