Sparks Focuses on Foot Health Awareness

FORT SMITH, AR (April 24, 2013) – In recognition of Foot Health Awareness Month, Sparks Health System is urging you to put your best foot forward by offering tips on how to prevent podiatric problems and have happy feet.

Foot pain and discomfort are common among older adults – decades of walking, standing and general wear and tear are hard on your feet.  In fact, according to the American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging, one in three people over age 65 suffer from foot pain, aches or stiffness.

As you age, your feet go through changes that may lead to foot problems, even if you’ve never experienced problems in the past.  Feet tend to spread, often causing your shoe size to change, and arches become flatter and less flexible. You also lose much of the cushioning under the ball of your foot and your heel. The skin on your feet gets thinner and loses elasticity, making you more susceptible to injuries and infection. Additionally, conditions such as diabetes, obesity, arthritis and circulatory problems may increase your risk of developing foot problems.

In the case of feet, what’s on the outside does count. “Improperly fitted, unsupportive shoes are a major cause of foot pain and injury,” said Dr. Kenneth Seiter Jr., a podiatrist practicing at Sparks Foot and Ankle Center.

The good news is most foot problems can be treated effectively. By practicing a few healthy habits, you can help prevent many common problems, as well as identify signs of more serious conditions. Be kind to your feet by washing them daily, wearing properly fitting shoes, and checking them often for injuries. If you notice any sores, blisters, infections or buildup of calluses, talk to your doctor.

“Good foot care and regular foot checks are an important part of your overall health care,” said Dr. Jason Seiter, podiatrist with Sparks Foot and Ankle Center. “Foot problems can be the first sign of more serious conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and nerve or circulatory disorders.”

Your feet have been supporting you for years. Return the favor by giving them a little extra attention. By practicing some healthy habits, you can help prevent common problems and be aware of any changes that might signal more serious health conditions.

Dr. Jason Seiter and Dr. Kenneth Seiter Jr. are both available by appointment at the Sparks Foot and Ankle Center, located in the Sparks Medical Plaza at 1500 Dodson Ave. in Fort Smith. Call (479) 573-7905 for more information or to make an appointment.