Dr Ira Bernstein: What Problems Might You Face If You Neglect Your Feet And Ankles?

In daily life, the health of feet and ankles often takes a backseat. They are continuously at work – carrying the weight of the body in every step. Despite their role, foot and ankle care is frequently undervalued and overlooked until a problem arises.

For that, Dr Ira Bernstein brings to light the possible complications that may arise from neglecting foot and ankle health.

Fungal and Bacterial Infections

The feet, often confined to the warm and moist environment of shoes and socks, are a breeding ground for various fungi and bacteria. Neglecting foot hygiene can lead to disruptive conditions such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus.

Additionally, bacterial infections might arise from untreated cuts or blisters, leading to cellulitis or other serious infections.

Skin and Nail Problems

Stepping out with trendy footwear might seem appealing, but disregarding the kind of shoes worn can lead to long-term damage. Ill-fitting or inappropriate shoes can cause bunions, corns, calluses or hammertoe – all uncomfortable and potentially debilitating conditions that affect the skin and toes.

ForDr Ira Bernstein, neglecting these ailments might exacerbate the problem, causing persistent discomfort, and could potentially necessitate surgical intervention.

Impaired Movement and Chronic Pain

Crucial for mobility, poor foot and ankle health can heavily impair movement, leading to a significant decrease in quality of life.

Persistent pain in the feet or ankles could be an indicator of severe problems such as arthritis, tendonitis, or stress fractures. If left untreated, these conditions can progress and cause chronic pain, making daily activities strenuous and distressing.

Balance and Postural Issues

The feet and ankles play a pivotal role in maintaining balance, with poor health potentially leading to instability and accidents. Postural issues can also arise, as changes in foot and ankle structure or pain can alter one’s way of moving. This alteration often makes the body compensate by adjusting the posture, leading to back, hip, or knee issues.

The Domino Effect: From Feet to Overall Health

Problems in the feet and ankles can have a domino effect on overall health. For instance, untreated foot ulcers in people with diabetes can result in severe complications, even leading to amputations in extreme cases.

Additionally, the intermittent claudication – pain triggered by walking – can discourage physical activity, contributing to obesity or cardiovascular issues due to sedentary behavior.

The Psychological Impact

As the adage goes, “when your feet hurt, you hurt all over”. This reinforces the role of foot health in psychological well-being. Persistent foot discomfort can be frustrating and debilitating, leading to a decrease in activity levels and social interactions. Together, these factors can further deteriorate mental health, triggering feelings of isolation or depression.

The Need for Preventive Care

Taking care of one’s feet and ankles includes practicing good hygiene, moisturizing regularly, and using suitable footwear. Attending to minor injuries or signs of a problem, such as persistent pain, is crucial and can prevent complications.

The Role of Healthcare Professionals

For Dr Ira Bernstein, regular check-ups – including individuals with health conditions affecting the feet such as diabetes, vascular disorders, or rheumatic diseases – provide early detection and treatment of potential issues. When problems arise, consultation with a podiatrist can provide effective treatment solutions and advice on preventive measures.