You probably won’t be surprised to find that folks in my clinic have a passion for feet. While you might think this is just because of our professional training, it also has to do with how important feet are to overall health. Did you know that your feet can offer clues about the condition of the rest of your body? It’s true. And in New York and around the nation, healthy feet are happy feet. By looking at your feet, we can detect early signs of a range of medical issues. Here are a few examples.
Strange toe shapes
Some people simply may have been born with crooked toes, and that’s nothing to be worried about. However, if you notice a dramatic change in the way that your toes look, a more serious issue might be at hand. For example, a big toe that increases in size and becomes painful with movement might signify the beginnings of a bunion. If your large toes seems to jut out at an awkward angle, you might just be experiencing a hammertoe, which must be resolved with surgery. Likewise, a toe that quickly increases in size and is accompanied by redness and pain is a sign of gout or an infection.
If a patient is experiencing frequent or persistent cramping, we’d like to find out how much water they drink from day today. Ongoing foot cramps, similar to Charlie horses, are a common side effect of dehydration. Although it is unlikely that early onset dehydration can be deadly, if left untreated, other parts of your body will also be under stress and put to the test. If cramping is a normal part of your world, we might first suggesting upping your nutrition and hydration levels. If the pain continues, a larger issue might be the cause.
Many diabetics must be cautious of open sores because they can be difficult to heal. Regardless of if you have been formally diagnosed with the disease or not, if you notice that your feet have wounds that are not healing at a normal pace, this might be a sign that you have a blood sugar situation that needs attention. Today, there are many options for managing diabetes, but it is a serious medical condition that needs professional support to control.
Do you have heels that constantly ache? Plantar fasciitis might be to blame. This condition can be incredibly painful, and it is commonly caused by a range of circumstances, including wearing shoes that do not fit properly. To start, we might suggest easing up on your current movements and exercise or incorporating some new stretches into your routine, but in extreme situations, surgery might be required to make things right again.
Because of their unique position and function, feet are one of the first body parts to signal an issue in the human body. It’s important that you pay close attention to yours and be sure to address any concerns under the guidance of a trained professional. Often, the solution might be simpler than you imagine, and waiting for a situation to resolve on its own can easily lead to bigger problems down the line. If you have any questions about your foot health, don’t hesitate to reach out for a consultation. We’re happy to help you however we can.