Did you know there are a total of 206 bones found in the entire adult body. A total of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles/tendons are in each foot. Therefore, a quarter of all the bones in our body are found in the feet. This adds up to a lot of moving parts in your feet especially at Christmas during the holiday shopping season. “Shop until you drop” takes on a whole different meaning this time of the year.

The first thing is to plan out your shoe wardrobe before you shop. If you are going to shop after work, take a comfortable pair of shoes with you to change into such as tennis shoes, comfortable boots, or flats. If you are wearing heels or ballet type flats make sure you have a soft insole liner in those shoes that will cushion the impact when walking and standing.

After a long day of shopping the muscles in the arch and legs can fatigue and get tired. The reason that happens is because the joints in the arch area of the foot can collapse and flatten out when you are walking or standing. Therefore, if you are not wearing shoes with good support, you can develop foot, leg and back problems which will put a damper on your holiday shopping.

Shopping at Christmas can be very stressful, from crowded shops, long queues and finding creative ways to carry the shopping, try and get up early to get that easy parking spot, so you don’t have to walk miles with a heavy load.

Spread out your shopping days so you don’t take on the stress all on one day and if you are buying big, heavy presents, make sure you have help getting it from A to B, the last thing you want is a pain or sprain before Christmas.

Don’t overindulge in holiday cheer.  Did you know your feet can feel the effects of too much holiday cheer? Foods and alcoholic drinks that are high in purines, such as shellfish, red meat, red wine and beer can trigger extremely painful gout attacks.  Gout most commonly attacks the big toe joints and appears as swollen, red, hot and extremely painful.

Listen to your feet. Hours of partying and pavement pounding equals an annual increase in holiday heel pain, calluses and corns. The pain comes from multiple factors: muscle fatigue in those small muscles of the foot, arch strain from wearing inappropriate shoes while walking for hours, shin splints, increasing walking time from 30 minutes a day to 5 hours in one weekend!

While it’s easy to be stoic, hoping things will improve on their own; it’s not the best solution. Do the hard work of addressing the foot issue at an early stage well before the pain has the chance to move all over the body.

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