Posts for tag: shoes
A common ailment we see here at Advanced Foot and Ankle Care are diabetic foot ulcers. A diabetic foot ulcer is an open wound on the foot, ankle, or lower leg. The most common spot for an ulcer is on the bottom of the foot. There are several factors that lead to an ulcer forming. They are typically caused by friction, but other factors such as alcohol consumption, smoking and being overweight also play a role in their development. Many people with diabetes also have neuropathy, a condition that dulls the feeling to their feet and/or legs. Since they cannot feel the rubbing of shoes, socks, or whatever else maybe causing friction to their feet, they do not feel the initial break in the skin that leads to the ulcer.
Diabetic foot ulcers are treatable, but they are often difficult to get rid of, and they pose a large risk for infection. The best thing to do is to check your feet daily for cuts or redness. Redness could be a sign of rubbing against the skin that could turn into an open wound. If you are diabetic and would like to have your feet checked for any areas of concern when it comes to ulcer formation, please call our office to set up an appt today.
As you age, the natural wear and tear on your body starts to leave a lasting impression. One way that is does that is in the development of osteoarthritis. The ‘squishy’ cartilage that helps soften the everyday blows to your joints starts to wear down. As this happens, the bones start to rub against one another. This causes swelling, pain and can lead to deformity.
The foot has over 30 joints and 28 bones, not counting all those that connect the foot to the ankle! With all those joints, the foot is a prime area for osteoarthritis to occur. If you are having foot pain, stiffness, difficulty bearing weight when you walk or swelling, you might have osteoarthritis. While this might make you feel that you feel as if you have no solutions, there are many options still available to you.
The first thing you can do is call and schedule an appointment to come in and have your feet and ankles looked at. Osteoarthritis can be diagnosed through a physical exam or MRI, most commonly. Things like orthotics, shoes with arch support, braces and physical therapy are all things that can help ease the pain and keep permanent deformity from happening. These are also all things that can be found here in our offices.
If you or someone you know are suffering from the pain of osteoarthritis, give one of our offices a call today to schedule an appointment. You never know, but it might be the call that helps keep you on your feet longer.
We all expect to have some aches and pains after a hard workout. But when do aches and pains become signs of a more serious problem? Do you ever have long lasting foot pain after a workout or spending a long time on your feet? If you answer yes to that question, you might have a more serious condition called metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia is caused when the muscles in the ball of your foot become irritated and inflamed. This can happen from high impact exercises like running or from standing for long periods of time. While those are the most common causes, metatarsalgia can also be cause from poor fitting shoes, excessive weight, or small fractures, called stress fractures, in the foot. People who have arthritis or are prone to gout are more likely to develop this condition.
Some people describe the pain and irritation as having a pebble in their shoe. While it often starts out as an irritating, uncomfortable pain, it can soon progress into unbearable pain leaving the person unable to walk. Metatarsalgia can also cause pain the legs and lower back due to the inflammation throwing off a person’s natural gait. If these symptoms sound like something you or someone you know have been going through, don’t hesitate to call our office and make an appointment. Something as simple as proper footwear can make your symptoms disappear and never come back. Call today for an appointment!
Sometimes I don’t know the answers to my patients’ questions. Sometimes I don’t know exactly how to “fix” them. There are few things that frustrate me more. So when my patients ask me about nocturnal leg cramps I inwardly cringe, because I don’t always have a straightforward answer for why they get the cramps or how to treat them. The truth is that the medical community at large has a poor understanding of this common ailment.
The International Classification of Sleep Disorders recognizes “sleep-related leg cramps” as a true sleep disorder. These night cramps are sudden, painful, involuntary contractions of muscles in your calf, feet, or thighs. The muscle that is cramping will feel hard and sometimes you can even see it tightening. Some of my patients report that these severe cramps awaken them from sleep (talk about a rude awakening!) or prevent them from even falling asleep at night. This can even lead to chronic sleep deprivation. The incidence of night cramps has been shown to increase with age. There is research that shows that half of people over the age of 80 reported having sleep-related cramps at least once in the past 2 months. These types of leg cramps are also increased during pregnancy.
While it is not known exactly what causes night cramps there are a lot of theories out there. These theories usually point to metabolic disorders (such as magnesium, calcium, potassium deficiency, or dehydration), structural disorders (tight muscles, flat feet), positional (making a movement in your sleep that shortens the muscle), or over-exertional (fatigued muscles are more likely to cramp).
It is also important to rule out diabetes and peripheral vascular disease when searching for a reason for your cramping. While both of these conditions can cause discomfort in the feet and legs at night, neither one of them causes muscles to spasm or become tight and hard. The same goes for restless legs syndrome, which is associated with an uncomfortable urge to move the legs, not necessarily pain.
Treatment of night cramps is pretty easy. It usually just involves slow and steady stretching or massaging of the cramping muscle. A heating pad or hot compress can also aid in muscle relaxation. Some people recommend taking a vitamin supplement or drinking water to stop the cramp, but the truth is that the cramp will be gone before either of these has time to take effect.
The best treatment for night cramps is prevention, which can be the tricky part since we really don’t know what causes them. As a general rule, if there are lots and lots of treatments for one condition it usually means that no one treatment works really well for most people. And there are a MULTITUDE of suggested treatments for preventing night cramps! I have heard everything from drinking a glass of pickle juice to taking Quinine (which is not even available in the US because of the severe adverse effects).
Some of the more common suggestions are:
- Staying hydrated. The sense of thirst diminishes with age, so a lot of older adults fail to adequately hydrate themselves. A diuretic (“water pill”) can also potentiate dehydration. Dehydration can lead to electrolyte imbalances that may cause cramping. And sorry -alcohol and caffeinated beverages don’t count as adequate hydration! In fact, they can make the problem worse.
- Maintaining adequate calcium and magnesium. Both of these play a big role in muscle contraction. What about potassium??? All of my patients seem to think that a banana a day will keep the cramps away. While potassium deficiency can cause cramping, this is not common; it is more likely to cause muscle weakness. Vitamin E is also a common treatment for cramps although studies about why and how it works are lacking. You should always consult with your primary care physician before starting supplemental calcium, magnesium, or potassium.
- Speaking of consulting with your physician, it is always a good idea to talk to your physician about whether a medication you are taking could be contributing to your cramping. There are quite a few medications that do. Medication-induced cramping does not usually occur exclusively at night though.
- Stretching before bed and before and after exercise. This may be the most effective treatment for nocturnal leg and foot cramps. A few minutes of light stretching before bed using a night splint, the wall, an exercise band, or towel can be helpful for relaxing the muscles. Do not stretch too aggressively though as this could trigger cramps.
- Proper supportive shoe gear and orthotics go a long way in preventing over fatigue of muscles in the feet and therefore can prevent cramps in the arch of the foot and toes, a common complaint of my patients.
If you are losing precious sleep because of cramping in your legs or feet it’s time to do something about it. No one has all of the answers regarding night cramps, but at Advanced Foot and Ankle Care we are here for you to attempt to answer any of your questions regarding cramping in your legs or feet (at night and otherwise). We will work with you to assess the reason for the cramping and make suggestions for preventing the cramping whether it is giving you a night splint, showing you stretching exercises, giving advice on the proper shoes, or fitting you with orthotics. You’ll be back to catching Zzzz’s before you know it!
If you haven’t heard about Zumba, the high-energy aerobic workout that’s more like a dance party than an exercise routine, then you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past year. An estimated 12 million people worldwide now do the cardio-dance classes that are a combination of merengue, salsa, and other Latin dances.
Zumba is so much fun, it seems like everybody is doing it. That’s where I, your friendly Podiatrist, come in. A lot of the people who participate in Zumba are enthusiastic new exercisers who live an otherwise sedentary life. Add their eagerness, inexperience, Latin dance beats, and bad shoes and you’ve created the perfect storm for a foot injury.
If I had a dollar for every Zumba-induced foot injury I’ve seen I could pay for a month’s worth of Zumba classes at my local Urban Active. The four most common Zumba-induced pathologies and injuries I see at Advanced Foot and Ankle Care are
- Plantar Fasciitis- Heel pain caused by an inflammatory process in the plantar fascia, a thick band of connective tissue on the bottom of your foot.
- Intermetatarsal Neuroma- Pain, burning, tingling, or numbness in the front of your foot or toes caused by thickening and enlargement of a nerve in the foot usually as a result of compression and/or irritation.
- Tendinitis- Pain caused by injury and inflammation of a tendon, which is where a muscle attaches to bone. The most common types of Zumba-induced tendinitis I see affect the achilles tendon and posterior tibial tendon.
- Stress Fractures- Pain caused by a cracked or incompletely broken bone. In my Zumba-ing patients the most common stress fractures I see affect the heel bone (calcaneus) or metatarsal bones. Stress fractures are often the result of overuse or repetitive stress and are a notorious culprit of pain in people who start an exercise program and do too much too soon.
A more detailed explanation of each of these injuries and how we treat them can be found on our website (www.footandanklecare.org).
All is not lost though. If you’ve avoided injury thus far or are recovering from a Zumba-related foot injury, there are several things you can do to stay injury-free to ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck and the most benefit for all that sweating.
Your shoes (not your brightly colored leotard) are the most important article of clothing you wear to Zumba class. The ideal shoes for Zumba are supportive, especially in the arch area. The front of the shoes (where your toes bend) should be flexible. Cross-trainers are great shoes for this type of activity because they allow side-to-side motion and don’t have deep treads like a lot of running shoes do. This allows them to maneuver through the dance moves easier. We have several shoe options in our office shoe stores in all three office locations (Huber Heights, Troy and Piqua) that are perfect for Zumba. And as an added bonus, we have a helpful and knowledgeable staff to help you choose the right shoe.
An orthotic, a custom-made insole, is also a great option to help prevent injury (especially in certain foot types) or to prevent re-injury if you are recovering Zumba-er. Orthotics work to support your foot, reduce weight bearing forces on certain areas, and correct the function of the foot to make motion easier and less painful. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Care we can provide you with a custom-made device that will change your life in and out of Zumba class.
One of the best things about Zumba is that it lets you customize your own work out. You can make the class high impact or low impact. Some gyms now offer Aqua Zumba and Zumba Gold- the low-impact version. Be sure to tell your Zumba instructor about previous injuries or special health concerns like pregnancy. Know your limitations and don’t start out too fast, even if it’s hard to control your hips with those infectious Latin beats blasting.
As always, it’s a good idea to consult your healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regimen.