Beaufort Memorial’s Living Well Blog brings health and wellness to Lowcountry living.

Treat Your Feet for Life

Posted by Living Well Team on May 22, 2017 2:00:00 PM

feet.jpgYour feet are the foundation of your body, so it’s important to treat them with some courtesy and tender loving care. You don’t have to get a pedicure once a week, but you should give these complex body parts the respect they deserve. After all, they get you where you need to go every day and often do their work with little-to-no complaint.

Feet are a Feat
Your feet are a complicated blend of 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons. It’s no wonder they make a fuss sometimes because of painful or uncomfortable shoes, our health or high-impact exercise.

It’s easy to take your feet for granted, but that arch on the side of your foot has a bigger job than you might think. It’s the shock absorber for your entire body.

Under Pressure
Think about the pressure placed on a foot with a single step in a high-heeled shoe compared with taking a step in a regular shoe. While the regular shoe provides support and even distribution of the load pressure, the high-heeled shoe overloads the front of the foot, deforms the arch, reduces shock absorption and can injure the toes.

The damage continues further up the leg, too. The distortion can shorten your calf muscle and inflame your Achilles tendon causing tendonitis and structural instability. A too-tight pair of heels affects far more than your feet — eventually your spine and spinal nerves can be affected.

Take a Break
A great way to take care of your feet is to make smart shoe choices that support them. Choose chunky heels or platforms that offer both height and cushion. These shoes spread the load and impact of your steps over a greater surface area.

Another way to pamper your feet has nothing to do with shoes at all. Orthopaedic surgeon Leland Stoddard, MD, says to stretch and release your toes, ankles and calves often. “We stress stretching to avoid injuries — especially the knees, ankles, Achilles tendon and hamstrings,” says Dr. Stoddard. “Most people don’t stretch properly or adequately and that may be responsible for a lot of the injuries we see.”

If your feet hurt or a have issues such as bunions or corns, have them evaluated by a foot specialist who may be able to remedy the pain before the problems become too severe. Contact a Beaufort Memorial podiatrist today.

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