Care for your feet!
We only one pair per lifetime! Our feet rare our transport, looking after them should be a priority for the people of all ages, but especially as we got older and if we suffer from diabetes. As we age and in those people who have diabetes, the risk of foot injury and serious complications that may result in infection, ulceration and amputation are very real. Essentially, our feet rely on a stable circulation and a responsive nervous system to protect us from infection and respond to injurious states such as cuts, pressure areas and other traumas that may precipitate ulceration and the possible loss of toes or a limb.
As we age, and in those people with peripheral vascular disease (PVD), the amount of blood getting to our feet reduces. The flow of nutrients and infection fighting cels markedly reduce and this results in a greater risk for trauma and a subsequent longer healing process if an injury occurs.
- Fortunately, with some basic foot health habits we can help maintain the health of our feet and ensure that the one pair we get keeps us on the move! Firstly, It is very important to maintain the integrity of the skin. Moisturise your feet daily and keep an eye out for any cracks or injury that may develop into a longer term concern.
- Keep walking. Exercise gets the blood flowing and helps maintain our stability and balance to reduce the risk of falls and probable trauma that may lead to a severe injury.
- Stop smoking and eat healthily. Smoking reduces peripheral blood circulation and impairs healing. Along with a diet high in fat, this can cause slowing of the peripheral blood circulation and again place the feet at high risk of reduced healing and heightened potential for infection.
- Footwear is very important. Having shoes that fit, absorb friction and provide cushioning help protect the feet from injury and the build up of superficial lesions (corns and calluses). Research tells us that only is pressure a very high precipitator of ulceration and amputation, but friction is just as important to minimise. The majority of footwear and innersoles are designed to reduce pressure by providing large amounts of cushioning. It is most important, if you have a reduced peripheral circulation, diabetes or other conditions that place you at risk of ulceration youlook for an innersole, such as the Realign Diabetic Memory, that is designed to reduce the amount of pressure and friction that passes through the surface of the foot.
Finally, anybody who has medical concerns that place them at risk of falling, ulceration or a reduced ability to fight infection should have their feet assessed and treated on a regular basis by a Podiatrist.