How often do you think about your feet? Do you even realize what a big role your feet and ankles play in your everyday life? It is thanks to them that you can perform the most basic of activities: getting out of bed in the morning, walking to your car, driving to work, playing with your kids, etc. Your everyday life literally depends on keeping your feet and ankles in good health.
Of course, we often forget about them, ignoring them to the point of neglect. The trouble starts as soon as they start acting up. Most people don’t even realize how many foot-related conditions are out there. In fact, there are so many that there is a whole separate department of medicine focused solely (see what we did there?) on the feet and ankles, called podiatry. In our orthopedic centers in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach, we have podiatrist: Desiree Garzon, DPM . He is one who will get you back on your feet, so to speak! 🙂
This article will prove helpful to people who are either struggling with a foot or ankle-related condition or are interested in preventing one from developing. Here are a couple simple guidelines on how to keep your feet in good shape.
How common are foot and ankle conditions?
They are very common, and there are plenty of them. They occur because we tend to forget about taking good care of our feet, and sometimes they remind us of our mistake. What are some of the most frequently occurring conditions? Achilles tendinitis, arthritis of the foot and ankle, athlete’s foot, bunions, claw toe, clubfoot, corns and calluses, plantar fasciitis, and various fractures – just to name a few. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, foot and ankle conditions can be especially frustrating, as they can so easily prevent patients from having a normal life. Everyday activities like walking or driving can be a challenge, not to mention activities of higher intensity, such as dancing or playing sports. On the bright side, most conditions can be quickly and easily treated with the use of either conservative or surgical treatment.
What kind of treatment is available?
This will of course depend of the case, but there are many options available. The doctor will most likely recommend trying out non-surgical options at first. They include:
- Exercise and stretching
- Medications (painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Steroid injections
- Insoles/orthotics and specially altered shoes1
If those fail to improve your symptoms, your podiatrist may decide you need to undergo a surgical procedure. To find out more about possible surgical options of the foot and ankle, please visit our online Foot and Ankle Center. Here are just a few examples of the kinds of information you will find there:
- Can running cause osteoarthritis?
- Surgery and corrective repair of the foot
- Can your diet influence osteoarthritis pain?
How to prevent foot and ankle problems?
Prevention plays a key role in maintaining good health, and that goes for your feet and ankles, too. Did you know that there are 26 bones and 33 joints in the human foot and ankle, and the height of arches and the shape of the toes vary from person to person? How can you make sure you’re taking good care of them?
First and foremost, you need to choose the right foot attire. Here are just a few simple guidelines on how to pick your shoes, according to American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS):
- Always shop for shoes in the afternoon/evening, when the feet are the largest during the day
- When you put the shoes on, they need to feel comfortable immediately – don’t expect you will ‘wear them out’ with time, because that time can cost your feet dearly!
- Look for shoes that mostly resemble the natural shape of the foot. Avoid shoes with pointed toes, very high heels, etc.
- Look for good-quality, breathable material, such as canvas or leather.
Your diet and lifestyle is also crucial. For instance, it’s been scientifically proven that your food choices can have a big influence on osteoarthritis. More on that here.
Orthopaedic Surgeon in Boynton Beach – When is the right time to see a podiatrist?
There is no right answer to that question, but we believe you should consult our Orthopaedic Surgeon in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach as soon as you start to experience any pain. Your doctor will be able to determine what’s causing it and what the best ways are to ease the symptoms. Our center is known for its team of professional and experienced orthopedic specialists, including some of the best podiatrists in Palm Beach County. Here at Orthopaedic Surgery Associates, our professional team of orthopedic surgeons will do all they can to get you up and running again. For more information about our facility, visit our website or contact us today. We are looking forward to seeing you soon!