Like other parts of our body, our feet are absolutely dependent on us to take good care of them. Today, Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey, the qualified podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland, want to focus on three areas of care that are within our control:
- A healthy weight. Most people underestimate the extent to which our body weight affects our feet. Our feet are actually a marvel of design, with 26 bones, 33 joints, and a whole lot of muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels working together to hold up the rest of our body. When our body weight is out of proportion to what our feet can actually support, that’s when foot problems can occur. Being overweight can be directly related to foot pain in the form of flat feet, heel pain (plantar fasciitis), and peripheral arterial disease, which reduces blood flow to the lower limbs – to name a few.
- A normal blood sugar level. When blood sugar levels are out of control, you’ve got diabetes, which affects the feet in many ways. Too much blood glucose can cause nerve and blood vessel damage, both of which make feet numb and harder to heal when wounded. The risk of lower limb amputation with uncontrolled blood sugar levels is real.
- Sensible shoes – not just a reasonable heel height (no more than 2 inches) and room enough so they’re not squeezing your toes. “Sensible” also means the right shoe for the activity you’re engaged in. It also means a shoe that isn’t worn out and no longer supportive.
Good foot health is, unfortunately, also dependent on a couple of things that we’re not able to control:
- Our genes. Sometimes our foot is put together with something just a little askew. Such anatomical “mistakes” are very common. The foot shape you inherit from Grandma may never cause you a problem. But if you’re an athlete or other active person, the way your foot’s built can cause pain in your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and even your back.
- Older feet have walked a lot of miles and show their wear and tear with corns and calluses, gout, circulation problems, and arthritis.
At any age and in any condition, the best thing you can do for your feet is to keep an eye on them and take action when something goes wrong. You can depend on us to take your problems seriously and with respect. Visit us at our modern office in Solon, Ohio by making an appointment online or calling (440) 903-1041.