By Moira de Groot, Foot Health Practitioner at Willow Brook Clinic
Our feet are responsible for our mobility and therefore for our independence. Imagine if you are not able to move around on your feet. Imagine the impact that would have on your lifestyle. Imagine what you would not be able to do.
There are some very simple self-care habits that we need to adopt in order to look after our feet. This is especially important if you have health conditions, particularly diabetes.
If the skin on your feet is not soft and supple, you run the risk of your skin being dry and cracked, which could lead to complications including infection and potential ulcerations. It is therefore very important to moisturise your skin. Often, and if possible, every day.
As we age our foot shape can change. For example, our toes can retract causing pressure to be placed on the fatty pads on your forefoot. Higher pressure can lead to callous formation. Foot pain can change the way we use our feet and placing more pressure on parts of our feet that are not designed to take the strain. This can lead to problems like forefoot pain (metatarsalgia), heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis) and inflammation of tendons. Regular exercises help to keep your feet in good condition. Intervention, such as insoles or orthotics, may be needed to correct problems.
Incorrect footwear can cause a host of problems with your feet. Shoes that don’t suit your feet or the activity you are doing, shoes that are not properly supportive (like slippers or sliders), shoes that are too narrow or too wide can cause problems like blisters, callouses, ingrown toenails, corns and even musclo-skeletal problems with your knees and hips. Choosing comfortable footwear is essential in maintaining good foot health.
Wash your feet and moisturise your feet every day, keep your nails short and clean, wear good shoes and check your feet for any cracks or sores. Seek help from a foot health practitioner if you have any concerns or would like help with your foot health.
Look after your feet and they will look after you.
Get well, stay well