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Put a Spring In Your Step

Follow These Footprints to Foot Health

Article by Tera Michelson

Photography by Materworks Imaging

As the temperature rises this spring, shed your winter footwear and let your toes come out to play. Liberty Township Podiatrist Dr. Kristin Titko offers expert tips for putting your best foot forward for outdoor activities during sandal season.

Track and Trail

Inspired by the warmer weather to workout? For your feet’s sake, be careful not to overdo it.

“We can get stress fractures more frequently in the spring because we go all-out,” Titko explains. “Make sure your feet are ready for increased activity by slowly increasing your activity.”

Other injuries are a result of ankle weakness. Try this simple strengthening exercise.

“Use your foot to write out the alphabet in giant capital letters, A through Z,” she suggests. “Do this three times a day to strengthen your ankles.”

Like tires, running and walking shoes have a limit for best performance. Treat your feet to fresh kicks.

“Don’t spend time in last year’s shoes,” Titko advises. “The insole wears out and your wear pattern changes.”

Stay Dry

The swimming pool deck can be a foot health hazard. Two com-mon foot conditions, Athlete’s Foot and warts, spread easily.

“Warts are caused by a contagious virus,” Titko says. “Wear some kind of protective footwear when you are standing on a pool deck.”

Keep a dry towel handy, too.

“Fungus likes to grow where it is moist. Focus on drying your feet well after you swim or shower,” she says.

Toenail Tips

The best at-home pedicures begin by keeping your toenails clean and trimmed. Protect your piggies with special nail polishes that sparkle and help fight nail fungus.

“Use nail polishes with anti-fungal components, so you are less likely to acquire a fungal infection in your toenails,” Titko shares. “These kinds of nail polishes are available at a podiatrist’s office.”

Keep rough spots at bay with a natural pumice stone rather than sharp, bladed instruments.

“The most effective way to use a pumice stone is to use it every day and gently. Most people will over-scrub,” she says.

If a salon is more your style, make sure it is reputable and sanitizes its tools and tubs between customers.

Skip the Flip-Flops

Flip-flops are a spring foot fail.

“Only wear flip-flops if you want to see me more often,” jokes Titko. To prevent cracked heels and aching arches associated with flip-flops, Titko recommends that you shop for a sandal with a firm and thick sole and a strap around the back of your heel for better control of motion.

“Some sandals are now available that accommodate orthotics, prescription supports for your foot,” Titko points out. “That’s a newer technology that has finally come along.”

Say Goodbye to Dr. Google

Search engines don’t have medical degrees. When you experience foot or ankle pain, numbness or swelling, it is time to visit a podiatrist. A professional will get you back on your feet in no time with a proper diagnosis and treatment.

No matter where your feet carry you this spring, stay on the road to wellness with these footprints to foot health.

Meet the Expert

Dr. Kristin Titko is a local podiatrist with more than 20 years of experience in foot and ankle medical treatment and surgery. She followed in her podiatrist father’s footsteps to become one of Greater Cincinnati’s most trusted specialists. She celebrates two years of practice in Liberty Township this month.

Find Titko at The Center for Foot Care, located in Suite 201 in the Liberty Falls Medical Office Building at 6770 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, Liberty Township. 513.729.4455 TheCenterForFootCare.com

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