Health Benefits Of Foot Massage

massageWhen talking about health, we usually refer to physical health; what we often forget is that mental health is equally (if not more) important aspect of health! And only if your mental health is satisfactory, will you be able to feel good physically.

Mental health problems may also manifest themselves through physical symptoms and vice versa. Some of the most common problems associated with mental health are stress, poor lifestyle habits, negative thoughts or some more serious diseased.

Times Are Changing

Good news is that this trend is changing, especially in the recent years. People are becoming more and more aware of the importance of mental health and are starting to work on improving it. One of the most important things to note here is that healthy lifestyle is a choice which has to be practiced on a daily basis. You can`t expect any significant changes in two days!

Benefits Of Massage

Massage is one of the quickest, easiest ways to relieve tension, reduce stress and improve your overall mood. Here are some of the most common benefits of massage:

  • Promotes Deep Breathing – deep breathing is hugely beneficial for our entire body, and it requires little to no effort on your part. Deep breathing will ensure that oxygen reaches all the cells in your body and nourishes them properly. It will also help them get rid of toxins faster and make you feel better!
  • Reducing stress – massage is one of the best tools for fighting anxiety, stress, depression and other similar conditions. It will improve your sleep, increase energy levels and improve your concentration.
  • Boosting Circulation – massage will boost both lymph drainage and blood circulation, helping with natural healing processes in the body, shortening muscle recovery time and flushing toxins out.
  • Joint flexibility – in physical therapy massage is often accompanied by stretching exercises and joint exercises for improving joint flexibility.
  • Clearing the mind – massage will allow your body and mind achieve deep relaxation. In this deep relaxation your mind will become clear and you will find yourself capable of dealing with even the toughest problems and finding solutions quickly.

Massage has literally been practices since the dawn of time – early civilizations used it to promote natural healing and relaxation.

Benefits Of Using A Foot Massager

Feet are the foundation of our body, and relaxing them will spread thought the entire body.

Stimulating reflexology points on your feet will bring you into a deep state of relaxation, calm you down, relieve anxiety and boost your circulation.

Other benefits of using a foot massager are:

  • Improving oxygen transportation
  • Overall health boost
  • Immune system improvement
  • Increased focus and concentration
  • Muscle spasm relaxation and
  • Muscle tension reduction

As you can see, massage offers so many benefits you simply can`t ignore it. And if you don`t believe these claims, buy a foot spa massager and see for yourself.

Common Foot Problems (Infographic)

Not a lot of people know, or even think about this, but foot problem can actually affect your entire body! Think of feet as the foundation of your body – if the foundation is not solid, the house might collapse.

Despite their small size, they carry a huge load, day in and day out. It is estimated that people spend in excess of 10 hours per day on their feet… So, it is not surprising to know that around 75% of adult population today has some sort of problem related to their feet.

And, rather than writing about these problems and conditions, I`ve decided to share with you an infographic with a short list of the most common foot problems! Infographic is nothing more than a fun, visual representation of otherwise boring or tedious facts…

So here goes:

Common Foot Problems & What to do About Them Infographic

Created by Dr. Comfort.

 

Foot Pain And Related Conditions

Foot pain

Woman with foot pain (source: Sheknows.com)

Foot pain comes in many shapes and sizes. There are literally hundred`s of possible causes of the foot pain, so we can`t even hope to cover all of them. We will, however, make an attempt to cover some of the most common foot conditions that are known to cause pain and discomfort.

Most Common Foot Pain Causes And Symptoms

As we already mentioned, there are numerous causes of pain and foot injuries, but we can categorize them into few groups:

  • Trauma – certainly one of the most common causes of pain – not just in the foot. The trauma doesn`t even have to be intense or severe, repetitive motion can cause microtraumas to the bones of the foot (known as microfractures) and lead to painful conditions. Dropping a heavy load onto your foot is also a common type or trauma.
  • Health conditions – various health conditions can be the cause of pain in the foot. We will be covering some of these conditions in this article.

And the most common symptoms are:

  1. Pain
  2. Stiffness in the muscles and joints of the foot
  3. Tightness and, in some cases, limited range of motion

Foot Conditions

Broken Toes

This condition is one of the most common causes of foot pain among all ages and genders. Stubbing is the common way people break it, by running into a piece of furniture at night.

It is also important to note that, even though the toe will hurt like hell (specially if you stub your little toe), not all injuries will cause the cone to break. Our bones are quite strong and a great deal of force is required to be able to break it.

So, you might want to wait for a couple days, and if the pain starts to intensify, then you should definitely visit your doctor.

Hammer Toe

Stop! Hammer time! Well, not really…

Hammer toe usually starts out as a mild deformity, and then progresses over time. In the beginning the toes are flexible and symptoms can often be quite manageable. But, if left untreated, toes will become rigid and won`t respond to anything but surgical treatment.

Luckily, the toes will respond to early therapy well; there are also a wide range of gel pads you can use to relieve the pain and symptoms of hammer toes.

Overlapping Toes

Overlapping toes are relatively common in older age and can affect any of the toes. This is also a problem which could be corrected if acted in a timely manner. Patients who change shoes (get shoes with bigger toe boxes) or use gel toe straighteners can prevent and treat this condition.

However, if the condition is not treated in time, irritation can turn into degeneration of joints in the toes that could vary in its severity.

Plantar Fasciitis And Foot Pain

Heel Pain

Heel Pain – Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain is a common condition in which weight bearing on the heel causing extreme pain and discomfort. One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis.

The plantar fascia is a band of fibrous tissue along the bottom of the foot. Excessive stretching of the plantar fascia, usually due to excessive- pronation (flat feet) is the main cause for plantar fasciitis. Other risk factors include working on hard surfaces, thongs or other ill fitting sandals and work boots. Pregnancy, being overweight and age are also contributing factors. A large number of women over 40 tend to experience plantar fasciitis as one theory suggests that the biochemistry in tendons and ligaments change around this age.

The inflammation caused by the plantar fascia being stretched away from the heel often leads to pain in the heel and area of the arch. The pain is often extreme in the morning when an individual first gets out of bed or after a prolonged period of rest. Pain is also often felt at the end of the day. Weight bearing can be made difficult.

If this condition is left untreated a bony protrusion may develop, known as a heel spur. It is important to treat the condition promptly before it worsens.

Treatment and Prevention

If you suffer from heel pain avoid high-heeled shoes whenever possible. Try to choose footwear with a reasonable heel, soft leather uppers and wear training shoes as much as possible. Stay away from thongs and flip flops and avoid bare foot walking as much as possible, particularly on hard surfaces.

Stepping into training shoes first thing in the morning (have these next to your bed) is one of the best ways to prevent micro tears in the Plantar Fascia as when we are asleep our feet are relaxed and when we get out of bed we put all our body weight onto the affected area and this begins the Inflammatory process all over again.

Stretching the calf muscle will also help along with R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). Please note that ice is one of the most effective ways to reduce inflammation. Try putting a bottle of water in the freezer, once frozen roll it along the entire foot, 10 mins at a time. An arch support is also invaluable as it holds the foot in a neutral position. Strapping techniques are also helpful in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.

Obese People And Leg Pain

Obese legs

Obese People And Leg Pain

 

Leg pain is one of the most common problems all over the world and causes a lot of distress to the sufferer. The patient has normally been to a lot of doctors and been prescribed a host of pain killers, but still continues to suffer.

Causes

There are multiple causes that could be responsible for this condition but the common ones are mostly diagnosed and treated successfully. However, there are common causes that are mostly missed either due to overlook on the part of the doctor or due to lack of knowledge. They are mostly vascular causes related to the arteries or the veins.

The commonest venous cause is due to venous hypertension, mostly secondary to varicose veins. As we know varicose veins are easy to diagnose as they are obvious to the patient and the doctor. However, in obese legs these veins are not visible and so missed for years. The patient continues to suffer from severe leg pain and later develops color changes at the ankle (stasis dermatitis). If still not diagnosed he starts to develop an ulcer at the site of the previous discoloration. This only adds to his misery.

Diagnosis

The easiest way to diagnose it is by doing a color Doppler study. The normal vein, which is 2 mm in size may have increased to over 10 mm in size causing venous hypertension and is responsible for the severe distressing leg pain followed by color changes at the ankle and ulcer.

Treatment

Once the diagnosis has been made the treatment is fairly straight forward. Initially we start with elevation and stockings. At night we elevate the legs (toes above the level of the nose) while during the day in out we wear stockings before getting out of bed in the morning and doing normal activity. Remove them when we take a bath and put them on again. Again, normal activity is recommended all day. They are removed at night when we get into bed.

This sure does give relief but is by no means curative. You will still develop the complications of varicose veins namely dermatitis, ulcers, bleeding, inflammation (phlebitis) and DVT. However they may take longer to develop.

Then there is surgery which today is done by an endovenous technique where a laser fiber or radio-frequency catheter is inserted into the vein through a needle puncture and the diseased vein is obliterated. This is a minimally invasive, scarless surgery easy to perform and is very patient friendly. It is a day-care surgery where the patient does not stay in the hospital overnight and returns to work in a couple of days. The painful obese legs are no problem as the pain disappears.