It’s that time of year again when we rush about trying to get everything ready ahead of Christmas. Planning and shopping for gifts for family and friends, preparing for the Christmas Day feast, writing cards and sending festive goodwill to loved ones – are just some of the tasks on our to-do list. At this time of year, we focus so much on showing others that we care that sometimes we forget about ourselves.
Often, it is only when you sit down after the Christmas dinner is done that you realise just how much you ache. It’s easy to brush aside niggles, foot problems and aches when you’re busy. Thinking ‘I’ll get to that after Christmas’ or maybe you’re putting it off until the new year. But, when our feet are sore or swollen, it can be difficult to enjoy a regular day, let alone Christmas day. Maybe putting yourself further up the list should be a new Christmas tradition.
Identifying Foot Problems
Winter weather means our feet are mostly hidden away in warm socks and shoes. It’s unlikely you’ll be showing off your feet in cold weather. Few of us pay attention to our feet until Summer comes back around, that is unless we experience foot problems.
When we forget to take care of our feet, all kinds of foot problems can start rearing their heads. Sometimes foot problems can become apparent by symptoms directly impacting them, sometimes the clues lie elsewhere. Here are a few things to look out for.
Swollen or aching feet
Your feet carry not only you but also anything you’re carrying. All those bags of Christmas shopping, the Christmas tree as you drag it out of storage. If your feet feel unexpectedly hot, sore or swollen it may be a sign that they need a helping hand.
Burning and tingling feet
When we ignore foot niggles, they can develop into something more painful. A burning and tingling sensation can be a symptom of many things including Metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia affects the squishy part of your foot behind your toes, the ball of your foot. It can be caused by a number of factors including the wrong shoe size. It’s not actually uncommon for people to wear the wrong size. In fact, 90% of people wear the wrong sized shoe!
Back ache, hip and knee pain
Every human foot has 26 bones and 30 joints. When one of them becomes misaligned or damaged, problems can occur elsewhere in the body. If you have ever been to a reflexologist, you might know that your feet are connected to major organs and joints. The inside of the foot is connected to the vertebrae for example and the big toe to the brain. These connections mean that pain can travel from your feet to other parts of your body.
A telltale sign of a foot problem caused by bones, joints or one of over 100 muscles and ligaments in your foot, is pain in the back, knee or hip. If you experience pain in these areas for no obvious reason, don’t ignore your feet.
A change in your gait
The connection between the feet and other body parts works both ways. Did you know that having a knee injury or back pain can lead to foot problems?
When we experience pain or receive an injury we compensate by shifting our weight to other areas of the body. Our bodies do this to relieve some of the pressure from the injured area. For example, a painful knee injury could cause you to compensate by changing how you walk. It’s something that we don’t think about consciously, but everyone does it. As a result, we might put more pressure on the side of the foot by tilting it slightly as we walk. In turn, this can cause hip pain and even more problems.
Thick skin tends to form more in winter, creating painful calluses. The friction of tight or heavy winter shoes causes skin to build up. Especially around the heels and outer sides of the big and little toes. Again, this is typically because of the wrong shoes for the foot size and foot shape. Shoes that are too big are as likely a culprit as ones that are too small.
Painful toes can be caused by the wrong shoe size too. Pressure on your toes from wearing high heels and narrow shoes or from manicures can lead to burning painful toes. When you are receiving a manicure always ask for them to cut across straight.
Even one night of dancing in heels can cause lasting foot problems but that doesn’t mean you won’t dance again. Finding out the cause of your foot problems is one of the key steps to recovery.
Have A Happy Pain Free Christmas
Make yourself a Christmas promise to stop ignoring foot niggles and ask for help. Book a free appointment for a Foot Solutions Assessment and get to the bottom of your foot problem.
When you are shopping for the people you love, consider giving them the gift of comfort with a Foot Solutions Gift Voucher. Better still, add yourself to the Christmas gift list! Buy yourself the gift voucher so you can enjoy Christmas and the new year to its fullest.
With the new Covid variant it looks like we are heading for another Christmas of outdoor activities. Thankfully, there are plenty of Christmas markets, carol singers and light shows around the country to entertain us. Make the most of it by looking after your feet and having the correct footwear at hand. Book an appointment at Foot Solutions for your free Foot Assessment and get your Christmas shoes and boots while stocks last.
Book A Free Appointment with Foot Solutions
We recommend you book an assessment appointment in advance as this takes at least 30 minutes. For our existing customers looking to replace footwear, simply call in to view our extensive range. Our team are always on hand to help you to choose suitable styles and fittings.
We Know Feet
At Foot Solutions, we are dedicated to helping you do the things you love. We help our customers understand what is causing their foot problems and help relieve their pain.
Our free assessment appointments let us understand your feet. We have a tried and tested nine step process that will identify foot problem areas.
When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll meet one of our trained pedorthists. We know all there is to know about feet and that’s why our trained team will take everything into account. The first step is to understand your general health and history; this can give us clues to why you’re experiencing foot problems. Then we will talk about your lifestyle and the footwear you typically use. Steps three to eight look at the physical makeup of your feet, from measurements and a gait test to creating a 3D digitalised contour. You’ll be amazed how much you learn about your feet at Foot Solutions.
The final step is the solution step. Here, your we will recommend solutions to your specific foot problem based on all the information we have collected. There is no obligation following your free consultation. Foot Solutions is here when you need us.
Book an appointment online now at FootSolutions.ie or call your nearest store for an appointment.