April is National Foot Health Awareness Month
Do your feet hurt? According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, approximately 20 percent of Americans have at least one foot-related problem each year! Problems range from major foot or ankle fractures to overuse injuries, to toe-nail issues, to complications from diabetes. Each day Americans average 10,000 steps and you need your feet for each step!
In recognition of National Foot Health Awareness Month, the foot and ankle surgeons at Capital Foot and Ankle would like you to make avoiding foot problems a priority! Consider some of our recommendations:
- Check your feet daily, especially if you have diabetes. Watch for cracks, bruising, callouses, blisters, injuries, or peeling skin
- Be sure to lotion feet daily. Avoid the space between the toes and be careful to dry the spaces to avoid fungal infections
- Don’t leave nail polish on toe nails continuously. Remove often to avoid brittle toenails or nail fungus
- Apply sunscreen to feet when going barefoot or when wearing sandals, especially during sunny months
- Stretch feet, ankles, and legs regularly to avoid injury
- Maintain healthy weight to prevent excess stress on feet and ankles
- Wear shoes with good support and a low heel to prevent overuse injuries
- Replace exercise shoes every 6 months or 500 miles. Wearing worn-down shoes can cause feet to function incorrectly
- As you age, feet will flatten and widen. Be sure to check and make sure that your shoes continue to fit appropriately
- Avoid going barefoot in public places to avoid cuts that could lead to infection
- If your child complains of recurrent foot pain or has changes in running or walking, they should see a podiatrist to ensure that there are no major problems
- If you suffer from a toe, foot, or ankle injury, seek attention right away. It is often better and easier to treat these things early!