When we walk the foot is the only part of the body in contact with the ground and this means that a lot of forces and stresses can act on the foot with each step.
Sometimes the foot has to cope with greater forces and stresses – perhaps due to excess pronation or sporting activities – that can lead to aches and pains but sometimes the foot can become sensitive even to the normal forces of walking.
This could be because the foot has changed shape, so parts of the feet rub against the shoes more than they used to. It could be because the foot is less protected with thinning fat pads and thin, fragile skin. Or it could be because the foot is injured and even small forces or movements are painful. In each of these cases the feet can be said to be more “sensitive”.
Some people who may be more likely to experience “sensitive feet” include:
- People with diabetes – changes to the foot shape, a reduced ability to feel pain, and dry fragile skin can all mean the foot is more prone to injury
- People with arthritis – changes to the foot shape together with pain and stiffness in the joints can make the feet sensitive
- Elderly people – as we get older there can be lots of changes to the feet – the shape and movement of the feet change, and the skin can be dry and fragile making it more easily injured
- People who have experienced a minor foot injury where forces and stresses acting on the feet may aggravate pain and discomfort
- Damage to the nervous system can mean that the foot is more likely to be injured. It can lead to changes to the foot shape and walking pattern, resulting in the areas of the feet being exposed to higher pressures. It can also make the skin become more dry and fragile. People with diabetes may also start to lose the ability to feel the sensations of pain in their feet. All of these effects of diabetes can make it more likely that the foot could be injured and that any injury will go unnoticed.
- Damage to the circulatory system can make it difficult to heal any injuries and if there is an infection this can be more difficult to fight off.
To help prevent injuries from happening and to make sure that injuries are noticed quickly the feet should be checked on a daily basis.
It is also very useful to:
- Have a regular foot care regime which includes daily washing, drying and moisturising
- Keep the nails trimmed
- Choose appropriate footwear and hosiery that will not add to the forces affecting the feet
- Avoid standing on stones or sharp items by checking inside the shoes and not walking barefoot
- Avoid burns by checking bath temperatures and keeping the feet away from radiators and fires
- See a healthcare professional about any changes to the feet, any foot conditions or wounds that do not heal
- Have a regular check up in line with a recommended treatment plan
The Scholl Orthaheel Sensitive Feet Orthotic Inserts have been designed to reduce pressure and friction on the feet, support the foot, and provide excellent cushioning. This can help to reduce the chance of developing a foot injury caused by pressure or friction on the feet, and reduce pain and discomfort caused by these forces.