Best Foot Forward
● By Wendy Sipple
Did you know the human foot has 29 bones (1/4 of the entire skeleton), 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles?
And we sure put them to good use, walking an average of 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, or about 115,000 miles in a lifetime. No small feat (pun intended). In fact, when this complicated network of bones goes out of alignment, the entire body feels the consequences.
According to foot.com, although the vast majority of people are not born with foot ailments, one in four Americans experience serious foot problems in their lifetime. Many health disorders, like arthritis, diabetes, and nerve and circulatory problems, first reveal themselves through symptoms in the feet. We only add to the suffering by sporting uncomfortable or ill-fitting shoes. So why wait for the other shoe to drop? Check out these tips and put your best foot forward towards overall improved foot health.
1. Choose Proper Shoes. The American Podiatry Medical Association (APMA) pinpoints footwear as a major culprit in foot ailments. Women alone bear the brunt of this pain and are four times as likely to suffer over their male counterparts. High heels only add to the injury. Still, the APMA offers a number of practical solutions for fashion-forward folks in search of both style and support:
- Select shoes with natural materials such as soft, supple leathers.
- Use cushioned shock absorbers in flats and slides.
- Try to avoid heels over two inches high.
- Look for wide and flat wedges with rubber soles.
- Don’t let your heel hang off the back of a shoe or sandal.
- Choose sturdy, high-quality flip-flops.
- Wear appropriate athletic shoes when exercising.
2. Give Them a Break. After five days sporting boots or business heels, give your dogs a needed rest. We are quick to get our necks massaged or our hands manicured...don’t forget to treat your feet with the same kindness. With spring and summer months upon us, it’s never too late to get your feet in fantastic shape:
- Soak your feet with warm water for at least 10 minutes. Add some oils or Epsom salt for added relaxation.
- Exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin. A pumice stone works nicely on the heel!
- Moisturize and keep your feet hydrated daily.
- Keep them circulating: elevate your legs, rotate your ankles, massage your feet and point your toes often.
- Get a pedicure. Leave it to the professionals once and while!
3. Seek the Help of a Podiatrist. Sometimes the best medicine for your feet can’t be supplied with over-the-counter fixes or home remedies. If ailments, like corns, fungus or warts, get out of hand, it’s best to get a doctor’s help. Remember that foot problems can also be a sign of more serious disorders, like arthritis and diabetes, so see a podiatrist if you have concerns.
LOCAL SOLE SUPPORTERS
El Dorado County:
Marshall Medical Center
Victor Sucheski, D.P.M.
1110 Corker Street, Placerville
Thomas Wolff, D.P.M., M.D.
El Dorado Foot Care
3175 Turner Street, Placerville
Roseville, Granite Bay, Rocklin region:
Sutter Roseville Medical Center
Carla Docharty, D.P.M.
Douglas R. Hight, D.P.M.
Steven K. Shoemaker, D.P.M.
Neil Van Dyck, D.P.M.