The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons tells us that 48% of all Americans over the age of 18 suffer from some sort of pain of the musculoskeletal system. That means that almost half of all adults have pain somewhere in their bones or muscles – in their knee, hip, shoulder, foot, and more.
Since there are 28 bones in each foot, 30 joints, and more than 100 muscles, you can understand how the podiatrists at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists are kept very busy treating musculoskeletal pain in our patients! What better time to bring you some info about keeping your foot bones and joints healthy than National Bone & Joint Health Awareness Week, celebrated each year in mid-October.
Here are some medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system in the foot:
- Osteoporosis. If you take an osteoporotic bone, cut it in half, and peer inside, you’ll see what looks like a bit like Swiss cheese. Those tiny holes make bones weak, brittle, and easily broken. Many people aren’t aware that osteoporosis is affecting their bones until they have an unexplained bone fracture, often in their foot.
- Arthritis. Painful joints can often be traced back to some form of arthritis. Some common forms include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Gout. High levels of uric acid in the body, caused by eating foods high in a substance called purines, can cause sudden, painful inflammation of the joints in the big toe.
- Injury. Sports injuries, overuse, and accidents can cause inflammation or tears in muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones anywhere in the foot.
The following tips will help you to maintain strong bones and active, healthy joints:
- Engage in weight-bearing exercises like walking, jogging, kickboxing, and lifting weights.
- Watch your diet. Feed your bones and joints with enough calcium and Vitamin D. Stay away from foods with high purine levels.
- Wear supportive shoes, appropriate to your activity, to help protect your feet from injury.
- At the first sign of joint, muscle, or any other pain in your feet, make an appointment with Heidi M. Christie, DPM or Chanda L. Day-Houts, DPM, the river region’s expert podiatrists. We offer state-of-the art services at our office in Montgomery, Alabama. Contact us online or give us a call at (334) 396-3668.