The Importance of Foot Health
We often take our feet for granted, expecting them to carry us where we want to go and showing them into uncomfortable shoes for the sake of fashion. But when our feet are in trouble, it’s difficult to ignore the pain they put us through. Foot health is important, not only when an unexpected injury or condition brings them to our attention, but on an everyday basis.
Dr Darryl Martins is a podiatrist with DocMartins Foot & Ankle Clinics in Jackson, Ann Arbor, Adrian, and soon to be in Tecumseh. Dr Martins treats such conditions as ankle sprains, fractures, Achilles tendonitis and tears, athlete’s foot, bursitis, heel pain, neuropathy, and many other ailments of the feet and ankles.
Martins has been treating patients in Lenawaee County since 2010. He completed his foot and ankle residency in Los Angeles and wanted to move closer to his family in Ontario. “I have been fortunate to meet many amazing people from Tecumseh and feel investing in a unique spa and clinic would be great for the community,” he said.
He said that having healthy feet is essential for everyday activities and exercise, stating that walking is known to be an easy, low-impact exercise for heat health and lowering the risk of diabetes. “Feet are the ticket to individial independence, from driving a car, to walking, to getting groceries,” he said.
“The most common paiful foot condition I see in our community is heel and Achilles pain. These are verry simple to address, but if not addressed early will cause leg hip, and back pain. As the pain worseness patients will compensate by walking differently or not walking at all, and reduced activity will cause weight gain and hypertension,” said Martins.
The foot and ankle have many different joints, nomes, muscles, and ligaments that need to work together to function properly. Martins explained that Foot Health problems can be divided in several categories: biomechanis, injury/trauma, systematic and genetic. “I believe understanding the ‘why’ is the ost important aspect of the condition and not depending on medication or injections for relief.” he said.
Prevention can be looked at in several way. According to Martins, there is a large number of people with diabetes in Lenawee County, and it’s important for those patients to establish a relationship with a podiatrist that is board certified and experienced to prevent Foot Health issues.
A blog post on Martns’ website, docmartinsfac.com, details several ways to take care of one’s feet.
For example, it’s important to alternate shoes aand avoid wearing the same pair of shoes day in and day out. Giving shoes a rest allows their cushioning to return to its original shape after being flattened from being worn all day and increases the length of time that shoes remain supportive. The habit of alternation shoes also prevents them from retaining odor.
Shoes that are beginning to wear out need to be replaced, so that your feet have the benefit of good support. Feet can change, and having one’s feet measured periodically ensures that a shoe-buying trip yield the correct fit. The wrong size shoes my cause a strain on knees and back, affecting yor hips and posture.
Children especially need to have their shoe size reevaluated as they grow. Often parents do not realize their child’s shoes are pinching growing feet, which can lead to foot development issues. Make sure their feet are measured on a regular basis, as well.
Shoes worn frequently need to be supportive to prevent stress on one’s feet, knees, and back, and for especially jarring activities such as running, specialty shoes with shock absorption properties are a must. Running shops often have employees who can evaluate one’s gait to recommend the optimal type of shoe for strenuous activity.
There are many situations, Dr. Martins’ blog says, where you shouldn’t be wearing your regular everyday shoes. For an activitiy such as hiking, wear comfortable, supportive shoes with a sole that can maintain a grip on slippery ground. Water shoes can be worn at the beach to protect the feet, and there are certain occupations, such jobs in a laboratory, on a construction site, or in a factory, where closed-toe shoes or steel-toed shoes are necessary.
In addition to correct shoes, choosing the right kind of socks helps protect the feet, too. Socks made of nylon, Merino wool, polyester, or any other synthetic material are best at absorbing sweat and drying quickly.
Caring for one’s feet is crucial to an active and healthy life. For more information, visit docmartinsfac.com.