This month is National Foot Health Awareness Month! It’s the perfect time to recognize the important part your feet play in your daily routine. In observance, today Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, and Cassandra Stache, DPM of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center share 5 tips to keep your feet happy and healthy.
Feet are the foundation of the body, making proper foot health essential to an active lifestyle. Not all foot injuries can be prevented, but here are some important steps you can take to lessen the risk.
- Adapt or stop an activity if it’s painful.Always listen to your body – if something just doesn’t feel right, or feels painful, adapt the activity, or stop doing it completely. The pain could be the result of improper form or the start of an injury.
- Stretch to strengthen!Before an activity or workout, be sure to warm up the muscles in your feet and ankles. Ankle circles, chair pose, and Achilles stretches are three easy ways to wake up your ankles using no equipment. To make the muscles in your feet stronger, include exercises such as toe curls, marble pickup, and toe splay.
- Eat a healthy diet.What you eat plays an essential role in your overall health and affects various body parts, including your feet. Consume foods that are rich in calcium, vitamin D, and anti-inflammatory and low in sodium.
- Wear the right shoes.If you wear shoes that are too narrow or tight, it can create long-term problems. Your shoes should fit properly and comfortably while providing the right amount of support. Shoes designed for your specific activity or sport are just as important as replacing the shoes when they wear out.
- Watch your step!Be cautious when running or walking on an uneven surface.
When should you seek treatment from your podiatrist?
You should seek treatment if you experience the following symptoms in your feet or ankles.
- Pain when you’re NOT bearing weight on your feet.
- Sudden severe pain
- Foot numbness
- Limited range of motion due to weakness, swelling, or stiffness
- Changes in your skin color or toenail
- Pain in the heel, arch, or ball of the foot
- Inability to perform daily activities without experiencing pain.
- A look or deformity, or loss of function
- Tenderness or swelling that remains or gets worse after a few days.
If you experience any of these systems, contact the team at Greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center. You can click here to locate contact information for the office nearest you to book your appointment.