This is my very first blog. The rush of blood and excitement is immense. Just signed up for volunteering with the American Diabetes Association and heading to the gym after a long day of work even though the main thing on my mind with the influence of a semi-empty stomach is Jollof Rice (a typical West-African rice dish), some snail and goat meat. Please take me back to Nigeria; I would be at peace with my stomach. A bundle of joy in brainstorming this journal mixed with anxiety, to say the least, are the feelings going through my mind. Just spoke to a long-time friend, Fashion designer, and shoemaker about this project and hoping to get him on board as co-contributor.
Let me drop this food for thought? Do we know that on an average daily basis, our shoes are the costliest part of our outfit? This brings me to the topic of my blog "Happy Feet." I am a future podiatrist (foot doctor) and my goal is to talk about feet – from a to z, the good, the bad, the ugly! I am going to explore everything about the foot – the history, the anatomy, the fashion, the sensuality, the social aspects and much more. For a body part needed for mobility and daily function, how do we really care for our feet. I care for major part of the body, via cardio or exercise for my brain and heart, right diet for my brain & stomach. Truly one of the most important, and valuable organ and probably on the list of "taken for granted" is our feet. Our feet have the vital task of supporting the entire body. “The health of your feet, despite their distance from your heart, can affect your overall health,” says Dr. Brezinski, a Chicago-area podiatrist and president of the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association. According to Everyday Health and as we all know “it’s hard to concentrate on anything when your feet hurt.”
The skin on our foot soles are the thickest part of the body, followed by the palms on our feet, a fact that many people are not aware of. For many workers, like health care professionals, cashiers, and factory workers, standing for 12 hours is a norm, but the question is when we get a day off, we'll take care of our hair, go for a run or the gym, or what have you, but have you ever taught about a "feet massage", just to cool off. I know it sounds very fetish but considering the toll on our feet per day, per week, don't you think some love for the foot is much needed. Today, with the number of activities we engage in on a daily basis, we are at risk or living with one or more minor foot conditions, which could lead to major setbacks. Foot care is a health issue that has been and still is neglected by many, including myself. A lack of knowledge on this subject is the primary cause especially for people in the lower class –people burdened by poverty, poor education and other health conditions and sometimes even the middle class- people who barely can make ends meet on a monthly basis. You may not have foot problems that you may be aware of until something significant happens to your feet, but could ignorance be an excuse to poor health and foot problems? In spite of it all, keep in mind that with the amount of energy and pressure exerted on our lower extremities on a daily basis, proper care should be given to the feet.
What are the consequences of not taking proper care of your feet? Bad foot care can result in foot ailments that can lead to more serious health problems. One simple measure that many people fail to do is to properly clean their feet. For example, soaking the feet in warm water with Epson salt is far better than simply warm water, which can result in extreme skin dryness leading to flaking. After bathing, it is important to thoroughly dry the feet, especially between toes. Equally important are wearing and changing socks, wearing comfortable shoes that fit well and give good support, and stretching the feet often to enhance blood flow.
Here in this blog, I will discuss foot ailments such as athlete's foot, bunions, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, sports injuries, the impact of wearing high heels, shoes with good support, and foot deformities. I will also examine debilitating foot conditions that result from diseases like diabetes, gout, and arthritis. Diabetes, a health epidemic across the world, poses a particular threat to the feet.
A prominent religious leader once said: “You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation. You must have a solid foundation if you’re going to have a solid structure.” I say, “You can’t have great health with poor feet.”
By Daniel Okpare
Creator of HAPPY FEET (Medical-Health Blog)