Very often we don’t give much importance to our feet and their care. But we should understand that the feet are the pillars of our posture, so small problems or variations in their structure can cause large variations in our entire body posture or be the cause of other problems.
For example, a small wart under the foot can trigger a compensatory mechanism of shifting the load on the other leg induced by pain in the foot, causing inflammation of the opposite knee or hip.
The ankle joint is very important for the posture of our whole body and supports the load of all body weight: consider that the size of the ankle joint is very small compared to that of the knee or hip, but nevertheless, it has to carry a greater load! Consequently, there is great stress on all the structures that make up the ankle such as ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
So the health of our feet is fundamental for the health of our entire body, as they are key elements in determining an excellent posture and homogeneous distribution of the forces that act on our body.
There are numerous problems that can afflict our feet both for structural causes (modification of the structures that constitute the foot) and for functional causes (overuse or overload of the structures that make up the foot.
The most common feet problems:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Pain Corns and Calluses
- Pain from Hallux Valgus
- High Heel Pain
- Pain from High Arch
- Pain from Low Arch
- Pain From Flat foot
The five golden tips for the health of your Feet:
1. Wear heels in moderation as they can change your posture.
High-heeled shoes are aesthetically stunning but very damaging to your foot. I’m not saying to wear them but to do it in moderation and for a short time during the day, for example, wear them intermittently when really necessary. The main reason they can be harmful to your foot is that they distribute more load on the forefoot which can produce inflammation or worsen the condition of a Hallux Valgus for example.
From the image below, you can see how the load on the forefoot goes from 10% to 50% when wearing a shoe with a medium heel. Could further increase with very high heels!
2. If you have calluses do not cut them but revitalize them with Shock Thermal Therapy.
Corns when being cut could grow back faster and much harder. Calluses consist of tissue with low or no blood perfusion. If instead of cutting them, we try to increase their blood perfusion of them, we will obtain a more physiological and long-lasting effect. One of the best methods to increase blood perfusion, decrease pain and/or any inflammation produced by calluses is shock thermal therapy with cold and hot water.
Follow these procedures to execute in the right way the therapy:
- Place the ice cubes into the bucket with cold water.
- Place 3 tablespoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda into the bucket with hot water.
- Immerse the feet in cold water for 3-5 minutes.
- Immerse the feet in hot water for 3-5 minutes.
- Repeat this alternation process for 30-45 minutes.
3. Walk barefoot when you are at home to better use and stimulate the muscles, tendons and ligaments of your foot.
Walking barefoot increases the interaction of your foot with the ground and consequently increases the activation of more muscle groups in your foot than when wearing shoes. Avoid doing this if you have an active stage of foot inflammation or pain.
4. Do a simple exercise like forefoot walking to strengthen the feet muscles and ankle joint.
This is a simple exercise that can strengthen the foot muscles and consequently its entire structure. Stronger feet and ankles can better withstand any greater workload or stress, decreasing the risk of injury or inflammation.
5. Self-Massage and Stretching are both an excellent method to improve the health of your feet.
Self-Massage is a perfect home therapy to reduce muscle tension, stress on the tendons and increase blood perfusion.
You can use a tennis ball or a foam roll to massage the sole of the foot.
Feet Stretching is the best way to reduce muscles tension and fatigue. I tell always to my athletes that stretching is like a very effective workout, not for the power, but for the flexibility of the muscles and related joints. The power and flexibility of your muscles should have the right balance: Even if there is big power but poor flexibility in your muscles you can get a lot of injuries!
These are some stretching exercises specific for the health of your feet: