Many people think about foot health, or heart health, or lung health, or any other kind of physical well-being separately, as if they’re not all part of the same body. However, this is too simplistic an approach. In truth, foot health is just one part of whole body health—everything is connected, and every part of the body relies on the others to achieve the greatest level of fitness. Moreover, the health of your feet can often tell you a lot about the rest of your body.
Take peripheral neuropathy and peripheral artery disease, for example. These are both systemic conditions that are frequently linked with diabetes, and that are caused by, influence, and affect your entire body. But for many people, the symptoms strike first—and worst—in the feet and toes. Cold toes, numbness, discoloration, muscle weakness, cramping in the legs, and other symptoms could all be signs that your body is suffering from a more extensive disease. If blood vessels are narrow and clogged in the feet, there’s a good chance they’re narrowing elsewhere too—and that could mean a heart attack or stroke in your future.
Consider also the problem of dry, flaking skin around the heels or balls of the feet. This could, of course, be an isolated incident. Or, it could be the early signs of a thyroid problem, which could affect blood pressure, nerve health, and metabolism throughout your entire body.
Even something as basic as ordinary foot pain can create wider problems. For starters, misalignments in feet don’t tend to stay isolated to the feet. Your entire skeleton has to compensate for issues with its foundation, and that can produce knee, hip, and lower back pain. But on an even more basic level, if your feet hurt, you’re probably not going to be very interested in doing a lot of walking or exercising. That, obviously, can have a snowball effect on the entire state of your physical wellbeing.
Your feet, as it turns out, can be a surprisingly effective diagnostic tool for identifying whole body health risks! So, stop and ask yourself—what are my feet telling me about my health? About my future risks?
If you are experiencing any kind of foot pain, discomfort, or problem, please call the office of Kevin J. Powers, DPM today. Early examination and treatment can not only relieve your pain more easily, but help you identify risks and prevent future threats to your physical health. You can reach us in Bloomington, IN at (812) 333-4422.