LOOKING AFTER YOUR FEET
How to look after your feet.
There are 28 bones, 33 joints ,19 muscle and 107 ligaments in each foot. Each foot takes you entire weight for a portion of time every step.
During 1 day we can average 8-10,000 steps.
The foot is often asked to do other activities like run and dance but is often not really cared for until something goes wrong.
To maintain healthy feet, we need to take some care of our feet.
- Maintain healthy skin
- Keep nails the correct length and shape
- Keep the foot strong and supple
- Maintain healthy lifestyles, like weight and not smoking.
- Wear good footwear.
Maintaining healthy skin.
- Keep feet clean and dry.
- Wash feet daily and dry especially between the toes.
- Foot creams can help prevent dry and cracked skin on the feet.
- The skin on our feet is much thick than elsewhere on the body and the cream need to be designed for the feet.
- There are some specialist creams that contain urea these can help to break down hard skin. These are available through good supermarkets and chemists. The podiatry department does not provide foot cream prescription.
- Do NOT apply cream between the toes.
If your feet are sweaty. Wash them regularly. Use natural fibres like cotton of bamboo to “wick” away moisture. Surgical spirits can be wiped through between the toes to reduce interdigital moisture and the risk of getting athletes’ foot.
How to care for your feet
- Use nail clippers or scissors and don’t share with other people or animals.
- Nails should be cut regularly.
- Nails should be not to long or too short.
- Long nails can get caught in clothing and footwear.
- Very short nails can increase the risk of ingrown toenails.
- Regular trimming and filling will help.
- If you struggle to cut them yourself, consider a good foot file like a diamond file
- Avoid cutting down the sides of the nail to “shape them” this increases the risk of ingrown toenails.
- File any rough edges to maintain shape.
How to look after your toenails
- If you are unable to reach your feet and have no risk factors you can ask a family member, or friend to cut or file them for you.
- There are private nail cutting services ranging from pedicure to foot health care practitioners to podiatrists
- Make sure any professional you use, use clinically clean nail cutters.
- If you wish to see a podiatrist privately there is an online register of qualified staff. Go to the Health and care professionals’ council (HCPC) website and type name and profession in and it will advise you of their current registration.
Check the Register and find a registered health and care professional | (hcpc-uk.org)
Maintaining strong and supple feet.
- If you took up running, ballet or the gym you may expect to have to “get fitter”. Feet also need exercise to help their fitness.
- General whole-body exercise is great, but there are some exercises you can do to help your feet stay “fit”
- Calf stretching is very important to maintain good foot function. You can do this seated by keeping you legs stretched out straight in front of you and pulling your toes towards your chin.
Standing Calf stretches
- Try and move all the joints in your foot by drawing circles with your toes, or writing the alphabet.
- If you are looking for more strength you may wish to try some “toe yoga”.
Maintaining healthy lifestyle
Our lifestyle choices have an impact of our feet.
Feet are at the very end of our body and often show signs and symptoms of disease first.
- Smoking can have a devastation effect of the body and this can be seen in poor circulation to the skin in your feet.
- This could lead to slow healing, tissue damage, gangrene and ultimately amputations.
- For help quitting smoking speak to the wellbeing service or your GP
Stop Smoking Support – Bath and North East Somerset Community Health and Care Services (bathneshealthandcare.nhs.uk)
- Weight is a big factor in footpain. The bones the in the foot are small. The soft tissue is very strong but can become injured when taking excessive amounts of weight for long periods of time.
- If you have foot pain in the joints or muscles, consider you weight. If you think you are above a normal weight, consider trying to lose some weight.
- For help losing weight contact the wellbeing service or your GP
Wellbeing – Bath and North East Somerset Community Health and Care Services (bathneshealthandcare.nhs.uk)
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