Unless you suffer from chronic foot pain or ankle problems, you probably don’t think much about your feet. So when you think about body parts that could potentially have health problems, you might think about your heart, brain, and gastrointestinal tract. Maybe it’s because your feet are so far away from your eyes, that you forget about them as an important part of daily life. “Out of sight, out of mind,” right?
However, if you think about it some more, you’ll realize that if your feet had problems, many things you normally do in your life will get so much more difficult. If you don’t take care of your feet and ankles, you can have problems with:
● Mobility – Your feet and ankles move you and carry you everywhere you go. They allow you to walk to the store, run to your meeting, and drive to meet your friends. An injury or chronic foot pain as a side effect of another disease can make it more painful and time-consuming to do any of these activities.
● Balance – Did you ever walk along the curb of a sidewalk and imagine you were on a tightrope? Yep, your feet and ankles were the ones doing all the work to keep you from falling off. If you practice yoga or are a waiter/waitress, foot problems can cause you (or your customers’ entrees) to topple over.
● Physical Fitness – If you have very mild foot or ankle problems, you could probably find some alternative exercises to do. However, a good majority of the exercises you do probably involve the use of your feet and ankles. Running on a treadmill, doing squats, boxing, and dancing all would be difficult, if not painful if you had a sports injury or chronic overuse injury. If you tried to keep going with your usual physical fitness activity, not only could you make the injury worse, you could re-aggravate an injury that was healing.
● Independence – Imagine having to use crutches because of a broken foot. Or think about having to cut your toenails when you’ve lost feeling due to diabetic neuropathy(our podiatrists can help!). There’s a good chance that you have to begin depending on others to help you get “menial” tasks done.
● Pain – Maybe painful symptoms started in small spurts. The bottom of the feet only hurt when you woke up in the morning (plantar fasciitis). Your big toe joint only hurt after a long day of wearing high heels. The back of your ankles only hurt while working out. But after ignoring it for a while, the pain gets worse in duration and intensity. You may have to consider wearing specific shoes and use orthotics to support your foot or ankle problems.
If these things are important to you and painful feet (think: pain from walking on gravel or on a hot bed of coals) is not appealing to you, we encourage you to take care of those feet! Want to find out the state your feet and ankles are in? We can help! Make an appointment with us at The Podiatry Group to find the best treatment. Our podiatrists, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can help you at our Jonesboro, AR office.