Did you know there was a foot health awareness month? Well there is and it is April. As the weather continues to warm up, more and more folks will be sporting flip-flops and other open toed shoes, so wouldn’t it be nice if all of the bare feet soon to be on daily display were in perfect health and looking good?
The reality is that, unless our job is professional mattress tester (Sleepy’s actually does hire one each year) we are on our feet. If there’s a physical issue or injury affecting our feet or ankles, life simply becomes a lot less fun. The issues cover a large spectrum including flat feet, bunions, hammertoes, heel pain, ingrown nails, or toenail fungus just to name a few. None are pleasant to deal with and some are definitely not pleasant to have on display.
While many foot issues are due to our hectic lives as adults, another cause of foot and ankle issues might be a childhood injury picked up as part of a team or just playing in the neighborhood. We’ve all experienced something with our feet, so the question then becomes what can be done about any of it?
Being good to your feet
There are some simple and basic things that we can do to care for our feet on a daily basis such as:
- Have good foot cleaning habits – A good wash-and-dry routine for your feet will lessen the chances you have to deal with things like athlete’s foot, foot odor, or other bacteria and fungi.
- Moisturize everyday – Dry skin can become problematic if left unchecked, and that goes for the feet just like anywhere else on the body. And this goes for the guys as well as the ladies!
- Wear the right shoes – Many people today wear improper shoes. Some for fashion, others because they think one shoe or sneaker is just like the next one. Tight shoes or sneakers can worsen things like bunions, or even distort your toe shape and cause pain. Worn shoes or sneakers do not provide the proper support as they do when they are brand new so they should be replaced regularly. It’s also important to alternate the shoes you wear regularly, including heel heights in order to protect your Achilles tendon from shortening.
- Choose the right socks – While we almost certainly put way less thought into the socks we wear as compared to the shoes, they matter a great deal. They protect your feet from wear and tear, and they also absorb and wick away moisture. In fact, as you get older, good, cushy, shock-absorbing socks become even more important. Maybe those folks who boldly sport socks with sandals are onto something!
Diabetes and Foot Health
Your foot health awareness is crucial. Because diabetes can damage nerve endings and blood vessels in the feet, it becomes a possibility that one might not even notice when her feet are injured. Thus, a more pro-active approach to being aware of the condition of one’s feet becomes paramount. Left unattended, foot problems for diabetics can lead to ulcers, infections or worse. Proper foot care can help those with diabetes prevent most of these issues and catch other issues before it is too late.
Of course, one of the most important steps you take for good overall health is to exercise. You need not be an extreme athlete as getting out and enjoying a walk is a simple way to improve both your physical and mental health. During National Foot Health Awareness Month, though, just take the extra couple of minutes to think about your feet. And should your brisk walk take you into any of our Country Foot Care locations, make sure to take advantage of our medical shoe store and our knowledgeable and skilled physicians.