Your feet are composed of 26 bones, 33 joints, and over a hundred muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Each of these structures is a potential site for a problem that can render you incapable of doing even simple day-to-tasks or put you at risk for conditions that can pose a threat to your overall health.
It stands to reason that you shouldn’t “tiptoe” around the importance of being proactive about your foot health. Let these tips help you keep your feet healthy, happy, and less prone to injury.
Tip #1 Invest in Comfortable, Supportive Footwear
Consider these guidelines set by the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society for choosing the right footwear, which is crucial to preventing foot deformities and minimizing your risk for fall accidents.
- The ball of your foot, or the widest part of your foot before your toes begin, should fit comfortably in the widest part of the shoe.
- Your shoes should have a wide toe box. This allows your toes to splay and “breathe.”
- Make sure to have an allowance: there should be enough space (3/8″ to 1/2″) for your longest toe.
- Make sure that you can walk around in the shoes comfortably. You should not feel any rubbing or risk for slipping while wearing it.
- The shoe should match the shape of your foot.
Tip #2 Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry All the Time
Keeping your feet always clean and fully dry, especially in between your toes, helps prevent fungal infections. Fungi thrive in moisture.
Tip #3 Inspect Your Feet Daily
It’s best to check your feet at the end of each day for signs of swelling, redness, cuts, sores, corns, and callouses, among other problems. This is especially imperative if you have diabetes, as the condition can damage the nerves in your feet (diabetic neuropathy) and cause you to lose sensation in them. When you have diabetic neuropathy, you are unable to feel that you have sores or cuts on your feet which can suppurate and, when left untreated, can seep into the tissue layers and eventually cause tissue death (gangrene).
Tip #4 Avoid Walking Barefoot in Public Places
Walking barefoot may be beneficial for your overall health, but avoid doing it in public places. Only walk barefoot where you can be sure that the floors are clean. Walking barefoot in public places increases your risk of developing plantar warts and fungal infections.
Tip #5 Exercise Your Feet
This helps keep your feet strong and flexible which, in turn, reduces muscle soreness and lowers your risk for injuries.
First-Rate Foot Care in West Jersey
At Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey, our board-certified orthopedic doctors have established a solid reputation for the high-quality, comprehensive care they provide and for their commitment to ensuring the best possible outcomes for all types of musculoskeletal problems—including those that affect the feet and ankles.
As strong advocates of preventative health care, our providers delight in sharing useful information that will guide patients along the path to optimal musculoskeletal health.
To schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic doctors, contact our friendly staff at (973) 989-0888, or simply fill out this appointment request form. We look forward to helping you!