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You know your heart needs lots of TLC. Your feet do, too. After all, they are the workhorses of your body, taking about 5,000 steps a day. That’s 2.5 miles! Not to mention that your feet have to bear the weight of your body every step of the way. In addition, we cram them into shoes and stand on them for long periods of time. Those hard-working feet deserve a little more attention than you’re probably giving them. Here’s what you need to know.

Basic Care

What kind of basic care do my feet need?

Just as you wouldn’t go a day without brushing your teeth, you shouldn’t you go a day without taking care your feet.

↦ Check them daily for cuts, sores, swelling, and infected toenails.
↦ Give them a good cleaning in warm water, but avoid soaking them because that may dry them out.
↦ Moisturize them every day with lotion, cream, or petroleum jelly. Don’t put moisturizer between your toes. You want to keep the skin there dry to prevent infection.
↦ Avoid wearing tight-fitting shoes. Your shoes shouldn’t hurt your feet.
↦ Skip the flip-flops and flats. They don’t provide enough arch support.
↦ Rotate your shoes so you’re not wearing the same pair every day.
↦ Trim your toenails straight across with a nail clipper. Then use an emery board or nail file to smooth the corners, which will prevent the nail from growing into your skin.

What are the main causes of foot pain?

Foot pain can make it tough to do everyday activities like walk your dog or play with your kids. What’s behind that pain? Several things could be causing your aches. For women, high heels may be the biggest culprit. Other causes include being overweight, wearing poorly constructed shoes, a foot injury or a bruise, or faulty biomechanics, meaning that your walking gait isn’t quite normal.

How can I relieve foot pain?

You can treat minor foot pain at home.
map; Spend more time off your feet.
map; Massage your feet to ease tension and aches. You can rub your feet with your hands or move them over a rolling pin.
map; Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication for pain.
map; Wear shoe inserts. Over-the-counter inserts may provide enough support. In some cases, your doctor may recommend prescription orthotics, which will be specially made for you.

If you have swelling that hasn’t improved within 2 to 5 days, pain that continues for a few weeks, or have burning pain, numbness, or tingling in your foot, call your doctor.

Get to a doctor immediately if you:
↦ Have an open wound
↦ See signs of infection
↦ Are not able to walk
↦ Can’t put weight on your foot
↦ Have diabetes and a wound that’s either not getting better or is warm, red, deep, or swollen

How can I prevent foot pain?

Solutions depend on what’s triggering your pain, but here are some general pointers to remember:

↦ Wear properly fitted shoes, replacing them if they have too much wear on the heels or soles.
↦ Wear the right shoes for any activity you’re doing.
↦ Avoid wearing high heels every day, and don’t wear any that are higher than 2 inches.
↦ Lose weight if you need to.
↦ Give yourself time to warm up and cool down when you exercise.
↦ Stop smoking.
↦ Use an over-the-counter shoe insert or pad that targets your particular problem.

A bunion is a painful lump at the base of the big toe, which may cause the toe to bend unnaturally. It forms when the tissue or bone at the base joint gets displaced. This may happen after years of abnormal pressure and movement. Pointy-toed shoes are a common factor, which explains the prevalence of bunions among women.


↦ Avoid Higher Heels. Option for something less than two inches. They still put forth an elegant profile by elongating the leg
↦ Have your feet professionally measured at the end of the day while you are standing.
↦ Avoid wearing shoes that are too small.
↦ Make sure your shoes bend at the toe box but aren’t too flexible.
↦ Make sure your shoes have sufficient arch support