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Foot And Ankle News

The Right Shoes For Sports

Shoes for Sports

Avoid Pain & Raise Your Game

Sport-specific shoes can really affect the way you play. Make sure to have your feet professionally measured by today’s podiatrist to find a correctly sized shoe. If you participate in a certain sport at least two to three times a week, you should wear a sport-specific shoe.

Avoid some serious pain and raise your game by checking out the best shoes for several sports below:

Basketball

Common foot injuries: sprains, tendinitis, stress fractures

The perfect basketball shoe should:
• Have a thick, stiff sole that gives support while running and landing jumps.
• Have high ankle construction that supports the ankle during quick changes in direction.

Soccer

Common foot injuries: ankle sprains, turf toe, ingrown toenails

The perfect soccer cleat should:
• Not have more than a half inch of space between the big toe and the end of the shoe.
• Feature the stud type for the ground that will be played on most often: soft, hard, or firm.

Football & Lacrosse

Common foot injuries: turf toe, Achilles tendinitis

The perfect football cleat should:
• Have a good amount of high ankle support. This is especially important for linemen and other players who make frequent sideways movements during play.
• Allow for proper traction on a grassy field, in both wet and dry conditions. This will largely help to prevent injury.

Running

Common foot injuries: plantar fasciitis, shin splints, Morton’s neuroma

The perfect running shoe should:
• Provide maximum shock absorption, to help runners avoid ailments.
• Match your foot’s arch type (high, medium, low).

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Man with Diabetes checking his feet

Diabetic Foot Care Tips

12 STEPS TO HEALTHIER, HAPPIER FEET

Foot problems associated with diabetes are a signifcant portion of the health risk and cost. Here are 12 steps to healthier, happier feet!

Take care of your diabetes

Make healthy lifestyle choices to keep your blood glucose (sugar), blood pressure and cholesterol close to normal. Doing so may help prevent or delay diabetes-related foot problems.

Check your feet every day

You may have serious foot problems without feeling pain. Check your feet for cuts, sores, swelling and infected toenails every day.

Wash your feet every day

Wash your feet in warm water. Do not soak your feet because your skin will get dry. When you’re done, dry well, especially between your toes. Use talcum powder or cornstarch to keep the skin between your toes dry.

Keep your skin soft & smooth

Rub a thin coat of skin lotion or cream on the tops and bottoms of your feet. Do not moisturize between your toes, as this could trap moisture and lead to further skin problems.

Smooth corns & calluses gently

If you have corns or calluses, check with your doctor or podiatrist about the best way to care for them. If they tell you to, use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses after bathing. Rub gently in only one direction to avoid tearing the skin.

Trim your toenails each week

Trim your toenails with clippers after you wash and dry your feet. Trim toenails straight across and smooth them with an emery board or nail file. Don’t cut the corners of the toenails. You may ask your podiatrist to trim your toenails.

Wear shoes & socks at all times

Do not walk barefoot, even indoors, because it’s easy to step on something and hurt your feet. Always wear socks, stockings or nylons with your shoes to help avoid blisters and sores. Choose clean, lightly padded socks that fit well.

Protect your feet from hot & cold

Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement, and put sunscreen on the top of your feet to prevent sunburn. Wear socks at night if your feet are cold. Be sure to wear warm shoes or boots in cold weather

Keep the blood flowing to your feet

• Put your feet up when you’re sitting
• Wiggle your toes for five minutes two or three times per day
• Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time
• Don’t smoke. Smoking reduces blood flow to your feet
• Work with your health care team to control your diabetes

Be more active

Ask your doctor to help you plan a daily activity program that’s right for you. Walking, dancing, swimming and bicycling are good forms of exercise that are easy on the feet. Always include a warm-up and cool-down period, and wear athletic shoes that fit well and provide good support.

Be sure to ask your doctor

• Check the sense of feeling and pulses in your feet annually
• Tell you if you’re likely to have foot problems
• Show you how to care for your feet
• Refer you to a good podiatrist
• Decide if special shoes would help your feet stay healthy

Get started now

Begin taking good care of your feet today. Set a time every day to check your feet. Note the date of your next visit to the doctor. Most importantly, stick to your foot care program.

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Kids Foot Problems

Children’s Feet Need Attention

Children are always on their feet.

Those tootsies can take a beating and little problems often arise. It’s important to attend to any issues and that often means a trip to the podiatrist.

When to go

There are many reasons why children visit a podiatrist. The most common would be an ingrown toenail, warts or a foreign body. All of these can be easily resolved with a simple office visit. We also see more complicated conditions such as ankle trauma or pediatric flat foot. A flat foot is when people either have no arch or a very low one.

Footwear

The best footwear for children, and really everyone, is a good supportive shoe that does not bend easily such as sneakers. Most importantly, parents should monitor the size of their children’s foot as to ensure their footwear is not fitting too snugly.

Read the rest at Florida Today

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elderly couple walking

Balance-Boosting Footwear Tips for Older People

Balance in all aspects of life is a good thing. We work hard but make time for fun, love our children while setting boundaries, and eat healthy to enjoy a sundae on Friday night. But mental equilibrium isn’t the only kind of balance that’s important in life. Good physical balance can help older people avoid the debilitating and potentially life-threatening complications of a fall.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2010, 2.3 million fall injuries sent older folks to emergency rooms; 662,000 required hospitalizations; and falls cost $30 billion in direct medical costs, the CDC says.

“Preventing falls among older Americans is a top health priority, and improved balance can help reduce the risk of a fall,” says Dr. Matthew Garoufalis, a podiatrist and past-president of APMA. “Proper footwear can help improve balance, especially in older people who may struggle with mobility and balance issues.”

When selecting a shoe to improve balance, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Put shoes to the 1-2-3 test.
    Step 1: Press on both sides of the heel area to ensure the heel is stiff and won’t collapse.
    Step 2: Bend the shoe to check for toe flexibility. The shoe shouldn’t bend too much in the toe box area, but it shouldn’t be too stiff and inflexible either.
    Step 3: Try twisting the shoe; it shouldn’t twist in the middle.
  • Have your feet professionally measured every time you shoe shop. Natural aging and health changes can cause the size of your feet to change. Measure both feet—late in the day—and shop for the larger foot.
  • Bring the type of socks you plan to wear with the shoes and walk around the store in the shoes before you purchase them.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable or steady in the store, don’t buy them. Shoes should feel comfortable and supportive right away; if they don’t feel good right away, breaking them in won’t improve things.
  • If you have specific health challenges or foot issues, talk to a podiatrist about the best footwear for your needs. If your podiatrist has prescribed orthotics—biomechanical inserts that go into your shoes—take them with you when you shop and try them out in the shoes you’re considering.
  • Quality shoes can be an investment. Before you buy, check to see if the brand and style you’re considering have earned the APMA Seal of Acceptance. APMA grants the seals to products found to promote good foot health.
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What are Bunions?

What Are Bunions? What To Look For And When To Call A Podiatrist

A bunion is caused from a bone in your foot that slowly migrates out to the side creating the bump you see by your big toe. There is a nerve that runs along the side of your foot over the bone so as the bone becomes more prominent, the nerve is being compressed between the bone and your shoe. That’s why tighter fitting shoes are more painful to wear.

You inherit bunions from your family, but certain shoes- both flats and heels can cause the bunion to grow at a faster rate.

Treatment options are wearing wider shoes- round or square toe shoes rather than pointy ones. Wearing shoes with arch supports to slow the progression, avoiding flats and heels. Anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce some of the swelling and pain caused from the bunion, but shouldn’t be taken frequently. You can also try splints and pads to relieve the pressure along the joint, but they will not correct the bunion deformity, that can only be done with surgery.

More from APMA.Org:

Symptoms

The symptoms of a bunion include the following:

  • Development of a swelling, callus or firm bump on the outside edge of the foot, at the base of the big toe
  • Redness, swelling, or pain at or near the MTP joint
  • Development of hammertoes or calluses under the ball of the foot
  • Corns or other irritations caused by the overlap of the first and second toes
  • Restricted or painful motion of the big toe

Home Treatment

What can you do for relief?

  • Apply a commercial, non-medicated bunion pad around the bony prominence
  • Apply a spacer between the big toe and second digit
  • Wear shoes with a wide and deep toe box
  • If your bunion becomes inflamed and painful, apply ice packs several times a day to reduce swelling
  • Avoid high-heeled shoes over two inches tall

When to Visit a Podiatrist
If pain persists, podiatric medical attention should be sought. Bunions tend to get larger and more painful if left untreated, making non-surgical treatment less of an option.

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Vascular Disease Foot

Podiatrists: First Responders for Vascular Disease

Many are aware of the risk factors of heart disease. However, fewer are aware that the blockages that can cause heart disease affect more than coronary arteries—they can also affect other arteries throughout your body. This condition is called vascular disease. Signs and symptoms for vascular disease often first appear in your feet.

Luckily, today’s podiatrists are uniquely qualified among medical professionals to diagnose vascular disease based on their education, training, and experience.

Learn more about your risk for vascular disease by reading the latest Footprints Newsletter from the American Podiatric Medical Association.

If you have a suspicious spot on your foot or ankle and are at risk for vascular disease, schedule an appointment with Dr. Denise Elliott or Dr. Catherine Hudson of the Foot And Ankle Center!

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Diabetic Foot Care

Foot Care Tips For Diabetics

If you have diabetes, follow these foot care tips:

  • Inspect feet daily. Check your feet and toes every day for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discoloration.
  • Wear thick, soft socks. Avoid socks with seams, which could rub and cause blisters or other skin injuries.
  • Exercise. Walking can keep weight down and improve circulation. Be sure to wear appropriate athletic shoes when exercising.
  • Have new shoes properly measured and fitted. Foot size and shape may change over time. Shoes that fit properly are important to those with diabetes.
  • Don’t go barefoot. Don’t go without shoes, even in your own home. The risk of cuts and infection is too great for those with diabetes.
  • Never try to remove calluses, corns, or warts by yourself. Over-the-counter products can burn the skin and cause irreparable damage to the foot for people with diabetes.
  • See one of the doctors at The Foot And Ankle Center. Regular checkups by a podiatrist—at least annually—are the best way to ensure that your feet remain healthy.
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Bunion Treatment New Orleans Podiatrist

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe—the metatarsophalangeal (MP) joint—that forms when the bone or tissue at the big toe joint moves out of place. This movement forces the toe to bend toward the others, causing an often-painful lump of bone on the foot. Because this joint carries a lot of the body’s weight while walking, bunions can cause extreme pain if left untreated.

THE HOW & WHY OF BUNIONS

  • Bunions form when the normal balance of forces exerted on the joints and tendons of the foot is disrupted. This disruption can lead to instability in the joint and cause the deformity.
  • They are brought about by years of abnormal motion and pressure over the MTP joint.
  • They are usually caused by the way we walk and our inherited foot type.
  • Neuromuscular disorders or congenital deformities can cause bunions.
  • An unsupported shoe can contribute to further hypermobility. Narrow-toed shoes can aggravate symptoms

Symptoms

  • Development of a fi rm bump on the outside edge of the foot, at the base of the big toe.
  • Redness, swelling, or pain at or near the MTP joint.
  • Corns or other irritations caused by the overlap of the fi rst and second toes.
  • Restricted or painful motion of the big toe.

BUNION TREATMENTS

What can YOU do?

  • Use commercial, nonmedicated bunion pads.
  • Wear wide shoes. Avoid high-heeled shoes.
  • Apply ice packs to reduce swelling.
  • If pain and other symptoms of inflammation persist, see your podiatric physician.

Conservative Treatments:

  1. Padding and taping: minimize pain and help keep the foot in a normal position.
  2. Anti-infl ammatory drugs and cortisone injections: help ease acute pain and infl ammation.
  3. 3. Physical Therapy: provides relief from pain and associated soft tissue involvement.
  4. Orthotics: prevent worsening of the deformity.

Surgical Options:
Surgical options are used when early treatments fail or the bunion progresses past the threshold for conservative treatment. Surgery will remove the bony enlargement, restore the normal alignment of the toe joint, and relieve pain.

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Keeping Kids Feet Healthy and Happy

Keeping Kids’ Feet Healthy And Happy

FOR HEALTHY FEET AT EACH STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT:

1. INFANCY (birth to 1 year)

Look carefully at your baby’s feet. A child’s feet grow rapidly during the first year. For this reason, podiatric physicians consider this period to be the most critical stage of the foot’s development. If you notice something that does not look normal to you, contact a podiatric physician. Most deformities will not correct themselves if left untreated.

Keep your baby’s feet unrestricted. No shoes or booties are necessary for infants. These can restrict movement and can inhibit toes and feet from normal development.

Provide an opportunity for exercising the feet. Lying uncovered enables the baby to kick and perform other related motions that prepare the feet for weight bearing.

2. TODDLER (1–3 years)

Keep bare feet indoors. Walking barefoot allows your toddler’s foot to grow normally and to develop its musculature and strength, as well as the grasping action of toes. Of course, when walking outside or on rough surfaces, feet should be protected in lightweight, flexible footwear made of natural materials.

Assess your child’s walking pattern or gait. It is not uncommon for little ones to walk on their toes. However, persistent toe-walking is not normal. A podiatric physician can examine a child to make a proper diagnosis and determine the best treatment option.

Pay attention to unspoken signs. If your child is limping, tripping, or always wants to remove one or both shoes, this may be an unspoken sign that the shoes don’t fit properly.

3. YOUNG CHILD (4–8 years)

Take your child shoe shopping. It’s important to have your child’s feet measured before buying shoes. Every shoe fits differently. Letting a child have a say in the shoe-buying process promotes healthy foot habits down the road.

Never hand down footwear. Just because a shoe size fits one child comfortably doesn’t mean it will fit another the same way. Sharing shoes can spread fungi like athlete’s foot and nail fungus.

Establish good outdoor footwear practices. Spending summer at the pool? Wear flip-flops around the pool and in the locker room to prevent bacterial infections. Raising a ski bunny? Make sure winter boots fit properly. Kids should be able to wiggle their toes, but boots should immobilize the heel, instep, and ball of their foot to help prevent blisters, chafing, and ankle or foot injuries.

4. PRETEEN (9–12 years)

Play it safe with sports. Sports-related foot and ankle injuries become common as children start participating in athletic activities. Parents should consider discussing these matters with their family podiatric physician if they have children participating in sports.

Promote healthy pedicures. While many young girls would like a pretty pedicure to match Mom’s, it’s important they learn how to trim and polish nails safely. Visit www.apma.org to see a “Pedicure Pointers” tip sheet in the “Learn About Feet” section.

Buy shoes that are comfortable right away. Kids may see their friends with the latest flashy sneakers or trendy boots, but make sure those styles are comfortable for your child’s foot before purchasing them. Properly fitted shoes should never require a “break-in”” period.

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Five Common Foot Problems

Fighting The Five Most Common Foot Woes

From eating better foods to getting an adequate amount of sleep and exercise, we live in a very health-conscious society. So why is it that many Americans routinely overlook one of the cornerstones of good health? While nearly 70 percent of Americans say they want to be healthier five years from now, just 51 percent recognize that foot health can be a key to achieving that goal, according to a survey from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).

“Nearly eight in 10 adults have experienced some type of foot ailment in their lives. Yet despite the pain, close to three in 10 do nothing about it, simply choosing to live with their pain,” says Denise Elliott, DPM, a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Center and APMA member. “Meanwhile, more than half of those surveyed said they had endured foot pain at some point in their lives but have not sought treatment from a podiatrist.”

So what are the five most common types of foot problems, and what causes them? Here are some tips from today’s podiatrists:

  • Nail problems are one of the most prevalent foot woes in both men and women. These problems can range from ingrown toenails to fungal infections. “Ingrown toenails—a condition in which the corners of sides of a nail dig painfully into the soft tissue of the nail grooves—is the most common form of nail problem,” Dr. Elliott says. To avoid ingrown toenails, trim nails straight across and don’t dig into the corners. If a toenail becomes infected, see a podiatrist immediately for treatment. Those with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and other circulatory disorders should seek a podiatrist’s care on a regular basis to help prevent complications.
  • Sweaty feet and foot odor are two foot conditions that are often experienced together. While stinky feet are definitely embarrassing, feet that sweat excessively can lead to other foot problems, even creating an environment conducive to the development of athlete’s foot. Closed shoes make feet sweat, but in the winter you can’t avoid wearing them. Instead, practice good foot hygiene. Wash feet daily with soap and water, keep shoes and socks dry, and choose socks that wick away moisture. Change shoes and socks regularly and consider rubbing cornstarch or applying antiperspirant directly onto the soles of your feet.
  • Pain in the ball of the feet — Nearly one-third of adults have reported pain in the balls of their feet. Pain in this location can be caused by over-exertion, injury, or ill-fitting shoes. To avoid pain, always wear well-fitting, supportive, activity-appropriate shoes when walking, running, or engaging in other physical activity. If necessary, replace the insoles that came in your shoes with ones that provide additional cushioning.
  • Heel pain — This type of pain can have many sources, including weight gain, excessive foot flattening, muscle imbalance, injury, or even improper footwear. To kick heel pain to the curb, always be sure to warm up and stretch properly before and after exercise. If wearing high heels, opt for heels that are no more than two to three inches in height. For persistent pain, treatment can range from prescribed orthotic devices and medications to cortisone injections, physical therapy, and rarely, surgery.
  • Bunions — A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe. Treatments range from self-remedies such as using a bunion pad around the bony prominence, to ice packs to reduce the swelling, and to avoiding shoes that could irritate the bunion and even make the problem worse. For persistent pain, see a podiatrist for a full range of treatment options.

“While foot problems are common, that doesn’t mean people should be resigned to living with pain,” Dr. Elliott says. “Consulting today’s podiatrist can help people feel better sooner, and get back to living healthier lives.”

Denise Elliott, DPM, is a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Center in Marerro, LA.  Call 504-349-6633 or visit http://footandanklenola.com to make an appointment. Visit www.apma.org to learn more about foot health and care.

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