Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic Blog

Posts for: March, 2017

By Dr. Brian D. Gale DPM, FACFAS
March 28, 2017
Category: sports injuries
Tags: Untagged

Shin Splints: What are they? How to treat them?

What are shin splints? In layman’s terms it’s the name athletes used to refer to pain along the shin bone. Medial tibial stress syndrome or medial tibial traction periostitis is an accurate medical description of what we like to call shin splints.

Medial tibial stress syndrome is the most common type of shin pain. It is an injury that generally occurs when one increases training too quickly or pushes themselves too hard too soon. Shin splints can also be brought on when the training environment changes. Switching to hard surfaces or running up hills can bring on shin splints. Too much running, sprinting, or jumping are obvious contributors and can increase pain in the shin as well.

Shin splints can be treated at home with a few basic applications. Rest when you can. Ice the shin area with cold therapy and a compression wrap. Do this for 10 minutes every hour. As symptoms improve decrease treatment to 3 or 4 times a day.

Other possible treatments include getting proper footwear. The right shoes can do a lot for your feet. Adding a heel lift or looking into custom orthotics can help prevent shin splints. It’s important to strengthen the area as well. Calf raises will help strengthen part of the area but we also need to strengthen the front in an effort to avoid muscle imbalance.

If symptoms don’t improve you may have a more serious issue. If you have an interest in proper footwear or custom orthotics Contact Us at Our Bismarck Office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS

How to keep your toes happy with Pedicures.

This time of year is when you want to start letting your toes out to breathe.  With the weather warming up and sandal season being right around the corner you want to get those toes looking pretty, but you also want to make sure nothing happens to them.  Here are a few Pedicure tips to get those toes looking happy and healthy.

-When you trim your nails make sure they are being trimmed straight across.  This helps prevent ingrown nails from forming.

-Don’t use anything sharp to clean under your nails.  If you puncture your skin you might be more susceptible to infections.

-Don’t cut your cuticles.  They are designed to help protect against bacteria.

-Dry thoroughly between toes.  Any moisture left can help fungal infections and athlete’s foot develop.

-If you have thick/discolored nails, don’t cover them up with nail polish.  Nail polish allows moisture to be locked in.  You want address the issue right away, which might be fungal nails.  Let this issue resolve before painting your nails again.

-Don’t share pedicure tools with anyone.  Bacteria and fungus can remain on tools after cleaning if not sterilized properly.

-If you are going to a salon try to schedule your appointment right away in the morning.  This is when tools and equipment are usually the cleanest.

-If you are Diabetic, consult your podiatrist before having a pedicure.

If you are diabetic and are thinking about getting a pedicure or have issues after getting a pedicure, Contact Us at Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS first.  He can point you in the right direction and give you more information on getting the best diabetic foot care

Photocredit: nosheep via pixabay.com

The first day of spring has come and gone. While Mother Nature may still have a snow storm in mind for us (knock on wood) let’s choose to be optimistic and think warmer weather is just around the corner. As warm weather approaches we will begin to see a lot more walkers and runners. Before you go and enter a 5K let’s discuss some basic guidelines for starting a walking routine.

If you have questionable health, or over the age of 40 it is recommended you see a physician before you begin a regular exercise program. Onto our first tip:

Start small. Let your first walk be about 15-minutes. Go again the next day. If on day three you still feel good add more time to your walk. Your end of the week goal should be 30-minutes.

Get good shoes. At first your everyday shoes may be ok for walking but if this is a habit you’re going to continue you want to make sure you have supportive shoes. We recommend Brooks. (In fact, our Happy Soles Footwear specializes in Brooks shoes.)

Be consistent. Set aside time each day to walk. Try to be consistent with when you do it. If you can get into a routine you are more likely to be successful.

Have fun! Walking or exercising should be fun. You are doing this for a good reason and your body will thank you for it. Make sure you remember to thank yourself for the hard work and dedication. 

Spring is near.  Time to bring out the sandals.


With the weather warming up and the snow melting it is finally time to think about sandal season!  Even though sandal season is near, here are some tips to get the most out of this season!

  1.  The biggest thing to look for is that it is supportive.  Do this by giving your sandal the bend test.  It should only bend from the ball of the foot to the toes.
  2. Make sure it is the proper fit.  You don’t want it to short where your toes are hanging off the edge.  You also want to make sure it isn’t too big where you are fighting to keep it on your foot.
  3. Don’t wear sandals year after year.  At the beginning and end of the season inspect your sandals.  If they show severe signs of wear or are starting to bend, it is time for new ones.
  4. If you are going to be on your feet for long distances choose an athletic shoe over a sandal.  Even the best sandals don’t offer as much support as some athletic shoes.
  5. Don’t wear sandals when you are doing yard work.  It is important to protect those toes!
  6. Be aware of any sores on your feet.  If you feel a blister forming between your toes, switch shoes to help prevent against infections.
  7. If you are at a public beach, pool, or hotel, make sure you are wearing your sandal at all times.  This will help prevent exposing your feet to plantar warts and athlete’s foot.

If you are looking for sandals stop by Happy Soles Footwear to check out our selection of supportive, stylish sandals.  If you became injured or think you were exposed to something while wearing sandals or going barefoot, Contact Us at Our Bismarck Office to schedule at appointment with Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS today!

The Dangers of Walking Barefoot

Do you like walking around barefoot?  There are a lot of people that as soon as they get home they kick off their shoes and walk around without shoes on this.  However, this can be hazardous.

    It can cause injuries.  If you step on something or accidentally kick something this can cause cuts or bruises. It is especially important if you are diabetic to avoid walking barefoot.  If you end up with a cut you have a greater chance of infection and it is less likely to heal as quickly.

    You can contract diseases or infections.  This is most likely to happen if you are in a public place.  If you walk around somewhere like a pool or in a locker room you may contract Athlete's Foot (tinea pedis).  While athlete’s foot is curable by over the counter medication it can be bothersome because it causes redness, itching, and even scaling.  You may also contract Warts.  This is caused when you come in contact with a virus, but can be easily avoided by wearing shoes.

If you have been walking around barefoot and have an injury or are worried you contracted an infection, Contact Us at our Bismarck Office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS.


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