The best way to avoid serious foot problems that can potentially lead to toe, foot, or leg amputation is by making it a point to take care of your Feet for a lifetime. While foot health should be a priority for everyone, it is especially important for those with diabetes, foot ulcers, or unusual changes in foot shape, namely hammer toe, claw toe, and other changes that lead foot deformities. Not surprisingly, many of us take our feet for granted, but they play a critical role when it comes to mobility and maintaining good posture. In this article, we will detail 8 reasons why you should take care of your feet and the consequences of not doing so.
HOW A PODIATRIST CAN HELP IMPROVE FOOT HEALTH
Before going over the medical conditions that can contribute to foot problems, let's take a moment to identify the role of a podiatrist. Podiatrists are practitioners who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect foot health. This specialty enables them to provide diabetic care and wound care to their patients. Also, podiatrists are well-versed in sports medicine and pediatrics and can perform surgery if necessary. Of course, if you're experiencing pain or other foot problems and cannot be seen by a podiatrist, you can schedule a visit with a general physician. However, a practitioner who specializes in podiatric medicine would be a better fit when it comes to identifying and treating foot problems. They are also more familiar with the symbiotic relationship involving the feet, legs, hips, abdomen, chest, and head.
8 HEALTH CONDITIONS THAT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO POOR FOOT HEALTH
For those who struggle with diabetes, hyperglycemia, which is characterized by dangerously high blood glucose levels, can lead to several foot problems like neuropathy and poor circulation, for example. If left untreated, these problems can potentially lead to amputation.
While maintaining a healthy weight is something that most of us are capable of doing, over one-third of Americans are classified as obese, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Excess weight places undue pressure on the hips, knees, and ankles, which can cause wear and tear on your feet, not to mention tendinitis and heel pain.
3. MUSCLES AND TENDONS
The three components of the feet that enable you to move from one place to the next include muscles, tendons, and bones. Needless to say, if any of these three components are injured, the simple act of walking can become painful. To improve foot health, it is a good idea to resolve these problems as soon as possible. Some of the more common problems related to muscles, tendons, and bones include
4. POOR CIRCULATION
Peripheral neuropathy can increase the likelihood of developing foot infections, and when coupled with poor circulation, the foot's ability to fight off infections becomes compromised. If you are experiencing poor circulation in your feet, exercise and wearing comfortable shoes is a great way to improve blood flow, stave off foot infection, and minimize inflammation.
Arthritis in your feet, which is characterized by cartilage and joints that have become swollen and inflamed, can result in a loss of mobility. If you struggle with this condition, you're encouraged to visit a podiatrist as soon as possible. Common arthritis symptoms include
6. TOENAIL PROBLEMS
Although most of us are inclined to overlook toenail problems, they can ultimately lead to a variety of foot problem if left untreated. Common toenail problems that should be addressed quickly include toenail fungus and ingrown toenails.
7. JOINT AND NERVE CONDITIONS
Certain foot problems like bunions, hammer toe, and neuroma, for example, can lead to pain or numbness in the joints if untreated. It is also worth noting that the symptoms associated with these conditions can become progressively worse over time.
8. SKIN PROBLEMS
In addition to being unsightly, certain skin ailments on your feet can also cause discomfort and mobility problems if untreated. Some of the more common skin ailments that contribute to foot problems include
In summation, the list of health problems that can contribute to poor foot health is extensive. If you're experiencing any of the symptoms or health problems detailed in this article, it is in your best interest to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible.