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Buying properly fitting shoes and practicing good foot hygiene can help keep your feet healthy and pain-free.
“When there’s pain, it’s a sign that something’s wrong. It doesn’t mean, you should pop four ibuprofen and keep going,” says Dr. Angela Dagley, a prominent local podiatrist.
“Our feet aren’t supposed to hurt, and if they’re hurting, there’s an issue.”
When foot pain occurs, people often compensate by changing the way they walk, which can put a strain on muscle groups in the connecting joints. This pain can transfer to your knees, back and hips, warns Dagley.
The first step is finding a shoe that fits properly. If your shoes are too tight, they might cause painful blisters, calluses or corns. When shoes are too big, your feet could slide around, often jamming your toes and causing blisters. To get the best fit, closed toed shoes should have about ¼ to ½ inch length between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe.
The second step is as simple as propping feet up. Propping up your feet at a 45 degree angle for as few as 10 minutes reduces pressure and swelling. So, pencil in a couple of rest stops for your tootsies.
At the end of the day when all of the action is over, there are several things you can do to alleviate foot pain starting with a soak. Some experts recommend running water over your feet while alternating between cold and hot for one minute at a time. Give your whole body a break and add a couple of tablespoons of Epsom salt to your bath to relieve muscle and joint pain. If your favorite person sitting opposite the sofa is feeling generous, maybe you can squeeze in a foot rub—and if not, try rolling a golf ball around under your bare foot.
Did You Know?
Epsom salt is not just a relaxing element to add to your bath. It actually draws toxins out of your body. According to the Epsom Salt Council, adding it to your foot soak can decrease swelling, soothe dry skin and even reduce foot odor.
Epsom Salt Soaking Tips
1. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda per quart of water if you suffer from dry skin and foot odor. In addition to relieving dry skin, soaking in baking soda will make the pH of your skin more acidic so that it is less hospitable to the bacteria that is responsible for foot odor.
2. Try mixing in herbs or essential oils to moisturize your skin and add fragrance to your foot soak. SkinHelp.co.uk recommends peppermint, aloe vera, chamomile and fennel to relieve dryness. MarthaStewart.com suggests adding spearmint or lemon essential oil to the water to soothe tired feet. Adding lavender is great for some relaxing aroma therapy while your feet are soaking.