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Problems and Treatments continued...

Tendonitis is caused by overuse, irritating the tendons attaching muscles to bone. Symptoms include pain and swelling. Dr. Reid advises patients to follow R.I.C.E. First, rest. Then ice for 15 minutes three times a day. Next, apply compression by wrapping the foot. Finally, elevate.

Blisters are caused by the friction or rubbing of a too-tight or worn-out shoe. Dr. Scholl's Cushlin Ultra Slim Blister Treatment cushions and protects blisters while they heal, and helps to prevent new blisters. Eulactol Heel Balm hydrates dry feet, preventing blisters on the hard areas.

Bruised or ingrown toenails are caused by too-long toenails, too-tight shoes, or stubbing or dropping an object on the toe. If a bruised toenail is not painful, let it grow out. If painful, see a podiatrist. For an ingrown toenail, you or a podiatrist can trim it out.

Calluses are the result of abnormal pressure caused by your particular foot structure and walk. While they can't be permanently eliminated, minimize by wearing comfortable shoes with cushioning insoles. Have a podiatrist trim calluses or you can treat with over-the-counter products. Slough off rough skin with a pumice stone or scrub, such as Crabtree & Evelyn Aloe Vera Foot Smoother. Follow with a moisturizing lotion (Crabtree & Evelyn's Aloe Vera Foot & Leg Therapy or Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Foot Cream). Or try Bath & Body Works Shea It Isn't So Shea Butter Foot Cream, with Soothing Socklets to hold in the moisturizing effects.

Swelling is caused by overuse, heat, or certain medical conditions. Elevate and ice feet to treat. Cool feet down with Jergens' Cooling Sensation Moisturizer, or massage with For Every Body Peppermint Foot Cream for a tingling sensation.

Odor is caused by sweat. Avoid by wearing white cotton socks and spraying feet with deodorant. Johnson's Foot Soap leaves feet fresh and odor free. Prairie Rose Footsie-Tootsie Powder helps keep them dry and deodorized.

Throbbing and aching are caused by standing too long, uncomfortable shoes, or medical problems. Treat by soaking feet in an herbal footbath (see below), massaging, and elevating. Try wearing Loofah Loafers around the house. These special slippers increase circulation, stimulate nerve endings, massage muscles, and exfoliate. Terry cloth Aroma*Souls slippers, with floral detail, have natural loofah insoles infused with essential oils to soothe or freshen feet.

Cramping is caused by overusing generally underused muscles, kneeling for long periods of time—which reduces circulation to feet—or by dehydration, which throws off electrolyte balances. To treat, stop what you are doing, massage, walk it off, and rehydrate.

Reflexology Techniques

Laura Aho of the Reflexology Association of American recommends these self-help moves. Place your thumb or finger on the following locations and use an alternating press and release technique to stimulate the reflexes of the foot.
If you find your shoulder tight, place the corresponding leg across the opposite thigh and reach for your foot. Work the ridge across the foot just under the toes.
If your neck is tight, work the big toe and the shaft of all toes.
If you find tension and discomfort developing in your back, work the medial (inside) aspect of the foot from the big toe down to the back of the heel. The toe areas represent the cervical area; the medial aspect of the heel represents the lower back; and the thoracic area is represented in between.

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