Did you know, our feet can tell us a lot about our general health or warn us of underlying health conditions? From pesky foot pain to more serious symptoms, such as numbness, feet often show symptoms of disease before any other part of the body.
Since we often have conversations within Malini’s Girl Tribe on Facebook on health and wellness, we invited Dr. Shweta Gaikwad Kharat, Podiatrist and the Founder of Head to Heal Advanced Physiotherapy and Podiatry Clinic, to host a #GirlTribeAMA to shed some light on the relation between foot health and body pains, imbalances and injuries.
Dr. Kharat shared ways to correct flat feet; deal with bunions; relieve pain in ankles, knees and back; tips on preventing corns and calluses from recurring; foot care tips for diabetics; ways to treat infections, blisters and athlete’s foot; ways to deal with dry and cracked heels; tips to prevent sports injuries, and more! Read on to know how to take better care of your feet!
Q. How can we correct flat feet?
We need to consider a lot of factors to rectify flat feet—your age, body weight, activity level and type of flat feet (whether it’s fixed or flexible). The process of correcting flat feet includes a combination of supportive footwear with orthotics and foot strengthening exercises. The ideal age of correcting flat feet is between 6 and 16 years; it gets very challenging once you are physically fully grown, but it’s not impossible.
Q. How can one deal with a painful callus or corn? What’s the difference between the two?
A callus is the hardened area of the foot and it turns into corn once it becomes inflamed with an infected centre. Both develop when there is excessive pressure on that particular area. So, basically you need to offload the pressure. Certain medicines can be applied locally, and you could also use cold packs and foot strengthening exercises to reduce infection and inflammation. But most importantly, depending on your foot alignment, you need to change your footwear from a comfortable one to a corrective one.
Q. Why do my feet, specifically my arch area and the side edges, ache all the time?
Tired, achy feet and legs could be a symptom of weak foot muscles. Foot alignment could be another cause, please get your feet assessed for conditions like flat feet, reduced arches or high arches. Pain on the arches is due to an inefficient support system consisting majorly of your foot bones and muscles. So, you need to start doing foot strengthening exercises and wearing supportive footwear of your choice.
Q. I have burning and dryness at the bottom of my feet, and it hurts when I walk. What can I do to resolve this?
Please check your Vitamin B12 level. Moisturise your feet regularly to avoid the dryness. Wear comfortable footwear inside the house, don’t walk around barefoot. If it’s a generalised pain, then please do some exercises to strengthen your feet.
Q. I have a bunion foot, which slippers would you recommend?
Whichever footwear you use, it needs to be wide at the base as bunions make your forefoot wide. The bunions area can get red and painful in closed shoes, so open footwear is better. Regular foot strengthening exercises and wearing a bunion splint during the night will help you.
What’s your biggest concern when it comes to the health of your feet? Please share it with us in the comments below.
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