Do’s and Don’ts for Strong Foot Bones
Did you know that your two feet contain more than a quarter of all the bones in your body? At FL Foot Health, we think that’s a good reason to observe National Osteoporosis Month. Since the bones in your feet have to hold up and carry your entire body, strong bones are essential. Patients with osteoporosis lose too much or don’t make enough or both. Fortunately, however, there are ways of avoiding fractures caused by this disease. Below are some do’s and don’ts to help you build stronger bones.
Do: Know your risk factors for osteoporosis. Patients over the age of 50, post-menopausal women, a family history of the disease and a small, thin body type all increase your risk. Talk to your doctor to assess your individual risk.
Do: Be sure you are getting adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. In addition to dairy products, other sources include: seeds, canned fish (such as sardines and salmon), leafy greens, fortified breads, juices and cereals. If you do not get enough through the food you eat, you may need to take a supplement.
Don’t: Smoke—it impedes circulation.
Do: Eat more fruits and vegetables. Other vitamins and minerals are also important for building strong bones like magnesium, vitamin K and potassium. A diet that is packed with fruits and vegetables will ensure that you get all the nutrients you need.
Don’t: Ignore foot pain. Osteoporosis is known as a “silent disease.” You can’t feel your bones getting weaker, and for many patients a fracture is the first indication that they have osteoporosis. Symptoms of a stress fracture can be pain in the forefoot that may come and go as well as swelling and bruising. Contact your podiatrist to get symptoms evaluated promptly. Need to find a podiatrist in your community? Consult our online directory.
Do: Exercise regularly. Both weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises will help prevent loss of bone and increase bone strength.
Don’t: Drink excessive amounts of alcohol or do fad diets that cause rapid weight loss, as these can also weaken your bones.