Many activities we are involved in—exercise, traveling, or even sports—can put a great deal of stress on our feet. Everyday Health says there are more than 50 bones, which adds up to about twenty-five percent of the body’s total bone count. Read below to find out how to deal with some of the more common ailments people face when it comes to foot health.
RICE for Sprains
The simplest approach you can take at home for foot sprains is to follow RICE. Rest and take a break from any strenuous activities such as exercise and extensive walking. Ice your sprained foot up to 20 minutes at a time, several times throughout the day. Compress the sprained foot with an elastic bandage; compression can help bring down the swelling in your foot. Finally, the last step is to Elevate your sprained foot. This step goes along with resting. Stay seated or lie down and elevate your sprained foot with a foot rest or pillow. Elevating your sprain will also help decrease swelling according to WebMD.
Living with Gout
Gout is a form of arthritis that causes high levels of uric acid to build up around joints. Gout commonly affects many people’s feet. Managing gout can be tricky as there are many factors to consider when it comes to treating the pain.
Besides medication, there are other ways you can treat gout. Cold compresses can help reduce inflammation. Rest your feet when pain strikes. You can also make sure you are getting a healthy amount of water every day. Staying hydrated is important.
Finally, be sure to keep a close eye on the foods that you eat. If you eat many foods high in purines such as fatty and fried foods, the uric acid in your blood will increase, causing pain.
Relief for bunions
Caused by an abnormal structure in the foot, bunions can cause much pain, swelling, and possible numbness. Treating bunions at home is quite simple.
Change the types of shoes you wear. Opt for wider, open toed shoes as opposed to those with pointed toes or high heels. Additionally, you can purchase padding (moleskin) to place over the bunion. The padding will protect your foot and reduce the pressure that is placed on the bunion when wearing close-toed shoes.
Save the Toes
Ingrown toenails can be very painful. They usually occur when the toenails are cut too short or curved rather than straight across. There are steps you can take to reduce the pain.
Similar to the treatment for bunions, don’t wear tight fitting shoes as this will only increase the amount of pain. Additionally, you can soak your feet in warm salt water—or Epsom salts—for up to 20 minutes several times throughout the day. If there is discharge or the toenail begins to smell, make sure you seek prompt medical care.
Heel Spur Solutions
Heel spurs are caused by calcium build ups underneath your heel bones. The buildup of calcium can take place over several months. Athletes are the most common victims of this type of foot pain.
To treat heel spurs, there are many stretching exercises you can do at home. You can also purchase shoe inserts from your local drug store, which will help relieve pain when pressure is placed on your heels.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is another type of foot pain frequently experienced by athletes. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine plantar fasciitis “is one of the most common orthopedic foot complaints.”
You can treat pain from plantar fasciitis by resting as much as possible when the pain sets in. Additionally, your doctor may recommend taking Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen. Finally, it is important to wear shoes that have good support such as quality tennis shoes. Stay away from high heels and flip flops.
Getting Rid of Calluses
Calluses are made of thick patches of skin that usually develop over time. They are found on the ball of the foot or even on the heel. Calluses can cause a great amount of pain if they are left untreated.
To get rid of calluses, soak your feet in warm water and be sure to moisturize with a lotion that is specifically for dry skin. Use a pumice stone or foot file to get scrub the calluses away.
Alternately, if you feel the need to treat yourself, you can visit a salon and order a pedicure. Nail technicians are trained to deal with a variety of foot ailments, including calluses.
Since our feet are so important, it is good to also take preventative measures when it comes to foot health. So, when choosing out that new pair of shoes, it may be better to think of comfort over fashion, or if you’ve just got done running several miles, give your feet a rest and lay off the track!
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