Holiday shopping means stress, walking all over the store or mall, and standing in long lines. All that running around to secure the perfect gifts for your loved ones takes a toll, and often results in foot pain that can last days or weeks, depending on severity.
- There are 206 bones in the adult human body
- There are 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles/tendons in each foot
- 1/4 of all the bones in you body are found in your feet!
Is it any wonder that this ‘shop til you drop’ attitude we adopt during the holidays results in massive fatigue and foot pain? Our feet, as strong and resilient as they may seem, take a ton of abuse as we trot around the concrete parking lots, carrying packages from the store to our car. Muscles in the arch of the foot and in the legs get fatigued after a long day of shopping, primarily because the joints in the arch area of the foot can collapse and flatten out when walking or standing for long periods. Foot pain, here we come!
The good news is there are some simple steps you can take to prevent foot pain while shopping this holiday season and beyond.
- Get good orthotic support. I can’t even begin to tell you how important this is. With the right support, you can avoid foot, leg, and back problems that can quickly put the kibosh on holiday cheer. Our orthotics are 100% accurate, ensuring the best fit to reduce current foot pain and put your feet in proper alignment.
- Wear comfortable tennis shoes or boots to the store to do your shopping. New shoes? Leave them home. You don’t want to try to ‘break in’ your shoes while you’re essentially standing for hours at a time.
- Also? Don’t stand for hours at a time. Take frequent breaks to take the pressure off your feet.
- Wear the right socks or tights with your shoes. Breathable material is a must to keep your feet from sweating and developing a certain ‘perfume’. Cotton socks are a good choice, and breathable tights are just fine.
- Skip the over the counter arch supports and insoles if you can. They’re good in a pinch, but they are NOT corrective, so if you already have a foot problem they won’t do any good for you. They’re basically padding.
- Stay out of the cold. Yes, it’s Michigan, so I know we can’t avoid the cold- but you can avoid waiting in line outside stores. Standing out in the cold leaves you open to skin damage from the cold weather.
- Examine your feet after a day of shopping. Look for blisters, wounds, and sore or numb spots. Diabetic? Check your feet twice. Those individuals with diabetes often have limited sensation on their feet due to peripheral neuropathy, and that can result in wicked damage from the pressure of standing all day.
I recommend that my patients kick off their shoes, soak their feet in warm water with epsom salts, and have a loved one give them a nice foot massage after a hard day of present shopping. You got them gifts, they should definitely be giving back!
Remember, Happy Feet, Happy Life! If you’d like to learn more about ways to prevent and manage foot pain, please request a copy of my FREE book right here on the website.