Health Care Professionals

Preventive Foot Health: What it Means for Patients


Foot problems can interfere with productive work. Most patients have to earn a living; poor foot health can harm work performance, resulting in lost time, lost productivity, and lower job efficiency and effectiveness. Even those who work in white collar or office jobs must spend at least a portion of their day walking around. Chronic foot problems can be devastating for patients who work in production or manufacturing jobs that require them to spend a significant amount of time standing or doing heavy labor.

Foot problems can interfere with regular physical activity. Other than swimming and some simple chair exercises, nearly every physical activity is performed either with the feet or while on the feet. Patients with foot problems are less able to exercise, and if they have foot pain or problems when they attempt to exercise, they may be less motivated to adhere to necessary physical activity regimens. Many patients have multiple excuses for not exercising and “sore feet” is among them.  People with good foot health have one less excuse for not engaging in regular physical activity.

Foot problems may be indicators of other health problems. The feet can be a barometer of systemic health. For example, pedal pulses that are difficult to feel may be an indicator of arterial disease. Swollen or enlarged feet may be indicative of venous insufficiency or point to conditions such as thrombosis, infections or obstructions in the lymph system.  The feet can provide insights into conditions that might otherwise have few or no overt symptoms.

Helping your patients become aware of why they should take care of their feet now can help prevent foot problems down the road. Click here for an article on Good Foot Hygiene that can help your patients get started on the road to preventive foot health.


Reviewed by: Rachel Rader, DPM, IPFH Scientific Advisory Board
Last updated: April 27, 2016


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