How To Do A Basic Foot Self-Exam
Keeping our feet healthy is important and a key part of maintaining our foot health is paying attention to what is going on with our feet. Foot self-exams are a great way to stay on top of our foot health.
So, here are some tips on how to do a basic self-exam on your own feet:
- Check your balance. You can test your balance by standing on one foot while holding your arms out to the side and closing your eyes. If you are under 30 years of age, you should be able to balance for 15 seconds. If you are 30-40 years old, you should be able to balance for 12 seconds and if your are 40-50, for 10 seconds. People over 50 years of age should be able to balance for seven seconds. You balance can be improved with exercises.
- Look for circulation problems. Check the color of your feet and toes. Are your nails a normal color? If they are leaning toward purple, blue, red, or white there may be a problem. Press down on the nail of your big toe until the color blanches, then release. In a person with average circulation, normal color should return in about 2 to 5 seconds.
- Check your flexibility. Try picking up a small dish towel or a marble with your toes to test their flexibility. To test the flexibility in your heels, stand on a stair and let your heel hang off. Let the heel go below the level of the stair. If you experience pain, stop the test. If your heel can go below the level of the stair without causing pain or strain in the calf, that is a good thing. If there some strain, that can be improved with exercises.
- Watch out for pain. Pain is never normal in healthy feet.
- Check for sensations in your feet. Take a pencil eraser and run it lightly over your feet. Run it all over the top, bottom and both side of your feet. The sensation should feel equal in all quadrants. If it does tickle on the bottom of your feet, however, that is normal.
- Check your skin. Look for calluses, blisters, or any areas of irritation.
If you notice any problems or experience persistent pain in your feet, you should contact a podiatrist. A self-exam is not meant to take the place of an exam by a podiatrist, but it is a good way to stay aware of your foot health so you can consult a podiatrist if you do have any problems.
You can also take this self-assessment quiz on foot health.
If you would like to set up an appointment with our office, you can contact us at 615-220-8788 or at our toll-free number 888-713-0906. You can also request an appointment online.
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