There are lots of ways to help keep your feet healthy: buying shoes that fit properly, avoiding going barefoot and exercising, for example. At Texas Foot Specialists, another beneficial foot practice we’d like to see more patients get in the habit of is regularly examining their feet for changes or signs of developing problems. This doesn’t have to be a time consuming process. Just follow these three simple steps:
- Look—start by visually looking over your entire foot and ankle. Look for dry skin, redness, changes in skin or nail color, bruises, swelling, growths, or toes that seem to be moving out of alignment. Check between your toes as well (athlete’s foot often starts there). If you have any moles or freckles on your feet, be sure that they have not changed in size, shape or color.
- Feel—is any part of your foot in pain? If so, is the pain constant or does it come and go? Is it worse first thing in the morning or while you are walking or running? Do you have other irritating or uncomfortable symptoms such as burning, tingling, itching or numbness? Lack of sensation in your feet can be an early warning sign of diabetes or a nerve issue.
- Move—how is your balance? Can you close your eyes and stand on one foot with your arms outstretched to your sides and hold that pose for at least 7-15 seconds? When you flex your toes and feet and rotate your ankles, do you feel soreness or stiffness that may indicate arthritis or another joint disorder?
If you conduct self examinations of your feet often, you’ll be able to spot changes in the condition of your feet quickly. When you do, that’s the time to contact our Houston (713-664-6677), Pasadena (281-991-0600) or Sugar Land (281-242-4448) office for an appointment. Our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Mangum and Dr. Bruce Miller, will use the information you are able to provide in conjunction with a complete medical examination and health history to make an accurate diagnosis of a foot problem. Many patients who make self exams a regular practice have found disorders of the feet and ankles at their earliest stages, and have been able to minimize treatment and head off potentially disabling problems. If you find something abnormal, don’t delay, call us today for an appointment.