Aching feet can send messages

Question: My feet hurt at the end of the day. Is this normal? 

Answer: Many people assume that their feet are supposed to bother them during the day and that foot discomfort is unavoidable.  Three-fourths of Americans spend four hours or more on their feet each day.  Many of these people do so while experiencing aches and you need to be aware of the more common ailments.  These include Athlete’s Foot, bunions, corns and calluses, heel pain, ingrown toenails: thickened fungal nails and burning pain.  The average person walks between three and four miles a day, or 115,000 miles in a lifetime—over four times around the world.


Question: I stubbed my toe last night. Can it be broken even if I can still move it?
Answer: There are many myths associated with broken toes.  Another common one is that there is no treatment for broken toes since you can’t cast a toe.  If you have injured your toe and feel pain or see any swelling or bruising you should seek treatment.  This will include an ex-ray.  Taping and using a surgical type shoe to remove all pressure from the area can treat a simple un-displaced break.  If the x-ray shows a displaced or

angulated break, the toe should be promptly set under local anesthesia.  Broken toes that are not taped correctly can heal crookedly resulting in arthritis in the toe with subsequent painful corns and needing additional surgery.

What should I look for when buying shoes?
Answer: Your foot is a complex structure consisting of 26 bones, 30 joints, three arches and dozens of tendons, ligament and muscles.  Just as you would give your care a tune-up on a regular basis you should practice good foot maintenance.  Treat your feet to good shoe gear.  When you are buying shoes follow these recommendations.  Shop for shoes in the afternoon since feet tend to swell at the end of the day.  Try on both shoes and test them while walking around the store.  Always fit the shoe to the larger foot.  The shoe heel should be snug.

There should be a ¼ inch to ½ inch space at the toe box; between the tip of your longest toe and the end of the shoe.  Make sure you can wiggle your toes.  Look for Shoes that come in a variety of widths so that you get the best all around fit for your foot.

My wife is pestering me to stop smoking.  She says it can even affect my feet!  How can this be?
Answer: We are all familiar with the dangers of cigarette smoking.  Many people do not realize that this health risk can extend all the way down to your toes!  Besides being addictive, the nicotine in tobacco smoke constricts (narrows) the blood vessels, particularly the small veins and capillaries in your lower extremities (legs and feet).  This can lead to neuropathy (nerve damage) which results in loss ofsensation.  Sores in you feet may go unnoticed since you can’t feel light sensation in your feet.  This can lead to decreased blood flowing needed to fight infections such as punctures, scratches or even ingrown toenails.  Consequences can lead to infection, gangrene and amputation.

Dr. Olga Garcia Luepschen and the Gentle Foot Care Center are located 2 Ryant Blvd (on US27) can be reached 314-9255(walk).  Check us out at


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