The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) just released a fascinating new national opinion survey on American foot health. The most interesting factoid? Americans have a lot of foot problems, and yet they don’t do much to improve their foot health.
- 8 in 10 Americans have experienced a foot problem, and half report that it has impacted their quality of life.
- Despite pain and problems, only 25% of Americans say they care for their feet all of the time (foot care includes clipping toe nails, applying foot lotions, wearing foot insoles, purchasing foot friendly shoes, etc.)
Foot problems that Americans admitted to having included:
- Sweaty, smelly feet
- Toe nail problems
- Heel pain/plantar fasciitis
- Pain in the ball of foot
- Pain from high heels
- Bone spurs
- Stress Fractures
- Pinched nerve
And, researchers have also found that those that have foot problems are more likely to have health issues with other parts of their body, including back pain, knee pain, weight issues and more. These side effects make sense. Foot pain will keep people off of their feet, which limits exercise and activity.
Even though using our feet is SO important to our daily activities and movement – caring for them seems to be the last thing on our minds. We’re going to add “better foot care” to our mid-year resolutions and here are a few things we’ll be trying:
- Wear socks infused with silver or copper to kill odor causing bacteria. Not sure what I’m talking about? See our post on smelly feet!
- Take care of your toe nails: Eat food rich in protein, vitamin B7 and calcium for healthy nails. Make sure you trim hangnails immediately and keep nails at a short length. Avoid using nail polish remover with Acetone – it dries nails out.
- Wear shoe inserts to prevent and ease foot pain. Plantar Fascitis is a common and incredibly painful foot condition that occurs in the heel of the foot. Wearing over the counter shoe supports are an easy and inexpensive way to improve the way your foot feels.
- Wear shoes that fit. I know personally how tempting it is to buy clearance shoes that are half a size, or sometimes an entire size off. For me, this usually ends in blisters and heel/arch pain after one wearing. Think of buying the correct shoe size as an investment in your feet!
- Compression socks! If you’re on your feet all day, wearing a light compression sock can make a world of difference. They improve circulation, prevent swelling and can even provide arch support. If you’ve never worn compression before, try a 15-20 mmHg sock and see what I’m talking about.
Do you have any other foot health tips?