December is here and the holidays are coming soon! Millions of people everywhere will shop, bake, and deliver gifts all season long. With so much to do to get ready for the holidays, standing on your feet for longer periods of times can cause pain, swelling, and other issues! The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons recommends the following tips to help keep your feet healthy and happy all season long!
- If the shoe fits, wear it. Comfort and safety should come first when picking out the right shoes to wear for your holiday activities. Wearing narrow or high-heeled shoes can irritate your feet and lead to blisters, calluses, swelling, and even possibly severe ankle injuries. To avoid issues, choose a shoe with a low heel that fits properly in length, width, and depth.
- Don’t overindulge in holiday cheer. Did you know your feet can feel the effects of too much holiday cheer? Certain foods and beverages high in purines, such as shellfish, red meat, red wine and beer can trigger extremely painful gout attacks, a condition when uric acid builds up and crystallizes in and around your joints. The big toe is often affected first since it is the coolest part of the body and uric acid is sensitive to temperature changes. Gout can be treated with medication, diet changes, increased consumption of appropriate liquids, and elevating and immobilizing the foot.
- Be pedicure-safety conscious. Before you head out for your holiday pedicure, remember nail salons can be a breeding ground for bacteria, including MRSA. To reduce your risk of infection, choose a salon that follows proper sanitation practices and is licensed by the state. Consider also purchasing your own pedicure instruments to bring along to your appointment.
- Watch for ice and snow. Holiday winter wonderlands can be beautiful but also dangerous. Use caution when traveling outdoors; watch for ice or snow patches along your trail. The ankle joint can be more vulnerable to serious injury from falling on ice. If you experience a fall, take a break from activities until you can be seen by a foot and ankle surgeon. Use RICE therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) to help reduce the pain and control swelling around the injury.
- Listen to your feet. Don’t let foot pain ruin your holiday fun; inspect your feet regularly for any evidence of ingrown toenails, bruising, swelling, blisters, dry skin, or calluses.
If you are experiencing any pain, swelling, or other issues, contact Idaho Foot and Ankle Center for an appointment. Dr. Kylin Kovac and Dr. Jed Erickson are specially trained in conditions of the feet and ankles. They can help find the right diagnosis and the right treatment plan to get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Same day appointments are available, and they even have X-Rays right in the office! Receiving prompt and proper treatment can help you avoid complications and slower healing times. Taking good care of your feet can help make sure that your feet and your holidays are happy!