"Keep your eyes on the stars,
your feet on the ground."
Foot care: A step toward good health
Diabetes affects the circulation and immune system, which in turn impairs the body’s ability to heal itself. Over time, diabetes can damage sensory nerves (this is known as “neuropathy"), especially in the hands and feet. As a result, people with diabetes are less likely to feel a foot injury, such as a blister or cut. Unnoticed and untreated, even small foot injuries can quickly become infected, potentially leading to serious complications.
DAILY FOOT CARE
As always, prevention is the best medicine. A good daily foot care regimen will help keep your feet healthy.
Start by assembling a foot care kit containing nail clippers, nail file, lotion, a pumice stone and a non-breakable hand mirror. Having everything you need in one place makes it easier to follow this foot care routine every day:
Click here for more information on FOOT CARE for DIABETICS
See HIGH RISK feet under FOOT CARE tab for more details on DIABETES, ARTHRITIS, and specific types of foot problems for women, children and seniors.
Arthritis is a disabling disease that affects millions of Canadians. It is characterized by inflammation of the body's joints. Symptoms can include swelling, recurring pain or tenderness, redness or heat, with limitation of motion in one or more joints. Early morning stiffness, and skin changes including rashes and growths may be present as well. Common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gouty arthritis. Because each foot contains 33 joints and bears a tremendous amount of weight and pressure, feet may be more susceptible to arthritis than other parts of the body.
CAUSES OF ARTHRITIS:
Viral and bacterial infections
Prescription and illegal drugs
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Wear supportive shoes on a daily basis.
Begin a program of physical therapy, exercise, or massage.
Use ice packs or hot packs.
Soak feet in lukewarm water.
Wear shock-retarding insoles.
WHAT CAN A PODIATRIST DO FOR YOU?
Request appropriate X-rays, bone scan, CT, MRI or other imaging studies, and joint evaluation.
Prescribe appropriate anti-inflammatory medications.
Recommend custom orthoses and/or shoe changes.
If the problem persists, surgery may be necessary.
A podiatrist can treat or advise you on:
Your feet take the weight of your whole body, so foot problems can quickly lead to discomfort and affect the way you walk. This can in turn cause knee, hip and back pain. The good news is that looking after your feet can prevent most of these problems.
Investing a bit of time and thought into caring for your feet now can prevent them causing you pain later.
Wash your feet often
Don’t go to bed without washing your feet. If you leave dirt on the skin’s surface, it can become irritated and infected. Wash your feet every evening with soap and water.
Dry your feet well
Dry your feet thoroughly after washing them, especially between the toes which is where germs such as Athlete's foot can easily breed. Then, apply a moisturizing foot cream (not body lotion).
Footwear tips for work
If you have to wear heels at work, wear comfortable shoes to and from the office and only wear your smart shoes once you're in the office. Also, try to vary the heel height, between low, medium and high.
Remove hard skin
Gently remove hard skin and calluses with a pumice stone or foot file regularly.
Cut toenails carefully
Always trim your toenails straight across, never at an angle or down the edges. This can cause ingrown toenails.
Shoe shop in the afternoon
Shop for shoes in the afternoon.
Feet swell as the day goes on and if shoes fit in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest, you can be assured they will always be comfortable.
Limit time wearing high heels
Be shoe savvy. Wear high heels and pointed shoes for special occasions only, and always wear the right shoes for the job (so no sandals for mountain climbing).
Change your socks often to avoid foot odor
Change your socks daily. Read advice from the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists on buying socks.
Watch out for foot bugs in communal changing areas
Wear flip-flops to avoid catching athlete’s foot and verrucas when you use public areas such as gym showers, swimming pools or hotel bathrooms.
Take care with flip flops
But don't wear flip-flops all the time. They don't provide support for your feet and can give you arch and heel pain if you wear them too much.
Foot pain advice for over-60s
If you're over 60, foot care becomes even more important. Age takes its toll: your skin thins, your joints begin to stiffen and your feet become more vulnerable to the cold. Not only that, but as podiatrist Emma Supple says: "Physically, it gets more difficult for us to get to our feet, and failing eyesight doesn’t help." Emma says: "Go to see a professional for a foot MOT every six months and never put up with foot pain as if it is normal. Your feet shouldn’t hurt."
Exercising the Feet. Walking frequently is a good idea for most diabetics. This improves circulation in the feet, improves the general health of the diabetic, and in many cases may assist with the control of sugar. Exercising the feet as outlined by the patient's podiatrist can also increase blood flow and keep the foot flexible. Additional exercises such as swimming and bicycling are also excellent and do not require extensive weight bearing on the feet.
13 Things Your Podiatrist Won’t Tell You
What favorite shoe keeps podiatrists in business? What do podiatrists wish you'd do before your appointment? Here, 13 things your foot doctor wants you to know.
1. When you go into a shoe store, your salesperson should measure your feet.
A lot of you have been wearing the same-size shoe for the past 30 years because no one measures you anymore, but feet often get bigger as you age.
2. Your feet don't need to smell.
You use antiperspirant on your armpits to keep them from getting stinky, don't you? The same stuff works on your feet. Try the spray kind. Alternate your shoes so they have a chance to dry completely, and wear socks. Otherwise, the sweat will promote the growth of bacteria that stay in your shoes.
3. Infections from nail salons keep us in business.
If you want a pedicure, book the first appointment of the day, when the equipment is cleaner. Those foot-baths can be especially full germs. Even if technicians spray the basin between customers, many of the tubs have drains and filters that don't get cleaned.
4. Toe separators, bunion splints, and "yoga toes" may help you feel better,
but they aren't going to get rid of hammertoes and bunions. You've got to come to me for that. If you have a structural problem, a $6 device isn't going to reverse anything.
5. Some podiatrists will shorten toes or do injections so you can wear high heels more comfortably.
But I don't believe in cosmetic surgery for feet. You shouldn't have surgery if you're not in pain, because you will have pain after surgery — that's a guarantee. It has to be worth it. Otherwise, you're asking for trouble.
6. Buy shoes at a specialty running store, even if you just walk for exercise.
Well-trained staff will help you get the right athletic shoe — they can really analyze your foot and gait.
7. I've seen all sorts of things, including people who have shot their feet.
You really shouldn't clean your loaded gun after you've had a couple of beers. Another dumb move: mowing the lawn in flip-flops. The first weekend of every spring, doctors see a lot of injuries.
8. If you have dry, cracked feet, try AmLactin.
It's just an over-the-counter lotion, but it's like a miracle. Put it on a couple of times a week, and the calluses will just slough off.
9. Sometimes if a bunion is really bad, a patient will ask me to amputate her second toe.
I won't do it, because it won't fix the problem. I tell those patients to tell their daughters: Get your bunions taken care of now. If you wait until they get really bad, they'll be much harder to fix.
10. I don't have a problem with people getting pedicures, but please don't shave right before you go.
You might be embarrassed by your stubble, but it will be worse when bacteria and fungus enter the microscopic nicks on your ankle and give you an infection.
11. Over-the-counter "custom-fit" orthotics are a bit of a gimmick.
They'll help if you just need some arch support and padding, but they're nothing like the orthotics I make after creating a mold of your feet in my office. Orthotics are like eyeglasses for the feet. They're made to correct the specific biomechanics of the way you walk.
12. A lot of you hurt your foot or ankle exercising and head straight to an orthopedic surgeon.
But unless he or she is specifically trained in the foot and ankle, coming to me is a better bet.
13. Please wash your feet before you come see me.
And change your socks — I can tell if you've worn the same ones for three days. Sources: Jane Andersen, a podiatrist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Marlene Reid, a podiatrist in Naperville, Illinois; Carly Robbins, a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio; Jacqueline Sutera, a podiatrist in New York, New York; Cary Zinkin, a podiatrist in Deerfield Beach,
Diabetes (foot related)
Podopaediatrics (children's feet)
Walking and hiking
A podiatrist can treat or advise you on:
A podiatrist or chiropodist can help you with common foot problems, including ingrown toenails and
bunions. What does a podiatrist do?
Podiatrists can be thought of as a type of foot doctor. They can give you and your family advice on how to look after your feet and what type of shoes to wear. They can also treat and alleviate day-to-day foot problems including:
toenail problems such as thickened, fungal or ingrown toenails, corns and calluses, verrucas, athlete's foot, smelly feet, dry and cracked heels, flat feet, bunions, How can a podiatrist help?
You may want to see a podiatrist for advice and treatment if you have painful feet, thickened or discolored toenails, cracks or cuts in the skin, growths such as warts, scaling or peeling on the soles or any other foot-related problem.
Podiatrists can also supply orthotics, which are tailor-made insoles, padding and arch supports to relieve arch or heel pain. You put the orthotic device into your shoe to re-align your foot, take pressure off vulnerable areas of your foot or simply to make your shoes more comfortable.
Even if your feet are generally in good condition, you might consider having a single session of podiatry to have the hard skin on your feet removed, toenails clipped, to find out if you’re wearing the right shoes (take your shoes with you for specific advice on footwear) or just to check that you’re looking after your feet properly.
What’s the difference between a podiatrist and a chiropodist?
There’s no difference between a podiatrist and chiropodist, but podiatrist is a more modern name.
What happens at the consultation?
At your first consultation, the podiatrist will usually cut your toenails, remove any hard skin and check your feet for other minor problems such as corns, calluses or verrucas. Usually, any minor problems that are picked up can be treated on the spot. It’s usually completely painless (even pleasant) and takes between 30 and 60 minute
Your Amazing Feet
A biological masterpiece, but subject to many ills
The human foot is a biological masterpiece. Its strong, flexible, and functional design enables it to do its job well and without complaint - if you take care of it and don't take it for granted.
The foot can be compared to a finely tuned race car or a space shuttle, vehicles whose function dictates their design and structure. And like them, the human foot is complex, containing within its relatively small size 26 bones (the two feet contain a quarter of all the bones in the body), 33 joints, and a network of more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments, to say nothing of blood vessels and nerves.
Tons of Pressure
The components of your feet work together, sharing the tremendous pressures of daily living. An average day of walking, for example, brings a force equal to several hundred tons to bear on the feet. This helps explain why your feet are more subject to injury than any other part of your body.
Foot ailments are among the most common of our health problems. Although some can be traced to heredity, many stem from the cumulative impact of a lifetime of abuse and neglect. A province-wide survey by the B.C. Association of Podiatrists indicates more than half of British Columbians experience foot-related problems, and only one in three seek any form of treatment.There are a number of systemic diseases that are sometimes first detected in the feet, such as diabetes, circulatory disorders, anemia, and kidney problems. Arthritis, including gout, often attacks foot joints first.
Your feet, like other specialized structures, require specialized care. A podiatrist can make an important contribution to your total health, whether it is regular preventive care, the use of prescription orthoses to control biomechanical imbalances, or surgery to correct a deformity.
In order to keep your feet healthy, you should be familiar with the most common ills that affect them. Remember, though, that self-treatment can often turn a minor problem into a major one, and is generally not advisable. When you have a foot related problem, see a podiatrist.
Diabetes Foot Care - Arthritis
10 tips on foot care
Foot problems & the podiatrist