The average person walks the equivalent of three times around the earth in a lifetime. That is an enormous amount of wear and tear on the 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, ligaments and muscles that make up the foot.

In a survey from the American Podiatric Medical Association, some people have reported foot pain so severe that it hampered their daily function. On average, people develop foot pain in their 60s, but the root cause of painful foot conditions can start as early as the 20s and 30s. Yet, except regular pedicures, most people don’t take much care of their feet. We take our feet for granted and decorate them with ill fitting footwear and don’t think too much about them until the hurt. You only get on pair of feet, so you better take care of them, because even though there have been great advances in recent years regarding artificial limbs, I have yet to see a fake foot as good as a real one.

A lot of people think foot pain is part of the aging process.They accept it as a part of life, function and walk with the pain.  For most people suffering foot pain this is simply not true. The most common foot conditions that occur as you get older are arthritic joints, thinning of the fat pads or cushioning of the soles, plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the fibrous tissue along the sole), bunions (enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe), poor circulation and fungal nails. Almost all of these conditions can be avoided with proactive measures.  If you have the following risk factors, it is a good idea to take preventive steps now before you get to the stage of actual pain as you age.

Are you overweight? The force on your feet is about 120 percent of your weight. Obesity puts a great amount of stress on all the supporting structures of the foot. It can lead to plantar fasciitis and heel pain and can worsen hammertoes and bunions. It’s also a risk factor for diabetes, leading to the next question.

Are you diabetic? Being farthest from the heart, the feet can be the first part of the body to manifest complications like poor circulation which can lead to neuropathy or loss of feeling, both of which can lead to poor wound healing and amputation. Did you know that 92% of all amputees in today’s world are Diabetic. Diabetics should have their feet examined by their physician regularly and avoid tight shoes that cause abrasions and pressure.

Do you have poor circulation? If you’re suffering from peripheral artery disease — a narrowing of veins in the legs — your feet are more susceptible to problems caused from compromised circulation.

Do your parents complain about their feet? Family history is probably your biggest clue to potential problems. Bunions especially, are mostly caused from bio mechanical imbalances during walking and are usually inherited traits. Things like hammer toes and overlapping toes are also effects of poor bio mechanical functions of the foot and are also usually inherited traits. Just because you have inherited risk factors that lead you to the tendency to develop pain because of the way you walk, doesn’t mean you have to suffer like your parents or grand parents did. You can take proactive measures to properly fit and support your feet which will in turn reduce your risks greatly. Most foot conditions are simply due to lack of properly fitting footwear and support.

Do you have flat feet or high arches? Both of these conditions can put your feet at risk. A flat foot is usually simply a hyper-flexible foot, causing muscles and tendons to stretch and weaken; leading to lack of support causing knee, hip, and back pain; plantar fasciitis; tendinitis; and arthritis conditions. A high arch is usually a bit more rigid and has little shock absorption, putting more pressure on the ball and heel of the foot, as well as on the knees, hips and back. The high arched foot suffers from nothing supporting the arch because it’s too high. Shoes and proper custom orthotics that support the arch and heel can help flat feet by controlling the excessive flexibility reducing fatigue. Those with high arches should also use custom orthotics for proper support to aid that arch and look for roomy shoes with softer padding or thicker soles to absorb the shock. Isometric exercises also strengthen muscles supporting the foot.

Are you double-jointed? If you can bend back your thumb to touch your lower arm, the ligaments in your feet are probably stretchy, too. That makes the muscles supporting the foot work harder and can lead to injuries like plantar fasciitis. Wearing motion controlling supportive shoes with proper custom orthotic arch support can be the double-jointed foot’s best friend. This foot is highly flexible and needs superior control to keep it in the best possible health as this foot ages.

Do your shoes fit? In a recent survey, more than 34 percent of men said they could not remember the last time their feet were measured, and 20 percent of women said they wore shoes that hurt weekly; 8 percent wore painful shoes daily. Feet flatten and lengthen with age, so if you are clinging to the shoe size you wore at age 21, get your feet measured (especially mothers — pregnancy expands the feet). The shoe industry is no longer a standard sizing industry. Some shoe runs short, some narrow depending on the pattern, and some run large. You must learn where you foot is to sit inside a shoe to know if that shoes is a proper fit or not. You can no long trust the size on the box. For more shoe fitting information visit Shoes come in mirror matched images, feet do not. A proper bio mechanical custom orthotic can give your shoes exactly what the arches are looking for in the way of functional support. A bio mechanically designed custom orthotic does not inhibit the foot’s function, it will actually aid it. Poorly designed custom orthotics and over the counter arch supports will inhibit the way the foot is suppose to function and over time can cause other painful foot conditions stemming from atrophy to misalignment of bones. It is difficult to recondition the foot when these conditions exist. It is best to invest in proper functional orthotics in the first place.

Do you wear high heels? ”The high heel concentrates the force on the heel and balances the center of gravity over the metatarsal area of the forefoot. This is too much pressure on the ball of the foot over time and foot pain is almost inevitable. Heels contribute to hammertoes, Morton’s neuroma (pinched nerves near the ball of the foot), bunions and bunionettes as well as a ”pump bump” (a painful bump on the back of the heel near the Achilles tendon), as well as toenail problems. If you must wear high heels long term try to buy shoes that are less than two and a half inches high. It is best to purchase a proper bio mechanically designed custom orthotic for fashion footwear to properly support the foot while it is in this unnatural high heel position. This will significantly reduce the risk of these foot conditions while wearing high heels.

For more information and possible solutions to your foot pain or to be proactive about your overall foot health, I invite you to visit where shoes don’t have to be ugly to feel good. Here you will find the only custom orthotic on the web being made using bio mechanical methods of casting, giving you the best possible custom orthotic guaranteed or your money back. The because…When your feet feel good you feel good.