Despite recent advances in the availability of health information, foot health is still somewhat a mystery. There are many old wives’ tales and colloquial advice about feet and footcare that are well-known, but aren’t necessarily based in fact. When it comes to foot health, it’s important to separate fact from fiction, so we’ve rounded up some of the more common myths about foot care and foot health, along with the real facts behind them.
Foot Myth: Going barefoot is good for your feet.
Foot Fact: Walking barefoot can actually be quite harmful to your feet, since it makes your feet more vulnerable to cuts, scrapes, wounds and fungal nail infections. While it’s always best to wear some sort of protective foot covering, if you must go barefoot, be sure to do so only inside the comfort of your home.
Foot Myth: Shoes cause bunions.
Foot Fact: It is true that the shoes with a narrow toe box or lack of support can make bunions worse, however bunions are most often caused by a genetically inherited defect in the structure of the foot. This structural defect makes it more likely that a person will develop a bunion.
Foot Myth: A doctor can’t do anything for a broken toe.
Foot Fact: Any time a broken bone occurs, it’s important to seek medical attention. A doctor can perform diagnostic X-rays to identify the severity of the break, help ensure the toe heals properly and prevent future issues, and even perform surgery on a broken toe. Failure to see a doctor for a broken toe can end up making walking or wearing shoes more difficult or painful.
Foot Myth: Soaking feet in vinegar cures toenail fungus.
Foot Fact: An antifungal medication that can reach the site of the infection is the best way to effectively treat toenail fungus. Vinegar can’t penetrate beneath the nail where the fungus resides to clear up the infection.
Foot Myth: Foot problems are a natural part of the aging process.
Foot Fact: Many people think that foot problems are an inevitable part of growing older, but that’s not always the case. Many times the culprit for foot problems is years of accumulated damage from wearing bad shoes or not addressing problems with foot structure or mechanics.
Foot Myth: If you can move or walk on your foot or ankle, it’s not broken.
Foot Fact: This myth prevents many people from seeking the medical treatment they need for foot or ankle fractures. Depending on the severity of the break and the individual’s pain threshold it could be possible to walk on a foot or ankle even with a broken bone. But it’s never a good idea, since walking with a broken foot bone can cause serious damage! If you suspect your foot or ankle is broken, stay off of it until it’s been diagnosed by a medical professional.
Traditional wisdom isn’t always the cure for what ails you. If you’ve got a problem with your feet or ankles, it’s best to seek professional care to be sure you don’t do any further damage. Don’t hesitate to give us a call for solid advice on all your foot health concerns!