Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons offer advice in honor of Foot Health Awareness Month
Rosemont, Ill. (April 15, 2019) – Your feet serve as the foundation for your whole body, and when your feet have problems, it can affect other parts of your body like your knees, hips, and lower back. April is Foot Health Awareness Month, an opportunity to take charge of your foot health.
Follow these five helpful tips from foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons to keep your feet healthy and free of pain:
1. Choose the Right Shoes
Wearing shoes that are too big or too tight over long periods of time can lead to corns and calluses, Morton’s neuromas, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, and more. “When you’re choosing your shoes, think about the activity you want to do in them. For example, if you’re planning an outside activity, make sure to wear shoes with good tread that support your ankles and heels,” explains foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon, Eric W. Tan, MD, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “Before buying shoes it is important to try them on and walk around in the store to make sure they are right for your feet.”
2. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Did you know that what you eat affects your feet? Low levels of calcium and Vitamin D may increase your risk of stress fractures in the foot or ankle fractures. Incorporating calcium-rich foods such as dairy products and green leafy vegetables into your diet can keep your bones healthy and strong.
3. Give Your Feet a Workout
Stretching any part of the body is essential to keep the muscles flexible and prevent injuries. Stretching and strengthening your feet regularly helps to relieve the pressure you put on them each day. Try flexibility exercises like toe raises or picking up a towel with your toes. Visit FootCareMD for more stretches and exercises recommended by foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons.
In addition to keeping your feet flexible, Dr. Tan notes that stretching your calf muscles is equally important because tightness in your calves can lead to foot problems including forefoot pain, Achilles tendon pain, and plantar fasciitis.
4. Keep Your Feet Clean
Bacteria and fungi flourish in warm, moist environments. Wearing shoes or socks that are too tight can cause your feet to sweat and lead to odor, rashes, and infections such as athlete’s foot. By wearing proper-fitting shoes, changing your socks often, and thoroughly drying your feet after a shower, you can decrease the chance of bacteria forming.
5. Check Your Feet Daily
For optimal foot health, Dr. Tan recommends checking your feet daily, or twice a day if you are diabetic with neuropathy (loss of feeling) in your feet. When examining your feet, check for changes in appearance, such as swelling, skin discoloration, or changes in your foot shape. Check that the sensation in your feet is equal in all parts and there is no pain. If you notice anything unusual, make an appointment with a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon near you.
For more ways to keep your feet healthy, visit FootCareMD.
About Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeons
Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Their education and training consist of four years of medical school, five years of postgraduate residency, and a fellowship year of specialized surgical training. These specialists care for patients of all ages, performing reconstructive surgery for deformities and arthritis, treating sports injuries, and managing foot and ankle trauma.
About the AOFAS
The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) mobilizes our dynamic community of foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons to improve patient care through education, research, and advocacy. As the premier global organization for foot and ankle care, AOFAS delivers exceptional events and resources for continuous education, funds and promotes innovative research, and broadens patient understanding of foot and ankle conditions and treatments. By emphasizing collaboration and excellence, AOFAS inspires ever-increasing levels of professional performance leading to improved patient outcomes. For more information visit the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society online at aofas.org.
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