They say that the eyes are the mirror of the soul but did you know that the feet are often the first indicator of serious medical issues? Early signs of several major health conditions, including diabetes, arthritis, poor circulation and certain nerve problems can be detected in problems with your feet. At Edmond Norman Foot & Ankle Clinic we want to remind our senior patients that with nearly all podiatric conditions, the sooner a disorder is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome and the less likely a long term disability will result. Below are 4 steps you can take to help ensure good foot health for years to come:
- Examine your feet daily. One of the most important habits you can develop for your podiatric health is inspecting your feet daily (or, if you are unable to see all parts of your feet clearly, asking a family member to look for you). Changes in color, shape, skin tone can all be early indicators of a foot condition. You should also look for cuts, sores, blisters, stiffness and swelling anywhere in the foot, toes or ankles.
- Develop a healthy foot care regimen. Washing your feet daily with a mild soap and then drying them thoroughly, especially between the toes, will go a long way to preventing fungal and other infections. Use a good quality moisturizer after drying your feet to help keep skin hydrated and prevent the skin from drying out and cracking.
- Choose footwear wisely. So many foot problems can be lessened and even completely avoided by wearing shoes that are properly fitted and well made. There should be a ½ inch of space between your longest toe and the inside of the shoe and there should be not spots on your feet where shoes rub or apply undue pressure. Choose natural materials and styles that allow your feet to breathe. If you have a foot deformity or structural abnormality your foot doctor may be able to fit you with custom orthotics to correct the position of your foot and eliminate pain.
- Keep the blood flowing. Take action to maintain good circulation in your feet and legs. This means being active, avoiding sitting for long periods of time (especially with your legs crossed), massaging your feet and keeping them warm. Also, do not smoke as this impedes blood flow to the extremities.
No pain is “normal.” If you notice any irregularities in your feet or are experiencing any discomfort make an appointment at your soonest convenience at either our Edmond or Norman office to see our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. A. Bil Buksh. Remember, your podiatrist is an important partner in your healthcare.