June 23, 2023
When it comes to preventative health, you may immediately think about things such as keeping an eye on your blood pressure and body weight, and perhaps regular cancer screening such as mammograms for women and prostate exams for men. But most people almost never think about preventative care for their feet!
The human foot is a marvel of engineering, containing one-fourth of all the bones found in your body, along with 107 ligaments, 33 joints and 19 muscles and tendons. Over the course of your lifetime, you will likely have taken enough steps to circle the globe four times!
Whether you are standing, walking or running, your feet, together with your ankles give you the shock absorption you need and help you to balance so that you can remain upright and in motion. These facts alone should be reason enough to take care of those feet! But how do you do that? Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there about your feet. Plus, just like other joints in your body, your feet are subject to developing arthritis.
Let’s dispel three of the most common myths about feet and then we’ll get a look at how arthritis might be the cause of your foot pain.
One - A bit of foot pain is normal. False. Lots of people think that if they’ve been on their feet all day working, that it’s okay to have a bit of foot pain. It’s not. Foot pain, even if it’s mild, if ignored, can progress into something more serious. If you have foot pain, see your orthopedist or podiatrist.
Two - It’s always better to go barefoot when you can. Not true. While walking barefoot in green grass or on a beach while at the ocean can be a real treat, going barefoot frequently can be harmful. First of all, shoes protect your feet from injury. This is especially important for people who are diabetic, as even a small injury, such as an abrasion, can lead to infection or a non-healing wound. Also, many people suffer from faulty arches, and absolutely need the support good shoes can provide.
Three - If you have a corn, you have to dig it out by its roots. This is a dangerous myth. While corns have a central core, they do not have a root, and attempting minor foot surgery on yourself is hazardous. Corns are caused by rubbing on an ill-fitting shoe, so you have to correct the underlying problem. See a podiatrist for help.
Ok, what about foot arthritis? Your feet, just like other joints in your body, are subject to arthritis. The three main types of arthritis that affect the feet are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis, meaning arthritis that develops after an injury to the feet.
Here are some things you can do to help prevent foot arthritis:
One - Get regular exercise. This helps to keep your joints lubricated and increases circulation.
Two - Keep your weight at a healthy number for your height. Those extra pounds that are weighing you down ultimately affect your feet and can cause your foot joints to wear out.
Three - Eat the right foods for your feet. A nutritious, balanced diet is great for your overall health. Plus, adding a good quality marine collagen supplement to your diet is also a great idea. Collagen has been scientifically proven to reduce the pain and stiffness that comes with arthritis and is necessary for healthy joints.
Remember, if you have foot pain that doesn’t go away or is getting worse, see your orthopedist or podiatrist for a consultation.
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