According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 11 million visits were made to physicians’ offices in 2005 because of foot and ankle problems. Unfortunately I became one of those statistics. A twist on an uneven surface cracked a bone in the outside of my right foot. Then a few days later, navigating crutches with bare feet out of the shower caused me to slip and jam my left foot middle toe, rendering me completely immobile. In three days I went from super active dancer, walker and yoga enthusiast to sedentary and dependent.
Did you know that your feet contain one-quarter of all the bones in your body? According to the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association, “The foot is an intricate structure containing 26 bones with thirty-three joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and multiple tendons that hold the structure together and allow it to move in a variety of ways. There are approximately 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of feet, and they excrete as much as half a pint of moisture each day.”
The association says that three out of four of us Americans will experience foot health problems of varying degrees of severity at one time or another in our lives. Many athletic individuals may face increased risk for injury. Taking care of the tools that keep you on the move may be assisted with some simple tips.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons offer the following tips to help active Americans prevent foot and ankle injuries:
- Warm up before any sports activity, including practice
- Participate in a conditioning program to build muscle strength
- Do stretching exercises daily
- Listen to your body: never run if you experience pain in the foot or ankle
- Wear protective equipment appropriate for that sport
- Replace athletic shoes as soon as the tread or heel wears out
- Wear properly fitting athletic, dress, and casual shoes
Liked this article? Please share with your friends and “like” us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget to check out our calendar of events, weight loss calculator, 3D body mass index, exercise calorie calculator, and food calorie counter.