By Dr. Mel J. Colon, International Medical Clinics
The Foot is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Human Body; Not Enough Love, Attention or Respect!!
As the foundation of your body, the foot is truly a structural wonder of the human body! The foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles, and tendons hold the structure together and allow it to move in a variety of ways. The foot is called upon to carry, balance and support the entire human body.
Another way to think about it is to compare feet to sleek, finely tuned race cars, they are composed of hundreds of tiny parts that all function together in perfect unison to do their job. Yet just as race cars are temperamental and demand careful care to keep purring along smoothly, so do your feet.
If you don’t take proper care of them, then like a Mercedes or Lexus, they are apt to break down. And, while even an ingrown toenail sounds like “not much,” it can be extremely debilitating and painful if infected. The average person walks 115,000 miles in a lifetime — more than four times the circumference of the globe. Women have about four times as many foot problems as men; lifelong patterns of wearing high heels often are the problem but many foot problems are actually inherited.
Your feet mirror your general health as is true of the eye as well. Certain foot problems can be early signs or symptoms of such serious general health disorders as diabetes, arthritis, thyroid disease, heart disease, kidney ailments and arteriosclerosis. The podiatric physician consults with other medical specialists in treating those diseases affecting the whole patient.
At International Medical Clinics, Dr. Colón treats a wide range of foot, ankle and lower leg problems: heel pain, ingrown toenails, bunions, calluses, flatfeet, hammertoes, diabetic foot problems, arch pain, neuromas, plantar warts, thick fungal toenails, foot and ankle fractures and sprains, sports injuries, infections, tumors, cysts, sweaty feet and foot odor, cold feet, burning, numbness and tingling, and arthritis.
Almost all foot conditions are treatable, and easier to treat, when diagnosed early. Some individuals resist going to the doctor when they’re sick or in pain, especially men. But Dr. Mel J. Colon wants you to know about five foot problems you should never ignore:
- Heel pain is often caused by tissue inflammation, but can also result from a broken bone, a tight Achilles tendon, a pinched nerve, or other problem. A qualified physician will know how to diagnose and treat the true cause of heel pain.
- Ankle sprains always, always, always require a prompt visit to the doctor. Men who skip out on medical care are more likely to suffer repeated ankle sprains and then develop chronic ankle instability.
- Big toe stiffness and pain develops slowly over time, as cartilage in the big toe joint wears down. This eventually leads to arthritis. The sooner a man has this diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.
- Achilles tendonitis usually develops from a sudden increase in physical activity, such as when men play weekend sports. Chances of an Achilles tendon rupture can be reduced by treatment of the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis, which is pain and tenderness on the back of the foot or heel.
- Ingrown toenails can pierce the skin, open the door for bacteria to enter the body, and convince some men to perform dangerous “bathroom surgery.” Few men know that a doctor can perform a quick procedure that will end the pain and permanently cure an ingrown toenail.
Good foot care is of vital importance to everyone. Does the foot get the attention and respect it deserves? Absolutely not!! The foot, NO contest, is the number one most neglected, ignored, misunderstood, misdiagnosed and improperly treated part of the human body by the public as well as by the medical profession as a whole. However, it is so very true that “when your feet hurt, you hurt all over”!