Have you thought about the important role your feet play in your daily life? On face value, your feet touch the ground whenever you’re standing, walking or running, and they are extensions of the legs, which help move you. But your feet are much more than that. After all, they are the foundation of your body, which means keeping your feet healthy can help keep you healthy.
RELEVANT FOOT ANATOMY: THE THREE ARCHES Foot anatomy plays an important role in foot function. For example, do you know now many arches each foot has? If you answered one, you answered like 95 percent of people do – incorectly. Each foot actually has three arches: one on the inside of the foot, one on the outside and one across the ball of the foot. These arches are all important and must all be functioning properly to facilitate healthy movement and weight-bearing.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT YOUR FEET (FOR BETTER OR WORSE) Genetics: You cannot outrun your genes. Flat feet or excessively pronating feet run in families. Parents pass it on to their children. If one parent has flat or collapsed arches, their children will have it also to some degree. If both parents have over pronated feet, their kids will usually over pronate as well.
Surfaces: Concrete and stone are the worst surfaces for the feet. Generally, the harder the surface, the more stress on the arches and the faster they will collapse. Dirt, rubber tracks, carpeting and grass are all softer surfaces that offer some cushion to the feet and help to reduce strain and shock.
Shoe Types: If you look inside almost every shoe, sandal, flip-flop, boot, etc., you will notice that there may be some inner arch support. Hardly any shoe has outer arch support or support for the arch under the ball of the foot. For this reason, looking for “good” shoes is often a myth. I suggest that you take your shoes into your pediatrist’s or chiropractor’s office so they can look at them for you. It is too difficult to list the “good shoes” for you because the best brand or type for you varies based on your feet and your lifestyle.
PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD Good foot and arch health doesn’t just happen; one person might be more inclined to develop foot problems than another, but the fact is, with the amount of time we spend on our feet and their role in our lives, it’s really just a matter of time. My message is simple: “I cannot tell you how bad your feet will get in the future if you don’t bother helping yourself now but if you’re already in pain and decide not to do anything about it, I guarantee things will only get worse with time. This is not to scare you, but to emphasize how important your feet are and teach you to look at your feet in a different way than you may have before.
We spend much of our lives taking our feet for granted – if we are lucky. If we’re not, we suffer one or more of the painful, often debilitating conditions that can affect the feet. That’s why your feet are so important and why you need to take care of them. Talk to your doctor about the importance of foot health and what you can do to ensure the lifelong stability of your foundation – your feet.
Source: To Your Health –By: Kevin Wong, DC