Dr Jessica Sammut
Top Tips for Foot Care
Updated: Nov 1, 2018
People often seem surprised to find out that osteopaths also treat feet! I particularly enjoy treating feet, and I definitely see the value in taking great care of your feet. We are on them all day, and the things some of us put our feet through are astounding, so spare some time to read about how you can keep your feet in good working order!
Sitting with your feet up for 10 minutes after a long day helps circulation – you can do this whilst watching TV.
To refresh feet, massage gently with a foot roller, or better still, ask your partner to massage your feet.
Calf stretches help to keep feet supple and keep a good range of movement. To stretch your calf and heel, stand facing a wall with feet hip-width apart and slightly bent at the knee. Take one step forwards, and using your arms to lean against the wall, keep your leg in front bent and the leg behind straight. Both feet should be flat on the ground. Lean in towards the wall, as you do, you should feel your muscles stretching in your calf and heel. Hold and slowly return to a standing position. Do this with each leg about five times. Seek further help if you experience problems doing this exercise.
Circle your ankles ten times in each direction, keeping your leg as still as possible.
Consciously straighten your toes and wriggle them around. Raise, point, then curl your toes for five seconds each, repeated ten times – this is particularly good for toe cramps or hammer toes.
Following a daily routine to keep your feet clean and free from infection will help prevent potential foot problems.
Wash your feet every day in warm soapy water (don’t soak them, as this might destroy the natural oils) and dry thoroughly, especially between the toes.
If you can see and reach your feet cut toenails after a bath when they are softer. Trim your toenails regularly, using proper nail clippers. Cut straight across, not too short, and not down at the corners as this can lead to in-growing nails. File them, if that is easier. If you can't, you can book in with a podiatrist to get your toenails neatened up.
Any minor cuts or abrasions should be covered with a clean dry dressing, and blisters should be left to dry out on their own. If they burst, apply a clean dry dressing, but do not burst them yourself.
Seek professional treatment if they do not heal quickly. Wounds (sometimes called ulcers) should be assessed and treated as a matter of urgency within 24hours, especially if there is redness or swelling around the area, or where you have previously been warned to seek immediate attention.