Health Beat 2-1-2005

On Your Toes

The foot contains 33 joints, 26 bones, 19 muscles and 107 ligaments, and it carries the average person more than 115,000 miles in a lifetime. Yet, these two hard-working appendages go largely unnoticed until they speak up.
    According to the website, foot ailments are often the first symptom of a more serious medical condition, such as diabetes, arthritis or nerve/circulatory disorders. Even a minor callus, if it gets infected, can become an ulcer that leads to widespread infection.
    Inspect your feet regularly. Diabetics should notify their doctors of any blisters, sores, swelling or cracks between toes. Obesity, dry climate and walking barefoot can cause heel fissures or cracks.
    Treat feet with regular use of a pumice stone, followed by a moisturizer. Alleviate pressure points on the balls of the feet, caused by hours of standing or ill-fitting shoes, by wearing padded socks or using shoe inserts. Daily washing, careful drying and use of foot powders are effective against fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.