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Happy Feet this Holiday Season

By HERWriter
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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

On December 31, women around the world will be wearing high heels to ring in the New Year. Shoe designers Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo all make beautiful shoes which look like works of art. However, this shoe art can be hard on your feet.

MSNBC says research shows that most people have a foot injury of some sort by the age of 40. Also, women undergo the majority of common-problem foot surgeries.

According to orthopedic surgeon Steven Raikin, M.D., of the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, stilettos can make your feet hurt like hell for a reason. For example, one-inch heels can increase the pressure on your feet by about 22 percent; two inches can add up to 57 percent; and three inches can add 76 percent of pressure on your feet.

When New Year’s Eve rolls around, here are some foot care tips.

• Throughout adulthood (especially after pregnancy), feet can still grow and spread. Also, feet tend to be at their most swollen at the end of the day. For the best shoe fit, purchase shoes and try on shoes in the afternoon. Finally, to make sure you are buying the right shoe size, it is best to have your feet measured every year.

• Christmas shopping may have taken a toll on your feet. After a day of being on your feet, put a towel around one foot, grasp both ends of the towel and pull your toes toward you for 15 seconds, then release. Do this until you feel the soreness slip away. Then switch feet. Another way to keep your feet limber, try doing stretches such as writing the alphabet with pointed toes. And to massage your arches, roll your feet over a tennis ball for a few minutes a day.

• Try not to stand or walk around in heels higher than two inches for more than four hours straight, says Eric Horton, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon in San Diego.

• After a day or night out in high heels, ice your feet when you get home to curb any swelling or pain. The first few seconds will be chilling but after 20 seconds your feet will feel refreshed.

• For extra cushioning and heel support, try gel pads for high heels and orthopedic inserts for flats. They are both available at any local drug store for $20.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.