A very common injury to a person’s lower extremities is a called a shin split. A shin splint causing pain on the front of the leg, or in the shin area. Most patients state that the pain starts out bearable and slowly gets worse. Some people also have small bumps along their shins. Shin splints are small tears in the muscle along the front of leg caused by stress or trauma. Runners and athletes are the most common group of people to experience shins splints. People who have flat feet are also more likely to experience this issue. Treating a shin splint early is key to keep this issue from becoming something more serious like a stress fracture.

Shin splints are often caused by running or standing for long periods of time on hard surfaces. Without proper shoe gear, the stress can cause small tears in the muscles around the shin. Some ways to prevent shin splints from happening to you are make sure you wear supportive shoes, proper shoe gear, and stretch. People with flat feet or high arches are more likely to have this issue due to the stress put on their feet already. Wearing orthotics while working out or standing can help ease some of this pressure. If you think you might be suffering from shin splints, give our office a call. An ultrasound is an easy way to diagnosis the problem. 

While we deal with many diabetic patients in our office, a very common question we hear is what is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes? Regardless of what type of diabetes you may have, both mean you should take extra care of your feet. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the body not producing enough insulin. The body starts to attack the cells that produce insulin causing the body to not be able to use the glucose it needs to make energy. Type 1 diabetes is usually a genetic issue that cannot be prevented, only treated.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by the body not being able to use the insulin it has in the correct way. The misuse of insulin is called insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes account for almost 90% of those who suffer with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be reversed, unlike type 1. Some people are able to reverse their condition due to lifestyle and dietary changes.

While there are some differences between the two, both can cause serious issues to the entirety of the body, including the feet. Many people with diabetes end up having toe, foot or leg amputations. The best way to keep that from happening is to monitor blood sugar levels and always check your feet and legs. Any cuts or changes in skin color or texture may be a sign of something more serious. 

A very common foot injury is a blister. A blister forms when there is friction on the skin. This is typically caused shoes that are too tight or lose that rub. People who have especially sweaty feet are more prone to getting blisters. Most blisters occur on the heel, side of the foot or tops of toes. Some blisters are raw openings in the skin, while other are fluid filled bumps. Blisters can be harmful to the overall health of those who have certain medical conditions, but for most they are more of a nuisance than anything.

However, for those who have diabetes, Raynaud’s or have a compromised immune system, blisters can quickly turn dangerous. Since blisters are openings in the skin, they can quickly become infected if not taken care of. If you have blister that is liquid filled, DO NOT pop it. Allow the blister to deflate or pop on its own. Keeping that protective layer of skin on the wound can keep infection out and allow the blister to heal.

Most blisters do not require a doctor to take care of them. Simply clean the area, apply a small amount of healing ointment and cover with a Band-Aid or gauze.  If you start to have drainage or odor from a blister call your doctor immediately. While some shoes will cause blisters once and never again, it is best to avoid the shoes that caused the blister at least until the blister is healed. 

With summer fast approaching, many people are breaking out their flips flops. While flips flops are immensely popular, they are one of the worst shoe type that you can wear. Some doctors feel that they can wear one every once awhile, but all doctors agree that they should not be a shoe staple for you or your wardrobe.

Flip flops offer little to no support to your foot. This can lead to heel pain, bone spurs, tendonitis and fallen arches. All of these conditions can lead to months of rehabilitation. A more common condition associated with flip flops are blisters. While blisters are painful, unless you have other underlying conditions, like diabetes or Raynaud’s that will only keep you on the bench for a day or two.

Many doctors see injuries like puncture wounds, broken toes, ripped off toenails, sprained ankles or torn tendons. Flips flops offer no protection to the top of the foot which leaves it open to many outside elements. Every summer, Emergency Room doctors see numerous flip flop related injuries. Podiatrists recommend either sandals with a covering and stable arch, or another popular shoe type, the Croc. 

A daily workout is a great way to improve and maintain your overall health. However, working out can be painful on your feet, knees and joints. The best way to get your workout in and not do damage to your body, is to be get a great pair of workout shoes. Many issues can arise from having shoes that do not offer the support that your body needs. Improper shoes can cause heel pain, shin splits and possibly stress fractures. All of these are things that can take time off your workout routine.

The first thing to do is get a shoe for the activity you do most. Many trainers and doctors agree that it might be best to get a pair of workout shoes for each activity. For example, if you run most of the time for a workout, then get a great pair of running shoes, and another great pair for all other activities. This helps offer you the support that you really need for each activity.

It is best to keep in mind that your feet swell during the day and especially when you are doing activities like running and walking. Never get a pair of shoes that are too tight or that cannot offer you some room for your feet to expand. This can lead to blisters or stress fractures as it puts pressure on the foot.

The last thing to keep in mind is to know when to change your shoes. Workout shoes tend to wear out faster than other shoes due to the amount of movement that is done in them. You may need to buy workout shoes more often than your other shoes, and that is completely normal. If you would like general checkup of your foot health, give our office a call today!

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