Are Your Foot Problems Putting Your Health At Risk?

19 Rejuvenating Tips For Healthy Feet You Can Learn in Less Than 2 Minutes

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Did you know that your toes are meant to move independently of each other in the same way you move your fingers? That’s right! According to Katy Bowman, author of Whole Body Barefoot and Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief, we have the same potential in our feet as we do our hands – such as playing the piano, typing, and other unique motions — but we have neglected these muscle groups for our entire lives. So, instead of being able to move our toes independently, most of us have a hard time even lifting all of our toes together while keeping the rest of our foot on the ground.  (Go ahead, stand up and try it right now.)

Even if you are among the few who can do this with ease, it is still likely that you have had or will have some foot ailment, whether it be from constrictive shoes (yes, I mean the pretty ones), lack of foot tone and flexibility, or years of walking and standing improperly. What you are left with are stiff tissues, weak muscles, and degenerating joints in your feet. And, you wonder why they hurt!  But here’s the real issue: If you can’t walk comfortably, you’re more likely to stop being physically active, which can reduce your quality of life.

The Toe Bone is Connected to …Everything

Many of you probably remember the folk song, Dem Bones. The lyrics go through the connections of the toe to the foot, to the heel, and ultimately all the way to the head bone. Well, those connections are more important than you might think! According to the Foot Health Network, there are over 25 foot conditions and symptoms — including arthritis, bunions, athlete’s foot, overlapping toes, corns, ingrown toenails and heel spurs — any one of which can interfere with your body’s ability to function properly. If you think about it, you already know this is true.  When your feet hurt, your entire body hurts.

This has been known in many cultures for centuries. For example, Reflexology, an ancient form of Chinese massage, is based on the belief that the feet mirror the body and that foot health is the foundation upon which whole body wellness rests.  The foot is divided into 10 vital-energy sections or zones (all of the energy meridians of the body either begin or end on the feet.) 

6 Tips for Maintaining Your Foot Health For A Lifetime

Misalignment of the bones in your feet can cause trigger points. When trigger points are massaged with enough pressure, blockages are removed and the result is therapeutic. In this way, Reflexology has been used to stimulate body functions, eliminate toxins, improve circulation and soothe nerves.

The good news is, when the bones in your feet are in proper alignment, your entire body feels good.  And, there are many simple ways you can improve your foot health right now.

7 Exercises to Improve Your Foot Health Today

Your feet were designed to carry you over all types of terrain from soft sand to rocky ground. As such, they are meant to move in a great variety of angles to provide stability and dexterity. Together, your two feet contain more than 50 bones, 60 joints and 200 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. So, it makes sense that, like the rest of your body, they need exercise to keep them healthy.

Here are some exercises you can do at home to increase the strength and flexibility of your feet and improve the overall function of your entire body:

  1. Toe Fan. While standing, lift all of your toes together. You want your pinkie toe to rise to the same level as your big toe. As your toes are lifted, spread them as wide as you can and then release them to the floor. This will strengthen the muscles in your shin as well as your toes, which will help with a stronger push-off when walking and create better balance. Do this 5 times on each foot. Note: if you can’t lift all five toes off the ground without lifting your foot, work on this first.
  1. Great Toe Down. While standing, lift all 10 toes up. Then, press just your big toes down and up without moving you other toes. This exercise helps to develop neuromuscular connections with your feet. “Smart” feet are the base of a strong kinetic chain, and can lead to greater function all the way up your body. Try doing this with your pinkie toes too. Then alternate big toes and pinky toes. Repeat 5-10 times on each side.
  1. Rock and Roll. While standing, rock onto the outer edge of your foot and then to the inner edge. This helps create both flexibility and strength in your ankles and may reduce ankle injuries.
  1. Heel Lift. While standing, lift just one of your heels so you’re on the ball of your foot. Hold for 20-30 seconds and slowly lower it down to the floor. Do this 8-10 times. Then, with your heel lifted, roll the ball of your foot from side to side. Repeat on the other side. This is a great exercise to do before a workout because it not only warms up for your feet, but it stimulates the reflexology points in your feet that correspond to your heart and lungs.
  1. Achilles Stretch. Loop an exercise band around a table or desk leg. Sitting directly in front of it, slip your foot into the loop so the exercise band curls around your forefoot, just below your toes. Pull back with your forefoot, flexing at the ankle. Hold for several seconds, then relax. You should feel a stretch along the back of your heel. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  1. Tennis Ball Stretch. Another good way to restore proper tone to your foot is to step onto a tennis ball and move it around, massaging your foot. Do this with gentle pressure.  After using the tennis ball, stretch both the sole and the top of the foot by kneeling with your toes turned under. Then, release your toes and place the top of your foot to the floor while you sit back onto your heels to stretch out the top of your foot.
  1. Hold Hands with Your Feet. While sitting, interlace your fingers with your toes.  Do one foot/hand at a time.  If you can’t easily reach your feet, ask your partner or a friend to help you out. You could also buy a pair of toe alignment socks.

Don’t be surprised if these exercises are difficult at first. You may need to undo many years of physical and psychological tension that has built up in your feet. The patterns that lead to instability in our feet often start when we are very young.  For instance, if you felt at a young age that your environment did not support you fully, your feet may literally give in and collapse. Or, if you resisted your early environment, feeling driven to run and escape, your feet (and legs) may be constantly full of tension. So, it may take time to retrain your body and build new strength.

(Note: For further information and a 10 part foot exercise series created by my Pilates teacher, Hope Matthews, please go to her Facebook page at

Dr. Northrup’s Steps for Walking Correctly

Today urban walking on hard, unvaried surfaces along with poor shoe choices contribute to the limited range of motion most of us have in the small bones and ligaments in our feet.  Stiff, weak tissues in your feet can create a clumping effect where your feet, ankles, and lower back become fixed. This can lead to pain in your feet, pelvis, and lower back. 

Here’s how to walk properly and start getting your feet healthy again:

Step 1. Align Your Feet. Start by setting your feet straight ahead. When you stand properly, your alignment extends from your feet up through your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and up your spine all the way to the base of your skull. Be sure that you are rooting down through the center of your heel. Lift and spread your toes wide then root down with your big toe and little toe.  This creates a triad as the base of your stance. Pay attention to your alignment from your toes, to your knees and upper thighs.

Step 2. Center Your Weight. Your pelvis is the center of your body mass.  When your feet are set correctly, your ankle joints should feel centered and your pelvis should be directly over your heels. If your ankles are rotating inward (common), try lifting your inner arches. To do this, lift the muscles of your lower leg that attach to your arch. You should feel this lift travel from your inner arch to your outer shin up to your knee and the inner thigh and all the way up to your pelvic floor. You will also feel a release of the tailbone to a more neutral position. Engage your core to keep your pelvic tilt. 

Step 3. Keep Your Shoulders Relaxed. Your upper body posture is important as well. Keep your shoulders in a relaxed position — slightly pulled back and down. Don’t pull them too far back that you puff your chest and arch your back. They should remain directly over your hips.  Stretch up through the crown of your head keeping your neck neutral to create vertical support while you walk. This will minimize the strain on your back.  You can do this while sitting at your desk as well to prevent slouching and save you from shoulder pain.

Step 4. Start with Baby Steps. Walking properly can be like learning to walk for the first time. Start slowly and deliberately. As you move your foot allow your heel to strike first and then roll your foot forward heel to toe. Then, push off with your toes and imagine being able to see the sole of your foot as you do this.  This may feel like a big stretch in your toes. This motion also brings your calf muscles into play. A proper walking motion uses nearly all of the muscles in your leg including your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps.  As you walk, visualize your hamstrings and quadriceps propelling you forward onto the heel of your other foot. Keep both feet facing forward at all times. Your stride should be almost silent. You should not hear a slap or stomp.

Step 5. Swing Your Arms. Let your arms hang naturally at your side. As you begin walking, your arms will naturally start to move in opposition to your legs so that your right arm swings forward with your left leg and vice versa. If it is cold out, wear gloves and keep your hands out of your pockets. If you carry a purse, be sure that is not too heavy, too short, or too long. This can interfere with your ability to swing your arms naturally. In fact, a heavy bag can can create tightness, stress, and injury because you’re not able to move your arms or legs through their full range of motion. If you must carry a bag, try to lighten your load or wear a cross-body or messenger-style bag to disperse the weight more evenly.

Step 6. Lengthen Your Stride. Allow the leg that’s behind you to linger slightly before stepping it forward.  This helps to stretch your hip flexor muscles. Tight hip flexors can cause you to shorten your gait, setting you up for imbalance throughout your entire body.

6 More Rejuvenating Tips for Healthy Feet

In addition to exercise, there are many other ways you can care for your feet to ensure they stay healthy.

  1. Practice Yoga or Resistance Flexibility. One of the best ways to take care of your feet is with yoga or resistance flexibility. When you treat foot problems with yoga or fascia stretching, you end up treating back pain, hip pain and all kinds of structural problems. Not only can yoga or resistance flexibility help you stretch out and strengthen the muscles in your feet, but they help to heal the root causes of back pain, hip pain and many other structural problems.  (To learn more about resistance flexibility go to
  2. Walk Barefoot Outside. Walking barefoot or in minimal footwear helps you regain your connection to your feet.  By walking on uneven terrain you learn to use your feet the way they were designed.  This combined with your exercises will help you strengthen your feet quickly. Walking barefoot also massages the reflexology points in your feet. Finally, when you walk barefoot on the Earth, you are literally getting grounded and allowing the Earth’s negatively-charged electrons to reduce inflammation and even remove anything from heavy metals, to air pollution, to trans fats.
  3. Soak in Epsom Salts. Soaking your feet in Epsom salts is a great way to relax. It also has many health benefits such as increasing your absorption of magnesium, flushing out toxins, reducing stress, relieving muscle aches and cramping, eliminating odor, and even treating foot fungus. Try doing this every day for 20 minutes.
  4. Wear Shower Shoes. If you shower at a gym or other public places, be sure to protect your feet by wearing shoes in the shower and other places where mold, fungus and bacteria may be present.
  5. Choose The Proper Shoes. Constrictive footwear limits the blood flowing in and out of your feet and cramps the bones of your feet together. This results not on only in clenched musculature in your foot, but also your entire body. Avoid tight or pointy shoes. Look for shoes that are broad and rounded, giving your toes plenty of room. Shop for shoes toward the end of the day when your feet are the most swollen. Choose shoes made of breathable fabrics such as leather or mesh so that air can circulate. If you have diabetes or spend a lot of time on your feet, you need to take special care when selecting footwear. Note: fancy and beautiful high heels or tango shoes are fine for a small amount of time. Consider wearing them to be an athletic endeavor, or a nice fashion statement if you don’t intend to walk or stand much. No one should walk around in high heeled shoes all day (despite what is shown on popular television shoes like Scandal and The Good Wife.)
  6. Know When to See a Doctor. If you have severe pain or swelling in one or both feet, an open or oozing wound, signs of an infection, or you are unable to walk or put weight on your foot without severe pain, be sure to see a doctor for an evaluation. Also, if you have diabetes and have a wound that isn’t healing be sure to seek medical advice

Do you have any foot ailments?  How have you been able to heal them?  Please leave me your comments.


Last Updated: April 4, 2016

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


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  1. Afton Jackson
    3 years ago

    Wow, I never knew that something as simple as the toe bone could be connected to so many other health issues. Maybe this is why my body hasn’t been feeling very right ever since I started experiencing a severe foot ache problem. I’ll get this checked out by a foot doctor in the area and make sure I tell them what I’ve been experiencing.

  2. Bree Ward
    5 years ago

    It’s true that misalignment in your bones can cause troubles and trigger points that can be painful and can lead to health issues. My father has always been complaining about his foot he said that there can be a possibility of misalignment. I will recommend him to visit a podiatrist soon to have it professionally checked.

  3. Millie Hue
    5 years ago

    I totally agree when you said that having pain on your toe feel like your whole body is hurting. I guess I will have my toes checked since it has been dislocated. It was because of a stunt that I tried to do in the trampoline park last weekend.

  4. Rosemary
    8 years ago

    Having read through all the comments I cannot find one relevant to the chronic cracking and splitting of my skin through the arch area of only my right foot, from one side to the other for several inches. I felt this was initiated after I stepped on a wasp in the grass about a decade ago at 59, and since I have tried many things to heal from camomile, epsom, reike, a variety of creams etc, and now find I can walk comfortably if I keep the arch bound in moleskin bandages. If the foot is in the air, the skin which heals quickly always does so, very thickly, so it cracks easily. No diabetes. Recently it came to mind that a few months prior to the wasp sting I had been diagnosed with MRSA which burst from my leg. After intravenous antibiotics for 4 days the physician sent me home saying my body would heal it. Now I’m wondering if this foot cracking is that infection still displaying itself. A homeopathic physician gave silica and said ‘better to have external symptoms than cracking internally in the organs.” An online Chinese physician showed a photo similar to my foot and offered apple cider vinegar remedy so now I’m trying ACV pills, but just winging it. Is there help?

  5. Derek Mcdoogle
    8 years ago

    Recently my cousin had foot surgery and recovery has been slow and hard. You mentioned that one of the best ways to take care of your feet is with yoga or resistance flexibility. Do all podiatrists recommend this type of treatment? I wonder if the local professional could offer some specific treatments for him.

  6. Farber@FootPainRelief
    8 years ago

    There are also a lot of things that we can do to take care of our foot like soaking them in lukewarm water and using those foot spa machines at home. I personally just use salt in the solution in my foot spa massager and I feel relaxed afterwards. You wrote and excellent article and the tips you gave can be easily done even for people who are on the go.

  7. Rosemary
    8 years ago

    Hello Dr. Northrup,
    Every year or so, I have a painful corn on the little toe of my left foot. Varied doctors I visit for removal eventually want to perform surgery for one reason or another depending on the doctor, i.e., shaving bone, etc. I won’t submit to this because I object to unnecessary surgery and I believe it is related to my left leaning posture which is the outcome of a tipped spine.
    A upper cervical chiropractor had successfully straightened my spine, although it is tipping again.
    Can I avoid the expense of frequent visits by alternative exercising?

    P.S. It was a pure joy to receive your boundless generosity in sharing your health knowledge for women on the Food Summit. Thank you so much for your incredible journey for yourself and your sisters.

  8. Christina
    8 years ago

    any comments on “stress fracture”s in the feet? Just got told that by a foot dr, but from what I’ve read, having them put you in a boot 6-8 weeks; with the probability of it coming back later- is not a real solution. And what is the real cause anyway? is it nutritional? Non-use of muscles? Plantar fasciitis side complication? I’m hardly a runner. Sit in office most of the time.
    Any thoughts? I am going to try to heal mine naturally, but have to admit I’m concerned it being the foot.

  9. Judy Geerts
    8 years ago

    Check out , design your own, great colors and super comfortable, made in the United States they also sell correct toes and their shoes accommodate them . Love love love them. I have 3 pairs the ballerines, ballerines with the sport strap and a pair of red chukkas.

  10. Jenifer
    8 years ago

    one other simple thing I learned to do while walking/running, is to keep your head up and looking 10 feet ahead of you
    all the time. If you need to look down, you use your eyes… moving your eyes from side to side and downward instead of
    moving the head down… It increases the ease to walk or run…

    In connection to this, I was advised to leave your arms at right angles, while walking, not hanging straight down

    Thanks for the article on the feet exercises… I’ve enjoyed it immensely.

  11. Bliss
    8 years ago

    Generally, I feel like my feet are in good health, however, I have near constant pain in my right foot at my second toe that radiates up the top of my foot and also pools in the ball of my foot where the metatarsal bone meets the tarsal bones of the second and third toes. Any idea what in the heck that is?! Thanks!

    1. Evelyn
      8 years ago

      I don’t know what it is, but I started to what I believed to be heel spur pain (absolutely not fun), I showed my acupuncturist the pain site. She did 2-3 treatments. On my own, I started doing the harder yoga poses. The standing on your shoulders with toes pointed to the ceiling reminded me how much I let myself go. Eventually after two days I got it. Mind you, I’m far from the elegant version of this stand. After awhile I “forgot” about the heel pain.

      Yoga may not be your answer and nor can acupuncture, but if you want to explore other options, this might be a path to try.

    2. Evelyn
      8 years ago

      I don’t know what it is, but I started to have what I believed to be heel spur pain (absolutely not fun), I showed my acupuncturist the pain site. She did 2-3 treatments. On my own, I started doing the harder yoga poses. The standing on your shoulders with toes pointed to the ceiling reminded me how much I let myself go. Eventually after two days I got it. Mind you, I’m far from the elegant version of this stand. After awhile I “forgot” about the heel pain.

      Yoga may not be your answer and nor can acupuncture, but if you want to explore other options, this might be a path to try.

    3. Jean S.
      8 years ago

      Morton’s neuroma….sure sounds like what I had. See my comment below. Jean S.

  12. Michelle
    8 years ago

    I discovered recently that I have no cartilage left in my right big toe. All the other toes on both feet are perfect. I want to do hiking, and so I am looking for a toe brace or support that will allow me to hike.IIs there anything specific (even surgery) that will help me deal with this problem? I am over 65 and don’t want to spend the next chapter of my life limping and not being able to move my body because of this big toe issue.

  13. Penny freshwater
    8 years ago

    The Melt Method by Sue Hitzmann is much better than a tennis ball. Sue addresses hydrating the connective tissue and her balls are much safer to used. Completely healed my plantar fasciitis in both feet. Check her out!

  14. Jean S.
    8 years ago

    Hi Dr. Northrup, I’m surprised no one mentioned Morton’s Neuroma. I had it in both feet from a combination of wearing too tight tennis shoes and dealing with a massive amount of stress caused by my siblings after our parents passed away. I simply could not process the deaths of both of my parents and the betrayal of my siblings and I believe all my emotions got stopped up in my feet. It was very painful and brought my walking, jogging & other related activities to a stand still. I searched the internet endlessly & people who wrote said they tried everything from surgery, injections, orthotic devices, nothing seemed to work. After exhausting my search I called on my brother who does energy healing with pendulum/reike. After the fist session my swelling went down considerably. Within three months (about 4 sessions with my brother) my feet were back to normal. I also learned some special stretching from my yoga teacher to go along with this. I love energy work because it does work! I read of another lady on the internet who also healed her Morton’s neuroma through reike. Again, thank you for sending all the wonderful information on how to keep our feet healthy! Love to you Dr. Northrup!!!! Jean

  15. Magda
    8 years ago

    I have developed lymphodeoma in my feet 3 years ago after the birth of my 3 child. As a naturopath I have been trying everything with little success. I am curious how (apart from emotionally) it may be affecting my health and if there is anything I could do to treat it.

  16. Magda
    8 years ago

    I am so pleased you have posted this today, I am thinking a lot about feet and today, my amazing pirates teacher here in Bali mentioned how feet connect to the rest of our health. Of course, I know this from reflexology but it made me think whether MY problem connects too- I have developed (after the birth of my 3rd child 3 years ago) lymphodeoma in my feet, mainly the top of each foot including my ankles and toes. Being in a hot climate doesn’t help. No one knows what is causing this, and as a nutritional therapist I have been trying everything with little success. I was wondering what this could be connected to healthwise but also in terms of the mind body connection. I would be grateful for any words of wisdom. Thank you.

  17. Colleen
    8 years ago

    If not mentioned already, the incredible work of podiatrist and runner, Dr. Ray McClanahan, is worthy reading. And consider footwear called Correct Toes

  18. Kay
    8 years ago

    Hi, I have this pain under my right foot just back from my toes and it was very sore. I was told that it was a planter wart so I went to the Dr and she told me it was a hard core growing in my foot because my shoes were rubbing on that spot, so I have been using 100% pure essential Lemon oil neat on the sore spot. I cut a very small cut on the sore spot to let the oil in , and this oil is working really well. I use it morning and night and will continue to do so until all the soreness goes away.
    Thankyou, Kay.

  19. Susan R.
    8 years ago

    Thank you for all the tips. Could you give some tips for dealing with/healing from neuropathy (result of chemo)? And, how to strengthen narrow feet and ankles?

  20. michelle
    8 years ago

    Glad to see you ditched the heels. It herts my feet to watch you on stage.

  21. Linda
    8 years ago

    This book will help understand your feet…..great info

    Why you really hurt : it all starts in the foot / Burton S. Schuler.
    I have a friend at the health food store who in now in a wheel chair because her feet are so painful, so sad.
    Also check out Ezorb online not sold in stores…..this & Foot Wakers helped us leave painful feet behind, we liked the powder vs the caps…..I have no connection to any of the recommendations….I just like to help …..pain erodes our quality of life.

  22. Robin
    8 years ago

    Dr. Northrup, we must be kindred spirits! I have loved all of your book and audio programs. I turned 50 last November and I went through menopause at the age of 46. I am also a dancer and have been having great pain in my right foot with both a bunion and plantar fasciaitis. It is so depressing that aerobic and ballroom dance, my two favorite forms of exercise hurt my foot so much that I can’t do it as much as I should causing my weight to go up. Thanks for these tips. I will start right away.

    Robin from California

  23. martha Chabinsky
    8 years ago

    I love all this advice Dr Northrup…..As a yoga teacher, I tell these things to my students all the time. I have to tell you though, the photo above of two women sitting cross-legged is terrible posture. Many yoga teachers are unaware of correct alignment unfortunately and incorrect posture in pictures is quite common. I was trained at Kripalu, and know that always, always, one’s knees must be positioned below one’s hips so that the spine is aligned, breathing is full and unconstricted, and organs function properly. There is a complex anatomical explanation for this, too lengthy to write here.
    It’s better to be careful about what is pictured so that people are aware of what to do!

  24. Diana Atenco
    8 years ago

    Interesting article about feet. 🙂 For the past 9 years I have been a Toe Reader and the toes hold stories about a person’s life by the shape of the toes, nails, etc. Toe Reading started here in Arizona and came from Reflexology. It never ceases to amaze me how Emotional Healing can come from looking at the toes.

  25. Karen
    8 years ago

    I have had plantar fasciitis for 15 years. Also have arthritic joints in both feet. I will do the exercises. Thanks for the excellent article.

  26. Nancy
    8 years ago

    I have a heel spur which is painful. Any natural remedies for that? Thank you for some great info.

  27. Karen
    8 years ago

    Finn shoes are wonderful. My mom & sister both had terrible foot problems. When I was in my 30s I switched to male dominated work & began wearing flats, then more cushiony shoes, eventually Finns. My mom had insoles from a podiatrist & they were about $1,000.00/pair. One time, on a visit, we pulled my Finn insole out of my shoe & compared it to hers. Exact match! I don’t work for Finn & never really recommend much to anyone. But the difference is amazing. I am 64 & never, ever have problems with my feet. I do wish they made cooler styles, but they come out with some pretty ones every now & then.
    Dr. N…you have clout…ask Finn to give us some pink/yellow/orange tennis shoes. I have black/blue/green…but want more options.

    1. Aagje
      8 years ago

      Try Wolky shoes! Better design and funky colors available. (

  28. Donna Rao
    8 years ago

    Great article.
    You might want to check out a new book to be released later this month. Written by Master Yoga Teacher, Donald Moyer.
    Yoga for Healthy Feet. Rodmell Press

  29. Sharon
    8 years ago

    Great article. I am sitting at work (where I have been for 35 years) fighting all of the issues that come with sitting too much and wearing the high heal shoes…..I was reading this article and “practicing” walking when someone started laughing….they were watching me concentrate on your instructions for proper form!!! Thanks, I needed the information and the laugh at work. 🙂

  30. Via
    8 years ago

    Wonderful article. I’ve been practicing yoga for several years and it has changed my feet and my obsession with high heels! I still wear them, but not all day and not regularly. By the way, this article led me to your blog site – which is fantastic. I enjoy your writing so much. Your care and belief in women is obvious and refreshing! Thank you!

  31. Missy Woods
    8 years ago

    You can create the benefit of walking barefoot on the magnetic earth by wearing insoles that have this energy in them. i wear them all the time.

  32. Linda
    8 years ago

    A wonderful and informative article. Thank you very much!linda

  33. janet morgan
    8 years ago

    I have bursitis of the ankle…Talk to me! will this ever go away?

  34. Jessie
    8 years ago

    I too have suffered from foot issues and no longer wear “Pretty” shoes, ever! But I am grateful to now be mostly pain free. I did the Epsom salt soaks for years it really helped. And another tip that helped me: keep a small water bottle in the freezer, when your feet hurt, roll the bottom of your foot across the frozen water bottle. If it’s too cold, cover in a thin cloth. Do this while seated for about 5-10 mins. or as comfortable.

  35. Chris Chimbers
    8 years ago

    Dr. Northrup,
    Thank you for this wonderful article on foot care. I appreciate your generous sharing of this valuable information. You are making this world a better place, one person at a time.

  36. Karen Gordon
    8 years ago

    I use foot wakers and they have made a remarkable difference. I keep a pair near my laptop and stand on them while checking my email. I highly recommend them.

  37. Mary
    8 years ago

    Thank you for the healthy reminders and advice! Been a fan since WBWW! I use these from time to time for my CMT disease. CMT is the most common inherited hereditary neuropathy. I have a bone spur in my ankle for 20 years, and have learned to live with the pain. Thankful for the rare days of no pain.

  38. Anita Law Beaty
    8 years ago

    I have overlapping second toes — they lie on top of the big toes, which is inclined toward them. I don’t want to have to go to a podiatrist, but I don’t know what to do.


    1. Sonjia Edwards
      8 years ago

      My toes used to cross, I bought some toe separators (like the kind you get when you get a pedicure, but thicker and made of some kind of gel/silicone) and wear them for a few minutes at a time. I started in the evening for about 5 minutes, then added time in the afternoon, again for about 5 minutes and then increased time and frequency. My toes are straight now.

  39. Gale Rhinesmith
    8 years ago

    Great article, I have metatarsal problems and yoga has been a great help! Some really nice tips, thanks!

  40. Lanora
    8 years ago

    I took Cipro for UTI and lost the feelings of hands and toes in Oct., 2014. Working hard to get the feelings back in my feet. Hand exercises got my hands back. Have been to foot doctors, massage, wellness center. Your article is very helpful and hopeful. Thanks

  41. Mary
    8 years ago

    A great article. Many tips to help relieve the pain from drop foot with plantar fasciitis. It’s horrible, even after kenalog injection. Lots of stretching and tennis ball rolling for me! Thank you for the post.

  42. Judy Schultz
    8 years ago

    Hello Dr. Northrup,
    What a timely and important article! I recently had toe surgery on my right big toe. I had a cyst or mass growing under the nail bed. Believe it or not, you can get cancer of the Toe! My Dr. sent away for a biopsy and it was benign. Most people don’t know this- like me. I am a teacher, so I stand all day. Please let your readers know that cancer CAN occur even in your toes! I was very lucky!

  43. maureen
    8 years ago

    My grandmother`s feet were a misshapen gnarley mess .. and I inherited her bunions unfortunately, which have got increasingly worse over time. At 60 now, in the hair industry on my feet all day, it has affected knees and hips. I love being active, walking, yoga, but some days are difficult. And where I live, I have been on a wait list to see a surgeon, who are too busy doing knees and hips to do bunions. So I will be a candidate for that bigger surgery eventually. :[

    1. Knj
      8 years ago

      Check out Pete Egoscue’s book Pain Free.

    2. Sharon
      8 years ago

      Ditto, except I’m a year younger and I already had a hip replacement. Never heard anything like this re feet before. Starting tonight with Epsom salt and tennis ball. So much arthritis and gnarly, it will take awhile!

    3. Sonjia Edwards
      8 years ago

      My feet were in constant pain especially after running or dancing (both of which I love), I’ve been watching videos on Youtube that have been very helpful. I just love this young mans (Oscar Sanchez) videos. you should watch.

  44. Vikram Jeet Kaur
    8 years ago

    Thank you for the wonderful information about the most neglected part of our body.

  45. Catherine Aggarwal
    8 years ago

    What a great article! My feet are like a thermometer for me, when they hurt I know that something is not right. If I eat sugar or red meat, my feet become very sensitive and hurt. If i feel emotionally hurt, again my feet hurt.
    I have tried to find on line articles on how our feet can reflect our health or state of mind, but this is the first article that comes close to it. Thank you.

    1. Diana Atenco
      8 years ago

      I do online Toe Readings I have been a Toe Reader for 9 years it is quite interesting what shows up in the toes. My website is

  46. Lucia
    8 years ago

    I have tendinitis for the longest time very painful and I guess never heals, I m always on my feet beacause I m a Nuses assitend I have two jobs ! Any idea !! Tahnk you for the very informative material about feet problems !thank you !

  47. D
    8 years ago

    Well, I have flat feet, bunions and a hammertoe.. So please advise my options. Surgery is not my option thanks

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