Monday, March 25, 2013


 Bunions, also called Hallux Abducto Valgus (HAV), are a deformity characterized by a lateral deviation of the great toe (hallux) with a subsequent medial prominence ("bump".) The medial prominence is from the underlying deviated prominent bone (not a growth), and sometimes can form an overlying bursitis which may add to the prominence (usually very painful and red.) Bunions form when your big toe pushes up against your other toes, forcing your big toe joint in the opposite direction. Over time, the abnormal position enlarges your big toe joint, further crowding your other toes and causing pain.

The main causes of bunions can be from genetics, tightly fitted shoes, or foot injuries. Bunions are more common in women. Bunions may be associated with various forms of arthritis, including inflammatory or degenerative forms, causing the protective cartilage that covers your big toe joint to deteriorate. An occupation that puts extra stress on your feet or one that requires you to wear pointed shoes also can be a cause. Bunions can not only affect the inner foot but also the outside of the foot at the base of the little toe.

Here are some treatment options for your bunions one is to have well-fitting wide enough shoes to give your feet more room. Another way is to have some padding to alleviate shoe pressure on "the bump." You can take oral or topical anti-inflammatory treatments to alleviate pain associated with the inflammation and bursitis. You can purchase orthotics to help control contributing biomechanical forces to reduce the rate of progression (especially important in kids). If none of these work you may consider surgery to correct the underlying deformity/deformities (important to also correct any contributing biomechanical forces at the time).

Bunions can be very painful and discomforting. Ways to prevent bunions are choosing footwear that fits correctly, especially low heeled shoes with plenty of space for the toes, is one of the main ways that bunions can be prevented. Getting orthotics if your prone to flat-footedness- this can prevent or delay bunions. If you think or know you have bunions get them checked out by your doctor or a specialist. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pregnant Feet

Today, we want to discuss the process of giving birth--namely, the nine months leading up to birth itself--and how that relates to and effects women's feet. As most mommy-to-be's know, the bulk of growth happens within the third trimester. Studies show that pregnant mothers who stand for long hours end up having smaller babies than mothers who do not stand for long. This is due to the growth cycle being stunted or slowed down.

We have many ways to treat and prevent your swollen feet. Although swelling is normal due to the weight gain from being pregnant, if the swelling is not symmetrical in both feet you should contact your doctor or a specialist--this may be signs of a vascular problem. Orthotic inserts are good for arch support and medial rear-foot postings. Remember that these should fit properly and comfortably. Also, shoes that do not fit properly can cause a cut off of the blood circulation.

Every woman loves shoes! Whether it be her high heels or her house slippers. But, pregnant mothers should put away their high heels during their pregnancy. Pregnant mothers should wear low to no heeled shoes to avoid any heel pain or falling.

Pregnant women often associate resting with being lazy or letting their pregnancy get the best of them, but in all reality, it is OK and, in fact, encouraged. A mother's feet should be elevated as much as possible. Be sure to message your feet to keep the swelling down. Some ways are going to the salon and getting a pedicure and, if possible, a massage. This not only helps keep the swelling down, but also helps pregnant women to relax and take their minds off of the (sometimes) frustrating transformation that they are going through.

Some pregnant women believe drinking less water will reduce swelling. This is not true! Drinking more water will relieve the body of any harmful toxins. Drink plenty of water; everybody should drink at least eight ounces of water daily. You should avoid any excessively warm places since high temperature climates can reduce the body's water levels. This will cause dehydration.
   Soaking the feet in soothing herbs will help reduce any swelling or stress you may have. Some herbs that are good to soak in are lavender, chamomile, eucalyptus, birch, and peppermint. Also, use plenty of moisturizing lotions on your feet to prevent any painful cracking.

For many women the pregnancy can be very confusing and frustrating, we stress (aha!) the idea of relaxing and taking it easy during this during this time. It is often emphasized that you take care of yourself for the baby's sake, but don't forget that you are human, too. Do the things that you like; do not feel bad for asking for help, and enjoy the process as much as you can.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March, the Month of Nutrition

To many, the beginning of March signifies the sprint to St.Patty's and warm weather. The thoughts of leaning your chair back, sipping ice tea, and enjoying warm weather eases the mind and captures the heart. To add to these wonderful things that March brings us, it also brings the National Nutrition Month (NMN)! The month-long event/celebration is intended to bring more awareness to food choices that are healthier.  The primary sponsor of NMN is the Academy of Nutrition and Diabetics (AND) formally known as the American Diabetic Association. The focus of this campaign is to make "informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits." As quoted on the AND website:

The AND has had a long history of controversy, which is a natural by-product of the business of telling people how to eat. The company's membership, sponsorships, and partnerships have been consistently scrutinized. In recent news there has been controversies surrounding the AND and their partnership with "Big Food" companies such as: Coca-Cola, Hershey, PepsiCo, Mars, National Dairy Council, and many more. These "Big Food" companies, it is said, have more say in the company than most of the nutritionist do, thus creating the conflict. Furthermore, The AND receives, on average, $1 million a year from the Pharmaceutical Industry. As a form of presumed reciprocity the AND helps some of these pharmaceutical companies in their marketing and public relation efforts. Taken together, all of these facts lead some to think that the AND is securely in the pocket of big corporate companies, whose initiatives run completely counter to their own philosophies and purpose.

 Whether you agree with the critics or supporters of the AND, one thing we can all agree on is that nutrition awareness is a good thing. The significance of this notion is further increased when we considered the high rates of obesity and diabetes in America today.In the past thirty years child obesity has doubled and tripled in America alone. The rate of adulthood has doubled in the past thirty years. Twelve states currently have an adult obesity rating over thirty percent. Here are some tips to keep your body healthy:

 The Mediterranean Diet:

1.) Meats and sweets should be consumed less often in this diet.

2.) Poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt should be consumed in moderate portions, but should be consumed daily to weekly.

3.) Fish and seafood should be consumed often, at least two times per week.

4.) Fruits, vegetables, grains (whole), olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices should be based on every meal you eat.

A proven study has shown while on the Mediterranean diet it reduces your risk of heart disease, the risk of overall and cardiovascular mortality, cancer and cancer mortality, and it reduces the incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

According to

"The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:
  • Getting plenty of exercise
  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
The diet also recognizes the importance of enjoying meals with family and friends."
The second diet is intended specifically for diabetics. Studies show that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States- 8.3% of the population-have diabetes. But here is a great diet for diabetics:
The Diabetic Diet:
1.) Healthy Carbs: Yes there is such a thing! Avoid carbs such as sugars and starches. Focus more on the healthier cards such as: fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
2.) Fiber-rich foods: such as nuts whole bran foods, and whole flour foods.
Remember that nuts are still a "fatty" food so they should not be eaten in large amounts. Just one hand full a day should be enough. Also, try to avoid nuts that are covered in salt, and honey roasted.
3.) Fish: Try eating fish that are rich in omega-3 such as: salmon mackerel, and herring. Avoid any tilefish swordfish and king mackerel due to high levels of mercury.
4.) 'Good' Fats: Avocado, almonds, pecans, walnuts, olives, canola, olive, and peanut oil are all considered to be 'good' fats.
Now that you have some tips to stay healthy and active try to change some the things you eat. Whether it be eating less red meats and more fish or eating out less and more with your family. Please share any facts or risks you know about obesity and diabetes with friends and family members to make National Nutritional Month a success!