“Left foot, left foot, right foot, right. Feet in the morning. Feet at night.” – Dr. Seuss (The Foot Book)
Our feet and ankles are one of the most underappreciated and underrated extremities. We stuff them in too tight of shoes or force them to walk around in stilettoes for hours. Athletes are consistently rolling their ankles or tightly wrapping athletic tape around their feet and ankles. All this wear and tear can cause long-term problems.
Here are some tips to keep your feet and ankles strong and safe for years to come.
Check Your Feet
Make foot examinations part of your daily routine. You should closely examine the tops and bottoms of your feet, your toenails, in between your toes and your heels. Look for anything unusual such as skin changes, cuts, blisters, drainage or tender, sensitive spots. Watch for discoloration of toenails, which can indicate problems such as a fungal infection.
Wear the Right Shoes
People tend to buy shoes based on fashion but not functionality. This can increase your risk for bunions and ankle issues. When shopping for shoes, choose options with a wide, roomy toe area, sturdy heel and a flexible sole. You can increase a shoe’s support using removable orthotic inserts.
Don’t Go Barefoot
Avoid walking around barefoot outside or in public areas. Cuts on the bottom of feet can cause infections and dirty, high traffic areas such as public showers are breeding grounds for fungi and bacteria. Wear flip-flops in public showers/locker rooms to prevent plantar warts or fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.
If you deal with ankle stiffness or pain, there are many stretches that can help. Taking 10 to 15 minutes every day to work on your strength and flexibility will help ease your discomfort and improve your range of motion. Ankle circles, Achilles stretch, and stretches involving bands are great ways to keep your feet and ankles healthy and strong.
Your feet do a lot of work. In fact, the average adult takes about 7,500 steps each day. So taking care of them should be part of your regular routine. From routine checkups to treatments for surgery to minimally invasive surgery, Cotton O’Neil Foot and Ankle is your one-stop-shop for all foot-related injuries and disorders. Discover the many ways they improve and empower their patients’ lives.