Understanding Your Feet

walkingThe average person walks the equivalent of three times around the Earth in a lifetime. That is enormous wear and tear on the 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, ligaments and muscles that make up the foot.

In a recent survey for the American Podiatric Medical Association, 53 percent of respondents reported foot pain so severe that it hampered their daily function. On average, people develop pain in their 60s, but it can start as early as the 20s and 30s. Yet, except for women who get regular pedicures, most people don’t take much care of their feet.

“A lot of people think foot pain is part of the aging process and accept it, and function and walk with pain,” said Dr. Andrew Shapiro, a podiatrist in Valley Stream, N.Y. Though some foot problems are inevitable, their progress can be slowed.

The most common foot conditions that occur with age are arthritic joints, thinning of the fat pads cushioning the soles, plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the fibrous tissue along the sole), bunions (enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe), poor circulation and fungal nails. The following questions will help you assess whether you should take more preventive action as you age.

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Source: The New York Times

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