Did you know that this week, October 11-17th, 2021 is Foot Health Awareness week? The purpose of this week is to spread awareness of foot health and help Australians understand the importance of taking care of one’s feet. In this article, we will break down how exercising proper foot health can positively impact your overall health and lifestyle and provide some tips on how to keep your feet healthy and happy.
When it comes to foot health, you may not think much about it, or practice it at all. Ignoring minor foot pain, making excuses associated with long days of standing or walking is something that is all too common. What some fail to realize is these small aches and pains may be something greater than a temporary ailment. According to an article on Pharmaceutical Journal’s website, “Almost a third of GP consultations for musculoskeletal problems relate to pain in the foot and ankle, and a total of 2.2 million working days were lost in Britain in 2014-2015 because of work-related disorders of the leg, such as osteoarthritis and tendonitis (although this figure encompasses the whole lower limb, not just the foot)”.
Your feet are the base of your entire body. Foot, ankle, and leg pain can lead to a less active life, opening the door to a wide range of other health issues that can include muscle loss and weight gain putting you at a greater risk for heart disease or diabetes (se-ortho.com).
If you have a preexisting condition such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease, proper foot care is vital to avoid complications or even amputation. Diabetes Australia online offers information that connects the importance of foot maintenance and diabetes, “Your feet are at risk because diabetes can cause damage to the nerves in your feet, blood circulation, and infection”. The site goes on to suggest that having diabetes over time, high blood glucose levels, smoking, and being inactive could increase your risk of developing complications of the feet.
Taking proper care of your feet and limbs does not have to start with pain and discomfort. There are things you can do to routinely check and keep up with proper foot health. Below is a list of items that can help improve your overall foot health and lead you to a happier, more active life.
- Check-in with your feet.
Do a swift inspection of your feet every day. Something you should look out for is any pain, swelling, discoloration to your skin or toenails. If you do notice any changes, get in touch with your podiatrist to avoid worsening conditions.
- Wear shoes that fit!
It is important that we do not take comfort for granted. Wearing shoes that have ample support and fit correctly can have a major impact on your day-to-day activities and performances. If you find that you are constantly experiencing discomfort, get your shoes professionally fitted.
- Make foot care a priority.
Foot hygiene is essential to avoid fungal and bacterial infections. You don’t need to get a pedicure every day but actions such as soaking and moisturizing your feet can make a difference in your overall foot health and appearance.
- Move your body!
Walking and exercising does not only benefit your overall health. Moving your body assists with soft tissue and joint health that can vastly improve the condition of your feet. If you are someone that sits for long periods, make it a priority to get up and move- your feet will thank you!
The objective of Foot Health Awareness week is to spread the importance of foot health. Even if you do not have a preexisting condition that causes foot problems, it is vital to take proper care of your feet to live a long, happy, active life. If you have questions or would like to speak to a podiatrist today about YOUR foot health, please visit: Best Foot Forward Podiatry – Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics is a podiatry clinic.
Why Foot Care is Important | Southeast Orthopedic Specialists (se-ortho.com)
A strong base: the importance of foot health – The Pharmaceutical Journal (pharmaceutical-journal.com)
Foot care – Diabetes Australia
Foot Health Week 2021 – Australian Podiatry Association Ltd