Foot pain is something you don’t want to ignore!
You know your heart needs lots of TLC. Your feet do too. After all, they are the workhorses of your body, taking about 5,000 steps a day. That’s 2.5 miles!
Even during the pandemic with most persons localised to their homes and not exercising outdoors as before, our feet continue to take a beating if we are not paying attention to them.
Your feet have to bear the weight of your body every step of the way. Those hard-working feet deserve a little more attention than you’re probably giving them. Here’s what you need to know.
“Healthy feet mean a healthy body,” a statement shared by many orthopaedics, podiatrists and physiotherapists.
“Believe it or not, your feet are connected to virtually everything in your body. Back and leg pain, among many other ailments, can arise as a result of unhealthy feet.”
indicators of Poor Health
According to a study by the Institute of Preventative Health, an estimated 80 per cent of people ages 21 and older have at least one problem with their feet. Oftentimes, foot issues are indicators of other problems happening to your body.
Foot pain, numbness, tingling or discolouration of the foot or ankle should never be ignored. These symptoms may be a sign of a more serious health problem, such as diabetes or peripheral artery disease. Swelling in the foot and ankle, called edema, is also abnormal and could be a sign of congestive heart failure.
Bearing much of your weight every single day, the balls of your feet can and do take a beating. In fact, every step you take transfers weight from your heel to the ball of your foot, putting enormous amounts of pressure on the bones and ligaments. While the ball of the foot is designed to bear the brunt of your weight, if your weight is not properly aligned over the ball of your foot, pain and swelling can occur.
A study by the American Podiatric Medical Association reported that a staggering 72% of Americans say that foot pain is preventing them from exercising. These foot issues are a big setback for those looking to lose weight and improve their overall health. Increased amounts of weight and stress placed on the feet lead to a host of problems.
Stepping into Better Health
Just as you wouldn’t go a day without brushing your teeth, you shouldn’t go a day without taking care of your feet. If you resolve to have healthier feet, here are a few ways you can fulfil that promise to yourself:
1 Make Better Footwear Buying Decisions: You should look for shoes with arch support and flexible soles with a minimal heel. Your toes should also have sufficient room without the sides of the shoes pressing against your toes.
2 Avoid High Heels: While many women subscribe to the theory, “beauty is pain,” there is nothing beautiful about painful feet. When deciding what shoes to wear every day, make the healthier decision. By choosing healthier shoes over sky-high pumps, you can reduce the risk of developing lower extremity problems like bunions, hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, interdigital neuromas and ingrown toenails.
3 Stretch Regularly: There are a number of stretches that you can do to enhance your overall foot health, like the toe extensor stretch. By stretching you can also alleviate pain and lengthen tight muscles and tendons.
4 Maintain Foot Hygiene: Washing your feet daily with mild soap and warm water, as well as drying between your toes, can help keep a lot of foot infections and diseases away. Trim your toenails straight across with a nail clipper. Then use an emery board or nail file to smooth the corners, which will prevent the nail from growing into your skin.
5 Get Active: Physical activity is not only great for your overall health, it provides a lot of benefits to your feet as well. Even an extra 20 pounds of weight can significantly increase your chance of developing conditions like tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis, and problems in the arch of the foot.
Being able to exercise comfortably and regularly is the key to weight loss and better overall health. People don’t realise how much pressure is put on their feet when exercising! If foot ailments are related to a more serious or generalised health problem, a podiatrist can consult with primary physicians and specialists for the best treatment options.
Healthy Feet to Walk through Life
If you had an excruciating headache every day you would most likely see a doctor. The same should go for your feet.
Aches and pains aren’t something you should have to live with. Healthy feet allow you to have a healthy lifestyle and enjoy the things you love doing the most.
Maintaining optimal foot health is important because they literally allow you to “walk through life” without complaint when you take care of them properly.
If eyes are the windows to your soul, then feet are the doors to your health.