CRESTVIEW — Okaloosa County residents likely have a number of foot health problems, and a local podiatrist explains the issues and potential causes. 

Sean Hodson is a podiatrist who recently finished construction on a new White Sands Podiatry office on South Ferdon Boulevard, next to Lifepoint Church in Crestview. He has been practicing in the area since 2013 and has three offices in Fort Walton Beach, Niceville and Miramar Beach. 

According to Hodson, who travels between his four office locations throughout the week, along with most of his office staff, the problem he sees most often in patients is heel pain. 

“Walking barefoot causes it a lot,” Hodson said. “If you don’t have any support and your foot needs it, heel pain is one of the things that can happen.” 

To resolve heel pain, Hodson prescribes a combination of stretching exercises, devices patients can wear in their shoes, and injections. He also provides education on the issues and how to treat them. 

There are various foot health issues people experience, and there are many treatment options provided by podiatrists. 

“Services [include] corn and callus [removal], wound care, generalized diabetic foot care, reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, bunion surgery, hammertoe surgery, (treating) toenail fungus and non-operative treatments of the foot and ankle,” Hodson said. “We do custom orthotics in a lab, and ultrasound-guided injections.” 

Ultrasound-guided injections are used to alleviate pain. During this procedure, the ultrasound machine is used to ensure the doctor puts the needle in the correct place, according to Hodson. 

For residents who want to prevent major issues, Hodson’s top tips to improve foot health include not walking barefoot — always have some type of shoe or sandal on; doing stretching exercises; and washing feet to avoid fungus and infection.