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Let’s start with an important fact: It’s not normal for your feet to be killing you. The average American walks an estimated 75,000 miles by the time he or she is 50 years old. If you are a 130-lb woman, each stride you take puts 500 pounds of pressure on your feet. Falling, twisting, running, jumping, and standing incorrectly for years can create even more wear and tear. However, beyond the normal stress of movement, some people experience additional problems thanks to their genes! So, any time you start to think, “my feet are killing me,” its likely in your best opinion to seek professional help from a podiatrist.

Fear not — when you do not have the time to see a physician, there are some at home tools you can use to try to ease the ache! Firstly, perform exercises specifically for your feet like using your toes to make the motion of writing the letters of the alphabet. I also recommend pretending to pump a gas pedal with each foot or to practice picking up pencils with your toes. Exercise is essential for strengthening and stretching the muscles in your feet and ankles as well as your arches.

No doubt you’ve heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” Well, your feet are what you eat, too. In other words, your diet has an impact on how your feet feel. Today, experts understand that some foods can cause inflammation throughout our bodies and that deficiencies in certain nutrients – like B vitamins and vitamin D – may cause swelling, joint and muscle pain, numbness and tingling, among other things. To reduce inflammation in your body that can contribute to joint and muscle pain, be sure to consume plenty of fresh produce, limit “nightshade” alkaloid containing vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers, and limit your sugar intake. Try to limit your salt intake and stick to healthy fats like salmon, seeds, and avocado as well.

The next time you think, “My feet are killing me,” don’t fret. Simple lifestyle changes and a visit to your podiatrist can help your feet feel and look their best!

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