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Christmas holidays and your weary feet

Christmas will be over in a minute, and all the turning the house upside down to clean, shopping, preparations, and festivities would drift away…the back, foot and calf pains remain though. From walking up and down the city looking for bargains…how will your feet and legs survive the pounding of pavements? At the malls you stand for hours on hard concrete floors, then the running from store to store.
Getting the stuff to preparing the different dishes, making the cakes, the punch-a-creme, and rolling out the pastelles, it’s a lot.
“Shop until you drop” takes on a whole different meaning this time of the year. After a long day of shopping the muscles in the arch and legs can fatigue and get tired. The reason that happens is because the joints in the arch area of the foot can collapse and flatten out when you are walking or standing. Therefore, if you are not wearing shoes with good support, you can develop foot, leg and back problems which will put a damper on your holiday shopping.

Impact of your foot
arches under pressure
Depending on whether one has a flat foot, or a high arched foot, will dictate how comfortable a pair of shoes will be. Flat feet can cause muscle spasms in your arches and legs when wearing flat shoes such as the ballet or the dressy ones. High arches can cause ball of the foot pain and burning, especially when wearing high heels or wedges, which unfortunately are the craze right now. The higher, the better, seems to be the unstated fashion mantra for shoes However, the pitch or slope of the high heel or wedge forces the ball of the foot towards the ground. As well, the shoes do not have enough padding in the toe box to absorb the pressure, therefore cushioning the weight on the ball of the foot.

Effects of
inappropriate
shoe choices
Shoes can trigger foot problems as much as certain types of foot structures can cause shoe problems. Also, the combination of having structural bone problems such as hammer toes, heel spurs and bunions can be aggravated by wearing the wrong type of shoe. Shoes that are too narrow can aggravate bone spurs that have developed over time on the foot, causing blisters and corns to form. Therefore, shopping all day can be hazardous to your feet!

Which shoes are best
for shopping?
Prevent foot and shoe problems from ruining your holiday shopping experience while pounding the pavement. The first thing is to plan out your shoe wardrobe before you shop. If you are going to shop after work, take a comfortable pair of shoes with you to change into, such as sneakers or flats. If you are wearing heels or ballet type flats, make sure you have a soft insole liner in them that will cushion the impact when walking and standing.
Another way of making shoes supportive and comfortable, is to place over-the-counter arch products that can stick or be placed into the arch of the shoe. They will reduce the pressure placed on the ball of the foot when wearing heels, and provide instant arch support and relief.

How to treat with
the aches and pains?
If your foot problems continue long after the season has gone, you should visit your podiatrist. You may need custom made arch supports to provide proper support and shock absorbency. Additionally, a pedicure and or massage would be of great benefit to relax the feet.
Immediately after you come home from shopping, put on a pair of comfortable slippers. Next, soak your feet in warm water with some Epsom salts, apply an essential oil such as Lavender, and massage the feet; it will relax and sooth the muscles.
At this point I wish to take the opportunity to wish you and your families a Happy and Holy Christmas. Just remember, approach everything in moderation, and do be safe on the roads.

Your feet mirror your general health . . . cherish them!
Leana Huntley is an English trained foot health practitioner attached to ALMAWI Limited The Holistic Clinic. E-mail info@almawiclinic.com or visit the website at www.almawiclinic.com
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