People with Diabetes can Lose the Feeling in their Feet which Makes them Vulnerable to Injuries

Diabetes is more likely to develop as people get older.  Some people with diabetes have poor blood circulation and reduced sensation in their feet.  Poor blood circulation means that  any cuts , etc  will not heal as  well and may become more easily infected.  These people also need to attend to dry skin on their feet which is more likely to crack and cause infection.  

People with diabetes can lose the feeling in their feet which makes them vulnerable to injuries eg , stepping on a tack.  Feet  which lack sensitivity need to be visually checked once a day to ensure no injury  has occurred.  If you cannot see clearly , someone else should look for you.

Anyone who has diabetes will need to get their feet checked by a podiatrist so that they know how healthy their feet are  or how carefully they need to be in future.  This should be done ideally at least once a year or as advised .

Preventing Foot Complications

What is an ulcer ?

Ulcers are woundsor open sores that do not heal  in a week or keep returning

What causes Ulcers .

*Having  diabetes increases your risk of developing a foot ulcer .

*Poor circulation means your foot  and lower leg take longer to heal

* About 15% of  people with Diabetes  will develop a foot ulcer.

* Foot ulcers that do not heal can lead to amputation

* foot  ulcers are the main reason most people with diabetes go to hospital

* Loss of feeling in your feet and / or  lower leg may mean you will not notice a wound

Am I at risk of foot complications ?

If you have  diabetes you are at risk

  • If you have had an ulcer before , you are at a higher risk of  getting another ulcer
  • If you have had an amputation you are at a higher risk of  getting another ulcer.
  • Ask your Podiatrist what your risk is

If you are  in a low risk group , you feet should be medically checked every year

If you are in a higher risk group , your Podiatrist should check your feet  at each visit  ( every 3-6 mths)

Your podiatrist  will also look at the following things to assess your risk

  • History of wound3s  ( ulcers ) and amputation.
  • Circulation – pulses in your feet
  • Feeling in your feet
  • Foot shape and structure

What can I do ?

  • Keep your blood glucose level within the recommended range
  • Make sure your footwear fits  well and does not rub.

                   Poor fitting shoes causes most wounds and  foot damage.

  • Make sure  your socks do not restrict circulation in your legs
  • Ask  your Podiatrist about a foot protection program, foot care education

And checks on your feet.

  • See your podiatrist immediately  if you have persistent red areas, blisters and bruises on your  feet.
  • Any wound is serious  you must see your  doctor , nurse or Podiatrist immediately .

 

Information sourced from the National Evidence Based Guideline on Prevention , Identification and Management  of Foot Complications in Diabetes .

 

The Low Down on Heels

They may be useful as fashion statements or weapons of defence, but walking  in high heels also increases the risk of getting  arthritis in the knees

A study by researcher  s published in  “ The Lancet”  ( noted international medical journal )  reveals that women wearing shoes with heels up to 6.4 cm put enough strain in their knees to cause osteoarthritis which is twice as common in women as  it is in men .

 

 

 

Your Feet can take a Pounding in the Workplace

The daily demands of your job.- walking standing  for long periods , lifting, jumping on or off machinery – all place your feet under pressure.  While you are working your feet may absorb up to three times your body weight and working feet can travel up to 24 kilometres in a day!

The work environment itself can create health risks for  your feet.

Hazardous conditions – oily or slippery floors, wet conditions, or extreme heat or cold – put feet at risk of injury and can lead to foot problems

Stress fractures, sprains , strains, corns , calluses, ingrown toenails , chilblains ,and tinea are some of the foot problems , which can occur in the workplace or be aggravated at work .

Problems such as calluses , corns , blisters can be caused by pressure.

If your feet do not fit properly into standard shoes or boots, then you are more likely to experience pressure  related  foot problems.  Deep aches or pains in the arch , ball of the foot  or heel may be related to muscle strain, which is associated with poor foot posture – correcting or improving  foot posture can reduce foot strain .

Even minor  irritations can reduce your mobility and productivity.

It is important to seek help for all foot ailments including sore and tired feet.

Individual  assessment and advice from a podiatrist is recommended.

 

 

Information sourced from Australian Podiatry Council  “ Your podiatrist talks about feet at work”.

 

While our Feet Suffer Wear, they cannot be Replaced like a Pair of Shoes.

Our feet are often the most neglected and forgotten part of our bodies .  research has shown that people are more likely to service their car than to have their feet checked by a podiatrist .

Yet our feet are our main mode of transport, carrying us on a journey of 128, 000 kilometres in a lifetime – the equivalent to three times around the world.

Who are podiatrists ?

Podiatrists are university – educated foot health professionals , They diagnose and treat specific foot and lower limb conditions including foot problems associated with arthritis and diabetes.

Why do  feet need specialist care?

Our feet are very complex – they house a quarter of the bones in the body, as well as a network of muscles ,ligaments and joints . they are also vulnerable to injury and disease; there are over  three hundred identified foot ailments.  While our feet suffer wear- by the age of fifty ,our feet have lost up to half the shock – absorbing capability of the  natural foot pad  they can not be replaced like a pair of shoes.

Some feet have special needs – children’s feet, sporting feet. Working feet , mature feet  and feet affected by disease .

Information sourced  from Australian Podiatry Council  “ your podiatrist talks about feet”.

 

Hints for Parents When Buying Shoes

  • Buy shoes with the child present , and try to avoid extremely busy shopping times
  • Insist on having the child’s feet measured and the shoes fitted by an experienced person. When in doubt ask for the manager
  • Shoes should be 18mm longer that the longest toes . and buy shoes for the larger foot , therefore ensure you try both shoes on for size
  • The shoes should have laces or a strap high up on the top of the foot
  • The shoe should be difficult to remove without undoing the fastening  and be a snug fit around the heel in new shoes
  • The shoe should not press onto the toes.
  • Buy good quality shoes  for everyday wear
  • Buy shoes that have a reputation to last
  • Keep sneakers sports shoes sand shoes  gum boots and slippers for  short periods of wear or when activity calls for them
  • Do not  hand down shoes which have badly worn soles

 

Maintenance

Keep shoes in a good state of repair especially the heel area

Keep leather shoes well polished  to help water repellent properties

Check shoes regularly for fit , as your child grows . the shoes will need to be regularly checked

Shoes can be washed in  warm soapy water  and allowed to dry naturally

Allow shoes to dry out overnight  l

 

Fair wear and tear

A good pair of shoes should last a season when coupled with others for short periods

If shoes deteriorate quickly  return to the  retailer .

Welcome

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