Problems With Going Barefoot at Home

Most of us are now living in an urban world that is full of solid concrete and hard tiled floors. This has made apartments easier to clean and last longer, but what does that mean for your feet and your child’s feet?

Have you experienced any of the below:

  • Your feet feel a lot achier in the morning after getting out of bed.
  • You’ve developed hard little nodules under your feet that feel painful,
  • Your fore foot feels bruised when walking to and from the kitchen and bathroom.

Remember, our feet are designed to conform to our surroundings. The ground does not flex or bend beneath you, meaning you’re feet have to flex and bend to the surface. From an evolutionary perspective, we should spend the majority of our time on natural surfaces (e.g. grass, sand, dirt), where the ground conforms to our feet or on undulating surfaces, where our feet conform to these surfaces. Interacting with hard surfaces only made up a small percentage of our ancestors day.

Here are a Few Issues You May Face

Corns and Callouses

Your foot wants to protect itself, it does so by producing more skin. If you have ‘bony’ feet this can be even worse especially if you have Arthritic Inflammatory Disorders with little fat pad. The rate of growth and size of the corn(s) will exacerbate if you don’t offload or cushion your feet.

arthritic inflammatory disorders
Calluses and corns will usually appear on weightbearing surfaces. They develop to protect the foot from further damage. Other causes are often poorly fitting shoes, but how you walk (your gait) or the bone structure of your feet, may make you more prone to these foot issues.

Plantar Fasciitis

Commonly known as heel pain, plantar fasciitis is a degenerative condition of a ligament called the “Plantar Fascia”. The Plantar Fascia runs from the heel to the ball of the foot and helps to support the arch of the foot.

Being barefoot at home greatly increases the chance that you can develop plantar fasciitis. Our arch conforms to the flat surfaces, causing over stretching of the plantar fascia and micro tearing of the fascia to develop. This daily cycle can exacerbate the plantar fascia and make your condition deteriorate (similar to constantly tearing off the scab from a healing wound).

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Back Pain

Foot and ankle movements influence the motion of the lower limbs, pelvis and spine, all the joints/muscles/fasica are connected through the kinetic chain and can cause a pelvic tilt, whether it be anterior/posterior and one sided. One arch may be lower than the other causing a functional leg length discrepancy or two flat feet causing knock knees. These foot position affect the entire kinetic chain from the hard ground up and can definitely be the reason behind a lower back ache.

Bruised Heel Syndrome

Heel striking or standing for a long period may start to make our heels feel bruised/ painful. Usually at the end of a long day on our feet we kick off our shoes, only to spend more time stressing our bare heels on the floor. The Fat pad beneath your heel just can’t take it anymore and becomes inflamed, resulting in pain.

What Can Help Relieve These Conditions and Symptoms?

Now we can’t just decide to put carpets or wooden floors in the house, but what can do includes:

Supportive Indoor sandals/slippers would be a great solution to many issues listed above. This gives our feet the best of both worlds in support and cushion. The sandals work by mimicking a more natural forgiving environment to help reduce the stress and strains we get by being barefoot on hard floors. They also off-load and cushion corns and callouses.

rest
Rest them. Elevate your feet up in the air after a long day on your feet at work, after running or exercise. It will help with the venous return and lymphatic drainage, decrease the fatigue and lower limb swelling.
planter fascia splinter
Planter fascia splints work by directly lifting up and supporting the back end of your arch, right at the heel insertion sight of your planter Fascia. Especially if you have been suffering from chronic Planter Faciitis for quite a while, you will need all the assistance you can get.
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Compression socks help reduce the pain and support the structures in your foot by giving your arch some compression. They also prevent the pooling of lymph in your feet.
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Foot Exercises and Stretching – Simple exercises such as picking up marbles and toe scrunching a towel, arch lifts and drawing the “ABC” in the air, are simple enough to do while watching TV or reading a book. Make use of TheraBand for a little more muscle activation at home. Stretch out those calves, spread those toes and loosen those muscles. Foot exercise videos are available on My FootDr Singapore Youtube channel.

 

Check out the range of orthotic sandals with arch support available at My FootDr.

Below are some examples:

1. Orthotic Flip Flops UniSex – Grey/Black

Orthotic Flip Flops UniSex - Grey/Black

This costs S$89. Visit MyFootDr Online Shop for more details.

2. Balance Flip Flops – Blue/White

Balance Flip Flops - Blue/White

This costs S$49. Visit MyFootDr Online Shop for more details.

3. Orthotic Flip Flops Unisex – Black

Orthotic Flip Flops Unisex - Black

This costs S$89. Visit MyFootDr Online Shop for more details.

Now that you know what can be done at home to make our feet feel more comfortable. If these don’t help you out enough or injuries keep getting worse, give us a call at 6836 8144 to find out how our podiatrist team can help you further.

 

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