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Foot health issues everyone should be aware of



A recent study by The Institute for Preventive Foot Health reveals interesting trends in foot health and urges us to take care of ourselves before something goes wrong.

Participating in activities like dancing, hiking and running can cause soreness, aches and blisters. It is important to keep your feet "comfortable, dry and free of friction," says IPFH Executive Director Robert (Bob) Thompson, CPed, and employ the "integrated approach" to foot health.

Included in this approach is proper shoe fitting using padded socks and other orthotics recommended by a specialist. Letting your feet slip around in your shoes or tolerating pinched toes can lead to lesions. Consult a professional for proper foot measurement and gait analysis, which measure the length, width and instep of your foot, and the way your foot strikes the ground and moves while while walking.

To learn more about the integrated approach, watch the video.

These preventative measure against foot issues are especially important if you have diabetes, which significantly increases your risk of foot issues and even amputation. The IPFH reports: "In 2009, about 68,000 non-traumatic lower-limb amputations were performed in people with diabetes." Be aware that there are preventative steps you can take before your diabetes gets out of control.

Being overweight multiples your risk of diabetes. Like diabetes, obesity, an American epidemic, has a strong negative impact on the feet. People that are very overweight are about 50% more likely to have poor or fair foot health, cyclically leading to pain or discomfort during exercise.

Remember-- footwear is not just a fashion statement but determines how we move our bodies and affects our physical health. Just because you consider yourself healthy does not mean you shouldn't consult health care professionals. Doctors are there to keep you well too.

The Institute for Preventive Foot Health is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness, education, research and the identification of easy-to-follow methods to prevent, treat and manage painful conditions and diseases affecting the feet.