February is National Heart Month. So what’s that got to do with your feet? Well, walking is one of the best ways to improve cardiovascular health. Walking can also be responsible, however, for many foot and ankle injuries. At Edmond/Norman Foot & Ankle, we want to ensure that you take good care of both your heart and your feet.
Here are some common foot problems associated with walking for fitness and how to avoid them:
Blisters, Corns and Calluses—These usually are all the result of your walking shoe rubbing up against the skin or putting excessive pressure on one particular area on the foot. Before buying any walking shoe, run your hands along the inside to make sure there are no rough spots or loose stitching. Do not choose a pair of shoes that you can feel rubbing or irritating your foot. If you have a bunion, or other foot deformity, your foot doctor may prescribe orthotics or padding to protect that area.
Plantar Fasciitis—Intense heel pain, particularly first thing in the morning is the most common symptom of this disorder. The plantar fascia is a long ligament that stretches across the bottom of your foot from your toes to your heel. When it becomes inflamed or small tears occur in it, stabbing or aching pain and a burning sensation in the heel begins. If you have flatfeet you may be more prone to this condition. The foot doctor may prescribe orthotics to change the position of your foot in the shoe and night splints to help keep the plantar fascia stretched while you sleep.
Ankle Sprains—Wearing shoes that are not designed for walking or ones that don’t support your ankles are the most common causes for twisting your ankle and causing a sprain. It’s a myth that if you can walk on it, your ankle is okay. If you experience swelling, bruising and pain after an ankle twist, prompt evaluation and treatment is critical to proper healing.
Neuroma—A feeling of pain on the ball of your foot sometimes described as “walking on a pebble” is a telltale sign of a Neuroma. Limiting the amount of time you spend in high heels or shoes that force the foot into the front of the shoe and choosing walking shoes with a spacious toe box can help relieve symptoms.
If you are noticing any of the above symptoms, make an appointment at either our Edmond or Norman office online or by calling (405) 285-7408 or (405) 321-6984 with our board certified podiatrist, Dr. A. Bil Buksh and get your walking program off on the right foot.