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Foot Questions and Trivia



1. How many people will experience foot health problems in their lifetime?
It is estimated that 75% percent of Americans will experience foot problems at some point during their lives.

2. How many people experience foot problems each year?
About 55 million people in the U.S. experience foot problems each year.

3. Are foot problems widespread?
About 19 percent of the US population has an average of 1.4 foot problems each year.

4. How many bones are in each foot?
Each foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles.

5. Do women have more foot problems than men?
Yes, women are about four times as likely to experience foot problems. This is due to the higher probability of women wearing smaller, more narrow, higher heeled shoes than men. Eighty percent of foot surgery patients are women.

6. How much does an average person walk a day?
The American Podiatric Medical Association says the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which adds up to about 115,000 miles in a lifetime. This is equivalent to walking the circumference of the earth four times.

7. What do I need to know when I shop for shoes?
Shopping for shoes in the afternoon because feet tend to swell a little during the day. Have your feet meaured while you're standing with socks on (if you will be wearing socks with the shoes that you are purchasing). Try on both shoes and walk around the store. If you have one foot which is larger, buy the larger shoe. Once you have purchased the shoes, wear them around the house for a couple of days to make sure they are comfortable and fit well. More information on shopping for shoes.
8. What is the best exercise for your feet?
Walking! Walking also benefits your overall health and general well-being by improving circulation and assisting in weight control.

9. How should toenails be trimmed?
Trim your toenails straight across. It is best to use toenail clippers with a slight curve to them, so there are not sharp edges at the corners. Leave the nail slightly longer than the tips of your toe. Don’t trim the nails too short and don’t cut down the sides of the nail.  This can lead to ingrown toenails and fungal infections.

10. Are foot problems hereditary?
Some foot problems are hereditary, but the majority of foot problems are a result of lack of proper foot care, ill-fitting shoes, overuse injuries, infection, trauma, systemic diseases (for example diabetes) and general wear and tear. An individual can be born with a certain foot type, like a flat foot, which may predispose them to develop certain foot problems (for example plantar fasciitis or tendonitis), but this is not always the case as many individuals with flatfeet never experience foot problems.

11. How much sweat do your feet produce each day?
There are about 125,000 sweat glands in each foot, and together, the feet excrete as much as half a pint of moisture each day.

12. What are the most frequently occurring foot and ankle problems?
Sprains and strains of the ankle account for about 60 percent of all foot and ankle injuries. Over 2 million Americans seek treatment for plantar fasciitis (heel pain) each year. It is estimated that 6-9 million Americans have toenail fungus.  About 2.7 million Americans with diabetes will develop foot ulcers. Other common foot and ankle problems include tendonitis, bunions, hammertoes, ingrown nails, neuromas, sesamoiditis, shin splints and stress fractures.

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Last Updated 6/21/10

Disclaimer: The advice on this website is not intended to substitute for a visit to your health care provider. We will not be held liable for any diagnosis made or treatment recommended. Consult your doctor if you feel you have a medical problem.