Baptist Health Wound Care offers foot health tips

April 24, 2017

April is National Foot Health Awareness Month and a time when the experts at Baptist Health Wound Care suggest people take a moment to stand up for their feet.

April is National Foot Health Awareness Month and a time when the experts at Baptist Health Wound Care suggest people take a moment to stand up for their feet.

According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, the average person takes 10,000 steps each day and every step can place two to three times of body weight forces on the feet.

Baptist Health Wound Care treats chronic foot and leg wounds often caused by underlying conditions such as diabetes and vascular disease. It is estimated 15 percent of all diabetics will develop a diabetic foot ulcer, and without treatment the wounds can lead to amputation or death.

"Foot health is important for everyone, especially those affected by diabetes,” said George Valentini, MD, FACS, Baptist Health Wound Care medical director. “Working closely with your health care provider to help improve the health of your feet will ultimately improve your overall well-being and reduce your risk for foot ulcers and amputations.”

There are preventative measures everyone can do to improve foot health. Baptist Health Wound Care suggests the following foot care tips:

  • Don't ignore your feet. The National Institute on Aging cautions that foot health can be an indicator of certain conditions. For example, joint stiffness could mean arthritis, and tingling or numbness could be a sign of diabetes. Swelling might indicate kidney disease, heart disease or high blood pressure.

  • Consider orthotic insoles. If your foot rolls too much toward the inside, it can lead to arch strain and pain on the inside of the knee. If your foot rolls too much to the outside, you're more susceptible to ankle sprains and stress fractures. Examine the bottom of a pair of well-worn shoes and if they show signs of excessive wear on the inner or outer sole, you might benefit from adding orthotic insoles in your shoes.

  • Take vitamins. Often the first sign of osteoporosis is a stress fracture in the foot, so it is important to get the proper daily requirements of calcium and vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium.


  • Exercise. To stay steady on your feet, consider adding programs that include balance training, such as Tai Chi and yoga to your exercise regimen.


  • Inspect your feet. People with diabetes can't rely on foot pain to alert them to a problem since diabetes can cause changes in the skin on the feet, as well as nerve damage which can impair sensation of feeling. Each day, diabetics should visually inspect their feet and between their toes for blisters, cuts, red spots and swelling.


  • Talk to a doctor. Have your feet examined during routine doctor visits, and tell your provider about any redness, blisters or wounds on your legs or feet.


  • Seek medical treatment if a leg or foot wound has not healed in 30 days, or shows signs of infection, such as increased pain, redness or swelling, foul wound odor or a change in color or amount of drainage from the wound.


Baptist Health Wound Care offers comprehensive wound care and leading-edge treatments, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure wound therapy, bio-engineered skin substitutes, biological and biosynthetic dressings and growth factor therapies.


For more information on the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers or chronic or infected wounds, contact Baptist Health Wound Care at 270.575.2414.