Get answers to your Foot and Ankle questions.
Bunions; Corns; Hammertoe; Plantar fasciitis; Tarsal tunnel syndrome; Flat feet
The American Podiatric Medical Association offers the following tips for preventing foot pain:
Skin creams can help maintain skin softness and pliability. A pumice stone or loofah sponge can help get rid of dead skin.
Taking a warm footbath for 10 minutes two or three times a week will keep the feet relaxed and help prevent mild foot pain caused by fatigue. Adding 1/2 cup of Epsom salts increases circulation and adds other benefits. Taking footbaths only when the feet are painful is not as helpful.
In addition to wearing proper shoes and socks, walking often -- and properly -- can prevent foot injury and pain. The head should be erect, the back straight, and the arms relaxed and swinging freely at the side. Step out on the heel, move forward with the weight on the outside of the foot, and complete the step by pushing off the big toe.
Exercises specifically for the toe and feet are easy to perform and help strengthen them and keep them flexible. Helpful exercises include the following:
Early Development. The first year of life is important for foot development. Parents should cover their babies' feet loosely, allowing plenty of opportunity for kicking and exercise. Change the child's position frequently. Children generally start to walk at 10 - 18 months. They should not be forced to start walking early. Wearing just socks or going barefoot indoors helps the foot develop normally and strongly and allows the toes to grasp. Going barefoot outside, however, increases the risk for injury and other conditions, such as plantar warts.
Shoes. Children should wear shoes that are light and flexible, and since their feet tend to perspire, their shoes should be made of materials that breathe. Replace footwear every few months as the child's feet grow. Footwear should never be handed down. Protect children's feet if they participate in high-impact sports.
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