Feet, as a general rule, are one of the most neglected parts of our bodies, and yet one of the most important. We can’t walk without them!
It’s easy to recognise why feet don’t get our care and attention – they are stuffed away in socks and shoes all day, they can get sweaty and smelly or dry out and crack, and they are the furthest away from our reach. And yet, when they hurt us – we curse them!
The foot is, in fact, a highly engineered piece of anatomy, containing 26 bones and numerous layers of muscle and other soft tissue. They withstand our whole body weight all day long, and allow us to take part in sports and activities where the load is hugely increased onto the forefoot (ball) and the heel. It is no wonder then, that during our lifetime we may endure injuries of the foot which can have short or long term effects, and need specialist attention.
It has been estimated that, on average, a person will walk the equivalent to twice the circumference of the Earth during their lifetime. This is quite astonishing – it is time to show your feet some respect!
Taking more care of our precious feet can help to relieve pain and prevent foot problems developing.
General foot health tips:
- Wash/dry feet daily as part of your routine and change socks/hosiery daily. Cut toenails following their natural curve – never down the sides.
- For sweaty feet – use an antiperspirant foot spray, or surgical spirit on cotton wool and wipe between toes
- For dry skin – use a foot file (emery board) on DRY skin i.e. BEFORE the bath/shower. Use a rich foot cream after bathing – ideally one containing urea, as this aids the cream to act one layer deeper than other creams. E.g. Flexitol, CCS Cream
- For cold feet – avoid extremes of temperature as the small capillaries in the toes are slow to dilate which causes chilled areas (chilblains). It is better to wear 2 thin layers of socks than 1 thick layer. Akilwinter cream is derived from Gingko Biloba and has a proven effect on chilblain treatment and prevention.
Seek professional advice and treatment from a State Registered Chiropodist/Podiatrist (SRCh) if you have a foot problem you cannot manage. After all – if your feet hurt, your whole body hurts!
Clare Johnson is a fully qualified podiatrist and is able to advise and treat a wide range of conditions. Her clinic is based in Monk Street, Abergavenny. Tel: 01873 852002 or 07774 797242