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How to have healthy feet? The basics are footwear, exercise, Foot Alignment Socks and pedicure, says podiatrist Edita Prošková

  • Added: 13.08.2023   |   3278 readings / views

Edita Prošková graduated in physiotherapy at the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering of the Czech Technical University. During her studies, she started to focus on the foot, which she found fascinating. Now podiatry is her calling. “Based on an examination of the feet, I can establish a therapy for you. From exercises to kinesio taping, supportive aids (such as Foot Alignment Socks) to customised insoles and recommendations for suitable footwear. I'm a mother to two little tearaways and a barefoot enthusiast.” What else did she reveal in the interview?

Why did you choose to focus on feet?

I don’t really know. The whole story of physiotherapy started in secondary school when I clearly said that ‘I will never touch people’. Then in uni it was ‘I will never touch feet’ and after graduating from my first course in feet, I announced that I would "never work with children”. So, now I touch people, I touch their feet, and I work with kids.

What is the most common health problem that patients come to you with?

Most clients come in having been diagnosed as having flat feet. But after an examination, they find that it’s not the case. This applies to all age groups. Lately, I have noticed that people have been seeking a foot specialist rather than a conventional orthopaedist. I deliberately didn’t mention physiotherapist because “podo” involves many other professions such as doctors, physiotherapists, movement specialists and others.

In your opinion, what is the most common cause of health complications concerning the feet?

In children, the problem basically starts during the first year, when the quality of the child's development is not sufficiently supported or monitored - from sitting prematurely, to hand-holding, to walkers. In adults, movement patterns, lifestyle and footwear play the biggest role (but there are people who walk in heels and have beautiful feet and, conversely, lots of people who walk barefoot with damaged feet). So, we need to be aware that shoes are only one of the factors that influence foot health.

So, how should we choose our shoes?

Shoes for day-to-day wear should always respect the shape and size of the foot. This is an essential element. The other parameters (sole height, flexibility, counter, etc.) should be chosen at your discretion and also so they fit their purpose.

How is working with children's feet different compared to adults?

The overall approach to the patient is different. With an adult we can start by asking what the problem is, examine them and set out a therapy, with children we need a gentler, kinder and more considerate approach. I try to make both the examination and the therapy a game. With young children, we play. Whilst they're playing it is very easy to see how the child moves, what they can and can’t do and where the problem is... I don’t choose exercises for children completely in line with the diagnosis, but, for example, according to what they can do and what the parent can do. I look for different ways to support what is needed right now so we can make some progress.

What about you and Foot Alignment Socks? Have you noticed any changes in yourself as a result of wearing them?

I first got into these socks quite a while ago. I was curious to see how they worked. For me, it's a great addition to therapy, not just for the toes, but for the entire lower leg. I wear them in the evening when I'm putting my little one to sleep. I take them off after a few hours because I can't sleep in them. Because of my work, my feet are sufficiently exercised, and I don't feel I have any marked problem with them, so I only really wear them for relaxation rather than for the therapeutic effect. However, for example, when I was pregnant with my son, the Foot Alignment Socks were a very pleasant relief after a full-on day.

You recommend Foot Alignment Socks to others. What do you think they help with the most?

The best experience and feedback I have had is with plantar fasciitis and sore feet. Combined with exercise and, in some cases, with shoe insoles, we have achieved a great deal of relief.

To close with, what do you recommend for healthy feet?

First off, everyone should look at the shoes they have in their shoe rack and see if they match the shape of their feet. It’s good to regularly toughen up our feet, not only with cold, but mainly with various stimuli (for example, orthopaedic mats). Depending on the job, I’d recommend exercise, relaxation, strengthening, etc. Apart from that, I recommend wearing Foot Alignment Socks. Regular medical pedicures should also be part of foot care.

Photo: archive of Edita Prošková, IG: editaproskova_fyziopodolog

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