Foot Pain at Christmas

Your feet hold the weight of your world every day, and nothing is worse than when they are sore — especially during the holidays. Anyone who’s ever had to walk through the mall, loaded with bags, listening to happy carollers, while the bottoms of their feet burn and ache with each step knows that pain personally. Even Socrates, the classical Greek philosopher, knew how the true pain of hurt feet.  He once said, “When your feet hurt, you hurt all over.” Socrates is absolutely right. When we have foot pain, we change our walking patterns to reduce the pressure on our feet.

While changing how we walk offers relief for our feet, it means another body part is taking the heat. The end result can mean pain in the back, neck or knees. Knowing that the average woman who shops takes more than 7,000 steps each time they head out on a shopping spree — almost three quarters of the 10,000 daily number recommended — you can see how a quick trip to the mall can lead to discomfort that’s much more than buyer’s remorse.

So what are some of the possible causes of sore feet? Generally, pain is connected to inflammation. Overuse of joints, ligaments, and muscles can lead to inflammation and the resulting pain is the signal of the damage that has been done.

Besides body wear and tear, there are a few serious underlying medical conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, or circulation issues that can cause similar foot pain symptoms. And wearing poor footwear can play a part in turning a little foot problem into a big one.

My best advice if you have foot pain? Here are some tips:

  • Don’t tough it out. While it’s easy to be stoic, hoping things will improve on their own; it’s not the best solution. Do the hard work of addressing the foot issue at an early stage well before the pain has the chance to move all over the body.
  • Know the causes so you can minimize the risk. For some women, wearing tight-fitting -shoes or high heels that compress the feet is the cause of foot pain. As the joints try to work under pressure, they can become injured and inflamed. For others, the reason a foot becomes uncomfortable may be due to medical reasons. It’s important to understand the root cause of the pain in order to determine how to best manage it.
  • Know, and adhere to your limits. If you enter the mall ready to buy in the morning, and leave loaded with bags in the evening, this could be too much for your feet. Listen to your body and use it as a guide to know when it has had enough. Take frequent breaks to relieve your feet from possible strain and pain.
  • Consider using compression hosiery. Designed to improve circulation and keep the blood flowing through your body, compression hosiery may be the difference between a difficult and a productive shopping day.
  • Don’t just know your jeans. Know your ‘genes’. If one of your family members has experienced problems with their feet, you may be prone to the same fate. Genetics help dictate what makes you unique, and that includes foot and toe structure. Having your grandma’s bunions doesn’t have to be a problem – if it’s addressed early.
  • Invest in footwear that fits you. Since we only have two sets of feet, it’s important to have shoes that not only compliment us, but comfort us as we go through our day. Purchasing proper footwear that focuses on ensuring support and safety, will save you money and health concerns in the long run.

Life should be a walk in the park (or the mall)! The good news for those anticipating a bit of foot pain this holiday season is that there are a range of treatment options at Head To Foot Oasis. Our Chiropodist Natasha Glodon can help to quickly diagnose the problem and offer the right solution with your foot comfort in mind.

Before you see her, try these at-home tips designed to help ease the pain:

  • Use Epsom salt soaks. The salt calms and soothes aching muscles and joints.
  • Massage your feet with an anti-inflammatory cream.
  • Switch out of uncomfortable shoes as soon as possible and replace them with footwear that offer good support and cushioning, allowing your feet to relax.

Stand on solid ground this holiday! Visit us at Head To Foot Oasis.