What Your Feet Can Tell You About Your Health

By: Emily Oberg

 

 

We often overlook the importance of our feet and their health. But when you consider how much we rely on them, it's crucial that we take care of our feet just as much as any other part of our body. Whether you suffer from foot pain, numbness, swelling, cold feet etc., it’s important to know that in some cases, these symptoms could indicate an underlying health concern. If you experience any of the below on a regular basis, you may want to consult a physician just to make sure everything’s working as it should be.

 

Pain and swelling in the ankles and feet- This could be a sign of inflammatory arthritis otherwise known as gout. This happens when you have an excess of uric acid in your bloodstream which causes crystal deposits to form in your joints and feet.

 

Numbness/Tingling- Numb feet after sitting for a long period of time is normal, but when it’s persistent, it could indicate multiple sclerosis or nerve damage. 

 

Ongoing pain and tingling- The combination of these two could be an early marker of diabetes, which is known to cause nerve damage. 

 

Cold Feet- This often indicates poor circulation from inactivity. When our circulation isn’t good, our body struggles to get blood flowing to places like our hands and feet. This is yet another reason why it’s so important to move your body and stay active.

 

Black or brown line under nail- While people might often mistake this as a bruise or injury, it could be a sign of melanoma (skin cancer) and it’s important to get it checked immediately. 

 

There are multiple ways to care for your feet to reduce pain, injuries etc. Shockwave therapy is one treatment that some people swear by. It works by using vibrations on the feet to stimulate our body’s healing abilities. It’s used for conditions such as foot pain, sprains, nerve damage, arthritis and other foot related injuries. 

 

Reflexology is another treatment that aims to help all areas of the body, not just your feet. In a reflexology session, varying levels of pressure is applied to certain points on the feet, each of which correspond to other parts of our body such as the liver, stomach, intestine, lungs, spleen etc.