BLACKOOT — In honor of National Foot Health Awareness Month, here’s some advice on how to show a little love and respect for the body part most of us take for granted.
From morning to night, our feet take us everywhere we need to go, yet we rarely seem appreciative. We’re either complaining that they aren’t small enough for our new strappy heels or that they smell like Fritos. Maybe the truth is that we take our feet for granted because they almost always get the job done without a hassle. But when something is amiss, our feet let us know.
“Most problems occur from poor footwear choices, poor hygiene or personal foot care, and lack of exercise,” says Dan E. Robinson, DPM, a board-certified podiatric surgeon who specializes in foot and ankle conditions with Bingham Healthcare Orthopedics.
While some foot woes are painful and others are just plain gross, they all can lead to bigger concerns if not dealt with early on. With this in mind, Dr. Robinson provides some advice to help you put your best foot forward.
Wear Shoes Around the House
Forget about leaving them at the front door; wearing shoes at home is a suggested habit for foot care. “Shoes are important to protect you from the environment (heat and cold) and man-made surfaces, like cement and other obstacles that can damage the foot,” says Dr. Robinson.
Practice Good Hygiene
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, each of your feet has more than 250,000 sweat glands and can produce four to six ounces of perspiration a day if you’re active. Combat the stench by washing your feet, including between each toe, with warm, soapy water and a washcloth, and dry them thoroughly. (This will help remove dead skin and bacteria and prevent nail fungus.)
Wear Shoes that Fit
Common sense doesn’t always prevail, especially when it comes between a woman and her stilettos. Yet we wear them at our own peril, as many foot conditions — the three most common being bunions, heel pain and hammertoes — are aggravated by ill-fitting footwear.
Your shoes should offer plenty of support and be wide enough to accommodate the ball of your foot. The back should be cushioned and not dig into your heel or touch your ankle bone.
It’s also important to match the shoe to the activity. “There are some shoes, such as running shoes, which can be used for walking or aerobics, but if you do a sport three or more times a week, you should purchase a specialty shoe,” says Dr. Robinson.
Get Regular Exercise
Regular exercise can build stronger bones and muscle and help maintain your weight. Being fit also keeps your feet happy.
Observe and Report Problems
“Examine your feet daily, looking for minor changes such as redness, irritation, calluses and toenail fungus, and don’t ignore pain,” says Dr. Robinson. “If you have pain in your feet that lasts for two or more days — even with rest, ice, and simple over-the-counter cushions and anti-inflammatories — you should see a podiatric foot and ankle specialist.”
Put Your Feet in Good Hands
Heel pain, foot pain, bunions, hammertoes, and other foot deformities are just some of the conditions that Dan Robinson, DPM, a board-certified foot and ankle specialist, can treat. He also helps diabetic patients control their foot pain and eliminate future problems, which sometimes leads to amputation. His patients play an active role in the treatment of their foot and ankle conditions.
If you are concerned about your feet, Dr. Robinson is always welcoming patients to his offices in Blackfoot, Pocatello, and Idaho Falls. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Robinson, contact his office at (208) 782-2490.