Posts for tag: Foot Pain
Custom orthotics are removable shoe inserts that provide greater arch support and stability to the feet and ankles. There are different types of orthotics available depending on the issue and level of support that is needed. Basic orthotics are sold over the counter, but a custom pair designed specifically for your foot will provide optimal support and comfort.
When are Custom Orthotics Necessary?
Podiatrists typically recommend custom orthotics for people with flat feet, or very high arches. One of the most common signs that you may benefit from a pair of orthotics is heel pain (although you may also experience pain and swelling in other parts of the foot). You may also experience pain and swelling after normal and relatively low impact activities like standing or walking.
A good way to figure out if you are having pronation issues is to examine the soles of your shoes and sneakers. If the soles and insoles tend to become visibly more worn on one side, it may be a sign that your alignment is off and you are over or under pronating. A podiatrist may ask you to walk in your bare feet to observe your stride and gait (known as a gait analysis). If you experience persistent pain, swelling, or stiffness, especially after exercise or after long periods of rest, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.
Types of Custom Orthotics
There are a few different types of custom orthotics designs available depending on your needs.
Functional (also known as rigid) orthotics are made of harder materials and are usually prescribed for pronation problems or joint issues like arthritis.
Accommodative orthotics are designed to provide more cushioning and support and are typically prescribed for problems like plantar fasciitis and bunions.
In addition to improving your gait and foot and ankle alignment, custom orthotics can help to prevent related strains and injuries and relieve back, joint, and knee pain if it is caused by issues with your arches and pronation.
During pregnancy, it's not uncommon for women to experience an array of aches and pains all over the body. Among these complaints are tired, swollen, achy feet - a common and painful symptom experienced by mothers-to-be during their nine months of pregnancy.
One of the most common foot problems to occur during pregnancy is swelling, or edema, which results from an extra accumulation of blood. The natural weight gain and enlarging uterus puts pressure on the veins that lead to the legs, causing circulation to slow down and increasing fluid retention. The legs and feet may become swollen, making shoes tight, and in some cases causing pain and discomfort. Slight swelling during pregnancy is normal and usually subsides after giving birth. Women should pay close attention to edema symptoms. Swelling to the face or a sudden onset of swelling could be a sign of a more serious condition called preeclampsia and should be reported immediately.
Another troubling foot problem that can occur during pregnancy is over-pronation (flat feet) which is caused when a person's arch flattens out upon weight bearing causing the feet to turn in abnormally. This condition develops when the dense band of tissue in the arch of the foot called the plantar fascia becomes strained and inflamed due to increased flattening of the feet. Over-pronation is common in pregnancy due to the increased weight gain which stresses the feet and flattens the arches. Walking can become very painful, and women may experience increased discomfort and strain on the feet, calves and back.
There are various remedies available to help minimize and alleviate foot pain during pregnancy.
- Take short breaks during the day and elevate your feet to relieve pressure and swelling.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Wear shoes that are soft, comfortable and give your feet room to move.
- Wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation.
- Exercise or walk regularly to promote overall health.
- Stretch legs frequently and avoid crossing your legs when sitting.
- To prevent arch pain, stretch daily, avoid going barefoot and wear supportive low-heeled shoes.
When foot pain persists, visit your podiatrist. We'll work with you to find the best treatments for your foot pain. Pregnancy and pending motherhood should be a pleasant, enjoyable experience. Understanding the causes of foot pain and learning easy home remedies can help women step more comfortably throughout these special nine months.
Tips to Keep Feet Warm and Cozy All Winter Long
Whether you're slogging through deep snow and sub-zero temperatures in the north, or contending with dampness, chill, and muddy conditions in the south, it's important to take care of your feet all winter long. You'll want them to be healthy and ready for action when spring finally arrives.
Most Americans will have walked 75,000 miles by the time they turn 50. Is it little wonder, then, that APMA's 2010 foot health survey found that foot pain affects the daily activities—walking, exercising, or standing for long periods of time—of a majority of Americans?
"Each season presents unique challenges to foot health," said Matthew Garoufalis, DPM, a podiatrist and APMA past-president. "Surveys and research tell us that foot health is intrinsic to overall health, so protecting feet all year long is vital to our overall well-being."
APMA offers some advice for keeping feet healthy in common winter scenarios:
- Winter is skiing and snowboarding season, activities enjoyed by nearly 10 million Americans, according to the National Ski Areas Association. Never ski or snowboard in footwear other than ski boots specifically designed for that purpose. Make sure your boots fit properly; you should be able to wiggle your toes, but the boots should immobilize the heel, instep, and ball of your foot. You can use orthotics (support devices that go inside shoes) to help control the foot's movement inside ski boots or ice skates.
- Committed runners don't need to let the cold stop them. A variety of warm, light-weight, moisture-wicking active wear available at most running or sporting goods stores helps ensure runners stay warm and dry in bitter temperatures. However, some runners may compensate for icy conditions by altering how their foot strikes the ground. Instead of changing your footstrike pattern, shorten your stride to help maintain stability. And remember, it's more important than ever to stretch before you begin your run. Cold weather can make you less flexible in winter than you are in summer, so it's important to warm muscles up before running.
- Boots are must-have footwear in winter climates, especially when dealing with winter precipitation. Between the waterproof material of the boots themselves and the warm socks you wear to keep toes toasty, you may find your feet sweat a lot. Damp, sweaty feet can chill more easily and are more prone to bacterial infections. To keep feet clean and dry, consider using foot powder inside socks and incorporating extra foot baths into your foot care regimen this winter.
- Be size smart. It may be tempting to buy pricey specialty footwear (like winter boots or ski boots) for kids in a slightly larger size, thinking they'll be able to get two seasons of wear out of them. But unlike coats that kids can grow into, footwear needs to fit properly right away. Properly fitted skates and boots can help prevent blisters, chafing, and ankle or foot injuries. Likewise, if socks are too small, they can force toes to bunch together, and that friction can cause painful blisters or corns.
Finally—and although this one seems like it should go without saying, it bears spelling out—don't try to tip-toe through winter snow, ice, and temperatures in summer-appropriate footwear. "More than one news show across the country aired images of people in sneakers, sandals, and even flip-flops during the severe cold snap that hit the country in early January," Dr. Garoufalis said. "Exposing feet to extreme temperatures means risking frostbite and injury. Choose winter footwear that will keep your feet warm, dry, and well-supported."
Content Courtesy of APMA
Ten tips on how to look after your feet, with special advice for those over 60
Your feet take the weight of your whole body, so foot problems can quickly lead to discomfort and affect the way you walk. This can in turn cause knee, hip and back pain. The good news is that looking after your feet can prevent most of these problems. Investing a bit of time and thought into caring for your feet now can prevent them causing you pain later.
Wash your feet often
Don’t go to bed without washing your feet. If you leave dirt on the skin’s surface, it can become irritated and infected. Wash your feet every evening with soap and water.
Dry your feet well
Dry your feet thoroughly after washing them, especially between the toes which is where germs such as Athlete's foot can easily breed. Then, apply a moisturising foot cream (not body lotion).
Remove hard skin
Gently remove hard skin and calluses with a pumice stone or foot file regularly.
Cut toenails carefully
Always trim your toenails straight across, never at an angle or down the edges. This can cause ingrown toenails.
Shoe shop in the afternoon
Shop for shoes in the afternoon. Feet swell as the day goes on and if shoes fit in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest, you can be assured they will always be comfortable.
Footwear tips for work
If you have to wear heels at work, wear comfortable shoes to and from the office and only wear your smart shoes once you're in the office. Also, try to vary the heel height, between low, medium and high. Read how to choose the right footwear for work.
Limit time wearing high heels
Be shoe savvy. Wear high heels and pointed shoes for special occasions only, and always wear the right shoes for the job (so no sandals for mountain climbing).
Change your socks often to avoid foot odor
Change your socks daily. Read advice from the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists on buying socks.
Watch out for foot bugs in communal changing areas
Wear flip-flops to avoid catching athelte's foot and verrucas when you use public areas such as gym showers, swimming pools or hotel bathrooms.
Take care with flip-flops
But don't wear flip-flops all the time. They don't provide support for your feet and can give you arch and heel pain if you wear them too much.
Foot pain advice for over-60s
If you're over 60, foot care becomes even more important. Age takes its toll: your skin thins, your joints begin to stiffen and your feet become more vulnerable to the cold.
Not only that, but as podiatrist Emma Supple says: "Physically, it gets more difficult for us to get to our feet, and failing eyesight doesn’t help."
Emma says: "Go to see a professional for a foot MOT every six monthsand never put up with foot pain as if it is normal. Your feet shouldn’t hurt." Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist today if you've been experiencing foot pain.
Cold injuries of the toes and feet usually occur in winter when the cold temperature combines with slightly moist skin to create injury. Cold weather injuries may consist of Frostbite or the less severe but still painful Chilblains.
Chilblains is actually an abnormal reaction by the very small blood vessels in the skin, commonly in the toes but also in the hands or legs. An extended period of time outside , which results in chilling of the skin, causes the small blood vessels to constrict. In the case of feet, when the toes and feet are then warmed, the small vessels do not relax quickly enough for the influx of blood from larger warmed and thus vasodilated vessels and instead of the blood flowing into the small blood vessels, it leaks into the skin. It may take several hours for the skin changes to be observed and often the changes appear as a deep blister. Later, it may become darkened with blood. Usually there are small patches of dark red, purplish skin on swollen toes which may have intense itching or burning associated with them. These damaged patches of skin sometimes ulcerate creating the additional concern for possible infection.
This condition is more commonly seen in slim young, woman and in certain at risk populations including:
-Smokers (due to nicotine induced vasoconstriction)
-Persons with peripheral arterial disease (diminished blood flow to extremities)
-Persons with a family history of Chilblains
-Persons with certain autoimmune diseases including Lupus
-Persons with Raynaud’s disease or phenomenon
- Persons with diabetes (due to peripheral neuropathy causing inability to feel the cold and /or PAD)
Treatment of Chilblains may consist of topical steroid creams, oral medicines (for persons with chronic Chilblains) which help to vasodilate the small blood vessels, and antibiotic ointment for any areas of skin which become open.
The goal is to prevent cold injury by keeping the extremities warm and dry using mittens, socks and appropriately fitting water resistant foot gear. Avoiding Chilblains is the best treatment!