Summer Treats to Beat the Heat and Enjoy Summer Outdoors on Your Feet!

As I was getting ice cream at Graeter’s near the Dublin Columbus Podiatry and Surgery office this past week, I realized that season of summer and ice cream has arrived. And that both ice cream and summer bring foot bone health and osteoporosis to mind.

Summer should be a time of enjoying the outdoors injury free. However, for those suffering from osteoporosis they may have to be a bit more careful to protect the bones in their feet and elsewhere in the body. One in five American women over the age of 50 has osteoporosis and is at increased risk for fractures in the lower extremity. Foot fractures following minimal or no traumatic event may be the initial sign of severely decreased bone density. Often times, before a fracture occurs, osteoporosis can be a silent disease with no signs or symptoms of the serious bone weakening occurring. Some of the signs that may present as the disease progresses include a loss of height and a Dowager’s hump, a curve in the spine that occurs from decreased vertebral support.

Commonly known risk factors for developing osteoporosis include not getting enough calcium, vitamin D, having a family history of osteoporosis. What many people do not know is that diabetes is a risk factor for the development of osteoporosis. Once an individual with diabetes has osteoporosis, they can be at risk for additional damaging bone diseases in the foot including Charcot foot. One of the ways to decrease your risk of osteoporosis, as well as many other foot problems such as ulcers and infection, is to gain control of your blood glucose levels and avoid the development of diabetes. Other ways to take care of your bones include having a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D and to take part in daily weight bearing exercise. Low fat ice cream and yogurt can be a great source of calcium, as well as a refreshing treat in the summer! Weight bearing exercises such as walking are better for strengthening your bones that non-weight bearing activities like biking or swimming. If foot pain is holding you back from a daily walk, be sure to contact your podiatrist as soon as possible. Many painful foot deformities including bunions, hammer toes and pump bumps can be fitted with a custom padding to alleviate pain and foot orthotics may be recommended to slow further development of the deformity.

So remember the next time you are feeling guilty about indulging in a scoop of ice cream, you are actually eating to keep your foot bones strong and healthy (as long as it’s in moderation)!

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington. If you would like to see a podiatrist in Dublin, Ohio near Tuttle Crossing, call 614-885-3338 for an appointment.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia