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As a part of our much-needed front line essential workers, you often forget to help yourself. You are working hard to provide the public with all local and international news about COVID-19. This post is to help to keep your feet healthy during times these unprecedented times. We appreciate the incredible work you are doing to keep us informed. You are superheroes so we are here for you as sore feet don’t stop when you are busy.   

Did you know your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself while standing still? That’s a lot of muscles to keep balanced! Standing for long periods of time can have an impact on your feet and muscle strength too.  

An easy way to look after your feet to keep you going is a good pair of shoes! High heels and narrow boots are not always the most comfortable – you may rather be wearing trainers which offer more cushioning. At times if they do not fit correctly, it can result in blisters on feet and bruised toenails. Generally, one foot is larger than the other, 90% of the time this is the left foot. It is extremely important to fit for the larger foot by checking the length of the longest toe, which is not always the big toe for some people. It is best to spend a bit more and purchase a formal shoe that is light weight, is the correct fit in width and length and has enough space in the toe box. This will feel better and reward your feet! The cushioning materials, or dual density midsole, will help offer greater support and protection from the increased workload.  

Young woman changing high-heeled shoes for comfortable ones at home.

With long hours on your feet come many foot-related problems. Arch pain and heel pain are the most common, and unsupportive footwear can aggravate the situation. Your Resonance podiatrist can offer ankle and foot strapping, orthotics and footwear advice to reduce sore, achy foot problems. There are some great exercises to improve your foot and ankle stability, improve your lower limb circulation and keep your muscles strong to reduce fatigue and achy legs. These exercises can be done while making a cup of tea or when brushing your teeth. Ideally, we should all be doing at least 15 minutes of stretching exercises a day.  

The five of the most important benefits of stretching:  

  • Reduced muscle tension.  
  • Increased range of movement in the joints.  
  • Enhanced muscular coordination.  
  • Increased circulation of the blood to various parts of the body.  
  • Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation).  

Toe pick ups  

  1. To begin, place a pile of 20 small objects on the floor (like marbles, hard lollies, or tiny stones). 
  2. Use your toes to pick them up and move them to another pile.   
  3. Do three sets of this exercise three times per day.  

Toe raises  

  1. Hold a wall or counter for balance.  
  2. Rise up onto your tiptoes as far as you can go without pain.   
  3. Hold the position for 10 seconds, maintaining the tension, and release.  
  4. Start with three sets of 10 exercises, and work your way up to three sets of 30 exercises.   
  5. As you get stronger, you can begin to do single-leg toe raises, which places additional weight on each leg.  

Plantar Fascia Massage  

  1. Sit comfortably in a chair and cross one leg over the opposite knee.   
  2. With one hand, pull your toes back until the foot is fully stretched out.   
  3. There should be tension but no pain.   
  4. With the other hand, massage the bottom of your foot immediately in front of the heel.  
  5. Do this for 10 minutes three times per day.  

Tennis ball rolling  

  1. Place a tennis ball on the floor.
  2. If you don’t have a tennis ball, any other small round object – a can of tinned food works well.     
  3. Roll your foot over it for five minutes three times per day.   
  4. Always keep your foot moving; don’t stop and let the ball rest on one spot.  
Women massaging foot with tennis ball

NOTE: If it causes discomfort, you can place a kitchen towel between the ball and your foot. If there is pain or a prickly sensation, stop and avoid this exercise.  

Calf Stretching  

Part One 

  1. Facing the wall, place your hands on the wall.  
  2. Place one leg with foot flat and flush against the wall.   
  3. With the other leg, move it behind in a ‘step stance’ position, and keep it straight at all times.  
  4. Lean forward.  
  5. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. 

Repeat each side 3 times.  

Part Two 

  1. Facing the wall, place your hands on the wall.   
  2. Place one leg with foot flat and flush against the wall.    
  3. With the other leg, move it a little closer behind and bend the knee of the back leg.
  4. Lean forward.   
  5. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.   

Repeat each side 3 times.   

Additionally, here are some more great foot stretches that can be done anywhere, courtesy of our Resonance Podiatrist Brittany Malzard. 

Make sure that when you get home you take your shoes off and give your feet some TLC.  

Please reach out if you need some specific advice, as in addition to in-clinic appointments we have video conferencing and phone appointments available.   

Thank you for being in the frontline and supporting the nation during this difficult time! 

Resonance are here for you every step of the way. 

By Resonance Podiatrist Akira Stephenson 

0800 473 776 

www.respod.co.nz 

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