As a consequence of being on our feet all day, foot pain is a common complaint. This part of our body is the one that takes most stress throughout the day, and it is the one we neglect the most.
According to a recent survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 61% of women spend more than four hours on their feet daily. A podiatrist based in Chicago and spokeswoman for the APMA, Elizabeth Kurtz, says: “Your feet carry the entire weight of your body when you’re standing, so the more hours you’re on your feet, the more likely you’ll experience foot pain.”
Other causes of foot pain, besides standing and walking, include ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot, arthritis, bunions, etc.
Traditional Chinese reflexology believes that our feet are the source of our health, and that many diseases, such as cancer, originate from them.
Here are some simple exercises and tips on how to keep your feet pain-free, relaxed, and healthy:
- Toe rise: Lift your toes while in a seating position. Keep them lifted upwards as you move to a standing position. Do 5 repetitions of this exercise every day.
- Toe lifts: With your toes lifted as before, lower the big toe while trying to keep the others up. This might prove to be a difficult task at first, but you will find it easier to do as time goes on. 5 repetitions for each foot are recommended daily.
- Tennis ball rub: Step on a tennis ball and roll it under your feet, while simultaneously applying pressure. Do the same with the other foot. Once finished, tilt your foot with your toes pointing towards your knee. Stretch them the opposite way in order to extend and relax ligaments.
- Ankle stretch: Get an exercise ball, a stretchy one, and put it around a chair leg. Hook your foot through it allowing the ball of your foot to rest against the band. Press your toes toward the ground, and repeat 15 times.
- Rock out: Move your weight to the outside of your foot. Rock inward until the weight of your entire body rests on the inside of the foot. Perform this exercise with both feet at the same time, 10 times.
- Toes and fingers: Point your toes upward while sitting on the ground, with your legs extended in front of you. Lean forward and interlock your fingers with the toes, and pull on the toes gently. If you’re having difficulties bending your body, do one side at a time.
- Foot health tips:
- Walk barefoot: Our feet have evolved to be flexible and not to be in shoes all day. You should walk barefoot for a few hours a day, at least around the house.
- Choose the right footwear: It is important to choose comfortable and quality shoes in order to avoid issues related to constriction of our toes, or even possible injuries.
- Soak your feet in salt: Epsom salt is highly beneficial as it cleanses our feet from the bacteria, and magnesium in the salt makes our nails stronger and healthier.
- Try yoga: Yoga can help with plenty of issues, and restore balance to our body.
- See a specialist: In case you just can’t get rid of foot pain a visit to a podiatrist could be inevitable.