Foot pain should not have you back on your heels
Feet are complex structures with a lot of anatomy in a small space. Each human foot is made up of twenty-six bones, thirty-three joints, more than 120 muscle, tendons and ligaments, and an even greater number of nerves and blood vessels. The bones in the feet make up one-quarter of all the bones in the body and with so many different components, the feet are more vulnerable to injury than other parts of the body.
We rely on our feet to get us where we need to go. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, the average person takes between 8,000 and 10,000 steps per day, logging approximately 115,000 miles in a lifetime, the equivalent of circling the globe four times. Walking puts about one-and-a-half times your body weight on your foot; running increases this pressure to about three or four times your weight; and as shock absorbers, our feet cushion up to one million pounds of pressure during one hour of strenuous exercise.
With so much expected of our feet, it is not surprising that one in four people experience foot pain during their lifetime, however, we often treat our feet like footnotes and only when we experience pain or another problem do we focus on them. While foot pain is common, it is not normal.
Common podiatric problems and services include:
- Heel Pain/Spurs
- Sports Injuries
- Custom Orthotics
- Arthritis (Joint Pain)
- Ingrown Toenails
- Diabetic Conditions
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Skin Conditions
- Hard, painful bumps on the big toe joint
- Calluses and corns
- Planter warts
People should inspect their feet daily. Take note of painful areas, pay attention to the color and temperature of your feet, look for thick or discolored nails and be aware of cracks or cuts in the skin. Peeling or scaling on the soles of the feet may indicate athlete’s foot and, most importantly, take note of any growth on the foot as it could be an early sign of a more significant problem.
If you have diabetes, it is vital that you see a podiatric physician at least once a year for a check-up.
While some foot troubles are heredity, others are accidental and occur because you have done something unusual like wearing new or ill fitted shoes, overdone some activity, or ventured into an area where your feet were exposed to infection or other dangers.
Like other medical conditions, early detection and diagnosis of foot problems is important. When problems are diagnosed early, patients often have a broader range of treatment options available. If pain is compromising your daily activities or if you are plagued by gout, planter warts, athlete’s foot, hammertoes, a fungal infection, bunions, or other pain or swelling of the feet, consult a medical expert.