Foot Care

3 Signs Your Feet Need Help

Everybody’s feet ache from time to time. But according to podiatric surgeon Trevor Prior, of Homerton University, London, the following symptoms are signals that your feet need some serious attention:

1. Your shoes hurt.

Many foot problems are related to inappropriately fitting shoes. A Homerton University Hospital study demonstrates that 90% of patients & 90% of volunteers were in the wrong sized shoes.

What to look for: a shoe the same shape as your foot, about half an inch longer than the longest toe and, ideally, with a lace to hold the shoe in place.

Result: the right size shoe can reduce and minimize problems.

2. You have big toe joint problems or stiffness.

Problems with the big toe joint are very common. Stiffness in the joint can be a sign of early arthritis and the joint will become progressively stiffer. Generally pain will be within the joint or on the top and there may be prominent bone on the top of the joint. It’s not always painful, but well worth getting a trained opinion.

Also, any bunion (Hallux Valgus) locations should become less painful with inserts and well-fitted shoes.

What to look for: inserts (orthoses) inside the shoe can help to reduce load and improve function.

Result: instant comfort.

3. You have plantar fasciitis – pain beneath the heel.

The plantar fascia runs from the heels to the toes and is common for symptoms to be felt beneath the heel. Too often the pain is ignored but then gets progressively worse so that everyday walking becomes very painful (most commonly felt when you get out of bed in the morning.)

What to look for: supportive shoes with a softer sole (including a slipper for support when you get up), shoe inserts, rest from impact activity, stretch the calves by rolling the heel over a frozen water bottle for 5 minutes.

Result: lessened pain.


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