The feet of a human being are under a lot of stress due to bipedal locomotion, and even for the healthiest people, ankle or foot pain may become an issue sometimes, and in other cases, medical conditions can disfigure the feet or make them unbearable to put one’s own body weight on. Not being able to walk may greatly hamper a person’s mobility or capacity to do work, however, and no patient would want that if they can help it. For this reason, someone with foot issues is advised to find a foot care specialist in their area and consult them for care and medication, or even therapy if it is needed. Ankle sprains, flat feet, twisted ankles, diabetes, arthritis, and other issues can affect the feet and a person’s capacity to walk, so an ankle specialist or foot doctor should be visited as soon as the health issues present themselves. Searching “foot doctor near me” is a good start, and diabetic foot care is possible for those with diabetes.
Feet and Issues
A number of health issues may impact a person’s feet, in terms of shape or their capacity to bear weight and walk normally. Hammer toes may impact walking capacity, and the Mayo Clinic reports that nearly 200,000 cases of it are found across the United States per year. Arthritis can inflame joints all over the body and hamper movement, and this can include the knees or ankles, making walking difficult. Ankle pain treatment may be needed for arthritis or if a patient suffered a twisted ankle in everyday life or as a result of playing sports. What is more, diabetes can also harm the health of someone’s feet, and this is a fairly common medical issue. The American Association of Diabetes Educators released data showing that 30.3 million people had diabetes as of the end of 2017, and it also stated that 4.1 million adults, or 33.9% of the adult American population, has a prediabetes condition. Just how does diabetes impact the feet, and what can be done about it? What does diabetic foot care look like?
Getting Diabetic Foot Care
In the case of diabetes in particular, a patient can get diabetic foot care if their condition is affecting their capacity to walk or is causing constant pain. According to Foot Health Facts, diabetes can greatly affect the feet’s health. For one thing, diabetes may damage the nerves in the feet, and this can make it difficult to recognize health issues in the feet such as blisters or sores. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, which makes it more difficult for the body to fight infection or heal a wound on the feet. If blisters and sores develop on the feet, and the diabetic patient cannot feel them, these skin conditions could lead to infections, and in the worst cases, this could lead to amputation of toes or even the entire foot or leg.
Diabetic foot care often involves self-care and examination. A patient should look over their feet every day for any issues from a small cut to a blister or redness, and report any new issues to their doctor as soon as they can. The feet should be washed every day and only warm water should be used, since too-hot water might not be felt, and this could lead to burns. And due to the feet’s reduced or nonexistent sensitivity, a person should be careful about not getting their feet hurt when they do not feel it. Such a person should never walk barefoot, not even in the home, since they can step on hard items or get small cuts and not feel it, and what is more, the patient is encouraged to shake their shoes before putting them on to clear out any debris that would press against the skin. On top of this, the patient is discouraged from consuming too much sugar, as this can greatly impact their blood sugar, and they should not smoke cigarettes or other tobacco products since this will reduce blood flow to the feet even more, and this can result in dangerously low blood flow. Diabetic foot care may mean going to the doctor to get calluses or corns taken care of by medical professionals.