Have you forgotten about your feet and are now worried for their health? Perhaps you did not realize that you even had to check on your feet, but do not worry! Our team has developed 6 easy tests you can do at home to determine your foot health. Many people believe it's normal for your feet to hurt or experience some sort of pain. it is NOT normal to have foot pain! Remember, you use your feet for everything. The kind of shoe you wears, how active you are, and the line of work you are in could impact the overall health of your feet. 

These easy tests can help you determine when you need to see a podiatrist. If your feet are keeping you awake at night or you are a diabetic, you should see a doctor to determine the condition of your feet. The sooner you see a doctor, the quicker you can begin to feel better! These at home tests do not replace a visit to a podiatrist but it can be a good place to start! 


Ways To Check Your Feet at Home 


A good test for balance involves standing on one foot, with your arms out to the side and your eyes closed. If you are less than 30 years old, you should be able to balance for 15 seconds, 30-40 years old for 12 seconds, 40-50 years old for 10 seconds and over 50 years old for seven seconds. This can be improved with exercises.


Look at the color of your toes. Are they red, pink, purple or blue? Press down on the nail of your big toe until the color blanches. Now let go and allow the blood flow to return to your toe. The return of normal color should take 2-5 seconds in a person with average circulation.


How flexible are your toes? Try to pick up a marble or a small dish towel. To test your ankle flexibility, hang your heel off of a stair. Now let the heel go below the level of the stair. If this causes pain, stop the test. If your heel goes below the level of the stair without causing strain in your calf, that is a goof sign. If there is some strain, this can be improved with flexibility exercises.


There should be no pain in the average foot. If you are experinecing pain in your feet, it is important to get it checked out with a a podiatrist in order to get to the bottom of what the pain means. 


Take a pencil eraser and lightly run it on the top, bottom and both sides of your feet. The sensation should feel equal in all quadrants. It may tickle on the bottom of the feet. That is normal. But, if there are certain areas where it does not feel the same, then this is a sign that it may be worth it to take a visit to the doctors!


Check your skin for calluses, blisters or areas of irritation. Stand next to your shoes. Are they shaped like your feet or are they causing areas of constriction that may result in calluses, blisters or irritation? Put your hand inside your shoe. Are there seams, tacks or rough places in the shoe that correspond to the areas of irritation, calluses or blisters on your feet?


Worried About Your Feet? 

If you are worried about your feet or they are hurting you, you need to see a doctor! Foot pain is not normal! If you injured your foot or ankle and are hoping the pain will go away, you should see a doctor. It is always best to have any pain or injury checked by a doctor. We see patients everyday who waited too long to have their injury checked and now their recovery is so much longer than if they treated the injury right away. For new patients we do offer free exams to come in to get checked out. We also accept most inurances so do


How Can I help My Feet? 

Before beginning an exercise regimen, proper stretching is essential. If muscles are properly warmed up, the strain on muscles, tendons, and joints is reduced.

Stretching exercises should take 5-10 minutes, and ought to be conducted in a stretch/hold/relax pattern without any bouncing or pulling. It is important to stretch the propulsion muscles in the back of the leg and thigh (posterior), and not forget the anterior muscles.

Some effective stretching exercises include:

  • The wall push-up. Face a wall from three feet away, with feet flat on the floor, and knees locked. Lean into the wall, keeping feet on the floor and hold for 10 seconds as the calf muscle stretches, then relax. Do not bounce. Repeat five times.
  • The hamstring stretch. Put your foot, with knee straight, locked, on a chair or table. Keep the other leg straight with knee locked. Lower your head toward the knee until the muscles are tight. Hold to a count of 10 then relax. Repeat five times, then switch to the other leg.
  • Lower back stretch. In a standing position, keep both legs straight, feet spread slightly. Bend over at the waist and attempt to touch the palms of your hands to the floor. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Stretching the calf Muscles

Excessive tightness of the calf muscles can contribute to many foot problems and some knee problems. A key point of injury is the Achilles tendon, which attaches the calf muscle to the back of the heel. When the calf muscle tightens up, it limits the movement of the ankle joint.

Calf muscle stretching is very useful in the treatment of many foot disorders and for the prevention of foot problems. Two typical methods for stretching your calf muscles include:

The conventional method most runners use while facing and leaning into a wall.

An alternative method of standing approximately two feet from a wall. While facing the wall, turn your feet inward ("pigeon toed") and lean forward into the wall, keeping your heels on the floor and the knees extended. Keep your back straight and don't bend at the hips. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and do the stretch 10 times in a row.

Peter Wishnie, D.P.M.
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Owner of Family Foot & Ankle Specialists in Piscataway and Hillsborough, NJ. Make an appointment today!