If you’ve been following our blog, you know we strive to provide you with the most accurate and up to date information as possible about foot care. We have covered countless foot issues, from bunions to foot pain and diabetic foot care. Our job as podiatrists is to provide you with the best tools so you can take good care of your feet.
But, at this point, you may be wondering, “Why is caring for my feet so important?” This is an excellent question, as the feet are one of the most overlooked parts of the body.
The Feet are Complex Structures
Between both of your feet, there are more than 50 bones, 60 joints, and 200 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. That is one-fourth of all the bones in your body! All those muscles, tendons, and ligaments work together to allow your feet to move. With all these moving parts, it’s not surprising that many problems can affect your feet.
Your feet play a very important role in your life. They allow you to move wherever you need to go, and during your lifetime, you will put a lot of wear and tear on them. For example, simply walking around on an average day puts hundreds of tons of force on your feet.
But Why Should I Care About My Feet?
For starters, foot problems don’t only affect your feet. Let’s say your foot hurts so much you cannot walk–now you’re more likely to stop being active. While this can diminish your quality of life, you are also putting yourself at risk for serious diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle, including heart disease and cancer.
Along with physical complications, foot issues can lead to psychological issues as well. This is because feet are essential to mobility. When patients cannot move around, they lose their independence and normal life roles, like employment or parenting. These issues can manifest in an overall loss of confidence. With these affects, it is no surprise that psychiatric issues are more than twice as common in people with long-term physical illness compared to the general population.
Prevention is Key
Pain in the foot can be debilitating. This is why preventing foot issues and pain is so important. To do this, make sure you wear shoes that fit and avoid high heels or flats. For many people, this also may mean using orthotics in shoes to help with support.
Prevention also involves periodically checking in with your feet. Do they hurt more than normal? Are there any new or odd bumps on your feet? Are your feet itchy or feel as if they are burning?
Becoming comfortable and in touch with your feet can help you determine when something may be wrong.
Many different types of foot conditions can occur, including minor issues, such as athlete’s foot, to deeper problems like bunions and neuromas. As soon as you think you may have a foot issue, you should visit a podiatrist. Podiatrists are there to ensure your foot issues do not grow into other physical or psychological issues.
So, show your feet some love by wearing supportive shoes or visiting a podiatrist. The rest of your body with thank you!