Dr. Brian Nagy | October 12th, 2017
Posted In: Foot Problems
Your feet are the foundation of your body and take you wherever you want to go. If you’ve ever had foot problems that caused you to experience chronic foot pain, then you know just how much this can negatively affect your life. Did you know that your feet are also an indicator for how healthy you are? Not only can they show signs of early diseases like diabetes, kidney disease or poor circulation, but they can also show how well you take care of yourself. Learn more in the article excerpt below.
Consider this: The medical and fitness communities have known for a while that your grip is a reliable indicator of longevity. But an emerging field of research indicates the strength of your feet might be an even better measuring stick for your health.
For example, a team of Japanese researchers examined the toe-flexor strength of 1,400-plus men across various age groups. (Toe flexors are muscles like the abductor hallucis, which lets you lift and wiggle your big toe.) The scientists found they could tell how well people took care of themselves based on the test results. The data accurately predicted a person’s age, sleep, exercise and drinking habits. They also observed that foot strength started declining at an earlier age than grip strength — and fell off more dramatically than grip strength over time.
That’s bad news when you consider that the muscles in your feet are very much involved with balance control, and that as you get older, falls are a common cause of death. But we’re not just talking about far away, future problems here. Weak feet and ankles may be holding back your athletic performance right now.
“Foot and ankle strength crosses over into everything you do,” says Dr. Joel Seedman, who trains and coaches high-level athletes and regular Joes alike outside of Atlanta, Georgia. “Without proper foot and ankle activation, it’s impossible to have ideal mechanics on any lower-body movement.” Seedman describes having weak feet and ankles as “a massive energy leak.” If you’re a runner, that means you’re losing force you could use to propel you forward. “It slows you down,” Seedman says.
We all want to take care of ourselves and stay as healthy as we can for as long as we can. Turns out, this may begin with proper foot care, including exercises we can do to keep our feet strong.
If you have foot problems causing you pain, it’s important to treat them early on before they get worse. There are a variety of conservative treatments you can try – such as resting, icing or elevating your feet – but if your pain continues it’s important to be evaluated by a trusted podiatrist.
Consider scheduling a consultation with a New Hampshire podiatrist at Nagy Footcare. We’ll perform a physical examination and ask you about your symptoms. We’ll evaluate your health history and if there may be an underlying medical condition causing pain or abnormal symptoms in the foot. We believe you deserve to not be in pain, so we will find a way to move you towards being pain free.
At Nagy Footcare, our best day is the day you wake up with no foot pain.