Most people would agree that good health is important to them. They don’t like to be sick or in pain. They will take their medicine, check their blood pressure, cut back on their calories, and even try to hit the gym to keep their bodies functioning properly. However, when people are planning ways to live more healthily, they usually forget to include their feet and ankles in their plans—at least until something goes wrong that they can’t ignore.
Investing in Your Health
Taking care of your feet shouldn’t be considered optional or a nice addition to your general health. Your lower limbs play an integral part in your body’s ability to function and move effectively. They also act as a signal flag or litmus test for your general health. Many problems that have their source elsewhere in the body, like diabetes or poor circulation, develop symptoms in your feet first, warning you that not all is well. Investing in your feet now, and refusing to ignore any problems that develop, can save you from many aches and pains over the years.
Remember, pain in the feet and ankles isn’t normal. Your lower limbs are designed in such a way that they should be able to support the force of your movement without hurting you. If your feet are uncomfortable, whether you’re active or not, don’t ignore it. Have them examined to identify the source and eliminate the discomfort—as well as prevent future problems. Many conditions compound with time, or even cause other issues in the lower limbs. Taking care of the pain right away helps you avoid chronic discomfort or weakness in the future.
Tips and Tricks
One of the most important things you can do to invest in your foot health is inspect your lower limbs every day for changes. Skin discoloration, lumps, bumps, unusual bruises, swelling, sores that aren’t healing, and distorted nails can all be signs of developing problems. This is easy to fit into your schedule. Just check them when you wash and dry your lower limbs, which should also be done daily to help prevent infections. Nails should be clipped straight across so the edges are less likely to curve and become ingrown. Callus build-up is natural, but it can easily become a painful problem, so gently scrub those down with a pumice stone every few weeks to keep them under control.
How your shoes fit drastically impacts your foot comfort as well. Wear shoes with cushioned soles, arch support, stable heel grips, and wide toe boxes that don’t squeeze your feet. The end of a shoe should be a half-inch longer than your longest toe, too. Footwear that is too tight, too flat, too high—really, too much of anything—puts significant strain on your lower leg structures and can cause a number of painful conditions. Instead, look for comfort and support in what you wear. You should also swap out your shoes regularly to allow each pair to dry out, so they will be less likely to harbor infection-causing fungus.
Investing in your basic foot care doesn’t have to be hard. Paying attention to your lower limbs when they are uncomfortable, inspecting them regularly, maintaining basic hygiene, and choosing good shoes all benefit your health and wellness. If you’re struggling with discomfort in your feet, have noticed visible changes, or have any other concerns about your lower limbs, contact Sierra Foot & Ankle for an appointment or more information. Visit our website contact page or call our Carson City, Nevada office at (775) 783-8037 to reach us.