Your feet are one of the most used parts of your body. It’s important therefore, to take good care of them. In fact, the American Podiatric Medical Association reveals that almost 77 percent of adults have experienced foot pain. Yet only a third of those would seek expert care. This underscores the need for foot care education. Which is where podiatrists’ expert advice comes in handy.
Understanding Your Foot Anatomy
The first step towards effective foot care, including managing ankle disorders, is understanding the complex anatomy of your feet. Each foot consists of 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments! It is crucial to gain a basic understanding of your feet’s structure so as to recognize common foot problems when they occur.
Choose Right Footwear
Footwear plays a significant role in foot health. Podiatrists advise that shoes should have adequate arch support and cushioning to reduce stress on your feet. Pointed shoes or high heels can cause damage to the toe and ankle area over time.
Practice Regular Foot Hygiene
A daily routine that includes washing your feet, drying them thoroughly, especially between the toes, and applying moisturizer can significantly improve foot health. This simple practice can prevent common problems like athletes foot and odor.
Handle Blisters with Care
Blisters can cause significant discomfort when they burst. To avoid infection, podiatrists advise taking proper care by covering the blister with a bandage and letting it heal naturally without piercing it.
The Importance of Proper Nail Trimming
Cutting your nails straight across instead of in a rounded shape helps prevent complications such as ingrown toenails. It is also beneficial to keep your nails at a medium length, not too short or too long.
Avoid Going Barefoot Publicly
Going barefoot in public spaces such as pools, gyms and hotel rooms can expose your feet to fungal infections. Always remember to wear flip flops or shower shoes in such areas.
Monitor Changes and Seek Help
Changes in color, smell, or sensation in your feet could signify underlying issues. Do not hesitate to seek help from a professional should you notice anything unusual.
Strive for Comfort, Not Fashion
In choosing footwear, prioritize comfort and fit over aesthetics. Fashionable shoes may look appealing but they could be detrimental to the health of your feet if they do not fit correctly.
Get Regular Foot Examinations
Regular foot examinations by a healthcare professional are crucial, especially for individuals with chronic diseases like diabetes which can lead to foot complications. Prevention is always better than cure.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
A healthy weight reduces the stress levels on your feet. For each pound of body weight lost, there is a significant decrease in the pressure exerted on your feet when walking.
Exercise Your Feet Regularly
Exercises like stretching and toning can keep your foot muscles strong and flexible, improving overall foot health. They can prevent common foot disorders such as plantar fasciitis and bunions.
Elevate Your Feet
Elevating the feet after standing or walking for long durations helps improve circulation and relieves tired, achy feet. It also helps reduce swelling.
Be Careful with Home Treatments
While there is a place for home remedies in foot care, there has to be caution. Over-the-counter treatments may provide short term relief but they do not address the root cause of the problem. It is important to seek medical advice when symptoms persist.
Your Feet Age Too
As you get older, so do your feet. They can change in shape and size, and conditions like arthritis can develop. Give them the special care they need as you would the rest of your body.
Understanding and applying these knowledgeable tips will go a long way in ensuring your feet stay in perfect health. Embrace regular foot care routines, invest in the right footwear, make conscious health decisions, and remember, help from a professional is just a step away. Because when your feet are happy, you are happy.