About Dr. Suzanne Levine’s Book
Introduction by Author & Celebrity Podiatrist Dr. Suzanne Levine
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”– Lao-tzu
Suzanne M. Levine, DPM
Author, Inventor & Celebrity Podiatrist
It Is Not Normal For Your Feet To Be Killing You
Let me start with one very important fact: it’s not normal for your feet to be killing you. It’s not normal to take your shoes off under your desk, while out to dinner, when standing at a bus stop (yes, I see this often in New York City), or any chance you get. It’s not normal to have feet that throb by midday or for new shoes to hurt and cause you to wince with each step. It’s just not normal to suffer foot pain. That is why I wrote the first version of this book over 25 years ago. A lot has changed in the world of podiatry and all things foot-related since then, and for several years colleagues, patients and former patients have been urging me to write a new book on the topic of feet and foot pain.
The Latest Advancements, Treatments, and Products
Feet keep moving and so does podiatric medicine. We now have many cutting edge, innovative procedures, treatments, and products for common foot problems. For example, there are lasers that can get rid of nail fungus, injectable implants that can cushion painful soles, and joint implants to restore some flexibility to a stiff big toe. These modern treatments are not only more effective but also often less painful with shorter recovery periods.
The change is truly amazing. Today, we understand that everything you do affects your feet including diet, medication, alcohol, and exercise. This is important news because if any part of your body takes a beating and needs some TLC, it’s your feet. By the age of 50, most people’s feet have logged an amazing 75,000 miles (according to the American Podiatric Medical Association); your car tires don’t last nearly that long!
I have a busy New York City podiatric office, the Institute Beauté, and for close to three decades I have been listening to my patients’ issues and concerns about everything from the ankles down and literally getting them back on their pain-free feet—or at least back in their running shoes, tennis sneakers, and yes, their stilettos. (I am not one of those doctors who tell women to give up their heels; I love them as much as the next woman, but more on that later.) Every time a new patient arrives I realize that many people still don’t know how to give their soles the attention they need. This is the book I wrote to fulfill that need.
Treat Your Feet The Way You Treat Your Face
My motto is, “Treat your feet the way you treat your face.” We all spend a lot of time and money on creams, lotions, and treatments for our complexions but neglect the architectural wonder known as our feet. In fact, you could argue that our feet are as, if not more, important. The way you move your entire body begins with your feet. Being well grounded is essential – literally and figuratively. As a practicing podiatrist, I know the importance of healthy feet, but as a woman, I understand the psychological damage that can occur when you can’t wear fashionable shoes. Well, the future is here and progress has been made; now almost everyone can find comfortable and stylish shoes if you know what to look for. But I’ll discuss more on that in the “Shoes 101” chapter.
I see many patients who look great. They’re wearing designer clothes and fabulous jewelry and, thanks to wrinkle-smoothing treatments (and perhaps a plastic surgeon), their faces don’t seem to age. But they walk with a shuffling gait or they have nail fungus (or both) that makes them look older than they are. What they don’t realize is that the true fountain of youth is walking well, being able to exercise, and having proper posture, all of which require healthy feet and toes. Indeed, many of the treatments discussed in the chapters that follow are far more effective anti-aging treatments than a facelift. Think about it: nothing ages you more than a lack of mobility. Turning back the clock starts with your feet and it is never too late to begin. The good news is that you can walk or run to a physically and mentally fit future on feet that you can be proud of.
This is a subject I’m passionate about. Not only am I a podiatrist with a wide variety of patients, including many celebrities, sometimes I feel that I’m something of a foot psychic. I can read a lot about people in and through, their feet; literally and figuratively your feet are the mirror of your soul. I’m also a shoe lover and someone who has had challenging feet since the day I was born. Feet have been a focal point of my life for as long as I can remember. I honestly don’t recall a time when my feet weren’t on my mind, for better or for worse.
Feel Fabulous and Look Your Best
I want other people, and women in particular, to feel comfortable in their own skins and attractive in their shoes. Women podiatrists are still something of a rarity (believe it or not – there still aren’t many of us out there) and it always bothers me when male podiatrists get interviewed about women’s feet and say something like, “Women shouldn’t wear heels. They’re terrible for you.” To me, that’s not realistic. It’s like telling a woman who wants to lose weight, “Don’t ever eat sugar or carbs again.” Eliminating high heels forever is not a lifestyle change that most women can make. Sure, you can eliminate shoes with high heels for a week or two, but it’s not reality for many women, me included, to do that for the rest of our lives.
There’s a psychological implication involved because many women don’t feel like women without their heels. I know I don’t! I think everyone should be afforded the opportunity to wear heels – at least in moderation. And you can, too!
If you go with the right treatments such as at-home care and, if needed, with doctor’s office procedures, your feet can feel fabulous and look their best. That is my goal with my patients in my practice in New York City and with My Feet Are Killing Me. I’ll detail all the top foot issues and conditions, the latest at-home remedies, and doctors’ office treatments, and show you how to shop for shoes that are both fashionable and comfortable. I’ll also share how lifestyle factors, like how your diet and workouts impact your feet, and provide exercises that help your feet stay pain-free and healthy at home and at work. All you have to do is turn the page and take your first step toward a better life for you and your soles. It’s as easy as putting one foot in front of the other, so what are you waiting for?