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Foot Health

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Summary

Each step you take involves a complex network of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This, combined with all of the weight they carry, explains why feet can have problems. To keep your feet healthy:

  • Examine your feet regularly
  • Wear comfortable shoes that fit
  • Wash your feet daily with soap and lukewarm water
  • Trim your toenails straight across and not too short

Your foot health can be a clue to your overall health. For example, joint stiffness could mean arthritis. Tingling or numbness could be a sign of diabetes. Swelling might indicate kidney disease, heart disease, or high blood pressure.

Good foot care and regular foot checks are an important part of your health care. If you have foot problems, be sure to talk to your doctor.

NIH: National Institute on Aging

Start Here

  • Adult Foot Health (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society)

Diagnosis and Tests

  • Foot Push-Up Test (American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons)
  • How to Evaluate Your Feet (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society)

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • Going Barefoot? Beware! (American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons) Also in Spanish
  • How to Assess Changes in Feet (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society)
  • How to Keep Feet Flexible (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society)
  • Taking Care of Your Feet (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society)

Learn More

  • Focus on Your Feet! Take Steps to Protect Foot Health From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Related Issues

  • 10 Points of Proper Shoe Fit: How Do You Find the Right Shoes? (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society)
  • Foot Health Facts for Athletes (American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons)
  • How to Eat Right for Healthy Feet (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society)
  • How to Select Athletic Shoes (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society)

Clinical Trials

  • ClinicalTrials.gov: Shoes From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

  • Article: Surface effects on kinematics, kinetics and stiffness of habitual rearfoot strikers...
  • Article: Plantar pressure and falling risk in older individuals: a cross-sectional study.
  • Article: Evaluation of Different Pressure-Based Foot Contact Event Detection Algorithms across Different...
  • Foot Health -- see more articles

Find an Expert

  • American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
  • American Podiatric Medical Association
  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases From the National Institutes of Health Also in Spanish

Children

  • Why Do Feet Stink? (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish

Teenagers

  • Points about Shoes (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.

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