Foot and ankle play a very vital role in normal locomotion. They not only bear the body weight while walking but also execute the action of walking in such a way so as to make walking an energy efficient process. In order to execute this function meticulously the following are the pre-requisites:
- There should not be any muscle tightness.
- There should not be any muscle weakness.
- All the joints of the lower extremity must provide certain minimum ranges of motion.
- There should not be any length discrepancy in legs. If one of our legs is shorter than the other by more than 6mm then it will have adverse effect on normal mechanics of walking.
- There should not be any condition like flat foot, high arch foot.
- There should not be any intrinsic foot deformity in the foot.
Any one or a combination of the above mentioned conditions can lead to abnormal way of walking which ultimately causes various types of foot and ankle injuries. Apart from the above-mentioned inherent issues, which influence normal mechanics of walking, our choice of footwear also affects this phenomenon.
Abnormal mechanics of walking causes various types of foot and ankle ailments. The most commonly known conditions are burning feet, heel pain, arch pain, bunion, callus and corns, foot ulcers and ankle sprains.
The common maxim “Prevention is better than cure” holds true for foot health as well. The process of evolution has designed our feet to walk on soil but with improvement in civilization, we have changed today the kind of surface on which we walk.
Secondly, our choice of fashionable footwear, also adversely affects our normal locomotion. Wrong footwear can cause problems like bunion, metatarsalgia, morton’s neuroma just to name a few. Managing our weight is also a key towards better foot health.
In this context, one should consider the following things for better foot and ankle health:
- While buying a shoe one should choose supportive footwear rather than a fashionable and contemporary design. Supportive footwear is one, which controls abnormal rotations of our foot and hence minimizes the stress placed upon it. For a shoe to be supportive, it must have firm heel counters, stiff shank area and ½ to 1 inch heel height. It should be noted that the heel height should neither be more than one inch or less than half inch.
- Get your feet evaluated by a Podiatrist for any of the previously mentioned conditions like flat foot or intrinsic foot deformity.
- Special attention must be given in case you are diagnosed with diabetic neuropathic foot.
- On recommendation of Podiatrist, custom orthotics can be used either to resolve any foot and ankle problem or it can also be used as a preventive measure (more specifically in Diabetic Neuropathic Foot).
- Consult a physiotherapist to resolve issues with muscle tightness, weakness or range of motion issues.
In today’s world, it is very important to be informed about our health. And thus, we would like to thank Prabhakar Pandey, Clinical Specialist – Foot Orthotics, AktivOrtho for sharing with us this information on foot and ankle ailments.
These were just the basics and if you’re looking for expert advice and would want us to go into specifics, mail us your doubts and queries to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you soon. Don’t forget to subscribe to our website!
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