Taking Care of your Feet

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This article was edited and updated on November 10, 2015.

Complicated Feet!

Every day, we ask our feet and lower limbs to carry and support our body. No wonder the lower limb bones are the strongest and biggest in the body. With 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments, our feet and ankles are strong and complex.

The foot has three parts:

What can go wrong?

Problems with our feet can be caused by several things:

Wearing well-fitting and comfortable shoes is one of the keys to keeping healthy, happy feet, but every day we walk on unforgiving pavement or simply stand for hours.

The two most inappropriate shoes to wear are:

Poorly-fitting shoes can change the normal alignment and movement of the ankle and foot — and it can cause permanent damage. High heels are probably the best example of this.

Unfortunately, even switching to better-fitting shoes later in life will not completely prevent foot and lower leg problems if you wore the wrong kind of shoes in your youth. But it’s better late than never.

Movements and Massage May Help

Many foot problems can be soothed with simple movements or massages. These can be done at home — usually without shoes.

Standing or Walking:

Sitting:

Massages:

Stretches:

Podiatrist or a Pedorthist?

If you are wearing good shoes, massaging your feet, and doing simple exercises, but still having problems, you may wish to see either a podiatrist, who specializes in the treatment of the feet, or a pedorthist who specializes in the use of modification of footwear to treat problems related to the lower limbs. If you are dealing with a serious and/or painful issue — such as plantar fasciitis — you may want to consult your doctor.

Other articles in this series about muscles are:

I am a BCRPA-certified fitness instructor in Vancouver, BC. I teach four classes at the West End Community Centre in Vancouver, BC, mostly designed for the older adult. The Inevitable Disclaimer: Everything published here expresses only my opinion, based on my training and research. What you do with the information is entirely your own responsibility. I am not liable for any injury you suffer that seems to be related to anything you read here. Always consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program. For other articles, return to the table of contents.

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