The Amelia Bulletin Monitor

Feet and Sole

Your health matters


The Bible portrays the spiritual significance of washing of the feet in the gospel of John. On the final night of the Passover, the day before his crucifixion, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. It was a portrayal of servitude and humility that disciples of Jesus are to follow while awaiting his return. In the Old Testament the reference to washing feet was for the traveler who was tired and dusty from traveling. Travel was done by walking in sandals on dusty roads. Today, the expression of humility and servitude may still be displayed through foot-washing in some rituals or cultures. People no longer travel by walking in sandals on dusty roads. So, what is being done about foot-washing today? Is there still a need to wash the feet?

Feet provide the support for carrying one’s body throughout the lifespan. Feet bear the burden of transporting one from infancy to death, covering about 100,000 miles or more in a lifetime. The feet affect the overall health of the body. Even though the feet are the foundation of the body, they are ignored until they present a problem.

Foot problems or foot disorders may be congenital, related to a systemic disorder (diabetes), due to physical stress, or caused by wearing ill-fitting, confining, or high-heeled shoes. Foot problems cause pain or difficulty walking and are more prevalent among women. Deformity and loss of function are other symptoms of foot problems and affect the aging persons at a greater rate than others. Common foot disorders include hallux valgus or bunion which is enlargement and lateral shifting of the great toe. Another is hammertoe which usually affects the second toe. It is dorsiflexion of the first toe with plantar flexion of the second and third toes. Morton’s neuroma, a mass affecting the third web space of the foot, and plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the foot arch are also common foot disorders. Other foot disorders include claw and mallet toe, arthritis, fungal infections, athlete’s foot, burning soles, ingrown toenails, corns, callouses, small cuts that do not heal, and blisters. Diabetes may cause tingling and coldness related to poor circulation and neuropathy to the small vessels in the feet.

Foot problems can be avoided by controlling the blood-sugar levels in the diabetic patient. Also, proper care of the feet such as keeping the feet clean and dry, wearing shoes that fit properly, avoiding high heel shoes, working in comfortable shoes, keeping feet moisturized, avoiding dry cracked feet, applying moisturizer to the feet, and avoiding walking barefoot.

Many people do not wash the soles of their feet. They argue that the feet are cleaned during the shower because they are immersed in water. Some people never rub or apply friction to clean the feet. The feet should be washed thoroughly using a washcloth, loofah or pumice stone to exfoliate dry calloused skin. They should be pat dry to retain moisture with special attention to dry between the toes to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. Care should be given to apply moisturizing cream, lotion, or petroleum jelly to the tops, side, and soles of the feet to prevent dry, cracked skin and heels. Do not apply between the toes to prevent moisture build-up.

The feet should be washed with mild soap and warm water to aid in removing bacteria and odor, preventing infection, and exfoliating the skin. Epsom salt may be added to the water to help soften the dry or calloused sole of the foot. The tired, aching, dry, and sometimes smelly feet must be taken care of to accomplish the lifelong duty of carrying one from infancy to death. There is still need for disciples of Christ to show humility and servitude to those who desire help to walk in the spiritual light. References:

• Lemone, P., Burke, KM., Bauldoff, G., & Gubrud, P. Medical-Surgical Nursing Clinical Reasoning in Patient Care. (2015) Pearson: Boston, MA feet • bible.knowingjesus. com/ topics/Foot-Washing • healthy-feet-on-the-job/ • • diabetes/caring-feet

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