National Foot Health Awareness Month: Are Your Feet Happy and Healthy?
April celebrates National Foot Health Awareness Month and the podiatrists at Triad Foot & Ankle Center want to remind everyone that healthy feet are the foundation of a healthy life.
“Foot pain is something you don’t want to ignore,” says Dr. Norman Regal, DPM. “If you had an excruciating headache every day you would most likely see a doctor. The same should go for your feet. Aches and pains aren’t something you should have to live with. Healthy feet allow you to have a healthy lifestyle and enjoy the things you love doing the most.”
According to a study by the Institute of Preventative Health, an estimated 80 percent of people ages 21 and older have at least one problem with their feet. Often times, foot issues are indicators of other problems happening to your body.
“Healthy feet mean a healthy body,” explains Dr. M. Todd Hyatt. “Believe it or not, your feet are connected to virtually everything in your body. Back and leg pain, among many other ailments, can arise as a result of unhealthy feet.”
If you resolve to have healthier feet, here are a few ways you can fulfill that promise to yourself:
- Make Better Footwear Buying Decisions: You should look for shoes with arch support and flexible soles with a minimal heel. Your toes should also have sufficient room without the sides of the shoes pressing against your toes.
- Avoid High Heels:While many women subscribe to the theory, “beauty is pain,” there is nothing beautiful about painful feet. When deciding what shoes to wear every day, make the healthier decision. By choosing healthier shoes over sky-high pumps, you can reduce the risk of developing lower extremity problems like bunions, hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, inter-digital neuromas and ingrown toenails.
- Stretch Regularly: There are a number of stretches that you can do to enhance your overall foot health, like the toe extensor stretch. By stretching you can also alleviate pain and lengthen tight muscles and tendons.
- Maintain Foot Hygiene: Washing your feet daily with mild soap and warm water, as well as drying between your toes, can help keep a lot of foot infections and diseases away.
- Get Active: Physical activity is not only great for your overall health, it provides a lot of benefits to your feet as well. Find an activity you enjoy doing like running, rollerblading, hiking or bicycling to help you get on your feet and start moving!
Maintaining optimal foot health is important because they literally allow you to “walk through life” without complaint when you take care of them properly. If eyes are the windows to your soul, then feet are the doors to your health.
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