Heel Pain – What I Did To Reclaim My Life

If you would have asked me ten years ago whether I knew what Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, pronation, Heel Spurs and orthotics were I would have stared blankly, paused for a brief moment and said – “ah no”? Today it's a different story. Fortunately or unfortunately, I'm more than well aware of what they are. Why? Because over the past five years I, like many other people in their prime, have suffered from nagging heel pain or, in my particular case, the more medically correct terms Achilles Tendonitis and Bursitis.

How did I get you pain pain? Well, in retrospect, it was not just a sudden sunset of pain that I felt. It had been progressing slowly but certainly over a number of years. However, I remember only too well those initial twinges beginning to take grip about five years ago when I reached my mid forties.

You see, like many people, I used to drive my car to the nearest train station, walk from the car to the platform, travel to work by train, walk on hard concrete pavements to my place of work, walk around on those same hard surfaces through the day up and down the city visiting clients and doing business, going for a lunch time “health walk” (yes you've guessed it) up and back along those pavements and in the evenings going home by the same route as I did coming in. This was five days a week, 48 weeks a year over many years. I did all of this in hard heeled business shoes and not in shock absorbing walking or running shoes. I kept this routine up in day out without any visible signs of heel pain.

When I first noticed that things were not quite right in the foot department I recall feeling a mild stiffness at the back of my lower legs and rear of my right foot. It did not worry me too much to begin with and I just waited for it to pass thinking that it was simply a transient discomfort. Waiting I did but pass it did not. In fact the condition started to worsen to the point where the stiffness turned into a slim limp and eventually a hobble. Not content with plateauing there, the heel of my left foot began to ache as well. This made walking a sometimes slow and painful chore. It was at this point that I decided to consult my family doctor about the problem. He advised me to apply an anti-inflammatory gel or cream to help relieve the pain and suggested I inquire about using orthotic shoe inserts to assist with heel lift when walking. I followed the doctor's advice and felt a slight improvement from using the orthotics. The anti-inflammatory gel did not seem to make any difference no matter how often I applied it.

This left me wondering what else could have done to further improve the condition. I therefore decided to undertake my own research of heel pain: what it is, its causes, who it affects, available treatments and potential cures, if any. This involved burning the midnight oil over many nights reading books, wading through journals and conducting lots of Internet searches. Some of the material I uncovered was useful, some was not. Ultimately, I had to sift the information and decide what the good advice was. More importantly I needed to establish what would work best for me. I therefore tried to “cherry pick” the bits of advice and tips that I felt would give me the best possible chance of remediation.

Now, I should say at this point, that understanding what needs to be done to rehabilitate oneself is one thing. Putting that knowledge into practice can be quite another. Why is that? Well, while we are all filled with good intentions, we're still human. We sometimes lack the self discipline and persistence to set things in train and see them through. Work distractions, family distractions, social distractions can all have a habit of chipping away at your resolve. I do not mind admitting that I had a number of false starts to begin with. Then, after the pain worsened even further, I determined that enough was enough. I was not going to suffer in silence and tolerate it anymore. It was time to “bite the bullet” if I was really serious about turning my heel pain around so that “I” and not “It” dictated my life.

So, with resolve, I eventually put into practice what I had learned. I was determined to start my days on the right footing (pardon the pun) by not jumping straight out of bed in the mornings and onto a hard floor. Instead I firstly began sitting on the side of the bed after waking and doing around a dozen or so foot flexes. This leads moving both feet up and down using the ankles as the pivot point. Once completed I would then rise up on both feet and begin to slowly walk around until the initial morning tightness and stiffness felt at the back of the heel and calves had subsided. A little later in the morning I would then begin a series of foot exercises including calf muscle and hamstring stretching. I repeated these periodically through the day using a range of techniques and variations so that exercising did not become boring and therefore a chore to do. The last thing you need is a reason to forget about your routine or put things “on the back burner”. They just will not get done.

Oh, and of course I always – and I mean ALWAYS ensure that I wear proper fitting orthotic inserts in all of my walking shoes and joggers. For first time users, the feeling of an orthotic inside your shoe may seem a little unusual and may take a little while to get used to. From my experience, they are well worth any initial awkward feeling and, when used in conjunction with an appropriate exercise regime, can make a noticeable improvement to your walking and overall gait. Orthotics can help to correct over-pronation, reduce the effects of Plantar Fasciitis and improve heel stress. The trick with orthotics is to make sure you use them in footwear every day and not every so often. This way you're giving them time to do their job and not constantly having to adapt to a different heel lift when changing shoes.

I, like most people reading this article, belong to an affluent society in a developed country where aging populations, growing levels of obesity, the love of sports and a preoccupation with fitness are all prevalent. I know that some of these factors apply to me. That does not mean though that we should just simply accept the fact that heel pain will affect many of us, put it down to growing older or putting on some beef and do nothing about it. On the contrary, there are a number of things we can do as individuals to not be part of the statistical majority who suffer in silence. My ten tips to reclaim your walking life are:

  • Accept that you have a problem
  • Seek proper medical advice and have your condition properly assessed
  • Devise an exercise statute that suits you – focusing on regular stretching of the Plantar fascia and Achilles Tendon
  • Wear comfortable properly fitting shoes with suitable orthotic innersoles
  • Take time to rest and heal (the body needs time to mend itself)
  • Apply ice packs to the affected areas of the foot in order to reduce swelling
  • Consider using anti-inflammatory medications
  • Shed some pounds if you are overweight (reduce the stress on your skeleton)
  • If pain is persistent consider cortisone injections or shockwave therapy
  • Use surgery only as a last resort

Like many things that go wrong with the human body, early intervention is often the key to successful treatment. If you feel a twinge around the foot area that does not seem normal do not ignore it. Have it checked out by a doctor or podiatrist to determine whether you have a muscular or structural problem. If addressed early enough it may be possible to prevent your heel pain from becoming debilitating and interfering with your daily pattern. Discuss and agree a plan of action with your medical practitioner so that you know exactly what to do to tackle the problem before it takes hold.

I still want to be actively running around when I have grandkids and not pass up opportunities to participate fully in life just because my boots let me down. Life's far too short.

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Attention All Walkers/Joggers/Runners: Learn How Doing It Barefoot Saves You Money And Your Body

Are you someone who is looking or has already incorporated walking, jogging or running into your daily routine? What if I told you that I found a way to make your exercises safer, more helpful, and that would not cost you a penny, would you be interested?

According to a 2010 study furnished by journal publishing company Nature, runners who generally wore shoes typically stuck the ground with the heads of their feet first. Why is that a problem you say? Heel-striking as it's called can generate a force up to three times your body's weight and can lead to stress fractures and Achilles tendinitis. Contrastingly, barefoot runners have been found to be more likely to land on the balls of their feet which is by far less impactful of the two.

Most of the cool designer walking and running shoe brands are failing you miserably. Extra padding and unnecessary levels of support do not allow your feet to function as they should. The athletic shoes that you are accredited to wearing supports your muscles in an unnatural way. Because your shoes do not force your muscles to work as hard as they would barefoot, your muscles get weak and you develop problems.

Barefoot running is the answer to this setback. Barefoot runners shorten their strides which absolutely reduce the impact on their lower bodies and automatically positions their knees, hips, and ankles to support their body's landing on hard surfaces. As a result of the increased force and pressure that barefoot running requires, your muscles will work harder and get stronger faster than running in shoes.

So you're ready to begin walking and running barefoot but do not know how to start. Remember this if nothing else. Preparation is everything. Start out with both a self and doctor evaluation to determine your suitability to walk or run barefoot. Pace and consistency is also important to consider. Consider the fact that your body is not accredited to walking or running barefoot so allow yourself some time to adjust. Walking or running in short intervals for short distances is a solid starting point. Doing this around twice a week is ideal and would provide your body an adequate opportunity to process and adjust to the new changes that it is experiencing.

Incorporating exercise into your daily schedule is an important function of healthy living. Being prepared is the start, and understanding how walking, jogging, or running can save you money, improve your body's strength, and decrease bodyily injuries is key. Now that you've established that principle, the next objective is to determine just what types of surfaces are best for your feet and where you can find them. For more information, please sign up to receive a five-day course or to my free 12 month newsletter.

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Putting Your Foot Down On Foot Heel Pain

Keeping your foot heel pain at bay is an important part of keeping your body in tip-top condition so you are mobile and are physically able to do everything you need to do whether it is for your family, your job or any other personal tasks. Even when you continue to be mentally and physically capable of doing whatever you are trained to do, the discomfort that you feel in the feet makes it difficult to move around.

When you feel soreness in the feet, it is usually a sign that one is suffering from some under condition like heel spurs. Spurs or plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of tenderness that people feel in their heels. Although a small percentage of people who have heel spurs require surgery, most patients with heel spurs often get better with pain management, physical therapies, and orthopedic devices.

If you want to make sure that every day movements are not hampered by foot heel pain, then put your foot down and do something about it or more aptly, one must stay off their feet. Giving the affected foot and leg a rest by elevating it and putting cold compress on the area that hurts is one way by which you can try to ease the pain without any medication or aggressive treatment.

After a spur has been confirmed through an x-ray and after the degree and period of pain has been established, the doctor may recommend one of several treatments depending on your condition. Stretches and exercises are also recommended for easing the discomfort of heel spurs. When pain is persistent for a long period these days remedies, it could be an indication that more aggressive treatments might be necessary.

Even when most incidences of spurs often diminish by themselves and no more discomfort is experienced by a patient after a short period of pain medication and physical therapies, a patient needs to exercise some preventive measures to avoid any recurrence or any further injuries. Taking care not to subject the feet to too much trauma is the wisest thing to do along with avoiding any conditions that strain the feet such as exercising on uneven surfaces and walking barefoot on hard surfaces. Using footwear with excellent arch support will also be a good way to protect the feet and ankles from any injuries – they might be expensive but not engaging debilitating heel tenderness because of it would make it worth more than every cent spent on it.

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Toenail Fungus – Find Out How to Get Rid of It

Toenail fungus is a very common problem and is quite difficult to treat. The fungus can spread from toe to toe and usually affects the big toe first. A nail fungal infection may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. As the nail fungus spreads deeper into your nail, it may cause the nail to discolor, thicken and develop crumbling edges, this is known as yellow keratin debris.

Keratin is a protein which forms part of the nail plate and can be attacked by fungal infections. It is during this attack that the keratin is broken down and causes keratin debris which results in the nail crumbling and discoloring.

Infected nails may also separate from the nail bed, a condition called onycholysis which can be quite painful.

Nail fungus is more common among older adults for several reasons, including diminished blood circulation and more years of exposure to fungi. Also, nails may grow more slowly and thicken with age, making them more susceptible to infection, and usually affects men more than women.

As fungus loves damp moist environments and below are a few other factors that may increase your risk of developing nail fungus:

* Perspiring heavily
* Working in a humid or moist environment
* Having the skin condition psoriasis
* Weaving socks and shoes that hinder ventilation and do not absorb perspiration
* Swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms
* Athlete's foot
* Minor skin or nail injury, a damaged nail or another infection
* Having diabetes, circulation problems
* Weakened immune system

Although nail fungus infections can be difficult to treat, medications are available.

If you are in any doubt at all, you should consult your doctor to establish whether there are any other under conditions which may have caused your toenail fungus.

You should start treatment as soon as possible as the fungus will spread to other toes, making it more difficult to treat and repeated infections are common.

Over-the-counter anti-fungal nail creams and ointments are available, but are not always effective. If you have athlete's foot as well as nail fungus, you should treat the athlete's foot with topical medication and keep your feet clean and dry.

These medications help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected portion of your nail. You typically take these medications for six to 12 weeks, but you will not see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely. It may take four months or longer to eliminate an infection. Pharmaceutical anti-fungal drugs may also cause harmful side effects.

I much prefer a natural treatment with natural ingredients with a two-pronged attack. A topical solution that is applied directly to your toenail and skin surrounding the nail and an oral treatment that is absorbed directly into the bloodstream attacking the fungus from within.

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Easy Toenail Fungus Home Remedies

If you have noticed your nails changing color or becoming thick and brittle you could have a nail fungus. The fungi that infects the toenails and the fingernails are called dermatophytes. This type of fungi thrives in warm moist places, which make the feet the most likely target. If you think you may have toenail fungus then it is time you learned more about toenail fungus home remedies.

You must keep in mind that not all home remedies are the same. There are a few remedies out there that are so bizarre they do not even have a chance at working. But there are other home remedies that have been used over and over by thousands of people. These are the type of treatments you want to use. One such home remedy is tea tree oil. This oil has been used for hundreds of years as a natural fungicide. In fact, tea tree oil was put in kits for soldiers to carry during wartime. You can find tea tree oil at your local health food store, or you can also buy it online.

More toenail fungus home remedies include soaking your feet in a mixture of vinegar and water. Vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar, contains acetic acid. This acid is great for killing fungus. If you want to try the apple vinegar nail fungus remedy you should soak your feet in diluted vinegar for about 15-20 minutes per day. Just remember to dry them thoroughly after soaking. If you do not want to try the vinegar and water soak you could try soaking in mouthwash such as Listerine. This type of mouthwash contains an ingredient called thymol. The ancient Greeks used thymol as an antifungal and in the mummification process. The Indians use thymol to treat various types of wounds.

In addition to treating your nail fungus with one of these home remedies you may want to give a homeopathic medicine a try. These types of natural solutions work great because they are made from the finest natural ingredients. Make sure you find a solution that is made from essential oils for maximum effect because essential oils are absorb better by the skin and nails. A homeopathic fungal solution will be safe to use, and it can be just as effective on your nail fungus as the prescription medications out there.

In conclusion, there are many different toenail fungus home remedies out there. The only way to know which one works the best is to try a few for yourself. Toenail fungus can be difficult to eliminate. The sooner you start treatment the faster you will find relief.

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Do You Have These Nail Fungus Symptoms?

Nail fungus is a type of fungus that can affect both fingernails and toenails. However, the toenails are affected more often than the fingernails because of the environment socks and shoes provide. Fungi thrives in warm and moist places so a sweaty sock is the perfect place for it to grow. But there are other nail conditions that can mimic the fungal infection symptoms. Therefore, it is important that you learn how to recognize nail fungus symptoms.

When you get a toenail or fingernail fungus the symptoms can be mild, or they may become severe. The first sign of a problem is a change in the color of your nails. This may start at the farthest end of your nails and then work its way inward. They will start to turn yellow, or they may become brown. Occidentally, they will become all white. When the fungus gets benefit the nail it will become difficult to treat because it provides protection for the fungus.

Without treatment, toenail or fingernail fungus symptoms will become more severe. The nails, beds and skin surrounding the area may become very itchy. This presents a problem since you are unable to scratch under the surface area. You should never scratch the skin surrounding the area because this can spread the fungus to other nails. They may also become thicker and brittle. If the fungus is not grateful, the nails can become so thick and so brittle they will actually crumble away from the bed. This will cause you considering pain because the beds are very sensitive. A foul odor may be observed coming from the areas that have a fungal infection.

As you consider treatment for a nail fungal infection you could go to your doctor and get a prescription. You just need to remember that these medications can take a long time to work. You can try a few home remedies to treat your fungus. Soaking your feet in vinegar and water has been an effective cure for many individuals. Tea tree oil applied to the toe or fingernails works well also. But you do not have to limit your treatment to prescriptions or home remedies. There are a few homeopathic medicines available that can be very effective at getting rid of your infection. Just make sure any homeopathic medicine you choose is made from essential oils, which can be absorbed by the body much easier.

The nail fungus symptoms listed above should be taken very seriously. At the first sign of a problem, you need to begin treatment. The fungus that is not grateful can cause permanent damage to your nails.

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A Nail Fungus Treatment For Fingernail and Toenail Fungus Sufferers

If you have nail fungus you can expect to see nail discoloration. Your nails may turn yellow or extremely white. They will become very thick and brittle. Sometimes the nails will actually crumble away from the nail bed. This can cause pain and leave the nail bed exposed for injury and infection. If you want to avoid this type of problem you should keep reading to discover a great nail fungus treatment.

You have several choices when it comes to treating your fungus problem. A lot of individuals will go to their doctor to get treatment. He may prescribe an antifungal lacquer that is painted on the affected nails. This is applied once a day and after seven days of application you removed the layers of lacquer with rubbing alcohol and start over with fresh applications. This treatment can take up to a year to eliminate the nail fungi. Your doctor may prescribe an oral anti fungal medication to help get rid of your fungal infection. These medications work by promoting new nail growth. The new nail is free of infection and will replace the infected nail. It can take several months for the process to be complete. Oral antifungal medications must be used cautiously since they can produce a rash.

Another type of nail fungal treatment includes soaking the affected nails in vinegar and water. A lot of individuals have used this home remedy with great success. Natural organic apple cider vinegar is the best for this soak. Mix one part vinegar with two parts warm water and soak for about 20 minutes. This soak can be done daily. If your skin becomes irritated from this soak then you can dilute the vinegar by adding more water or soak every other day. Once you are finished soaking it is extremely important that you dry your feet completely. Vicks Vapor rub is thought to be another effective toenail and fingernail fungus remedy. Researchers are not sure why this remedy works but hundred of individuals have used it with great success. Simply apply the Vicks to the affected nails once a day. The best time to do this is at night because Vicks can produce a strong odor.

But home remedies and prescription medicines are not your only choices when it comes to treating nail fungus. You can purchase a homeopathic solution online that will help eliminate your fungus. The best solutions are made from organic essential oils that have been proven to treat the fungus that affects toenails and fingernails. These solutions are reliably inexpensive and easy to use. Do some research to find the best natural homeopathic solution.

If you suffer from fungus of the nail, get a great nail fungus treatment. If you use the treatment you choose exactly as directed you can get rid of your nail fungus forever.

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Will A Nail Fungus Home Remedy Really Cure Toenail and Fingernail Fungus?

If you have nail fungus you may be suffering from embarrassment and even pain due to the condition of your nails. Nail fungus can cause your nails to become discolored and brittle. Over time, if the fungus is not grateful, your nails can actually fall off. Once the nail falls off the sensitive nail beds have no protection from injury. If you have a fungal infection of the nail you need to keep reading to discover a nail fungus home remedy you can use.

You can develop fungal infections on both the fingernails or the toenails. However, the toenails are the most common places to get this type of infection because a fungus loves warm, dark, moist places. Individuals who get fungal infections of the fingernails are those who have their hands in water a great deal. A weakened immune system will also allow an individual to develop a fungal infection. If you want to get rid of your infection for good then you should build a healthy immune system. You can do this by eating healthy and taking vitamin and herbal supplements. Do not forget to drink plenty of water to help purge your body of toxins.

If you have a fungal infection of the nails then you are probably wanting to try a nail fungi home remedy. There are several remedies out there. Since everyone is different, you may have to experiment with a few different remedies before you find one that works the best for you. The most popular home remedy is to soak your feet in a solution of vinegar and water. Vinegar is known as a natural antifungal so there it can get rid of your nail fungus. Some individuals have reported success by applying Vicks Vapor rub to their nails. Other remedies include using bleach, baking soda, tea tree oil or hydrogen peroxide on the affected nails. Soaking the nails in mouthwash has also been used as a nail fungal remedy.

In addition to these home remedies, you can also give a homeopathic medicine a try. These medications can be purchased without a prescription. The best ones are made from organic plant sources that are developed into essential oils. This is important for maximum absorption. There are a few great nail fungal homeopathic treatments available. Just do a little research to find the best one.

If you have a problem with fungus of the nails you need to find a great nail fungus home remedy you can use in the privacy of your home. In addition to the home remedies, you can supplement your treatment with a good homeopathic medication that is made from all natural organic sources. You can get rid of your nail fungus with the right treatment.

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What Causes Nail Fungus and How You Can You Treat It

Nail fungus is caused by a specific type of fungi called dermatophytes. Occidentally, a nail fungus infection will be caused by yeast or mold. Dermatophytes infect the toenails more frequently than the fingernails. This is because fungi love a warm and moist environment and the foot provides the perfect environment for fungi to thrive. If you think you have fungus of the nails, read on to learn more about the causes and treatments of nail fungus.

How do you get fungus of the nails? Typically, fungus will enter your body through a tiny cut in the skin, or it can enter if the nail bed and the nail become separated even the tiniest bit. If you walk barefoot at a public swimming pool or in a gym or public shower you can come into contact with the fungus that causes nail infections. If you have underlying health problems such as diabetes or a chronic condition that depresses your immune system you will be more likely to get fungus of the toenails or fingernails.

If you are the type of person that perspires a lot then you are at higher risk for getting nail fungus. If you wear heavy socks and shoes all the time, you will put yourself at risk for getting fungus of the nail because of the warm and moist environment your footwear provides. You can remedy this by wearing open toed shoes whenever possible. When you wear socks, make sure they are 100% cotton to help absorb moisture and allow your feet to breathe.

There are other complications that are associated with fungus of the nails. If the fungus is left untreated it can do permanent damage to the nails and the nail beds. It will also put you at risk for developing cellulitis, which is a serious infection that sometimes requires hospitalization.

You can treat your nail fungus right at home using either one of these home remedies. Simply mix one part vinegar to two parts warm water and soak the affected nails for 15-20 minutes. Make sure you dry the nails thoroughly after soaking. You can also try applying Vick's Vapor rub to the affected nails. This seems to be an effective remedy. It may be best applied at night before going to bed because of the smell. Another great treatment for this type of fungus is to purchase a homeopathic remedy that is made from essential oils. This treatment can clear up your problem in no time at all.

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Wide Shoes for Ladies and 6 Awful Consequence of Wearing Tight Fitting Shoes

It is a shocking statistic but, according to a recent poll by the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, almost 4 out of every 10 women buy shoes know they do not fit. Furthermore, near 2 out of every 10 men do the same. There could be several reasons for this including fashion (some people will put up with the pain to wear 'this-seasons' footwear) and vanity (not wanting to admit that you're really a UK size 8). However for a growing number of people it could simply be that there are not enough variety of wide shoes for ladies, men and kids readily available on the High Street, that combine the width fitting and the 'look' that the customer is wanting toacheve .

Until recently, wide fitting shoes were sold as comfort shoes. High Street brands would design and develop 'comfort' lines that were practical and offered soft leather uppers and padded soles. These were great for older generations who had foot problems (from wearing poorly fitting shoes in the past!) And comfort alone was their buying decision. But as our population gets bigger, even young children and young women are having larger, wider fitting feet and there is now a growing feeling that this sector of the market needs to be taped into.

Recently several celebrities 'came-out' and admitted what foot size including:

• Kate Winslet, the actress UK size 9

• Kate Silverton the BBC newsreader, UK size 9

• Macy Gray the recording artist UK size 10

So what are the ugly consequences to your feet of wearing tight fitting shoes?

1. Bunions – These are where the big toe is not properly aligned at the joint with the rest of the foot and instead curls inwards towards the rest of the toes. In some extreme cases the big toe actually crosses over the other toes. As a consequence the inside of the foot swells and walking can become painful. How many times have we seen pictures in a press of models and movie stars squeezing them feet into strappy heeled sandals? Victoria Beckham in particular has dreadful bunions. In some cases the only way to treat bunions is with painful surgery. To think, this could have been avoided if properly fitting shoes had been available and worn.

2. Corns – these are sores that appear on the foot where there has been a reasonable pressure on the foot over a period. These again are very painful and due to wearing footwear that is too tight.

3. Flat Feet – This is where the inner arch of the foot has collapsed or never existed in the first place. An arch can collapse if you wear poorly fitting shoes, particularly during physical, high impact sports. If you do have the misfortune of suffering flat feet you will know that not only are they incredibly uncomfortable to walk on, but they can also lead to back problems.

4. Hammer Toes – these are very common and usually occur when the second toe (which can often be the longest toe) has been pushed up into a V shape. The top of the V then rubs on the shoe and creates a corn which can be very painful.

5. Ingrown Toe Nails – As well as being caused by having poor cut toe nails, tight fitting and short shoes can impede the growth of the toe nail, and lead to its growth back into the skin. This can lead to inflammation and infection and in some cases the only treatment is the removal of the nail.

6. Sweaty Feet – If the foot is under reasonable pressure from a tight fitting shoe, then often there is no room for the air to circulate and feet soon start to sweat. As well as causing blisters and a bad odor, bacteria can soon breed leading to Athletes foot which is a fungal infection.

So, now that you are aware of these 6 gruesome consequences please think wisely when you next buy a pair of shoes, particularly if your feet are further fitting.

With kids, men and women all getting longer and wider feet, the High Street is slowly and surely starting to react to this demand. A range of footwear brands now cater for a variety of different foot widths so that wide shoes for ladies, gents and children can now be found.

One great place to look for shoes stockists catering for wide fitting shoes is on-line where several retailers offer honest feedback on their range and give advice on how the footwear fits and measures to ensure your feet are cared for correctly, but that you still look fab!

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Treat And Prevent Athlete’s Foot

Athlete's foot is caused by fungi and can surely give you a lot of discomfort. The name itself will say that most people who are affected by this kind of infection are those athletes or those highly active individuals. The feet can harbor fungi and cause an infection called athlete's foot. These fungi can also cause other fungal infections like jock itch, ring worm and dandruff. Thus, as you treat and prevent this infection, you are also preventing its spread in different areas which will further cause other fungal infections. To do the treatment and prevention the right way, you may need some tips first.

MAKE YOUR FEET LESS IDEAL FOR THE FUNGI

The first thing that you need to do is to make your feet less ideal for the growth of the fungi. The fungi can only cause a full-blown infection if the environment will be favorable for them. One thing that you need to do is to keep your feet moisture free. Also, you need to wear breathable socks and shoes so that your feet can dry up easily. Make sure that you do not walk barefooted in public places.

You must always wear clean and new socks every day. Do not ever wear worn socks as some fungi can grow in inanimate objects too. Make sure also that the socks are made of cotton to ensure that the heat will not be trapped inside. To ensure that the feet will be dry as always, you may need to apply some powder on your feet. In choosing the shoes that you will wear, avoid those that made of vinyl as this will just make your feet damp and moist due to trapped heat.

THE REMEDIES THAT YOU CAN DO

Athlete's foot is not a hopeless condition like other fungal infections. There are plenty of remedies that you can do to get rid of it easily. You may use garlic, lemon, salt and alcohol. You just need to apply these things topically on the affected areas. Garlic must be crushed and the juice must be applied directly while lemon must be squeezed first. Salt must be dissolved in water and you have to submerge your feet on the solution while alcohol can be applied directly on the skin.

LOOK FOR OVER THE COUNTER CRAMS

There are a lot of over the counter creams and ointments that you can use to get rid of athlete's foot. Try to go to the nearest pharmacy and look for creams with names ending in “zole.” These are powerful over the counter antifungal creams that you can use to treat this fungal infection. You may also go to your physician to get the proper help that you need when it comes to medications.

Athlete's foot can cause or trigger other fungal infections like jock itch, ring worm and dandruff. So, as early as possible, you have to do your best to treat and prevent it. The tips are indeed very helpful for you. Always make sure that you keep these in mind all the time.

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Getting Your Feet Ready for Spring

You have hidden your feet away all winter inside closed shoes and boots. If you're a woman then those UGG boots have been a life saver to hide away your feet, but now spring has arrived, the sun in shining and it's time to show off those feet! However, your feet may be all crusty, rough, smelly and even worse you may be sporting a fashionable bunion like Victoria Beckham. With a little help you can get your feet ready for spring!

Dryness

A lack of oil glands on your feet leaves them fresh to dryness. Cold weather and walking around barefooted also drain away moisture.

Tip: Hydrate and exfoliate daily. After bathing, use a pumice stone or a heel scrub to slough off dry skin. We recommend making your very own DIY foot scrub, it will not take too long and your feet will thank you for it. To do this mix together equal parts brown sugar and almond oil and work it into your feet for a few minutes (it works on your body, too). Then rinse. The oil will leave your feet feeling silky smooth.

Extra step: If you're prune to very dry skin on your feet try CSS foot cream (other products are available), apply this cream on your feet and put on a pair of socks before going to bed. Your heels will thank you in the morning.

Overgrown cuticles

Over time excessive skin can build up at the nail bed.

Tip: Soak feet for a few minutes, then apply a good cuticle cream such as the Flexitol nail and cuticle cream and push cuticles back gently. Do not try and cut down the sides of your nails as this can cause injury and possibly an ingrown toenail.

Cracked Heels

Standing and walking on hard surfaces for extended periods can lead to fissure which are commonly referred to as cracked heels. If left untreated these fissures can become very painful and possibly become infected.

Tip: Soak your feet in some warm water for no longer than 10-15 minutes; Follow this by using a pumice stone or steel scrubber on your heels. Then apply a hydrating lotion or cream. Flexitol Heel Balm (other products are available) is provides an effective treatment for cracked heels.

Some patients take a scalpel or a sharp object to the heels to take off the hard skin; this is obviously a bad idea! The risk of injury and infection is great, if you need the hard skin taking off visit a podiatrist.

Heel Pain

At the first sign of a little bit of sun we start to increase our activity from shopping to walking the dog. We start to give our feet a sudden workout after the relative rest of the winter months.

The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis which is commonly referred to as a heel spur. Plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue which runs along the bottom surface of the foot, from the heel to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the plantar fascia is inflamed. This condition can be very painful and cause considering amount of suffering.

Tip: One of the most effective treatment options for heel pain is orthotics.

Calluses

The human body finds a natural defense mechanism, if your feet are subject to repeated friction and pressure, then calluses are formed to protect your feet from further damage. Calluses can occur for a variety of reasons such as poor footwear but are more likely to occur due to poor foot mechanics.

Tip: After soaking your feet, gently file calls away with a callus reducer or emery board. Apply lotions such as the Flexitol Heel Balm or Callusan Extra Mousse generously (other products are available).

Extra step: Beauticians recommend this secret tip, cut a lemon in half and rub the juice on to the callus, making sure to avoid any broken skin on the foot as lemon juice can sting. Leave it alone for a few minutes and then use a callus file to reduce the hard skin, the acid from the lemon softens the skin making it easier to file.

Consider orthotics to treat the underfoot foot mechanics which is the cause of the calluses.

Blisters

Blisters occasion when feet get hot & sweaty, making socks stick to the feet. The sock and foot then rub against each other and the inside of the shoe. Fluid fills up a space between layers of skin to protect the area, like a small balloon. That's how a blister forms.

Tip: In most cases blisters heal naturally and do not require specialist attention. The body will reabsorb the fluid and the blister will dry and peel off. The skin that forms on top of the blisters provides a natural defense to infection. Ideally you should not pierce a blister with a needle and allow it to heal naturally.

You could cover a blister with an adhesive dressing or gauze. If the blister is causing you pain then cover the area with a soft dressing and change the dressing daily. Once the blister bursts refrain from peeling the skin and cover the exposed skin with a dressing.

If a blister becomes infected, it will be very painful, swollen and possibly red. It is advisable to visit your doctor for a prescription of antibiotics ASAP.

Extra step: Use talc, lubricant or blister block cushions on areas that generally blister to prevent them from forming.

Smelly Feet

Everybody is familiar with this phenomenon. Most of us have a friend or relative who can clear out a room when they kick off their shoes. And even the sweetest smelling person can do a decent job stinking up a pair of shoes by running a few miles in them.

The main thing that feeds foot smell is sweat. With more than 250,000 sweat glands each, your feet are among the most perspiring parts of the body. In one day, each foot can produce more than a pint of sweat!

Heat, sweat, moisture, synthetic fibers, closed footwear and hyperhidrosis can all cause smelly feet.

Tip: Keep feet clean and dry. If you wear socks, change them daily. Do not wear the same shoes every day; give them a chance to dry out. Dust feet frequently with a foot powder (do not forget between the toes to remove excess moisture). And wear shoes that are made of leather, canvas, mesh or other materials that let the feet breathe.

Extra step: Using products such as Callusan Fresh and Sek anti-perspirant foot spray (other products are available) can provide you and your loved ones relief from your smelly feet.

Toe Hair

Unfortunately, hair can grow anywhere, including on your toes.

Tip: You can shave or wax these embarrassing hairs. There is also laser therapy that will get rid of hair permanently, but it will take several sessions before you're hair-free. And it can get pricey.

And finally DO NOT forget the sunscreen!

When people are wearing sandals on a really hot day they cover the entire body with sunscreen apart from the feet. Your feet are like the rest of your body – they can burn. Apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet and toes before going outdoors.

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Walkfit Shoe Insoles

By installing Walkfit Platinum orthotics into our everyday shoes, we can then achieve optimal function of our feet. The scientific name for this is biomechanics. This is the investigation of our bodies actions as we run or walk. A materialization of discomfort in other areas of the lower body can also be due to incorrect biomechanics.

Poor or improper foot biomechanics is commonly known as over pronation. What happens is the arch flattens too much whilst at the same time the ankles roll inwards. Walkfit foot orthotics have been designed to eradicate over pronation. Walkfit orthotics help to locate the feet and ankles into a more optimal position. At the same time support is given to the arches, so preventing them from over flattening.

Custom fit orthotics may be the answer needed for those with more major issues. Custom fit orthotics are not accessible over the counter, so you will need to consult a podiatrist. Complaints such as large bunions, totally flat feet or foot ulcers will also probably need the services of a podiatrist. Although custom fit orthotics can be very high-priced and at times uncomfortable to wear, they are on the whole more often than not very effective.

Those looking for a less expensive alternative to custom orthotics will regularly consider heat moldable insoles. A reasonable custom fit can be accomplished with them, as they are warm up they can be manipulated to conform to the shape of the users foot. To attain an even more customized fit, wedges can then be included, although in many cases this is not really necessary. Even though they can be fast to get used to, this type of orthotic is still quite pricey.

Fortunately for the best part of those with biomechanical complaints an orthotic such as Walkfit Platinum will do a decent job. Wearers also find that with regular wear they will begin to adapt to the shape of the foot. Easier to get used to than custom manufactured orthotics, Walkfit provides an inexpensive treatment option.

Incorrect foot function is quickly restored with Walkfit Platinum orthotics. This is because they are able to accurately line up the feet and ankles into a more natural position. The orthotics also help to correctly spread evenly over the foot, the body's weight. This helps to alleviate stress points in particularly painful areas. Their shock absorbing qualities also help to reduce the impact received when walking or running.

Many of the common pain issues that materialize in the lower body can be tracked back directly to issues with the feet. Managing and controlling discomfort in the feet and lower body can be thought about rather easily through the use of Walkfit Platinum orthotics. Walkfit orthotics allow people to become free from long term discomfort and once again begin to lead a full and dynamic life.

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Why Taking Care Of Our Feet And Shoes Is Important

Whether you're a man or a woman one of the most neglected parts of our body is our feet. We cram them into shoes that do not fit us properly, or were not designed to properly support our foot. At the end of the day when we finally take our shoes off, we often let out a sign of relief as our feet are released from the torture devices that are our shoes. By taking better care of our feet, and the shoes we wear on them we can minimize the pain felt not only in our feet, but elsewhere in our bodies.

There are many nerve endings in our feet that travel up the length of our legs and connect to our lower spinal cord. In fact, many of the nerve endings in our feet stem from the sciatic nerve which is the largest and longest nerve in the body. The feet also have a branch nerve from the femoral nerve. With so many never ending ends found in the feet, it is no wonder why foot related issues have been known to cause pain throughout the body, especially lower back pain. In fact reflexology believes that there is a pressure point in your foot that correlates to the majority of your body, including all your major organs. So if our feet are connected so interconnected with the rest of our body, why do not we take better care of our feet?

Vanity, we like our shoes. So if we're going to continue to wear shoes that hurt our feet, we need to make sure we not only take measures to protect and take care of our feet more, but we need to take care of our shoes as well. Buy shoes that support and cushion your feet. Quality shoes designers will have more padding and support in their shoes than the traditional mass produced shoes. As a result, it is usually better to buy the more expensive, higher quality shoes rather than the cheaper mass produced shoes. This may diminish your shoe collection, but your feet will be happier in the long run. If you refuse to give up your shoe collection, than you need to make sure you stretch and soak the muscles in your feet and legs to make sure you're not shortening them unnaturally or causing any other damage.

When it comes to your shoes you also need to take care of the soles. The soles and heels of your shoes are extremely important to take care of because worn soles and heels change our ability to balance properly in our shoes. If we're not balanced when we walk, we run the risk of causing more damage not only to our feet, but to the rest of our body. We can even throw our hips out of alignment if we're not balanced properly. So by taking care of our feet and shoes by spending a little time stretching and soaking our feet every day, and taking our shoes to be repaired we could save ourselves pain (both literally and figuratively) in the future.

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Foot Pain and Flip Flops

With summer approaching we hide away our winter shoes and reach for light and breezy flip flops and sandals. These days the humble flip flop is considered a must in most peoples wardrobe, and come in many colors, styles and on occasion with built in bottle openings! But are they really as comfortable as they seem?

In the past, stilettos and strappy shoes have been the obvious culprits when it came to foot pain but research has shown that this may not be the case.

The truth is our trusty favorite could be a leading cause of injuries to our feet, ankles, knees, hips and back and over time these injuries could escalate into serious bone, tendon and joint damage.

A recent study has found that flip flop wearers tend to grip the footwear with their toes, leading to shorter stride length and improper force when their feet hit the ground. But what does this mean?

Basically a powerful force is transferred up our legs, placing additional stress on our lower body. Unfortunately our bodies are not designed for that type of stress.

The spongy nature and lack of arch support found in many flip flops, can cause the feet to roll inward, causing pain and injury to the arch as well as plantar fasciitis and if you are not already flat footed, you can actually develop this symptom by wearing poorly made flip flops. Of course there are the more obvious hazards of wearing open or uncoovered footwear. When driving, flip flops can impair a driver's control, especially if they fall off and become trapped underneath the brake or accelerator pedal. Other common injuries include stubbed toes, cuts, bruises, and insect bites. Not to mention dirty feet !!

Many people believe wearing them is a way to give their feet a break, but because they lack support, a tight fit and generally have a poor tread, slips, falls and sprained ankles are much more common.

So what are the tips to picking healthy summer footwear?

  • Do not be fooled by the cheapest option, always be sure to look for proper materials in your footwear. Do not buy cheap foam material that is too flimsy and lacks a solid form. A good general rule is to try to bend the sole along its length. It should bend only slightly and if it can almost touch the heel to the toe, you're definitely looking at the wrong material.
  • Do not make the most common mistake by going for the flat soled option. Instead try to choose sandals and flip flops with significant support, as well as an indented heel cup to hold the heel in place.
  • Pay careful attention to straps, as well. Consider leather or soft materials to reduce irritation and blisters. Avoid plastic or cotton straps, or any that are too thin and can cut into the skin

In addition, consider overall quality. Keep in mind that you may need to spend as much on a quality pair of sandals or flip flops, as you would on a nice pair of trainers.

Do not Forget !!!

Try to wear your sandals or flip flops in moderation. Avoid wearing them during all-day events, athletic activities and especially during those days working in the garden. These activities are best performed in trainers.

Also remember that your exposed feet need sunscreen. Otherwise, you could end up with sunburned tootsies which is not only bad for your skin, but is also a disastrous fashion statement, too!

Follow these handy tips and your feet will enjoy the spring and summer months as much as you do.

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