As we go into self-isolation, caring for your feet is most important as you may not be able to visit your surgery. As feet are the most neglected part of the body, foot problems can give you unnecessary pain – keep you off your feet with wear & tear or even cause immobility. With limited ‘help yourself’ footcare books, the following self-help advice may help to keep your feet comfortable.
There are foot problems in every age group, be it corns, hard skin, in-growing toenails, verrucae, arthritic pain or overuse injuries.
First, make sure your shoes and slippers are the right size and shape of your foot and your socks are not too tight.
How to cut your toenails if you can’t reach them? A long handle scissor can make it easier and if not then you can use a long file/emery board to file them. If this is not possible apply Vaseline which can soften the sides until help is available. If they are very thick, again try to file them down.
If you have problems with corns, a file is also useful for filing down the callus/hard skin that develops over a corn. A word of warning – never use corn plasters as they are filled with acid that can burn further areas causing pain and even ulcers. Just file and apply foot cream to soften the skin which will reduce the build-up of hard skin which can be painful.
Verrucae also make hard skin to protect themselves so gently file every day if possible as this reduces the pain
If you have Arthritic pain and have had Western Acupuncture sessions- gently massage the area where the needles would go and gently stretch the area on ankle or foot with the back of your other heel. For painful knees, then you can very gently massage the area with your knuckles.
A Foot soak in a relaxing bowl of water with Epsom Salts also helps. Epsom was the first ever Spa Town and the salts are used in anti-inflammatory medicines. (soak your feet for 15-20 mins, do not drink it!)
Try to get some exercise if you can, even if it’s just around the house. Get up every 30 mins and walk – just the motion of getting up will help. If you can get outside, walk around the garden several times or up and down stairs if you have them. If you can’t exercise and are sitting most of the day a Circulation Booster will improve your circulation, help swollen legs and feet, the Circulation Booster will also improve healing of ulcers, reduce aching legs and helps overall comfort and aids mobility. How it works so well is that the legs have valves to take blood down the leg but there are no valves taking blood back up the legs, only movement will do that so the booster can do this for you. They are not suitable for people who use a pacemaker or are pregnant.
It is good to generally care for your feet with daily washing and using a hair dryer to dry if you can’t reach them. Moisturise them regularly, put some cream in a plastic bag if you can’t reach down. The heat of your feet will help the cream get absorbed. If you have cold feet in bed? A covered hot water bottle between your knees will warm blood going down to your feet. Hot feet in bed? a cold hot water bottle. Cramp in your feet and legs in bed? If you are allowed, an alcoholic nightcap 9but not brandy) will allow the blood to circulate easier.