Remember those cute ballet shoes and moccasins? You know, the ones with the paper-thin soles and no arch supports that you used to traipse around in with carefree abandon in your 20s. Well, those days are over—or they should be.
Your feet are your body’s foundation. “If they’re in poor shape, it’s likely that you will have not only foot pain but ankle pain, knee pain, back pain, and even neck pain,” says Sanford C. Proner, DPM, a podiatrist with offices in Dobbs Ferry and Bronxville. We asked Proner to share some advice about how to prevent—and treat—the most common foot problems.
We know—ew, ew, ew! Women who get frequent pedicures are especially prone to this ugliness. “Fungal infections can be avoided by being proactive,” says Proner. “Bring your own implements and polish, and ask that the salon use a disposable liner in the whirlpool.”
“You can catch this by walking barefoot around a pool or in a shower shared by others. Prevent it by wearing flip-flops. Even in a carpeted hotel room, wear flip-flops or socks.”
Heel and Arch Pain (plantar fasciitis)
“This is very common in both men and women,” says Proner, “and it is often exacerbated by wearing incorrect footwear.” Proner says that wearing “the right shoe for the activity or sport you’re engaging in” is key to preventing injury. He also recommends stretching before and after activities.
Sprains and Strains
“Take the proper time to let it heal,” says Proner, who recommends RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. “If the pain, swelling, and discoloration don’t go away, or if you’re impaired, go to an urgent-care facility or the ER.”
Injuries From Sandals
“Flip-flops and sandals cause a lot of summer injuries,” says Proner. “Buy quality ones with good support to prevent falls, as well as arch, back, and knee injuries.”
Injuries From High Heels and Tight Shoes “I see many trips and falls because of heels,” Proner says. “And other conditions can develop because of improperly fitted shoes. These include hammertoes, bunions, corns, and callouses. Style has a price.”