Most of us take our feet for granted. We don’t really think twice about how much our feet are being used until we feel aches or pains. Our feet also work automatically for the most part and we don’t need to consciously tell them to do anything, which makes it easy to overuse and strain your feet and ankles. Here are a few things that we can be aware of that we do daily involving our feet.
- Driving: Driving a car requires a lot of different actions from your foot. From pressing on the pedals for gas and breaking, to the resting position of hovering over the pedal with your heel planted, your foot doesn’t really get a break the whole time you’re driving. This can lead to pain in your heel, pain in the ball of your foot or both. Try to be mindful of not over-stretching your feet while driving, especially if you’re going to be on the road for a while.
- Tight Shoes: Wearing tight shoes will make your feet hurt. When your feet hurt, you will end up walking awkwardly. This can cause everything from your feet to your back to your neck and even head to hurt. Try not to wear heels or pointed dress shoes all day. If it’s impossible to avoid, make sure to give your feet breaks throughout the day by removing your shoes and stretching your toes. A quick foot massage can also help.
- Walking Incorrectly: If you tend to walk mostly on the outside or inside of your feet, you may end up straining your ankles. If you tend to step hard you may also damage or injure your joints. It may sound silly but you can actually practice walking (just like running) properly until your new and improved gait feels more natural and comfortable. You may need custom orthotics or inserts to help the process.
- Sitting for Too Long: This only counts if you happen to be sitting ON your feet. It prevents good circulation and if you have diabetes, a poor sitting habit could be very hard on your feet and ankles. If you spend a lot of time sitting cross-legged make sure to stretch by either standing or stretching your legs in front of you to eliminate any risk of nerve damage.
Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been treating patients for over seventeen years. If you have any questions call our Centreville, VA office at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.