Monday, 23 December 2019

5 Holiday Foot Care Tips

With the holiday season in full swing, you are sure to be busy. From buying the ingredients for those delicious cakes and getting the shopping done to meeting your loved ones and sending out party invites to friends and family, there’re a lot of tasks to complete. Despite the festive cheer, the holiday season has its fair share of stress too. Though you may not be giving a lot of thought to your feet these days, the fact is they could be under a lot of stress for taking the brunt of your outdoor and indoor activities. If they start hurting, your celebratory mood could soon go out of the window.

However, with a little care and consideration for your feet, you could keep them healthy and comfortably mobile through the coming weeks. Here are five tips to ensure this:



⦁ Wear Shoes with the Right Fit: Though you may not ditch high heels for that special soiree, pick shoes that are comfortable and give you the right fit and support when visiting shopping malls or when hitting the dance floor this holiday season. Overly high-heeled or narrow shoes or dress shoes that you don't wear often could compromise your comfort and safety, irritate your feet and even cause calluses, blisters and swelling; the worst-case scenario being severe ankle injuries.

⦁ Avoid Overindulging in Purine-Heavy Foods: You may not know it but excessive holiday cheer could adversely affect your feet. Intake of certain high-purine beverages and foods like red wine, beer, red meat, shellfish, etc. can encourage uric acid build-up and crystallization in and around the joints which can cause very painful gout attacks. Since the big toe is the body’s coolest part and uric acid is temperature-sensitive, you will often find your big toe getting affected first.

⦁ Remember to Moisturize: The dry winter weather hurts your feet a lot. While rough feet may not bother you much, cracked heels could be painful. This makes it important to moisturize your feet daily to ensure that they stay comfortable and supple. You could use a moisturizing lotion or cream just before bed, after you shower or at any other time of the day that you find suitable. However, don’t use a lot of lotion/cream between your toes as moisture getting trapped there could end up causing more harm than good. In case you enjoy hot showers, consider having them a bit cooler as hot water strips away the moisture from your feet, thus drying them out.

⦁ Exercise Your Feet: To avoid muscle cramps, you can opt for stretching. Raising your toes as well as pointing and curling them a couple of times can help you steer clear of toe cramps. To help your feet relax, rotate your ankles. If you want to loosen ankle joints, cup your heel and turn each ankle slowly five times. The basic idea is to exercise your feet and ankle to ensure proper blood circulation which would help them stay healthy and ready for the grind of the festive season.

⦁ End Your Day with a Foot Massage: Foot massage can boost circulation, help release tension and refresh your skin after you have spent a long day on your feet. At the end of a busy day of shopping and celebrations, try to set aside a couple of minutes to massage your feet using a moisturizing lotion to release stress and tension. Your feet will surely thank you for this!

Use these tips to make sure your feet stay healthy all through the seasonal chores and celebrations.

Friday, 22 November 2019

5 Foot Care Tips for the Elderly

Our feet help us with the crucial functions of walking, running, jogging, dancing, swimming and of course transporting ourselves. With age, the elderly may start suffering from various foot ailments. From wearing shoes with an improper fit that could either cut off circulation or cause damage to the toes to ingrown toenails and uncontrolled diabetes, aging feet could suffer from a wide range of problems. If left untreated, many of them can worsen and trigger more serious issues like infections, falls, etc. This makes it important to take proper care of aging feet. Here are five tips to do it right:  




1. Use the Right Footwear with the Right Fit: Make sure you get the right footwear that fits your feet comfortably and doesn’t rub or slide around on your heel as you walk. Ideally, you should shop for your footwear in the afternoon when your feet are a bit swollen as a result of daily activities. You should try on your chosen shoes to ensure that they give you the proper fit before buying them. By wearing the right footwear, you’ll not only maintain your balance but you will also reduce the risk of blisters (that can transform into bitter sores and infections) and prevent falls. Podiatrists advise the elderly to avoid shoes that have pointy or high heels, are too tight or have a slick bottom that fail to provide adequate grip while walking.

2. Trim Toenails Properly: To prevent ingrown toenails, you should trim your toenails correctly (straight across the toenail and not shorter than the tip of your toe). If you have flexibility issues that make it difficult for you to reach your toes, you can ask a family member or caregiver to trim the toenails. If you suffer from diabetes triggered neuropathy, you should ideally see a podiatrist for regular nail trimming and medical pedicures.

3. Prevent Fungal Infections: Wearing sweaty or wet socks and shoes for long will lead to the consistent presence of moisture around your feet which can possibly trigger fungal infections. So, ensure your feet, socks, stockings and shoes are dry. If they’re not, change them as frequently as needed to prevent this. You may even use a good foot powder to help your feet stay dry. In case you experience a persistent itching or burning sensation in your feet, make sure you consult your podiatrist to have your feet checked out before something serious develops.

4. Promote Good Circulation: Not crossing your legs for long while sitting, stretching your legs and feet, rotating your ankles around and wiggling your toes are some ways to encourage good circulation in your feet. Keeping your feet raised on a footstool or on the couch when you’re relaxing would reduce the chances of swelling. You could even try swimming or yoga to encourage further blood flow in your feet.

5. Opt for Regular Podiatrist Visits: You should see your podiatrist at least once a year or more frequently depending on what your doctor recommends. By being cautious you would be able to ensure that nothing which could trigger serious foot problems develops. By diagnosing and treating early-stage foot issues such as blisters, warts, bunions, corns, bone spurs, neuromas and hammertoes on time, the chance of these issues turning into major problems are eliminated.

Use these tips to take good care of your feet so that foot problems and diseases don’t end up adversely affecting your flexibility and mobility, thus diminishing the quality of life severely.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Top 5 Winter Foot Care Tips

Every season brings unique challenges for your foot health. Since your foot health is an essential part of your overall health, you need to protect your feet all year long and winter is no exception. Whether you’re facing extreme cold and dampness or slogging through deep snow, your feet need to be properly cared for. Here are five winter foot care tips that will keep your feet healthy all winter long and ensure that they are ready for action when spring arrives.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1. Stick to a Regular Foot Care Regime: Having a regular foot care regime is the easiest way to ensure foot health and prevent problems. To begin with, give your feet a relaxing bath after a tiring day. Keep your feet clean and dry and your nails neatly cut and filed. You may use a pumice stone from time to time to avoid buildup of hard skin. However, it’s advisable to soften the stone at first with water and then use it on your heels. Since your skin tends to get dry in winter, make sure you apply a good moisturizer on your feet.

2. Plan to Combat Dry and Cracked Heels: Dry and cracked heels are a common problem in winter. A simple solution is to rub Vaseline on your heels after bathing or showering as it works as a seal locking the moisture in. For utmost effectiveness, you could wear socks or use plastic wrap to cover your feet overnight.

3. Opt for a Nail Polish Vacation: You may be tempted to use nail polish to make your nails look pretty but give it a miss from time to time this winter. Since nail polish can trap bacteria inside your nails, it can trigger discoloration, cause infection, weaken your nails, etc. As winter season means your feet will be spending more time in closed shoes and socks than they do in the summer, your toenails will have lesser access to air this season. By not using nail-related beauty products, you can let your nails counteract this, thus ensuring that they stay healthy.

4. Make Sure Your Shoes Are Dry and Fit Well: Spending a lot of time outdoors in the damp weather or snow could make your shoes wet. Wearing wet shoes will not only make your feet feel colder but will also give bacteria an ideal place to thrive. So, you should remove your wet shoes as soon as you get home and put them somewhere warm (say, by the radiator) to ensure that they get dry. It would be wise to have more than one pair of shoes so that you can rotate them daily. It’s also important to use footwear that offers you a snug fit. Wearing properly fitted skates and boots would help prevent chafing, blisters, and foot or ankle injuries.

5. Choose Your Socks Wisely: Since your feet are likely to stay in closed shoes for a long time this season, invest in socks with moisture-wicking properties (such as breathable bamboo socks). Though you may be tempted to use cotton socks, you should remember that despite cotton being a natural fiber, it absorbs sweat in socks rather than wicking the moisture away. You should ensure that you change your socks daily and wash them regularly so as to prevent the spread of bacteria. If you prefer wearing two pairs of socks to offer your feet more protection and double the effects, remember to avoid tight socks as they would adversely affect the blood circulation in your feet.

This winter, keep these foot care tips in mind to ensure healthy and active feet.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Top 5 Tips for Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are one of the most common foot problems. Though the condition isn’t serious in most cases, it’s embarrassing for sure. If you have been affected by cracked heels and don’t know what to do, we bring you the top five tips as suggested by expert podiatrists.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1. Use a Foot Soak: Since the skin around the cracked heels is usually drier and thicker than the rest of your skin in most cases, getting rid of it isn’t easy. If you try to remove it by applying pressure, it may split. Using a foot soak is the ideal solution to soften the skin so that you can exfoliate it easily. However, it’s important not to use hot water as it will make the skin drier. Use lukewarm, soapy water instead and soak your feet for about 20 minutes.  

2. Follow It up with Exfoliation: Use a pumice stone, a foot scrubber or a loofah to gently rub your heels. Since the foot soak has softened the skin, removing the hard, dead skin would be easier. However, make sure not to scrub your feet vigorously or exfoliate when they’re dry because doing so would increase the risk of damaging the skin.

3. Use Foot Cream/Moisturizers/Emollients: Pat your feet dry and apply a foot cream or a thick moisturizer on the affected area. You may even use emollients (as suggested by your podiatrist) since they penetrate the skin, fill the gaps between skin flakes and decrease water loss. All these make your skin feel soft, smooth and flexible. After you’ve applied a moisturizer or foot cream, apply a layer of petroleum jelly on top to lock in the moisture.

4. Wear 100% Cotton Socks to Bed: Doing this will not only prevent your bed sheets from getting stained but will also help to seal in the moisture. Additionally, cotton socks will allow your heel skin to breathe. No wonder podiatrists suggest slipping on a pair of thin cotton socks at bedtime to let the moisturizer work and facilitate faster healing of cracked heels.  

5. Seek Professional Help If the Above Tips Don't Work: The tips mentioned above combined with regular foot care should get rid of cracked heels easily. If the condition doesn’t improve within a week or two, you shouldn’t think twice about seeking your podiatrist’s help. Remember that ignoring cracked heels may cause the development of deeper fissures over time, which will increase your risk of infection. This, in turn, may lead to serious complications, especially if you already have pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes, etc.). 

Final Words

Feet are often the most neglected part of our body. No wonder that in most cases, cracked heels are ignored unless they start causing discomfort or pain or threaten to turn serious. If self-care measures fail to bring relief or don't cause any visible difference in your feet condition, it’s important to talk to your foot doctor to know about the other treatment options available. Such options may include using stronger softening or removal agents (to remove the dead skin), application of medical glue to seal cracks, strapping the heel with bandages, using orthotics (heel pads, shoe inserts or heel cups), etc. 

Friday, 23 August 2019

Top 5 Tips to Care for Your Feet as You Age

As you age, you are likely to take care of your health but one important body part that often remains off radar is the feet. Though your feet are under tremendous amounts of pressure, you may often neglect them when it comes to taking care of your overall health. However, you should remember that aging affects your feet just as it does the rest of your body. Indeed you can call your feet the unsung hero of your mobility and hence should take all the necessary steps to ensure that they stay healthy. Here are the top five-foot care tips that you should adhere to.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1.
Maintaining Ideal Weight: As you age your BMI (Body Mass Index) increases, especially if you start leading a sedentary life. This excess weight puts your feet under extra pressure which they find difficult to handle. As a result, your risk of foot pain increases. The solution lies in shedding the excess flab and leading an active life in order to maintain an ideal weight.

2. Using External Cushioning: Humans are born with a specific amount of fat under the feet, particularly under the balls and the heels, which facilitates shock absorption. Since aging triggers the loss of this fat pad, you are likely to become more susceptible to balance problems, bruised bones and stress fractures as you get older. Podiatrists suggest using external cushioning (such as gel pads, insoles, etc.) to supplement the fat pad, which can help you steer clear of pain and other foot problems as you age.

3. Seeking Medical Attention for Numbness or Tingling Sensation in Feet: Blood circulation problems are common in older people. The blood flow to your feet may also be affected by other factors such as smoking, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, and blood clots. Since poor or obstructed blood flow often manifests itself in the form of pain, numbness and tingling sensation in the feet, you should seek medical attention if you experience such conditions.

4. Performing Basic Stretches and Simple Exercises for Maintaining Foot Mobility: For strengthening your foot muscles, you should do simple stretches and exercises after consulting your foot doctor. These could include foot circles, basic stretches for your Achilles, heel, and toe raises, standing on one foot, etc. Many podiatrists suggest swimming and cycling as cardio workouts. Since they aren’t weight-bearing activities, they are easier on your feet.

5. Getting an Annual Foot Check-Up Done: As you get older, you should ensure that you get an annual foot health check is done as it’s as important as your hearing or sight test. Regular foot checkups can help the doctor identify the first signs of trouble caused by conditions like diabetes, circulatory problems, etc. Even some common problems such as cracked skin, corns, and ingrown toenails can be successfully treated on time if you don’t miss your regular appointments with your podiatrist. 

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Top 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Rely on Google Search to Treat Your Foot Ailments

The smartphone hasn’t just transformed the way you communicate. It has also significantly altered the way you see and access healthcare. With Google search at your fingertips, you can easily research an ailment and find ways to self-treat it. Hence it is no wonder that almost every ache and pain today is at the mercy of Dr. Google. It’s true that rising healthcare costs, steep insurance deductibles, and the frenetic schedule of modern-day living has made it difficult for people to seek the advice of experienced doctors. As a result, they turn to Google to find cheaper self-help options and it’s no different for foot ailments.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

Though Google can be a valuable resource to help you understand what’s troubling you, it’s important to realize when things demand a specialist’s care. Google search results should never be followed blindly.  It is necessary to understand when you can treat yourself safely and when you are required to visit your doctor. When it comes to foot ailments, here are the top four reasons why you shouldn’t rely on Google search to play the doctor:

      1.       Your Generic Symptoms May Have Other Underlying Causes

A Google search on swelling and pain in the lower leg may bring you search results that suggest elevating your lower leg or using ice packs on the affected area. But your condition may have underlying causes such as blood clots, tendon tears, peripheral venous insufficiency, etc. Since Google can’t distinguish between these root causes, you need to see a podiatrist who would be able to find the root cause and suggest the proper course of treatment. If you decide to rely on Google, you may end up doing more harm than good to your leg, and in the long-run, your overall health as well.

      2.       Unreliability of Information Available

The results a Google search yield varies from reputed sites and blogs of podiatrists to common people who just share their opinions and suggestions. Thus, the information you depend on for treating your foot ailments on your own may often be unreliable as you can’t know whether the person giving the suggestions or talking about the treatment methods are really qualified to do it.

      3.     Risky to Play Doctor Without Proper Diagnosis

Foot doctors can prescribe different diagnostic tests such as x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, blood tests, etc. to find out the underlying problems triggering your foot ailments. Based on the results of the test they can decide on the proper course of treatment. To understand why this is way better than relying on Google, imagine a scenario where a runner is down with leg pain and swelling. In case the runner has Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or an undetected blood clot, leaving it untreated could result in its migration into the brain and lungs, which could turn fatal. Seeking medical attention, in this case, would mean a quick diagnosis via a Doppler or a venogram. This will help in identifying the condition quickly and blood thinners, if needed, could be started.

     4.       The Absence of Personalized Treatment Plans

      Google won’t understand what is triggering your foot ailment. The same condition, say foot pain and swelling, in A, could be caused by poor biomechanics or cholesterol-lowering meds, while in B, ill-fitting shoes or tendonitis caused by overuse could be to blame. Approaching a foot doctor would mean personalized treatment for the exact cause which Google can’t provide.

In conclusion, it is safe to say that Google can be used as an adjunct for treating foot ailments but not as a replacement for an in-person assessment by an experienced podiatrist.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Top 4 Steps to Beat Aching Feet

A huge percentage of people experience foot problems during their lifetime. The feet are a complex part of the body. They are made up of bones, ligaments, joints, muscles and tendons. They are also at times subjected to a huge amount of pressure, so it’s hardly surprising when some people experience terrible feet pain. This is a condition which threatens to sideline a huge percentage of athletes and everyday walkers each year. Here’re the things you can do to ease feet ache.


Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1. Choose Proper Shoes

Properly fitted shoes can help prevent foot pain from sidelining you. Wear shoes with shock-absorbing, thick soles that shield the feet from hard pavements and rough surfaces. Avoid wearing shoes with soles that are worn out or thin. Wearing high heels usually tightens the calf muscles which can lead to feet ache. Try to change heel heights from high to low when possible. Sometimes, your feet pitches forward while walking. Wearing a half-insole can help prevent this discomfort. If a lot of running or jumping is involved, shoes with good shock absorption are a must. Also, look for a pair that won’t allow extreme rubbing along your foot’s sole.

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight impacts your feet by putting huge pressure on them with every step. Also, it can increase your risk of developing conditions like arthritis in your feet and can worsen already existing pain. In addition, being overweight can place you at a greater risk of poor blood circulation or diabetes, which in turn would harm your overall foot health, as these conditions often lead to loss of sensation in your feet and may even trigger foot pain.

3. Use Orthotics After Consulting Your Doctor

Orthotics, or arch supports, can keep the feet stable while walking or standing, thus eliminating pain. If you live an extremely athletic life where you are exposed to excessive running, or if you suffer from obesity and have a sedentary lifestyle, or if you have a job that requires you to stand for prolonged periods, etc., you may be prone to foot pain. Such pain can be alleviated with the use of orthotics. Though you can purchase them at a store, you should consult your doctor first and have them custom-made if necessary. With the help of night splints, you may be able to take care of your foot pain while you’re asleep.

4. Don’t Neglect Stretches, Especially the Post-workout Ones

People may not generally think about stretching when it comes to eliminating foot pain. But stretching the top and bottom of your feet can help prevent as well as treat foot pain. To relieve stiffness and pain, you can stretch the feet out in front of you. You can also roll your feet over a bottle of frozen water to get relief from foot pain.

If you’ve addressed the probable cause of your foot pain and have followed the above steps but are still suffering from pain, you should consult a doctor without any further delay. While your foot should be on the mend as you start following the above tips, there may be some underlying conditions that need further evaluation from a specialist, especially when the pain persists.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Top 5 Foot Care Tips to Have Healthy Feet During Pregnancy

Hormonal changes and weight gain during pregnancy are common. Yet, most women don’t give much importance to their foothealth though the feet do bear the brunt of some major changes happening during this stage. From cramps and foot pain to swelling due to varicose veins on lower limbs and itchiness, foot problems can create a lot of discomfort during pregnancy. Here are five foot care tips which you can follow to ensure you have healthy feet during pregnancy. 

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1. Make your feet strong with strengthening exercises: Ideally, you should start doing foot strengthening exercises such as ankle rotation, toe curls, leg shake, thigh shift, etc. early on in your pregnancy to ensure your feet are prepared to handle the additional weight, which you will be gaining over the next few months.

2. Stay active: Staying up on your feet for most part of the day would mean your feet getting used, which would help them steer clear of going numb. So, instead of lying down or sitting for long hours at a stretch, you should move around the house, go for short walks in your neighborhood or simply do some light exercise as all these will increase the overall blood flow in your body, including in your legs and feet. 

3.Choose supportive and comfortable footwear: Choosing the right footwear (preferably with laces, straps or Velcro) is crucial to avoid foot discomfort during pregnancy. Ideally, you should avoid wearing all types of heels as they will put unnecessary pressure on your joints which are already under a lot of strain. However, if you must wear them for some reason, opt for a heel height of 3 cm as it will shift your weight a little forward on your feet, which can help lessen discomfort. You should also avoid wearing shoes with tapered toe boxes as they will cramp up your feet and make them prone to sensitivity, swelling, etc.

4. Pamper your feet with massages and foot therapies: Opt for foot treatments and massages that will improve the blood flow in your feet and reduce the stress on them, thus making them feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Since your swelling stomach will make it difficult to reach out to your feet, you may even opt for pampering pedicure sessions to loosen up your nerves and keep your feet cleansed and moisturized, which will help avoid itching and also avoid problems caused by dirt, fungal infection, etc.

5. Wear compression stockings and orthotic shoes after consulting your doctor: Doctors often suggest wearing compression stockings to control leg swelling in pregnant women with varicose veins. Such stockings also help prevent symptoms like tension and heaviness in the legs. You may even use orthotic shoes that offer your feet additional support and comfort compared to your usual footwear. However, you should use compression stockings and orthotic shoes as recommended by your doctor and not according to your whims and fancies because the wrong product may end up doing more harm than good.

Pregnancy is a blissful phase and with these tips, you can ensure you have healthy feet to support you during this period. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Signs You Need to Change Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is tricky. Something that is working for you may not work after a few months. In fact, there is a huge possibility that you may require an occasional alteration in the plan of treatment, whether it means you have to change a medication or switch to a different kind of treatment. Here are a few signs that it is time to speak to your medical expert about changing your rheumatoid arthritis treatment:

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1. There is a flare.
There are some patients that may experience phases where their symptoms including, swollen joints, stiffness and fatigue, may worsen. This may happen because of stress, some other kind of illness, or at times for no reason. When something like this happens, the experts may recommend corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.


2. The medicine is not working anymore. If the symptoms of RA begin to show up again after a being under control for some time, it may be a signal that the medication is not working like it did. There are many people who tend to develop resistance to the medicines which makes it hard for the medicine to work. Keep in mind that such a change could be very subtle — the symptoms may not come back with equal force as before you began treatment. When a medicine gets less effective, it is important to switch. It is best to speak to a doctor and let the expert decide what is best.

3. More symptoms. If the RA has affected your finger joints but now you are also beginning to feel symptoms within your knees, make sure you see a doctor immediately. This could indicate towards a possible progression with the RA getting severe, and it could be indicating towards a need to change medications.

4. Remission. In case you are taking medication for your RA and have not had any major symptoms in 6 months, you may be undergoing remission. About 20 to 40% of individuals with RA reach the state of remission. And though medication is still advised, people taking biologics or DMARDs may be able to decrease their medications.

5. Infection. According to experts taking biologics may put you at risk for infection as the medication decreases the body’s immunity. Those suffering from RA may be at a risk for infections of the lung, and using certain drugs may increase this danger even further. When severe infections like a bacterial infection or flu occur, experts normally recommend stopping the use of biologics and DMARDs.

It is best to just go to your doctor if you are suspecting any kind of infection. While visiting your doctor for discussing any changes within your RA treatment, describe the symptoms thoroughly, make special notes of new pains or aches that you’ve noticed. Also, mention to your doctor if you are having a hard time carrying out everyday tasks, such as, brushing hair or holding a cup. Above all, never ignore the signs and avoid seeking help.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

5 Simple Exercises for Healthy Feet

You feet bear the weight of your body. Whether it is about running errands, standing all day long, or just doing your job that puts a lot of pressure on your feet, they are often the last thing that people think of taking care about. As a result, most of them often suffer from sore feet, foot and ankle pain, or other foot disorders. Perhaps you do not know that by doing a few simple exercises at home, you can strengthen your feet, alleviate soreness and pain, and enjoy better foot health and flexibility. Here are five such simple exercises:

Image Courtesy: Pexels 
1. Calf raise: This is ideal for strengthening your feet and the calves in addition to improving balance. Stand close to a doorway or a counter and hold on to it lightly for balance. Raise your heels a few inches until you are on your toes and your calf muscles feel a stretch. Hold the position for 10 seconds, and then return to your original position. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

2. Toe splay: This improves control on your toe muscles. Depending on your level of comfort, you can do it on alternate feet or on both feet all at once. To do the toe splays, you need to sit up straight in a chair with your feet resting gently on the ground. Next, without straining your toes, spread them apart as much as possible, and hold this position for 5 seconds. Do this motion for 10 reps. Once you have built up some strength in your toes, you can make the exercise more challenging by looping a rubber band around your toes as it will offer a better degree of resistance.

3. Toe raise, point, and curl: This 3-segment exercise will strengthen all parts of your feet and toes. To do it, sit in a chair with your back straight and your feet resting gently on the ground. The first step is to keep your toes on the floor and raise the heels until just the balls of your feet remain on the ground. For 5 seconds, hold this position and then lower your heels to the resting position. The second step involves raising and pointing the toes upward. Hold this position for 5 seconds and afterwards, return to the resting position. The third step involves raising the toes and curling them inward in such a way that just the tips of your toes touch the floor. For 5 seconds, hold this position and then return to the resting position. Repeat every step 10 times.

4. Toe grip: This helps strengthen the foot muscles to boost balance. Drop a handkerchief, sock, or any other piece of material on the ground and make your toes grip and lift it off. Hold the position for 10 seconds, and release afterwards. Repeat the motion 5 times with each foot.

5. Calf stretch: This avoids the plantar fasciae and Achilles tendons from getting tight. To do it, sit straight on a chair and stretch out your left leg in front of you. Wrap a towel around the ball of your foot and pull it back slowly so that there is a feel of stretch in the calf and the arch of your foot. Hold the position for 10 seconds, and release afterwards. Repeat the motion on your right leg. Do it for a total of 10 times (5 on each leg).

Make sure to set aside a few minutes in your daily routine to do these exercises to make your feet stronger, more balanced, and healthy.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

5 Foot Care Tips For Diabetics

Since diabetes causes nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) that affects your feet and legs, a small cut or bruise may go unnoticed because you fail to feel it. Even when you develop a blister or sore, you may not notice it until the condition has worsened. Thus, even a small cut or bruise may have serious consequences – from becoming infected to turning up into a non-healing wound that may put you at the risk for amputation. This is why proper foot care is extremely important for diabetics. Here are five tips that can help you get started:

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1. Daily foot inspection:
Make sure to inspect your feet daily for swelling, blisters, cuts, redness or nail problems. You can use a magnifying glass to take a good look at the bottom of your feet and ensure you do not miss anything untoward. If you have trouble reaching, seeing, or checking your feet, you can ask a family member to help. In case you notice anything irregular or worrying, get in touch with your foot doctor without any further delay.

2. Keep your feet clean and use lukewarm water: You should keep your feet clean by washing them daily. However, use lukewarm warm and not very hot water as that may hurt and scald. Be gentle with your feet and do not scrub them vigorously. Ideally, you should use a sponge or a soft washcloth. Once you have washed your feet, make sure to dry them well, especially the regions between your toes. In case your feet sweat excessively, you may even apply an antiperspirant on the sole of your feet after you have washed and cleaned them.

3. Moisturize your feet: To ensure that the skin on your feet does not crack or itch, apply a thin coat of a moisturizing lotion daily on the top and bottom of your feet. However, do not moisturize between your toes because it could trigger a fungal infection. 

4. Clip your toenails: Cut your toenails straight across and use a nail file or an emery board to file the edges. Make sure to cut your nails every week or when required. However, take care not to cut them too short, as this may cause ingrown toenails. In case you have concerns about your nails or face problems while trimming, it is best to consult your doctor rather than buying over-the-counter medicines and playing the doctor yourself.

5. Manage your diabetes: Preventive measure is the best in most cases and it is no different for diabetics. To keep your feet healthy, your primary job is to keep your blood sugar within the accepted range. Additionally, you should schedule regular foot checkups with your podiatrist as an experienced professional with specialization in foot care is the best person to help prevent foot complications that are triggered by diabetes. 

You can take some additional steps like never walking barefoot (even inside your home), wearing socks that wick moisture away from your feet, checking the inside of your shoes before wearing them, and refraining from smoking to avoid serious foot problems.   

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Fighting Chronic RA Pain with these Tips

From a loss in appetite to complete fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis can have an effect on your life in so many different ways. However, one of the greatest side effects of RA is pain that limits mobility and life in general.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay
1. Inflammation medication


When it comes to handling rheumatoid arthritis most pain-relief methods take the back seat to control inflammation. The best way, experts say, to control inflammation is by using DMARDs or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Such drugs work by suppressing the overactive immune system of the body and prevent joint damage by slowing down disease progression.

2. Pain medication

One of the best drugs to curb acute pain are anti-inflammatory nonsteroidal drugs. Ibuprofen and Aspirin are a part of this class, as is celecoxib. However, NSAIDs handle joint pain but do not prevent joint damage. Apart from this, NSAIDs may disturb the lining of the stomach which leads to kidney damage when utilized over time.

3. Diet

There are several foods and diets that are known to help rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. However, there is no solid evidence that special foods actually decrease RA pain. Experts still believe that omega-3 fatty acids reduce joint pain and inflammation. Omega-3 is found in fish oil supplements and cold-water fish. Those who take fish oil supplements regularly do not need strong pain medication.

4. Weight management

Keeping a healthy weight will assist you in managing joint pain more effectively. One of the studies published suggested that weight loss can help reduce the need for pain medication in those with rheumatoid arthritis.

5. Massage

A therapeutic massage can be a complementary and soothing treatment to assist you in reducing joint and muscle pain. A study was done involving people with RA who received medium to light massage from a therapist every week for one month. These participants also performed self-massage at home. The results, after one month, for those who received moderate-pressure had greater motion range and less pain.

6. Exercise

Most people feel it’s impossible to stay active with RA, with the misconception that any form of exercise will create stress. However, the truth is, gentle exercises can help in decreasing muscle and joint pain, too. Low-impact exercises have proved to be a great way for lowering pain. Experts suggest swimming, walking, and cycling.

7. Orthoses

These aids assist in protecting and supporting your joints. Some of the examples include, padded shoe insoles or braces that help in keeping the joints in aligned. You may even get the right gloves for finger and hand RA. A podiatrist is the best person to seek advice from as to which device is best.  

8. Hot and cold

Heat assists in relaxing the muscles, while cold compress assists in dulling the pain sensation. You will see that using ice packs or hot packs, or switching between cold and hot, helps decrease your joint pain. Taking a hot bath can also help relieve pain.

By following these tips, you are likely to see a difference in your RA pain and symptoms. It is also best to discuss the problem with a qualified podiatrist to get the best results.

Friday, 22 February 2019

5 Tips To Get Your Feet Summer-Ready

For most of us, winter means hiding our feet inside big boots and thick socks all the season. But as the weather begins to turn warmer, open-toed shoes start making a comeback. In case you have not been using a proper foot care regimen during the colder months, you should put some simple efforts to get your feet summer-ready before sporting open-toed shoes and flip-slops. Here are our top five foot care tips to make your feet ready for the summer.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1 Exfoliate and Buff Away

When the chill starts to fade away, you may notice your heels getting cracked or dry as you try to get them ready for summer. You need to exfoliate your feet regularly to keep your heels and feet supple and nice. Buff the dead layer of skin away to help the healthy skin shine through. There are lots of ways to exfoliate your feet, from using a pumice stone and giving them a good scrub to rubbing them in a sugar or salt scrub or applying a foot cream with exfoliating properties.

2.Moisturize your Feet

Begin moisturizing your feet daily. To make your feet primed, you can use a cream designed especially for your feet. If you are going to stay indoors after moisturizing, consider putting on a pair of cotton socks to keep the moisturizer in place while it gets absorbed by your skin. You can also use some home remedies for the purpose. For example, you can use coconut oil to create a daily moisturizing solution. Use a pre-soak made of warm water (1 gallon) and honey (1 cup), and massage olive oil (especially for extreme dry skin), among others.

3.Get Rid of Calluses

If you have calluses on your feet, you need to put some extra effort to get rid of them. Calluses can form in different areas of your feet like on the heels, on the sides of the feet, and on the toes. To deal with them, you can replace a pumice stone with a callus file and make exfoliation a daily routine. You may even add certain ingredients to your moisturizing routine to get rid of them. For example, to soften them, you can put an onion slice (soaked in white vinegar) or apply lemon juice on them.

4.Clip your Nails

To prevent ingrown toenails, clip the toenails straight across the top. You should remember to keep your nails bare for a few days after removing toenail polish as it would help prevent fungal growth. Taking care of fungus or stains on the toenails is extremely important in keeping your feet healthy.

5.Get a Pedicure

Having a pedicure done would be the best way to care for your feet. Whether you pamper yourself at home or treat yourself to a salon session, a standard pedicure that aims to provide an all-in-one treatment would be good for your feet for sure. From controlling calluses to trimming and coloring the nails to moisturizing the skin, and finally, having your feet looking and feeling wonderful – a pedicure is ideal for those looking to take complete care of their feet at one go.

Conclusion 

Apart from these, exercise is also important for foot health. You should take a moment to stretch the foot muscles after sitting still for a prolonged period to promote good circulation in your feet, which in turn would let you maintain their overall well-being. 

Yoga Poses for those suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis you should try to incorporate yoga within your routine. It is easy on your joints, and can also assist you in managing the issues linked to living with a painful and chronic condition.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay
Experts believe that people who practice yoga for 16 weeks or more can experience tremendous improvements in the quality of their lives and their stress levels. Apart from this, yoga’s advantages also include a general improvement in a person’s sense of self. If it is practiced correctly and with care, the renumerations can be great.

Best yoga poses for people with RA:

  1. Cat-cow pose
This pose helps to stretch the spine and is normally performed using both knees and hands. However, it can also be modified to be performed on a chair. With your ankles under the knees and your shoulders above the hips, remain seated on a chair. Draw the belly inward toward the spinal cord. Now to stretch like a cat, arch the back to the chair’s back. After this, make sure you reverse the whole motion, by making the spinal cord push the belly forward.

  1. Downward dog
Make sure your feet are hip-width apart. Now push your hips up in the air while keeping the hands fixed on the surface and your head down. This pose can easily be modified with the help of a chair: put the forearms or hands over the chair’s back or on the seat rather than on the surface.

  1. Extended triangle poses
Make sure you use a wall and a block for this particular pose. While standing and facing forward, put your feet a couple of feet apart. Elevate your arms to the sides. Now, turning the right foot make sure your heel reaches a 90-degree angle. Put a yoga block in the interior of the right foot. Now, bend at your waist and make sure your left arm reaches up and the right arm is reaching downward. You can out your right hand over the yoga block to balance well. Do the same pose on the other side.

  1. Tree pose
This specific pose assists in enhancing core strength and balance. While standing, make sure you pull one of the feet up and rest it on the calf, ankle, or thigh. Keep your hands palms and hands together, on your chest. Perform the same movement on the other foot.

  1. Corpse
This pose essentially concludes the session. While keeping your arms restfully at your sides, make sure you lie down. Keep the legs straight while the feet fall outwards. This simple pose can play a very important role in reaping the advantages of stress reduction.

People who suffer from RA can benefit from dedicated yoga classes. When you begin these sessions under a trainer or by joining a class, you can get assistance in modifying your yoga poses as required to help avert injury or discomfort. However, it is extremely important that you first speak to your podiatrist and ask them for their advice.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

It Is All About Flat Foot: Symptoms, Reasons, Types and Treatments:

Overview:

Flat foot is a deformity in the feet because of which individuals end up being unique from the usual frame of the human being. Usually, people have feet with a minute arch that empowers them to stand and run well. The arch benefits in even distribution of the body weight on the feet and limits the stress on the feet. An arch on the feet also improves the balance of the body. In people who have a flat foot, there is either no arch or an extremely flat one that isolates them from the ground. The deformity of arches in a human being can be observed either in one or both the feet.


In toddlers, flat foot is common, and it vanishes with time. At the age of 2 to 3, the body frame of the infant develops, and the tendons of the legs tighten but at times it can remain till adulthood.

Due to flat foot, the foot points outwards and affects the entire sole which touches the surface. It can be uncomfortable when you do extensive physical movements. The flat feet can sometimes add to the issues with the knees or ankles because this deformity can alter the arrangement of the limbs.

Symptoms:

Most of the time, individuals with flat foot do not witness any indications or symptoms of having a deformity. But some people suffer severe pain in their foot, ankle or knees, especially near their heels. This painful experience gets worse with time if not handled properly. Swelling around the ankle area may also take place.

When to approach a specialist?

The moment when an individual with a flat foot suffers pain in the foot, the area around the heels, ankles or knees, he must consult a specialist.

Reasons for flat foot:
  • Ancestry or heredity, means passed from their parents.
  • Due to any dysfunction, damage, rupture or injury to the ankle or feet.
  • Flat or weak foot can also be caused by joint inflammation or nervous system diseases.
  • Weight gained during the time of pregnancy may sometimes cause low or no arches.

                                 

Types of flat foot:

In general, flat foot is of two types: Flexible flat foot and rigid flat foot.

How to figure out whether you are suffering from a flexible or rigid flat foot?

A person having a flexible flat foot can observe the arch in his/her foot in resting position (not while standing or walking). The arch disappears the moment when the foot comes into contact with the surface. While in rigid flat foot, there is no arch in the foot irrespective of the person being in rest or motion.

The flexible flat foot is found in infants whereas the rigid flat foot is seen in adults. The flexible or pediatric flat foot appears in both the feet. But the rigid or true flat foot emerges in either one or both feet.

Treatment of fallen arches:

Foot support:

To heal flat foot difficulty, one can choose the simplest method of offering support to the feet. A podiatrist or any regular specialist can be consulted for using orthotics. Orthotics are embeddings that fit inside your footwear and give support to your feet. 

For toddlers, until the feet are fully developed, special shoes or heel cups are recommended by the doctors.

Foot surgery:

The extreme option that one can opt for handling a fallen arch is a foot surgery. A surgery is performed when the problem is acute. Through this surgery, the orthopedic surgeon creates an arch in the fallen arch area. This surgery also helps in repairing ligaments and fusing the bones or joints. If in case the Achilles tendons of a person are short then, the surgeon can extend tendons to suppress the pain.

Changing the lifestyle:

The most natural way of curing something is to incorporate a healthy lifestyle. Some major or minute changes in your daily schedule like a proper diet or some exercises will help a lot. An exercise plan may help you in losing your weight and eventually limiting the pressure on the feet. Sometimes, the doctors recommend not to stand or walk for prolonged intervals.

Proper medication:

Swelling and pain around the heel areas are common for a flat foot.To reduce the pain and discomfort from swelling, the specialists might recommend medication. Timely intake of medications can give you quick relief.  

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Tips for treating children's feet

When taking care of children, feet are usually the most neglected. It is very important that you pay extra attention to this part of your child’s body from the very day they are born.  Here are a few tips that will ensure healthy development of your child’s feet.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay
  1. Inspect the new born’s feet every now and then: always lookout for things that seem unusual. Health issues you may notice may not always go away on their own. Early treatment will help in correcting abnormalities, including, club foot, and other congenital conditions. Casting of the club foot in just a few days of the child’s birth may prevent surgery.
  2. Cover your baby’s feet lightly. Covers that are tight might make it hard for the baby to move freely and may even restrict normal development. Moving and kicking the feet and legs around will assist in strengthening the muscles. Activity gyms may also help babies strengthen their feet.
  3. Walking shoeless. When children first begin to walk, walking with no shoes indoors is extremely beneficial for normal development. Walking without shoes or wearing only socks helps in strengthening the foot muscles and helps in developing the toe’s grasping action. Moreover, the little walker can enjoy the feeling of various surfaces such as, lush carpets or cool flooring under their feet.
  4. Watch out for any toe-walking. While it is normal for children to walk on their toes especially when they first start to walk, however, in case the child walks only on the toes even after reaching age 2, it is best to talk to your pediatrician or podiatrist. Walking on toes could be a consequence of muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or other nervous system issues.
  5. Always cut the toenails straight. Cutting the nails straight across will prevent ingrown toenails. Some indications of ingrown toenails include swelling, redness and pain. In case an ingrown toenail erupts, you can ease the pain by placing cotton in-between the ingrown toenail and skin. After this, head to your podiatrist or pediatrician. An in-office treatment can fix the issue safely.
  6. Keep the feet dry and clean. Preventing fungal and bacterial infections starts by maintaining good hygiene. Wash the feet thoroughly at bath time. After this, make sure you dry them properly between the toes for preventing athlete’s foot.
  7. Buy shoes that fit well. Make sure you have the child with you when buying shoes for them. It is important to measure the child’s feet every time, as the feet grow quickly. Shoes that are too tight may lead to corns, blisters, calluses, or even infected ingrown toenails. In case your little one is taking their shoes off constantly, it is a red flag.
  8. Preventing injuries to the foot. Walking on a dirty surface outdoors with no footwear on may expose the child’s feet to cuts, injuries and splinters. Another issue is plantar warts, a problem which is caused by a virus that invades the foot’s sole through breaks or cuts inside the skin. Wearing proper shoes when on dirty pavement can help prevent this issue.
As your children grow up, make sure you explain to them why good hygiene is so important and show them how to take care of the feet to ensure a lifetime of good health.