MS and foot care – the things you should always do.

We might not think about our feet very often. In fact, many of us might not give our feet much thought at all but they are so important to our overall well being; especially in terms of our mobility and independence.

Our feet can be thought of as a kind of ‘body barometer’ for our gait, our joints and our nerve health. It’s worth spending a minute or two of your time each day to check in with your feet and lower limbs to protect your skin and joints from avoidable harms.

Top ten tips for basic foot care.

  1. Spend a few seconds each day checking that the skin of your feet and lower limbs is unbroken and a healthy colour.
  2. Wash your feet daily and dry thoroughly, especially between the toes.
  3. Use a moisturiser daily on your feet but do not put it between your toes.
  4. Wear clean socks or tights and change them daily. They should not be tight around the leg, ankle or toes.
  5. If you have mobility or balance issues always ensure you are in a safe position when cutting your toenails.
  6. Cut nails to follow the natural line of the end of the toe – in effect, straight. Do not cut down the sides of the nail grooves and leave some free white edge showing.
  7. Do not try to cut the whole nail in one go; use a gradual “nipping” action instead.
  8. If you cannot reach your feet well enough to cut them safely, try filing them once a week instead, or ask a carer, friend or relative to help you.
  9. Always do this when your nails are hard and dry.
  10. Always file from the top of the nail in a downward direction (away from you) using single strokes. File the edge of the nail to remove sharp corners but do not file down into the sides.

The secret is getting the right fit…

Wear well-fitting shoes with a midfoot fastening, broad deep toe-box, a soft upper, and a cushioned sole, with heel support. Unless you have a good reason, avoid slip-on shoes and slippers. Consider wearing indoor and outdoor shoes rather than slippers.

If you are concerned about changes in your foot health, your ability to lift your foot when you walk, your balance or nerve pain, seek help early. In addition, if you are finding it hard to care for your feet, seek the help of a podiatrist or foot health practitioner, who can help you or refer you to another health professional.”