5 Ways to Improve Podiatric Health
At NY Foot Health, we love April because it’s National Foot Health Awareness Month. Helping patients be more proactive in the care of their feet and ankles is something we feel strongly about. In fact, we offer a number of community initiatives aimed at improving podiatric (and overall) health, including Diabetic Foot Care, Fall Prevention, Opioid Addiction and Obesity. There are also many simple ways that you can lower your risk of foot problems and speed healing and pain relief if you do have a problem. Below are five of our favorites:
1. Make checking your feet part of your daily routine. It takes just a couple of seconds when you’re bathing or putting your socks on to look over your feet. Changes in skin color or temperature, redness, bruising, lumps or growths, toenail thickening or rashes can all be the initial signs of a foot disorder. Reporting these suspicious symptoms to your podiatrist promptly can head off a serious foot issue. If you don’t have a podiatrist, use our online directory to locate one in your community.
2. Don’t wear shoes that are too small. It’s estimated that 9 out 10 people are walking around in footwear that’s too tight for their feet. Shoes with pointy, narrow tips squeeze toes together and can increase your risk for conditions such as bunions and ingrown toenails. High heels (over 2 inches) compound the problem by forcing the foot forward. Limit time in high heels or, better yet, don’t wear them at all.
3. Prepare properly for a podiatrist appointment. Bring anything that will be useful in helping the podiatrist diagnose your problem. This may include the sports shoes you wear when you experience foot pain, x-rays, other imaging studies and medical records that pertain to the affected part of your foot and detailed information about your symptoms.
4. Follow the podiatrist’s instructions for treatment. Complete the full course of therapy or medication that the foot doctor prescribes and wear a custom orthotic regularly if you have one. If there is anything unclear about the foot doctor’s instructions or some part of the treatment is causing you discomfort, don’t just discontinue treatment. Contact the podiatrist to discuss your concerns.
5. Don’t share items that come in contact with other people’s feet. This includes flip flops, socks, towels, nail clippers and emery boards, if you want to reduce your risk of contracting a bacterial or fungal infection.
For more ways to take better care of your feet or to learn about specific podiatric conditions, contact us.