Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Seventy-five percent of Americans will experience foot health
problems of varying degrees of severity at one time or another in their
- The foot is an intricate structure containing 26 bones. Thirty-three
joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles, and tendons hold the structure together
and allow it to move in a variety of ways.
- The 52 bones in your feet make up about one quarter of all
the bones in your body.
- Women have about four times as many foot problems as men;
lifelong patterns of wearing high heels often are the culprit.
- The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. Those
cover several miles, and they all add up to about 115,000 miles in a
lifetime -- more than four times the circumference of the globe.
- There are times when you're walking that the pressure on your
feet exceeds your body weight, and when you're running, it can be three
or four times your weight.
- Shopping for shoes is best done in the afternoon. Your
feet tend to swell a little during the day, and it's best to buy shoes
to fit them then. Have your feet measured every time you purchase
shoes, and do it while you're standing. When you try on shoes, try them
on both feet; many people have one foot larger than the other, and it's
best to fit the larger one.
- Trim your toenails straight across with clippers specially
designed for the purpose. Leave them slightly longer than the tips of
- Walking is the best exercise for your feet. It also
contributes to your general health by improving circulation, contributing
to weight control and promoting all-around well being.
- Your feet mirror your general health. Such conditions
as arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their
initial symptoms in the feet -- so foot ailments can be your first sign
of more serious medical problems.
- The podiatrist (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine or D.P.M.)
is the health care professional trained in the care of your feet. He
or she receives conventional medical training, plus special training
on the foot, ankle, and lower leg. All 50 states, the District of Columbia,
and Puerto Rico require that they pass rigorous state board examinations
before they are licensed, and most require continuing education programs
for regular license renewal.
- There are about 10,700 podiatrists actively in practice in
the United States, and they receive more than 55 million visits a year
from people with any number of foot ailments. This is probably only
a fraction of the number of foot problems. Mostly, say podiatrists,
that's because many people have the erroneous notion that their feet
are supposed to hurt.
- Only a small percentage of the population is born with foot
problems. It's neglect, and a lack of awareness of proper care
-- including ill-fitting shoes -- that bring on the problems.
A lifetime of wear and tear, plus neglect, accounts for the fact that
the practices of most podiatrists are made up of older Americans.
- Corns and calluses are caused by friction and pressure from
skin rubbing against bony areas when wearing shoes. If the first
signs of soreness are ignored, corns and calluses rise up as nature's
way of protecting sensitive areas.
- There are approximately 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of
feet, and they excrete as much as half a pint of moisture each day.
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