Foot Wellness Tips
Shoes can make or break your day. Athletic shoes should be stiff and solid in the back of the heel as well as in the arch of the foot. Bending of the shoe should only occur in the toe area where your foot naturally bends. Shoe support is diminishing when you see signs of wearing on the outsole of the shoe. Shoes have a shelf life. Do not purchase athletic shoes that are more than one year old. It is best to have two pairs of athletic shoes to alternate using. They last much longer when given a rest between workouts.
SKIN & NAILS
Keeping the skin on your feet healthy is essential for preventing infection. The skin is the human body’s barrier to the outside factors that cause infection. Washing, drying, and application of quality creams daily are essential for maintaining skin integrity.
Going barefoot is never a good idea, even in your home. Always wear protection on your feet.
Toenails and skin are easily susceptible to fungal infection. Causative factors are too many to list. Fungal infections are often contagious and transmitted by unsanitary conditions in manicure/pedicure salons, locker room floors, at the pool, and even at the beach.
Toenails should be cut straight across, avoiding trying to remove the corners. It is better to be conservatively trim the length of your toenails and then to trim more often.
Diabetics should continually perform daily foot inspections looking for red areas, open sores, blisters, etc. Diabetics should not trim their toenails if they have reduced feeling in their feet. They should never attempt any acid treatment for corns and calluses or use anything sharp near their feet. Chances for infection are much greater for diabetics compared to non-diabetics.
Most insurance companies will provide on a yearly basis — one pair of shoes with custom made cushioned insoles to a diabetic patient. Ask Dr. Mancherian for further information.
TRAINING & EXERCISE
Beginning an exercise program is essential for long-term health. It is not recommended to do too much too soon for many reasons. As far as your feet are concerned, a gradual increase in activity using the proper athletic shoes is recommended to avoid stress fractures, sprains, and inflammation due to the increased stress demand on the foot. Ask Dr. Mancherian for guidelines on proper activity levels, increasing activity levels, and for a bit of advice on the proper type of shoe for you.
A sprained ankle may not seem like a big deal. The unfortunate result of a sprained ankle that has not been properly re-strengthened and rehabilitated is that it can cause long-term instability and eventual arthritis. It is essential to have ankles evaluated immediately after an injury, but it is never too late to improve your ankle strength. If you suffer from chronic ankle sprains or the ankle just “gives out” on occasion, a thorough evaluation and therapy plan is recommended.
Contact Dr. Mancherian, foot specialist, to make an appointment at the first sign of a problem.