Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic Blog
If the Shoe Fits…
Once upon a time, many years ago, I worked in the shoe section of a sports store. A good portion of people would come in with improper fitting shoes. Fast forward a few years past medical school and residency, and I now cringe, as a Podiatrist, knowing the effects of ill-fitting shoes. As many know, the advent of online shopping is here, henceforth, shoes are not being tried on prior to purchasing. With that being said, shoes can vary in size from brand to brand and even within the same brand when they are made at different factories. The following are some tips to help prevent discomfort, calluses, blisters, injuries and deformities:
1. Try shoes on at the end of the day when the feet are at their biggest.
2. Bring your own socks that you’d wear in the particular shoe you are shopping for, as well as any custom inserts.
3. If the shoe is not comfortable in the store, it will not be comfortable at work or on the court/track/field. Be true to yourself, in other words, just because the shoe is cute/cool doesn’t mean it’s the best option.
4. Have both feet measured in width and length and accommodate the bigger foot.
5. Walk and jog around the store. Be cognizant of comfort, that the arch hits you appropriately, and that your heel does not slip.
6. Give yourself enough room. Don’t be self-conscious of big feet and don’t try to squeeze into a shoe that you like because your size is not available. The width of a thumb nail should be available at the front of the shoe. For width, make sure your toes can spread and do not feel squished.
In the world of aching feet and improper fitting shoes, everyone followed Dr. Emter’s tips and people were more comfortable, much happier and they all lived happily ever after.
If your in need of some proper fitting shoes check out Happy Soles Footwear located at 1802 Allison Dr. Bismarck, ND 58501
The High Cost of Wearing High Heels
High heels are often a Podiatrist’s worst nightmare. Sure the “glass slipper” may fit, but the question to ask is what effects can heels have on my feet? Wearing a high heel can be associated with over a handful of deformities and conditions.
Neuroma: Everyone’s anatomy consists of a nerve bulb in our inner spaces that sends a little nerve to adjacent sides of each toe. These nerve bulbs can become compressed, enlarge and essentially scar down forming what is called a neuroma. This can be very painful and is often relieved when shoes are taken off.
Capsulitis: High heels cause the front of the foot to bear most of our weight. Excess weight and pressure on the forefoot can result in capsulitis, an inflammation of the soft tissue around the joints. People will relate that it feels like stepping on a rock or a wadded up sock.
Ingrown Toenails: High heels cause the foot to gravitate towards the front of the shoe, which is often much narrower. This results in squishing the toes together and increased pressure on the nail beds with the consequences of painful ingrown toenails.
Pump Bump: A haglunds deformity is often referred to as a pump bump due to its origin from wearing heels. The bump is a bony growth to the back of the heel that can be very irritating with the rubbing of shoe gear over the soft tissues covering the bone.
Stress Fractures and fractures: With all of the increased pressure placed on the front of the foot, wearing heels repetitively can set you up for a stress fracture. Heels also cause instability of the ankle allowing for sprains and at its worst, fractures.
Aside from the aforementioned complications of wearing high heels, there are numerous other problems not discussed that heels can cause your feet, not to mention your knees and spine. So, if the slipper fits, tell Prince Charming you’d rather wear a tennis shoe.
Pedicures are often enjoyable and allow for a little rest and relaxation that is often well deserved. As a result pedicures should be a worry free experience; however there are numerous issues that can arise from having pedicures that you ought to be aware of prior to scheduling your next visit.
1. Sure, we all want to save ourselves from embarrassment and get rid of that stubble on our legs prior to our pedicure, but in all reality you may be causing yourself more harm by shaving the day before or day of the appointment. Shaving can cause openings in the skin and hair follicles allowing for the entry of bacteria. This is not only painful when they seemingly grind their exfoliating sand scrub into your fresh shaved legs, but can also cause an infection of the hair follicle, called folliculitis.
2. Contrary to what most people believe looks best, the toenail should be cut straight across rather than rounded at the edges. Allowing for the edges to be trimmed back too far can result in ingrown toenails as well as entry of bacteria to the nail bed causing infection.
3. Chances are if you’re going to the nail salon, you’re looking for cute, fresh polished nails. Unfortunately, your nails may not be cute for long if you opt to go to a salon that doesn’t sterilize their tools. Nail fungus can be transferred between clients and cause thick, yellow nails with debris beneath the nail beds. The best way to avoid this is to be sure that the tools are sterilized, or even better, go to a salon that requires a onetime purchase of your own tools.
4. Removing nail polish routinely rather than leaving it on for months at a time allows for the nail to “breathe” and prevents the formation of nail fungus. Take your nail polish off a few days before the next application.
5. Diabetics must always be cautious about pedicures as many nail technicians aren’t educated about the disease process. Because diabetics can’t fight off infection as well as a non-diabetic, their chances of getting an infection from a visit to the nail salon is much higher. A good portion of diabetics don’t have feeling to their feet and can develop burns from the water and hot towels that are used.
Now that you are well equipped to make informed decisions about your choice of nail salon, I wish for you a rest, relaxation, and pretty piggy’s!
I recently had a patient who came to me with blisters and pre-ulcerative calluses to both feet and was experiencing pain after her basketball games. It turns out she has been in other sports, including basketball in previous years, without similar issues. After further questioning, I found out that she was wearing a team basketball shoe meaning everyone on the team wore the same style of shoe. Let’s face it, I’m a woman and I like things to match. After all, it looks good when the team runs onto the court with matching shoes, but ultimately it is not the best choice for the team and their feet. Here are five reasons that team shoes may not be a good idea:
1. Foot type: Everyone is born with a different foot type that can’t all be accommodated by the same shoe. Some people have high arches while others have low arches and some people fall in between that spectrum. Each person may need a different amount of support and stability as a result and what may seem comfortable to one may not be comfortable to all.
2. Size/width: Aside from foot type, feet come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Not all shoes come in a wide range of widths and lengths that will allow for a proper fit for everyone on the team.
3. Deformities: Young people can have deformities such as bunions, tailor bunions, hammertoes etc. which causes the shoe to be too snug or cause pain. It is important that an athlete is pain free during and after their activity.
4. Devices: Some athletes may need to wear braces or custom inserts in their shoes which will cause a shoe to fit differently than someone who doesn’t use these devices.
5. Injury: Athletes are at a higher risk of injury when wearing shoes that do not fit appropriately for a couple reasons. First, if the shoe structure and amount of stability is not correct for a certain foot type, sprains and strains are more likely to occur. Secondly, if the shoe is not comfortable people generally compensate by walking/running differently which also sets an athlete up for injury.
Unfortunately, small North Dakota towns have teams that are small in number with no one to fill the bench and are in dire need of each and every player, which happens to be the case with my patient. With that being said, preventing injuries is critical and avoiding team shoes is just one way to prevent this.
Diehard runners brave the frigid temperatures to get some fresh air and exercise but as a result are at a higher risk of injuries. Here are a few tips to help brave winter running safely.
Frostbite is an imminent risk to anyone who is outdoors in subzero temperatures, but especially to runners who wear mesh running shoes. Mesh poses the danger of allowing the foot to get wet and when exposed to cold air can cause tissue damage. When shopping for winter running shoes, aim for shoes that have a solid upper and are water proof, for example, Goretex.
Socks are another important player in keeping the feet dry. Feet sweat during exercise (not a surprise when each foot has approximately 250,000 sweat glands) and can produce the moist environment that can predispose you to frostbite. Purchase moisture wicking socks that have the ability to keep your feet warm to help alleviate this problem.
Ice is hard to avoid on trails, especially after a thaw and refreeze. Numerous forms of cleats/tracks exist that are specific to winter running. These can prevent falls that may land you in the clinic or emergency room.
Stretching prior to work outs is more important than ever when going for a run in the chilly winter weather. The purpose of stretching is to warm up the joints and reduce muscle tension. Without stretching, fractures, sprains and strains are more likely to occur.
For those of you who refuse to hibernate from running during the winter, I hope these simple tricks keep you on your feet and injury free.
If you are injured while running give us a call at 701-255-3338 to request an Appointment today!
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