If you suffer from chronic cold feet, then it’s important to know how to avoid foot pain during winter weather or when feet get wet and are exposed to the elements. There are many medical reasons for having cold feet and a variety of methods to choose from to keep your feet warm and comfortable. Sometimes feet can feel as if they are frozen, presenting with symptoms similar to frost bite. This can occur from an action as simple as sitting in front of an air conditioning vent in the middle of summer. Resulting foot pain can become incapacitating for some, and threaten a life long debility. Following are some suggestions for keeping your feet warm, healthy and pain free.
Check for medical reasons for foot pain
Visit your health care practitioner
If you suffer from continual bouts of icy cold feet, find out if the cause is related to a medical condition.
Ask the doctor if medicines you might be taking for unrelated illnesses might have side effects including reduced blood flow to limbs. Certain beta blockers for high blood pressure cause this symptom as do many other medications. Ask to try a different medication or natural remedy to avoid side effects.
Keep feet covered
Wear socks and closed shoes! Although it seems obvious, walking around barefoot or in open toed shoes and sandals can aggravate existing symptoms and cause unnecessary discomfort. Even in summer, if you spend a great deal of time in places that are heavily cooled with air conditioning, wearing light weight socks and closed shoes can help avoid foot pain and slow the progression of any medical conditions.
Keep your feet dry
Damp or wet feet are much more prone to becoming cold. If feet become wet, remove shoes and socks, and replace with dry socks and another pair of shoes if necessary.
Stimulate foot circulation
Get up and walk around for a few minutes. While working at a desk, circulation often slows from sitting for long periods of time. Moving around for a few minutes every hour or so will help to increase circulation, protecting feet from pain.
Keep feet warm throughout the year
Wear socks made from natural fibres and if possible, wear 2 layers- this provides insulation and keeps the feet warm. Socks made from natural fibres not only provide warmth, but have strong wicking action that absorbs sweat easily, directing moisture away from feet, keeping them dry. Silk sock liners are thin enough to wear under another pair of socks or in snug fitting shoes and boots.
Wear down booties or sheepskin lined slippers and boots while sitting at the desk to hold warmth in around the feet during cold weather or exposure to drafts from air conditioning vents.
Wear leg warmers to keep lower limbs warm. When ankles and calves get cold, often the feet follow suit and wearing leg warmers helps to avoid foot pain by keeping blood flow more active in the lower legs.
Place a small electric space heater at your desk or by your TV chair. Turn it on and off as needed and direct it toward your feet-BUT not directly on your feet. Using a space heater helps avoid foot pain and also higher heating bills from having to heat an entire room or area of your house. Again, use caution to avoid burning yourself.
Eat warming foods to increase circulation. Spices such as cumin, cayenne pepper and ginger help to open tiny capillaries in the skin and increase circulation, warming feet and reducing painful episodes.
Stop smoking and drinking caffeinated beverages. These products cause the capillaries in the body to constrict, reducing blood flow and causing cold hands and feet.
If your feet get icy cold and won’t warm up in a few minutes by using some or all of the above suggestions, try soaking them in tepid water in the bathtub. Water should not be any warmer than lukewarm and no higher than body temperature. Place feet in water slowly and if it feels too hot, cool water down a bit. Add some Epsom salts and apple cider vinegar to stimulate circulation and soothe aching, painful feet.
For more information on any foot conditions, visit the website: http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz to make an appointment