The Southeast United States sure has seen some rare weather this winter, like the first snowfall Florida’s capital has seen in 30 years, six inches of snow in the Carolinas, and an arctic chill in the air here in Montgomery, AL . The start of 2018 has brought us the coldest weather in 5 years. Alabamans are decidedly not accustomed to temperatures in the single digits!
When the weather is colder than normal, it’s not just the odd sight of an ice-covered palm tree that should give you pause. You’ve got to get a little self-centered. Stop and consider the best ways to protect your own body, including your feet.
Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts, the podiatrists at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, offer up these suggestions for folks who aren’t used to the cold:
- Wear the right shoes. Flip-flops – not an unusual sight during a normal January in Alabama, where the temps are often in the mid-50s – need to go back into the closet. Opt instead for closed-toed shoes made of natural, breathable material with supportive arches. Driveways and sidewalks may be icy in this weather, so make sure your shoes have good traction to help prevent you from falling.
- Adapt your walking style. When the going gets slippery, protect yourself from falling by shortening your stride. Keep your center of gravity a little lower by keeping your knees soft and slightly bent.
- Lookout for changes in your toes (fingers, too). If they become white and numb, you may have just discovered that you’ve got Raynaud’s disease. Raynaud’s is a condition in which blood vessels in the extremities go into spasm when exposed to the cold. Raynaud’s doesn’t need to be treated – if you simply get to a warmer location, your toes should return to normal. However, if your pain is severe, there is medication we can prescribe to improve blood flow.
- Keep feet warm by keeping them dry. Keep sweat off of your skin by wearing socks made of synthetic materials. These do the best job of wicking moisture away from your skin. If your socks or shoes do get wet, take them off as soon as you can and dry off your feet.
No matter what the weather is outside, inside our podiatry practice you’ll always find the warmth of people who care about you. We’ve got over 19 years of experience providing excellent podiatric care to our patients. When you have foot pain or concerns, visit us online or call us at (334) 396-3668 for an appointment.