During normal life, our feet take a lot of stress and strain. And when we play sports, they take much more. Yet they are complex and delicate things – the human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons. In fact, the 52 bones in your feet make up about 25% of all the bones in your body.
So it’s no wonder they need looking after! Here are our top-ten basic tips that will help you keep your feet in great condition.
- Pain isn’t normal. If you have persistent pain, seek expert advice as soon as possible.
- Inspect your feet regularly. Pay attention to changes in colour, and keep an eye out for abnormal signs such as thick or discoloured nails (a possible fungal condition). Peeling or scaling on the soles of feet could indicate Athlete's Foot.
- Always wear correctly-fitting shoes. A useful tip is to buy shoes later in the day when feet tend to be at their largest (because they’re normally hot), and replace worn out shoes as soon as possible.
- Wear the appropriate footwear for the activity you are engaged in (e.g. tennis shoes for tennis).
- Don't wear the same pair of shoes every day – swap them about.
- Wash your feet regularly, especially between the toes, and dry them thoroughly.
- Trim toenails straight across, but not too short. Be careful not to cut nails in corners or on the sides; it can lead to ingrown toenails.
- Avoid walking barefooted, especially in public spaces such as changing rooms or showers.
- Be careful with home remedies for foot problems - self-treatment can often turn a minor problem into a major one.
- If you are a diabetic, make sure you have a check-up at least once a year.