Posts for category: Foot Care
Foot pain can range from your toes to your heel. When it comes to heel pain, also known as Plantar Fasciitis, affects 60% of individuals in their lifetime. When the thick tissue on the bottom of your foot called the Plantar Fascia becomes inflamed, it can become a daily annoyance. But you still need to stay fit. So what's the solution?
Yoga is a low-intensity, simple, and impactful workout. Not only does it help you stay fit when your heel pain prevents you from following your regular execrise regimen, but stretching and low-impact exercise, both of which yoga covers, can help ease your pain. Tight calf muscles often make Plantar Fasciitis worse, and yoga can help stretch and loosen them.
Remember, any pose in yoga should only be performed to the extent that you feel comfortable - pain is not gain! Go at your own pace and react to your own flexibility, making adjustments as you go.
Mountain Pose: This is a great pose to start with, especially if you aren't very familiar with yoga, as it forms the basis for many other poses and helps get you acclimated.
- Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Try to distribute your weight as evenly as possible across all parts of the foot, from the toes to the heel to the arch.
- Straighten your legs without locking your knees. Lift your arches.
- Engage the muscles in your thighs, turning them inward slightly. Try to lengthen through the base of your spine and tailbone without curving your back.
- Press your shoulder blades back and down to open the chest. Allow your arms to hang loose.
- Try to balance as evenly in the pose as possible, breathing deeply. Feeling the distribution of weight in your feet, do your best to keep your weight even at all four corners of the foot, to keep your head lifted with your chin parallel to the floor, and remain as even and symmetrical in weight and posture as possible.
Downward Dog Pose: The pose many people think of when they think of yoga. While this pose doesn't require a yoga mat, performing it on a non-slippery surface is helpful, because you will need to put weight into the feet, and they may slide back if you try it on a hard floor.
- While sitting on the floor, move onto all fours, placing your hands down firmly on the floor slightly ahead of your shoulders, palm and fingers spread. Keep your knees directly in line with your pelvis.
- Breathe out and lift your knees from the floor, tucking your toes under and standing on the balls of your feet falling back almost as if you will sit on your heels. Keep your hands firmly on the floor.
- Then push up with your legs, allowing your heels to fall back toward the floor, pushing your pelvis into the air, hands still on the ground, forming an inverted v-shape with your body.
- Keep your head between your arms rather than letting it hang loose toward the floor. Try to distribute your weight between feet and hands, to avoid putting too much weight on either the ankles or the wrists. Drop your shoulder blades
- Try to press your chest toward your legs as much as is comfortable. You can also try to press your heels into the floor, again, only as much as is comfortable. Try to rotate your arms so your elbows face toward your thumbs, and rotate your thighs inward, as in mountain pose, to engage the quads.
- Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, your feet hip-width apart, and hands and feet should be parallel to each other. Your toes should point straight ahead. Take deep, long breaths, and stretch into the pose as much as you feel comfortable doing.
- Breathe into the pose. When you want to release the pose, perform a reverse of how you pressed yourself up - bend your knees in, then move back to hands and knees.
Chair Pose: Chair pose offers a great stretch. As a pose that involved standing on both feet, one of the great things about it is that you can do it anywhere - even at the office!
- Start in Mountain Pose.
- Raise your arms over your head. Do not bend your elbows.
- Bend your knees and gently push your pelvis down as if you are sitting into an invisible chair behind you. Try to make your thighs as parallel as possible to the floor without losing your balance.
- Keep your lower back lengthened, not allowing it to curve into the pose, maintaining a straight back. Try to also shift as much weight as possible into your heels. Look straight ahead.
- Sink as deep into the pose as you feel comfortable, then try to hold it, again breathing deeply through the nose.
- To release, exhale and straighten the knees, coming back to Mountain.
Yoga offers a heel-pain friendly way to get in a workout, and may even help ease your pain. For other foot and ankle pain remedies and treatments, contact your podiatrist today!
Summertime brings flip-flops, pool time and more. While these are the signs of enjoyable warm weather, they can also be concerning if you have diabetes. Higher temperatures and opportunities to walk barefoot increase the chances you can injure your feet or experience cracking, swelling and discomfort.
Because you are living with diabetes, you likely know the condition puts you at greater risk for nerve damage to your feet. This affects your foot sensations, meaning you may experience a scrape or cut without realizing you had it. Because diabetes affects your body’s wound healing time, having a cut that’s unknown to you can easily turn into a more serious wound if left untreated.
To ensure your feet have an event-free summer, here are some warm weather-specific tips from our podiatrist:
Always wear shoes. If you’re planning a beach vacation, it can be tempting to leave the flip-flops behind in favor of sand beneath your toes. This can be a troublesome habit, however, because it increases your risk for cuts from seashells, beach glass or other unknown beach items. Close-toed beach shoes that have breathable mesh and a protective sole are available that protect your feet from injury while also allowing you to walk comfortably.
Give Your Feet a Once-Over Twice Daily. When you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet at least as often as you should brush your teeth: at least twice per day. Pay special attention to the areas between your toes and underneath your feet. You may even want to get a mirror to place on the ground and put your foot a few inches away to identify hard-to-see areas. In addition to checking out your feet, you’ll also want to check out your shoes. Debris, such as dirt and rocks, can easily accumulate in your shoes and cause injuries. Give them a good shake before wearing to protect yourself.
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen. You can just as easily burn your foot skin as you can anywhere else, yet many people forget to apply sunscreen to this important area. When you are applying sunscreen to your arms, legs and face, don’t forget to apply it on the tops and bottoms of your feet before putting on your outdoor shoes.
Don’t feel the burn. Remember the beach isn't the only place you can burn or injure your feet. Campfires, cookouts and even ultra-hot pavement are all areas where you can unexpectedly injure your feet in the summer. The same rules apply when it comes to wearing shoes and taking every precaution to protect your feet.
Finally, remember that it’s important to see a podiatrist regularly to inspect your feet and ensure you have not experienced an injury that could easily affect your overall health. Visiting our podiatrist to have your toenails cut can help to prevent ingrown toenails and injury. If you notice other foot conditions, such as blisters or scrapes, seeing us as quickly as possible can help to prevent your injuries from worsening.
America has carried on a love affair with baseball for over a century. Whether you are a professional baseball player or play in youth leagues, on adult softball teams, or pickup games with friends, your feet and ankles take a beating while you are playing.
Like all vigorous exercise activities, baseball and softball should be played sensibly and safely. Improper preparation and techniques can lead to injury, especially in the lower extremities. Baseball players of all levels should be aware of the various risks and potential sports injuries while playing the game. With the guidance of your podiatrist, you can avoid sports injuries and life on the bench.
Common Sports Injuries
Ankle sprains may occur while running, fielding balls, stepping on or sliding into bases. Your podiatrist will help to determine the extent of the injury when you sprain your ankle. Injury might include possible peroneal tendon injuries fractures. Your podiatrist will develop a treatment plan in order to properly heal your ankle. Failure to fully treat and rehabilitate a sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability and recurrent sprains.
Overuse or excessive training can also put some athletes on the bench with Achilles tendinitis or heel pain. The start and stop of baseball often creates pain and tightness in the calf and aggravation of the Achilles tendon. Regular stretching of the calf muscles gently and gradually before and after the game will help minimize the pain and stiffness.
Protect Your Feet: Wear Appropriate Shoes
There seems to be a shoe designed for every sport out there, but there is a method to the varying styles. Sport-specific shoes really can change your game and protect your feet from injury. For children under the age of 10, sneakers are appropriate for baseball, although they might want to wear cleats. There is no danger in wearing cleats, but they should be gradually introduced before being worn in the game. A young player needs to get a feel for cleats, which should not be worn off of the field.
While the improved traction of cleats may enhance play, it also leaves your ankles more susceptible to twists and turns. Any child with pre-existing foot conditions should see a podiatrist before putting on cleats, and never wear hand-me-downs. Spikes, which are made to be lighter and more flexible these days, perform the same function as cleats, but engage with the ground differently. These should also be worn with caution until the feel of how they engage with the turf is understood.
Watch for irritation, blisters or redness while wearing cleats, because they can indicate a biomechanical problem in the legs or feet. Pain is a sure sign of a problem and should be addressed immediately. If wearing cleats causes you pain, discontinue wearing for a couple days and visit your foot doctor for further treatment and diagnosis.
When it comes to sports, it is important to protect your feet from injury. Activities such as football, baseball, soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse often lead to ankle injuries as a result of play on artificial surfaces, improper footwear, and/or inadequate stretching. Contact your podiatrist if you exhibit any injuries from baseball or any other sport. Your podiatrist can properly treat and offer prevention techniques so that you aren't benched for the season.
The 5 Helpful Tips for Diabetic Foot Care
- Inspect Your Feet Daily – When it comes to your feet, daily inspection is vital in the maintenance of your health. Even the smallest prick can cause immense pain and infection.
- Wash Your Feet in Lukewarm Water – Do not wash your feet in ice cold water or scalding hot water as these can cause harm to your feet. When washing, remember to use lukewarm water so that you do not irritate your feet.
- Cut Your Nails Carefully – Just as you need to cut your nails properly to avoid ingrown toenails, it is essential to do the same now. By properly cutting your nails you can prevent ingrown toenails, while also preventing cuts or other complications.
- Never Treat Corns or Calluses Yourself – We all know how tempting it can be to perform home surgery on your corns or calluses, but please refrain from doing so. By attempting to treat your corns or calluses, you are putting the health of your feet at risk for infection and other complications.
- Take Care of Your Diabetes – This tip may seem like an obvious one, but we cannot reiterate this enough—take care of your diabetes. If you properly care for your diabetes, you are paving the way for health and success.
Could your persistent ankle pain be a result of lateral ankle instability?
Are you experiencing pain around your ankle that makes it difficult to walk or make your ankle feel unstable? Are you currently suffering from a stiff and tender ankle? If so, your symptoms could be indicative of chronic lateral ankle instability. Your podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Center, servicing the Reston area, shares more about this condition, its symptoms and how to treat your pain symptoms.
What is lateral ankle instability?
Sometimes referred to as chronic ankle instability, this condition often makes your ankle feel as if it might give out. This typically occurs most often while walking and performing any physical activity, but it can also occur while standing.
What are some symptoms of this ankle problem?
Besides feeling that your ankle might give out, you may also notice that your ankle turns out, especially while active or walking on uneven surfaces. You may also experience pain, swelling and tenderness in the ankle.
What causes lateral ankle instability?
Lateral ankle instability is usually brought about by an ankle sprain that hasn’t properly healed. During an ankle sprain, the connective tissue is stretched or even torn. If treatment or rehabilitation isn’t sought out, the tissue may never heal properly, causing either recurrent ankle sprains or chronic ankle instability.
How will my podiatrist treat my lateral ankle instability?
Your Reston area podiatrist will focus on more conservative treatment options at first. One common treatment is physical therapy, in which we walk you through a series of exercises to help improve balance and strengthen the muscles in your feet and ankle to help retrain them.
We may also recommend wearing an ankle brace to offer more support and to prevent the ankle from turning outwards as you move. A brace can also help to prevent future sprains.
Lastly, for those experiencing pain and swelling, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen can help reduce both of these symptoms.
Luckily, many patients experience relief from their symptoms and improvement in their ankle with just these few options; however, there are still some that will require surgery. Your Reston area podiatrist will exhaust all other non-surgical treatments before deciding that it’s time to have surgery. If surgery is recommended we will sit down with you and discuss what you should expect before, during and after your procedure.
Are you experiencing any of these symptoms of lateral ankle instability? If so, then it’s time to see your Reston podiatrist at the Family Foot and Ankle Center, located in Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon and McLean/Great Falls, VA. Don’t let foot ankle pain put a stop to your daily activities!