Walk into summer – June is Feet for Life Month

Local podiatrist offers foot health advice

Suzanne Hewetson BSc (hons) Pod M.Ch.S from Feet Matters, The Mill at St Catherine’s Park is celebrating The College of Podiatry’s annual Feet for Life Month in June by encouraging us to put our best foot forward and take a peek at our feet and getting them summer-ready. This year’s theme is walking.

Our feet carry us some 150,000 miles in a lifetime yet most people take their feet for granted until something goes wrong – blisters, bunions, arch, toe or heel pain, ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot … Suddenly, easy walks can become onerous, runs are no longer fun and dancing is a no-go.

“If our feet aren’t in good shape, then summer can be miserable. Our general health and wellbeing depend on us being able to get up and move, so good foot health is essential. The summer is also when we are most likely to want to have our feet on show with sandals, open toe shoes and barefoot walks on the beach or by a pool, but some people feel unable to do this due to embarrassment about their feet. ” said Suzanne Hewetson from The College of Podiatry.

New research from The College of Podiatry shows that 90 per cent of men and women experience some sort of foot problem, with 20 per cent admitting to suffering with foot pain often or constantly. Despite this, only 23 per cent of people who have suffered a foot problem have sought professional help and 16 per cent admit to ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away. When it comes to professional help, four in 10 don’t what a podiatrist does.

The most common foot problems suffered in the UK include:

  • Hard, dry skin on the feet – 60%
  • Blisters – 51%
  • Rubbing from footwear – 40%
  • Aching, sore feet – 38%
  • Athlete’s foot – 26%
  • Sore, tight calf muscles – 24%
  • Ingrown toenails – 18%
  • Corns and callus – 14%
  • Bunions – 10%

Podiatrist Suzanne Hewetson added: “This survey is just based on what people report they suffer with, so we expect that prevalence of these conditions is actually much higher as many people won’t necessarily identify the condition correctly. What this research shows is that a huge amount of people are willing to put up with sore, aching and painful feet. Your feet are designed to carry you around and they shouldn’t hurt on a daily basis. If you are experiencing discomfort in your feet it is usually because you aren’t wearing the right footwear for the activity you are doing. You don’t need to put up with it so do seek professional advice.”
More information on foot health, with free leaflets and tips can be found on The College of Podiatry’s website www.feetforlife.org.

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