Every day, if you’re average, you take anywhere from 5,000-7,000 steps. If you’re more active, it could be 10,000, 15,000, or more. Each one of those steps places 1.5 times your body weight in pressure on every single bone, tendon, ligament, and muscle in your feet. That’s a big load to carry.
Nearly eight of ten people in the United States have suffered foot pain simply due to ill-fitting shoes. About 43% suffer from heel pain alone, never mind other common foot ailments, including blisters, corns, and calluses. But just 12% have seen a podiatrist.
At Advanced Foot & Ankle Center, our board-certified podiatrists are experts in ensuring that your feet are up to their job. At our offices throughout Utah, we correct and prevent a myriad of problems that can affect your 5,000+ daily steps.
Do you need a podiatrist? Here are five cases when you absolutely do.
1. Your feet hurt
Yes, your feet work hard. But no, they shouldn’t hurt.
If your feet hurt, it can change the way you walk, which can affect joints in your knees, hips, and even your spine. Some minor problems, such as a corn or a blister, may resolve on their own in a few days or with the addition of a shoe insert. But foot pain isn’t normal.
Contact us if you have:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel pain
- Bone spurs
- Sprained ankle
- Throbbing big toe
You don’t have to know what’s wrong with your feet or why they hurt; that’s our job. We get to the root of your problem so you understand why you’re in pain, and then we custom design a treatment plan to remedy it.
2. Your toes or feet look or smell weird
While it’s normal for your feet to smell a bit after intense exercise or being enclosed in a shoe all day long, if your feet smell foul, that’s not OK. Strange odors, lesions, or shapes to your feet or toes could be:
- Toenail fungus
- Foot fungus
- Athlete’s foot
- Foot ulcers
- Turf toe
Conditions such as warts and fungal infections can be spread to other areas of your body if you’re not careful.
3. You’re an athlete
Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, if you work out or engage in sports, you put your feet through extra paces. And if your gait is off, you risk major injuries.
One of the services we offer is gait analysis. We can tell if you overpronate or underpronate your foot, putting you at increased risk for sprains. We also identify movement habits you might have that put you at risk for arthritis or other wear-and-tear conditions.
Depending on your needs, we may recommend customized orthotic shoe inserts. These individually crafted inserts support your arches and align your foot properly. They can increase your speed. Pain-free running and jumping also lets you focus on your performance, rather than your feet. Orthotics stabilize your legs, which protects your back, too.
4. You have gout
Gout is a painful form of arthritis that usually strikes in the big toe joint. Signs of gout include being awakened due to pain, a throbbing or red big toe, and a sensation of being stabbed with needles in your toe.
In addition to recommending that you consume a diet low in purines, we may also prescribe medications that lower your uric acid levels. During a gout flare-up, we can also also help by administering anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids to control the swelling and pain.
5. You have diabetes
If you have diabetes, your feet are at risk. Uncontrolled blood sugar damages your blood vessels and may lead to peripheral artery disease (PAD). If you develop PAD, you may lose the ability to feel sensations, including pain, in your feet.
Diabetic feet are at risk for infection, gangrene, and amputation. In fact, diabetes is the No. 1 reason for non-trauma foot amputation. We recommend regular trips to your podiatrist so we can be sure you don’t have any slow-healing wounds, ulcers, or infections that need treatment.
Give your hardworking feet the care and treatment they need by calling our team at the office nearest you. Or, just book your appointment online today.