Tips for Healthy Feet


  1. You’re starting to run regularly.
    Runners are especially prone to aches and pains like shin splints. A podiatrist can assess your body and feet to flag potential problems and recommend strategies to avoid them. He or she can also recommend the best type of athletic shoe for your foot.
  2. You feel joint pain in your feet or ankles.
    Arthritis is one of the most common conditions affecting Americans. If the joints in your feet are often swollen, red, stiff or tender, see a podiatrist. Arthritis can change the way the feet function and lead to disability. A podiatrist can suggest treatments that may preserve joint health and make it easier for you to carry out your day.
  3. You have diabetes.
    Diabetes makes you significantly more prone to foot problems. These issues can range from dry skin to serious infections. If you have diabetes, you should have a foot exam performed by a doctor or podiatrist at least once a year. Having a podiatrist as part of your healthcare team lowers the risk of amputation due to diabetes by more than 50%, studies show.
  4. Heel pain is limiting your activities.
    There are many causes of heel pain. You may have a bony growth on the heel known as a heel spur. Or one of the tendons that connects to the heel may be inflamed. If you have persistent heel pain, see a podiatrist for a diagnosis. He or she will perform a foot exam and may take X-rays. A proper diagnosis is the first step toward developing a treatment plan.
  5. You have a stubborn ingrown toenail.
    When a toenail grows into the skin, the ingrown nail can cause an infection. Ingrown toenails most often affect the big toe. If a toenail is very red or has lots of drainage, visit a podiatrist for treatment. In some cases, the doctor will remove part of the nail. Your doctor will prescribe medicine if the area is infected.

6. You suspect a sprain, strain, or broken bone.
Podiatrists are experts at treating sprains, strains, and broken bones in the foot or the ankle. They can diagnose your injury and suggest treatment. A podiatrist can also create a flexible cast to help the area heal. Swelling, trouble walking, redness, and increasing pain following an injury are all reasons to see a podiatrist.
7. You need foot surgery.
Surgery is often the last treatment a podiatrist recommends for many foot conditions. Should you need it, however, podiatrists perform surgery on the foot and ankle. Conditions that may require surgery include bunions, recurring ingrown toenails, and broken bones.
8. You have a bothersome corn or callus.
Corns and calluses are some of the most common reasons people visit a podiatrist. These areas of built-up skin can be painful if they get too thick. A podiatrist may recommend cortisone injections to reduce the pain. Another option your doctor has is to reduce their size using a surgical blade. The procedure isn’t painful because the skin is dead
9. You have a painful bunion.
A bump at the base of the big toe is known as a bunion. It occurs when the bone or joint of the big toe is out of place. Bunions tend to get worse unless they’re treated. A podiatrist can suggest treatments, such as padding, taping or medication. Surgery is also an option in severe cases.
10. You think you have athlete’s foot—and it isn’t going away.
The fungal infection known as athlete’s foot can make the skin between your toes look scaly and feel itchy. Over-the-counter antifungal cream may help. But if the infection doesn’t seem to improve after a couple of weeks, visit a podiatrist. Oral and cream-based prescription medicines are often more effective. Your doctor will also check for signs of a bacterial infection, which requires antibiotics.

Is Podiatry covered by Alberta Health and Wellness (AHW) or other insurance?

Most services provided by a Podiatric Physician/Podiatrist are only partially covered by AHW. As a result, you will be expected to pay a fee to see a Podiatric Physician/Podiatrist. Each practitioner sets their own fees. Some surgical services are covered fully by AHW if you are referred to a Podiatric Surgeon by a physician or another Podiatric Physician/Podiatrist for surgery in a hospital or approved non-hospital surgical facility. Surgery done in a private surgical suite is only partially covered by AHW. Some third-party insurance companies may cover services provided by a Podiatric Physician/Podiatrist. It is a good idea to contact your insurance provider to determine your coverage prior to your appointment

The tips for healthiest feet

– Keep your feet clean and dry. Healthy feet start with good hygiene. You should wash your feet and allow proper drying time and be sure to dry well between individual toes. Change your socks and air out your shoes to prevent fungus infections. 
– Examine your feet for problems. Perform a foot self-exam once a week when you take a bath or shower. As you’re drying off your feet, take a good look on the soles for any
scaling and between your toes for peeling areas. That could signal athlete’s foot. Also look for discoloration of the nails, which could indicate a nail fungus. If you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet every day since diabetes leads to higher risk of foot sores and infections. 
– Rest and relax your feet every day. Lie back and elevate your feet for a few minutes. Give your feet a soothing massage with your fingers or roll your feet over a golf ball, tennis ball or a rolling pin for a similar effect. 
– Exercise your feet to maintain blood circulation. Walking is best. Try taking brisk 30- minute walks five to seven times a week. 
– Clip your toenails straight across, leaving nails a little longer than the tips of your toes to avoid ingrown toenails. For patients with diabetes this should be done by a professional and we highly discouraged at home nail trimming.  
– If you notice problems with your feet, get it treated right away so it does not get worse. 
– Don’t hide “ugly” toenails with polish. A discolored, thick, cracked, or crumbling nail could signal a nail fungus. Applying nail polish to an infected nail could make the problem worse. 
– Choose breathable footwear. To help keep your feet dry and healthy, wear shoes made of leather to allow air to circulate. If you’re prone to excessively sweaty feet, look for shoes made of mesh fabrics for maximum breathability. 
– Wear shoes that fit properly. Shoes that are too tight can cause long-term foot problems. Shop for shoes at the end of the day to compensate for foot swelling that
occurs later in the day, and wear the same type of socks or hosiery you’ll be wearing with the shoes. Choose a broad, rounded shoe with plenty of room for your toes and a
wide, stable heel. Avoid pointy shoes, which can cramp your toes and cause ingrown toenails and calluses. 
– Know when to see a doctor. Don’t attempt to self-treat painful foot woes. Any pain, redness, swelling, or discoloration that persists should be checked out by a Podiatric
Physician/ Podiatrist. (see 10 reasons to see a Podiatrist) Usually, the problem can be cleared up with prescription medicine or a minor in-office procedure. Allowing a doctor to take a look will help prevent minor problems from becoming major ones.

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