How can strapping and padding help feet?

I was lucky enough to have a day on strapping and padding with Michael Ratcliffe, who visited the East Anglia branch of the British Chiropody and Podiatry Association and The Association of Foot Health Professionals. He explained brilliantly how strapping and padding can ease pain and discomfort in certain foot conditions.

Tender heels and pads.
Have you ever felt tenderness or pain on your heel or pads on the front sole of your foot? For many of us, heel pain and pain on the foot pads (the fatty parts on the soles of our feet) become more common as we get older. This is because those fat pads become thinner with age. Well-fitting and supportive shoes can help; so can good quality insoles. After a long day’s walking on hard surfaces, the foot pads can become quite tender.

Protective padding.
Foot care professionals can ease the pain on the sole of the foot behind the toes or on the heel by applying a carefully shaped pad to cushion from the impact of standing and walking. It might be that, with simple padding applied correctly, after a few days, the inflammation goes and the condition resolves. It’s as simple as that!

A handbag for the toes!
Where toes start to curl, and are painful with nothing to rest on, he showed us how to fashion a ‘handbag’ pad to support these ‘hammer’ toes, and last for up to 6 weeks of wear.

Strap and support.
If, like me, you have ever wondered about those sporty types who appear to be wearing multi-coloured straps all around their knees, Michael told us about how to use a stretchy tape known as Hapla Wave to relieve the discomfort from common conditions like turf toe (a big toe sprain) and the very painful plantar fasciitis using this specialised tape with stretch built in to it. There are so many ways in which this amazing tape can be used to support the feet and toes, or even to reduce the pain of swelling.

Of course, I’ve bought my tape and I can’t wait for a chance to use it!