April is Foot Health Awareness Month. Take a stand for your feet.
According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, most adults average 10,000 steps each day, adding up to more than three million steps per year. April is Foot Health Awareness Month and Cortland Regional’s Wound Care Center wants to help you keep your feet healthy and happy.
If you are living with diabetes, healthy feet should be a top priority. An estimated 29.1 million people (9.3 percent of the population) have diabetes, and nearly 8.1 million are undiagnosed. Diabetes can affect the nerves which can cause nerve damage – otherwise known as neuropathy - leaving you and your feet more at risk for injury and illness.
Diabetes-related amputations may result from chronic wounds, especially foot ulcers. It is estimated that 25 percent of all diabetics will develop a diabetic foot ulcer. In 2010, about 73,000 lower-limb amputations were performed on adults aged 20 years or older with diagnosed diabetes. This accounts for 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations. People with an amputation have a 50 percent mortality rate within five years.
Dr. Amanda Finney, a specialist in Cortland Regional’s Wound Care Center, sees Foot Health Awareness Month as a great opportunity to “educate the community on the importance of following a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your feet. Diabetics are at greater risk for developing foot wounds, due to diminished circulation, neuropathy, and other conditions.”
Here are a few important ways to care for your feet, especially if you’re living with diabetes:
• Check your feet for sores or other injuries every day. It’s possible to have an injury, but not feel the pain.
• Wash your feet and dry them with care every day, especially between the toes.
• Trim your toenails as needed after you’ve washed and dried your feet.
• Be sure that your shoes fit properly and do not rub or pinch your feet.
• Always wear socks or stockings with your shoes, and avoid walking barefoot or wearing just socks.
• Physical activity can help increase circulation in your feet. Consult your healthcare team to see which physical activity is right for you.
For more information about proper foot care, diabetic foot ulcers, or how we may be able to help you avoid amputation, contact the Cortland Regional Wound Care Center at 607-753-0993.