Healthy Foot Notes

Archive for the ‘Heel and Arch Pain’ Category

Contributing writer: Carmen Thorpe––

Flip–flops, let’s talk about them. Some doctors say that they are “OK” to wear and others are against them. We know that spring is here and soon we will want to show our tootsies off with lovely polished nails and stylish flip–flops, but are they good for our feet? With tons of questions swirling around this topic, we have put together a list –below– of the pros and cons on the matter.

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Pros

  • Stylish
  • Comfortable
  • Perfect for the warmer weather
  • Showcases our painted toes

Cons

  • Can’t be worn for extended amounts of time
  • Some have little to no arch support
  • Not enough support for the foot –as a whole
  • Expensive; with no real benefits for the feet (which supports the weight of the body)

With this list in mind, we checked out APMA’s site (American Podiatric Medical Association) to see what they had to say on the matter and we found this: You can wear flip–flops, but in order to avoid having problems with your feet later you could perform this simple checklist prior to purchasing your shoes. Click here to see the list and read more about what APMA has to say on the topic.

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Contributing Writer: Carmen Thorpe

An artistic, visually interesting, interpretation of the traditional high heel is stepping into the pictures of Instagram and the feed on Twitter. The #heelconcepts are pictures of people –actually their foot–  creating a high heeled or a heeled shoe from an assortment of items; anything can create a heel, from donuts and coffee to make-up and more.  Pictures have been posted from all over and we have compiled our Top 5 Favorites (counting the one above) :

people-are-trying-out-heel-concepts-by-posting-pictures-of-their-heels-perched-above-various-objects                           4b710413c058592caa789d29aa1e2e69f9fdaf4aheel-concept-pictures8c28fa08496a049f3e0f37e16366af0bf198b39b

APMA reports this on the actual wearing of high heels: http://bit.ly/10grwNw

Photo via treaturfeet.com

Photo via treaturfeet.com

Our feet sure do take a beating, don’t they?

Day after day we walk, run, bump them into things, and squeeze them into awful shoes.  Our feet must last us a lifetime and it’s important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of common foot problems.

#1: Heel Pain

According to New York podiatrist Jacqueline Sutera, heel pain typically results from plantar fasciitis – inflammation of a ligament at the bottom of the foot. It can result from weight gain, unsupported arches or overactivity from exercise. You’ll detect it by pain after periods of rest, like when you first step out of bed in the morning, or after intense activity.

It hurts because you’re basically walking on an injury.

There are stretching exercises, combined with a regimen of anti-inflammatory medications to help treat plantar fasciitis.  However, it is also beneficial to be seen by a specialist because if untreated, it can lead to tendenitis.

#2: Bunions

A bunion is a dislocation of the joint in the big toe.  They are a genetic condition that can be made worse by wearing unsupportive shoes like high heels or ballerina flats.  If untreated, they can lead to arthritis.

#3: Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can either be inherited or they can be caused by tight shoes or pantyhose.  However, the leading cause is cutting too deeply into the corners of the nails.  When that happens, the skin grows over the nail, leaving you venerable to a bacterial infection.  This type of infection can be dangerous if it makes it into the bloodstream.

#4: Fungal Infection

Thick, yellowing, crumbling nails — sound familiar?  That’s a fungal infection.  If you notice fungus, visit a podiatrist to discuss treatment options.

#5: Calluses

Calluses are most often caused by how someone walks.  They can be treated with orthotics, which will correct a person’s gait.  Treatment for calluses can include having a podiatrist regularly shave them down.  Another could simply be moisturizing feet with a good cream nightly and sealing them with a sock for at least 40 minutes afterwards.

It’s important to remember that any kind of pain is an indicator of a problem.  Be sure to seek professional medical advice to determine the cause of it.

 

 

Photo via hibridal.com

Photo via hibridal.com

Since we received such positive feedback for our articles about high heeled shoes, we wanted to do another high heel-related post.

About.com‘s podiatry expert, Dr. Catherine Moyer, compiled a list of tips for how to continue wearing the shoes you love without the painful side effects.

Tip # 1 — Be sure you’re wearing the right size.

According to Dr. Moyer, this is the Number One mistake made by women.  She recommends having your feet professionally sized when you go shopping.  Our shoe sizes change throughout our lives and even having children can cause your feet to go up a size or so.

Tip # 2 — Educate yourself on your personal foot type.

As we’ve said before, there are different types of feet.  Different types of feet require different support from shoes.  A podiatrist can do this for you, or you can do a simple at-home test.  Wet the bottom of your foot and stand on a piece of construction paper that you’ve placed on the ground.  This will tell you if you’ve got flat feet or a high arch.

Tip # 3 — The thicker the heel, the better.

Ever noticed how thicker-heeled shoes just feel more comfortable?  There’s a reason for that.  Stilettos cause your feet to wobble, which is not good for your general podiatric health.  Of course, sometimes the outfit calls for a thin heel, but if you include them as a part of your everyday wardrobe, it may be time to start switching it up and adding thicker heels for better balance.

Tip # 4 — Avoid thin soles, opt for the platform.

Even a slight platform will alleviate some of the pressure when walking in heels.  Thinner soles will almost always cause pain at the bottom of the foot.

Tip # 5 — Take breaks.

Take a few moments throughout the day to take off the shoes and stretch your ankles and your toes.

Image via styleindeed.com

Image via styleindeed.com

Let’s face it, apart from the occasional pedicure or visit to the spa, women tend to put a lot of pressure on their feet.  Today’s fashion statements include sky-high heels or sandals with absolutely no arch support — but hey, they’re cute right?

Unfortunately, beauty is pain and can cause long-lasting damage to your feet if you aren’t careful.  Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Steven Raikin, says a one-inch heel can increase pressure on the foot by 22%.  The pressure stems from toes being crammed into tight spaces.  This pressure can result in bunions or hammertoes.  While platform and wedge shoes offer a little more support, today’s styles feature an unnatural incline and that can add to pressure as well.

Kristen Dold, writer for Women’s Health, created a list of tips to help keep you in your high heels without causing too much damage to your feet.  Here are our favorites.

  • Try not to stand or walk around in heels higher than two inches for more than four hours straight, says Horton. (If you do wear way-high heels on a big night out, ice your feet when you get home to curb any swelling or pain.)
  • Remember that feet can still grow and spread throughout adulthood (especially after pregnancy) and tend to be at their most swollen at the end of the day, so do your shoe shopping in the afternoon. Have your feet measured every year to make sure you’re buying the right size.
  • To keep your feet limber, do stretches such as writing the alphabet with pointed toes; to massage your arches, roll your feet over a tennis ball for a few minutes a day; and to stretch your ankle and calf, extend your knee, place a towel around the ball of your foot, and pull toes toward you.

So what do you think?  Are high heels really worth the hassle?

Runners rely on their feet to take them to that finish line. The 26.2 mile marathon pushes a runner to the limit.  It takes everything a runner’s got to run the course to completion.

George Ellis, Service First Management, is an avid runner who felt a nagging ache in his arch two years ago. Arch pain can take an athlete out of the game — or race. If heel or arch pain persists, many options are available for relief.  Custom orthotics ordered and fitted specifically for the patient, is a conservative treatment that has offers a good chance for success.

Bull_Run_Foot_Clinic_Orthotics

Ellis wears them daily and just finished his 4th marathon in Anchorage, Alaska.  He is already planning his 5th: the Rock and Roll Marathon Series has a few options: the half marathons in Virginia Beach, Va. on Sept. 1 or Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love on Sept. 15.  Rock on!

Check out our Vine from the Finish Line!

Have you ever used orthotics?  Did you have a positive experience?  Please comment and share, we want to know!


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