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Tag Archive | "American Podiatric Medical Association"

Fighting the five most common foot woes


(ARA) – From eating better foods to getting an adequate amount of sleep and exercise, we’re a very health-aware society. So why is it that many Americans routinely overlook one of the cornerstones of good health?
While nearly 70 percent of Americans say they want to be healthier five years from now, just 51 percent recognize that foot health can be a key to achieving that goal, according to a survey from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
“Nearly eight in 10 adults have experienced some type of foot ailment in their lives. Yet despite the pain, close to three in 10 do nothing about it, simply choosing to live with their pain,” says Dr. Michael King, a podiatrist and president of APMA. “Meanwhile, more than half of those surveyed said they had endured foot pain at some point in their lives but have not sought treatment from a podiatrist.”
So what are the five most common types of foot problems and what causes them? Here are some tips from today’s podiatrists:
* Nail problems are one of the most prevalent foot woes in both men and women. These problems can range from ingrown toenails to fungal infections. Ingrown toenails—a condition in which the corners of sides of a nail dig painfully into the soft tissue of the nail grooves—is the most common form of nail problem. To avoid ingrown toenails, trim nails straight across and don’t dig into the corners. If a toenail becomes infected, see a podiatrist immediately for treatment. Those with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and other circulatory disorders should seek a podiatrist’s care on a regular basis to help prevent complications.
* Sweaty feet and foot odor are two-foot conditions that are often experienced together. While stinky feet are definitely embarrassing, feet that sweat excessively can lead to other foot problems, even creating an environment conducive to the development of athlete’s foot. Closed shoes make feet sweat, but in the winter you can’t avoid wearing them. Instead, practice good foot hygiene. Wash feet daily with soap and water, keep shoes and socks dry, and choose socks that wick away moisture. Change shoes and socks regularly and consider rubbing cornstarch or applying antiperspirant directly onto the soles of your feet.
* Pain in the ball of the feet. Nearly one-third of adults have reported pain in the balls of their feet. Pain in this location can be caused by over-exertion, injury or ill-fitting shoes. To avoid, always wear well-fitting, supportive and activity-appropriate shoes when walking, running or engaging in other physical activity. If necessary, replace the insoles that came in the shoes with ones that provide additional cushioning.
* Heel pain. This type of pain can have many sources, including weight gain, excessive foot flattening, muscle imbalance, injury or even improper footwear. To kick heel pain to the curb, always be sure to warm up and stretch properly before and after exercise. If wearing high heels, opt for heels that are no more than two to three inches in height. For persistent pain, treatment can range from prescribed orthotic devices and medications to cortisone injections, physical therapy and rarely, surgery.
* Bunions – A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe. Treatments range from self-remedies such as using a bunion pad around the bony prominence, to ice packs to reduce the swelling, and avoiding shoes that could irritate the bunion and even make the problem worse. For persistent pain, see a podiatrist for a full range of treatment options.
“While foot problems are common, that doesn’t mean people should be resigned to living with pain,” King says. “Consulting today’s podiatrist can help people feel better sooner, and get back to living healthier lives.”

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Ten timely tips to get feet ready for spring


(ARA) – From slogging through snow, ice and slush to being confined in heavy boots to fight the cold—if your feet could talk, what a tale of winter woe they might tell. You may be tempted to pull your sandals out of the closet and stuff your heaviest hosiery to the back of the sock drawer, but before you set your soles free to savor spring, some preparation is in order.
Being cooped up in cramped footwear during winter months can cause feet to suffer from a variety of ailments, from dry, flaky skin and discolored toenails to pesky corns and unsightly calluses. Pampering your feet in preparation for warm weather can help feet look and feel their best when warmer weather calls for donning flip-flops and peep-toe shoes.
“Caring for your feet not only promotes good hygiene, it can alert you to any problem areas that may need attention before slipping into sandals this spring,” says Dr. Michael King,  president of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “Plus, it’s a good way to relax and de-stress after a tiring winter. When your feet feel good, you’re more likely to feel good all over.”
The APMA offers these 10 tips for getting your feet spring-ready:
1. Start with a soak. Immerse your feet in warm water with Epson salts, herbal soaks or oils for at least 10 minutes.
2. Use a pumice stone or foot file to gently remove thickened, dead skin build-up (calluses) around the pre-soaked heels, balls and sides of the feet. Never use a razor as it removes too much skin and can easily cause infection or permanent damage if used incorrectly.
3. Eliminate dry, flaky winter skin on the soles, sides and tops of the feet by using an exfoliating scrub.
4. Massage a generous amount of emollient-enriched skin lotion all over your feet, such as Amerigel Care Lotion, which has the APMA’s Seal of Approval. This hydrates the skin and the massaging helps to promote circulation. Be sure to remove any excess moisturizer from under your toenails or between toes; build-up in those areas can provide a breeding ground for bacteria.
5. Use a straight-edge toenail clipper to trim nails to just above the top of each toe to ensure nails don’t become curved or rounded in the corners.
6. Help lock in moisture by wearing a pair of poly-cotton blend socks at bedtime.
7. Forgo nail polish if your nails are not healthy. If you have healthy nails, remove polish regularly to keep them in top condition.
8. Wash your feet daily with soap and water. Dry carefully, paying extra attention to the area between your toes.
9. Inspect last spring and summer’s footwear. Throw away any shoes or sandals that appear worn.
10. If any skin or nail problems exist, see a podiatrist for a medical diagnosis.
Today’s podiatrists are physicians, surgeons and specialists are trained to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. To find a podiatrist near you, log on to www.todayspodiatrist.com.
With a little foot-friendly preparation, your feet can be ready to step into spring … and let memories of winter boots melt away with the snow.

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