It is easy to overlook proper foot care. After all, for most of the year, our feet are hidden from site.
But as we start to get some decent weather, they come out of hiding. And we start to notice some imperfections.
The fact of the matter is, most of us don’t care for our feet as well as we should. However, healthy feet are much more important than we might realise.
This is what you should be doing to look after them:
Common foot complaints:
Let’s be honest, everyone has complained that their feet hurt at some point, whether that’s from blisters, flat feet, bunions or ingrowing toe nails. However having poor foot health causes problems elsewhere in the body, not just your feet, such as bad knees, hips and back.
Some of the most common injuries or ailments are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. These are painful.
Causes of those injuries and fixes:
The foot is an intricate and complicated body part. With 26 bones and 33 joints, there is a lot that can go wrong. Amazingly, there are also over a hundred muscles, ligaments and tendons in the foot too.
The foot is the base of how we move and link together with knees, hips and our back. This is one issue, overuse and excessive force. This is why not being overweight is key because being overweight puts a lot of pressure on your joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. At some point they won’t be able to support you.
But the alignment of the feet is also of great importance. Poor foot alignment often leads to injury. And these alignment issues can stem from a number of factors.
Some alignment issues that affect the feet can be inherited, such as flat feet. However, lifestyle factors play the biggest part in causing problems. If you don’t maintain good flexibility, muscle tension in the lower limbs can affect the feet. Try and at least incorporate a maintenance level of stretching in your day to day life. Especially in areas like the calves. Be barefoot for as much of the day as you can! I have a blog on stretches you should be doing for barefoot running that will benefit you for everyday life!
I cannot stress this factor enough, this to me is why so many people struggle to walk as they get older and why foot injuries occur. Wearing certain types of footwear will often compromise foot alignment. Ill-fitting shoes, boots and cushioned trainers can all have a negative effect. And it goes without saying, that high-heels really take their toll. You don’t have to eliminate them altogether, but look to wear flats on a more regular basis (minimalist shoes, with wide toe boxes) People wear shoes because they look good, unfortunately that’s ridiculous to me. You can get minimalist shoes that look so much better than those big clumpy ugly shoes out there, that make you look like you’re wearing pillows. Unfortunately, there is not enough emphasis on the impact ‘fashionable’ shoes have on your feet. We should be wearing shoes for protection, not because of fashion. Read my previous blogs on barefoot running for more insight.
From my experience with being barefoot and minimalist. If you change your shoes to minimalist footwear, you will significantly decrease the chance of injuries or ailments outlines above. Whilst you transition, your muscles will be sore because you won’t be used to the full mobility that your feet offer you but over time they will become strong and primed to be used for what we were given them for. So makes sure you do your strength work and stretches and donate those horrible clumpy shoes!
Have you had foot problems? If so, let me know! | Have you switched to minimalist shoes or don’t know where to start, drop it in the comments, I’d be happy to help based on my experience as I’m not a qualified paediatrician.
Check out my latest blogs on barefoot running linked above.
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