Our feet take a beating. Whether it’s standing on hard floors, pounding the pavement at a marathon or just getting the recommended daily steps, we put a lot of pressure on our feet. Compared to the rest of the body, feet make up 25 percent of our bones, 18 percent of joints and 6 percent of muscles, and damage to any of these areas can cause serious effects on our bodies.
Healthy feet are vital for mobility — which is a significant part of a healthy lifestyle. If you have a foot injury or your feet hurt, the loss of mobility can cause physical and psychological problems, as you may not be able to enjoy doing the things you like most, such as walking, dancing, gardening, swimming or playing golf.
Focusing on Foot Health
If you have foot pain or discomfort, it is vital to know the cause. Sometimes, poor foot health is a sign of serious health conditions.
Numbness or tingling in the feet could be a sign of diabetes. Swelling in the feet and ankles could indicate kidney problems, heart disease, vein problems or high blood pressure. Joint stiffness could mean arthritis. If you have chronic foot pain, chronic limp, circulation issues or repeated infections, you should see your doctor or a podiatrist (foot and ankle specialist).
Whether you’re experiencing pain or not, check your feet daily and be on the lookout for these common foot problems.
• Skin irritations: Sweaty feet can cause skin issues like athlete’s foot and eczema. Tightly fitting shoes or non-wicking socks can prevent feet from staying dry, making them more prone to rashes and infections.
• Sore feet: Shoes that fit poorly can cause blisters, corns and calluses, and can aggravate other foot issues.
• Painful toes: Ingrown toenails occur when toenails are trimmed too short and can become painful if they grow into the skin of your toe.
• Crumbling nails: Nail fungus is an infection that can make the nail become brittle and thick, and even cause it to separate from the nail bed.
• Misshapen feet: Bunions are a bump on the outer edge of the big toe. Bunions can become more painful from the pressure of tight or pointed shoes.
Step It Up
A podiatrist can help with these common foot problems, but for everyday foot health, be sure to:
• Keep your feet clean and dry to avoid fungus and bacterial infections.
• Examine your feet daily for any changes in the skin.
• Wear supportive shoes and avoid going barefoot for prolonged periods.
• Trim toenails straight across to prevent ingrown nails.
• Avoid trimming corns or calluses.
Don’t ignore the symptoms of foot problems. Instead, seek the advice of a podiatrist. Remember that foot health can be a clue to our overall health and happy feet can keep you moving strong.
Step Into Better Foot Health
All of Orlando Health Physician Associates' podiatrists are Board Certified or Board Qualified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery - the highest credentials that can be earned by physicians in this specialty. Our podiatrists will skillfully diagnose and treat your injury, skin or nail problem, or congenital condition.