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Foot Health Month 2018 | A Foot Thought A Day

The Big Toe Used to Act as a 'Foot Thumb' 

    Foot Health Month is time to learn about your big toe. This grasping toe helped our predecessors climb trees and, when young, grip onto their mothers. Thanks to modern science, if you lose your thumb, you can now replace it with a toe: toe-to-thumb transplants are a surprisingly common procedure these days.

    Telltale Signs From Your Feet 

    Foot Health Month is time to learn about the wonders of your feet. Foot ailments can become your first sign of more serious medical problems. Your feet mirror your general health, and can help reveal diseases. Conditions such a arthritis, diabetes, cancer, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in your feet. 

    The Length of Your Toes Matters

    Foot Health Month is time to inspect your toes. If your second toe is longer than your first toe you're at increased risk for bunions, hammer toes (ones that are bent downward), and even back problems due to how you distribute pressure throughout your body. 

    If you do have this condition (called Morton's toe), talk to your podiatrist about the best kind of footwear for the shape of your feet, since ill-fitting shoes make the condition worse. 

     ©V4711 via Wikimedia Commons

    Shoe Shopping Secrets 

    Foot Health Month is a great time to shop for new summer shoes! When buying shoes, it is a good idea to buy them late in the day, when your feet are tired and may be slightly swollen. It's best to buy shoes that fit your feet under this condition as you are then unlikely to purchase shoes that are too small. Have your feet measured every time you purchase shoes, and do it while you're standing. When you try on shoes, try them on both feet; many people have one foot larger than the other, and it's best to fit the larger one.

    Toenail Growth 

    Foot Health Month is time wonder why you don't cut your toenails as often as you do fingernails. Compared with fingernails, toenails grow much more slowly — about 1 mm per month, whereas fingernails grow an average of 0.1 mm a day.

    It takes at least five to six months to grow an entirely new toenail. How long can toenails grow? The current record holder for the longest toenails is Louise Hollis of Compton, Calif., who set the record back in 1991. Hollis boasts 6-inch-long nails on each toe, and according to Guinness World Records, she's been growing her toenails since 1982. Understandably, she wears only open-toed shoes.

    Tape the Pain Away 

      Foot Health Month is time to relieve feet pain! Plantar fascia taping is a common way to help relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. It is widely used to add support and reduce stress on the plantar fascia ligament as both a way to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis, as well as a preventative measure against that and other heel pain ailments.

      Ticklish Toes  

      Foot Health Month is time to wonder why your feet are so ticklish. They are one of the most ticklish parts of the body.There’s a good reason for that: Humans have nearly 8000 nerves in our feet and a large number of nerve endings near the skin. Having ticklish feet can be a good sign: reduced sensitivity can be an indicator of neuropathy.

       © Diktatoren via Wikimedia Commons

      It's not your imagination: Your feet really are getting bigger 
      Foot Health Month is a good time to test your actual shoe size. Even if you didn't put on weight, chances are you went up at least a half-size in the past decade. Feet become both longer and wider as you age because the tendons and ligaments that link tiny bones lose elasticity. Get your feet measured at least once a year so you know your true size. Wearing shoes that don't fit properly can cause more than discomfort—it can create or accelerate a bunion or cause blisters, among other issues.

      Accent on toes

      Foot Health Month is a good time to test your toe team work skills. Phalange is the term for small bones of the fingers and toes. Phalange comes from the French term phalanx. Your toes tend to work together as a ‘phalanx’ team. They are difficult to move individually. Challenge yourself! Can you pick up your big toe but leave the rest on the floor? Can you leave the big toe on the ground and pick up the rest? Can you do this without also twisting your ankle inward or outward? 

      Bare-Foot Babies 
        Before a baby starts walking, bare feet or socks are best, though any kind of shoes can be worn for decoration or warmth or to help keep the socks on. Once infants start taking steps, going barefoot is still ideal because they learn to walk and balance better when they can use their toes to grip. It is at 4 or 5 years of age that kids can start wearing shoes with more support.

        Big Foot Little Foot 

        Foot Health Month is time to ask if you really know the size of your feet. For many people, one foot is slightly bigger than the other. Up to 60 percent of the population doesn’t have feet of the same size, and 80 percent of these have a larger left foot. But this doesn’t mean they should wear different sized shoes. When trying on shoes, it is best to try the larger foot.

        Hydrate your Feet 

        Foot Health Month is time to keep your feet hydrated. Proper foot care should include a regime of moisturising. Ideally, you should moisturise after a shower. When the feet are still damp, using a moisturising cream will help lock in both the moisturising agents and residual water. You should also take off your shoes and socks as soon as you get home, especially after a run. Doing so will allow your feet to cool down. Keeping your running shoes on will result in your feet sweating, which will result in further dehydration.

        Walk 500 Miles 

        Foot Health Month is a good time to wonder how often you should replace your running shoes. The typical athletic shoe is only built to last 350 to 500 miles. While walkers are not pounding their shoes as hard as runners, you are unlikely to still get good support and cushioning past 500 miles. If you are walking 30 minutes a day, or an average of 3 to 4 hours a week, you would need to replace your shoes every six months. If you are walking 60 minutes a day or an average of 7 hours a week, replace your shoes every three months.

        Big Toe-Tastic!

        Foot Health Month is a time to give thanks to the 10 digits that give you balance and keep you mobile. We’re talking about toes! Toes keep contact with the ground 75% of the time while walking. The big toes are the most important ones as bear the most weight while standing. They can bear almost twice as much weight as the other toes combined! Stay tip-top on your toes! 

        Tender Tootsies

        Foot Health Month is time to learn about those fantastic feet of yours! The human foot at birth is not a miniature version of an adult foot. In fact, it contains no bones at all and consists of a mass of cartilage, which, over a period of years, ossifies to become the 28 bones that exist in the adult human foot. This process is not complete until the late teens.

        Footwear Disasters

        Foot Health Month is time to ask which shoes are no good for those tootsies. They say you are what you eat. When it comes to foot health, your feet are what they wear.
        • Stilettos, Higher Than 2 Inches
        • Flip-Flops
        • Ballet Flats
        • Mules
        • Gladiator Sandals
        • Stilettos, Lower Than 2 Inches
        • Chunky Heels, Higher Than 2 Inches
        • Chunky Heels, Lower Than 2 Inches

        Sweat Glands Galore

        Foot Health Month is time to learn about those fantastic feet of yours! There are approximately 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of feet- More than anywhere else in the body! Additionally, unlike sweat glands elsewhere in the body which responds to heat or exercise, the sweat glands in the feet secrete all the time! Just how much sweat can those sweat glands produce each day? Up to half a pint!

        Baby Footwear 

        Foot Health Month is time to care for your child’s TLC feet. It's difficult to resist the temptation to put cute little shoes on your baby, but they can be an obstruction to growing feet. Shoes that are too restrictive don't allow for normal toe and foot motion. Stick to non-restrictive socks (make sure the sock and elastic around the top aren't too tight) and crib shoes.

        Tip Toeing Toddlers

        Foot Health Month is time for those first steps! A lot of babies "cruise" -- walk by holding on to furniture -- for many months before taking those first real steps. They may also begin by walking on their toes. This is normal at the beginning, but persistent toe-walking is not. If the child is still walking on his toes after a few months, make an appointment with a podiatrist, who will test for a tight Achilles tendon or a contracted muscle.

        Flip-Flops: Fit for Feet Or Not? 

        Foot Health Month is time to check out your warm weather footwear. Many choose summer flip-flops. Beware! With no shock absorption and increased risk of injury, aches and blisters, Flip-flops are bad for your feet! 

        Can’t Name Those Toes!? 

        Foot Health Month is a good time to ask, do you know the names of your toes? Unlike the fingers, which all have individual names, the big toe is the only toe to be given a name; the Hallux. The others are just named by their location- 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th toe. The 5th toe is often referred to as the ‘pinkie’. However, that is just borrowed from the fingers. The big toe is also the only toe with two phalanx bones instead of 3. 

        Precautious Pedicures 

        Foot Health Month is a good time to think about how you ‘treat’ your feet.
        Here are some foot health Do's and Don’ts for your next pedicure.
        DO: Bring your own instruments.
        DON’T: Get your calluses shaved.
        DO: Time your pedicure during less-busy periods.
        DON’T: Soak in the whirlpool.
        DON’T: Shave your legs before going for a pedicure.
        DO: Give your toenails a breather.
        DON’T: Cut your cuticles.
        DO: Be ultra-cautious if you are diabetic.


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