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Family Foot & Ankle

Holiday Foot Care and Beating the Stress

The holiday season has its joys, but it also has its fair share of stressful situations. Making sure everyone is where they need to be on time. Getting all that gift shopping done. Not turning the ham into a glazed lump of coal this year.

With all the hustle that’s happening, you might not be thinking much about your feet. That’s somewhat understandable, but if your feet start hurting for one of many reasons, you’ll be thinking of them no matter what!

Taking just a little time and consideration for your feet can keep you comfortably mobile through the coming weeks and some pampering can benefit your overall well-being, too. Here is a host of holiday tips for keeping the festivity in your feet.

Don’t Dry Out

The dry winter season can be notoriously parching to feet. Rough feet can be a bit bothersome, but letting them get cracked can be particularly painful.

Make a habit of moisturizing your feet daily to keep your feet supple and comfortable. You can use your favorite cream or lotion after you shower, just before bed, or another time of day you find favorable. One word of caution is to not glop anything between your toes, however. Moisture tends to get trapped there, and that can cause more harm than good.

It also helps to take measure against drying your feet out. If you enjoy your showers steaming hot, that can strip moisture away from your feet. Take that after-shower time to moisturize or, better yet, make your showers shorter and a bit cooler.

Wear the Right Shoes

You know we don’t recommend tight, painful high heels. We also know many of you will wear tight, painful high heels to that big event, anyway.

Be as sensible with your style as possible. Keep your wearing of heels limited. Try not to spend an entire day in them. It’s just not worth it. And if you have a choice between high heels and good-looking shoes with a lower heel, opt for the latter. The front of your feet and your Achilles tendons will feel better for it than if you hadn’t.

For days when you know you’ll be up and on your feet all day, make comfort and support your priority. Seriously, there’s no need to put style over comfort when you’re in line at the mall.

Take a Load Off

Comfortable shoes are a must for long days up and about, but don’t neglect a concerted effort to give your feet a break now and then, too.

Pressures on your feet while you’re standing or moving can start taking a toll over time. Pounding against sidewalks, rubbing within your shoes—it all builds up.

Taking a break every couple of hours gives your feet some relief and a bit of time to recover. Sit down and, if you can, lift your legs up above the level of your heart to reduce swelling. (Obviously, you will be frowned upon trying to do this at the mall food court.)

If you’re in a situation that isn’t so easy to relax in, perform some stretching instead. Rise up on your toes, lifting your heels for a few repetitions. If you’re seated, lift your legs up and forward, and rotate your ankles one way and then the other. It feels good and gives tired feet some new movements to get the blood flowing.

End the Day with a Massage

A foot massage after a long day of running around has several benefits.

First, the easy one—it just feels good! It’s a great way to relieve some stress and tension.

Second, it’s an opportunity to moisturize. We have already noted how important this can be during a dry winter!

Third, it helps increase circulation to the feet, which already have a bit of a natural struggle with circulation by being so far from the heart. If you’ve ever wondered why your feet seem to get cold easier than the rest of you, that’s a big reason!

Lastly, a massage—whether by yourself or conducted by a loved one—is a good way to check over your feet and notice any problems that might have been overlooked. This is especially crucial if you are living with diabetes and may not be able to feel when a sore or other injury has developed. If you notice any problems or abnormalities, it’s worth calling us about. Always.

Watch Your Celebratory Intake

If you have gout, a holiday spread has plenty of items that can contribute to a painful flare up. Items high in purines, such as shellfish, red meat, and alcohol, can increase your risk of agonizing uric acid buildup around your toe joints.

In most cases, you don’t have to skip all the food altogether, though. Still enjoy yourself with a bit, but don’t overdo it. We can help you determine what amount of cheer you can reasonably enjoy without much risk.

Take Care of Persistent Problems

If you already suffer from consistent heel pain or other causes of foot and ankle discomfort, no amount of holiday tips is likely going to make that go away. What will is making an appointment to see us at Family Foot & Ankle Center!

Your feet should not hurt all the time. Nor should they be swollen, discolored, or always developing calluses or blisters no matter what you try. If you experience anything like this, listen to your feet and let us take a look. It will make for a much happier new year!

Our doctors and staff wish you the best in comfort and happiness this holiday season and well into 2019. But in the case you do need help for foot and ankle problems, we are always here for you. Give us a call at (888) 689-3317 to schedule an appointment at any of our six regional offices.

Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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