Not to overstate the obvious, but your feet are critical in how you make your way through life, which is abundantly clear when foot pain strikes. If you want to hop out of bed and face the day with feet that don’t bark with every step, there are a few changes you can make in your everyday life that will go a long way toward pain-free mobility.
At Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center, our experienced team of podiatric specialists offers an extensive suite of services that tackle everything from ingrown toenails to arthritis in your feet. While we’re able to find solutions for your foot pain, there are many things you can do on your own to avoid foot health issues in the first place.
To get started, here are five everyday activities that could be hurting your feet.
1. The elephant(s) in your closet
Among the biggest offenders when it comes to foot problems are ill-fitting or poorly shaped shoes. We understand that fashion is important, but your choice in footwear can mean the difference between healthy, happy feet and feet that are riddled with problems.
For example, bunions are common issues that aren’t necessarily dangerous, but they can lead to considerable pain when they become inflamed. And the main driver of bunions are shoes that cram your toes into small spaces. Add some heels to the equation, and you have a recipe for this deformity to develop.
In addition to bunions, shoes and heels with pointy toes can also lead to hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and neuromas.
If you want to avoid these potentially painful foot conditions, wearing flat shoes that accommodate your toes is one of the best steps you can take.
2. Limit exposure
If you spend time in public spaces like locker rooms or swimming pools, make every effort to keep your feet protected by wearing shoes like flip-flops. Damp, public environments are breeding grounds for the fungi and viruses that lead to toenail infections and warts.
While a fungal infection may not be painful, it can wreak havoc on your toenails and take months to clear up. Warts, however, can become painful as they tend to develop on the soles of your feet.
To avoid both, keep your feet high and dry as best you can.
3. Offer some support
If you spend a lot of time on your feet, you’re at risk for developing several conditions, such as plantar fasciitis or posterior tibial tendonitis, which can lead to adult-acquired flat feet. Your feet are designed to withstand quite a bit, but if your occupation requires hours on end on your feet, you’d do well to ensure your feet have some extra support.
To start, custom orthotics provide your feet with great support where you need it most. As well, using mats on hard surfaces can soften the surface and keep your feet more comfortable.
4. Give them a rest
We live in the Rocky Mountains, where recreational opportunities abound. We want you to get out and enjoy our wonderful region. But if you regularly take to the trails to hike or run, or you engage in any other high-impact activity where your feet are in the direct line of fire, we urge you to give them a rest every once in a while.
Day after day of concussive activities can pave the way forward for myriad health problems, so take a day or two off per week and give your feet a rest. Perhaps this is a great time to explore other activities, like yoga.
5. There’s a right way to trim your nails
While a minor medical issue, ingrown toenails can be awfully painful, making the slightest contact excruciating. You can avoid ingrown toenails by trimming your nails properly, meaning straight across (not curved) and not too short. By doing this, you can prevent the sides and tops of your toenails from digging into the flesh when they grow out.
If a foot problem does strike, the good news is that we have you covered. Please call one of our four offices in Wheat Ridge, Granby, Arvada, or Evergreen, Colorado, to set up an appointment. You can also send us a message here on our website.