The health of your feet is essentially a microcosm of the health of your entire body – foot problems can be indicative of larger health issues (like peripheral vascular disease and diabetes). Further, issues in the lower limbs can also cause problems extending into other areas.
An example of that is adult-acquired flatfoot, wherein misalignment in the foot causes leg bones and knee and hip joints out of proper alignment. In this case, someone’s back pain could essentially be caused by his or her feet!
From a certain perspective, this symbiotic relationship is much like our environment.
If you don’t take care of our feet and address issues at the earliest possible opportunity, your overall health and fitness can decline. In the same way, humans need to take responsible measures to improve sustainability and reduce environmental damage if we want to have a habitable home planet.
As you might expect, we are bringing this up today since Earth Day is April 22 and Arbor Day is April 27. These particular days are intended to raise awareness all around the world as to the importance of sustainable living and the environmental benefits trees offer.
With regards to your foot health, we are proud to be a reliable resource for education and treatment whenever you need it.
For those environmental holidays, there are several resources within our greater community. There are a handful we’d like to highlight, but first let’s start with a quick look at how Earth Day came into being.
A Brief History of Earth Day
In 1969, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (WI) witnessed the horrific effects of a massive oil spill out in Santa Barbara, CA. Upon seeing the damage done, Nelson was struck with the idea to create a national day that would be focused on environmental concerns.
At the time, there was a tremendous amount of student involvement in the anti-war movement, and this gave Nelson an idea. He believed the energy of the youth might be a vessel for bringing the dangers of air and water pollution into the public consciousness. If this happened, Nelson thought, then this matter would be forced into discussions and the national political agenda.
Nelson decided that the best way to get the most number of students involved was to dedicate a day that fell somewhere between Spring Break and Final Exams. Accordingly, April 22 was chosen as the date for the initial Earth Day.
As it would turn out, Nelson was right about how this would become a matter of national discussion and interest.
Over 20 million Americans participated in nationwide demonstrations on the first Earth Day in 1970, and called for a healthy, sustainable environment.
From a political perspective, the initial Earth Day was a rousing success. It was supported by people of all political ideologies and walks of life. Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city dwellers and farmers, and business tycoons and labor leaders all made it known that the protection of our natural resources was a national priority.
With so much support for a better environment, the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were all passed by the U.S. Congress. Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was established.
This might have been initially conceived as a domestic event, but it went global in 1990 – with hundreds of millions of people from all over the globe participating. And many still do to this day.
Earth Day in the Greater Phoenix Community
As with many other parts of our nation—and the world as a whole—there are events in and around Phoenix to help recognize Earth Day and the importance of environmental responsibility. Just a couple of these include:
- Earth Day Phoenix 2018 – Now in its 9th year, this event has workshops and vendors to help educate, and music, face-painting, and the APS Clown Troop to make it a fun, festive atmosphere. A major goal for Earth Day Phoenix is to be a “true” Earth Day, meaning a zero-waste event (everything being either recyclable or compostable.
- Earth Day and Arbor Day Celebration – The Environmental Education Center at Veterans Oasis Park is the site of this particular event in Chandler. There will be hands-on activities, live animal presentations, and education on how to live an eco-friendlier lifestyle – which makes this a great outing for the whole family!
- Mesa Earth Day Events and Activities – The city of Mesa has several Earth-friendly events happening (or that have already happened), including CycloMesa, Household Hazardous Waste Event, Water Awareness Month, Celebrate Mesa, and Bike2Work Day and Earth Expo. Additionally, Mesa’s official website has been providing environmental tips throughout the month (adding a new one each day!).
- Global Village Festival – For a more multicultural experience, you can bring the family to Gilbert’s Global Village festival. In its 14th year, the family-friendly event highlights various cultural experiences with the goal of sustaining the arts and rich cultural traditions from around the world. Even better is to participate in Valley Bike Month by riding your bikes to the festival! There will be plenty of bicycle parking and participants are eligible to win prizes.
Celebrating Trees – Family Trees!
Going hand-in-hand with Earth Day is Arbor Day, which is a day when people are encouraged to plant trees and consider their role in making our world livable. Trees play an essential role in our environment are incredibly beneficial, but let’s switch gears a bit and talk about a different kind of tress – family trees.
When it comes to foot conditions, there are basically two (very) general reasons they happen – either something happened or you’re simply born with them.
Now, there are plenty of foot issues we treat for our patients that developed on account of some kind of event or (in the case of overuse injuries) series of events. Most foot and ankle sports injuries would fall into this designation.
Others were simply the matter of a poor draw in the genetic lottery.
A prime example of this—and one that is actually pretty widely misattributed—is bunions.
Whereas many people still believe bunions are caused by women’s footwear (specifically, high-heeled models), this is not the case. After all, if it were true, how come some children and men develop bunions? (Not to say all children and men don’t wear high heels, but it’s safe to say a vast majority do not.)
The logic behind this misconception makes sense. Bunions develop at the base of the big toe, which is where high-heeled shoes place excessive pressure. Also, stilettos and pumps have narrow toe boxes and squash the toes together.
Given those factors, we can say that high-heels make bunions worse – but they don’t cause them.
Instead, bunions are often caused by an inherited foot structure. This is usually a matter of flatfoot, since the condition causes feet to rotate excessively (overpronate) during the ground portion of each step.
If a parent or grandparent has a bunion, the odds are considerably stronger that a child or grandchild will have one as well.
Another foot condition that can fall down the proverbial family tree is a case of ingrown toenails.
Whereas there are other causes of ingrown toenails—physical trauma, improper nail trimming practices—the most common cause is simply a nail structure that is excessively rounded. For this reason, we may need to prevent a nail matrix from generating additional nail tissue when treating the condition.
Don’t Get Mad at Your Parents…Get Treatment!
It can be frustrating when you have a health condition that you couldn’t have possibly done anything to prevent, one that simply came with you in your DNA.
You don’t have to live with the frustration from foot and ankle problems, however!
No matter if the condition was handed down through genetic code or something that happened as a result of an inciting incident, our team at Preferred Foot & Ankle Specialists will work hard to diagnose the problem and then create a customized treatment plan to resolve it for you.
Don’t live with foot pain or discomfort any longer – contact us today! Either give us a call at (480) 497-3946 or use our online form to connect with us right now.