If I had my way, the NHS would provide routine foot health checks on at least a five yearly basis but trust me when I say it ain’t going to happen! But if it did, so many people that present here at the Mountainfeet shop and clinic wouldn’t have such big and ongoing foot health related issues.
So if we’re not going to get attention on the NHS then what can we do? Well, having your foot health and structure checked by a qualified podiatrist or foot health practitioner doesn’t cost much in the scale of things and can identify early symptoms of many of the problems that affect us in later life. At the very best, we may tell you you’re one of the lucky few who won’t have issues but if so you’ll be in a tiny minority!
Poorly fitting footwear isn’t often solely responsible for deformities such as hallux valgus presentations (bunions) but they can exacerbate the issue in a big way. Often, the best solution we can provide for these problems is to have a good look at the shape, size and structure of the footwear a person uses and advise on replacement accordingly. It’s staggering how few people are actually wearing correctly fitting footwear or have a true idea of their shoe size. The foot changes state structurally through most people’s lives and this needs a good level of understanding in order for the changes not to cause long term joint and connective tissue damage.
So seriously, don’t leave this kind of routine check till tomorrow or when you start suffering. The earlier a problem is identified, the easier it is to prevent it developing into something that can interfere with the enjoyment of daily life.
And just in case you think I’m coming at this from a purely commercial angle, just consider that I’m still providing a free foot health appraisal with every footwear fit I do. No, this is largely because I have foot pain and congenital structural issues myself which could easily have been addressed years ago before they became a permanent and debilitating problem that is limiting my enjoyment of sport…