Quite often you take your feet for granted. You use them day in and day out, but how often do you find time to take care of them? Every time you take a step, up to twice your body weight is applied to your legs and feet in force. So if you are on your feet all day, then that is a lot of pressure they need to put up with.
On top of the daily pressure, your feet are under, there are added risks that increase the chance of injury or pain. But don’t worry, there are ways to minimise those risks. Let’s explore the risks and what you can do to reduce them now…
Major Risks To Your Feet
Standing Or Walking For More Than 4 Hours
Spending 4 hours standing is enough to tire anyone out, but you can actually be doing real damage to your feet during this time. Overuse injuries are very common. When your feet are sore and tired, you have a greater chance of tripping over. And, if you do not manage that pain and tiredness, you could cause more serious injuries long term.
Walking On Hard Surfaces
Hard surfaces like concrete do not give when you walk on them. There is a complete lack of flexibility in the surface meaning that the ground force is multiplied with each step. Repeatedly walking on these hard surfaces can cause pain in the ball, heel and arch of your foot.
If your footwear does not properly support your foot then sooner or later, you are going to wind up with pain and potential injury. Unsupportive shoes include jandals, high heels and shoes that don’t fit your feet properly. No part of your foot should be rubbing on the inside of the shoe. That includes your toes touching the end of the shoe, or the sides of your feet touching the edges.
High heels are classed as unsupportive shoes because they tilt your body in an unnatural position, and put increased pressure on the ball of your foot where your weight rests. Long-term wear (more than 40 hours per week) can actually shorten your calf muscles and change your stride, even when you aren’t wearing the heels.
Wearing high heels can also cause corns, bunions, and hammertoe, as well as nerve and ligament damage. These conditions can lead to more serious injuries, and can also cause you to walk in a different way to compensate for the pain. Changing your walking style can cause a flow on issue that affects your hips, knees and spine.
How To Reduce Your Risk
Wear The Right Shoes
You can negate many of the risks associated with your feet by simply wearing the correct shoes. These are shoes that fit well, support your feet and let you walk in a natural way. You want shoes with a sturdy heel box, good arch support and appropriate cushioning. Having suitable cushioning will negate some of the pressures of walking on hard surfaces.
Your shoes should be secured to your feet with laces, buckles or straps to prevent the need to grip your shoes with your toes. Gripping onto your shoes can cause muscle strain.
Change Your Position Regularly
If you are required to stand for long periods, then make sure you shift your weight often. This prevents any one muscle group from getting more strain than another. Moving regularly allows you to give your different pressure points a rest and keeps your joints flexible by moving around.
Take Care Of Your Feet
There are lots of things that you can do at home to take care of your feet. The simplest is to keep them clean and dry. Be vigilant about inspecting them for corns, calluses and cuts. Also be sure to keep your nails trimmed and healthy.
One of the best things you can do for your feet is to give them a rest. Take the time to literally put your feet up and let them recover from the day.
See A Podiatrist
If you are experiencing ongoing pain, discomfort or injury, then go and see your podiatrist. They will be able to diagnose what is causing your issue and recommend a solution. A podiatrist can also help you to remedy existing injuries, recommend the most suitable footwear and help you obtain orthotics if required. They are certainly the experts on everything to do with feet!