We do not take a lot of notice of our feet until they start to hurt and when that happens you certainly know about it, don’t you?
It is important to introduce a few facts about your feet and then we will deal with pointers to help your feet perform to their optimum.
Your foot has 26 bones, the same number that are in your spine
There are 3 arches and each assist to absorb shock as you walk on your feet, reducing the load on your lower back. Lower back pain is linked to malfunctioning feet.
The medial arch (the one on the inside) flattens slightly and allows for a nice spring in your step and avoids the knees knocking together causing knee, hip and lower back pain if the arch has fallen.
You have layers of small muscles on the plantar (bottom) aspect of the foot and these must be kept strong to allow you to locomote (move) forward. The tendons of these muscles attach to your toes and these tendons if performing correctly assists in movement and a good spring off as you walk.
Your heel bone (the calcaneus for people in the know) plays a huge role. As your heel hits the ground it should fall slightly to the lateral (outer) aspect and this allows for a balanced gait. If your foot hits the ground correctly you will find there is much less stress on the knees, hips, lower back AND the neck and shoulders. The neck and shoulders come into play as the body balanced in response to biomechanics.
So what can you do to make sure your feet are working really well?
- If you feel your foot rolls inward as you walk or if you feel the inside pressure on the arch as you stand, visit a podiatrist who is conversant with bio-mechanics and can supply personalised orthotics. Please do not get orthotics off the shelf as that is fraught with danger. Our podiatrists are highly trained professionals who can get the balance right to suit your specific needs.
- Regularly bathe your feet for therapeutic purposes. Use a footbath and add 1 cup of Epsom salts to warm water. Add a few drops of lavender oil or fresh leaves and flowers for relaxation or peppermint oil/ mint leaves to the foot bath for stimulation and warming. Dry the feet thoroughly and spray a small amount of methylated spirits in between the toes to avoid any moisture which may cause tinea.
- Exercise your feet. If possible go to the beach and walk in the sand or maybe a park and walk bare footed on the grass. This is great exercise for the feet and remember the stronger the feet, the stronger the body.
- Moisturise the feet by applying a small amount of moisturiser to your feet before retiring but be careful in the morning if you have a shower as your feet could be slippery as you step in the shower. Be careful by always using a bath mat.
- Exfoliate the feet and the heels weekly to lift off any dead skin. Simply take 4 tablespoons of raw sugar, add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil and mix together and massage into the feet. Then rinse off with warm, not hot water and then apply a little moisturiser.
- Always wear footwear that looks like your foot and if wearing a heel always ensure it is only very small, particularly if you are going to do much walking. The higher the heel the greater the stress on the entire anatomy.
- Always ensure socks and stockings fit well and are not too tight.
Finally, whatever you do to your face do to your feet. Spend the same amount of time on your feet as you do your face and your rewards will be astounding.
Let me finish with an old Indian saying;
The man who nurtures his feet will live a long and happy life
Get to love and nurture your feet
Until next time
Find happiness in every moment
For more great tips check out my books:
Book Dr Sandi Rogers for a public speaking event today. Check out her range of seminars and workshops at her official website SandiRogers.com.au/public-speaker/