Hello happiness…goodbye sore feet
Family get-togethers, Christmas parties, grocery shopping & meal preparations, school holiday, shopping adventures…and if there’s any time left, you might just be able to squeeze that daily walk in – if your feet can handle it!
It’s been a challenging year and you deserve to enjoy all the activities and excitement of the holiday period too.
But you don’t want to feel like a cripple afterwards, nor do you feel like committing yourself to too many fun activities; because as you’ve learnt, the more you’re on your feet then the more likely you’ll be suffering at the end of the day, or even the next day….which means you could end up missing out on most of the things you really want to do and feeling like you’re letting friends and loved ones down.
Imagine being able to feel excited about going out dancing, feeling fab because you can wear those heels for that Christmas party; having a smile on your face as you’re spending time with your grandkids playing with their “just-opened” Christmas gifts, or even getting out for that walk you enjoy so much at the end of each day…all because you have the confidence that your feet will be free from foot pain afterwards!
By simply ignoring and choosing to be “reactive” instead of “pro-active” when it comes to making decisions about really doing something about that foot pain, you run the risk of that foot pain getting worse or stopping you from doing the things you love.
You see, pain is a sign that tissue damage has occurred or is about to occur, and by choosing to manage the symptoms only (reactive management), without addressing the underlying cause of that pain in the first place (proactive management), you are simply masking what is really going on underneath…and if left unchecked, there is a good chance that it will become so much more than missing out on the things you love doing. Foot pain so often gets worse over time and other problems may develop as your body compensates, like osteoarthritis. What’s worse is that because you’ve left it so long, treatment can now take longer and the problem gets more expensive to solve, and in some cases the effects can’t be reversed, leaving surgery as the only option.
If you can relate to any of what I’ve said so far on any level, then this is even more important to address now more than ever before, so that you can get back to living the life you want to enjoy without the fear of foot pain holding you back.
Now the most successful way of putting an end to foot pain is by identifying and treating the cause; the underlying reasons why you’re getting that foot pain in the first place. This is key to stopping or minimising the occurrence of the painful symptoms.
Foot Mobilisation Therapy is one treatment option that works naturally with the body, using hands-on therapy techniques, in combination with supporting prescribed home-based exercises to get to the underlying cause of your foot pain problems. By focusing on improving the underlying structural misalignments of the joints within the feet, the surrounding tissues and muscles don’t have to work so hard, and the strain and pain can reduce.
By having the joints of the feet sitting in their correct anatomical position as nature intended, the muscles, tissues and ligaments are then able to do what that they need to do and support you in the activities you need your feet for, without the pushback of pain and inflammation. And if you’ve got foot pain right now, it’s a tell-tale sign that your feet are working harder than they need to.
“Foot pain is never normal”
Right now, I’m going to share with you 10 Tips that may help get you through the party season with less pain, less aggravation of your current foot pain problems and a faster recovery (including simple practical exercises that you can try today)…but remember these are just temporary measures to help get you through the holiday period, and until such time as you can get help to identify and treat the underlying cause of your foot pain…
1) High Heels: We all know they’re not that great for us long term but we’re still going to wear them anyway, if we can still tolerate wearing them of course, because of the way they make us feel. So, if you’re planning on wearing a pair, here are some tips to consider:
A) Vary the height and type of your heels. You can still wear high heels but alternate between higher and lower heeled shoes, and you can also switch between stiletto style, wedges, kitten, block heels etc. By varying height and style, you’re not overdoing it on the calves, ankles and lower back repetitively.
B) Don’t wear your heels all day every day, otherwise you run the risk of shortening your Achilles tendon, which can increase the risk of injury when you’re wearing your everyday flats or when exercising in your runners.
C) Avoid excessively high heels i.e., 2-3 inches or more. Any higher and your body weight shifts forward, meaning you end up putting extra pressure on the ball of your foot and toes, which can lead to other issues such as blisters, corns, callouses, in-grown toenails and more.
D) Take a spare pair of comfortable shoes with you; this way you’re not in your heels any longer than you need to be, plus these shoes are great to slip on when you’re heading home.
E) Avoid dancing and standing non-stop throughout the day or night! Take short frequent spells to help foot comfort.
2) Flats & thongs: these types of shoes can create just as much a problem for people as do high heels, particularly for people with flat feet. The key here, is to wear the most appropriate footwear for the most appropriate activity i.e., no long walks or extended shopping in thongs either – because this can exacerbate and contribute to additional arch and heel pain. In this case the toes end up working harder than they need to, as they are constantly trying to grip on to the thongs surface to keep them on your feet.
3) New shoes. Both men’s and women’s shoes when first purchased tend to be quite stiff, so rather than wearing them “brand new” at your special event, wear them around the house with socks on in the lead up to your event. This will help soften them up and wear them in, so you don’t’ shock your feet so much and end up with painful blisters.
4) Shopping for new shoes? Our best recommendation is to shop for new shoes towards the end of the day when our feet are at their largest. This way you avoid the risk of buying shoes that are going to end up being too small for your feet – especially when your feet start to swell towards the end of a long day of party hopping, Christmas shopping or a night of dancing!
…and now for the FUN STUFF!
5) Go ahead and put your feet up! Because of the combination of both weather and being on your feet for longer than normal periods over the Christmas holidays; feet, ankles and lower legs can often swell. So, sit back, elevate your legs above the level of your heart to reduce any swelling, and enjoy the simple pleasure of someone taking care of you with a drink or two
6) Treat your tired feet! Grab yourself a glass of bubbles and enjoy foot bath recipe to help de-stress your feet (add to the warm water 2 spon of Epsom salts which are Magnesium Sulphate and 3 drops of Lavender oil, relax your feet for 10 minutes)
7) If you’ve got heel pain, check out this exercise video on to ease your heel pain”, HERE
8) To help relieve tired aching or tight feeling calves CLICK HERE to try this calf stretch
9) Just before you swing your feet out of bed in the morning or go to stand up after you’ve been sitting down for a while, take a minute to write “Good things will happen today!” in cursive.
Do this with one foot at a time and imagine you are writing this with your big toe. One minute, each foot is all it takes, and it’s good for non-painful heels too! This movement helps to flush away some of the waste products that settle around sore heels during the night and warms the tissues up, so they can take your body weight a lot easier and with less pain when you stand up.
10) To help uncramp toes that have been confined for long periods within enclosed shoes, or shoes that have a tapered toe box just like high heels, try these 2 techniques:
A) Create your very own toe spacer! We’re working on a Christmas budget here, so why not use what you already have rather than having to purchase one of those “toe-spacers” you may have seen online. Grab yourself a pair of socks and interlace them between your toes for 5-10 minutes after taking your shoes off at the end of a long day.
B) Toe lift and spread:
1- Sit with your feet flat on the floor.
2- Lift just your toes, together and up (just off the floor) and try to get them all lifted to the same height (the fatty pad area/ball of foot should still be mostly touching the floor)
3- When they’re lifted, spread your toes away from each of their neighbours, and as far apart as possible.
4- Hold for 5 seconds.
5- Relax your toes and lower them back down.
6- Repeat 10 times on each foot or you can do both feet at the same time.
Ready for a bonus?!