Monday, 24 June 2019

Top 4 Steps to Beat Aching Feet

A huge percentage of people experience foot problems during their lifetime. The feet are a complex part of the body. They are made up of bones, ligaments, joints, muscles and tendons. They are also at times subjected to a huge amount of pressure, so it’s hardly surprising when some people experience terrible feet pain. This is a condition which threatens to sideline a huge percentage of athletes and everyday walkers each year. Here’re the things you can do to ease feet ache.


Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1. Choose Proper Shoes

Properly fitted shoes can help prevent foot pain from sidelining you. Wear shoes with shock-absorbing, thick soles that shield the feet from hard pavements and rough surfaces. Avoid wearing shoes with soles that are worn out or thin. Wearing high heels usually tightens the calf muscles which can lead to feet ache. Try to change heel heights from high to low when possible. Sometimes, your feet pitches forward while walking. Wearing a half-insole can help prevent this discomfort. If a lot of running or jumping is involved, shoes with good shock absorption are a must. Also, look for a pair that won’t allow extreme rubbing along your foot’s sole.

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight impacts your feet by putting huge pressure on them with every step. Also, it can increase your risk of developing conditions like arthritis in your feet and can worsen already existing pain. In addition, being overweight can place you at a greater risk of poor blood circulation or diabetes, which in turn would harm your overall foot health, as these conditions often lead to loss of sensation in your feet and may even trigger foot pain.

3. Use Orthotics After Consulting Your Doctor

Orthotics, or arch supports, can keep the feet stable while walking or standing, thus eliminating pain. If you live an extremely athletic life where you are exposed to excessive running, or if you suffer from obesity and have a sedentary lifestyle, or if you have a job that requires you to stand for prolonged periods, etc., you may be prone to foot pain. Such pain can be alleviated with the use of orthotics. Though you can purchase them at a store, you should consult your doctor first and have them custom-made if necessary. With the help of night splints, you may be able to take care of your foot pain while you’re asleep.

4. Don’t Neglect Stretches, Especially the Post-workout Ones

People may not generally think about stretching when it comes to eliminating foot pain. But stretching the top and bottom of your feet can help prevent as well as treat foot pain. To relieve stiffness and pain, you can stretch the feet out in front of you. You can also roll your feet over a bottle of frozen water to get relief from foot pain.

If you’ve addressed the probable cause of your foot pain and have followed the above steps but are still suffering from pain, you should consult a doctor without any further delay. While your foot should be on the mend as you start following the above tips, there may be some underlying conditions that need further evaluation from a specialist, especially when the pain persists.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Top 5 Foot Care Tips to Have Healthy Feet During Pregnancy

Hormonal changes and weight gain during pregnancy are common. Yet, most women don’t give much importance to their foothealth though the feet do bear the brunt of some major changes happening during this stage. From cramps and foot pain to swelling due to varicose veins on lower limbs and itchiness, foot problems can create a lot of discomfort during pregnancy. Here are five foot care tips which you can follow to ensure you have healthy feet during pregnancy. 

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1. Make your feet strong with strengthening exercises: Ideally, you should start doing foot strengthening exercises such as ankle rotation, toe curls, leg shake, thigh shift, etc. early on in your pregnancy to ensure your feet are prepared to handle the additional weight, which you will be gaining over the next few months.

2. Stay active: Staying up on your feet for most part of the day would mean your feet getting used, which would help them steer clear of going numb. So, instead of lying down or sitting for long hours at a stretch, you should move around the house, go for short walks in your neighborhood or simply do some light exercise as all these will increase the overall blood flow in your body, including in your legs and feet. 

3.Choose supportive and comfortable footwear: Choosing the right footwear (preferably with laces, straps or Velcro) is crucial to avoid foot discomfort during pregnancy. Ideally, you should avoid wearing all types of heels as they will put unnecessary pressure on your joints which are already under a lot of strain. However, if you must wear them for some reason, opt for a heel height of 3 cm as it will shift your weight a little forward on your feet, which can help lessen discomfort. You should also avoid wearing shoes with tapered toe boxes as they will cramp up your feet and make them prone to sensitivity, swelling, etc.

4. Pamper your feet with massages and foot therapies: Opt for foot treatments and massages that will improve the blood flow in your feet and reduce the stress on them, thus making them feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Since your swelling stomach will make it difficult to reach out to your feet, you may even opt for pampering pedicure sessions to loosen up your nerves and keep your feet cleansed and moisturized, which will help avoid itching and also avoid problems caused by dirt, fungal infection, etc.

5. Wear compression stockings and orthotic shoes after consulting your doctor: Doctors often suggest wearing compression stockings to control leg swelling in pregnant women with varicose veins. Such stockings also help prevent symptoms like tension and heaviness in the legs. You may even use orthotic shoes that offer your feet additional support and comfort compared to your usual footwear. However, you should use compression stockings and orthotic shoes as recommended by your doctor and not according to your whims and fancies because the wrong product may end up doing more harm than good.

Pregnancy is a blissful phase and with these tips, you can ensure you have healthy feet to support you during this period. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Signs You Need to Change Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is tricky. Something that is working for you may not work after a few months. In fact, there is a huge possibility that you may require an occasional alteration in the plan of treatment, whether it means you have to change a medication or switch to a different kind of treatment. Here are a few signs that it is time to speak to your medical expert about changing your rheumatoid arthritis treatment:

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1. There is a flare.
There are some patients that may experience phases where their symptoms including, swollen joints, stiffness and fatigue, may worsen. This may happen because of stress, some other kind of illness, or at times for no reason. When something like this happens, the experts may recommend corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.


2. The medicine is not working anymore. If the symptoms of RA begin to show up again after a being under control for some time, it may be a signal that the medication is not working like it did. There are many people who tend to develop resistance to the medicines which makes it hard for the medicine to work. Keep in mind that such a change could be very subtle — the symptoms may not come back with equal force as before you began treatment. When a medicine gets less effective, it is important to switch. It is best to speak to a doctor and let the expert decide what is best.

3. More symptoms. If the RA has affected your finger joints but now you are also beginning to feel symptoms within your knees, make sure you see a doctor immediately. This could indicate towards a possible progression with the RA getting severe, and it could be indicating towards a need to change medications.

4. Remission. In case you are taking medication for your RA and have not had any major symptoms in 6 months, you may be undergoing remission. About 20 to 40% of individuals with RA reach the state of remission. And though medication is still advised, people taking biologics or DMARDs may be able to decrease their medications.

5. Infection. According to experts taking biologics may put you at risk for infection as the medication decreases the body’s immunity. Those suffering from RA may be at a risk for infections of the lung, and using certain drugs may increase this danger even further. When severe infections like a bacterial infection or flu occur, experts normally recommend stopping the use of biologics and DMARDs.

It is best to just go to your doctor if you are suspecting any kind of infection. While visiting your doctor for discussing any changes within your RA treatment, describe the symptoms thoroughly, make special notes of new pains or aches that you’ve noticed. Also, mention to your doctor if you are having a hard time carrying out everyday tasks, such as, brushing hair or holding a cup. Above all, never ignore the signs and avoid seeking help.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

5 Simple Exercises for Healthy Feet

You feet bear the weight of your body. Whether it is about running errands, standing all day long, or just doing your job that puts a lot of pressure on your feet, they are often the last thing that people think of taking care about. As a result, most of them often suffer from sore feet, foot and ankle pain, or other foot disorders. Perhaps you do not know that by doing a few simple exercises at home, you can strengthen your feet, alleviate soreness and pain, and enjoy better foot health and flexibility. Here are five such simple exercises:

Image Courtesy: Pexels 
1. Calf raise: This is ideal for strengthening your feet and the calves in addition to improving balance. Stand close to a doorway or a counter and hold on to it lightly for balance. Raise your heels a few inches until you are on your toes and your calf muscles feel a stretch. Hold the position for 10 seconds, and then return to your original position. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

2. Toe splay: This improves control on your toe muscles. Depending on your level of comfort, you can do it on alternate feet or on both feet all at once. To do the toe splays, you need to sit up straight in a chair with your feet resting gently on the ground. Next, without straining your toes, spread them apart as much as possible, and hold this position for 5 seconds. Do this motion for 10 reps. Once you have built up some strength in your toes, you can make the exercise more challenging by looping a rubber band around your toes as it will offer a better degree of resistance.

3. Toe raise, point, and curl: This 3-segment exercise will strengthen all parts of your feet and toes. To do it, sit in a chair with your back straight and your feet resting gently on the ground. The first step is to keep your toes on the floor and raise the heels until just the balls of your feet remain on the ground. For 5 seconds, hold this position and then lower your heels to the resting position. The second step involves raising and pointing the toes upward. Hold this position for 5 seconds and afterwards, return to the resting position. The third step involves raising the toes and curling them inward in such a way that just the tips of your toes touch the floor. For 5 seconds, hold this position and then return to the resting position. Repeat every step 10 times.

4. Toe grip: This helps strengthen the foot muscles to boost balance. Drop a handkerchief, sock, or any other piece of material on the ground and make your toes grip and lift it off. Hold the position for 10 seconds, and release afterwards. Repeat the motion 5 times with each foot.

5. Calf stretch: This avoids the plantar fasciae and Achilles tendons from getting tight. To do it, sit straight on a chair and stretch out your left leg in front of you. Wrap a towel around the ball of your foot and pull it back slowly so that there is a feel of stretch in the calf and the arch of your foot. Hold the position for 10 seconds, and release afterwards. Repeat the motion on your right leg. Do it for a total of 10 times (5 on each leg).

Make sure to set aside a few minutes in your daily routine to do these exercises to make your feet stronger, more balanced, and healthy.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

5 Foot Care Tips For Diabetics

Since diabetes causes nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) that affects your feet and legs, a small cut or bruise may go unnoticed because you fail to feel it. Even when you develop a blister or sore, you may not notice it until the condition has worsened. Thus, even a small cut or bruise may have serious consequences – from becoming infected to turning up into a non-healing wound that may put you at the risk for amputation. This is why proper foot care is extremely important for diabetics. Here are five tips that can help you get started:

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1. Daily foot inspection:
Make sure to inspect your feet daily for swelling, blisters, cuts, redness or nail problems. You can use a magnifying glass to take a good look at the bottom of your feet and ensure you do not miss anything untoward. If you have trouble reaching, seeing, or checking your feet, you can ask a family member to help. In case you notice anything irregular or worrying, get in touch with your foot doctor without any further delay.

2. Keep your feet clean and use lukewarm water: You should keep your feet clean by washing them daily. However, use lukewarm warm and not very hot water as that may hurt and scald. Be gentle with your feet and do not scrub them vigorously. Ideally, you should use a sponge or a soft washcloth. Once you have washed your feet, make sure to dry them well, especially the regions between your toes. In case your feet sweat excessively, you may even apply an antiperspirant on the sole of your feet after you have washed and cleaned them.

3. Moisturize your feet: To ensure that the skin on your feet does not crack or itch, apply a thin coat of a moisturizing lotion daily on the top and bottom of your feet. However, do not moisturize between your toes because it could trigger a fungal infection. 

4. Clip your toenails: Cut your toenails straight across and use a nail file or an emery board to file the edges. Make sure to cut your nails every week or when required. However, take care not to cut them too short, as this may cause ingrown toenails. In case you have concerns about your nails or face problems while trimming, it is best to consult your doctor rather than buying over-the-counter medicines and playing the doctor yourself.

5. Manage your diabetes: Preventive measure is the best in most cases and it is no different for diabetics. To keep your feet healthy, your primary job is to keep your blood sugar within the accepted range. Additionally, you should schedule regular foot checkups with your podiatrist as an experienced professional with specialization in foot care is the best person to help prevent foot complications that are triggered by diabetes. 

You can take some additional steps like never walking barefoot (even inside your home), wearing socks that wick moisture away from your feet, checking the inside of your shoes before wearing them, and refraining from smoking to avoid serious foot problems.   

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Fighting Chronic RA Pain with these Tips

From a loss in appetite to complete fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis can have an effect on your life in so many different ways. However, one of the greatest side effects of RA is pain that limits mobility and life in general.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay
1. Inflammation medication


When it comes to handling rheumatoid arthritis most pain-relief methods take the back seat to control inflammation. The best way, experts say, to control inflammation is by using DMARDs or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Such drugs work by suppressing the overactive immune system of the body and prevent joint damage by slowing down disease progression.

2. Pain medication

One of the best drugs to curb acute pain are anti-inflammatory nonsteroidal drugs. Ibuprofen and Aspirin are a part of this class, as is celecoxib. However, NSAIDs handle joint pain but do not prevent joint damage. Apart from this, NSAIDs may disturb the lining of the stomach which leads to kidney damage when utilized over time.

3. Diet

There are several foods and diets that are known to help rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. However, there is no solid evidence that special foods actually decrease RA pain. Experts still believe that omega-3 fatty acids reduce joint pain and inflammation. Omega-3 is found in fish oil supplements and cold-water fish. Those who take fish oil supplements regularly do not need strong pain medication.

4. Weight management

Keeping a healthy weight will assist you in managing joint pain more effectively. One of the studies published suggested that weight loss can help reduce the need for pain medication in those with rheumatoid arthritis.

5. Massage

A therapeutic massage can be a complementary and soothing treatment to assist you in reducing joint and muscle pain. A study was done involving people with RA who received medium to light massage from a therapist every week for one month. These participants also performed self-massage at home. The results, after one month, for those who received moderate-pressure had greater motion range and less pain.

6. Exercise

Most people feel it’s impossible to stay active with RA, with the misconception that any form of exercise will create stress. However, the truth is, gentle exercises can help in decreasing muscle and joint pain, too. Low-impact exercises have proved to be a great way for lowering pain. Experts suggest swimming, walking, and cycling.

7. Orthoses

These aids assist in protecting and supporting your joints. Some of the examples include, padded shoe insoles or braces that help in keeping the joints in aligned. You may even get the right gloves for finger and hand RA. A podiatrist is the best person to seek advice from as to which device is best.  

8. Hot and cold

Heat assists in relaxing the muscles, while cold compress assists in dulling the pain sensation. You will see that using ice packs or hot packs, or switching between cold and hot, helps decrease your joint pain. Taking a hot bath can also help relieve pain.

By following these tips, you are likely to see a difference in your RA pain and symptoms. It is also best to discuss the problem with a qualified podiatrist to get the best results.

Friday, 22 February 2019

5 Tips To Get Your Feet Summer-Ready

For most of us, winter means hiding our feet inside big boots and thick socks all the season. But as the weather begins to turn warmer, open-toed shoes start making a comeback. In case you have not been using a proper foot care regimen during the colder months, you should put some simple efforts to get your feet summer-ready before sporting open-toed shoes and flip-slops. Here are our top five foot care tips to make your feet ready for the summer.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1 Exfoliate and Buff Away

When the chill starts to fade away, you may notice your heels getting cracked or dry as you try to get them ready for summer. You need to exfoliate your feet regularly to keep your heels and feet supple and nice. Buff the dead layer of skin away to help the healthy skin shine through. There are lots of ways to exfoliate your feet, from using a pumice stone and giving them a good scrub to rubbing them in a sugar or salt scrub or applying a foot cream with exfoliating properties.

2.Moisturize your Feet

Begin moisturizing your feet daily. To make your feet primed, you can use a cream designed especially for your feet. If you are going to stay indoors after moisturizing, consider putting on a pair of cotton socks to keep the moisturizer in place while it gets absorbed by your skin. You can also use some home remedies for the purpose. For example, you can use coconut oil to create a daily moisturizing solution. Use a pre-soak made of warm water (1 gallon) and honey (1 cup), and massage olive oil (especially for extreme dry skin), among others.

3.Get Rid of Calluses

If you have calluses on your feet, you need to put some extra effort to get rid of them. Calluses can form in different areas of your feet like on the heels, on the sides of the feet, and on the toes. To deal with them, you can replace a pumice stone with a callus file and make exfoliation a daily routine. You may even add certain ingredients to your moisturizing routine to get rid of them. For example, to soften them, you can put an onion slice (soaked in white vinegar) or apply lemon juice on them.

4.Clip your Nails

To prevent ingrown toenails, clip the toenails straight across the top. You should remember to keep your nails bare for a few days after removing toenail polish as it would help prevent fungal growth. Taking care of fungus or stains on the toenails is extremely important in keeping your feet healthy.

5.Get a Pedicure

Having a pedicure done would be the best way to care for your feet. Whether you pamper yourself at home or treat yourself to a salon session, a standard pedicure that aims to provide an all-in-one treatment would be good for your feet for sure. From controlling calluses to trimming and coloring the nails to moisturizing the skin, and finally, having your feet looking and feeling wonderful – a pedicure is ideal for those looking to take complete care of their feet at one go.

Conclusion 

Apart from these, exercise is also important for foot health. You should take a moment to stretch the foot muscles after sitting still for a prolonged period to promote good circulation in your feet, which in turn would let you maintain their overall well-being.