How podiatry can help you and your feet
Thursday, October 5th, 2017 | Blog
Podiatry is the study of foot care and medicine that dates as far back as the Ancient-Egyptian period. The way we treat and maintain our bodies can have a long lasting effect on our later life, which is why it is important to maintain and care for the parts of the body that are often under stress, such as our feet!
The concept of going to see a foot specialist is likely to be low on the list of priorities for many people, but there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the chances of developing foot pain or issues.
The correct footwear will have a great impact on the health of your feet. The type of footwear you are wearing will vary depending on activity, but your personal posture can have an impact too - you may be flat-footed, or you may overpronate. Insoles, that can be purchased from podiatrists, pharmacies and shoe shops, can be a solution to this and they are simply inserted into your existing footwear.
Wearing high heels too often can impact the shape of your feet and posture as well. High heels shift your body weight to the ball of your foot; causing your hips and knees to move forwards, increasing the strain on your back to maintain your body’s balance. Wearing shoes with a smaller heel and having no-heel-days can help you to overcome this and maintain good your posture.
Wearing flat shoes too often can be as equally as bad for your feet, as heels, sandals and ballet flats have no support which can cause arch and heel pain.
Maintaining your toenails, not allowing them to grow too long and cutting them straight across can also help you keep on top of your foot health. Ingrowing toe nails are one of the most common issues people experience with their feet, and maintaining healthy toenails is important to try and avoid developing them.
Care at home
Looking after your feet doesn’t always mean you need to go to a podiatrist or chiropodist, there are some treatments you can do at home to help promote and maintain healthy feet.
Off the shelf skin care treatments such as feet masks, scrubs and moisturisers can work wonders on your feet and also have some great well being benefits, as they help you unwind from a stressful day.
At-home foot spas are another alternative, with different functions to pamper your feet, they can help treat a range of foot problems. Simply bathing your feet in a bowl filled with warm water and bath salts is a brilliant and cheaper foot spa alternative!
What happens when you visit a Podiatrist
If you have tried all of the above options and are still struggling, it may be time to consider visiting a podiatrists for some professional advice. An initial assessment can range from £40 to £70, depending on where you go to have your consultation and any specific requirement you may have.
Using the latest technology, podiatrists can conduct a gait analysis which will determine the way you walk to establish your feets’ key pressure points. With this information they will then suggest a treatment plan and exercise regime to help improve the condition of your feet and posture.
Taking care of your feet may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you consider your general health, but given the amount of time we spend on our feet, it is important to take care of them and seek professional advice when something doesn’t feel quite right.
The above tips are just a few of the techniques available to help you maintain healthy feet, but if you are unsure, visit your GP for further advice.