by Catherine Brzozowski
Proper foot care is not something most of us think about until related problems literally stop us in our tracks. Yet foot and ankle problems are among the most common health ailments that most people will likely experience during their lifetime.
Some foot problems are inherited, while others stem from regular wear and tear that can be exacerbated by wearing high heels, playing sports or simply neglecting to seek early medical attention for pain.
During your lifetime, you’ll walk almost 115,000 miles. Each step involves a complex network of bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Monitor your foot health with a daily inspection. Wash your feet every day and be sure to rinse off soap completely, dry feet thoroughly (especially between toes) and quickly inspect your feet. Look for cuts, bruises, blisters or red spots and feel for lumps or bumps.
Trim toenails straight across and not too short. Wear clean socks and change them every day; more frequently if you are active to help avoid conditions like athlete’s foot. To protect your feet, wear only properly fitted footwear. When it comes to corns or calluses, do not shave or use over-the-counter medications to dissolve; it’s best to see a foot specialist for proper treatment.
“Foot health is a good indication of your overall well-being, as various foot problems can signal a larger health problem,” said podiatrist Dr. John Scanlon.
“For example, joint stiffness could mean arthritis,” Scanlon said. “Tingling or numbness could be a sign of diabetes. Swelling might indicate kidney disease, heart disease or high blood pressure. Good foot care and regular checks are an important part of your health care.”
If you’ve been meaning to see a podiatrist for your aching feet, join Dr. Scanlon at our Foot Foes lecture at Center on the Hill, 8855 Germantown Ave, at 12:30 p.m. Monday, March 4. He’ll share the facts, common causes, symptoms and treatments for foot and ankle conditions, including arthritis. Plus, all attendees will receive a free foot screening. It’s time to stand up to your foot pain.
To register for the March 4 session, call 215-753-2000, or visit ChestnutHill.TowerHealth.org for details.
Catherine M. Brzozowski is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Chestnut Hill Hospital.