There’s a lot of false information about foot care, both from well-meaning acquaintances to unqualified “experts” offering healthcare tips online. Unfortunately, many of these recommendations won’t do much to treat the problem—and in some cases, it could make the condition worse.
Myths That Can Do Your Feet More Harm Than Good
It only takes a few simple steps each day to prevent foot injuries, but one false move can send you right to your podiatrist’s door. While the foot and ankle specialists at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry are always ready to serve you, we want to set the record straight about a few misconceptions so you can take good care of your feet and ankles at home.
Some of the most common myths about foot care include:
- Going barefoot is the best thing for your feet! If shoes can rub against your feet, pinch your toes, and lead to corns and bunions, then opting not to wear them should be a good idea, right? While going barefoot might alleviate some pressure on your feet, it can open you up to different problems (such as fallen arches and the risk of fungal infections). Without the protection of shoes and socks, foot skin is vulnerable to cuts and puncture wounds, making going barefoot deadly for people with diabetes.
- If you can walk, your foot isn’t broken. This is often said to encourage an injured person to “play through the pain.” Whether you’re an athlete or have suffered trauma to your foot, your ability to walk or put weight on the foot is not an accurate indicator of a fracture. People who have a high pain threshold may walk on a foot or ankle with a broken bone, while others may be unable to put any pressure on a foot that is severely sprained. Whatever the underlying cause, it is best to stay off an injured foot until a podiatrist diagnoses the condition and creates a customized treatment plan.
- There’s no treatment for a broken toe. It’s a misconception that there is nothing a doctor can do for a broken toe. Toes can have pins or screws surgically inserted to realign them just like other bones in the body, and this may be necessary to prevent the toe from healing at the wrong angle. In fact, early treatment can prevent problems later on, such as toe deformities, balance problems, or arthritis.
- To treat a corn, you have to get to its root. Corns are deformities on toes and joints caused by continual rubbing against the inside of a shoe. While corns do have a central hard core, they do not have roots—and attempting to find a root with nail scissors or clippers can cause serious injuries. The only way to eliminate corns permanently is to correct the underlying problem.
- A little foot pain is normal. All people experience foot pain at some point in their lives, but this does not mean that pain in the feet should be ignored. All too often, people come to us only after the pain they are experiencing has become unbearable—including athletes, children, and older adults. From toothaches to bone spurs and plantar fasciitis, pain is the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Always have any new or lasting pain in your toes, feet, and ankles evaluated by a doctor to discover the cause and begin proper treatment. The earlier you see a podiatrist, the better your chances of preventing a small injury from becoming a long-lasting problem.
If you are suffering pain below the knee, we are are here to help. Our podiatry office offers free initial consultations to determine the root cause of the problem, and create a customized treatment plan to get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Simply fill out our online contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET to set up your first visit.