Your feet are more important than you might think.
You use them every single day – whether you’re enjoying a stroll throughout the neighborhood or just taking out the garbage. Your feet take you where you need to go so you can do the things you need to do, from chores to fun times and everything else in between.
They are the very foundation to your body.
As such, when your feet suffer, so do other aspects of your life. Indeed, the well-being of your feet is connected to your overall health.
So why do we keep taking them for granted? Why do we often ignore signs of foot problems until they become chronic issues?
Maybe it’s because your feet tend to be hidden in socks and shoes all day, or maybe it’s because they are the part of us furthest from our eyes. We can’t say for certain, but what we do know is that hoping your feet will get better on their own is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. The longer you wait to seek professional treatment, the harder it will be to fix the issue.
So though it’s easy to overlook foot health, you should always remember that having healthy feet means having a better overall quality of life. And the good news is there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure your feet are kept at tip-top shape.
But first, let’s take a look at some of the most common foot problems we treat at our office.
There Are Plenty of Foot Problems That Can Hold You Back
With all the force, weight, and stress our lower limbs endure with each and every step we take, it’s no surprise that our feet and ankles can begin to show signs of injury over time. From ingrown toenails to full blown fractures, we treat them all right here at our Berkeley office.
Some of the most common conditions we treat include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Fungal toenails
- Ingrown toenails
And for as many potential foot and ankle problems you can experience, there are just as many preventative measures you can take to make sure your feet are kept healthy at every stage of your life.
Keeping Your Feet Happy and Healthy
The first step to preventing foot problems is to start paying more attention to them. Here are some tips for you to keep in mind when caring for your feet and ankles:
- Check your feet every day. This is especially true if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. Look for changes in the texture, shape, and color of your feet and toenails.
- Practice good foot hygiene. Wash your feet on a daily basis and make sure to dry them thoroughly after you are done, paying special attention to the areas between the toes.
- Moisturize your feet. To reduce your risk of developing dry, cracked skin you should hydrate the skin in your feet after every wash (avoid the areas between the toes).
- Wear appropriate footwear. When you buy new shoes, make sure they have plenty of room for your toes to move freely and that they provide enough support and cushioning.
- Trim your toenails the right way. Make sure you clip your nails straight across and keep them roughly even with the edge of the respective toes.
- Alternate between shoes. You should give your footwear time to dry out completely before you wear them again.
- Exercise regularly. Keeping your tissues limber will lower your risk for problems that, when left unaddressed, can become quite intense and debilitating in the future.
- Prop your feet up when sitting down. Or have a foot massage to stimulate blood flow. Either of these steps will promote healthy blood flow throughout your lower limbs.
- Avoid socks with tight elastic at the top or ridges. Doing so will hinder healthy blood flow from going through your feet.
And, of course, you should also seek medical care whenever you become aware of anything unusual in your feet or ankles – early intervention is best for optimal recovery.
Know When It’s Time to See a Podiatrist
Now, minor aches after a full day of wearing unsupportive shoes is not something to be concerned about. However, other symptoms (like persistent pain) can be a good indicator that something a little more serious is going on.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, give our office a call right away:
- Severe pain
- Hot and/or swollen feet
- Numbness, burning, and/or tingling
- Painful lumps and/or discoloration
- Bumps and lumps which grow in size
- Persistent wound or sore (does not heal)
- Pain that increases with activity and/or does not go away
When left unaddressed, these symptoms may permanently affect your feet, ankles, calves, knees, and even your hips and lower back! On the other hand, when caught and treated early, you can avoid further complications and even potential surgeries through conservative treatments.
Need Help? We Are Here for You!
The bottom line is that proper foot care can help you remain active and live an overall better life. So don’t wait until your feet start complaining for you to finally pay them some much-deserved attention. Instead, schedule an appointment with Dr. Yuko Miyazaki to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment right away. All you have to do is call us at (510) 647-3744 today or simply fill out our handy request form online to have one of our staff members reach out to you.