Why does the survey matter?
The results of the APMA survey are important because the survey reveals attitudes toward foot care that may be causing patients to suffer from unnecessary pain for far longer than should be acceptable. Foot pain should not be viewed as a normal, everyday part of life, particularly when it limits regular activities for as many as 83 percent of those suffering from at least one foot ailment. The goal of the survey is to encourage patients to seek podiatric care for their foot pain. Of patients who do have their foot complaints treated by a podiatrist, the vast majority are extremely satisfied by their experience.
A sampling of the 2014 APMA survey results
In terms of importance, most Americans rank foot health low on their list of concerns. Foot health came in far behind heart, eye, and dental health, and was also behind concerns about skin care and nutrition. Only exercise ranked as less important than foot health. However, 80 percent of Americans surveyed acknowledged that foot-related problems impact their lives on a daily basis — with heel pain being one of the most common complaints. Although foot health is considered low in importance by many, those with foot-related problems are far more likely to also be overweight and to experience back and joint problems.
Most Americans understand that foot health is important, but they simply don’t think about or perform routine foot care regularly. About 75 percent of American adults trim their toenails regularly, but perform little else when it comes to foot hygiene. When they do think about their feet, their most common concerns are how to generally care for their feet, how or where to find a qualified podiatrist in their area, and simply where to go for their foot pain.
When it comes to women and foot pain, the vast majority of women state that high heels are the primary cause of foot pain, yet the average woman owns multiple pairs of heels, and many own and wear heels that are over three inches high. Of both men and women, only 10 percent use any type of custom orthotic in their shoes despite the fact that custom orthotics may be the first line of defense against a number of causes of foot pain.
Why do podiatrists matter?
Many patients either see their primary care physician or self-medicate when they experience foot pain; however, these patients might experience a higher level of care and better results by obtaining specialized foot care from a podiatrist. Podiatrists are trained in far more than simply examining the feet, and are highly-trained physicians who specialize in all aspects of foot care, including surgical needs. They are able to treat both chronic and acute foot, ankle, and lower leg injuries and diseases, as well as common complaints such as nail fungus, warts, and foot odor. Because podiatrists are highly specialized in treating foot related problems, they often are able to diagnose problems that affect the feet — such as diabetes, circulatory conditions, arthritis, and other health conditions in earlier stages than other physicians.
To learn more about podiatric foot care and how a podiatrist may be able to help you with your foot care needs, schedule an appointment or call Kansas City Foot Specialists today at (913) 338-4440. We look forward to working with you to treat your foot pain and get you back on your feet.