Your feet combine amazing complexity and strength to provide support, mobility and balance. They are resilient, being able to withstand a lot of pressure and absorb a lot of shock.
We often take our feet for granted. We often times don’t realize how fortunate we are to be able to stand, walk, run, jump and do all sorts of movements. Any problem with the feet can also have significant, negative impacts on other parts of the body. It is only during those times of injury or when we permanently lose the use of our feet that we realize how important and amazing they are.
Before you begin to gripe and complain about your foot pain, appearance or smell, here are some interesting facts surrounding the make-up of your feet:
- Your feet each have 26 bones, which account for more than a quarter of the bones in your body.
- Your feet each have 33 joints as well as more than 100 ligaments, tendons and muscles.
- Your feet also contain a complex network of blood skin, nerves, blood vessels and soft tissue.
While the amazing complexity and intricacy of the foot makes it durable and capable of doing many things, issues can arise without proper foot care and through injury. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to injure your foot. Foot conditions and injuries range in severity from blisters and ingrown toenails to plantar fasciitis to bone spurs and broken bones.
Here are some of the common foot injuries and conditions that can make it more difficult for your foot to function properly:
Athlete’s Foot. A contagious foot condition spread by the transmittance of fungus in moist, public places. Itchy, burning and stinging feet and toes are common symptoms.
Blisters. These common foot conditions are fluid-filled pockets caused by sweaty feet, standing or walking for long durations and ill-fitting shoes.
Bunions. A painful, inflamed bump on the side of the big toe that causes the big toe to bend inward toward your other toes.
Corns. Thickened, circular patches of skin on the toes and sole of your foot.
Plantar Fasciitis. A painful tear or strain of the plantar fascia tendon on the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel to the ball of the foot.
Heel Spur. Bony protrusions, inflammation or pain in the front of the heel due to calcium deposits that grow between the heel and arch of the foot.
Claw Toe. When the big toe points up at the first joint, then points down at the second joint.
Mallet or Hammer Toe. A toe that curves down instead of outward.
Gout. The painful accumulation of excessive uric acid, usually around the joints of the big toe.
Fungal Nail Infection. Result in yellow, flaky, streaky and crumbling toenails as fungi enter the toenail.
Plantar Wart. Warts on the bottom of the foot caused by the human papillomavirus that is often transmitted through the moist environments found in locker rooms and swimming pools.
Stone Bruise (Metatarsalgia). Involves a sharp pain or tingly or numbness on the ball of the foot.
Flat Foot. A genetic condition whereby there is little or no natural arch of the foot.
Morton’s Neuroma. The thickening of the tissue around the nerves in the ball of the foot caused by the wearing of high-heels, tight shoes, an abnormal gait or repetitive movements.
Sesamoiditis. Painful inflammation of the sesamoid bones which are located near your big toe.
Diabetic Neuropathy. Involves sensations of tingling, and pins and needles as a result of nerve damage caused by unregulated blood sugar levels.
Ingrown Toenail. An ingrown toenail is when the edge of a toenail begins to grow into the skin of the toe.
The foot is amazing in its complexity. While it is strong and durable and able to withstand much pressure and stress. They are, however, susceptible to a variety of foot health issues.
To protect your feet, it is important that you take proper care of them and to get treatment from a foot and ankle specialist.