Feet First

Nat­u­ral treat­ments like anti- infl am­ma­tory spices and mag­ne­tized socks can help put an end to chronic foot pain

Better Nutrition - - CONTENTS - BY EMILY A. KANE, ND, LAc

The best nat­u­ral reme­dies to help soothe your aching feet.

Q: My feet hurt all the time. I can’t play sports or even take walks, and I’m con­cerned my fit­ness will evap­o­rate. Help! — He­len E., Nashville, Tenn.

a: The av­er­age per­son takes 10,000 steps per day, and most of us will ex­pe­ri­ence foot pain at some time dur­ing our lives, espe­cially women. Women have wider hips than knees, which puts stress on the in­ner ( me­dial) knee and tends to cause prona­tion ( rolling the foot in­ward). Women are also more likely to wear heels, which cause the Achilles ten­don to tighten and may lead to plan­tar fasci­itis.

Treat­ing Plan­tar Fasci­tis

If you have heel pain, you may have plan­tar fasci­itis. If pain lasts longer that three weeks you should see your health care provider. That said, a pro­gram of deep gen­tle stretch­ing of the Achilles ten­don ( stand on the edge of a step and al­low one heel at a time to hang over) should re­solve pain within a few weeks. If not, con­sider neu­ro­pro­lother­apy, a tech­nique sim­i­lar to acupunc­ture that can be quite eff ec­tive for stub­born heel pain. Also try a no- sugar, low- red- meat diet with lots of col­or­ful veg­gies plus turmeric, gin­ger, cayenne, and es­sen­tial fatty acids. Stay hy­drated, and take di­ges­tive en­zymes twice daily on an empty stom­ach to break down de­bris of in­jured tis­sue. And don’t ne­glect your feet as part of your daily hy­giene. Keep them clean and dry, and mois­tur­ize as you would the rest of your skin. Cut your toe­nails across the top ( not in a curved line) to min­i­mize the risk of in­grown toe­nails.

The Best Shoes & In­serts

An easy way to pre­vent one com­mon cause of foot pain is to shop for shoes in the af­ter­noon, rather than in the morn­ing, as feet tend to swell slightly dur­ing the day. It’s also likely that one of your feet is larger than the other, so buy shoes to fi t the larger foot.

In gen­eral, feet are hap­pier in fl at, wide, fl ex­i­ble shoes. This in­cludes hik­ing and sports shoes. The hu­man body does best when the foot can move in re­sponse to the ter­rain. We are de­signed to hike in un­even ter­rain. Stiff - soled boots and arch sup­port are of­ten rec­om­mended, but go­ing with­out this “sup­port” can ac­tu­ally pre­vent in­juries, espe­cially an­kle sprains.

This isn’t to say that or­thotics aren’t help­ful. They defi nitely can be. And sup­port­ive socks can re­duce swelling and vari­cosi­ties. Jobst is a good brand for sup­port socks, and I espe­cially like Sen­siFoot socks to in­vig­o­rate cir­cu­la­tion. My fa­vorite over- the- counter or­thotics for high- im­pact ac­tiv­i­ties are SUPERFeet, avail­able at most out­door gear stores.

Toe spac­ers and all sorts of soft, wooly pads de­signed for foot ail­ments are avail­able at ha­pad. com. Neu­roma pads can ease that pain while you ad­dress the un­der­ly­ing prob­lem, which usu­ally stems from shoes that are too nar­row, and thus pinch the foot bones to­gether, en­trap­ping a nerve. Some peo­ple also get im­mense re­lief from mag­netic ther­apy. Mag­ne­tized socks de­signed to be worn to bed are an eff or­t­less way to treat foot pain in your sleep.

One of my fa­vorite health habits is to walk ev­ery morn­ing in an­kle- deep cold wa­ter for one minute. This not only causes re­bound cir­cu­la­tion to the en­tire body, but also acts as a pro­found tonic to the feet. It’s a re­ally great way to start the day ( af­ter skin brush­ing).

Emily A. Kane, ND,

LAc, has a pri­vate natur­o­pathic prac­tice in Juneau, Alaska, where she lives with her hus­band and daugh­ter. She is the au­thor of two books on nat­u­ral health, in­clud­ing Man­ag­ing Menopause Nat­u­rally. Visit her online at dremi­lykane. com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.