Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic Blog
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Painful Working Feet
Whether you are a hair dresser, teacher, carpenter, mechanic or nurse, you all have one thing in common. Painful feet. In fact, anyone who stands a good portion of the day is more prone to foot problems and pain. The feet take more pressure from your body than any other joints in your body.
Overuse syndrome is typically the culprit of painful feet after being on them for hours at a time. It is a generalized term describing achiness of the feet. Sometimes, however, overuse syndrome can develop into a bigger problem such as plantar fasciitis or injuries due to compensating for tired, painful feet. A few pre-cautionary measures can be taken to avoid and or help soothe achy feet.
1. Compression stockings. Compression stockings are not just for expecting moms or people with varicose veins. Compression stockings help improve circulation of the legs and driving fluid back to the heart. Your legs and feet do not feel as tired at the end of the day as a result of wearing stockings.
2. Padded mats. Anti-fatigue mats can be beneficial if you stand in one place all day. These mats help encourage redistribution of pressure causing contraction and relaxation of muscles.
3. Comfortable shoes. Business women often wear heels to work. A heel of 2 ½ inches can increase the weight on the front of the foot by 75%. Regardless of career, shoes should have good arch support. If the shoe isn’t comfortable in the store, it will not be comfortable at work.
4. Stretch. Stretching helps re-distribute blood flow to muscles and can help take away the tension and achiness.
5. Inserts. Adding an insert in your shoe for added padding, shock absorption & arch support may be beneficial and help with fatigue of the feet.
They often say that you should love what you do when it comes to your job, but that can be hard when at the end of the day you can no longer tolerate being on your feet. Take these few preventative measures and stay one step ahead of pain, fatigue and injury!
Pedicures are often enjoyable and allow for a little rest and relaxation that is often well deserved. As a result pedicures should be a worry free experience; however there are numerous issues that can arise from having pedicures that you ought to be aware of prior to scheduling your next visit.
1. Sure, we all want to save ourselves from embarrassment and get rid of that stubble on our legs prior to our pedicure, but in all reality you may be causing yourself more harm by shaving the day before or day of the appointment. Shaving can cause openings in the skin and hair follicles allowing for the entry of bacteria. This is not only painful when they seemingly grind their exfoliating sand scrub into your fresh shaved legs, but can also cause an infection of the hair follicle, called folliculitis.
2. Contrary to what most people believe looks best, the toenail should be cut straight across rather than rounded at the edges. Allowing for the edges to be trimmed back too far can result in ingrown toenails as well as entry of bacteria to the nail bed causing infection.
3. Chances are if you’re going to the nail salon, you’re looking for cute, fresh polished nails. Unfortunately, your nails may not be cute for long if you opt to go to a salon that doesn’t sterilize their tools. Nail fungus can be transferred between clients and cause thick, yellow nails with debris beneath the nail beds. The best way to avoid this is to be sure that the tools are sterilized, or even better, go to a salon that requires a onetime purchase of your own tools.
4. Removing nail polish routinely rather than leaving it on for months at a time allows for the nail to “breathe” and prevents the formation of nail fungus. Take your nail polish off a few days before the next application.
5. Diabetics must always be cautious about pedicures as many nail technicians aren’t educated about the disease process. Because diabetics can’t fight off infection as well as a non-diabetic, their chances of getting an infection from a visit to the nail salon is much higher. A good portion of diabetics don’t have feeling to their feet and can develop burns from the water and hot towels that are used.
Now that you are well equipped to make informed decisions about your choice of nail salon, I wish for you a rest, relaxation, and pretty piggy’s!
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