Many of us tend to take feet for granted, even though they act as the foundation for the entire body. Your feet allow you to walk to the park, run marathons and chase after your kids. Healthy feet can enhance your everyday activities -- while painful feet can severely impact your quality of life.
Taken together, your feet make up 25% of your body’s entire bone count. They also comprise 18% of your joints and 6% of your muscles. Damage to any of these parts can do serious harm to your health, and affect the way you perform seemingly simple tasks.
Blisters, calluses and chronic pain are common, especially if you don’t take preventive measures. That’s why it’s important to tackle these problems before they limit your ability to function. Here are 4 reasons to care for your feet and practice good foot hygiene each day.
1. Prevents further complications from diabetes
Diabetes is known to cause various foot problems, including poor circulation and neuropathy. Diabetic foot problems are caused by decreased sensation from nerve damage and reduced blood flow to the feet. If the tissues continue to receive insufficient oxygen, gangrene can occur. This is a potentially life-threatening condition that happens when body tissue dies, often affecting the toes.
If you have diabetes or are at risk, watch for calluses, corns and fungal infections in the toenails. By taking good care of your feet, you’ll be able to prevent further complications from diabetes.
2. Allows for regular physical activity
According to Health Canada, all adults (including seniors) should accumulate about 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more. For many Canadians, that’s quite a lot of exercise without adding foot problems into the mix.
If your feet are constantly aching, you may be less motivated to engage in any kind of physical activity. Going for an evening stroll or spending 20 minutes on the treadmill may seem too daunting. Over the long term, this can result in reduced muscle mass and overall strength. That can lead to a higher risk of heart disease and other illnesses related to a sedentary lifestyle.
To ensure you’re staying active, take extra steps to care for your feet. Physiomed offers chiropody and other foot care treatments to address deformities, infections and mobility issues -- improving overall function of the lower limbs.
3. Improves quality of life
Many of us take for granted the kind of activities our feet allow us to enjoy: Walking around the mall with friends, a game of soccer with our grandchildren or summertime hikes at our favourite park. Healthy feet are crucial to improving your quality of life and ability to function. If your feet are constantly in pain, you’ll be less likely to function at your best. Some people may even modify the way they walk to avoid discomfort. This can cause long-term damage to your posture and balance, making you more vulnerable to slips and falls.
Improve the overall quality of your life by taking good care of your feet. This includes making sure you’re wearing the proper shoes. Physiomed offers orthopaedic shoes designed to reduce pain. This special footwear is often fitted with custom orthotics that can treat a variety of conditions, including fallen arches, joint pain and plantar fasciitis.
4. Prevents injuries
Any injuries to your feet should be dealt with immediately. Cuts are particularly harmful because our feet are constantly exposed to dust, increasing the chances of contamination. Regular foot care will allow you to spot these issues right away -- before they affect other areas of your health. Meanwhile, the colour of your toenails can indicate stomach problems while cold feet can be a sign of poor circulation.
Physiomed offers a variety of therapies to treat foot injuries. Whether you’re suffering from chronic heel pain or a condition like Morton’s Neuroma, visit one of our healthcare experts for customized care.
Tips for Maintaining Healthy Feet
Aside from regular visits with your foot care specialist, there are many steps you can take at home to ensure healthy feet.
- Wash your feet each day using soap and warm water; make sure to dry them thoroughly afterwards, especially between the toes
- Inspect each foot regularly, looking for cuts, blisters, bruises and red spots
- Wear clean socks and change them each day
- Invest in a pair of high-quality compression stockings to help with blood circulation in the feet and lower limbs
Physiomed is committed to caring for all aspects of your health. Although it’s easy to focus on seemingly more important areas, always remember that your feet are the foundation to your entire body. Give them the attention they deserve and, if you need help, take a moment to explore the foot care solutions Physiomed is proud to offer.
For more information on proper foot care or to book an assessment, contact us here.