Ten Important Foot Facts for 2010

With the start of a New Year and the end of all the holiday parties and family get togethers people start to focus on getting themselves in shape and healthy for 2010. Keeping your feet healthy in 2010 will definitely help to keep you happy for the year. Below are ten facts you should know about your feet in 2010 in order to keep your body health and happy the entire year.

1) Structure - The standard foot has 26 bones and 2 sesamoid bones which are small, irregular bones under the base of your big toe.
2) Flat Feet vs. High Arched Foot - Flat Feet (Pes Planus) is a condition in which you have less of an arch on the bottom of your foot. There are 2 types of flat feet: rigid and flexible. A rigid flat foot is the type that commonly leads to further biomechanical problems. High arched feet (Pes Cavus) is when you have an increased arch which may require you to need good support in your shoes to prevent them from hurting.

3) Diabetic Feet - If you or someone in your family has diabetes then make sure that they monitor their blood glucose levels closely. It has been shown that uncontrolled blood glucose levels can lead to peripheral neuropathy, numbness or nerve pain in the feet and legs, and ulcerations of the feet.

4) Smoking and Feet - Smoking can lead to many terrible side effects but one that many people don't know about is peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Smoking decreases the circulation of blood to your feet leading to loss of hair on the extremities and can also result in loss of sensation.

5) Athlete's Foot - If you are an athlete of any kind then one thing you should always be trying to avoid getting is athlete's foot, which an infection of the foot caused by a fungus. Of course, you don't really need to be an athlete to get this. To avoid getting athlete's foot it is important to wear moisture wicking socks while you workout to prevent your feet from getting too moist. It is also important for everyone to dry their feet thoroughly after they get out of the shower.

6) Nail Fungus - Nail fungus can be cosmetically troubling due to the ugly discoloration of the toe nails. If you think that you have nail fungus it is important to go to a podiatrist who can provide you easy ways to eliminate it.

7) Bunions - A bunion is when the tip of your big toe points toward your second toe causing a bump on the inside of your foot. Bunions can be caused by a person's inherent foot mechanics and is often inherited. It is important to seek medical help as early as possible if you have a bunion to prevent it from getting worse and requiring surgical correction.

8) Weight and Feet - With an ever increasing incidence of obesity in the US population, a link has been discovered between foot pathology and weight. The more you weigh the greater incidence of developing diabetes, plantar fasciitis, and osteoarthritis.

9) Shoe Gear - What kinds of shoes you wear is very important to the health of your feet. Avoid wearing high heels and flip flops at all costs as they do not properly fit and support feet and try and wear gym shoes with good arch support as much as possible.

10) Plantar Fasciitis - This is one of the most common foot pathologies. Plantar fasciitis is irritation and swelling of the thick tissue of the bottom of the foot. It most commonly presents as heel pain and may occur in conjunction with a heel spur. Most cases are well managed with medication and custom orthotic devices.

Your feet are the base that supports your entire body. Make sure that you keep your feet healthy in 2010 in order to ensure that your can do all the activities you are looking forward to this year.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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