The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) conducted a National Survey on foot ailments in January and recently released the results. There were 1,082 respondents to the survey which was a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population.
- Americans spend a lot of time on their feet: Almost 25% of Americans report spending 6 hours or more each day on their feet.
- Americans wear shoes that hurt: Two thirds of American confess to wearing shoes that hurt their feet, 30% do so once a week and 12% do so daily.
- Foot problems result from ill-fitting shoes: Eight in 10 Americans have experienced foot problems as a result of wearing uncomfortable shoes, 58% complaining of heel pain.
- Multiple problems result from uncomfortable shoes: Blisters, heel pain, ingrown toenails, corns and pinched nerves were the foot problems experienced by those wearing uncomfortable shoes.
- Women experience more foot problems than men: 87% of women reported foot pain or problems as a result of painful footwear as compared to 68% of men.
- Young adults experience more heel pain from footwear: Of those individuals who experienced foot problems from wearing uncomfortable shoes, almost 75% of 18-29-year olds complained of heel pain compared to 54% of respondents 30 years and older.
- Foot pain limits over one third in their daily tasks: 36% of Americans reported experiencing foot pain so severe, it prevented them from performing their daily activities.
- Heel pain is the most common foot complaint: Of all respondents who have experienced foot problems in the past year, 43% have suffered with heel pain. Of those with heel pain, 60% reported difficulties with everyday tasks as compared to 24% with other foot issues.
- Dry, rough skin a common problem: Almost 75% of respondents reported suffering from dry, rough, cracked or irritated skin.
- Heel pain more common among women: Half of women who have experienced foot pain or problems within the past 12 months, complained of heel pain. Only 34% of men complained of heel pain.
- Heel pain commonly last more than 2 years: 15% of Americans who have heel pain, have suffered with the heel pain for 1-2 years and 35% have had heel pain for two or more years.
- Women blame shoes for heel pain: 30% of women point to ill-fitting shoes as the primary cause of their heel pain compared to 17% of men.
- Heel pain suffers continue to wear painful shoes: 35% of those suffering with heel pain feel their current shoes do not help their heel pain.
- Americans receive their information about heel pain from:
- internet (25%)
- physician other than a podiatrist (25%)
- family and friends (25%)
- podiatrist (17%)
- The most common treatments Americans use for heel pain are:
- over the counter remedies (26%)
- foot supports (24%)
- icing (19%)
- calf stretching (18%)
- medications (17%)
- Heel pain not the only foot complaint: Other common foot problems respondents experienced within the past 12 months included ball of foot pain (35%), nail problems (33%) sweaty feet/foot odor (32%).
- Rest and elevation common self treatments for heel pain: Heel pain sufferers report that the most effective home treat is rest (37%), followed by leg elevation (22%), foot pads (14%).
- Ball of foot pain more common in women: Women experience ball of foot pain (41%) more than men (28%) and women experience pain from their shoes more than men (35% vs 19%).
- Ball of foot pain more common in young adults: Those aged 18-49 years old suffer from pain in the balls of their feet (40%) more than those aged 50 and older (25%).
- Shoe pain more common in young adults: The 18-49 year olds also have more pain from shoes than those aged 50 and older (34% vs. 18%).
- Self help more common than doctor visit: Most Americans with foot ailments will try over the counter and self treatments (39%) and fewer than 25% saw a physician, less than half saw a foot specialist.
The results were taken from the 2009 APMA Foot Ailments Survey and was conducted at a 95% confidence interval with 3% margin of error.
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