Winter is an exciting time — from holiday cheer to the fun of snow. However, frigid temperatures can cause several health problems. The sudden drop in temperature may also make existing medical issues worse. Your feet are no exception.
Here are some reasons why foot problems tend to worsen in the winter and the steps you can take to protect your feet.
Possible Reasons For Foot Problems In Winter
1. Changes In Temperature
Cold weather can wreak havoc on your bones, joints, and muscles. Exposure to cold air could dry out your skin and nails, making them more susceptible to damage and infection. When the skin in your feet is dry and sensitive, it may put you at risk of developing calluses, cracked heels, or corns.
Moreover, lower temperatures can create challenges for your extremities. It could cause the tissues in your joints to contract, causing joint pain and inflexibility. Cold weather also hampers blood circulation to the hands and feet. Likewise, it may aggravate already existing foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis and neuropathy. If you experience persistent foot pain, you may want to visit an orthopedic clinic.
2. Unsupportive Footwear
Once you ditch your flip-flops for heavy winter boots, your feet may end up feeling constricted and uncomfortable. Most winter boots focus more on waterproofing and warmth rather than support and comfort. While keeping your feet dry and warm is essential to keeping them healthy in the winter, poorly supported shoes can lead to foot pain.
The compression from closed-toe shoes and thick socks can lead to bunions and plantar fasciitis, while the constant friction can cause calluses and corns. Make sure to wear proper seasonal footwear that provides warmth and support for your feet.
Icy roads can increase the risk of slips and falls. It could happen while you’re walking or when you engage in winter sports. Wearing poorly-fitting shoes could increase your risk of getting into an accident.
How To Protect Your Feet In Winter
The good news is that you don’t have to power through your foot pain all through the winter season. With the proper measures and practices, you can significantly reduce and manage your winter foot pain. Here are some tips for protecting your feet during the chilly winter months.
1. Keep Your Feet Warm And Dry
Damp feet are the perfect breeding ground for fungi, increasing your risk of getting athlete’s foot, ingrown toenails, and toenail fungus. Be sure to wash your feet thoroughly and dry them before putting on a fresh pair of socks.
Snow, ice, and rain can make keeping your feet dry a challenge. Remove wet socks and shoes quickly to avoid bacterial and fungal infections. Remember to allow your shoes to dry out before reusing them. Moisture-wicking or padded socks, water-resistant footwear, and inserting foot warmers in your shoes are excellent investments and precautions to take during winter.
2. Wear Proper Footwear
Wearing footwear that supports your arches and feet reduces the possibility of blisters and accidents. Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight, worn out, and unsupportive. Adequate footwear padding can help you avoid reduced circulation. Moreover, wearing low-heeled shoes or boots with a traction sole can help prevent slipping.
When it comes to socks, you’ll want winter socks that will insulate and protect your feet from moisture. Breathable fabrics, such as wool and moisture-wicking synthetics, are ideal since they can effectively reduce sweating. If you want detailed advice, consult with a foot and ankle doctor.
Dry winter air and indoor heating can result in cracked skin on your feet and heels. Heel fissures can even cause pain and bleeding in extreme cases. Also, deep fissures may allow bacterial and fungal infections to enter your foot. These issues are easily preventable by applying moisturizing foot cream after you bathe.
Foot Pain Treatment in St. Peters, O’Fallon & Wentzville, MO
Whatever your plans are for the winter season, the last thing you want is your foot pain worsening and hindering your daily activities. There are many different reasons for winter foot pain. The key to effective treatment is determining the root cause of the problem.
If you’re having seasonal foot problems, don’t let your pain and discomfort go untreated. At Advanced Bone & Joint, our highly experienced and skilled medical team can provide you with quality foot care, including orthopedic care and podiatry.
Don’t let foot pain prevent you from enjoying the holidays. Call us today at (636) 229-4222 to schedule a consultation or use our online request form. We look forward to serving you!