Did you know that in a lifetime the average person walks enough to travel the world over five times? That’s more then 125,000 miles! Even an average day of walking can deliver a force equal to several hundred tons bearing down on your feet.
Not only are your feet more prone to injury than any other parts of your body, but foot ailments are some of the most common health problems. To help raise awareness of foot-related issues, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) has deemed April to be Foot Health Awareness Month.
While most people are diligent about brushing their teeth and performing other routine health maintenance, they often pay little attention to their feet until a problem occurs. Taking care of your feet is more important than you might think, especially since they spend much of their time encased in hot shoes and walking on hard surfaces.
Although some foot problems are hereditary, many stem from years of neglect or rough treatment (often due to poorly fitting shoes or boots). Studies show that most Americans experience foot problems at some point in their lives but ignore the discomfort or pain because they think it is normal. This is potentially dangerous, since a number of systemic diseases can be first detected in the feet—such as diabetes, circulatory disorders, anemia and kidney problems. Also, arthritis (including gout) often attacks foot joints first.
If you begin to experience foot problems, it is important to seek professional help. Doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs) are trained in all aspects of care for the feet and lower limbs and play a critical role in helping people and their feet stay healthy, active and productive. Wenatchee Valley Medical Center has two DPMs: Dr. Brandon Child in Wenatchee (Smith Building) and Dr. Solomon Wu in Moses Lake.
For a helpful top-10 list of foot-health tips from the American Podiatric Medical Association, please download the PDF below.