How to Have Happy, Healthy Feet

The average person takes about 5,000-10,000 steps per day. This adds up to around 115,000 miles in a lifetime or walking around the earth four times in your lifetime. This can explain why about 75% of Americans will experience foot problems at least one time in their lives.

What can you do to have happy, healthy feet? The American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons recommends seeing a foot and ankle surgeon any time you have an injury or if you have diabetes, poor circulation, heel pain, joint pain or painful arthritis, impaired ability to walk or perform activities, discomfort after standing, abnormal growth, back or knee pain related to flat feet or high arches, and or any changes in foot or ankle appearance.

The following tips are also recommended:

  1. Get sport-related injuries treated right away. Sport-related injuries can often heal with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). However, it is important to be examined by a qualified physician to rule out a more serious injury.
  2. Proper footwear is essential to prevent injuries. Running shoes are ideal and have a lot of cushioning/padding. You also want to make sure that shoes are not too tight or too long.
  3. Apply sunscreen to feet during the summer. Feet are often neglected. It is just as important to apply sunscreen to your feet as it is to your face to prevent sunburn or melanoma.
  4. Inspect, wash and moisturize your feet daily. It is important that you care for your feet and check them for cuts, calluses, ingrown toenails and more.
  5. Get regular checkups if you have diabetes or poor circulation. Nerve damage from diabetes can lead to numbness, tingling, burning and pain in the feet. If the nerve damage is severe, patients can develop a lack of sensation and will not quickly recognize a wound or infection. Diabetes can also cause poor circulation and make wounds difficult to close. An infection can lead to an amputation if not promptly treated.

About the Authors: John J. Beronio, DPM, and Mina M. Hanna, DPM FACFAS, FACPM, are podiatrists for Valley Medical Group.

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