It’s important to be good to your feet. They will experience years of hard wear and tear, and they can take you a long way if you treat them with tender care. Lack of care can lead to painful, swollen, sore feet and the rest of you immobilized .
Your feet have 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments per foot. Many things can, and do, go wrong with all your weight impacting a relatively small area. Some common causes for your swollen, sore feet and/or foot pain:
This fungus will cause dry skin, redness, blisters, itching, and peeling. Over-the-counter anti-fungal powders or creams can help. To prevent fungal infections:
- don’t wear tight shoes
- change your shoes often
- try dusting with foot powder
- keep your feet clean and dry, especially between your toes
Corns and calluses are the thickening of skin caused by friction or pressure when the bony parts of your feet rub against your shoes. Wearing shoes that fit better or using insole pads can help.
Bunions develop when the joints in your big toe no longer fit together, and that area can become swollen and tender. Wear shoes that are cut wide around this joint are. Sometimes surgery is needed to repair this foot joint.
Ingrown toenails are painfully caused when part of your toe nail breaks the skin. This can happen if you don’t cut your toenails straight across so the corner of the nail can be seen above the skin. Ingrown toenails are very common in the large big toes.
Hammertoe is caused by a shortening of the tendons that control toe movements and this causes the toe to pull back. Over time, the joint gets bigger and stiffens, affecting your balance. Surgery is available to correct this problem.
Spurs are calcium buildup that grow on bones of your feet and can be extremely painful. They are caused by the stress of:
- being overweight
- wearing badly fitting shoes
- standing for long periods of time
Treatments for spurs are using foot supports and heel pads or cups. And sometimes surgery.
Swollen feet may be a sign of more serious health problems, such as:
- nerve or circulatory disorders
If you continuously have swollen feet and ankles, you need to discuss it with your doctor.
Too much salt in your diet may also contribute to foot swelling. Try cutting back and monitor results. Also, standing long periods of time may cause blood to pool in your feet. When this happens, elevate your feet above your heart to help reduce swelling.
Ill-fitting shoes is a major cause of many foot problems, along with aging and being overweight. Don’t force your feet to wear shoes that don’t fit for style purposes!
Practice good foot care routines by:
- don’t sit for a long time
- warm foot bath is helpful
- avoid pressure from shoes that don’t fit
- don’t keep your legs crossed for too long
- putting your feet up when sitting helps keep blood moving
- stretching, walking, or having a gentle foot massage helps foot circulation
Whenever your feet are sore, swollen or in pain the rest of your body will suffer. Do whatever it takes to keep your feet “pain, swollen and sore” free. Happy feet is a major step in keeping your body fitness healthy.