The feet contain approximately one quarter of the bones in the human body. With the foot and ankle comprising of 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments each. With each step you take each foot holds 1,5 times your body weight. This is astounding if you consider the number of steps you take each day. In general woman tend to have more foot problems then men, which has been attributed to choice in shoes. Shoes with a high heel, shallow and/or narrow/ pointy toe boxes can lead to various foot problems.
1. Check feet daily for any injuries and any skin or nail changes, remembering to check in between the toes as well. This is especially important for people living with diabetes or neuropathy as injuries may not be felt and can become worse if not noticed quickly. If you find it difficult to inspect the bottom of your feet either use a mirror or ask a relative or friend to help.
2. Shoes needs to be properly fitted and supportive of the foot. Shoes should not be too tight or too loose, paying close attention to the toe area. In the case of foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes etc. shoes should accommodate them and not cause undue pressure. The best time to fit shoes is later in the day as this is when your feet are a bit bigger. Wear the right shoes for the right activity.
3. Wearing of socks is important as it helps with moisture and reduces friction between the shoe and the foot.
4. Toenails should be cut straight across and any sharp corners or edges should be filed down. In the case of ingrown or very thick nails it is best to seek treatment from a podiatrist.
5. Keep feet clean and dry. Feet should be washed with clean water and soap. When drying the feet pay close attention to the areas between the toes as this area does not have good “airflow” and is more susceptible to fungal infections. Cream can be applied after washing and drying them but should not be applied between the toes.