Four Tips for Foot Health

Four Tips for Foot Health

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MSLIS
Posted 28 April 2016

Why Foot Health is Important

Your foot health can be a clue to your overall health, according to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Foot and ankle joint stiffness, numbing, and swelling may be signs of more serious medical conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, or poor circulation.

The MedlinePlus Foot Health topic page, created and maintained by the NLM, can help you to find authoritative health practices that you can begin using now.

For guidance to link content, browse the Summary Notes in the Selected Information Resources at the end of this blog post.

Four Tips for Foot Health

  • Check Your Feet Every Day.
  • Make Sure that Your Shoes Fit.
  • Eat Foods that Help to Build Bone Mass.
  • Increase Your Physical Activity.

Check Your Feet Every Day

  • Check your feet each evening when you take off your shoes.
  • Wash your feet every day in warm, not hot, water. Do not soak your feet, because your skin will get dry.
  • Rub a thin coat of lotion on the tops and bottoms of your feet to keep the skin soft. Do not put lotion between your toes, because this might cause an infection.
  • Write down the date of your next visit to your doctor.

Make Sure that Your Shoes Fit

  • Always try on shoes before you buy them. Shoe sizes can vary depending on the kind and style. For example, your size for athletic shoes may not be the same size that you need for dress shoes.
  • Walk in the shoes to make sure they are comfortable. The heel of the shoe should not slide up and down when you walk.
  • Choose a shoe that is shaped like your foot. Styles with high heels or pointed toes can hurt your feet.
  • Make sure you wear socks or stockings with your shoes to keep from getting blisters and sores.
  • Avoid vinyl or plastic shoes, because they do not ” breathe.”

Eat Foods that Help to Build Bone Mass

  • Calcium helps to build bones. Diets that provide three cups of dairy products per day can improve bone mass. Dairy products include cheese, milk, soy milk, or yogurt.
  • Non-dairy sources of calcium include calcium-fortified rice milk and almond milk, and foods such as canned sardines, canned salmon with bones, soybeans, and other soy products, and some leafy greens, such as bok choy and kale.
  • Vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium. Milk and soy milk are sometimes fortified with Vitamin D. It is important to know that too much Vitamin D can be toxic.
  • Talk to your doctor before taking calcium or Vitamin D supplements.

Increase Your Physical Activity

  • Physical activity is any body movement that works your muscles and requires more energy than resting, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
  • Being active improves blood flow to the feet. Ask your health care team for safe ways to be more active. For example, consider walking, swimming, bike riding, or gardening.
  • Wear athletic shoes that give support and are made for your activity.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor or other healthcare provider.

Selected Information Resources

American Academy of Orhopaedic Surgeons. OrthoInfo. Foot and Ankle
Summary Note: Sections include foot and ankle medical conditions and patient stories. Left navigation bar includes information links for both consumers and physicians.
(Accessed 19 April 2016)

American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Foot Health Facts. How to Do a Foot Push-Up
Summary Note: Foot exercises for healthy arches. Includes sections targeted for women, men, children, athletes, and persons with diabetes.
(Accessed 19 April 2016)

American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Foot Health Facts for Athletes
Summary Note: Discusses common foot problems affecting athletes. Links to list of 12 common sports with their health risk factors.
(Accessed 21 April 2016)

American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. FootCareMD. How to Keep Your Feet Flexible
Summary Note: Simple exercises to strengthen toes and to massage feet.
(Accessed 27 April 2016)

American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. FootCareMD. How to Select the Right Athletic Shoes
Summary Note: Detailed guide for men and women on how to select proper fitting athletic shoes. Left navigation bar includes links on how to select protective footwear and how to select children’s shoes.
(Accessed 20 April 2016)

American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. FootCareMD. How to Wear High Heels to Avoid Injury
Summary Note: Tips on how to avoid stress fractures, heel pain, toenail damage, bunions, and hammertoes when wearing high heels.
(Accessed 20 April 2016)

American Podiatric Medical Association. Flip-Flops. Avoid a Flip-Flop Fiasco
Summary Note: Lists what to do and what not to do, when wearing flip-flop sandals.
(Accessed 20 April 2016)

American Podiatric Medical Association. Tips for Healthy Feet
Summary Note: Tips for summer and winter foot care and for footwear selection.
(Accessed 21 April 2016)

Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Healthy Lifestyle. Fitness. Walking Shoes
Summary Note: What to look for and how to get the best fit with a walking shoe.
(Accessed 20 April 2016)

Nemours Foundation. Why Do Feet Stink?
Summary Note: Website for children. Discusses strong foot odor, and suggests nine steps to minimize order. Click on listen icon for audio of text.
(Accessed 20 April 2016)

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Choose My Plate dot Gov. Dairy. Nutrients and Health Benefits
Summary Note: Includes discussion of dairy foods that are rich in calcium and Vitamin D to help build and maintain bone mass.
(Accessed 27 April 2016)

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Choose My Plate dot Gov. Non-dairy Sources of Calcium
Summary Note: Calcium food choices for persons who do not consume dairy products.
(Accessed 27 April 2016)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH News in Health. A monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). May 2013. On Sound Footing The Health of Your Feet
Summary Note: Newsletter article with practical advice on foot care.
(Accessed 19 April 2016)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health (NIH). National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Summary Note: Home page of the primary NIH organization for Foot Health research.
(Accessed 20 April 2016)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. What Are Ways to Prevent Falls and Related Fractures?
Summary Note: From the NIH series, titled, Fast Facts: An Easy to Read Series of Publications for the Public.
(Accessed 20 April 2016)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health (NIH). National Institute on Aging. Health and Aging. Foot Care.
Summary Note: tips for persons of all ages on how to purchase shoes that fit. Discusses how to treat common foot problems.
(Accessed 19 April 2016)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health (NIH). National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Tai Chi and Qi Gong: In Depth.
Summary Note: Discusses what the science says about the effectiveness of Tai Chi and Qi Gong in helping to improve balance and stability for overall health.
(Accessed 20 April 2016)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). What is Physical Activity?
Summary Note: Detailed Full Topic article with plain language headings, such as, Examples of Aerobic Activities, and short paragraphs for easy browsing.
(Accessed 28 April 2016)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Take Care of Your Feet for a Lifetime.
Summary Note: Easy to read booklet about how to take care of your feet. Includes Medicare and other insurance information for special footwear.
(Accessed 28 April 2016)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health (NIH). U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). MedlinePlus. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. Foot Pain.
Summary Note: Article includes sections on Causes, Home Care, When to Contact a Medical Professional, What to Expect at Your Office Visit, and Prevention. References following article are to evidence-based print sources.
(Accessed 22 April 2016)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health (NIH). U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). MedlinePlus Foot Health
Summary Note: The MedlinePlus health topic page on Foot Health. List of information links to risk factors, tests, and evidence-based articles on foot health. Includes sections for children, teenagers, and seniors.
(Accessed 19 April 2016)

 

 

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