Inspect your feet daily

Inspect your feet daily.

THE year 2019 was a challenging one in many respects, an extremely emotionally charged year. Losing loved ones and patients; having a parent do spinal surgery and therapy; supporting friends through life-changing challenges; relocating the business during Christmas time; so many things occurred... I know a number of people have been through a lot, and like myself, have a 2020 vision we aspire to achieve.

It’s a new year, and with new years come new resolutions. Many resolutions focus on eating healthier, getting more exercise or just treating your body better, overall. I am not one to make resolutions; however, I do have varied elements in my life that I want to improve upon, and make changes to. A big part of taking care of your body is giving your feet the attention they deserve. So I have compiled some practical tips, to help you keep your feet in good shape, in 2020!

Get new shoes

Many people are walking around in shoes that are too old! Old shoes give less support, have less cushioning and are usually packed with harmful bacteria that can cause toenail fungus, or athlete’s foot. Podiatrists recommend you buy new shoes every 300-500 miles, which is approximately every six months. Folks with jobs that have them on their feet all day will reach those miles much sooner.

Retire old socks

Much like shoes, socks have a limited lifespan. If your socks have holes in them, or are threading, then you’ve held on to them for way too long. When purchasing new socks, try to opt for moisture wicking materials, such as polyester. Cotton socks can trap moisture against the skin, which can lead to athlete’s foot, or even ulcers in diabetics.

Limit use of high heels and flip-flops

Both high heels and flip-flops can be harmful to your feet, ballerina flats as well. When you wear flip-flops, you are offering no support for your foot. As well, the open design creates susceptibility to injury and infections. High heels force the feet into a very unnatural position. This can damage the structure of the foot, resulting in bunions, calluses, and corns, among other things. Wearing these types of footwear, even once in a while, can lead to problems. Ultimately, you should try to wear protective and supportive shoes at all times.

Use supportive orthotics

As has been established, many people do not get enough support from their shoes, so good supportive orthotics can be very helpful. While insoles can be purchased from the pharmacy or medical store, many podiatrists recommend full custom orthotics. Made specifically for your feet, these medical devices can last years, providing you with great support the whole time. Custom orthotics can not only be a great gift for your feet, but as well they can improve overall body health.

Inspect your feet regularly

Although most diabetics are already aware of the need for regular foot inspections, non-diabetics may also benefit from paying regular attention to the feet. Because the feet carry us everywhere we go, they are particularly prone to injuries and infections. Even minor scrapes or injuries may lead to much larger problems, which could result in hospitalisations, or worse. Taking preventative action may help ward off complications, and help keep you up and going.

Take a few minutes each day, during or after bathing, to inspect your feet. Start with washing and drying your feet thoroughly. Additionally, apply a moisturiser to help prevent the skin from cracking, or irritation.

See a podiatrist

While it may seem obvious, if you or a loved one is experiencing foot pain, then please make an appointment with a podiatrist. When it comes to the feet, the sooner you seek professional attention, the easier it is to correct the problem. A podiatrist is an expert in all aspects of the foot, so you know you can trust them to get to the root of your pain.

Based on the old year, continue to strive for excellence. Make 2020 a better year, filled with all you wish for yourself and your family.

Your feet mirror your general health... cherish them!

Leana Huntley is a UK-trained podiatrist attached to Almawi Ltd The Holistic Clinic, and clinical director-Fit Feet, Special Olympics Trinidad and Tobago. E-mail info@almawiclinic.com or visit the website at www.almawiclinic.com.

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