Did you know that 85 Australians have a lower limb amputation each week, mostly as a result of poor foot care in patients with Type 2 Diabetes. As your Chiropractor I can assist in identifying issues to do with your feet that may be impacting on your spine but if you suspect that someone you care about isn’t looking after their feet it may be worth recommending they see a Podiatrist (Michelle Davies is the Podiatrist at Wellness on Wellington).
Podiatrists play an important role in diabetes disease management as they ensure early signs of complications are picked up before they become problems. They can also assess if you have high or low risk feet so patients are aware of their situation.
High risk feet are where a person has low or no feeling in the feet, there is a history of ulceration or amputation. People with diabetes who have clawed toes, calluses or other deformities are also at risk of developing complications. Having feeling in their feet and good blood flow means feet are low risk, however someone with diabetes should always be monitored over time, especially as they age.
October is Foot Health Month and the Podiatrists Association have issued the following tips for keeping feet healthy, apart from regular visits to a podiatrist:
- Know your feet – check them every day when you wash and dry feet, particularly between the toes where fungus likes to grow.
- If you have limited or no sensation in your feet, check there are no cuts or foreign objects stuck in your feet which can cause infection. If you can’t reach your feet, ask a family member or friend to do this.
- If you notice something strange get it seen to straight away.
- Don’t wear socks, tights or stockings that are too tight or have sharp seams that can cut into you.
- When buying shoes make sure they fit properly and are secure, so having your feet measured and shoes fitted properly in the shop helps.
- Keep your weight down as weight puts tremendous pressure on feet and their health, as it does to the rest of the body’s organs.
- Keep your shoes on and avoid walking barefoot, especially if you have high risk feet.
- Don’t use heaters, electric blankets or hot water bottles to keep your feet warm wear socks and slippers instead on cold nights.