According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 20% of Americans experience at least one-foot problem every year. This is no surprise as the feet are designed to support the entire body; they move us through the day and take on hundreds of pounds of impact daily just by walking. The feet are a remarkable part of the body and one of the most under-appreciated parts of the body. To help you better understand and appreciate your feet, we’d like to share some fun foot facts!
The Bones of Your Feet
Did you know that ¼ of your body’s bones reside within your feet? Each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, and over a hundred soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. That’s a lot of delicate parts, which makes taking care of your feet even more important! Your feet also contain thousands of nerves making them extremely sensitive–and ticklish! However, this is a good sign as reduced sensitivity in your feet may be a sign of neuropathy, which could be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
Your Big Toe
In the past, the big toe was used to help our predecessors climb trees and act as a thumb of sorts. In today’s medicine, the big toe can even be used as a replacement if your thumb is lost.
Even though it is called your big toe, your second toe may be longer than your big toe. This condition is known as Morton’s Toe and affects around 20-30% of the population. If you have this condition, you may be at an increased risk for bunions, hammertoes, and even back problems as this condition may affect how your body distributes weight and pressure on your feet.
Sweaty and Stinky Feet
Have sweaty feet? That’s because each foot contains over 250,000 sweat glands! On average, your sweat glands can produce a cup of sweat every day and children’s feet can sweat twice as much. All this sweat can quickly become a perfect breeding ground for bacteria which feed off your dead skin cells and produce gases, acids, and stinky feet! If you don’t want stinky feet or any infections, remember to wear clean socks daily and let your shoes air out regularly. When washing your feet, pay attention to the toes and remember to dry them completely to prevent any bacterial or fungal growth.
Your Feet and Overall Health
The health of your feet can relay a lot about your general health and wellness. Abnormalities or pain in your feet may be a symptom or warning sign of a more serious health condition including arthritis, diabetes, nerve damage, and poor circulation.
If you notice sudden changes such as the skin on your feet becoming thinner, loss of hair on your toes, dry skin, and wounds that do not heal as fast, report these symptoms to your doctor for further examination as they may be signs of an underlying condition.
It is also important to attend annual foot exams conducted by a board-certified podiatrist. This step is vital to tracking changes and checking for proper sensation and circulation within the foot. Podiatrists are also able to call attention to any abnormalities and can often detect problems early on allowing for more effective treatment results.
Walk Around the Planet
On average, humans take about 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day which can add up over the years. By the age of 70, most people will have walked over 100,000 miles which is enough to walk around the earth 4 times! Those daily steps and activities can put a lot of wear and tear on your feet. We hope you’ve learned a few fun facts about your feet and realize just how important of a role they play in our day-to-day lives. As your podiatrist, we strive to provide you with the highest quality of care and that includes helping you care for your feet. For more information on the health of your feet and our services or to schedule an appointment, contact Foot & Ankle Clinic today.