6 Simple Life Hacks to Solve Painful Foot Problems

Posted by Dr. Brian Nagy on March 15, 2018

Foot Problems SunburnIt’s normal for your feet to hurt from time to time, they do bear the brunt of your body weight with every step you take. We’re offering some simple life hacks to help you reduce your foot problems and pain. When your foot pain is more serious, remember it’s time to talk to your trusted New Hampshire podiatrist about your concerns.  

Common foot problems and what to do about them

Foot falls asleep / pins and needles

If you sit in a way that compresses a nerve, for example with crossed legs or if you sit on one foot, your foot may feel like it falls asleep, causing a tingling sensation. The medical term for this is paresthesia. The saying that your foot’s asleep is actually a misnomer because that sensation is actually your nerves waking up after being compressed. In most cases paresthesia is harmless, but it can be a sign of neuropathy.

How to avoid it

You can sit with good posture with both feet on the ground and get up and move around at least once an hour.

How to make it better

When your foot falls asleep, the best thing you can do is move it. Start by flexing and pointing your foot, then stand up and take a couple of steps. If you frequently experience that pins and needles feeling, make an appointment with your trusted podiatrist to test for neuropathy.

Sunburn on the tops of your feet

You know that when you’re planning on spending lots of time outside that you need to slather on the sunscreen. While you remember to layer it on your face, shoulders, and arms, many people don’t think about their legs or the tops of their feet and end up with painful, red sunburn and swollen feet.

How to avoid it

When you’re putting on your sunscreen, make sure to rub it into your legs and the tops of your feet too. If you’re outside for a long time or swimming, reapply at least every two hours to maintain your protection against the harmful UV rays in the sun.

How to make it better

If it’s too late and you’ve already been burnt, apply cold compresses to your feet. You can also use soothing lotions like aloe to relieve the sting of sunburn. Make sure to drink plenty of cool water to replace your fluids.

Avoiding poorly fitting shoes

We’ve all given in to the temptation of beautiful shoes that just a half-size too big or too small and suffered through the pain only to abandon the shoes to our closet.

How to avoid it

Shop for your shoes late in the afternoon or in the evening. By the end of your day, your feet swell. When you try on shoes later, you’ll know that they fit your feet at their largest and will be comfortable all day. Also, most people have one foot that is just slightly larger than the other, so buy your shoes to fit your larger foot.

How to make it better

You can try to return your shoes or if you’ve already worn them and can’t return them, donate them to charity. When you wear incorrectly fitting shoes, not only does it cause pain, but it can contribute to foot problems like bunions and hammertoes.

Smelly feet

When you take off your shoes and socks after a long day or a good workout, you may notice a strong odor wafting up from your feet. After being encased in shoes and sweaty socks, your feet have been trapped in a perfect environment for bacteria and odor to thrive. Strong foot odor can be a sign of an infection, so if you have chronically smelly feet, make an appointment with your trusted podiatrist to get your feet checked out. In the meantime read How to Treat Smelly Feet.  A few key tips from that article are summarized below.

How to avoid it

You should keep your feet clean and dry. This could mean changing your socks and shoes after a workout or even changing your socks midday. Make sure to thoroughly dry your feet after your shower. You can also use foot powders to absorb your sweat to keep your feet dry. 

How to make it better

Soaking your feet in a warm bath with Epsom salts helps reduce bacteria and keep your feet smelling fresh. If you have an infection like athlete’s foot talk to your podiatrist and use a topical antifungal cream to clear your infection.

You can keep your shoes smelling fresh by putting a dryer sheet in them or putting a few drops of an essential oil like tea tree on a cotton ball and putting it in the toes of your shoes overnight.

Toenail fungus / Athlete’s foot

Toenail fungus and athlete’s foot are fungal infections of your toenails and feet. They’re caused by bacteria making its home on your foot and lead to thick, yellow toenails and itchy scaly skin on your feet.

How to avoid it

Wear flip-flops when you use public pools or showers. These warm, wet areas are perfect breeding grounds for the bacteria that cause these infections. You should also make sure to thoroughly clean and dry your feet before putting your socks and shoes on.

How to make it better

If you have toenail fungus or athlete’s foot, make an appointment with your podiatrist for effective treatment. In most cases, a topical cream will clear the infection. If your toenail fungus is severe, you may need to take an oral antifungal medication. Your podiatrist will give you customized treatment to clear your infection.

General foot pain

Sometimes your feet will just ache. Maybe you’ve been on your feet all day maybe your shoes don’t fit correctly, whatever the reason all you want to do is take your shoes off and put your feet up. But sometimes that isn’t enough.

How to avoid it

You can avoid foot pain by wearing shoes that fit properly and support your feet. You can also stretch your feet regularly to keep the muscles and tendons supple.

How to make it better

Soaking your feet in a warm bath with Epsom salts can help relieve sore aching feet. You can also self-massage with a tennis ball. Sit with your feet on the floor, then put a tennis ball under one of your feet and roll your foot forward and backward over the ball to massage the bottoms of your feet.

If you experience regular foot pain, make an appointment with your trusted podiatrist at Nagy Footcare. Our best day is when you wake up without foot pain.


10 Common Causes of Foot Pain eBook

 

Topics: General Foot Pain, General Foot Care

We are committed to providing educational information because, at Nagy Footcare, our best day is the day you wake up with no foot pain.

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