With only a short while to go until December 25th, it’s officially the season to be jolly! Many people love the thrill of hitting the shops, partying hard, and cleaning the house and yard, like they are going crazy; but festive preparations often wreak complete havoc on the feet.
Festive Effects on Your Feet
Although the lead up to Christmas is undoubtedly one of the most pleasant times of the year, it’s also pretty hard on your feet. The increased impact from walking, standing, and dancing, can have adverse effects on the feet, and cause some problems. Even at the best of times, foot pain is a common issue, and at Christmas time, those problems are magnified. Here’s how to ensure that your feet stay in tip-top condition throughout December and beyond.
Healthy Christmas Feet: A Guide
- Give the stilettos the cold shoulder – It’s likely that you’ll be attending some sort of party (more like parties), around Christmas time; and of course, social gatherings always provide the perfect occasion for wearing your most impressively towering high-heeled shoes. However, stilettos not only increase your risk of foot injury by a significant margin, but are also likely to cause foot pain, both on the night, and afterwards. If worn for long periods of time, high-heeled shoes can cause issues of a more severe nature, such as bunions, or plantar fasciitis. If you’re heavy set, the potential problems could be significantly exaggerated
- Cut toenails properly – Cutting improperly can cause ingrown toenails, which are not only unsightly, but also painful. You really don’t want to face the holiday season nursing a swollen, tender to the touch ingrown. You can help by cutting straight across the toenail, and gently filing the rough corners. However, don’t snip the cuticles; simply push them back gently.
- Invest in some comfort shoes for work – Whether you’re racing around the office, or working in a busy retail environment, it’s imperative to have suitable comfort shoes to keep your feet supported, throughout the day. See your Podiatrist for advice on footwear.
- Keep moisturised and hydrated – Remember to moisturise your feet on a daily basis (paying attention to the heels, which have a tendency to crack); and of course, stay hydrated, in order to keep your skin in great condition.
- Improve circulation – If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, it can lead to foot cramps, swollen ankles and foot pain. Avoid the discomfort by walking around regularly to improve circulation, and stretch the muscles by pointing your toes and rotating your ankles.
- Don’t overindulge in holiday cheer – Did you know your feet can feel the effects of too much holiday cheer? Foods, and alcoholic drinks that are high in purines, such as: shellfish, red meat, red wine, and beer, can trigger extremely painful gout attacks. Gout most commonly attacks the big toe joints, which appear swollen, red, hot and extremely painful.
- Be pedicure safety conscious – Before getting the toenails painted red, reduce your risk of infection, by choosing a spa that follows proper sanitation practices.
- Swollen/inflammed feet – Use R.I.C.E. therapy – (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). It helps to reduce the pain, and control swelling around the foot.
- Listen to your feet – Hours of partying and pavement pounding, equal an annual increase in holiday heel pain, calluses and corns. The pain comes from multiple factors: muscle fatigue in those small muscles of the foot; arch strain from wearing inappropriate shoes while walking for hours; shin splints; which can increase walking time from 30 minutes a day, to 5 hours in one weekend! Typically this pain subsides once the walking event is over, and you can get off your feet and rest.
So if you want to get your feet in order, book an appointment with your Podiatrist. You’ll receive expert advice/practical tips, on how to keep your feet happy for the Christmas.
Your feet mirror your general health . . . cherish them!