How To Keep Your Feet & Ankles Healthy

How To Keep Your Feet & Ankles Healthy

Your feet and ankles are responsible for carrying you from point A to point B, and while that may seem like a simple task, your foot and ankle anatomy is rather complex. Each foot contains 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Your ankle is a joint where three bones — your fibula, tibia, and talus — and many ligaments meet to connect your leg to your foot.

Our board-certified providers at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers understand the complexities of foot and ankle health and how the smallest affliction can have the biggest impact on your mobility and quality of life. That’s why we offer a full line of podiatric services to treat both foot and ankle issues. 

In addition to treating ankle and foot issues, our providers want to help you avoid issues whenever possible. Read on to learn our best tips for keeping your feet and ankles healthy.

How to keep your feet healthy

Pampering your feet is more than just painted nails or smooth heels. Keeping your feet healthy can help you prevent issues, such as toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, and slow-healing wounds.

The following eight tips can help you keep your feet healthy:

  1. Clean your feet daily and dry them thoroughly to reduce your risk of fungal infections
  2. Inspect feet regularly for any injury (even a small blister)
  3. Trim nails regularly straight across to prevent ingrown nails
  4. Wear well-fitting shoes and replace worn-out shoes regularly (fun fact: replace running shoes every 500 miles to help prevent issues like plantar fasciitis!) 
  5. Moisturize your feet (but refrain from applying lotion between your toes)
  6. Wear shower shoes to prevent contracting athlete’s foot or warts from public locker rooms 
  7. Change your socks often if your feet are naturally sweaty
  8. Wear orthotics as prescribed (if applicable) 

If you have diabetes, one of the best things you can do for your feet is to schedule regular diabetic foot exams. Because diabetes can compromise the circulation in your feet, and you’re more prone to developing nerve damage in your feet, routine check-ups are essential for identifying any potential red flags.

How to keep your ankles healthy

You might not think much about your ankles until they hurt, but once your ankles hurt, it can quickly limit your mobility. Acute injuries, overuse, and medical conditions (such as arthritis) can all contribute to ankle instability, swelling, or discomfort. 

While you can’t avoid ankle problems with 100% certainty, the following strategies can help reduce your risk of ankle issues:

  1. Always warm up before any physical activity 
  2. Wear well-fitting shoes designed for the activity you are doing (i.e., wear high-top basketball shoes while playing basketball) 
  3. Reduce your risk of developing arthritis by exercising, eating an anti-inflammatory diet, and maintaining a healthy weight
  4. Wear hiking shoes, using walking sticks, and hike on well-marked paths to prevent sprained ankles
  5. Stay diligent with physical therapy (if relevant to you)

As with foot conditions, if you’re prescribed orthotics to help correct an ankle issue, always wear the device as prescribed. 

When to address foot or ankle problems 

Even with the best care, foot and ankle issues can arise — often when you least expect it. Acute injuries, such as a broken foot or a sprained ankle, should be addressed immediately to ensure your injury heals correctly. Whether you’re dealing with an ingrown nail or a stiff ankle joint, it’s better to address the issue as soon as possible before a small issue snowballs into a larger problem.

At Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers, our team excels at treating injuries and conditions that affect your feet and your ankles. Your provider reviews your symptoms, assesses your injury and reviews any needed diagnostic imaging tests, and creates a customized treatment based on your symptoms and type of injury or condition. 

Potential treatments vary greatly depending on your condition, but know that our team can provide both surgical (including ankle replacements) and nonsurgical treatments. 

Learn more about foot and ankle care by scheduling an appointment online. You can also call the location of your choice — either Arlington or Mansfield, Texas — and get the care you need.

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