Did you know that approximately 8 out of 10 Americans will experience foot pain in their lifetime? Despite this, surveys undertaken by the American Podiatric Medical Association have revealed that we are notoriously reluctant to seek medical help for foot-related maladies, even those who have noted that their condition is severe enough to limit their daily activities.
There are several reasons that we may try to avoid seeing a podiatrist, from concerns around costs to a lack of time or a fear of white coats. However, if you’ve been slacking off on your foot health, it’s time to bite the bullet and make an appointment. Check out https://stepcareclinic.ie/ if you have questions
Here’s why getting your feet examined regularly matters.
1. Prevention is Key
You may not see the point in getting your feet examined regularly if you’re not experiencing any noticeable foot pain. Seeing a podiatrist is a great way to keep your foot health in check and identify any small problems before they become big ones.
For example, cracked heels or nail color changes may actually be a symptom of Type 2 diabetes. When caught early, this condition is far more manageable and easier to treat. Untreated, it can lead to infections and even amputation. Poor foot health can also be indicative of a number of other diseases. A trip to your podiatrist can offer you peace of mind.
2. Podiatrists Can Help You Make Changes
Sometimes people with foot pain are reluctant to see their physician or podiatrist because they don’t believe anything can be done to combat their foot pain. Whether it’s caused by too much time on your feet, a bunion, or something more complex, a podiatrist will be able to assess your individual situation.
Depending on the ailment, they will then be able to talk you through the necessary lifestyle changes to help your condition. This can range from dietary recommendations (the painful condition ‘gout’ is often caused by poor diet) to exercise plans or orthopedic shoes.
3. Genetic & Lifestyle Factors Can Influence Your Foot Health
Even if you’re relatively young, getting your feet examined regularly is important. There are many factors that can influence your likelihood of developing foot problems, regardless of age. For example, genetic factors – if you have family with diabetes or peripheral artery disease you may be more at risk of developing foot disease.
Lifestyle factors, such as being sedentary, having a poor diet or even smoking can also increase your risk. Even running without supportive shoes can cause damage. So, regardless of how normal your feet seem, a podiatrist will be able to put together a more accurate picture of your overall foot health and mitigate any risks.
The bottom line is, whether your foot pain is mild or severe, it can make a significant difference to your comfort and quality of life. If you choose to ignore these signs, you may find yourself gradually making more and more life-limiting accommodations to manage your symptoms, such as giving up the gym or your daily walk.
By getting your feet examined regularly, you can ensure that your feet stay healthy for longer and that small problems don’t become big ones.