Sunday, March 22, 2009

April Is Foot Health Awareness Month!

How long has it been since you soaked your feet after a hard day? Do you have corns or an aching metatarsal? Have you ever tried wearing arch cradles in your shoes? Yes, you can also have expensive orthotic devices molded especially for your feet, and those who have made the investment generally rave about the results. I have discovered, however, a much more economical version in these challenging economic times. For under $30 a pair, I have found a terrific solution to my aching feet. Being on my feet all day long, clocking a lot of miles around our flagship store, these arch cradles definitely make a difference in controlling and nearly eliminating pain in my toes and on the ball of my foot.

Taking care of our feet often falls to the bottom of most everyone's list, even though when feet hurt, everything hurts. Here are a few good tips from the foot experts:

  • Check your feet often for cuts, bruises, callouses, fungal infections and other potential signs of problems. Watch especially for swelling as it can be the signal of more serious circulatory issues.

  • When you are not standing, try to put your feet up to enhance blood circulation.

  • Select the right shoe size. Our feet change frequently over the years, and even over the course of the day. Always try shoes on (preferably at the end of a day when they might be the largest from normal swelling and overuse.) Buy shoes shaped like your foot, in spite of the interesting "fashion" options available.

  • Don't ignore wounds that don't heal, painful bunions or hammertoes that won't be helped by over the counter pads and supports, or shooting pain that travels up into your legs.

As we age, trimming toenails becomes especially challenging. It is harder to see clearly and bend properly to ensure a safe procedure. There are tools to help if you would like to stay as independent as long as you can. Many use this self-examining, mirror with its telescoping handle for easy use without having to bend and stretch too much. It is also very common to find a podiatrist to become part of your regular health care team. She or he generally has a regular plan for trimming toenails and performing regular foot inspections.

So, don't be stubborn! Stay on your toes, put your best foot forward, keep both feet on the ground and let yourself still be swept of your feet! Just don't be flatfooted and miss the opportunity to stay healthy...all the way down to your feet!

Make your comments on foot care or other foot metaphors at the bottom of this blog or email us your words of wisdom. We always love hearing from you.

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