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Good Foot Health Is No Small Feat

Posted Apr 30 2009 12:56pm

Whenever I get out of the shower and dry off I always like to do a little massage on my feet.  You know, feet work so hard and they really take a beating as the years go by so I like to take the time to honor their work and let them know I’m grateful.

Did you know that your feet have 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 tendons! And that’s not even mentioning the ligaments and don’t get me started on all the muscles in your feet.

So I think we should all get down on our knees and honor our feet!  (knees will have to wait for their time in the sun on a later blog). After all, remember what that guy said about the longest journey, and what part of the body began it?  Right!  The foot took the first step…not to mention Neil Armstrong’s quote as he “stepped” onto the moon.

So, you are probably wondering, “Shirley, What can I do to keep my feet healthy?” Right?  No?…well, I’m going to tell you anyway!First of all, lets see what your feet can tell you about your health.  If you have a pain in your foot, your gait changes and when your gait changes your entire body is affected which can create back pain, hip problems, and sore leg muscles.

Remember if you act like a heel to your foot it can come back and kick you in the butt.

So whenever you find yourself with a pain in the foot pay attention, because it can be the beginning of an avalanche of problems.

In fact, any sign of foot trouble may be a red flag for problems.  For instance, chronic pain, calluses that go unchecked, very dry skin, swelling, redness or discoloration in the toe nails all are problems that need to be addressed.

How comfortable are your shoes? Are they wide enough so they don’t squeeze the foot, can you wiggle your toes easily?  Did you actually measure your foot before you bought shoes?

Feet change and spread over the years so it’s important that you measure. Most adults don’t bother doing that, they just assume that the size they got last time will do this time - which is one reason why so many people end up with badly fitting shoes.

It’s especially important to have good athletic shoes. Don’t keep your feet in old worn out shoes, and size is really important for athletes.  There should be a thumb size space between the end of the toe and the end of the shoe. Not having the the correct shoe size can result in runner’s toe, calluses, ingrown nails, fungal nail infections, and hammertoe deformities. Yikes!

Now, get this…the foot has over 250,000 sweat glands!  So, wash your feet!  Clean and dry between the toes; this little job will get rid of the moisture and bacteria that cause feet to stink and creates nasty skin problems.   Make sure you include washing your feet when you shower.  Most adults do not address the feet with a washcloth or other abrasive material that can eliminate dry skin and fungus. Can’t bend over, use a long handled brush.

Most ingrown toenails are due to improper nail clipping.  Cut the nails straight across, no cute little angles on the sides that can cause the nail to grow improperly causing a painful toenail and a doctor’s appointment to correct it.

So there you have it.  Take care of your feet and they will support your body and sole.

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