Many Gardeners to Experience Foot Pain This Season

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Many gardeners will experience foot pain this season as a result of overlooking the needs of their feet. But a few minutes of preparation and good common sense can keep gardeners comfortable all season. Dr. Paul Kasdan offers foot fitness tips for healthy, pain-free gardening.

Many gardeners will experience foot pain this season as a result of overlooking the needs of their feet. But a few minutes of preparation and good common sense can keep gardeners comfortable all season.

"Gardening is an exertive weight-bearing activity and should be considered a sport rather than a passive hobby," said Dr. Paul R. Kasdan, founder and medical director for OurHealthNetwork.com (http://www.OurHealthNetwork.com) and author of its specialty site, OurFootDoctor.com (http://www.OurFootDoctor.com). "As with any sport, one should make sure to wear appropriate foot gear, and to properly stretch before engaging in the activity."

During weight-bearing activities or sports, the feet play an important role in supporting weight, balancing stance to reduce falls and movement. They also act as shock absorbers.

Foot problems commonly associated with weight-bearing activities like gardening are usually due to wearing inappropriate footgear, or the lack of proper warm-up exercises.

"To always be pain-free, the feet must be encased in the proper shoes and socks. If the shoes do not provide proper support and cushioning, then the feet lose efficiency and problems eventually occur," Dr. Kasdan said. Here are a few of Dr. Kasdan's shoe and sock recommendations:

  • A rounded-toe shoe with a deep toe box helps prevent pain due to corns and bunions, ripped and black toenails, toe blisters and ingrown toenails.
  • Rubber soles prevent bruises when stepping on stones, and they provide good shock absorption for the entire body.
  • Loose socks with mild elastic compression at the top will ensure good circulation to the feet.
  • Socks made of a lycra and cotton blend are very efficient at keeping the feet cool and wicking sweat off the feet.

Before doing any work in the garden, take a few minutes to stretch your feet. Get ready for physical exertion. Two of Dr. Kasdan's favorite exercises can be found at http://www.OurHealthNetwork.com/press.

Gardeners are also encouraged to give their feet attention at the end of the day. To prevent additional foot problems, Dr. Kasdan advises his patients to wash their feet well and examine them for blisters, sores and inflamed areas. Should these conditions arise, treat them immediately with first-aid cream, or see a podiatrist. More information about these conditions and more than 50 other conditions that commonly affect the feet and ankles is available at http://www.OurFootDoctor.com (an OurHealthNetwork.com specialty site). Also, remove the inner-soles of shoes and let them dry out. With more than 250,000 sweat glands in each foot, feet are among the most perspiring parts of the body. In one day, the feet can produce more than a pint of sweat.

Please visit http://www.OurHealthNetwork.com/press for more information about how to protect your feet, or a full version of this article.

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