Healthy Feet and Legs

The foot is a complex structure, designed to support your entire body weight. Each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments. Caring for your feet is so important to prevent foot problems, especially individuals with Diabetes.

Daily Footcare

  • Wash your feet in warm water, using a mild soap. Soaking can dry out the skin.
  • Dry your feet well, especially between the toes.
  • Check your feet for blisters, redness/warm areas, cuts or abnormal nails.
  • Cut toenails straight across following the nail's natural curve.
  • File toenail edges smooth – using file in one direction.
  • Reduce thickened skin (callous) with a foot file.
  • Apply foot lotion/cream to add moisture to your feet (product with Urea is best!)
  • Wear well fitting socks. (No elastic tops, holes or seams. Cotton/wool to absorb perspiration)
  • Wear well fitting shoes. (no pressure areas, roomy toe box, leather or stretchable material, low heel)
  • Exercise to improve circulation.
  • Elevate your feet when you are sitting.

Compression

Compression is measured in mmHg, which stands for millimeters of mercury, and the standard unit of measurement for all compression garments.

Compression stockings provide gradient compression to prevent pooling of blood in the veins Gradient compression means the greatest amount of pressure is at the ankle, and decreases as it moves up the leg. Your leg veins are constantly working against gravity to pump blood back to your heart. Compression stockings are designed to help your veins work against gravity without restricting blood flow.

Compression therapy is an ideal treatment option for a wide range of health issues.

Compression Stocking Level Guide

No Prescription Required

8-15 mmHg (mild, light compression)
15-20 mmHg (moderate, therapeutic compression)

  • extended travelling
  • minor leg/ankle swelling
  • minor varicosities (spider/varicose veins)
  • relief from tired/aching legs
  • occupations with long periods of sitting or standing

Requires Prescription

20-30 mmHg (firm, medical grade compression)
30-40 mmHg (extra firm, medical grade compression)

  • for conditions as diagnosed by your physician

Article submitted by Darlene Lemay, RPN. Staff member of MEDIchair Temiskaming in New Liskeard, Ontario.