Your feet are important – really important. It’s hard to move and get around without healthy feet. And if you have ever gotten off work after standing on your feet all day, you know just how aggravating foot problems can be.
There are some symptoms and problems with your feet that indicate something might be wrong. If you experience any, you should consider going to a podiatrist and getting your feet checked out.
Pain in Your Feet
Feet hurt from time to time. We are on our feet all the time, and minor hurts are bound to happen.
But there is really no amount of pain that should be ignored. Pain is a sign that something is wrong.
For example, if you experience foot pain in the morning when you get up, you could have a condition called plantar fasciitis (it could also be arthritis).
If you experience pain that does not go away, and actually gets worse throughout the day with more activity and pressure, you could have a fracture in your foot.
If you experience pain in your feet more than just a mild ache after a long day of walking or standing, then you should see a podiatrist. There could be something wrong.
One feeling you may encounter is not a feeling at all – it’s numbness.
Numbness can be a sign of a serious problem. Our feet are not supposed to go numb, but when they do, there’s probably something causing it that requires medical care.
You could have peripheral artery disease (PAD), for example, which is a condition that causes blood vessels to narrow, thus restricting blood flow to your extremities; (if you also experience pain and coldness in your legs, that’s another sign).
You could also have diabetes. Diabetes can lead to a loss of sensation in the feet, and that can cover up a host of other problems that range from ulcers to infections. If you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes, but your feet are going numb, you should get checked out.
Finally, there are a slew of neurological problems that can lead to numbness. In addition, heavy alcohol use can also make your feet go numb.
In any case, if you lose feeling in your feet, go to a podiatrist to see what’s up.
Discoloration in the Feet
If your feet are changing colors, that’s an obvious sign that something is wrong.
But the discoloration we’re talking about here is more subtle. A mole that develops, or dark spots underneath your toenails, can both be signs of something serious: skin cancer. And while we think skin cancer usually strikes in our arms and faces and other exposed areas of skin, it is the most common type of cancer in the foot.
Bumps and lumps in your feet should also be checked out, which becomes really important if you see any of the discoloration or marks we just talked about.
Your feet actually change size during the course of the day, but you probably don’t notice.
Changes in the size of your feet that you do notice; however, are usually caused by swelling, and swelling can be a symptom of something wrong.
Poor circulation can cause swelling. Infections can cause swelling. Torn tendons and stress fractures in your bones can cause swelling.
If you’ve injured your foot, swelling will usually follow. If you have not injured your foot, but are getting swollen feet, you probably have a circulation issue or a reaction to medication.
In any case, you should go see a doctor.
Here’s the rule of thumb for foot problems: if you experience anything that is out of the ordinary with your feet, go see a podiatrist. You have to keep your feet healthy if you want to keep doing the things you want to do.
Take your feet seriously and they will help you. Fail to take care of them and you will wish you had.