Published on February 27, 2019

Stand Up to Aching Feet

Proper foot care is not something most of us think about until related problems literally stop us in our tracks. Yet, foot and ankle problems are among the most common health ailments that virtually everyone will likely experience during their lifetime. Some foot problems are inherited, others stem from regular wear and tear that can be exacerbated by wearing high heels or play sports, or simply neglecting to seek early medical attention for pain.

During your lifetime, you'll walk almost 115,000 miles. Each step involves a complex network of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Monitor your foot health with a daily inspection. Wash your feet every day and be sure to rinse off soap completely, dry feet thoroughly (especially between toes), and quickly inspect your feet. Look for cuts, bruises, blisters or red spots and feel for lumps or bumps. Trim toenails straight across and not too short. Wear clean socks and change them every day; more frequently if you are active to avoid conditions like athlete's foot. To protect your feet, wear only properly fitted foot wear. When it comes to corns or calluses do not shave or use over-the-counter medications to dissolve; it's best to see a foot specialist for proper treatment.

"Foot health is a good indication of your overall well-being as various foot problems can signal a larger health problem," says podiatrist Dr. John Scanlon. "For example, joint stiffness could mean arthritis. Tingling or numbness could be a sign of diabetes. Swelling might indicate kidney disease, heart disease, or high blood pressure. Good foot care and regular checks are an important part of your health care."