Did you know that what you consume could actually be affecting your foot health?
When we sit down to enjoy a meal we sometimes think about how what we eat affects our overall health. While we consider the heart benefits, we might not realize that the food we are about to enjoy can also affect the health of our feet as well. It might sound rather strange to consider, but what we eat affects all parts of the body, feet included. If you want to maintain both good overall health and good foot health, then it’s time to find out just how diet can affect your feet.
The American Diet
While we don’t like to admit it, the American diet is detrimental to foot health, as it often causes an inflammatory response. With all the saturated fats, refined grains, trans fats and added sugar, it’s no wonder that a lot of us deal with inflamed and uncomfortable feet. While some people may have a food sensitivity that causes foot inflammation, for most of us it’s our heavy intake of foods loaded with these bad elements that lead to our foot problems.
The Healthy-Foot Diet
What can you do to promote better foot health? Follow these diet recommendations to reduce inflammation and prevent conditions such as plantar fasciitis from affecting your life:
- Incorporate more omega-3 fats: Next time you go to the grocery store, head to the seafood counter and snag some delicious salmon. Fatty fish like salmon are packed full of omega3s, which stave off inflammation. If you aren’t a seafood lover, then consider taking fish oil supplements to reap the omega3 benefits instead.
- Avoid refined foods: No matter how tempting it might be, sugary snacks and white, processed grains like bread and pasta can wreak havoc on your body’s inflammatory response. However, you don’t have to say goodbye to that weekly bowl of past. Instead, swap it for whole grains and dark, leafy vegetables and stay away from processed, packaged and refined foods. This is particularly important for those with diabetes.
- Say yes for lean meats: While a juicy steak might sound delicious, the saturated fats are anything but healthy for your feet. Instead, you should replace red meats with leaner meats like fish or chicken.
If you notice any foot symptoms that cause you concern, then you should talk to your podiatrist as soon as possible. If you are worried about how your diet is affecting your health then talk to us about foods to decrease inflammation and promote healthier feet. After all, our feet do a lot for us, so isn’t it time you did something for them?
High ankle sprains are uncommon, but treatable with patience and diligent care. Read on to understand why these injuries are especially irregular:
A sprain may not be as serious as a broken bone, but it can be every bit as painful and inconvenient. This is especially true of a high ankle sprain, which is fairly uncommon but typically takes longer to heal than other sprains, making them a dreaded injury for athletes.
What is a high ankle sprain?
High ankle sprains, sometimes called syndesmotic sprains, affect the ligaments connecting the tibia and fibula bones in the lower leg. These are considered "high" in relation to where sprains usually occur; high ankle sprains actually happen above the ankle and are a result of an outward twisting (rather than the inward rotation seen in lateral ankle sprains). These injuries are most often seen in sports that involve "cutting in" football, roller derby, pro wrestling, track and ice hockey, for example.
In most cases, the wellknown and highly effective RICE technique will be implemented:
- Rest - Staying off of the affected leg as much as possible is essential
- Ice - Applying ice packs to the area will help keep swelling down
- Compression - This may involve wrapping with a bandage at home or a doctor immobilizing the area with a cast
- Elevation - The leg should be propped up to the level of the heart. This promotes adequate circulation
Healing from high ankle sprains is dependent on the damage to the ligaments and can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Some of these sprains are found to be "unstable" and may require surgery. In most cases, regardless of the injury's severity, patients will use crutches to avoid putting weight on the ankle.
The ultimate goal in treating any sprain is to avoid loss of motion and scar tissue buildup. Your podiatrist will be able to evaluate the damage caused by your high ankle sprain and treat it accordingly.
You can get a callus on just about any surface of your body, but it most frequently occurs in places where there is a lot of friction to the skin. Your feet are most susceptible to calluses because you wear tight shoes around them for the better part of your day. In many cases, a callus is merely an annoyance, but there are cases when it can become a problem.
What Is a Callus?
A callus is a buildup of toughened skin that happens when an area of the foot continually comes in contact into a rough surface. The friction causes layers of dead skin to form until a noticeable bump develops—it’s a natural reaction of the body to protect itself from injury, but unfortunately can lead to other problems. Podiatrists often find calluses on the bottom of the feet or on the toes.
Why Do Calluses Form?
Foot calluses almost always form because of pressure from the shoes that you wear as well as walking very often. Athletes usually develop calluses because of their high levels of activity—they frequently run, jump and make sudden motions while wearing tennis shoes that aren’t always ideal for their needs. Women often develop calluses on their toes and the sides of their feet from wearing pumps to work that constantly rub up against their skin. Some are soft and caused by too much sweat and moisture in the shoes (another issue that affects athletes).
When a Callus Becomes Problematic...
A callus is usually considered a minor cosmetic annoyance to the feet, but there are cases when it can become problematic. Without proper treatment, they can become inflamed, ulcerated or infected over time. Calluses that become ulcers can put the foot or toes at serious risk if it isn’t cleaned and disinfected properly. Allowing calluses to grow to a certain size can also make it impossible to wear or walk in everyday shoes.
When foot or toe calluses become a problem, treatments should be explored with a podiatrist. Common solutions include removing the callus with a scalpel and administering what is called a salicyclic acid patch to heal the skin. Your podiatrist may also prescribe orthotic shoes or inserts to stop the progression of calluses and prevent them from coming back. If you have callused toes or feet, call your doctor to discuss a custom treatment plan.
Soccer and football players must wear athletic shoes that contain spikes on the bottom. The spikes are crucial for traction and safety when running on the field—especially in harsh weather conditions. Here are a few tips regarding picking out soccer and football spikes (also called cleats) for yourself or your child athlete.
The purpose of a spike is to give a player an advantage on the field. Football and soccer players often to have to play in muddy or wet conditions, so if they were to wear standard sneakers they’d spend more time sliding and falling than passing the ball. A proper spike gives a soccer or football player the traction and support needed to be successful in the sport and protect the foot from injury.
Pick Spikes Specifically Designed for Your Sports
One mistake that some athletes make is assuming that every sports spike is created the same. There are different spike shoe designs for different sports—soccer, football and running track. Track shoe spikes are often pointier. Soccer spikes and football spikes are more similar to each other in looks. Also called “mud cleats,” football spikes are commonly designed with blunter metal, rubber or plastic studs and a more angled sole. They also have studs near the top to facilitate fast forward movement as well as thicker soles.
Soccer spikes are lighter and lowcut to aid with quick, agile movements. The “spikes” are usually made of replaceable aluminum cleats. They don’t normally have spikes or studs at the front as in the case of football shoes.
Get Sports Advice from a Podiatrist
If you’re still unsure about which spikes to buy for soccer or football (especially if you’ve had foot complications in the past), consult your podiatrist in advance for any sports advice this season. Maintain regular checkup appointments throughout the year as well and be sure to replace your cleat studs when they become worn down.
Find out how sandals can negatively impact the health of your feet and ankles.
We all like to find shoes that match our style; however, sometimes we replace comfort with fashion. While our feet might look stylish and trendy on the outside, they are often achy and unhappy on the inside. Many of the popular shoes we wear can affect our foot and ankle health and cause pain and other problems. If you love a good pair of sandals then you might be sad to hear this news; however, it’s important to shop for shoes that offer the most comfort and protection for your feet.
Sandals and Foot Problems
If you can’t get enough of these toewiggling shoes, they may be your goto during the warmer months; however, because sandals lack the necessary support, you may also find yourself dealing with foot pain. This foot pain is often brought on by a condition known as plantar fasciitis. You may also find yourself with tendon problems and ankle sprains.
So, how do you get the support you need while still wearing your favorite shoes?
Opt for sandals that boast biomechanical technology, which will give your foot and ankle the builtin support it needs to carry on with daily activities, from a night out on the town to just running errands.
You can also opt for customdesigned orthotics from your podiatrist to give you the exact support you need and to take pressure off the foot to reduce pain and inflammation, particularly on the plantar fascia.
There are even special plantar fasciitis shoes that are meant to support both the heel and the arch of the foot to alleviate discomfort. While you may be less likely to find a wide variety of sandal styles, there are still options for the sandal lover who also needs to take care of their plantar fasciitis.
Remember, your feet are vital to getting you around, so it’s important to treat them right. As always, if you notice pain or any other sort of discomfort that doesn’t go away, or is severe, then it’s time to see your podiatrist. Put your foot health first.
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