Caring for Your Feet during National Foot Health Awareness Month

Plenty of people think foot pain is just a part of everyday life. But the reality is foot pain could be an indication of a greater problem, and it’s often caused by poor shoe choice. Studies show that most Americans walk between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day—the equivalent of walking five times around the earth in a lifetime – so it stands to reason that the wrong shoes can be a big problem where foot pain is concerned.

In fact, the American Podiatric Medical Association reports that three-quarters of all Americans will experience foot health problems at some point during their lives. Since April is National Foot Health Awareness Month, Dr. Sarang Desai, an orthopedic surgeon at Methodist McKinney Hospital (MMH), has provided helpful insight on how shoe choice either positively or negatively affects foot health.

Dr. Desai recognizes how confusing walking into a shoe store can be, especially if a person’s foot requires a special type of shoes. For example, people with flat feet usually need a shoe with support in the arch, but Dr. Desai warns that those with high-arched feet do not need arch supports. That those with high arches need arch support is a myth; relying on additional arch support can actually them serious issues.

Here’s something that may surprise you: Dr. Desai has noted that the increasingly popular “fine-finger” shoe (such as Vibram) can be very detrimental to your feet. He does not recommend this shoe type to anyone, not even runners, largely because of their association with stress fractures in the foot.

Think poor choice in footwear is no big deal? According to Dr. Desai, prolonged use of inappropriate shoe wear could lead to a variety of disorder, including tendonitis of the foot and hairline stress fractures.

Fortunately, there are plenty of non-surgical pain management options available, and these are always recommended before surgical intervention. Common treatments include appropriate shoe wear, orthotics, ice, rest from aggravating activities and anti-inflammatory medication when indicated. If preventative measures are not taken and surgical intervention is required, type of surgery will vary greatly depending on the issue at hand. Methodist McKinney Hospital offers comprehensive podiatric treatments, including minimally invasive surgery for the foot and ankle.

Are you experiencing foot discomfort or pain? Maybe it’s time to meet one of MMH’s fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons—they treat every type of patient, from professional athletes to weekend warriors and everyone in between. Call Methodist McKinney Hospital today at 972-569-2700 or visit us online at

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