The human foot is a marvel of engineering, combining 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments all interlinked by a network of muscles, nerves and blood vessels. Feet take daily pounding of 10,000 steps, achieving a total of 150,000 miles in a lifetime. And each step applies two to four times your body weight to those 26 bones and 33 joints in each foot. Is there any surprise why our feet and ankles are susceptible to pain and injury? Longer life spans, active lifestyles and the workplace have imposed new and greater demands on our feet. Our recommendations will help keep your feet in the best possible health.
Schedule Regular Exams
Your feet are a mirror of your general health. Certain medical conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders, show their initial symptoms in the feet so a foot ailment can be the first sign of a more serious medical problem.
Invest in Footwear
Poorly fitting, uncomfortable footwear is a major cause of most foot problems. Investing in quality footwear is truly an investment in your health.
- Wear comfortable shoes that fit properly. Your shoes should provide adequate room for your toes and good support across the ball of the foot.
- Your feet swell during the day. Shop for shoes in the afternoon to ensure a proper fit.
- Have your feet measured while standing every time you shop for shoes.
- If one foot is larger than the other, buy the pair of shoes that fit the larger foot.
Exercise for Health
Add these to your list of reasons to exercise:
- Walking is the best exercise for your feet.
- Walking also contributes to your general health by improving circulation, maintaining a desirable weight, and promoting all-around well-being.
Quick Preventive Care Reminders
These preventive tips and remedies will help keep your feet in top condition:
- Wear supportive shoes for daily or routine tasks to help prevent calluses, corns and other foot problems. Soak your feet and use a pumice stone to prevent the buildup of thickening skin.
- Do not go barefoot. Plantar warts are caused by a virus which may invade the sole of the foot through cuts and breaks in the skin. Walking barefoot on dirty pavements or littered ground can expose feet to this sometimes painful skin condition.
- Prevent ingrown toenails. Do not cut the nail too short. Cut the nail straight across to keep the edge from splitting off and growing into the skin around the toe.
Post-Surgery Foot Soaking Instructions
Follow these steps for proper soaking techniques after surgery:
- Remove the dressing the morning after surgery.
- In a clean basin mix 2 tablespoons of Epson or table salt with a gallon of lukewarm water.
- Soak your foot 15 minutes, once or twice a day, for 7-10 days.
- Dry your foot and carefully clean the surgical site to remove any dried or residual drainage.
- Apply a small amount of Neosporin Cream or Polysporin Cream to involved area.
- Cover with a Band-Aid and change with each soak.
- It is normal to see some fluid or drainage when you change the Band-Aid.
Special Consideration for Diabetics
Individuals with diabetes should see a podiatrist regularly for foot care. In addition, they should take the following special precautions:
- Examine your feet daily. Check for cuts, bruises, peeling and red areas, especially between the toes.
- Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm water
- Avoid tight shoes and constricting socks or stockings
- Avoid smoking
- Apply a moisturizing cream daily to legs and feet
- Walk as much as possible
- Trim toenails straight across, even with the ends of the toes. Never probe under the nail or cuticle.
- Call our office immediately if you notice any violet skin coloration, cuts, cracks, sores, peeling skin or drainage.