Foot health is closely connected to overall health because our feet serve as the foundation of our bodies. The blood that pumps from our heart travels to our feet and back, and nerves run from our brains to tell our feet what to do. When our feet are healthy, we can engage in physical activities comfortably, maintain balance and posture and promote good blood circulation. Conversely, foot problems such as pain, swelling or infections can indicate underlying health issues.
Neglecting foot health can lead to mobility limitations, compromised balance and increased risk of falls. Ultimately, our foot health affects our ability to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and living a healthy lifestyle can keep our feet healthy. By prioritizing foot care, we contribute to our overall well-being. Below, Dr. Fedorchak’s expert team explores the link between foot health and overall well-being.
6 Scary Signs from Your Feet That Something Is Wrong
Before exploring important ways to keep your body and feet healthy, it’s crucial to understand what certain foot conditions can indicate. If you notice any of the concerning foot problems listed below, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment:
- Pain: Persistent foot pain can be a sign of plantar fasciitis, arthritis or nerve damage. These conditions can be related to general health issues like inflammation or systemic diseases.
- Swelling: Swelling in the feet, ankles or lower legs can indicate heart disease, kidney disease or circulatory disorders. It’s important to pay attention to swelling that doesn’t go away or is accompanied by other symptoms.
- Skin changes: Dryness, cracking, peeling or ulcers can be related to various health conditions. For example, dry skin may be a symptom of thyroid disorders, while ulcers or wounds that don’t heal can be associated with diabetes.
- Numbness or tingling: Numbness or tingling in the feet, known as neuropathy, can be a sign of nerve damage. Diabetes, vitamin deficiencies or other neurological conditions can cause neuropathy.
- Changes in toenails: Changes in the color, texture or shape of toenails may indicate underlying health issues. For instance, yellow or thickened toenails can signify fungal infection or psoriasis.
- Foot infections: Frequent or recurring foot infections like athlete’s foot or fungal nail infections can suggest a weakened immune system or poor circulation.
7 Important Ways to Keep Your Feet Healthy
Now that you know how your health affects your feet and vice versa, follow these best practices to keep your body – and feet – healthy.
- Choose proper-fitting shoes: Wear shoes that fit well and provide adequate foot support. Avoid shoes that are too tight, narrow, or uncomfortable. Look for shoes with cushioning, arch support and a wide-toe box.
- Practice good foot hygiene: Wash your feet daily with warm water and mild soap. Dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes, to prevent moisture buildup. Trim your toenails straight across and avoid cutting them too short to prevent ingrown toenails. Good foot hygiene includes keeping your feet dry and moisturizing them to avoid cracking.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts extra pressure on your feet, leading to various foot problems. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise to reduce stress on your feet.
- Stretch and exercise your feet: Regularly perform foot exercises and stretches to keep your feet flexible, strengthen the muscles, and improve circulation. Simple exercises like toe curls, ankle rotations and Achilles tendon stretches can be beneficial.
- Avoid prolonged sedentary periods: If your job or daily activities involve long periods of sitting or standing, try to take breaks and move around. Changing positions and stretching can help prevent foot fatigue and swelling.
- Regularly inspect your feet: Check your feet regularly for any changes, such as redness, swelling or skin problems. Look for any cuts, sores or blisters that could lead to infection. Promptly address any foot issues or concerns.
- Seek professional help when needed: If you experience persistent foot pain, discomfort or notice abnormalities, consult your podiatrist. They can provide appropriate diagnosis, treatment and guidance for foot health.
Remember, taking care of your overall health contributes to the well-being of your feet. And caring for your feet can keep you healthy in other ways, too. Adopting these steps and being mindful of your foot health can help maintain healthy and happy feet. Let Dr. Fedorchak help you care for your feet to maintain a healthy, balanced life. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.