Foot Right Podiatry (2023)

I’ve been watching a man who lives near me walk to and from the train station every day with nothing on his feet – rain, hail or shine. He wears a business suit, so I believe this is a considered choice & not an oversight every morning. I really want to ask him what his philosophy is and why he does it, but haven’t quite gained the courage yet! People often ask me whether it is “good” to go bare foot, and the answer is yes, and no.

Wasn’t man designed to go bare foot?

Well yes, we weren’t born with protective coverings on our feet, so obviously we were intended to walk around at least some of the time with no shoes on! But how often will depend on a number of factors.

What are the benefits?

Most Podiatrists would agree that some time bare foot is great for airing out your feet to keep them healthy. Another benefit is that your feet can become stronger when walking on different surfaces, thus reducing your risk of injury. Walking with no shoes for periods time can counteract the ill effects of poorly fitted shoes - bad shoes can cause a lot of problems!

There is also evidence that time without shoes on can improve balance and proprioception (your body's ability to know where it is in space).

(Video) Natural Foot Posture Demonstrated by Dr Ray McClanahan DPM Natural Sports Podiatrist

Taking a bit of a look around the internet I have found some pretty big claims about the benefits of barefoot walking but take them with a grain of salt.. some of the benefits stated are improved sleep, blood pressure control, improved posture and decreased chronic pain.

What are the downsides of walking barefoot?

Walking bare foot can be tricky for people with underlying conditions, especially those with diabetes or other neurological impairment. If you have a condition that does mean that you have a decreased sensation in your feet, it is best that you keep your feet covered to protect them from injury. Any small injury to the foot could potentially lead to much more serious consequences.

Going barefooted in communal areas such as swimming pools or gym showers is quite a normal thing, but can expose you to infection, like fungus (tinea) or even viral infection (verruca, otherwise known as warts).

(Video) What is High Risk Foot?

Walking for long periods of time on hard surfaces with no shoes can lead to increased callus growth that can become painful over time, but can also lead to back pain due to a lack of shock absorption at your feet. The hard shock of every step can reverberate to your spine.

Studies have shown that walking bare foot actually increases the risk of falls in the elderly.

If you do have a foot problem, extended periods walking without shoes may actually increase or accentuate the issues you have.

(Video) Podiatrist’s secrets to maintaining healthy feet

Is it right for me?

If you are in good health and have none of the problems listed above, bare foot walking can be beneficial for short periods of time.

What about for kids?

Bare foot walking is beneficial for children and will allow their feet to develop naturally. More on that in another blog :)

Anything else I should consider?

Way, way back when cavemen roamed the world barefoot, they would have walked on grass, dirt, sand and occasionally rocks – these days our environment is much harder on our feet with concrete, tiles and the like as regular surfaces we walk on. The flooring of today is much harder on our feet, and hence we shouldn’t really expect to be able to walk everywhere without shoes!


I have foot pain! Should I try bare foot walking to make me feel better?

If you have an existing foot problem, it would be unlikely that tossing your shoes will improve your foot health in the short term. Your best course of action is to find out why your feet are hurting by having a consultation with your podiatrist – we can help you tailor a plan to get your feet feeling better so you can walk comfortably with bare feet into the future!

(Video) Podiatrists Debunk 11 Feet Myths | Debunked | Science Insider


What is the most common problem treated by podiatrist? ›

The most common foot problem that a podiatrist treats is heel pain. Heel pain can be caused by a variety of different conditions, such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis. Treatment for heel pain often includes things like stretching exercises, orthotic devices, or cortisone injections.

What foot problems do podiatrists treat? ›

Some of the medical conditions podiatrists treat include heel pain (plantar fasciitis), foot complications from diabetes, ankle and foot arthritis, nerve problems, tendonitis, hammertoes, flat feet, nail disorders, bunions, warts, fungus, fractures, and sprains.

What is the most common foot problem? ›

1. Athlete's foot. Athlete's foot is most commonly caused by walking in damp areas.

Can a podiatrist remove a bunion? ›

Your podiatrist may recommend bunion removal surgery if you have particularly severe bunions, or if other non-invasive treatment methods failed to bring you relief. Prior to your bunion removal surgery, your podiatrist will perform medical tests to ensure that you're a good candidate for the procedure.

What are common foot problems in older adults? ›

Some of the most common foot problems in older adults include bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, ingrown, thickened or discolored nails, diabetic foot conditions, poor circulation, and heel pain. Regular visits to a podiatrist can help you maintain your foot health as you age.

What is better than a podiatrist? ›

Unlike podiatrists that only treat the foot and ankle, an orthopedic doctor also treats other body parts such as the knees, hips, and spine. If podiatrists are foot and ankle doctors, orthopedists are bone and joint specialists. Orthopedists can treat various musculoskeletal issues.

Do podiatrists help with walking? ›

Fitter Feet Podiatrists can assess your walking (gait) and provide orthotic foot supports to help pain free legs feet and backs when walking. Even arthritic pains can be improved by wearing orthoses when walking. Our Podiatrists also remove callus, corns and treat painful nails to help you keep walking comfortably.

How does a podiatrist check your feet? ›

Physical Examination

The doctor will look at your toenails for any signs of discoloration or brittleness. During your appointment, the podiatrist will also check your lower legs to assess for signs of poor circulation. You may be asked to walk for the doctor so that they can evaluate you for any gait problems.

Is an orthopedic doctor better than a podiatrist? ›

As a general guideline, if you have an injury, condition, or symptoms affecting your foot or ankle health, it's best to see a podiatrist. If you have an injury, condition, or symptoms affecting any other part of your musculoskeletal system, it's best to see an orthopedic physician.

What is the number one cause of foot pain? ›

Injury, overuse or conditions causing inflammation involving any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the foot can cause foot pain. Arthritis is a common cause of foot pain. Injury to the nerves of the feet may result in intense burning pain, numbness or tingling (peripheral neuropathy).

What are the most painful foot conditions? ›

Summary. Common causes of foot pain include plantar fasciitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, metatarsalgia, Morton's neuroma, Achilles tendonitis, osteoarthritis, ingrown toenail, corns and calluses, bunion, and hammer toe.

What diseases start in the feet? ›

10 Common Foot Disorders
  • Athlete's foot.
  • Blisters.
  • Bunions.
  • Plantar fasciitis.
  • Gout.
  • Ingrown toenails.
  • Corns and calluses.
  • Stone bruises.
Apr 10, 2019

Is walking barefoot good for bunions? ›

Going barefoot is ideal in the beginning stages of bunions. When barefoot, the joints of the toes will get stronger, an important part of good foot health.

Is walking good for bunions? ›

In some cases, barefoot walking can be helpful for bunion management. For example, if your bunion is really painful or tender you should always try to wear shoes that fit well and don't rub against it when walking around.

Do flip flops cause bunions? ›

Wearing flip flops too often, or long term, can cause bunions or hammer toes to develop. Hammer toes occur when the joints contract, causing your toe to bend abnormally. Flip-flops also cause a shorter stride in walking, leading to possible tightness of the Achilles, which may result in Achilles tendinitis.

What does arthritis look like in feet? ›

Tenderness when you touch affected joints. Swelling or redness of affected joints. Difficulty standing or putting pressure on your feet. Pain or swelling even when at rest.

What are signs of bad feet? ›

8 potential warning signs your feet may be telling you
  • Cold feet and toes. ...
  • Burning pain. ...
  • Sudden swollen and painful big toe or foot. ...
  • Discolored or deformed toenails. ...
  • A sore or ulcer that won't heal. ...
  • Dark line or bruise under your toenail. ...
  • Weight-bearing pain in the foot with no trauma. ...
  • Numbness or tingling in feet and toes.
Apr 9, 2020

What are 2 secret dangers of plantar fasciitis surgery? ›

Risks associated with Plantar Fascia Release Surgery

While complications associated with plantar fascia release surgery are not common, risks include: Recurring heel pain. Slow wound healing. Nerve issues, such as nerve entrapment.

Can a podiatrist give cortisone injections? ›

A typical procedure for cortisone injections in the foot

Following the evaluation of the patient's condition and the diagnosis, the podiatrist may opt for cortisone injections.

Does Medicare cover podiatry for foot pain? ›

Medicare Part B covers podiatry services for medically necessary treatment of foot injuries, diseases, or other medical conditions affecting the foot, ankle, or lower leg.

Why are podiatrists so expensive? ›

Podiatry clinics often have very high overheads due to the equipment used, sterilisation process, marketing outlay, storage of notes and confidential data, insurances and professional memberships, staffing costs and payments on premises.

Do podiatrists massage feet? ›

Podiatrists at Posture Podiatry also have a particular interest in manual therapies – using hands on treatment to mobilise the 33 joints of each foot. We also use advanced massage and dry needling techniques (yes, podiatrists use acupuncture needles!) to help release muscle tension if the need arises.

How do you help feet recover from walking? ›

This popular recovery combination is known as R.I.C.E. —Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Sometimes, RICE and an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen are all you need to get back on your feet. For dull aches and soreness, heat therapy can increase blood flow and relax muscles.

How can I fix my feet when walking? ›

Are there home remedies for duck-footedness?
  1. Retrain your stance. Become more conscious of the way you position your feet when you walk or stand. ...
  2. Use orthotic inserts. Look for orthotic inserts that support and lift the arch of the foot. ...
  3. Stretching and exercising.
Dec 14, 2020

Can a podiatrist tell if you have neuropathy? ›

A podiatrist, family physician, internist, or physician who specializes in diabetes can diagnose peripheral neuropathy. The diagnosis is made on the basis of a physical exam, health history, and your reporting of symptoms.

How does a podiatrist test for neuropathy? ›

Sensory examination

The most important exam for testing for neuropathy in the foot is the neurological physical examination in the office. This exam consists of deep tendon reflex, proprioceptive exam, sharp and dull touch, warm and cold temperature testing and vibratory sensation.

What are foot signs of diabetes? ›

Tingling, burning, or pain in your feet. Loss of sense of touch or ability to feel heat or cold very well. A change in the shape of your feet over time. Loss of hair on your toes, feet, and lower legs.

Why is a podiatrist not an MD? ›

Podiatrists are doctors, but they don't go to traditional medical school. They have their own schools and professional associations. They also have "DPM" (doctor of podiatric medicine) after their names instead of "MD" (medical doctor).

Can a podiatrist order an MRI? ›

A podiatrist can administer medication and order tests.

They can order tests such as MRI's, CT's to establish a diagnosis, give medications as needed for pain, immobilize the structure or perform surgery if needed.

What is the highest paid podiatrist? ›

Podiatrists made a median salary of $145,840 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $208,000 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $96,320.

What cream is good for aching feet? ›

  • Creams.
  • Aspercreme® Pain Relief Cream.
  • Aspercreme® Pain Relief Cream with Lidocaine.
  • Aspercreme® Lidocaine Pain Relief Cream For Foot Pain.
  • Aspercreme® Lidocaine Pain Relief Cream For Foot Pain - Diabetic Skin.

What does foot pain say about your health? ›

Foot pain may be telling you to lose weight, signal the onset of arthritis or result from a stress fracture. The more weight that we carry, the more pressure we put on our feet, which can cause pain. Arthritic conditions can also make your feet susceptible to pain.

What is neuropathy of the feet? ›

Neuropathy of the foot, also known as peripheral neuropathy (PN), is a condition that affects the nerves in the lower leg that affect the foot and provide sensation and movement of the foot. When the nerves are damaged, they do not function properly.

Why does the right side of my foot hurt? ›

Although many mechanisms can be to blame, side of foot pain is often due to overuse, improper footwear, or a combination of both, resulting in injuries including stress fractures, peroneal tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis.

When should you not ignore foot pain? ›

If pain lasts for more than a few days and doesn't seem to get better with ice and rest, see your doctor. And keep in mind that not all stress fractures show up right away on an X-ray, so you may need an MRI (a magnetic resonance imaging scan), Sutera adds.

What can I do for very painful feet? ›

Rest, ice, and elevate your foot. Wear stiff-soled shoes or foot pads to relieve pressure. Take pain relievers. If you're still in pain, talk to your doctor.

Can sugar affect your feet? ›

Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. They can happen over time when high blood sugar damages the nerves and blood vessels in the feet. The nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, can cause numbness, tingling, pain, or a loss of feeling in your feet.

Can feet indicate health problems? ›

“Although often overlooked, your feet can provide an excellent warning of potential health concerns,” said Dr. Peter Chioros, a board-certified podiatrist with Swedish Medical Group. “Sudden changes or chronic symptoms such as pain or inflammation can signal illnesses and other potentially harmful conditions.”

Does Vicks Vapor Rub help bunions? ›

Vicks VapoRub

But, according to the NIH, menthol and camphor — two of the active ingredients in Vicks VapoRub — may help soothe inflamed joints and muscles by acting as a topical anesthetic. Treating bunions with Vicks may provide temporary, superficial pain relief.

What shoes make bunions worse? ›

High-heeled shoes force your toes to cram together in the front of your shoe where they bear the full weight of your body in a concentrated area. This puts pressure on your toe joints and causes inflammation and friction that may lead to the formation of a bunion or make the one you have even worse.

What type of shoes should I wear with a bunion? ›

The best way to alleviate bunion discomfort is to wear well-constructed, properly fitted footwear. Shoes with high and wide toe boxes are recommended. Foot Solutions' custom arch supports are also recommended as they provide extra comfort, support, and protection and can help prevent bunion development.

Should you wear socks with bunions? ›

Socks can help those of you with bunions in several ways: Providing cushion: Some socks provide more cushioning over the bunion to protect it from the shoe.

What is the main cause of bunions? ›

Bunion. Bunions are usually caused by prolonged pressure put on the feet that compresses the big toe and pushes it toward the second toe. Over time, the condition may become painful as extra bone grows where the base of the big toe meets the foot.

What will a podiatrist do for bunions? ›

A podiatrist will usually start with nonsurgical treatments. These options include bunion pads, splints, ice, special footwear, medications, and orthotics. Severe bunions, or bunions that do not respond to other treatments, may require surgery in order to remedy the problem.

What foot shape is prone to bunions? ›

For example, if you have low arches or flat feet, you're more likely to get bunions.

How do I know if I need a Bunionectomy? ›

You may need bunion surgery if you have severe foot pain that happens even when walking or wearing flat, comfortable shoes. Surgery may also be needed when chronic big toe inflammation and swelling isn't relieved with rest or medicines.

Can you wear Birkenstocks with a bunion? ›

Birkenstocks are an ideal slip-on shoe for warm weather, running errands, or just relaxing at home. Fortunately, they're also a safe and comfortable option for those with bunions.

What is a common medical diagnosis treated by a podiatrist? ›

Common issues that podiatrists diagnose and treat include ingrown toenails, blisters, warts, heel pain, foot pain, cracked skin, corns, nail infections, and foot injuries such as sprains or breaks.

What are reasons to see a podiatrist? ›

10 Reasons to See a Podiatrist
  • You're starting to run regularly. ...
  • You feel joint pain in your feet or ankles. ...
  • You have diabetes. ...
  • Heel pain is limiting your activities. ...
  • You have a stubborn ingrown toenail. ...
  • You suspect a sprain, strain, or broken bone. ...
  • You have a bothersome corn or callus. ...
  • You have a painful bunion.
Sep 7, 2021

Can a podiatrist treat nerve damage? ›

Anyone who has symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in their feet or legs should see a podiatrist. The podiatrists at American Foot and Leg Specialists are trained in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of this type of nerve damage.

Is it worth seeing a podiatrist? ›

Get your feet checked by your podiatrist even if you have healthy feet. This can help prevent foot, toe, and nail problems. You can also learn what to look out for and what shoes and insoles are best for your feet. A podiatrist can help diagnose your foot problem and find the best treatment plan for you.

How does a podiatrist check for nerve damage? ›

Sensory examination

The most important exam for testing for neuropathy in the foot is the neurological physical examination in the office. This exam consists of deep tendon reflex, proprioceptive exam, sharp and dull touch, warm and cold temperature testing and vibratory sensation.

Can a podiatrist tell if you have arthritis? ›

Although doctors specializing in orthopedics or rheumatology typically oversee arthritic symptoms and disease progression, a podiatrist can help diagnose the condition in the feet and determine the best foot arthritis treatment.

Can a podiatrist detect arthritis? ›

Your Podiatrist may also recommend blood tests to determine which type of arthritis you have. With some types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, blood tests are important for an accurate diagnosis. Your Podiatrist may refer you to a rheumatologist if he or she suspects rheumatoid arthritis.

What to do before going to podiatrist? ›

What should I do to prepare for my podiatrist visit?
  1. Write down your symptoms. Little details can make a big difference in your diagnosis. ...
  2. Come as you are. ...
  3. Wear your everyday shoes. ...
  4. Tell us your biggest concerns. ...
  5. Bring a list of current medications. ...
  6. Ask questions.

What are the first signs of neuropathy in your feet? ›

The main symptoms can include:
  • numbness and tingling in the feet or hands.
  • burning, stabbing or shooting pain in affected areas.
  • loss of balance and co-ordination.
  • muscle weakness, especially in the feet.

What part of the foot does neuropathy affect? ›

Typically, the nerve pain first affects the toes and surrounding areas, and it may then slowly spread to the rest of the feet and up the legs. Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include: tingling, burning, sharp, or shooting pain in the toes or feet.

What vitamins are good for neuropathy in the feet? ›

B vitamins are known for their ability to support healthy nervous system function. Vitamins B-1, B-6, and B-12 have been found to be especially beneficial for treating neuropathy. Vitamin B-1, also known as thiamine, helps to reduce pain and inflammation and vitamin B-6 preserves the covering on nerve endings.

Will a podiatrist clean your feet? ›

Wait, do podiatrists do pedicures? Absolutely. A medical pedicure professional has a university degree and can answer any of your questions about feet. Using medical-grade equipment, they will restore life to your feet, no matter how bad they seem to you.


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3. Advanced Clinical Practice in the high risk foot and lower limb podiatry
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