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Oh! Our poor aching feet. This part of the body takes more punishment in one day than all the other parts of the body put together. The weight of the entire body is put on them almost every waking hour of the day. More often than not they are crammed into shoes that do not fit their actual shape. The toes are press tightly together by sox or panty hose. The feet are jarred, stepped on, stubbed, and usually ignored unless they begin to hurt.
There are very many causes for foot pain. One of the most obvious is the "over use syndrome." This can result from unaccustomed walking or standing. While resting is one solution, it is only a temporary fix. Other temporary aids might include rolling the feet onto their outer edges at intervals to prevent aches caused by standing and removing the shoes to allow the feet to properly spread. There are many items on the market today that can be used to give the soles of the feet a simple massage. Some can be carried in a purse or brief case and used under a table or desk to avoid attracting attention. Most of these work well to stimulate the blood flow in the foot and relieve some of the tension. One of the most important things you can do for your feet is choose shoes for comfort rather than fashion. The shoes you purchase should not only cushion the feet, but also support the arches and allow plenty of toes space.
Aches and pains in the feet will also respond well to foot exercises. After you get home from a long day on your feet, remove your shoes, sox and panty hose. Stand comfortably with your feet flat and about six inches apart on the ground or carpet. Slowly raise your heels until you are on your toes and hold for about one minute. Then slowly lower your heels to the floor. This exercise should be done about ten times. It stretches the foot muscles which have been compacted by the constant motion of stepping. It will also aid with circulation. After you have completed this exercise, raise the heels until you are on the balls of your feet. Using the hips as your pivot point, gently move the balls of the feet in a back and forth twisting action. After about one minute lower your heels and holding one foot out at a time, vigorously shake the foot. Be sure to relax the ankle when you are doing this to allow the foot to flop freely. Repeat this exercise five times and it will aid the circulation, as well as, give the balls of the feet a much needed massage. Now it is time to sit down and a good exercise while you are sitting is to simply rotate your ankles. Begin by crossing your legs and then rotate the ankle first one directions about ten times. Reverse the ankle rotation before switching to the other foot.
Hydrotherapy of any kind is excellent for foot pain. Soaking the feet in warm water with 1\2 cup of epsom salts will soften the skin and alleviate many aches and pains. You can purchase an inexpensive hydro-massage unit just for this purpose. After you soak the feet for about ten minutes, turn on the vibrations and allow them to invigorate the entire foot. Alternating hot and cold foot baths have also been known to bring temporary relief. To aid with the removal of impurities from the feet they can be elevated. The best way to do this is to lie on the floor and prop the feet on a chair or sofa. This will allow the blood in the feet to recirculate into other areas of the body. This technique has been used for years to alleviate foot pain. Proper nail care is another very important part of alleviating foot pain. Keeping the nails clipped back at the tops and side will sometimes stop achy or numb toe areas. Make sure you don't clip the side of the toenails in too far. You will just want to remove the side part that is squared off and presses into the flesh.
At times, you may find that the cause of your foot pain is a fungus. There are many natural remedies that can successfully treat these. If you notice the area on the bottoms of your feet and between your toes are peeling or cracking, you may have a fungus. These can be treated with tea tree leaf oil, garlic oil or lavender oil by applying the oil directly to the affected area. These can be purchase at any local health food store. All three of these products have natural antifungal agents that when applied daily to the area should cure the problem. They can also be used on the toe nails to fight any fungus problems that arise in that area. If you do have a fungus problem you will want to keep the feet dry. Wear clean dry socks and air your shoes out daily. Go bare foot as often as possible or wear sandals when you can. Many centuries ago people didn't have the foot aches and pains of today because the footwear was soft and pliable which allowed for a natural foot massage as they walked across the earth's surface.
If you have given you feet a lot of attention and you still have foot pain, it would be wise to see a doctor. Many times recurrent aches can be traced to fallen arches, gout or other more serious problems. You can buy orthotics or arch supports over the counter and these may help. But it is wise to buy them only after an examination and prescription by your doctor. A build up of excess uric acid in the blood, which causes gout, can create inflammation and pain in the joints of the feet and toes. Numbness, discoloration or persistent pain or swelling may warn of diabetes or other disorders. In cases such as these always seek advice from your doctor. Even though most foot pain is cause by over use, persistent pain is in most cases a sign of something more serious and should never under any circumstances be ignored.