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Happy Feet: The Importance of Foot Health

We rely on our feet a lot. Balance, temperature regulation, standing and walking are just a few examples of activities that require feet. Feet carry the entire weight load from our bodies, suffer constant contact and impact with the ground and bear the force applied during physical activity.

When was the last time you thought about the health of your feet? For many, it’s not until something goes wrong—pain, an injury, or worse. The health of your feet, though, can be an important window into your overall health, so it’s important to pay attention to what your feet may be telling you.

Feet can supply key indicators about health issues before they may become obvious elsewhere. For example, stiffness can mean inflammation or arthritis. Numbness, tingling or burning sensations could signal diabetes. Swelling, perhaps the most common, could mean something temporary, like a sprain, or something more chronic, like high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease.1

Interestingly, because we often wait so long to address foot problems, studies have shown that people believe their physicians tend to ignore feet more than any other body part2. However, physicians continually see the effects of delayed foot care and regularly stress the importance of preventative measures.

In addition to routine foot checks, adults should also:

  • Avoid walking barefoot.
  • Keep their feet clean and moisturized.
  • Wear properly fitted shoes.
  • Avoid temperature extremes.
  • Keep toenails trimmed.
  • Wear socks or stockings with shoes.
  • Avoid over-the-counter remedies for corns.

If you discover a non-healing wound or ulcer, wound care is essential. Visit the KSB Foot & Ankle Clinic or a wound care specialist at the KSB Center for Wound Healing for further evaluation and treatment.