The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

April Is National Foot Health Awareness Month: Get Your Feet Ready for Spring

Posted by on Friday, April 29th, 2016

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Happy National Foot Health Awareness Month! As warm weather approaches and you begin to plan your summer, April is the perfect month to pause and assess your feet.

“Many Americans cannot wait to start walking, jogging, running, or hitting the gym when the warm weather returns,” said APMA President R. Daniel Davis, DPM. “With this excitement, many adults find themselves pushing their limits and suffering from foot and ankle overuse injuries, which can prevent them from keeping active. That is why it is so important to see a podiatrist as soon as you get injured.” Foot pain is a common problem – over half of Americans say it restricts even their most basic activities, like walking, while 39 percent say they would exercise more if their feet didn’t hurt.

As you prepare to trade in your snow boots for sandals, there are several other reasons to consider stopping by your podiatrist’s office.

national foot health awareness month
Make sure your feet are ready for spring and summer activities. (Image Source: Flickr CC user Phil Whitehouse)

Podiatrists Aren’t Just for the Elderly

Podiatrists are medical professionals with an in-depth understanding of all structural components in the foot and ankle. If you’re young and active, all the more reason to stop in at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine here in New York City. We work with high-level and amateur athletes alike to help you train smarter, protect your feet from injury, and maintain foot and ankle strength and conditioning throughout your sports seasons.

Are Your Feet Ready for Summer Activities?

Many people falsely assume they must remain completely sedentary if they have a problem like arthritis of the foot, plantar fasciitis, or hammertoes, causing them to miss out on warm-weather fun. Fortunately, a podiatrist can not only treat these types of pain but also advise you on different ways to stay active and healthy without worsening your condition. Sometimes it’s as easy as adding the right type of padding to your shoes.

A general foot exam is a great way to start the season in good health, ensuring that you stay active and pain-free all summer. We’ll counsel you on preventing fungal infections or sandal-related foot pain, check out any suspicious spots for skin cancer or diabetic ulcers, let you know if your toenails are just damaged from polish or infected with fungus, and help you make sure you’re wearing the right size and style of shoe for your unique foot type. If you’re suffering from generalized foot pain, custom insoles are a popular solution and can be quickly and easily created right in our office.

Spring’s Most Commonly Treated Condition Is Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain (also called plantar fasciitis) is one of the most common conditions we treat, especially in the spring, when people suddenly ramp up their activity level after a sedentary winter. If you don’t address plantar fasciitis, it’s likely to flare up again and again, becoming a chronic condition that is more difficult to get rid of. If it’s your first dance with heel pain (particularly in the mornings when you wake up), we can treat it with shock-absorbent shoes, custom orthotics with supportive heel counters, and non-invasive shockwave therapy. We can also take you through a series of quick stretches and exercises that will help you strengthen your body and prevent future issues.

Infected Blisters Are Another Common Spring Foot Injury

According to Podiatry Today39% of marathon runners experience blisters during a race, over 40% of soldiers encounter friction blisters during their military training, and over 50% of active backpackers and hikers are, at some point, hindered by a blister. If not treated properly, blister complications may include cellulitis, pain, infection, and disability. In severe cases, sepsis and toxic shock syndrome can develop, threatening life and limb.

It’s always a good idea to have a podiatrist check out a blister that seems to be getting worse or doesn’t heal within a week. Often, the first course of action is to safely aspirate and drain the wound. We may also recommend a course of antibiotics and apply a special compression dressing along with topical ointments. Wearing moisture-wicking socks, using foot powders or lotions, and making sure your shoes are sized properly will help you prevent blisters in the future. We advise adding moleskin pads to friction-prone zones as well.

To make sure your feet are in top shape for spring and summer, contact an NYC podiatrist today.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.