Like many other parts of our body, our feet are an anatomical wonder. But it is surprising that most of us think little of them…
The feet are one of the most useful parts of the human body. For without them, we cannot stand and we cannot move. Our feet enable us to do important tasks and take us to many places. It may an enormous amount of abuse over the course of our lifetime, but they keep on going.
This part of the body is taken for granted more than any other part. But without feet, various activities such as walking, running and jumping would be impossible.
The average person takes about 10,000 steps during a normal day, which adds up to more than 115,000 miles in a lifetime.
Anatomy of the foot
The feet contain 52 bones (which means 26 bones in each foot), which comprise about one quarter of all the bones in your body. Yes, little do we realize that something as “lowly” as our feet can have so much bones. However, it can give a lot of foot problems.
Each foot is a complex structure that contains ligaments, joints, tendons and muscles that allow it to move in a number of ways.
The two feet work together, but are not exactly the same in most people. One feet is almost always larger than the other.
Toes also vary in size, with the second toe being the longest in two out of ten people. As for the toenails, they tend to grow longer and faster during hot months, or during adolescence or pregnancy.
Unfortunately, the feet usually do not get the attention and praise they deserve and rank low on the priority list for health and cleanliness. Many independent surveys show that the feet are the body part that people like the least — and it shouldn’t have to be that way, right?
Many people suffer from foot problems during their lifetime.
While both genders deal with various foot ailments, women suffer from foot problems four times more than men do.
This could be attributed to the fact that more women wear incorrectly fitted shoes, which usually have high heels and narrow toes. Because women usually walk several miles further than men do during the course of a day, properly fitted shoes are necessary.
Many medical problems are indirectly associated with the feet
Spinal disorders, back pain, headaches and possibly even indigestion have been attributed to problems with the feet. The feet reveal many health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, circulatory problems or nerve disorders.
The first symptoms of these disorders usually show up in the feet before anywhere else in the body. Changes of any kind in the feet such as thick or discolored skin, cracks on the soles or even numbness may be a warning sign of illness.
Over seventy-five percent of all Americans will suffer from foot problems during their lifetime.
Corns and calluses are hardened areas of skin on the feet primarily in areas where pressure is the greatest.
They are usually caused by irritation from shoes and other ill-fitting footwear, nutritional deficiencies or bad foot hygiene in some cases.
Calluses appear most often on the soles of the feet.
The feet produce approximately 500ml of perspiration every day from the 250,000 sweat glands located in both. Perspiring feet cause most odor associated with them.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, toenail problems rank first among the most common foot maladies. Nearly half of the toenail problems are caused by fungal infections — and as you age, these infections can become likely more persistent. Other toenail problems include ingrow nails, which can be attributed to wearing ill-fitting shoes or incorrect nail trimming.
A lot of feet problems and can be avoided through simple care and attention like correct fitting shoes, bathing and foot massage.
Take care of your feet and keep your mobility and avoid painful foot problems for as long as you possibly can.