While you might spend all day on them, your feet can be the most neglected part of your body. But if you want pain-free tootsies to carry you through your day, your feet do need a little TLC. Podiatrist Sarah Sweeney gives her best tips to show you how to look after your feet at home.
A firm, supportive shoe is essential. The reason we get pain in our feet and lower legs is due to excess movement and pressure. If we roll in or roll out, the muscles in our feet and legs work overtime to straighten us up, so they get sore. If we have a lot of pressure going through the balls of our feet or through the heel, we get pain. A good shoe with good arch support will help to offload and redistribute pressure.
When looking for a supportive shoe, you want something that’s firm all the way around with good laces or a strong fastening to hold your foot in place. It should have a solid tread so you don’t slip, and it shouldn’t bend or fold. A supportive shoe doesn’t have to be the most expensive shoe. It just needs to have a solid structure that can support your foot and help minimise your pain.
Most painful musculoskeletal problems are linked to, or caused by, tight calves. Stretching for 30 seconds on both sides every morning should do the trick. Try stretching your calves by putting your foot up against the wall while cleaning your teeth, so it's easy to work into your regular routine.
Calluses and corns can not only be unsightly to people around you but also rather painful - and they can easily get infected as well. Calluses and corns are worse when your skin is dry, so make sure you moisturise daily. Wear socks and supportive shoes (ideally enclosed), and file your calluses and corns regularly.
To treat your calluses or corns at home, it's best to soak your feet first. This allows the hard skin to soften, making removal easier. Be very gentle and careful when filing. Take it slow, backwards and forwards. And always moisturise afterwards.
Looking after your toenails is important to prevent ingrown nails and other issues. The correct way to trim and file nails is to cut straight across or in line with the natural curve of the nail. Don't cut too low, never cut below the white at the tip of the nail and only ever file in one direction. Don't go backwards and forwards.
It's important to cut your nails every 6 to 8 weeks. If you’re a runner or very active, you might need to trim them more often.
My final tip? Always use appropriate toenail clippers!
Learn more about Sarah Sweeney Podiatry.
For more information about the lifestyle and support offered at our retirement villages, call our customer service team on 1800 550 550.
If you think your family or friends might enjoy this article, please share it with them.