Monday, September 2, 2019
Ask The Foot Doctor: An Interview
New Book By Leading Podiatrist Shows How To Have A Lifetime Of Pain-Free Foot Health
Ingrown Toe Nail. Bunion. Gout. Arthritis. Foot Fungus. Achilles Tendon. Hammer Toe. Diabetes. Twisted Ankle. Broken Foot.
These are some of the chronic conditions, injuries, and diseases that give tens of millions of Americans aches, pains, and stress in their feet daily. But you don’t have to suffer any more.
A new book by a podiatrist of 35 years provides a handy, comprehensive, guide in plain English for anyone seeking to better understand how to care for their feet, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation tips.
Ask The Foot Doctor: Real-Life Answers To Enjoy Happy, Healthy, Pain-Free Feet (Morgan James Publishing, June 2019, Trade Paper, 200 pages, $17.95, ISBN: 9781642791983) is penned by Dr. Doug Tumen, founder of Hudson Valley Foot Associates (
). Having treated tens of
thousands of people, Dr. Tumen wrote this book to provide foot fundamentals so
people of all ages can take smart steps implementing prevention and everyday
care to their feet.
The average American will walk the globe four times over a lifetime, so they will need all of the help they can get. Each of our feet contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles. There’s a lot that can go wrong over the course of many years.
Here’s an interview with Dr. Tumen, whom is a client of the public relations firm that I work for:
1. As a podiatrist of 35 years, what are the more common foot-related ailments and injuries to come across your office? Anything and everything related to the foot and ankle walks in our door on a daily basis. It could be someone who stepped on a nail, to someone who sprained their ankle playing basketball, to a concerned mom worrying about their child’s feet, to a diabetic with a serious foot infection. However, some of the more common foot problems we see daily are painful ingrown toenails, heel pain and plantar fasciitis, foot deformities needing correction, such as bunions and hammer toes, diabetics in need of foot care, plantar warts, fungus toenails, flat feet, foot injuries from sprains to fractures, gout attacks, tendon injuries, seniors care, and just people complaining of being tired of suffering with foot aches and pains.
2. How many of these conditions are preventable, if only people had more awareness of them? Many of the more common foot problems and conditions are preventable with proper education and awareness. The best example is with diabetics. Most of the serious diabetic foot complications, such as diabetic wounds, infections, and amputations are totally preventable if a diabetic does one simple thing; an annual diabetic foot examination. Diabetics who are educated and examined regularly by a foot specialist avoid most of the serious foot complications by following the simple do’s and don’ts, taking precautions and understanding their personal risk factors. Unfortunately, the first time we often see a diabetic is when they show up with in infection or a wound that requires hospitalization. Totally preventable. Of course, so many other foot problems are also avoidable with simple awareness and education.
3. Please give us some good foot fundamentals on everyday care for our feet. Foot care can be pretty simple and does not need to be complicated. Our feet do so much for us and a small amount of TLC can go a long way. The best thing far and away you can do for your feet is to wear comfortable shoes. Give your feet some love and don’t force them into shoes because they look good or match your outfit. Shoes should have a combination of support and cushioning. Support to hold your feet up to their daily tasks, and cushioning because we live in a concrete world. Daily massage, rolling your feet on a rolling pin or tennis ball, stretching your foot and leg muscles, and applying a good moisturizing cream are great ways to keep them happy.
4. What are some of the symptoms to common foot conditions? One of the most common painful foot conditions we treat is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis seems to be at epidemic proportions based on how many people we see with this painful foot condition. If you wake up in the morning and your foot hurts getting out of bed, if it hurts any time after you sit and get back up, and if you have pain around your heel that may extend into your arch, chances are you have plantar fasciitis. Sometimes the area surrounding the bottom of your heel may be swollen, and sometimes it can ache even if you are sitting or are just lying in bed. Pain can persist throughout the entire day and often causes one to limp because of the pain.
5. What role could one’s diet play in foot health? Diet is always important because as the saying goes: “we are what we eat”. And diet does play a role in a few common areas relating to foot health. First and most common is a condition called gout. Gout used to be known as “Rich Man’s Disease” or “Disease of Kings” because it was related to a diet heavy in meat and certain foods or alcohol. Now we know more specifically which foods trigger a gout attack, what should be avoided and how it can be helped. Diabetes of course is the most common medical condition that can be worsened or more importantly improved simply by shifting our diet. And here is an important tip: The best diet for you and your feet is simply a steady diet of daily exercise!
6. Does exercise do more harm than good when it comes to our feet? Exercise, a good diet and sleep are the trifecta for your health. So, no matter what condition your feet are in, exercise is essential. For those that can, which is most people, walking is the simplest way to get your exercise in. Just a 20-minute walk is proven to have great cardiac benefits, improve your circulation, help lose weight, in addition to easing stress, and improving mindset. There are certainly instances where foot pain can limit exercise, and some modification of exercise is necessary. Often, I tell a patient to ride a stationary bike, use an elliptical machine, swim or take an aqua aerobics class. It is rare that exercise is going to damage feet and the benefits are too great, so as the saying goes, Just Do It!
7. Some serious diseases are associated with our feet, including diabetes. What do our feet tell us about our overall health? Your feet can actually be a wonderful window into your body. It’s common for a podiatrist to be the first physician to diagnose a patient with diabetes. Rheumatoid arthritis and other types of arthritis such as psoriatic arthritis are commonly first spotted in the feet. PAD, peripheral arterial disease is going to show up in the feet and legs as pain with walking or at rest. Skin texture, skin color, toenail changes, or also windows. X-rays we take of the feet are often the first a patient may know that they have osteopenia, osteoporosis and weakening of their bones. And of course, gout, which is elevated uric acid in the blood is most commonly seen as a red hot swollen and painful great toe joint
8. Are there dangers associated with pedicures? Oh, the perils of pedicures! Countless women are horrified when they take off their nail polish and see yellow and white spots covering their toenails. And it is so frustrating to develop a painful ingrown toenail after a pedicure went awry. As I often tell my patients, pedicures can be great but they also should be educated on the do’s and don’ts of pedicures. First, nail polish is toxic, filled with chemicals such as formaldehyde and toluene and left in place for long periods of time, will allow for fungus to breed on the nail. New anti-fungal non-toxic nail polish is now available and will not promote fungus. Instruments and sterilization are a whole additional topic as different strands of fungus will survive cold sterilization and are considered contagious.
9. Are certain shoes bad for our feet? Why? Yes, there are many types of shoes that can cause pain and even damage your feet. Everyone’s feet are different and what may be comfortable for one person may cause foot pain for another. Most importantly your shoes should be comfortable and if they cause pain should be replaced. Wrong sized shoes are responsible for a lot of people’s foot pain. Keep in mind our feet “grow” as we age. Most people recognize as we age, we often shrink in height, but our feet also are affected as they spread and expand. Get your feet measured, but don’t go by size alone, go by comfort. High heels and flats each have their challenges when it comes to the feet. If a shoe makes your foot hurt, ditch them. Remember function over fashion is always the best way to show some love to your feet.
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.