You use your feet every day, so it’s important that you take proper care of them. Your podiatrist knows the ways to do so, but what are the best questions to ask? “Taking care of your feet is one of the best things you can do for yourself,” says Dr. Velimir Petkov, board-certified North Jersey podiatrist at Premier Podiatry in Clifton, NJ. Here are a few questions that you should definitely ask your podiatrist according to him.
How often should I visit a podiatrist?
“The frequency of your visits will depend on your lifestyle, activity levels, and whether you are diabetic” comments Dr. Petkov. If you have diabetes, your podiatrist will check your blood sugar levels, lifestyle, and medical history to determine how often you should be making appointments — it may end up being more than once a year. Of course, any time you’re in pain, you should schedule an appointment with your podiatrist so that they can help you resolve it.
What should I bring to my first appointment?
Bring a list of your symptoms and any questions you might have. Writing your questions and symptoms down will help you remember to address them with your podiatrist. You might also want to bring a list of medications you take. If your pain is related to a specific exercise, bring your exercise shoes with you so that your podiatrist can evaluate them. Make sure you are asking your podiatrist any questions you might have and that you are understanding the answers. If you don’t understand, ask for clarification. After all, your podiatrist is here to help.
What should I do to take great care of my feet?
There are many things you can do to take great care of your feet. Wash them regularly and inspect them afterwards. If you experience discomfort, have foot pain, or notice anything out of the ordinary, such as blisters, bruises, redness, swelling, inflammation, an ingrown toenail, or rash, visit your podiatrist.
Moisturize your feet to prevent cracks that may allow bacteria and fungi to spread. Avoid walking barefoot to prevent sprains and stress fractures. Wear comfortable shoes that provide good arch support and shock absorption. If you exercise, pick the right kind of shoes for the sport or activity that you like to engage in and keep your feet dry by wearing moisture-wicking socks.
What type of exercises can I do to stretch my foot muscles?
There are several easy exercises you can do at home (or even at work) to help stretch your foot muscles. Raising, pointing, and curl your toes helps stretch out and strengthen the muscles in your feet. Splaying your toes will help you gain control over your toe muscles, as well. Picking up marbles with your toes will increase the strength in the muscles of the bottom of your feet and your toes. Engaging in strengthening exercises will help keep your feet strong and prevent future injuries.
What type of shoes should I wear during summer? Are there any sandals on the market that have pre-built arch support?
This summer, swap your flip-flops for a good pair of sandals. There are sandals on the market designed by podiatrists to help support your feet. It’s important that you wear shoes that support your arch and your foot, especially if you are going to be taking a vacation and walking around. Buying a good, quality pair of sandals will keep you pain-free on your vacation and without injuries when you get home.
Dr. Petkov advises “Consider getting your feet scanned in order to get custom-milled flip-flops with arch support and heel cup modification to better support your feet during the summer months.”
What is the difference between pre-made store-bought and custom-molded orthotics?
Custom orthotics are prescribed by your podiatrist and are built for your specific foot, while store-bought orthotics are not designed specifically for you. If you are diabetic, an athlete, or suffer from recurring injuries, you would benefit from custom-molded orthotics. These orthotics will help you prevent future injuries and any potential pain you might experience.
Keeping your feet healthy is important, and your podiatrist knows the best ways to do so. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your appointment, as the answers will help you take the necessary steps to prevent pain and injuries.