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Keep a spring in your step! by Dr Nicky Eddison and Dr Ros Leslie

March 7th – 13th 2022 was National Feet Week, a time for everyone to prioritise their foot health.

Many people ignore common foot complaints or indeed serious pain rather than seek advice from a health professional.

Orthotists and Podiatrists are experts in foot health and can offer solutions to minor foot complaints right through to complex foot conditions. Problems with the feet can be indicative of wider health issues so it is important to regularly check your feet and seek advice if you notice anything of concern.

National Feet Week is an annual event and offers a reminder to give your feet the care and attention they deserve, have your feet checked or get that niggling issue sorted and make your feet your priority – after all, they take you anywhere you want to go, averaging just under 50,000 steps per week1 that’s nearly a quarter of a million steps per year!

 

Did you know?

 

  • The foot and ankle are a complex mechanical structure made up of 26 bones (that means our feet contain a quarter of the bones in our entire body!), 33 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments.
  • The position of the foot can range from extremely high arched (Pes Cavus) to a completely flat arch (Pes Planus) and can affect joints further up the body as the feet are part of a closed kinematic chain; put simply, what happens at your feet affects your knees, hips, and spine when weight-bearing. 
  • The first metatarsal phalangeal joint (the ball of your big toe), carries approximately 119% of your body weight with each step2. No wonder your feet ache at the end of the day! 
  • Foot problems can affect people with diabetes particularly if the diabetes is poorly controlled, it can damage your nerves, muscles, sweat glands and circulation in the feet and legs leading to amputations. In fact, diabetes is the most common cause of lower limb amputations3.
  • Around 700 people a day are diagnosed with diabetes. That’s the equivalent of one person every two minutes4.

 

What did RWT Allied Health Professionals do for feet week?

Our Orthotics, Physiotherapy and Podiatry services worked on a suite of information on how to look after your feet, including information on standard foot related care and advice, diabetes and your feet, orthotics and footwear, rheumatology and your feet, stretches, exercise and lower back pain. Did you see the information in the Trust news, social media (@RWT_AHPs) and your screen savers?

 

References

  1. Berko, Jeff; Goetzel, Ron Z.; Roemer, Enid Chung; Kent, Karen?; Marchibroda J. Results From the Bipartisan Policy Center’s CEO Council Physical Activity Challenge to American Business,. J Occup Environ Med. Volume 58(Issue 12):1239-1244. doi:10.1097/JOM.0000000000000897
  2. Jacob HA. Forces acting in the forefoot during normal gait–an estimate. Clin Biomech. 2001;Nov;16((9)):783-792. doi:10.1016/s0268-0033(01)00070-5
  3. Ahmad N, Thomas GN, Gill P, Chan C, Torella F. Lower limb amputation in England: prevalence, regional variation and relationship with revascularisation, deprivation and risk factors. A retrospective review of hospital data. J R Soc Med. 2014;107(12):483-489. doi:10.1177/0141076814557301
  4. Diabetes UK. Diabetes: Facts and Stats.; 2016. https://mrc.ukri.org/documents/pdf/diabetes-uk-facts-and-stats-june-2015/

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