With their 28 bones and more than 100 ligaments, muscles, and tendons, our feet truly are miraculous structures. However, we tend to forget about how important they are until they start to hurt!

Start good health from the ground up with these foot care tips:

1. Catch things early! Easier said than done, but many foot issues can take only a few days to heal when treated early (or easily take months/years to heal if left untreated).

2. Balance out short term goals with long term goals. Western medicine is really good with bandaids and for certain injuries to the feet, they can really help in the short term. Things like arch supports, taping, and braces can all offer huge relief and unloading of trouble spots to help get you better faster. However, we don’t want to lose sight of the long term goals which leads us too…

3. Fix the source! The root cause of most foot and lower leg pain is lack of mobility/flexibility and strength (in the feet and above). In a perfect world, we’d use things like orthotics and bracing to help get us better faster – more as treatment (check out this short video on ideal foot orthotic usage).

At the same time, by doing things like massage, stretching, and strengthening we hopefully fix the problem so we don’t need to use the orthotic/brace as much (other than for treatment). One of the best (and free!) ways to strengthen your feet is to be barefoot (just not when you’re injured). Check out this short video for more foot strength and mobility exercises.

4. Appreciate the value of being barefoot. With hundreds of thousands of nerve endings on the bottom of our feet, it’s super important to spend time with our feet directly on the ground. For long term orthotic wearers, that may start with only a couple of minutes per day to start and this can slowly increase. but can really help for improving balance, strength, and mobility.

For those with young children, we push even more to keep them in flat, flexible shoes (they don’t have the years of bad habits to undo). Check this video on how to select proper footwear for young children.

My name is Ryan Grant and I co-own a family run foot care clinic in Kitsilano and Ottawa called SoleFit. We love what we do and like to think of ourselves as ‘outside the box’ pedorthists who really strive to balance short term with long term treatment goals. When custom orthotics are necessary we make everything in our onsite laboratory so custom is truly custom. We also specialize in knee bracing, video gait analysis, and other recovery products.

Be sure to check out our blog for more health and wellness information and don’t hesitate to email me at vancouver@solefit.ca if you have any questions.

Are you a Kits local with domain knowledge you would like to share? Get in touch.

Last modified: January 6, 2020

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