Our feet are one of the most active parts of our body. We ask a great deal of them in our everyday life whether we are working, exercising, shopping or pursuing our hobbies and interests. Many of us have high expectations of our feet and demand a lot of them- often without giving much thought to their care, maintenance and wellbeing. We rely on them to help us feel grounded, supported and give us feedback from our environment.
Many people find it increasingly difficult to reach their feet to care for them properly. Whether it is our vision, dexterity or arthritis which makes reaching our feet tricky, it is not advisable to neglect them and the care that they need. Our feet need just as much care and attention as the rest of us. If painful feet are causing you to change your gait this may impact on your knees and hips and even your back and neck, creating painful conditions in other parts of the body.
There are 3 key factors that affect the health of our feet;
Posture – Weight – Footwear
- Posture – An upright posture, with shoulders held back and tummy and bottom tucked in, helps to distribute our weight evenly over the sole of the foot. When we have an imbalance of weight distribution this can cause inflammation of the plantar fascia which, although it is a painful condition, can be improved with a holistic approach.
- Weight – It is all too easy for those extra pounds to creep on but keeping slim reduces the work for our feet and also our hips and knees.
- Footwear – High heels are best left for special party days only. Our feet change shape throughout life and especially so when we get past 50! Just because you took a size 6 when younger does not mean that this is the appropriate size for you now. It is sensible to get our feet measured annually at a well-trained shoe retailer.
As we age our bodies need a little more care than before as we manage long term conditions such as arthritis, diabetes or a heart condition. Most of these conditions we live with affect our whole body and the efficiency of repair and healing after injury. Our feet should be pain free. Without healthy pain-free feet life becomes a struggle.
Many of us have a routine of having our hair cut regularly, say every 6 weeks. Make it part of your lifestyle choice to allow a professional to not only keep your feet looking and feeling at their best but also to monitor any changes that you might be unaware of.
Be kind to yourself.