Be Active in Foot Health Awareness

As the weather warms up, Great Care promotes proper foot health as an important step in being more active and getting outside in the fresh spring air. To help the cause, the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society suggests five ways to assess foot health, starting with self-exams.

According to the Society, the human foot contains 26 bones plus 33 joints. So optimal foot health is essential.

“Your feet serve as the foundation for the rest of your body structure,” the AOFAS says. “If your feet are painful or not mechanically sound, this can affect the knees, hips and even the lower back. It is important to take care of your feet.”

The question is, how often should you check in on them?

“If you’re an average walker, you take about 10,000 steps per day, which add up to more than 3 million steps per year. You’re also carrying approximately four to six times your body weight across the ankle joint when you climb stairs,” reminds the society. “This amounts to a lot of stress and strain on the feet and ankles. To make sure yours stay healthy, orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists recommend you examine your feet at least weekly.”

Care for your feet this season, and beyond, by following these five steps for your next foot self-exam, courtesy of the AOFAS:

1. Appearance: Look for things like swelling, discoloration of the skin or nails, blisters, excessive calluses and changes to the shape of your foot. Examine your soles and the spaces between your toes. If you’re not physically able to closely look at your feet, have a family member or friend help you. If you find anything unusual, especially since your last self-exam, see your primary doctor or contact an orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist near you.

2. Blood Flow: Press down on the nail of your big toe until the color blanches. Let go and allow the blood flow to return to your toe. The return of normal color should take two to five seconds in a person with average circulation.

3. Function: Try to pick up a marble or a small dish towel with just your toes to test their flexibility. To test your ankle flexibility, hang your heel over the edge of a stair while standing facing up the staircase. Now let the heel go below the level of the stair. If this causes pain, stop the test. If your heel goes below the level of the stair without causing strain in your calf, that is excellent. If there is some strain, this can be improved with flexibility exercises.

4. Sensation: Take a pencil eraser and lightly run it on the top, bottom and both sides of your feet. The sensation should feel equal in all quadrants. It may tickle on the bottom of the feet. That is normal.

5. Pain: If you have pain, feel parts of your foot for the location. There should be no pain in the average, uninjured foot.

After you’ve checked your feet, try a balance test. Stand on one foot with your arms out to the side and your eyes closed. If you are less than 30 years old, you should be able to balance for 15 seconds; 30 to 40 years old, for 12 seconds; 40 to 50 years old, for 10 seconds; and over 50 years old, for seven seconds. Balance can be improved with exercises.

For more information on foot health and typical foot problems, visit the Adult Foot Health page at, the patient education site of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS). The site also includes a physician finder to easily find an orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist in your area.

For do-it-yourself foot soak recipes to help sooth dry or cracked skin, including the easy epsom salt recipe here, follow the link below from Top 10 Home Remedies. Your feet will thank you this spring and summer!

How to Heal Cracked Feet

The professionals at Great Care are available to talk with you and your family about all of your home care needs, including respite care. Great Care is a non medical in-home care agency providing quality and affordable elder care in Fishers, IN and the surrounding areas. Call (888) 240-9101 for more information.

About Julie S.

Julie Sullivan is the Owner at Great Care of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Great Care is a licensed, personal services agency, providing in-home care services to the Indianapolis, Indiana and surrounding areas. We serve the personal health and daily care needs of seniors or individuals who prefer to stay at home, but require assistance with everyday activities, such as dressing, personal hygiene, meal preparation, laundry or errands. Our team of certified nurse aids and home health aids can provide you with personalized, in-home care services to meet your needs, including:
• Daytime hourly in-home care
• Temporary or post-hospital respite care
• 24-hour, around-the-clock home care
• Morning and evening care
• Overnight / Slumber care
In addition, we offer our Care Compass service, to assist in setting the course for the next stage in your loved ones life. We guide you through the currents of aging, and help you find your true north. Our licensed nurses, with experience in hospice and geriatric care, will help guide you through the complex and often sensitive journey of selecting an in-home care service, and will provide a smooth transition to a new way of life for your loved one, without the anxiety and fear.
Our current nursing and management team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the home healthcare services industry. All of our caregivers are bonded, insured and screened thoroughly, so you know you’ll be receiving the greatest care possible. That’s why we stand by our mission: to deliver the same, quality care we expect for ourselves and our loved ones.