It's no surprise that healthy feet are important for feeling good and staying active. With 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, the foot is one of the most complex parts of the skeletal system.
BIDMC podiatric surgeon Thanh Dinh, DPM, shares five simple tips for keeping your feet feeling their best.
Dry off from head to toe. You likely towel off after each shower, but do you thoroughly dry your feet? "Excess moisture that can get trapped in socks and between toes makes it easy for a fungal infection to begin," says Dinh.
Trim nails regularly. Pedicures are nice, but all you really need is a straight cut across each nail, without trimming too close to the skin. "A straight cut helps deter painful ingrown toenails," she says.
Wear shoes that fit. Shoes that are too big or too small can cause skin irritation, like blisters, toenail injuries and more. "I tell my patients to leave a half inch between your longest toe and the front of a closed-toe shoe for a good fit," says Dinh.
Find supportive shoes. After a good fit comes support. While high heels, flats and flip-flops are okay on occasion, it's important to make sure the shoes you wear regularly offer support. "Your feet endure constant pounding," says Dinh. "Supportive shoes or properly fitted inserts can help ease pain and prevent injury."
Know when to see a doctor. Pain, redness and persistent swelling should be checked out by a podiatrist. "Allowing a doctor to take a look can often prevent a minor problem from becoming a major one," Dinh says.