April marks National Foot Health Awareness Month in the US, bringing podiatry into the media.
Although the event is taking place across the pond, podiatry experts have been offering a variety of tips for keeping the feet healthy that podiatrists in the UK may wish to pass on to their own patients.
For example, advice from the National Diabetes Education Program in the US states that properly-fitting socks and shoes are vital for maintaining foot health and hygiene, while feet should be kept as clean as possible, but dried thoroughly after each wash to prevent skin problems such as athlete's foot.
Meanwhile, the Michigan State University Extension has advised that diabetics - who are at greater risk of serious foot infections as fluctuations in their blood sugar can result in circulation problems - should ensure they are maintaining a healthy diet and regularly exercising to keep their blood moving around their body.
Even individuals who cannot walk are advised to try to wiggle their toes a few times a day to keep the blood flowing in this area to prevent the development of additional health problems.
Speaking during the 2013 awareness month, Dr Carolyn McAloon, president of the California Podiatric Medical Association, explained that the average person walks between 5,000 and 10,000 steps each day, which equates to over four times the total circumference of the Earth in their whole lifetime. As a result, almost half of people experience some form of foot or ankle pain.
Dr McAloon commented: "Because the foot is such a complex structure that contains more bones than any other single part of the human body, and when combined with how much we use our feet each day, it's no wonder that so many people suffer from foot pain.
"However, foot pain is not normal and is frequently a symptom of a more serious underlying systemic condition."
Written by Angela Newbury
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