April is National Foot Health Awareness Month

Your feet carry you through your life’s journey.  Each day your feet are hard at work as you progress through your busy day.  It’s important to keep your hardworking feet, ankles and lower legs healthy as they have a big job to do.

When foot health issues such as painful bunions, heel pain or sports-related injuries occur, Kansas City Foot and Ankle and the Heel Pain Center of Kansas City’s team of dedicated podiatrists, foot and ankle specialists, and surgeons are ready to get you back to your active lifestyle quickly and comfortably.

Did you know that even small changes in your lifestyle and approach to foot care can make a positive difference in your health over time?

Know that foot pain is not normal and can, and should, be treated

Foot pain, like pain anywhere, is a sign that something is wrong.  It’s your body telling you, “hey, pay attention, there’s something going on here.”  Many people, unfortunately, believe that foot pain is normal and just part of being on your feet a lot.  They blame their jobs or the concrete, but if your feet are healthy and working as they should, they should give you many, many hours per day of comfort while participating in the activities that you want to and have to do.

 

Make sure that you have the right support for your feet

Foot instability is the primary cause of most conditions we see in the podiatry office.  Many painful conditions are caused by excessive flattening of the arches, such as Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis, the two primary causes of heel and arch pain.  Many other types of “-itises” or inflammation in the feet and ankles are also caused by instability.  If you don’t have the right support for your feet, your muscles are working overtime to stabilize your feet and the muscles and tendons get inflamed and painful.  Also, abnormal structural conditions such as bunions and hammertoes form over the years because of chronic foot instability.  When the foot is unstable, your muscles are working to try to stabilize your foot, but can’t.  Instead, the muscles and tendons start to move the bones and toes into positions where they shouldn’t be.  That’s how you develop these deformities over the years, and as long as your feet continue to function in an unstable manner, the bunions and hammertoes continue to get worse.  Many people know that bunions are hereditary.  But it’s not really the bunions that are hereditary.  People aren’t generally born with bunions.  But they’re born with the instability that leads to the development and progression of bunions.  It’s the instability that’s hereditary.  So, making sure you have the right support will not only make you more comfortable, but it will also stop, or at least slow down the development and progression of foot deformities.

Sometimes we create our own problems when it comes to our foot and ankle health!

Many people think fashion first, comfort second

As a society, we place more importance on looking good than feeling good and doing the right thing for your bodies.  Tight, high-heeled shoes may be in fashion, but they can lead to painful conditions such as blisters, corns, and calluses and make you more prone to ankle sprains and injuries.  Open sandals or flip-flops may be cool and fun in the summer, but leave your feet and toes exposed and prone to injuries, not to mention that they provide absolutely no support.

 

Many people don’t know what type of doctor to see when they have a foot and ankle problem and need help

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in the medical and surgical treatment of foot and ankle conditions.  While we are expertly trained in foot and ankle surgery, in fact, most podiatrists entering the field today have three years of surgical residency training, many foot, and ankle conditions can be treated very effectively without the need for surgery.  We specialize in all conditions regarding the foot and ankle from simple ingrown toenails and heel pain to more complicated conditions necessitating reconstructive foot and ankle surgery.  We also work closely with diabetic patients in an effort to prevent problems from occurring, as well as treating complications of diabetes.

 

Believe it or not, foot health affects the rest of our health and wellness!

“I can’t tell you how many times I hear from patients, ‘if your feet hurt, you hurt all over!’” says Dr. Mark Green.  How true that is.  If your feet hurt, it affects everything you do.  And when your feet hurt, you compensate for the pain by walking differently, which causes your muscles, tendons, and joints to work abnormally, leading to pain and problems elsewhere.  Additionally, if your feet are unstable, everything above it is unstable.  Everything that your feet support is unstable.  Your knees, your hips, your back…  Very commonly, we will fix a foot issue that a patient is having, and they’ll find unanticipated improvement in their knee, hip or back pain.

If you have foot or ankle pain, flat feet, or you’re developing conditions such as bunions and hammertoes, use National Foot Health Awareness Month as your excuse to finally do something about it.  Call or click to make an appointment and see one of our foot and ankle specialists at Kansas City Foot and Ankle and the Heel Pain Center of Kansas City today.  816-943-1111