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Six in ten of us are suffering in silence when it comes to foot pain

Six in ten of us are suffering in silence when it comes to foot pain

Almost sixty percent of us are currently suffering from foot pain, but as many as half refuse to see a podiatrist or doctor about it, according to a new study.

New research* from the College of Podiatry has revealed that, despite our feet being the most used part of the body, they are also the most neglected.

 Almost 98 percent of those who reported foot pain said that it leaves them struggling to walk, while two thirds of these say foot pain prevents them from exercising. In fact, almost a third (31 percent) of respondents reporting foot pain said they have been forced to take time off work because of the pain.

According to the new research, only 13 percent of us are giving feet the care and respect they need, with 70 percent of respondents admitting to neglecting their feet more than the rest of their body, despite more than three quarters (76 percent) of those surveyed saying that it would put them off someone if they had neglected feet.

The survey found that we spend more than an hour and a half every week on grooming our hair, face and body, but just 18 minutes per week on our feet – a paltry two and a half minutes a day.

Shockingly the study also revealed that most respondents don’t know where to turn when affected by foot problems, with only 36 percent of those who sought help saying they had turned to an expert such as a podiatrist.

The College of Podiatry commissioned the research to launch Foot Health Month. Podiatrist Emma McConnachie, a spokesperson for the College of Podiatry, commented: “This research shows that significant numbers of people experience problems with their feet yet frequently do little about it.

“Our feet are amazing – they are a masterpiece of natural engineering and we rely upon them to help us stay fit and well. Without healthy, pain-free feet, we can’t walk, do sports or even relax properly. A basic knowledge of foot health care is essential for everyone – there are loads of things you can do to improve your foot care regime – and that’s what this year’s Foot Health Month is all about.”

Of the 50 percent who said they don’t seek help for their pain, more than a quarter (26 percent) hope it will go away on its own, and one in ten say the state of their feet means they are too embarrassed to see a specialist.

People from Glasgow are the most likely to seek specialist help (67 percent), while people in Oxford are least likely to go down the professional route (25 percent).

The research also revealed that, of those who experience foot pain while exercising, 37 percent said they carry on through the pain, while 39 percent said they would continue until the pain feels too much.

Emma McConnachie added: “It may seem unimportant but ignoring problems with feet can lead to major problems. Don’t put up with foot pain – something can always be done and a podiatrist can help diagnose the problem and recommend and administer the appropriate treatment.”

The College of Podiatry will be raising awareness of foot health and how important it is to our overall well-being, throughout Foot Health Month this June.   

*A survey of 1,506 adults from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland conducted online on behalf of the College of Podiatry between 18th and 22nd May 2018.



Podiatrists’ tips for preventing some of the most common foot conditions:

Heel pain/plantar fasciitis – wear supportive footwear such as shoes that fasten securely with straps or laces and avoid walking barefoot too frequently

 Ingrown toenail – trim your toenails regularly using nail nippers and cut straight across and not at an angle or down the edges

Bunion – make sure your shoes are wide enough and provide enough wriggle room for your toes. Keep heel height to a maximum of 4cm for greatest comfort

Athlete’s foot – dry your feet thoroughly after washing them, especially between the toes. People prone to fungal infections may find that dabbing in-between the toes with surgical spirit will help

Notes to Editors:

June is Foot Health Month, when the College of Podiatry will be raising awareness of how important foot health is to our overall well-being and encouraging people to look after their feet and keep them in peak condition.

Throughout June, participating College of Podiatry members will be providing free foot health materials to people worried about their own, or someone else’s feet.

For more information on foot health or to find a podiatrist in your area please visit www.scpod.org

About the College of Podiatry

The College of Podiatry is the academic authority for podiatry in the UK, and an independent charity dedicated to foot health research, education and public awareness. The College is the public facing and academic arm of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists – the professional body for the UK’s registered podiatrists. Podiatry is the field of medicine that specialises in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of the foot and lower limb.

For further information about The College of Podiatry or Foot Health Month or to speak to a podiatrist, please contact:

Taryn Glenister / Simon Colvan / Kathryn Race

Ceres PR

0118 475956


Claire McLoughlin

College of Podiatry

020 7234 8648