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To say that our feet are one of the most important parts of our body would be an understatement. They transport us to where we need to go just about every minute of our waking day. When we are not on our feet we are seated but our feet are ready to spring back in action whenever we need them.
When we are experiencing pain in our feet it slows us down. It cuts down on the time it takes us to get around and sometimes can even bring that to a halt causing us to become confined to a wheelchair. There are many areas of the foot that can cause the pain just as there are many ways that cause our feet to hurt. We can injure ourselves by participating in athletic activities, we can become involved in an accident where something heavy falls on them, we can suffer from wearing the wrong shoes for too long of a time, and we can even inherit bad feet from our family medical history.
Different Types of Foot Pain
There are different parts of the foot that will hurt in different ways due to varying circumstances. There are also ways you can treat these pains as each area is detailed below.
Pain in the Ball of the Foot can result in metatarsalgia or Morton’s neuroma. Both are a type of numbness that is caused by wearing the wrong type of shoes. Sesamoiditis is a form of tendonitis that is usually associated with athletes who do a good deal of running as well as ballet dancers. Changing the kind of footwear and allowing the feet to rest will help to ease this pain right away. Applications of ice will quickly bring down any inflammation.
Pain in the Arch of the Foot could mean either flat feet or plantar fasciitis. An anesthetic along with a steroid injection can turn plantar fasciitis around while more in- depth physical therapy is needed to treat flat feet.
Pain in the Toes can be identified as any number of conditions: gout, bunions, an ingrown toenail, or a claw toe. Again, wearing shoes that don’t fit properly can create some of these circumstances. The hammertoe can affect the way the toes actually bend but the claw toe could be attributed to alcoholism or diabetes. As a type of arthritis, gout is actually an accumulation of crystals that can inflame the large toe and is extremely painful. Your diet needs to be adjusted as some foods aggravate gout and certain medications can help to ease the pain. An ingrown toenail may sound fairly innocent but is best treated by a physician as it can be very painful and can even return if not treated properly the first time.
Fractures, sprains, and arthritis can affect just about any of the toes on the feet and depending on the location and cause can be handled with over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and exercises that target specific areas of the toe.
Additional areas of the Foot can leave you with tendonitis, nerve damage (neuropathy), calluses or corns, a sesamoid fracture, or even a broken toe bone. After being properly diagnosed by a foot specialist, many times your condition can be treated with the proper rest, pain medications, and applications of ice to bring down swelling and ease pain.
Feet: Rough and Tough but the Gateway to Overall Health
While your feet are responsible for transporting you to wherever you need or want to go, they must be strong enough to withstand any number of situations that can affect their ability to carry out their duties. No one is safe from sore feet with around 75 percent of us becoming the victim of some type of foot problems during our life.
In addition to its most simple form of function, some conditions that affect the feet can ultimately cross over and have a bearing on a person’s overall health. There are specific trigger points that can contribute to additional pain in the body and the foot itself has 33 joints that can be affected from overall joint pain.
In general, the best way to handle problems with your feet consist of:
- A proper initial diagnosis from your physician
- Providing your feet the initial rest and relaxation to begin the healing process by staying off of them.
- Reassessing your choice of footwear
- Applying applications of cold packs to bring down inflammation
- The right amount of prescription or over-the-counter medications to ease immediate pain.
- Further determination to see if a surgical procedure is necessary to eliminate a more severe foot problem that is either ongoing or not responding to all of the available treatments that have been provided.
Diabetes and the Health of Your Feet
Of all of the medical conditions you could experience, diabetes is one of the most serious of all with regards to its effects on your feet. It can range from simple problems with your toes and toenails all the way to amputation of the toe, foot or even the entire leg. There are things that you can do to prevent these serious consequences from altering your overall health as well as your foreseeable future.
- As soon as you have been diagnosed as having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, make sure you have an in-depth meeting with your doctor and/or a professional in the field of diabetes to provide you with all of the information you need to keep your disease under control.
- Maintaining the proper blood glucose levels is the first and foremost way to prevent any future problems with your feet as well as other areas of your body.
- Keep your feet clean and dry every day to avoid any type of infection, especially around in in between the toes.
- Make sure the toenails are trimmed and filed properly so they don’t create any unnecessary irritation. Examine your feet every day and if you see even the smallest changes, notify your doctor immediately. Many problems can be brought under control if recognized and treated before they progress any further.
- One of the most important aspects of diabetic foot care is ensuring a regular flow of blood in the foot and ankle area. Loss of feeling in the feet is called neuropathy and is a very dangerous condition that can be avoided with an attention to circulation in this area.
What You Need to Know About Foot Massagers
Our site has a comprehensive listing of the best foot massagers on the market. It’s easy to figure out that a foot massager is going to give you a relaxing and soothing experience. Once you try it you will most likely include it as you create a healthy routine for the care and maintenance of your feet. If you have never used a foot massager before there are some lesser known benefits that you may want to consider when making your decision about this helpful and effective product.
Besides providing a relaxing environment that will contribute to the health of your feet, a foot massager increases the blood flow in your legs and feet. This is of vital importance to those with diabetes or any other conditions where circulation is a problem.
- Blood Pressure
If you suffer from hypertension sometimes the pressure of trying to calm down and relax can make you even more stressed out. A simple foot massage takes matters out of your hands and does the work for you. Just sit back and enjoy the features of this amazing product and before you know it you will be cool, calm, and collected.
Many people experience edema which is when the ankles and feet retain fluids and appear swollen. It is common amongst women who are pregnant and it can also be a sign of kidney problems. A foot massager can help to provide some help in reducing edema through the gentle and soothing motions used to massage the feet.
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Sheba Medical Center ran a study in their Department of Orthopedic Rehabilitation using 53 patients who suffered from multiple sclerosis. Over 11 weeks the patients were the recipients of massages to their feet and calves and all experienced fewer problems with their motor and sensory skills as well as less issues with urinary problems attributed to having MS.
- Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Problems
Because a foot massager works to relax the foot and ankle areas it has been known to be even more effective in preventing further injuries by backing up any exercises that are performed to strengthen the foot and ankle areas. People who suffer from plantar fasciitis have enjoyed some relief with their condition as well as those who have pain in their heels.
What to Avoid When Buying a Foot Massager
While we have a guide as to what features to look for when you are ready to invest in a foot massager, there are many things that those who use a foot massager on a regular basis have found to be pitfalls you may want to avoid.
- Thoroughly check out how intense of a kneading process the massager provides. Everyone is different and if your needs are less health related and more motivated by relaxation you won’t want a product that has settings that are more intense than you need.
- Always check the length of the power cord when making your purchase. Some people found models where the cord was too short and left them limited as to where they could use their massager.
- Heat or no heat? If the temperature is not a major deciding factor in your choice of foot massager than you have no worries, but if you prefer a consistently warm temperature make sure you check customer reviews to see which models come through in the end.
- Make sure that the massager you select can comfortably accommodate your feet. If you have larger feet, check to make sure that you will have enough room to reap the benefits of a good massage.
- While price is always a consideration, don’t worry about paying a little more for features that you will want to use on a regular basis. By the same token paying more for a product doesn’t always guarantee the quality you will receive.
- Avoid products that have instructions and features that are too complicated. A feature is not going to be beneficial if you are unable to access it when you need it.
Is a Foot Massager Worth the Investment?
Whenever you buy a product that you think is going to contribute to your healthy lifestyle and maybe even help treat a medical condition you may have you want to make sure that it is everything it is stacked up to be. At first you may think that a foot massager would be a frivolous purchase but it can actually make a big difference when facing a number of health issues.
Circulation in your foot and ankle areas is important especially if you have diabetes. Hypertension is another major problem that can improve with the regular use of a foot massager.
Make sure you go over the list of top rated foot massagers and select the product that has the most features that will best address your personal problems. Once you have found the massager that fits your budget and will be able to work for your benefit to improve your health, make a decision to incorporate it into your commitment for a healthier future.
Using a Foot Spa to Prevent Infection
While regular hygiene practices (a bath or shower) may be enough to keep your feet clean, some people who have diabetes or a potentially serious foot condition may want to focus specifically on the cleanliness of their feet by using a foot spa. A good soak will not only keep your feet free of dirt or grit that can be accumulated through every day activities, it can soothe your aching tootsies.
Check out our review of the top foot spas that are available on the market. Choose the models that have the features that best fit your needs. Look for something that has the following qualities:
- Lightweight – you are going to have to maneuver your foot spa once it has water in it so try to find a product that is comfortable to use.
- Extension cord that can provide you with the freedom to use your spa wherever you like.
- Heat if you want it but if you don’t you shouldn’t waste your money on that feature.
- You may want to make sure there is a massage type bases so you can increase your circulation while you are soaking.
Basically everything you can do to keep your feet clean and dry as well as maintaining a continuous flow of circulation to the foot, ankle and toes might help to keep most serious conditions away.