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Healthy Habits That Support Your Feet

Healthy Habits That Support Your Feet

From sprains and strains to fungus and corns, nearly 75% of Americans will experience foot problems at some point in their lifetime. With numbers like those, foot problems are often a matter of when, not if. 

But with the help of our expert podiatrist, Dr. Kelly Geoghan, you can take your first steps toward healthier feet and avoid those pesky ped problems. 

A closer look at your feet (and what can go wrong)

Your feet are some of the most flexible parts of your body. Your forefoot consists of your five toes (also known as phalanges) and the five longer bones that stem from your toes called metatarsals. 

Your midfoot looks like a pyramid of bones that come together to form your arches. These bones include the cuneiform bones, the cuboid bone, and the navicular bone. Your hindfoot (your heel and ankle) contains the talus bone, which supports your leg bones, and the calcaneus (heel) bone, which is your foot’s largest bone. 

Muscles, tendons, and ligaments run along and surround these bones, giving you the flexibility you need to move effortlessly. One of the most important tendons in your foot, the Achilles tendon, connects your heel to your calf muscles, which is essential when you walk, run, and jump. 

Because your feet are such complex structures, a lot can go wrong. Complicating the matter, your feet bear much of your body weight, so they’re under constant stress. Some of the most common foot problems are:

Some issues, such as athlete's foot and fungus, affect your skin and nails initially, but they can threaten the inner workings of your feet if left untreated. 

How to support foot health

Your feet are complicated, but taking care of them doesn’t have to be. Embrace these foot-friendly tips today. 

Choose your shoes carefully

When it comes to your foot health, start with your shoes: Make sure they fit properly and aren’t too tight. 

Flat shoes, like flip-flops and sandals, are other foot health no-nos. Without adequate arch support, you’re susceptible to pain and injury. 

It’s also a good idea to rotate your shoes and wear a different pair every day. We also recommend that you replace them at the first signs of wear-and-tear.

Clean your feet thoroughly

It’s not enough to just let soap run over your feet — you have to intentionally clean them with warm, soapy water. We do, however, recommend that you avoid or limit soaking your feet, as this can dry them out and leave them open to potentially harmful cuts and sores. 

Groom your feet properly

It can be easy to get carried away with a pair of nail clippers, and if you accidentally trim your toenails too short, you open the door for potential problems. Do your best to trim your nails in an even, straight line and file down any sharp or rough edges with an emery board. 

It’s just as important to moisturize your feet every day with lotion, cream, or even petroleum jelly. Be careful not to moisturize in between your toes, though — that area needs to be dry to avoid infection. 

We also urge you not to perform “bathroom surgery” on any ingrown toenails or calluses you may notice. 

Check your feet daily

Foot care can be as simple as giving them a once over every day. You can catch and alert us to the early warning signs of fungus, bunions, and other potential problems. 

Make rest a priority

Your feet work hard all day every day. One of the best ways to care for them and avoid injuries is to give your feet a chance to rest. Try lying on the floor and putting your feet up on the wall to relieve loads of pressure and reduce swelling. You may also try gently rolling a tennis ball under your feet to keep your tendons and muscles flexible and avoid stiffness. 

If you’d like more information about how to care for your feet, don’t hesitate to request an appointment online or over the phone at our Lutherville, Maryland, office today.

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