April marks National Foot Health Awareness month, the perfect time to pamper your feet. Indulging in a soothing pedicure or a new pair of comfort shoes are easy ways to give your feet a treat.
Coinciding with the monthlong initiative, The American Podiatric Medical Association has launched its spring campaign, “Today’s Podiatrist Keeps America Walking,” with some tips for everyone on their toes.
Don’t let foot pain prevent you from enjoying sports and other activities. Heel pain, among the most common complaints, comes in many forms. A common ailment is heel spurs, a bony growth on the underside of the heel bone and can result from strain on the muscles and ligaments of the foot. To alleviate the problem, the APMA suggests wearing shoes with shock-absorbent soles, rigid shanks and supportive heel counters. Also, wear the proper shoes for each activity. And, when shoes show signs of wear on the heels and soles, it’s time for a new pair.
Blisters are another common problem that’s easy to address. Wear moisture-wicking socks can prevent excess moisture, which can lead to blisters. Also, try different foot powders and lotions to keep friction to a minimum.
A visit to a podiatrist for a general foot exam can help treat existing problems as well as avoid future ones. Doctors at Village Podiatry Centers, with locations in Georgia, have some foot-care suggestions. With the warm weather approaching, which means heading to the beach and pool, remember to dry feet between toes to avoid fungal infections. Then, moisturize feet and heels with lotion. Apply sunscreen between toes and on ankles to avoid sunburn and prevent skin cancer.
This one’s for women: Don’t leave nail polish on 24/7 — that may lead to brittle nails or fungus. Take a break for several month each year to allow nails to recover.
Don’t be vain when it comes to your feet. Have feet measured periodically when buying shoes. As you age, feet can flatten, becoming wider and longer. And, maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can put pressure on the feet leading to general foot pain, circulatory problems and arthritis.
For more information, the APMA offers some fun foot health tips on “Meet Your Feet.”