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The Heart-Foot Connection

Every year, the American Heart Association names February “National Heart Month.” It’s important to us at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center that our patients’ hearts are healthy. That’s because a patient with a healthy heart is much more likely to lead an active lifestyle that will also contribute to good foot health.

In contrast, an unhealthy heart can lead to poor foot health. All the conditions that we normally associate with heart disease are conditions that can damage your feet as well! That’s the heart-foot connection. Here are some health problems that affect both your heart and your feet:

  1. Smoking
  2. Obesity
  3. High blood pressure
  4. High cholesterol
  5. Diabetes
  6. Inactivity

As a direct result of these health conditions, your feet may suffer from neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease, numbness or tingling, flatfoot, heel pain, and more.

Keep the connection healthy

When you eliminate the 6 health issues above, you greatly reduce both heart and foot problems. One of the best ways to ward off high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes is to stay active. But here’s the irony: if you’re feet hurt, it’s pretty hard to begin or maintain an exercise program. So, when you’re thinking about actions you can take to maintain a healthy heart, it’s really not a stretch at all, to begin with, your feet.

Have your feet examined by a podiatrist

Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm, can examine your feet and address anything that might prevent you from walking and exercising comfortably. Painful problems such as bunions and hammertoes do have solutions, and Dr. Wilhelm provides them every day at our office in Centreville, Virginia. When you eliminate your foot pain, you can stay active and reap the benefits of a healthy heart.

For more tips on healthy feet or for a comprehensive foot exam, visit our online patient education center, call us at (703) 996-3000, or make an appointment online.

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