Consider the health of your feet the next time you purchase your running shoes.
If you are an avid runner, nothing sounds better than lacing up your shoes and spending the day outdoors. However, do you think about the health of your feet while you are running your favorite trails? Are you considering how much protection your feet are getting or the stability they need while you pound the pavement? Our feet and ankles play a major role in our ability to enjoy active endeavors like running. Therefore, when it’s time to pick out a new pair of running shoes, here are some tips you should follow.
Figure out your foot type
Do you have flat feet or high arches? When you go in to try on running shoes, go to an athletic store where specialists and experts can help you choose the proper running shoes to fit your foot shape. By choosing shoes based on the arch of your foot, you can easily prevent certain injuries.
Do you pronate?
How your foot hits the ground while you move will also affect the type of shoes you purchase. Those with flat feet often overpronate, which means that the foot rolls severely inward every time your foot hits the ground. Whenever the foot rolls inward it causes pain and strain to the foot. By going to a specialty running store you can talk to someone who will be able to determine whether you pronate so you get the best running shoes for your feet.
By a half size up
This might sound a bit odd, but did you know that your feet actually swell while you run? Therefore, if your shoes just fit or even fit a little snug, this can cause blisters and other foot problems due to overcrowded toes. In order to combat swollen feet, it’s not a bad idea to go up a half size in your shoes than you normally would.
Know when to replace your old shoes
No one likes to say goodbye to their old running shoes, especially if a lot of great memories were formed and races were won while wearing them; however, shoes don’t last forever and the longer you wear wornout shoes the more damaging it could be for your feet. A good rule of thumb is to replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles.
If you have any questions about what running shoe is best for you, call your podiatrist today!
For some women, there’s nothing quite as exciting as getting a brand new pair of elegant high heels. High heels come in a number of attractive styles, including pumps, stilettos, wedges, Mary Janes, platforms and sling backs. But those pretty heels can hide some pretty ugly truths. Take a moment to learn more about the hidden dangers of high heels and how they can cause serious problems for your feet.
Heel spurs are bumps that form on the heel bone over time due to continuous friction or pressure. The design of many high heeled shoes puts a strain on the back of the foot, leading to complications with heel spurs and irritation of the skin.
Women who wear very high heels also put their ankles at risk of injury. If the wearer falls or has a sudden movement in the wrong direction, it could cause a sprained ankle. The higher the heel, the worse the potential effects of a fall.
One of the most commonly reported problems that podiatrists receive from women who wear high heels is the appearance of hammertoes. A hammertoe develops as the toes are pinched and squeezed forward in the front of the heel—the toes begin to bend at the joints into an unnatural shape. In some cases, the joints are aggravated to the point where the wearer can no longer bend the toes back up.
Corns and Calluses
Hammertoes are often seen in combination with unsightly corns that develop on the tops of the toes due to friction with the shoe. Calluses also often develop on the sides of the feet and on the bottom, where the ball of the feet meets the ground each time you take a step.
As gorgeous as those high heels on the rack may look, it’s also important to think about how your feet could look after a while if you wear them often. If you enjoy wearing high heels, protect your feet by maintaining regular appointments with your podiatrist. A number of modern solutions and foot therapies are available, so if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, call your podiatrist today to schedule an urgent consultation.
Find out what you can do to prevent plantar warts from happening to you.
There seem to be a multitude of old wives’ tales that tout interesting and sometimes funny ways to remove warts. However, instead of finding unique ways to get rid of your warts, it’s even better if you can prevent them from happening in the first place. While it can be difficult to avoid the virus that causes plantar warts, there are some measures you can take to try to prevent yourself from coming in contact with this common virus.
What causes plantar warts?
Plantar warts are caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). While these warts are benign, they can be unsightly, uncomfortable and embarrassing. There are several different strains of HPV responsible for producing plantar warts, growths often found on the soles of the feet. However, some people that have HPV may not even develop warts.
How can you prevent exposure to the HPV virus that causes plantar warts?
While it’s difficult to ever be 100 percent protected against getting plantar warts, the best way to not get them is by avoiding contact with HPV. This means not touching warts that either you or someone else may have. Some other tips include:
- Don’t share towels, shoes or razors with anyone. Remember, someone can still have HPV and not show any visible signs.
- Always wear shoes in damp, warm and moist areas where the virus may thrive. This includes wearing shoes while using public locker rooms, pools or public showers.
- Prevent irritation on the bottoms of your feet by wearing the proper shoes. Feet that have broken skin are more susceptible to developing warts.
- Always dry your feet, particularly after sweating. Wear absorbent socks if you find that your feet sweat frequently.
While plantar warts can be unsightly, they aren’t dangerous. However, if you want to have one removed, talk to your podiatrist about at-home treatments or come into our office to have it removed professionally.
How are plantar warts treated?
There are some overthecounter salicylic acid treatments that are effective and safe for removing warts. There are also overthecounter cryotherapy kits that freeze off these growths. However, these kits are only safe to use on warts that develop on your hands or feet.
If you aren’t sure whether you have warts or if you have been diagnosed with diabetes and you’re dealing with plantar warts, then it’s important to seek the medical advice of your podiatrist. Call us today!
It’s great to enjoy being outdoors, especially in summer; but there are some things you need to do to protect your body and especially your feet in summer. Summer brings heat, sunshine, and more active . Your podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center in Reston, Virginia want you to know all about how to keep your feet in top shape this summer.
Your podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center want you to remember to:
- Limit walking barefoot, to prevent injury and sunburn
- Wear flip flops around the pool, beach, and even the showers to prevent injury and bacterial or fungal infection
- Always wear sunscreen, especially the front your ankles and tops of your feet.
- Drink plenty of water, to keep hydrated and prevent foot swelling
- Do foot and ankle exercises to increase circulation
Your feet go through a lot of wear and tear just with your daily activities; they carry you through your life. Add to that the sports that you may take up this summer, and all the increased stress can cause:
- Bunions and blisters
- Heel spurs and Achilles tendonitis
- Overuse injuries, sprains, and fractures
You can prevent many sports-related injuries by always wearing the proper footwear for the sport you are playing, especially contact sports like basketball, baseball, running, and tennis. When you are shopping for athletic shoes, always wear the socks you will wear when playing the sport. This helps ensure your shoes fit properly before you buy them.
Protect your feet this summer so they can take care of you. You deserve to enjoy the summer, but if you injure your feet, it can sideline you and keep you from doing what you love. An important part of taking care of your feet this summer is making an appointment with your podiatrist to ensure your feet are healthy. Call your podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Centers in McLean at (703) 556-8637, Ashburn at (703) 723-9267, Fairfax at (703) 273-9818 and Reston at (703)723-2719. Or visit our website at familyfootandankle.com.
The metatarsal area is one of the most common sites for stress fractures. This article discusses the causes and treatments for these fractures.
Stress fractures anywhere on the body are caused by repeated forceful activity. Considering that the feet bear a person's body weight for much of the day, they are very susceptible to stress fractures. The long bones in the feet, the metatarsals, are particularly prone to these injuries. But how are they diagnosed, treated and prevented?
Why metatarsal stress fractures happen
Certain activities or conditions can make stress fracturing the metatarsal bones more likely. Athletes who run, dance, or jump are at risk, as are those who suddenly boost their activity level after a long period of idleness. Osteoporosis (a disorder that causes weakness and brittleness of the bones) can also increase the likelihood of stress fractures.
Diagnosis and treatment
Widespread foot pain is usually the first sign of a metatarsal stress fracture. It may disappear with rest at first, but over time, the pain will be continual and concentrated into a specific area of the foot. Because stress fractures can be extremely small, an x-ray may not immediately detect it. Bone scans or MRIs are often more accurate. Special footwear can take the pressure off of the affected area and allow the fracture to heal. Depending on the location of the fracture, a cast may be applied and crutches may be required.
Properly-fitted, quality footwear should always be worn during activity to support the feet. Alternating your activities (instead of focusing on one particular, repetitive action) will help to distribute the movements evenly. Diets rich in calcium and Vitamin D will help maintain bone integrity. It is also important to start any new physical activity slowly and work up at a gradual pace.
If you have been experiencing foot pain and believe it may be caused by a metatarsal stress fracture, contact your podiatrist for an evaluation today.
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