Foot Health Month

April 2019 is Foot Health Month

Fitter Feet for Life joins with the College of Podiatry to raise awareness of the importance of looking after the health of your feet.  This page tells about what the College will be doing this month.

We started towards the end of March by posting information for GPs on this website, and providing a downloadable  self-help list that should let everyone keep a regular check on their foot health, both to understand how they can best look after their feet and and recognise the signs that say 'get professional advice.'

Among other things, they, and we, suggest that "If you are a member of the public or another healthcare professional, help us spread the message about good foot health by following us on social media during April, liking and sharing our posts, or by posting your own messages using #foothealthmonth2019."

Watch out for articles in the press, too, as the College will be contacting the media as part of their Foot Health Month campaign.

About The College of Podiatry 

The College of Podiatry is the academic authority for podiatry in the UK, and an independent charity dedicated to foot health research, education and public awareness. The College is the professional body for UK registered podiatrists. Podiatry is the field of medicine that specialises in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of the foot, lower limb and associated structures.

The College of Podiatry has issued a press release:

Research reveals the nation's shoe buying habits are causing unnecessary foot pain

"New research released today (1 April) has indicated that 66% of adults who do not always try shoes on instore before buying them have experienced foot health problems, compared to just 53% of those that always do. People who skip trying on new shoes are twice as likely to report ingrown toe nails as people who always try on shoes before buying (22% vs 11%), while a similarly large number reported corns (14% vs 8%).

The research by the College of Podiatry*, which investigated the nation’s shoe buying habits, also revealed that 68% of adults never get their feet measured, with a further 16% of parents admitting to never getting their children’s feet measured when buying them shoes. Respondents who never get their feet measured are twice as likely to go on to have general foot pain, compared to those who always get their feet measured (25% vs 13%). 

The research highlighted that, of those who buy shoes in store, 34% tend to buy their shoes before midday, which can lead to poorly fitting shoes. Consultant podiatrist Matthew Fitzpatrick from the College of Podiatry explains: “Our research has revealed that a surprising number of people don’t try shoes on before they buy them. Podiatrists recommend trying shoes on before buying them and also advise buying shoes in the afternoon as this is when your feet are at the biggest as they naturally swell throughout the day. If a shoe fitting service is available, it is worth having your shoes professionally fitted.” 

The survey of 2000 adults revealed that more than half (56%) have bought shoes online in the past year – further evidence of an increase in ‘buying before trying’. 

The findings are released ahead of this year’s Foot Health month, which is taking place in April and sees podiatrists around the UK sharing foot health information to encourage better foot care, and to raise awareness of where to look for help for foot problems. The survey indicates that nearly half of all UK adults (48%) have sought either treatment or advice for foot problems. Of these, only around one-quarter of people (26%) opted to visit a podiatrist to help with their foot pain. The most popular choice was to visit a GP (56%), which provides a worrying signal about the burden that foot health is placing on general practitioners. 

Matthew Fitzpatrick continues: “Our feet are amazing – they are a masterpiece of natural engineering and we rely upon them to help us stay fit and well. Without healthy, pain-free feet, we can’t walk, do sports or even relax properly. A basic knowledge of foot health care is essential for everyone – there are loads of things you can do to improve your foot care regime – and that’s what this year’s Foot Health Month is all about.” 

The College of Podiatry is raising awareness of foot health and how important it is to our overall wellbeing, throughout Foot Health Month this April. Visit www.cop.org.uk for more information on foot health care or to find a registered podiatrist near you.

Matthew’s tips for preventing some of the most common foot conditions 

  • Heel pain/plantar fasciitis – wear supportive footwear such as shoes that fasten securely with straps or laces and avoid walking barefoot too frequently
  • Ingrown toenail – trim your toenails regularly using nail nippers and cut straight across and not at an angle or down the edges
  • Bunion – Bunions are usually hereditary, but if you do have one, make sure they are not made worse by your footwear, by ensuring your shoes are wide enough and provide enough wriggle room for your toes. Keep heel height to a maximum of 4cm for greatest comfort
  • Athlete’s foot – dry your feet thoroughly after washing them, especially between the toes. People prone to fungal infections may find that dabbing in-between the toes with surgical spirit will help "
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