How often do you think about your feet? I would assume not very often but they certainly deserve much more attention than the majority of us give them!
Did you know?
In our two feet there are more than 50 bones, 60 joints and over 200 muscles/ ligaments. Each little articulation has it’s role in creating a strong and stable foundation that facilitate many of the repetitive physical demands of our daily life. Walking, running, jumping, driving, dancing; all require our feet. It’s not until you have a sore foot that you will realise just how useful fully functioning feet really are.
Many neglect their feet simply through choice of footwear trading comfort and support for fashion. Those 6-inch stilettos might look amazing but realistically your feet hurt, your toes are so scrunched up they’re almost numb and you secretly wish you could wear your sneakers to work.
People are often surprised to learn that their feet can play a role in the development of some lower limb injuries, particularly overuse injuries in the ankle, shin, knee and even around the hip and pelvis. Assessing and correcting biomechanical issues in the feet can be a large part of treating such injuries, and it wouldn’t be uncommon for me to give foot or ankle strengthening exercises as part of a rehab program for a client suffering hip or knee pain.
The health and happiness of your feet is a worthwhile investment and there are a few really simple things that everyone can be doing
- Firstly buy good footwear. Probably the best money you will ever spend is on good supportive shoes especially if you spend a lot of time on your feet each day. When it comes to sport & training I’d recommend wearing a specific shoe for your sport. Footy boots for footy, running shoes for running, cross-training shoes for cross-training. What about high heels? I always opt for thick chunky heels or wedges for the handful of times a year that I actually wear them; I’m more of a sneakers type of girl!
- Practise good foot hygiene. Cut your toenails, dry between your toes, keep your feet nice and dry (spend a day in wet socks and you will understand why this is important).
- Stretch and Massage your feet regularly. Remember how many joints and muscles there are down there and be mindful of how hard they are working every single day. Reward them. It takes less than 5 minutes and its probably one of my favourite self-care practices. Get a trigger ball (or golf ball if that's all you can find), take off your shoes, put the ball on the ground and stand on it. Roll the ball through your arch, up towards your toes and down to the heel. Pause on more sensitive spots if you want too but only put as much pressure as you can tolerate, it should be strong but comfortable pressure not painful! 2 minutes per side each day is all that's needed. If you have a little extra time you can also use the trigger ball up through your calf and combine that with some stretches of this area as these muscles are important in the functioning of the feet.
- If you really want to spoil yourself go get a foot massage every now and then!
If you do suffer from pain in your feet I strongly recommended that have an assessment whether it's from a physio or podiatrist. Our feet are truly remarkable and we shouldn’t take them for granted.