St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church - Naperville, IL

Summer Health Tips From The Parish Nurse

Your Health – Feet

Weight gain in our middle years can trigger foot issues, and since problems in the knees, hips and shoulders can also pop up as foot pain (and vice versa), it’s not worth playing a guessing game. Just as you’d go to the dentist for a toothache, seek out a podiatrist (DPM) if you’re suffering foot pain.

Meanwhile, these five steps can help you build happy feet.

Be a Shoe Snob

Up to 72% of people wear shoes that don’t fit. That’s in part because your arches can drop as you age, lengthening your feel.  In older people, wearing shoes that are too narrow has been linked with corns, bunions and pain, shorter shoes are linked with other deformities such as hammer toe and claw toe.

Get on Your Feet

The more you sit, the more you deactivate your glute muscles and proper foot functions requires strong glutes, hips and abs.  Exercises like hop bridges and planks encourage not only tummy work and hip extension but also help you practice getting up and down from the floor – something research has correlated with longevity.

Fight Fire with Food

Inflammation can play a role in foot pain.  For an anti-inflammatory effect fill up on omega-3 and omega-6 fatty accids via nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables, fruit, olive oil and fish. 

Go Barefoot

The nerves on the bottom of your feet are even more receptive than those on your hands-but stuffing your feet in shoes all day deprives them of the sensory stimulation they need to help your body move.  Barefoot exercise such as yoga and Pilates, and walking around barefoot at home can help.

Play Ball

Rolling your foot on a lacrosse or golf ball for five minutes a day provides the stimulation your foot craves, improving stability and mobility by releasing tendons and fascial connections.