Posts for tag: foot health

By The Foot & Ankle Institute
May 14, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: foot health   Aging Feet  

As you age, it becomes even more important to take care of yourself, especially your feet. Foot health tends to decline in seniors for many reasons, including:

∙       Years of walking

∙       Improper footwear

∙       Poor circulation

∙       Diseases related to foot problems such as diabetes and gout

∙       Improperly trimming toenails

When problems are ignored, they may worsen and lead to more dangerous issues. There are easy ways to take care of aging feet and nonsurgical treatments to relieve pain.

When to talk to your doctor

It’s important to know when symptoms are just common aches and pains and when they might be something more serious. Even if your pain isn’t related to something serious, you still need to take care of your feet since they are the foundation of the body. Aging foot pains may cause pain in the knees, hips, or back.

Some symptoms to look out for are:

∙       Brittle or discolored toenails

∙       Discoloration or cold/numb feet

∙       Severe pain in feet and ankles

∙       Blisters or cracked skin

∙       Sores and wounds

Tips for maintaining healthy feet

Taking care of feet is simple and will pay off in the long run. Some easy tips for foot health are:

∙       Inspect your feet and nails regularly

∙       Use soap to wash your feet and always thoroughly dry them

∙       Use lotion to prevent dry, itchy, and cracked skin

∙       Wear properly fitted shoes and clean socks

∙       Trim your toenails regularly

∙       Don’t cross your legs

∙       Elevate your feet when seated

Taking care of aging feet is simple, and your dedicated foot doctors are here to help. Foot care is something you shouldn’t avoid, and individuals that aren’t able to take care of their feet are encouraged to see their podiatrist for foot care appointments. If you have any questions about taking care of your aging feet, call our office today to make an appointment!

By The Foot & Ankle Institute
June 21, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: foot health  

With age, many people experience changes in their feet. This may include a change in their shape, a loss of the fatty pads that cushion the bottom of the feet, thinner, drier skin, and brittle nails. You may even develop arthritis.

As the feet change, they naturally develop more problems. But aching feet are not a natural part of growing old, or something to be tolerated. You can do many things now to help relieve pain, improve comfort and keep the spring in your step.

Taking good care of your feet has many benefits, including increasing your comfort, limiting the possibility of additional health issues, and keeping you active and mobile. The following tips can help keep feet feeling and looking their best into the golden years:

  • Choose proper-fitting shoes with adequate support, a firm sole and a soft upper for your everyday activities.
  • Walk—it’s the best exercise for your feet.
  • Avoid going barefoot.
  • Never cut corns or calluses on your own.
  • Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm water with a mild soap.
  • Moisturize daily.
  • Trim and file toenails straight across.
  • Inspect your feet daily. If you notice redness, cracks in the skin or strange sores, consult our office.
  • Have your feet examined at least once a year.

There are literally hundreds of different foot ailments. Some are inherited, but for older people most foot conditions stem from the impact of years of wear and tear. The good news is that even among people in their retirement years, many foot problems can be treated successfully.

Never ignore the natural changes that aging brings.  Since feet are referred to as the “mirror of health,” podiatrists are often the first to identify signs of systemic diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis. Regular visits can help prevent foot problems and alleviate pain to keep you active for life.

By The Foot & Ankle Institute
June 05, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: foot health  

Looking for a safe, easy and inexpensive way to stay healthy, increase your energy level and improve your figure? Start walking! Walking is one of the easiest and most popular forms of exercise, and, when done properly, it can significantly improve your health.

The most basic kind of walking for exercise, often called healthwalking, can be done almost anywhere and at any time, year around. And for individuals with a long history of inactivity or problems with obesity, walking is an excellent way to begin an exercise program.

If the Shoe Fits - Get Walking!

Footwear plays a vital role in the duration of your walking routine, and shoes that don't fit properly or that lack support can lead to foot pain or injuries, such as blisters, corns, calluses, nail fungus and plantar fasciitis. These problems can, in turn, discourage you from exercising, thus achieving the opposite of what you wanted!

Not sure which shoe will offer you the most support? Come into our office for an examination. We can help determine the best shoe for your feet based on your arch, walking experience and foot mechanics. Your shoes should be well-cushioned and stable, offering you comfort and fit that enables you to walk smoothly and without discomfort.

Keep Your Feet Healthy

To gain the most health benefit from walking, it's important to pay close attention to your feet. Trim your nails regularly, keep your feet clean and dry, and inspect your feet for signs of sores, blisters, corns, calluses or other infections. Serious foot ailments, such as bunions or hammertoes, should be checked by our office before you begin your exercise regimen.

Once you're ready to hit the road, set appropriate goals based on your overall health and walking experience. Start slow and build up your distance gradually. And don't forget to stretch in order to prevent injury and keep muscles loose.

Walking is meant to be safe, easy, and fun, but in order to do so, you must have healthy feet. Experiencing foot pain and discomfort isn't normal. Talk with a podiatrist if you encounter any problems while walking.

Every step you take is one step closer to a healthier lifestyle. So what are you waiting for? Take a stroll in the mall, walk your dog in the park, or grab a friend and go for a leisurely walk around your neighborhood. It's easy and fun, and, when done regularly, can lead to a healthier you!

By Dr. Marc House
May 14, 2013
Category: Sports Injury

May is National Bike Month and there are many ways you can become involved.

The city of Indianapolis has just recently completed the Cultural Trail. In addition Friday May 17th is bike to work day presented by IndyCog. I personally feel the city has done a tremendous job of making itself a more biking friendly center with great accessibility through an ever expanding network of trails. May is a great month to get out and enjoy the trails, whether you are a new cyclist or experienced rider, pavement or mountain biking.

In general, I tend to recommend cycling to my patients. It is an excellent cardiovascular workout, which is fun and can be done independently or with a group. There is also reduced force across many of the joints in the lower extremity and foot. You can do it indoors or out and enjoy a variety of scenery, which is much more pleasant than wiling the time away on a treadmill or elliptical machine. 

As you start pedaling, there are a couple foot related issues to consider to improve your performance and reduce the risk of injury. Generally speaking there are two cycling specific injuries which are most common and most annoying.

Forefoot numbness and /or pain is probably the most common chronic cycling related issue we treat. The foot, obviously, is the contact point with the cycling pedal, whether you are using a cleat or a platform pedal. However, most of these problems can be easily addressed. In a 2003 study, cycling shoes with carbon fiber soles/shank were shown to induce more stress under the forefoot. The concept is to create greater transfer of energy through the foot, but this can come at a cost. There are options including nylon in lieu of the carbon fiber and a wider toebox to help alleviate some of these symptoms. Pedals with a wider platform distribute the force better than smaller pedals. Regardless of the platform width, you may still get some discomfort if you cycle greater distances. The repetitive nature of cycling with the foot typically locked into one position can exacerbate these issues. Adjusting your foot position on a platform pedal or changing your cleat position can be a simple solution. You may need to experiment with this or consult a fitting specialist for anything but a minor adjustment can affect your cadence significantly. If you have access to a trailer or roller you may find it most convenient to experiment in this more controlled environment. There are several OTC inserts which are cycling specific which may also address mechanical issues which maybe causing the numbness. If these options fail to address your symptoms, it may be time to visit your friendly neighborhood podiatrist, who also happen to be biomechanical experts!

Biomechanical abnormalities, such as a shorter (or longer) limb, bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, etc can all contribute to the problem and can be addressed with an extra insole in the forefoot (up to 1/4 inch if you have enough volume in the shoe), adding washers/shims between the cleat and the shoe or moving the cleat back on the longer leg's shoe. One of the most common underlying problems is a condition known as: pre-dislocation syndrome, which affects the 2nd metatarsal phalangeal joint. This is the joint at the base of the 2nd toe. It is relatively common to have a longer 2nd toe or longer 2nd metatarsal bone behind the toe, which increases the pressure on this area. This can be further worsened by any mechanical instability or bunion deformity, transferring additional force and pressure across the area. The nature of cycling and the contact point of the foot on the bike pedal or cleat further stresses this area causing pain, swelling and sometimes progressive deformity of the toe. The good news is this can usually be alleviated by icing, NSAIDs, and ROM exercises. If this fails to successfully reduce the symptoms, a functional foot orthosis may be employed to redistribute the forces to a more biomechanically sound position. These can be specifically made to your cycling shoes, with minimal additional weight. Occasionally an injection or surgery may be needed for severe deformity. Specific modifications may be employed for any other structural changes in the foot and ankle and to a lesser extent the knee.  Foot orthoses with a forefoot extension can help control excessive internal leg rotation, which can cause knee pain (patello-femoral syndrome/chondromalacia). Keep in mind there are other factors which may contribute to these symptoms such as a seat positioned too low or high, and cycling with too high a gear, can also contribute to knee pain. 

Achilles tendon problems are not uncommon with cyclists, particularly those covering a lot of mileage. The covering of the Achilles, known as the paratenon, can become inflamed from the continuous friction and repetitive stresses. Physical therapy, staying in the saddle and using lower gears can help. Stretching and home exercises as well as a proper warm up period will also help reduce this chronic situation. This may unfortunately progress to tendinosis in which there is thickening and scarring of the tendon fibers, which is more likely fail conservative treatment. Sometime surgery is needed and is very helpful at this point.

Follow a couple simple steps and you can avoid most of the overuse injuries associated with cycling and enjoy a great season in the saddle. If you need our assistance with fit, shoes, or biomechanical analysis, we are just a phone call away and ready to help.

By Dr. Daniel Miller
June 25, 2012
Category: Shoe Selection

Along with the warm weather comes an increase in various foot conditions and flip-flop related injuries.  Although flip-flops may make your feet feel cool, they are not a good choice for your foot & ankle wellness.

Flip-flops, for the most part, provide no support to the feet and can lead to over-use injuries such as stress fracture of the metatarsals.  This is a condition in which repetitive stress to the metatarsal bones in the feet can cause a crack in the bone which occurs without injury, usually with normal activity.  This type of stress fracture can lead to having to wear a fracture boot for 4-6 weeks to allow for healing. 

Flip-flops can also increase the symptoms and pain of plantar fasciitis.  Due to the lack of support and stability there is an increase in stress and strain on the plantar fascia.  This lack of support to the feet also increases the risk of ankle injuries such as sprains and fractures. 

Flip-flops also leave the toes unprotected and can cause many injuries to the toes and toe nails.  Wearers of flip-flops will often scrape or stub their toe which can lead to a nail injury requiring the nail to be removed.  A toe fracture can also occur and, in some cases, a fracture shoe will be needed to alleviate pain. 

When choosing a shoe, if open toes are a must, please avoid the flimsy, cheap flip-flops.  Look for sandals that have support to them and an indented heel cup.  Straps to the sandals which can be tightened can also increase stability in the sandal as you walk.  Consider moderation for the use of your flip-flops, such as wearing them just to the pool or beach for short periods of time.  Please never play sports or mow the grass in your flip-flops.  Contact your podiatrist if problems do occur.

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