Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic Blog
With 2018 in full swing, we can expect to see many advertisements from gyms, nutrition supplement stores and department stores head lining “a new year, a new you!” Many people focus their New Year’s resolution on weight loss and improving health. However, foot problems are often overlooked and can be a reason people drop out of their exercise regime.
The reality is that exercise and healthy eating can benefit your feet immensely, so being able to continue with your exercise program is important. Weight loss significantly reduces the stress on the feet reducing chances of bony, tendinous, and ligamentous injuries. Similarly, exercise, as simple as a daily walking routine, can also improve blood flow to the legs and feet. Furthermore, avoiding foods that can cause inflammation, such as sugar and fried foods, can help with reducing general achiness of joints, including those outside of the feet. Let me suggest five New Year’s resolutions to follow, regarding your foot health, to keep you active and on your feet.
- Athletic shoes: Shoes should be replaced every 6 months or after 300-500 miles of use. When using a worn out shoe, foot alignment can change increasing the chance of injury and heel pain. Though purchasing new shoes isn’t inexpensive, you are doing yourself a favor and preventing yourself a trip to the Podiatrist in the long run.
- Stress fractures: Avoid doing the same repetitive activity day after day. Change up your workout routine consistently. Repetitive activity can result in stress fractures. For instance, if you enjoy running try to avoid the use of a treadmill (what we like to call a dread mill) daily. Many stress fractures arise from the repetitive motion with little shock absorption offered by the tread mill.
- Proper fitting shoe gear: It is estimated that up to 80% of people wear the wrong size shoe gear creating many foot related issues. Amongst those issues are blisters, calluses and nail problems. Having your foot measured prior to purchasing a shoe can help prevent further complications.
- Fungus: Let’s face it, everyone’s feet sweat while working out. Unfortunately, fungus likes to harbor in dark, moist environments, also known as your shoes and socks. Anyone can develop athlete’s foot infection, but your sweaty sneakers are a prime spot to harbor fungus. Athlete’s foot infection can be itchy and cause cracking between the toes. A simple solution is to wash socks after every use and spray Lysol in your tennis shoes following your work out activities. See your podiatrist if you think you may have athlete’s foot infection or consistently suffer from sweaty feet.
- Warts: Plantar warts are a form of a virus that are easily transmissible through a crack in the skin. People often go barefoot in gym locker rooms or showers, making it the perfect time to become infected. Plantar warts can be painful, especially when they overlie a pressure point on the foot. Wearing shoes in the locker room/shower can help prevent this complication that may slow you down in the gym. If you think you may have a plantar wart, see your Podiatrist for treatment options.
With a new year just beginning, I wish you a happy and prosperous year and many trouble-free miles on your feet!
For help with finding appropriate foot gear or any foot/ankle problem, don't hesitate to Contact Us to schedule an appointment.
Diabetes Awareness Month
November is upon us and with that comes cooler weather, pumpkin flavored everything, and Thanksgiving! I’m sure we can all name a few things that we are grateful for, but upon that list should be your feet! “Why should I be thankful for my feet?” you may ask. Well, take this fact for example; an average person walks 8,000-10,000 steps a day which equals 115,000 miles in a lifetime! Your feet get you to and from many places during your lifespan.
November is diabetes awareness month and with that being said, I’m sure that any diabetic who has had an ulcer, painful neuropathy, or an amputation can reassure you that you should be thankful for your foot health. Over 25 million people in the US are currently diabetic and foot problems, particularly infections, are the most common reason for diabetic hospital admissions and more than 230 diabetic amputations are being performed daily.
The promising news is that majority of diabetic foot complications can be prevented and YOU can be in control of your foot health! Here is a list of preventative tips for daily diabetic foot care.
- Inspect your feet daily! You are looking for any cracks, blisters, bruises, calluses, red spots, cuts or ulcers and moisture between the toes.
- Check your water temperature with your hand prior to bathing to prevent burns.
- Avoid using heating pads, hot water bottles, or going barefoot on hot surfaces such as cement.
- Moisturize your feet, but do not apply lotion/creams between toes.
- Do not trim your own calluses/corns.
- Cut your nails straight across and avoid trimming corners too deep.
- Do not go barefoot indoors/outdoors.
- Inspect the insides of your shoes prior to putting them on.
Podiatrists are imperative to a diabetic’s foot health and can help prevent and treat underlying issues prior to developing into larger problems. By including a podiatrist in your diabetic care, you can reduce the risk of lower limb amputation by up to 85%. A person with diabetes should have a comprehensive foot exam on a yearly basis. Depending on the results of this exam and the risk category, some people may need to be seen more regularly.
Dakota Foot and Ankle will be offering diabetic foot screenings through the month of November for no charge! Schedule an appointment today to reserve your time as spots are limited.
So much excitement surrounds this time of year when school age kids are starting the sports season. And though the excitement is high for both the children and parents alike, it is equally important as parents and coaches to ask ourselves how we can prevent sports injuries, not only during the conditioning phases of the season, but all the way through out. Though it’s impossible to protect our children from everything (as hard as we try), there are easy steps that can be taken to prevent sports injuries.
- Fill that water bottle! During this time of the year, it’s extremely important to make sure the kids are staying hydrated. Dehydration causes muscle fatigue and cramps that can further lead to injury.
- Get the right gear! Whether it be knee pads, helmets etc., it’s important to have appropriate fitting gear. From a Podiatry stand point, having a good athletic shoe that fits properly is just as important to prevent ingrown nails, heel pain, ankle sprains, etc.
- Stretch! Getting the body warmed up and stretched is imperative, and often underestimated, to prevent any sprains or strains of muscles and ligaments. Stretch for at least 5-10 minutes holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
- Don’t ignore pain! If your child/athlete is experiencing pain, don’t “walk it off” like the old adage recommends. Instead, take time off to allow your body to recover and prevent chronic injuries.
Though this doesn’t sound like much, these four simple steps can greatly reduce the number of injuries that occur each sports season. As parents, we are often our children’s biggest fans but it is much more fun to be their fan when the child is on the field/court/track/course rather than sitting on the sidelines due to an injury.
~Dr. Kayla Emter, DPM
All about equinus.
What is equinus?
Equinus is the inability to bend your ankle up toward the front of the leg. Someone with equinus lacks the flexibility to perform this motion. It can occur in one or both feet and most people are unaware that they have this condition. Someone is usually diagnosed after they go to the doctor for some other issue that is caused by equinus.
What causes equinus?
There are many causes of equinus. It may be caused by tightness in the calf muscle or the Achilles tendon. Some people have this tightness from birth and some inherit it. It could also be caused by being in a cast, being on crutches, or wearing high heel shoes frequently. It can also be from bone spurs restricting normal motion. This can force other joints (foot, knee, hip, or back) to compensate and become painful.
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How to care for your sweaty feet.
If you have excessively sweaty feet, good hygiene is a must! You want to take care of those feet to keep the odor and infections away. Here are a few steps to take:
- Wash your feet daily. Make sure to wash between the toes, but also dry them thoroughly.
- Apply foot powder, antifungal powder, or cornstarch to your feet.
- Wear socks that draw away the moisture instead of holding it is. There are blends out there that are designed to wick away moisture made of synthetic materials. Try to stay away from 100% cotton socks. These socks soak in moisture and could lead to blisters.
- Change your socks during the day.
- Wear shoes that allow your feet to breath. Shoes made of mesh materials would be best.
- Visit a podiatrist.
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