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Posts for tag: Footwear

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
January 02, 2015
Category: Foot Care

Keep your Children Active by Following Proper Foot Care

You often worry about your children’s teeth, eyes, and other parts of their body.  You teach them how to wash, brush, and groom, but what do you do about your child’s feet as they are still developing?  Many adult foot ailments, as with other health issues, have their origins in childhood and can be present at birth.  Periodic professional attention from your Fairfax podiatrist and regular foot care can minimize these problems in your child’s life later on.  
Neglecting your child’s foot health invites problems in other parts of the body, such as the legs and back.  Foot health begins in childhood because your child’s feet must carry him or her for a lifetime.  Your child’s life is certain to be happier and more enjoyable if you have your child develop strong, healthy feet as he or she grows into adulthood. 

Your Podiatrist in Fairfax Explains: The Early Years

The human foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body with 26 bones, as well as ligaments, muscles, blood vessels and nerves.  The feet of an infant are soft and pliable and abnormal pressure can cause deformities.  In the first year, a child’s foot grows rapidly reaching almost half their adult foot size.  Podiatrists consider the first year to be the most important in regards to development.  To help ensure normal growth, allow your baby to kick and stretch his or her feet and make sure shoes and socks do not squeeze their toes.  
Your toddler will walk when he or she is ready and you should try not to force this act.  Watch your child’s gait once he or she begins to walk.  Pay close attention to see if their toe touches down instead of the heel or if your child always sits while others actively play.  Many toddlers have a pigeon-toe gait, which is normal and some initially learn to walk landing on their toes instead of their heels.  Most children outgrow these problems, but your podiatrist in Fairfax can treat other conditions detected early more easily. 

Footwear for your Child

Children should not wear shoes until they can walk, so avoid pram shoes, which are normally soft, and usually made to match outfits.  For babies, avoid tightly wrapped blankets that prevent kicking and leg movement.  Walking barefoot, where it is safe, is good for children.  Your child’s feet are vulnerable to deformity from any ill-fitting footwear or hosiery until the bones are completely formed at about 18 years of age.  In addition, socks made from natural materials are better for your child’s feet than stretch-fit socks.  
When buying shoes for your child, the shape of the shoe and the toe area should be wide and round, allowing for toes to move and spread.  It is also important for the shoe to have a lace or a buckle, without this your child’s toes will claw to hold the shoe on.  The heel of the shoe should not be too high, as high heels can also result in foot deformity.  
Start early in taking care of your children’s feet because neglecting foot health is an invitation to severe problems.  Contact your podiatrist in Fairfax for further consultation on your child’s growing, active feet.  Having strong, healthy feet allows your child to walk, run, and play so take extra precautions and protect their feet in order to provide them a lifetime of healthy feet. 
By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
February 15, 2012
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Footwear  

HeelsWhile high heel shoes may look stylish or complement your favorite outfit, they are rarely the best option for a woman's feet. According to a study by the American Podiatric Medical Association, 39 percent of women wear high heels every day; of the women who wear heels daily, three out of four reported foot problems. Despite the numbers, many women continue to underestimate the health risks associated with high heels.

High heel shoes disrupt the body's alignment, crowd the toes and force the body's weight onto the ball of the foot. Wearing heels can contribute to a variety of foot and ankle problems, including:

  • Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon and calf muscles tighten and shorten as the front of the foot moves down in relation to the heel. This causes stress and painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
  • Bunions. Narrow-toed shoes can cause a bony growth on the joint at the base of the big toe. The bunion forces the big toe to slant in toward the other toes, resulting in discomfort, blisters, corns and calluses.
  • Hammertoes. A narrow toe box crowds the smaller toes into a bent, claw-like position at the middle joint.
  • Metatarsalgia. Continued high heel wear can lead to joint pain in the ball of the foot as a result of heels forcing the body's weight to be redistributed.
  • Ankle injuries. Because heels impair balance and increase the risk of falling, ankle sprains and fractures are common.
  • Pump Bump. The rigid back of a pump-style shoe can cause pressure that irritates the heel bone, creating a bony enlargement known as Haglund's deformity.
  • Neuromas. A narrow toe box and high heel can compress and create a thickening of tissue around a nerve between the third and fourth toes, leading to pain and numbness in the toes.

Still not willing to ditch the heels? There are ways to relieve some of the damaging effects of high heels.

  • Avoid heels taller than 2 inches
  • Choose thicker, more stable heels. Thicker heels are still stylish, plus they lessen the stress on your feet and provide better shock absorption.
  • If you must wear heels, wear your gym shoes or flats for commuting and change into your heels once you arrive to your destination.
  • Stretch and massage your calf, heel, and foot muscles. This helps relax the muscles and tendons and prevents them from tightening and shortening.
  • Avoid shoes with pointed toes

High heel shoes can cause pain and foot deformities that can last a lifetime. So the next time you go to slip on your heels for a long day at work or a night out, consider the consequences and rethink your options. If foot pain persists, visit Family Foot and Ankle Center for treatment.

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