Monthly Blog

When was the last time you serviced your feet?

We love our cars and take good care of them.  But often we pay little attention to  our main form of transport – our feet .

The average person walks 128,800 kms in a lifetime.  That adds up to a lot of wear and tear over  the years.

Who is most at risk ?

You feet may be in greater need of a regular check up if you

  • Are over 50
  • Participate regularly in sporting activities
  • Have diabetes, arthritis or a circulatory condition
  • Are on your feet all day at work.

You don’t have to put up with foot pain and let it restrict your mobility and health .

Many problems can be prevented by early diagnosis and treatment.

What can I do ?

Consult your Podiatrist is

  • You experience troublesome pain, throbbing or itching
  • You notice a discharge coming from a tear in the skin or under a mole or nail
  • You have any other concerns about your feet.

Podiatrists are primary health care professionals who diagnose and treat disorders of the foot and  lower leg.

You do not need  a doctor’s referral to see a Podiatrist

When was the last time you serviced your feet?

Monthly Blog

Looking after employees  in the workplace

As an employer you can prevent foot problems at work by

  • Promoting foot health in your workplace
  • Contracting a podiatrist  to give a talk on foot care to employees
  • Encouraging  your staff members to report foot problems , no matter how  minor
  • Looking at the foot health record  at your company – multiple foot complaints may suggest the workplace environment   itself  may need  addressing
  • Doing a foot risk assessment in the workplace  – look for ways to minimize the burden on your  employee’s feet   ( a podiatrist may be able to assist you with assessing  workplace foot risks)
  • Emphasizing  to the safety officer or occupational physician that foot complaints should be taken seriously .
  • If your employees wear safety shoes , ask yourself do you stock adequate range of safety shoes to suit every staff member?  If not outsourcing  the supply and fit of safety shoes may be more cost effective.
  • Allowing employees a cross over period when they exchange their old safety boots for a new pair .

 

Information sourced from Australian Podiatry Council  “ your podiatrist talks about feet at work”.
Monthly Blog

Fitted footwear is essential to maintaining foot health

Regardless of your work place – office, shop ,warehouse , restaurant – comfortable , properly fitted footwear is essential to maintaining  foot health .

Appropriate footwear can protect your feet against cold, preventing them from getting wet  or by cushioning them from the impact of your job.

In many workplaces , safety shoes/ boots are necessary to protect against environmental risks but  they also need to be comfortable and correctly fitted .  Always have your feet measured . Remember that the length, width and depth of the  shoe should  all be considered .

Information sourced from the Australian Podiatry Council “ your podiatrist talks about feet at work”.
Monthly Blog

Many adult foot problems have their origins in childhood.

Your children’s feet

You worry about your children’s teeth and eyes and other parts of their bodies , You teach your children washing, brushing and grooming, but what do you do about their feet which are still developing and have to carry the body through a lifetime?

Many adult foot problems have their origins in childhood.

During the first year of a child’s life their feet grow rapidly, reaching almost half their adult size. By 12, a child’s foot is about 90 percent of its  adult length.  This is why podiatrists consider the early years to be the most important in the development of feet .

Neglecting foot health can also lead to problems in other parts of the body , such as legs and back.

Monthly Blog

Most people buy shoes too small for themselves

Shoe selection is most important for people of every age.  Primarily, footwear is worn to protect the feet from  injury while daily tasks are carried out .

Shoes must fit the feet of the wearer. This is critical to avoid the many problems ill  fitting footwear can cause.

Fit factors

The shoe should be  Long enough

                                     Wide enough

                                     Deep enough

If one foot is larger than the other, fit the shoe to the larger foot . an insole can bridge the gap in a smaller shoe.

A survey through Wide Bay Podiatry showed that most people buy their shoes too small!

Keep that in  mind when you next buy shoes .

Try to shop for shoes in the afternoon when the feet tend to be larger  and always have your feet measured.  Shoes should be fitted whilst you are standing , as this is when your body weight will influence their position and fit .

Some people  find their feet change shape as they grow older.

Problems can arise from wearing particular types of footwear  eg slippers or scuffs which may cause a shuffling gait .

Shoes need to be matched to the activity you will be undertaking.  They all need to fit.

For general use and for exercise walking.

Features to look for:

Lace up ( firm hold on the foot)

Thick sole ( cushioning and non slip)

Leather upper ( better ventilation )

Monthly Blog

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 .

Monthly Blog

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 .