Foot Health and The Rest of Your Body

Did you know that your foot health plays a big role in your overall health surrounding the rest of your body? Since foot conditions and injuries are among the most common problems people face, it's no surprise that understanding proper foot care could lower the number of sufferers and lead to better overall health across the board. Our feet lay the foundation for our body, allowing us to stay active and keep our balance. When an injury or condition impacts this crucial job, not only will your feet suffer, but the rest of your body as well. Depending on the severity of the foot condition, the ripple effects on your overall health potentially could be detrimental, so it is imperative to take the steps necessary to protect your feet. When you protect your feet, you're doing your entire body a favor.

These hard-working body parts can impact our health in many ways, from positively warning us about potential underlying health conditions to negatively impacting mobility and causing further systemic damage.

What Are Your Feet Telling You?
Feet are extremely intuitive parts of the body that can tell us a lot about our overall health. Most people wait until they have a problem or an injury to pay attention to their feet, but in reality, your feet could be warning you about other aspects of your health that may need some attention. Before running to the doctor, it is important to note that most of the symptoms and their subsequent underlying health conditions below are rare instances. You should, however, monitor any unusual sensations or appearances in your feet and be mindful that your foot health is linked to the rest of your body. (1)

1.) Cold Feet and Toes -- Circulation problems and vascular disorders can restrict blood flow which causes your feet and toes to feel colder than the rest of your body. Other conditions like diabetes cause restricted blood flow due to a narrowing of the arteries from frequent high blood sugar levels.
2.) Sudden Swollen Foot or Big Toe -- Cellulitis and systematic arthritis are just two possible explanations for a swollen foot. While a few serious possibilities surrounding a swollen foot would affect the entire body, most explanations are minor and benign.
3.) Foot Cramps -- When you are dehydrated, the electrolyte levels in your body drop, leading to muscle cramps. Next time you get a pesky foot cramp, it may just be your body telling you to drink a glass of water!
4.) Numbness or Tingling in the Feet -- Neurological conditions like peripheral neuropathy and spinal stenosis cause tingling in the lower extremities. If you find yourself with more "pins and needles"in your feet than normal, your body may also be telling you that you have a vitamin B12 deficiency.

The symptoms in your feet are likely benign, but it's important to be aware that your feet may be signaling an underlying health issue.

How do Foot Conditions Impact the Body?
Your feet have a huge responsibility to support you and carry you where you need to go. When they fall short, this causes the rest of your body to overcompensate. Not only does your body have to overcompensate in many areas, but mobility issues resulting from foot conditions and injuries often lead to a less active lifestyle. (2)

The complexity of feet goes far beyond the anatomy that builds them; it extends to the repercussions of any injury or ailment afflicting them. Sure, your broken toe hurts your foot, but it also hurts your back because you've adopted a misaligned walking pattern. It also causes leg pain because of the ligaments and tendons that extend from the foot upwards. Lastly, you've probably been resting more because it hurts to be on your feet and active, so you haven't been able to keep up with the daily recommendations for physical activity. While this is a hypothetical slippery slope, it outlines the effects a foot condition can have on the body. Your feet may be the starting point of the problem, but they definitely are not the end.

1.) Back and Joint Pain -- Whether you have bunions, a broken toe, or another painful foot problem that causes you to walk with discomfort, your walking pattern has likely changed. When this happens over an extended period, the uneven weight distribution and misalignment of your walking pattern can also cause your spine to become misaligned. People with flat feet suffer from joint pain all over the body because the body naturally overcompensates as it realigns joints in the spine, legs, and ankle to accommodate for sitting, walking, and moving. Since flat feet cannot absorb the shock of walking through the arch of the foot, the shock is absorbed in the knees and hips. Over time, this causes pain and major problems for people all the way from their back to their toes.
2.) Poor Posture and Balance -- Along with the misalignment that accompanies many foot conditions comes poor posture and balance. When people experience foot pain, they naturally redistribute their weight to make things more comfortable. Over time, this can form a habit of poor posture can lead to back problems and balance issues that can make you more prone to slips and falls.
3.) Skin Conditions -- Some foot conditions, like athlete's foot, are skin infections that are liable to spread to other parts of the body. While the condition's name makes it sound restricted to the feet, this is not necessarily the case.

Prioritize your foot health not only because your feet work hard, but because they play an important role in your overall health. Make sure you're taking the proper steps to monitor your feet for any pain, new sensations, or changes, and reach out to your podiatrist if you have any concerns.

Sources:
1 https://www.bannerhealth.com/healthcareblog/better-me/8-things-your-feet-can-tell-you-about-your-health
2 https://www.martinfootandankle.com/blog/how-your-feet-affect-your-whole-body.cfm""Did you know that your foot health plays a big role in your overall health surrounding the rest of your body? Since foot conditions and injuries are among the most common problems people face, it's no surprise that understanding proper foot care could lower the number of sufferers and lead to better overall health across the board. Our feet lay the foundation for our body, allowing us to stay active and keep our balance. When an injury or condition impacts this crucial job, not only will your feet suffer, but the rest of your body as well. Depending on the severity of the foot condition, the ripple effects on your overall health potentially could be detrimental, so it is imperative to take the steps necessary to protect your feet. When you protect your feet, you're doing your entire body a favor.

These hard-working body parts can impact our health in many ways, from positively warning us about potential underlying health conditions to negatively impacting mobility and causing further systemic damage.

What Are Your Feet Telling You?
Feet are extremely intuitive parts of the body that can tell us a lot about our overall health. Most people wait until they have a problem or an injury to pay attention to their feet, but in reality, your feet could be warning you about other aspects of your health that may need some attention. Before running to the doctor, it is important to note that most of the symptoms and their subsequent underlying health conditions below are rare instances. You should, however, monitor any unusual sensations or appearances in your feet and be mindful that your foot health is linked to the rest of your body. (1)

1.) Cold Feet and Toes -- Circulation problems and vascular disorders can restrict blood flow which causes your feet and toes to feel colder than the rest of your body. Other conditions like diabetes cause restricted blood flow due to a narrowing of the arteries from frequent high blood sugar levels.
2.) Sudden Swollen Foot or Big Toe -- Cellulitis and systematic arthritis are just two possible explanations for a swollen foot. While a few serious possibilities surrounding a swollen foot would affect the entire body, most explanations are minor and benign.
3.) Foot Cramps -- When you are dehydrated, the electrolyte levels in your body drop, leading to muscle cramps. Next time you get a pesky foot cramp, it may just be your body telling you to drink a glass of water!
4.) Numbness or Tingling in the Feet -- Neurological conditions like peripheral neuropathy and spinal stenosis cause tingling in the lower extremities. If you find yourself with more "pins and needles"in your feet than normal, your body may also be telling you that you have a vitamin B12 deficiency.

The symptoms in your feet are likely benign, but it's important to be aware that your feet may be signaling an underlying health issue.

How do Foot Conditions Impact the Body?
Your feet have a huge responsibility to support you and carry you where you need to go. When they fall short, this causes the rest of your body to overcompensate. Not only does your body have to overcompensate in many areas, but mobility issues resulting from foot conditions and injuries often lead to a less active lifestyle. (2)

The complexity of feet goes far beyond the anatomy that builds them; it extends to the repercussions of any injury or ailment afflicting them. Sure, your broken toe hurts your foot, but it also hurts your back because you've adopted a misaligned walking pattern. It also causes leg pain because of the ligaments and tendons that extend from the foot upwards. Lastly, you've probably been resting more because it hurts to be on your feet and active, so you haven't been able to keep up with the daily recommendations for physical activity. While this is a hypothetical slippery slope, it outlines the effects a foot condition can have on the body. Your feet may be the starting point of the problem, but they definitely are not the end.

1.) Back and Joint Pain -- Whether you have bunions, a broken toe, or another painful foot problem that causes you to walk with discomfort, your walking pattern has likely changed. When this happens over an extended period, the uneven weight distribution and misalignment of your walking pattern can also cause your spine to become misaligned. People with flat feet suffer from joint pain all over the body because the body naturally overcompensates as it realigns joints in the spine, legs, and ankle to accommodate for sitting, walking, and moving. Since flat feet cannot absorb the shock of walking through the arch of the foot, the shock is absorbed in the knees and hips. Over time, this causes pain and major problems for people all the way from their back to their toes.
2.) Poor Posture and Balance -- Along with the misalignment that accompanies many foot conditions comes poor posture and balance. When people experience foot pain, they naturally redistribute their weight to make things more comfortable. Over time, this can form a habit of poor posture can lead to back problems and balance issues that can make you more prone to slips and falls.
3.) Skin Conditions -- Some foot conditions, like athlete's foot, are skin infections that are liable to spread to other parts of the body. While the condition's name makes it sound restricted to the feet, this is not necessarily the case.

Prioritize your foot health not only because your feet work hard, but because they play an important role in your overall health. Make sure you're taking the proper steps to monitor your feet for any pain, new sensations, or changes, and reach out to your podiatrist if you have any concerns.

Sources:
1 https://www.bannerhealth.com/healthcareblog/better-me/8-things-your-feet-can-tell-you-about-your-health
2 https://www.martinfootandankle.com/blog/how-your-feet-affect-your-whole-body.cfm


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