After a busy Christmas and New Year’s out and about, the feet are often left sore and run down. Ill-fitting shoes are often the cause of pain in the lower extremities, which can include the calf as well as localized pain in pressure points, swelling, and even cuts and bruises. For some post-holiday foot care and to help ease soreness, apply heat and/or ice to swollen areas, which will help numb pain and cause the blood vessels to constrict. Simple stretches can also help alleviate pain. Pampering the feet at home with a home pedicure and moisturizing can also help comfort worn down feet. Take special care to watch out for blisters, which should be covered and kept clean to promote healing.
Regardless of season or weather, everyday foot care should be practiced year round. For more information about everyday foot care, consult with podiatrist Dr. Eric J. Abrams, D.P.M. of Foot and Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ. Dr. Abrams will provide you with the foot- and ankle information you seek.
Every Day Foot Care
Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. After all, without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks. It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before, for example.
For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops.
Also, wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.
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Runners have often chosen footwear that is specifically tailored to their unique biomechanics with the wisdom of sports medicine specialists. However, some modern scientists dispute this notion; believing comfort is the most important attribute of a running shoe. Proponents of the comfort theory maintain that other details, including biomechanics, are rather minor.
To try and settle this debate, scientists at the University of Calgary are working on a new study. This study will focus on the effects of comfort in running shoes and the rate at which runners develop injuries. The ultimate goal of this study is to provide shoe developers with tips for future shoe designs.
For optimal foot health, you should understand the differences between walking and running shoes. If you have any foot or ankle injuries, see Dr. Eric J. Abrams, D.P.M. of Foot and Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ. Dr. Abrams can treat your foot and ankle needs.
Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes
There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.
You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.
Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.
Flexibility – walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.
For more information about the Differences between Walking and Running Shoes, follow the link below.
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Improper training is the cause of about 56 percent of running injuries each year, reports Jason Fitzgerald, a 2:39 marathoner and USA Track & Field certified coach. Contrary to popular belief, proper running requires proper technique—similar to the way a football tackle or deadlift requires practice and skill.
According to Fitzgerald, there are three general methods in avoiding injury: Avoid repeated use of the same part of the body and add variety to your training and distances, practice proactive recovery by adjusting your workouts by how you’re feeling day-to-day, and perfect your running form by counting your steps, avoiding over-striding, and standing up tall.
Running injuries, even with proper precautions, can still occur in many runners. If you are suffering from a running injury see Dr. Eric J. Abrams, D.P.M. of Foot and Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ. Dr. Abrams will provide you with quality treatment and assist you with all of your foot and ankle concerns.
How to Prevent Running Injuries
Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.
What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.
Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber, this will help you gain better flexibility.
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When conversation turns to diabetes management, most people focus on the need to maintain blood glucose levels, good levels of physical activity, and weight control. Many seem to overlook, however, the fact that diabetes is a major cause of amputations and that more interest should be shown in the need to ensure that ulcers and injuries do not worsen and become gangrenous.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 340 million people in the world suffer from diabetes. The need for both diabetes prevention and diabetes management come hand in hand. When amputation in diabetics cannot be avoided, there should instead be a greater effort in increasing quality of life with the use of advanced prosthetics.
Diabetes is often the cause of foot conditions like neuropathy and ulcers. If you are diabetic, get your feet checked out by podiatrist Dr. Eric J. Abrams, D.P.M. of Foot and Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ. Dr. Abrams can examine your lower extremities and determine if you have any problems that require medical attention.
Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetes affects millions of people every year. Diabetes damages blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. When damage occurs to nerves in the feet, they may be unable to send proper signaling to the peripheral nervous system, resulting in a condition known as neuropathy. Once a diabetic patient develops neuropathy, it is mandatory that the feet are well taken care of to avoid amputation.
The Importance of Caring for Your Feet
- Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
- Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
- Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.
Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their Hemoglobin A1C levels. This test allows the physician to know how well the blood sugar levels are being controlled during the past 3 months. It is important to keep the blood sugar levels in a normal range (70-110mg/dl). Visiting a podiatrist is highly recommended if the diabetic patient is experiencing any conditions involving his or her feet.
It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet.
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To avoid contributing to early injury and damage kids specializing in a single sport should hold off until adolescence, research shows. Once kids reach 15 years of age, specializing can commence as it is at this age that boys usually only have three years left of growing and that girls are just about finishing their growth spurts. Dr. Liebeg of Akron Children’s Hospital comments, “During the growth spurts, the growth plates are at a higher risk for injury.” Sever’s disease is one of the most common growth plate injuries that can occur in growing kids. Physically active kids are especially prone to the disease, which manifests with the inflammation of the heel’s growth plate.
Growing children are prone to acquiring Sever’s disease. If your child is suffering from heel pain, see Dr. Eric J. Abrams, D.P.M. of Foot and Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ. Dr. Abrams will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.
Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.
Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.
Toe gait- develops in which the child must change the way they walk to avoid placing weight on the heel. This can lead to other problems as well in the future.
Acute pain – pain asscoiatied with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.
Highly active – children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.
For more information about Sever’s Disease, follow the link below.
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Studies have shown that women are at a greater risk of developing stress fractures than men. Reasons for this increased risk include hormonal differences, increased bone density, and higher rates of inadequate nutrition. While athletes in general are at highest risk after changes in intensity, frequency or duration of their workouts; in women, irregular menstrual cycles and weight less than 75 percent of ideal body weight are factors that make for an increased risk for stress fractures. Stress fractures are small cracks that develop in the bone after being stressed, and are most common in the foot, ankle, and lower leg but can occur on bones throughout the body.
Stress fractures can become painful if left untreated for an extended period of time. If you would like assistance in treating a stress fracture in the foot or ankle, consult with podiatrist Dr. Eric J. Abrams, D.P.M. of Foot and Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ. Dr. Abrams can determine the severity of your condition and provide you with quality care.
Coping with Podiatric Stress Fractures
Stress Fractures occur on the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken as a result of overexertion or underuse. As a result, the ankles and feet lose support when walking or running from the ground. Since these bones are not protected, they receive the full impact of each step. The stress on the feet causes the bones to form cracks.
What are Stress Fractures?
Stress Fractures are very common among those who are highly active and involved in sports or activities that make excessive use of their legs and feet. Stress fractures are especially common among:
-athletes (gymnasts, tennis players, basketball players)
-those who engage in high-intensity workouts
Stress Fracture Symptoms
Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures, and can be either constant or periodic. The pain is usually sharp or dull, accompanied by swelling and tenderness. Engagement in any kind of high impact activity will exacerbate the pain.
For more information about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle, follow the link below.
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Runners who exercise daily will often suffer from sore or painful feet. While a daily foot massage is ideal, it is also not always possible. After their daily run, runners should instead consider removing their sneakers and socks to perform foot stretches, which can help soothe the muscles in their feet. While kneeling on a yoga mat or carpet, tuck the toes toward the knees and slowly lower the pelvis to the heels. This position should be held for at least thirty seconds before slowly lifting the hips off the heels. The toes should then be pointed away from the knees before sitting back down on the heels to stretch the tops of the feet. This can be repeated two or three more times to optimally stretch the feet.
Stretching the feet is an important part of any runner’s exercise routine. To learn more, consult with podiatrist Dr. Eric J. Abrams, D.P.M. of Foot and Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ. Dr. Abrams will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.
Stretching Your Feet
Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.
Good ways to stretch your feet are:
- Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
- Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
- Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle
Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.
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Many fashion-forward women are aware of the painful consequences that come with wearing high heels for extended periods of time. What women often forget, however, is that flat shoes—especially those with little to no foot support—can cause just as many foot problems as heels. 41-year-old teaching assistant Michele Crow learned this the hard way after being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis following a vacation in Portugal. Crow had worn a pair of wooden-soled flip-flops that left her with burning, stabbing pains. When the pain did not improve, a consultation with her doctor told Crow she had plantar fasciitis. “He said that wearing flat, unsupportive shoes, such as flip-flops and old trainers, had caused my arches to drop and the ligaments and tendons in the base of my foot to overstretch or tear,” said Crow.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition. If you are experiencing heel pain, see podiatrist Dr. Eric J. Abrams, D.P.M. of Foot and Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ. Dr. Abrams will provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis refers to heel and arch pain caused by an inflammation of the connective tissues on the bottom of the foot.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
- Ill-fitting shoes
- Weight change
- Excessive running
- Non-supportive shoes
How Can It Be Treated?
- Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices.
- Shockwave therapy – sends sound waves to the areas where pain is experience. Requires multiple sessions. This is used for very persistent cases of plantar fasciitis.
- Ultrasound-guided technique with steroid injections into the plantar fascia. This is from a relatively new and small study, but was shown to be effective in most cases treated.
New Studies on Treatment
According to groundbreaking treatment option studies, Luca M. Sconfienza, M.D. says that ultrasound with steroid injections was effective in over 95% of cases that involve plantar fasciitis. This process involves anesthesia and is a single process, out-patient treatment that was discovered to be highly effective. Luca M. Sconfienza M.D. presented her study at an annual meeting for the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Be sure to speak with your podiatrist about different methods that can be used, as well as finding out what treatment options they offer.
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According to an analysis by popular shopping site Gilt, shoppers residing in the Sunshine State of Florida wear the highest heels in the nation; followed by Nevada and Arkansas. While the heels-loving women of these states may all agree that wearing high heels makes their feet attractive, there are a few tips they can follow to help keep their feet healthy while still looking good. Women who are interested in maintaining height in their heels should choose a style with a gradual incline that isn’t too steep. To avoid burning pain between the toes, wear shoes with a wider toe box to give your toes some space. Shoes with cushioning in the soles will help absorb the impact of your foot striking the ground, preventing some of the shock from reaching your knees. Stretches such as heel raises and toe stretches can help prevent pain in the foot.
While high heels are very fashionable, they can detrimentally affect the feet. To learn more, consult with Dr. Eric J. Abrams, D.P.M. of Foot and Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ. Dr. Abrams will provide you with the foot and ankle information you seek.
Effects of High Heels on the Feet
High heels are popular shoes among women because they are associated with femininity. Despite their appeal, they can cause many health problems if worn too frequently.
What parts my body will be affected by high heels?
- Ankle Joints
- Achilles Tendon – may shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
- Balls of the Feet
- Knees – heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
- Back – they decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain. Also, the vertebrae of the lower back may compress.
What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Plantar Fasciitis
How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?
If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems. Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.
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According to a new study, adults over the age of 65 who were fitted for new extra-depth shoes experienced reduced pain and improved function. While extra-depth footwear is often marketed for people with diabetic foot conditions, lead author Hylton B. Menz stated that the structure and function of the foot changes greatly with age regardless of diabetic status.
“With advancing age, there is a general tendency for the foot to exhibit increased soft tissue stiffness, decreased range of motion, decreased strength, and a more pronated posture,” said Menz. Many of the elderly also do not wear proper fitting shoes that accommodate to the changed shape of the feet. Those in the study wearing extra-depth footwear were more likely to report their foot pain had moderately or markedly improved and developed fewer podiatric skin conditions than the comparison group.
Maintaining proper foot care is essential for the older adult. For more information about foot care for the elderly, consult with podiatrist Dr. Eric J. Abrams, D.P.M. of Foot and Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ. Dr. Abrams will assist you with all of your foot and ankle concerns and provide you with quality treatment.
The Elderly and their Feet
As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.
Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
Shoes that don’t fit properly
Loss of circulation in legs & feet
Edema & swelling of feet and ankles
Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.
For more information about Elderly and Feet, follow the link below.
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