As the countdown to the New Year fades and we retire the “special event” heels for another year, it’s time to think about what resolutions you can make to start the year on the right foot!
Okay, on the left foot too. After weeks of holidays and parties, the start of the year is a perfect time to give your feet a rest. Below are five resolutions to help give them the pampering they deserve.
Give your toenails a breather.
Unless you have a mid-winter warm weather trip planned, January is the perfect time to evaluate the health of your toe nails. Remove the polish and let the nails breath! Look for any white spots or yellow discoloration. Fungus often hides behind the veil of polish and it’s important to identify the infection early for the best chance of successful treatment.
At Family Podiatry Center, we use Laser combined with topical treatments, to give you the best odds of getting rid of the fungus in time for summer.
Protect your fascia from the strain and gain!
The plantar fascia is the tissue that lies on the bottom of your feet running from your heels to the balls of your feet. Strain and stress on the tissue is common with preparations for holidays including extra shopping and cooking. Speaking of holiday cooking, stress is also increased with the weight gain that may come along with it. Plantar Fasciitis is the common term used for strain of the fascia and presents itself as heel or arch pain. At home treatments including stretching and wearing shoes with supportive heels but the pain can be stubborn and used to require surgery.
Good news is Dr. Kosova and Dr. Reid are leaders in new less invasive treatments if your heel pain doesn’t go away on its own!
Give your high heels a break.
The best part of winter is that many styles of boots are either flat or with a lower heel. High heels put constant pressure on the ball of the foot – over seven time the normal pressure with heels as low as three inches. Wearing shoes with lower heels will allow the balls of the feet (specifically the metatarsal heads) a chance to rebound from the stress and strain that is placed on the soft tissues surrounding the area. Common injuries to this area due to high heels include bursitis, torn ligaments, displacing the natural padding and stress fractures.
Give your own heels a break.
Winter brings on dry, cracked heels. Partially due to the dryness of the cold winter air; but also due to friction that occurs on our heels in boots and other shoes that may not provide enough heel support. Treating dry cracked skin is important before the cracks deepen and develop fissures which may become infected. I recently read a beauty tip to crush aspirin to use in a lotion. It sounds crazy but aspirin has acetic acid and acids are used to help get through the dryness. A much better solution is to treat the skin with a prepared acid-based lotion including those with lactic, salicylic or hyaluronic or glycolic acids. These lotions and creams will exfoliate the dry skin to different degrees.
As always, be sure to discuss any treatments of the feet with your podiatric physician to make sure they are appropriate – especially if you are a diabetic or have circulatory problems.
Have your other resolutions be supported by your foot wear!
If you have resolved to be more active, make sure you are wearing the proper foot wear. Running is the easiest sport to take on but its important to make sure you are wearing running shoes which are designed for heel to toe motion. Running shoes are also the perfect shoe for athletic walking because they padding and provide ample room for the toes. Court sports, however, require shoes that allow for side to side motion so tennis shoes have a defined purpose and are not just a type of casual foot wear. Finally, for those that take to the hoops, basketball shoes are designed with added stability for the ankle. As you begin your new sport, remember: foot pain is never normal. Increased activity can result in stress on the bones and tendons, and ligaments are prone to sprains.
Get checked out if pain remains after a day or two of rest, elevation and icing an injury.
Make an appointment at Family Podiatry Center if you are experiencing any pain that doesn’t go away with a change in shoe wear!
Here is to a starting the New Year with Healthy Feet!