Keep in Step with Foot Health Awareness Month

16 April 2021

You land on your feet. Twirl on your toes. Kick up your heels. No matter how many fun foot sayings we can come up with, one thing is for sure: When our feet hurt, life as we know it can come to a screeching halt.

April is National Foot Health Awareness Month. Did you know that if you are a “moderate” walker, meaning you take in approximately 7,500 steps per day, you’d circle the Earth at the equator five times over the course of your lifetime? That’s a lot of wear and tear, so whether you plan to wander around the globe or take daily strolls through the neighborhood, keep our experts’ tips in mind to keep your feet fit.

Wear proper-fitting shoes

It almost goes without saying, but… make sure your shoes fit. Choose quality materials, ensure your shoes have arch support, and confirm a half-inch of wiggle room from the end of your longest toe to the tip of the shoe.

Ladies, everything you’ve heard about the ill effects of wearing high heels are unfortunately true. Not only are they bad for your back, but continually wearing narrow, pointed-toe heels can cause foot deformities – such as bunions – later on down the road. Take a look at your big toe. If a bump juts out at the base, and it hurts, you could have a bunion.

Fortunately, surgeons at Premier Orthopaedics offer the latest therapies that truly get to the root cause of bunions and fix them permanently. “Lapiplasty is one of the newest surgical procedures that allows a surgeon to return the damaged bone to normal,” says Aleksandr Emerel, DPM, Premier foot and ankle surgeon. “With traditional procedures, patients are not able to walk comfortably until eight weeks post-op. However, with lapiplasty, they typically are up and around in two weeks.” Emerel and several of his Premier colleagues are trained in the procedure.

Maintain a healthy weight

We all know the importance of doing our best to stay healthy and within a normal weight-range. Weight-bearing joints in the knees, as well as supportive structures in the lower back, can wear down fast. Being just 10 pounds overweight can increase the pressure on your knees by 40 pounds and place added stress on your spine. But did you know that extra weight can also cause foot trouble?

“Even a few extra pounds can cause big problems for your feet,” says Vincent Muscarella, DPM, Premier Orthopaedics foot and ankle surgeon. “Pressure and stress can lead to swelling, bone spurs, arthritis and plantar fasciitis – which causes inflammation on the bottom of your foot.”

Flat feet

A common disorder, flat feet are usually diagnosed in childhood. Characterized by fallen arches, flat feet usually completely touch the floor when you stand up. Children typically outgrow the condition, but if not, it can eventually become problematic as they age. “Injury, carrying too much body weight, or medical conditions such as diabetes and arthritis can lead to flat feet,” says Premier Orthopaedics podiatrist Craig Kriza, DPM. “In these cases, it really is true that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”

So, during Foot Health Awareness Month, remember that your feet are warriors – and if you care for them properly, they’ll run in top shape for many years!

Premier’s foot and ankle specialists are skilled in the comprehensive evaluation and management of foot and ankle conditions. To learn more, or find a physician who’s right for you, visit https://premierortho.com/speciality-detail/foot-ankle.