Your Foot Care Checklist for 2019
A new year means an opportunity to take a fresh outlook, set some goals, heavily consider achieving them, and maybe actually setting forth to do it!
Joking aside, having a good, reasonable goal can be an excellent opportunity to try something new and make strides toward a healthier, happier you.
While we can’t always help our patients determine the exact goals they should set to fulfill their dreams (unless those dreams involve becoming a podiatrist, of course), we do know how important having healthy, comfortable feet can be toward getting a good start.
We’re not just talking about fitness-related goals, either. Comfort and mobility go great ways toward pursuing any kind of goal. It’s hard to have 100% gusto if you dread putting your feet on the floor every morning, for example!
So before you dive into any new year’s resolutions—or even just continue on with your perfectly content 2018-style life—go through this brief checklist to ensure your feet are ready to go.
How’s Your Footwear?
When’s the last time you got new shoes? And, on a related note, when is the last time you have had your feet measured?
If it has been a year or more in either case, it is well worth making sure your feet are properly equipped. While shoes may last for more than a year of general use in some cases, many will wear out in about a year, especially if you spend a lot of time on hard surfaces.
And even though you may be an adult, that does not necessarily mean the size of your feet has stopped changing. Get your feet measured professionally at a shoe store—ideally during the afternoon or evening when feet tend to be at their largest sizes. Many people are sticking with a shoe size that no longer fits for them, leading to either loose shoes that can cause blisters and calluses or tight shoes that can lead to ingrown toenails or bunion progression.
If your plans for the new year involve starting a new sport or exercise, it is essential that you get the right shoes for your activity! Having the proper support for the types of impacts and movements expected can keep you from experiencing an injury that will quickly waylay your plans.
Are You Stretching When You Need To?
Proper stretching for your feet, ankles, and calves is another good commitment that can help you avoid a resolution-ending overuse injury. It’s not just useful for athletes, however.
If you have heel pain, bunions, or other conditions that might be aggravated by imbalances in your muscular-skeletal structure, stretching and strength exercises can increase stability and range of motion over time. This leads to less pain and better management of your condition.
The ideal types of stretching, exercises, and warm-ups for you will depend on your activities and what kinds of existing conditions you have. We can help you determine the most effective uses of your time for your feet and ankles—but you should be doing something.
Even if you have no underlying conditions that can benefit from a stretching plan, your “pristine” feet and ankles will still thank you. All it takes is a couple minutes each day!
Are You Protecting Your Feet from Unwanted Organisms?
If your plans for the new year involve working out at the gym or swimming laps at the public pool, you want to invest in a pair of pool shoes. Period.
Locker rooms and public poolsides are harboring grounds for nasty fungus, such as the types that cause fungal toenails and athlete’s foot. Anywhere the conditions are warm, damp, and frequented by other people’s feet are not a place you want to put your own bare feet for any length of time.
If you already have fungal toenails or a stubborn case of athlete’s foot, we recommend starting treatment as soon as possible. We have a guide to treating fungal nails with laser therapy that you can download at no cost, and we would of course be happy to answer any questions you have directly.
Athlete’s foot tends to respond relatively well to over the counter treatments, but do not hesitate to contact us if your case does not improve after a couple days of anti-fungal spraying. The sooner you can take care of such infections, the less likely the chances they will spread to your family (but you will want to take extra precautions in treating shoes and other items to make sure!).
Are You Ready to Take Care of Your Problems Now?
If you are heading into 2019 with an already existing problem that hasn’t been getting addressed, such as heel pain, persistent ingrown toenails, or bunions, not taking action is going to impede your goals for the future!
The sooner you address chronic problems, the more effective and fast-acting that treatment plan is likely to be! Then you can get on with achieving your real goals.
Wherever you plan your steps to take you, we wish you health and happiness on your journey! If you do need help or advice, our offices in Wichita and Newton are here for you!
Reaching us is easy. Give us a call at (866) 222-5177 or use our online contact form.