This article was published in Body+Soul. Read the full article here
Our podiatrist, Emily Smith, on the weird and wacky at home remedies for pain from walking more than usual during lockdown.
Been strolling a little more than usual? It's time to give your tootsies some TLC.
We've been pounding the pavement like never before and have completely forgotten what it's like to wear clothes that aren't activewear.
Whether you've started a new exercise regime or just intensified what you're currently doing, it's so important to make sure you're supporting your body to repair and keep healthy.
As a fashion-loving Sports Podiatrist Emily Smith has created her own range of footbeds for women designed to add support & comfort to any style of shoe, from sneakers to stilettos.
But if you are in need of some at home remedies pronto here is her list:
1. Rise and shine
People often experience inflammatory pain in their feet first thing in the morning and after rest. So before you get up from rest or sitting, simply work out the tension by performing a round of seated calf raises - raising up onto the balls of your feet, then lowering the heel again. Repeat 10x.
2. Resort to wine (well more so the bottle)
Utilise your time sitting in Zoom meetings by having a cold wine bottle on rotation underfoot. Roll the bottle under the arch of the foot, or rest the foot on the heel or ball of the foot. Don't have a wine bottle? Switch it out for a frozen water bottle.
3. Half downward dog
With the combination of long periods of sitting and the extra load of waking / running during lockdown, the nerves in the legs can get very irritable. This can lead to the uncomfortable feeling of tightness and weird pains in the feet and legs.
During each break stand facing your work chair then slowly bend over to place your hands or elbows on the chair. Aim to keep your legs and back relatively straight and create a triangle shape, with your bottom at the peak. Walk your dog out by slowly raising onto the ball of your foot then lowering the heel, alternating feet. Hold for more than 15 seconds and repeat 3x.
4. Streeeeeeeeeeetch out
A tight muscle is a stressed muscle. With most of the muscles in the foot orientating in the lower leg, stretching the calf and shin muscles are important. To stretch the shin muscles, sit in a figure 4 with your ankle relaxed.
Place your hand over your toes and pull down on the foot and toes into a semi pointe position. Hold for 20 secs then repeat 3x then swap legs. To stretch the calf muscles, push against a wall with your legs in a split stance behind you. Bend your front leg and hold a stretch with the back leg straight for 30 seconds, then bend the back leg for another 30 seconds. Swap legs and repeat 3x.
5. Requesting a shoe audit
Do an audit of your wardrobe and choose your best possible shoe to walk in. An older running shoe or tennis shoe is going to be better than a slide, sandal or flat sneaker. Better yet, support yourself and your local running shoe store by chatting through your needs over the phone before organising a click and collect.
6. Add support
It is a common misconception that sports shoes have inbuilt arch support. Look inside and you will find a flat liner. Simply adding a smart combination of support and cushioning to your shoes ensures better alignment, shock absorption and stability, which has a significant impact on injury prevention, performance and stamina.
Find out more about Emily Smith and her podiatrist designed insoles for women here.