Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Your Feet Are Your Foundation - Keep Them Healthy

Most people suffer from foot pain at some point in their lives. Foot problems can be very annoying because you are always on your feet. A simple walk in the park becomes frustrating and painful. Your feet are your foundation- they are the major weight-bearing part of your body. It is important to maintain their health. Because your feet can be affected by many ailments, it is good to be knowledgeable about the different types of foot conditions and their treatments.

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the skin that causes flaking, scaling, and itching in the affected areas. This condition is usually contracted in communal areas where people walk barefoot. These include showers and bathhouses. It can also be spread by sharing footwear with an infected person (make sure you think twice before sharing your flip flops!). To avoid this condition, be conscious of your environment and wear flip flops to protect your feet so they are not exposed. If you do contract athlete's foot, you should contact your podiatrist. They will likely provide you with a topical cream to apply to the infected area. The symptoms should begin to subside after several weeks of treatment.

Heel pain is another common foot condition. When you walk long distances, you are putting a large degree of stress on each foot. When you play sports, you put even more stress on your feet. All of this stress can sometimes cause heel pain. Common causes of heel pain are decreased circulation, heel spurs, and insufficient shock absorption. A sore heel can usually get better on its own with the appropriate rest. However, because many people ignore the early warning signs of heel pain, the condition becomes more severe. You should see your podiatrist if you experience heel pain so you can avoid prolonging the condition and potentially causing more lasting, chronic problems. Treatment for heel pain can involve using a heel insert, stretching your Achilles tendon, anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling, and simply icing the back of the heel.

Arch pain can result from ligament sprains, direct force trauma, muscle strains, stress fractures, and several other factors. Tenderness and pain on the bottom of the foot are common symptoms of arch pain. When you first begin to notice discomfort in this area, you should rest it and treat yourself with ice, compression, and elevation. Rest and elevation will reduce and potentially prevent any swelling in the area. If the pain and tenderness continues, your podiatrist can provide further treatment.

Your feet are your foundation. Pain in the feet can lead to pain in other areas of the body such as the knees and legs. Maintaining great foot health is a great step towards overall health and wellness. If you experience any of the above problems or any other foot condition, be sure to get the issue handled. Your podiatrist can treat your foot condition and help prevent any unnecessary chronic issues.

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