After a long day of hiking, with a heavy backpack and heavy boots can be brutal for your feet. Likewise, prolonged walking on the city sidewalks and streets can also give your feet a beating. Foot Care After SHTF will require many techniques for soothing your feet.
Foot Care After SHTF
Your feet are a key part of your ability to move freely about. If you take care of your feet, they will last you a long time.
Soak your feet in Epsom Salts
If your feet are tired and aching from long walks, try soaking your feet in a mixture of warm water and Epsom salts. Epsom salts are inexpensive and can be purchased from pharmacies and grocery stores.
Add 1/2 a cup of Epsom salts to a small tub of warm water, deep enough to cover your feet, all the way up to your ankles.
After mixing your solution, soak your feet for 15 to 30 minutes and experience the relaxing feeling it brings to your feet. This Epsom salt solution is good for relieving pain due to athletic injuries, and arthritis. This also helps to detoxify your body.
How do the Epsom salts do this?
The secret is the magnesium sulfate, in the Epsom salt, is absorbed into the body and helps relieve stress and pain. Epsom salts also have other benefits. It has excellent antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, that can help treat certain foot diseases such as athlete’s foot.
Epsom salts also neutralizes bad foot odor. This foot cleansing is a very important part of a hygienic regimen, particularly for people who have immune conditions or diseases, such as diabetes, where foot care to prevent infection is important.
Foot massages is another great way to relieve tired and stressed feet. It improves circulation in the feet and relieves stress. It can also contribute to general body relaxation. Currently gaining popularity now is an Asian foot massage technique called reflexology. It is believed that reflexology can help circulation, aid bodily functions, and detoxification by stimulating pressure points on the foot.
You can perform some easy foot massage techniques by yourself (or by someone else who is not disgusted by being near your feet).
- Slide your thumb along the length of the foot, applying firm pressure all throughout.
- Use the heel of the hand to apply gentle but firm pressure on the arch of the foot to relieve tension that accumulates there.
- Gently pull your toes towards you to relieve tension and improve flexibility.
Shoe inserts (orthotics)
Orthotics or shoe inserts are another good way of relieving foot pain and stress. A lot of orthotics are commercially made and readily available from shoe stores and sporting good stores. You can also have a podiatrist custom make an orthotic device just for you. Take note, however, that recent studies done show that frequently wearing shoe inserts is not good for your feet as it tends to weaken them rather than, strengthen them.
We have given you some exercises here that help relieve tired and painful feet. However, prevention as in any case is always the best cure. Some great tips for preventing foot pain would be to wear comfortable and proper fitting shoes, particularly during long walks. A shoe with the sole close to the ground and without heels is often the best choice.
Another way to strengthen your feet is to exercise them regularly. You can do this by trying to curl a towel with your toes or picking up marbles or a pencil with your toes. Walking barefoot in the house is also a good idea. (just make sure that the floor is free and clean of debris which might cut and injure your feet).
Alex Estra, MD is a doctor of Podiatric Medicine. He has an avid interest in survival/wilderness preparedness.