Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now!

By on December 16, 2016
foot pain

Before we start getting into the importance of proper movement and exercise, let’s begin with an often ignored and abused part(s) of our body.

We will start from the ground up—literally— with the feet.

Your feet are the foundation for your entire body; they allow you to walk, stand, and run. Every day we expect our feet to take us where we want to go, support our weight and act as our body’s main shock absorber. If that foundation is not solid and balanced, your entire body is affected. Simply walking around on an average day pounds them with hundreds of tons of force.

Together, your two feet contain more than 50 bones, accounting for about one-fourth of all the bones in your body. And somehow they also make room for more than 60 joints and 200 muscles, tendons, and ligaments that hold them together and help them move.

If your feet are strong, flexible, and balanced, they can absorb much of the shock. If not…the shock can cause your body additional strain, and eventually pain.

Something you might not know is that the majority of spinal problems start at your feet.

Many “healthcare” professionals are finally realizing that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between your feet and your spine. Every time your feet hit the ground, a shock wave travels all the way through your body. When there is movement at one joint other joints are affected and an imbalance is passed throughout the skeleton and can cause pain in numerous places, such as your neck, knees, hips, pelvis, and back.

If your feet are strong, flexible, and balanced, they can absorb much of the shock. If not…the shock can cause your body additional strain, and eventually pain.

And then there’s the matter of style. Women often wedge their feet into shoes that don’t give them the room or support they need, such as floppy sandals or the pair of designer pumps that were irresistable when they went on sale — even though they’re a half-size smaller than they should be.

Your feet can develop certain health problems because they’re the farthest body parts from your heart. Your heart pumps blood to your feet through arteries and several medical conditions, such as peripheral arterial disease, can reduce that blood flow to your feet. This is due to a buildup of plaque in these blood vessels. If this occurs, your feet and lower legs may not get the oxygen-rich blood they need to thrive. Diabetes, a condition that affects about 24 million Americans, can also lead to reduced blood flow to your feet that can severely threaten their health.

If you can’t walk comfortably, you’re more likely to stop being physically active, which can reduce your quality of life. In addition, many common life-threatening diseases, from heart disease to some forms of cancer, are associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

If pain in your feet is keeping you from exercising or simply moving around as much as you’d like, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your doctor or a podiatrist, a specialist for the feet. Your tootsies will thank you — and so will your heart and lungs.

As Socrates said: “When our feet hurt, we hurt all over.”

Unfortunately, few of us provide proper preventive care for our hardworking feet. In order to maintain healthy feet one must focus on a variety of goals that include muscle and pain relief, protection against bacterial and fungal infections as well as optimal hydration.

As we get older, the feet tend to lose their protective fat, which, together with free-radical damage from photoaging, can cause the once soft and smooth skin to become wrinkled, leathery, and to lose its natural elasticity. These factors not only deteriorate the appearance of the feet—they can erode our overall health and vitality.

Despite their natural padding and cushioning layer of fat, feet are also extremely sensitive since the soles of the feet contain more pressure-sensitive nerve endings than any other part of the body. These tactile nerve endings also occupy more room in the sensory cortex of the brain than the entire torso.

In an upcoming article, we will address targeted natural agents such as essential oils and botanical extracts that can help energize and protect our depleted feet. The results are healthier feet with a more youthful appearance that are shielded against infectious invaders.

(Our personal favorite happens to be coconut oil)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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