Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tips for the Dancing Toes!

Do you love to use your feet to express yourself? Are you a dancer?  Do you dance barefoot? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be at risk for feet issues. This is a typical problem for dancers, and if you don’t take time to monitor what’s going on with your toes, very painful injuries can result. A few of these common injuries can be found below:
  • Calluses- toughened areas of the skin which have become relatively thick and hard in response to repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation.
  • Blisters- small pockets of fluid within the upper layers of the skin, typically caused by forceful rubbing (friction), burning, freezing, chemical exposure or infection.
  • Bunions- deformities often erroneously described as an enlargement of bone or tissue around the joint at the head of the big toe.
  • Cracks and Splits- sensitive skin on the bottom of the feet and heels becomes too dry, it can split open, leaving painful cracks called fissures on your heels.
  • Athlete's Foot- a fungal infection that usually begins between the toes. It occurs most commonly in people whose feet have become very sweaty while confined within tight-fitting shoes.
Dancing can be a beautiful thing, as long as your feet feel beautiful too. You want to be able to do what you love and keep your feet healthy. Below you will find some tips for healthy toes. Be sure to take proper care of your toes before and after dancing.
Do you want your feet to look like this...

...or this?

    Here are some tips for healthy toes:
    • Make sure to stretch and exercise your toes regularly. This may seem strange, but this will ensure your toes are feeling healthy and it can prevent injuries. A typical toe stretch consists of grabbing your foot by placing a hand on each side and using your fingers to bend your toes down.
    • Proper preventative care starts with soaping feet daily and drying them well, especially between the toes. This is to keep them clean and free of fungus. It's important to dry the feet well, or they will become overly soft and could lead to athlete's foot or skin cracks (athlete's foot is known to start between the toes).
    • Don't ignore foot pain. Symptoms that increase or do not resolve within a reasonable period of time need to be evaluated by your podiatrist.
    Remember, you can enjoy dancing barefoot. It's a great way to exercise and do what you're passionate about. However, you need to take the correct preventative steps to avoiding the serious issues that can come along with neglecting to pamper your feet. Visit our website to see our tips and treatments.

    Community Foot Specialists - Podiatrists/Foot & Ankle Surgeons Serving Dayton and Springfield, Ohio Call today to schedule your appointment! (937) 426-9500

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

    The Right Shoe for You

    By Dr. Bridget Brondon

    Just like all feet are different shapes and sizes, shoes are all different shapes and sizes as well.  No two brands measure the same way, for example Adidas shoes generally run bigger than Nike and Puma shoes run small and narrow.  Even within a certain brand of shoes, different styles can fit differently.

    Different sized feet
    Try and have your foot measured either by someone who knows how to do it at the store, or if you see a foot doctor, you can ask them to measure it also.  This will at least give you a starting point regarding size and width of your foot.  Keep in mind, however, that you may need to go up or down a half-size or more depending on the brand and style of the shoe.

     The only way to know exactly what your size is for a specific shoe is to try on the shoes in the store.  Also, when trying on shoes, try on BOTH the right and left shoes. Most people have one foot that is slightly larger than the other and this can make a difference in the overall comfort of the pair of shoes.  When in doubt, go with the size for the larger foot, not the smaller foot. That way you are less likely to get rubbing or irritation from a shoe that is too small.  If there is a significant difference in the size of your feet, you may need to get a different size for each.  Not all companies offer this, but New Balance is one option that does.

    The shape of our feet can also determine which shoes are better for our feet than others.  Frequently in the office, I will hold up a shoe to a patient’s foot and half of the foot will be hanging over the side!  If your foot does not fit within the lines of your shoe, it is likely causing increased pressure on your foot from squeezing into it.  If you have a wider foot, look for a shoe with a rounded or square forefoot area (the part from the ball of the foot forward).  If you have a narrower foot, look for a shoe that has straps or laces to help hold it on your foot better.  Also, if you have some type of deformity of the foot, such as a bunion or hammertoes, make sure that the shoe you select can accommodate the deformity without adding extra pressure to the area.

    The fabric of the shoe can also make a big difference.  Tighter fabrics with less give to them, such as new leather or plastic, can cause irritation if they are rubbing on prominent areas of the foot.  Softer fabrics can be more flexible which may not be good if you need more support.

    Keep in mind, our shoe size and shape frequently change with time due to gravity and standing/walking on our feet over the years.  Don’t worry so much about the number on the shoe box.  Most people won’t be able to guess the size of your feet just by looking at them so it shouldn’t be a big deal if you have to go up from an 8 to a 9.  Comfort and preventing problems should be more important than the number.

    Community Foot Specialists - Podiatrists/Foot & Ankle Surgeons Serving Dayton and Springfield, Ohio Call today to schedule your appointment! (937) 426-9500

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

    Plantar What?

    Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced "PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus"), one of the most common causes of heel pain, presents itself when there is an issue with the long band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot. This long band is called the plantar fascia, and it creates the arch of the foot by connecting the heel bone to the toes.

    If your plantar fascia is irritated or inflamed, a likely result is heel pain often described as a stabbing feeling in the foot. Most patients agree that the pain is triggered after long periods of rest. For example, they might feel pain in their foot when they take their first steps out of bed or after sitting or lying down for a while. Other patients, such as athletes, feel pain after prolonged periods of activity or exercise (but not during).

    Along with plantar fasciitis, many patients suffer from heel spurs, a bony projection in the heel.  A common misconception is that heel spurs cause plantar fasciitis, but most heel spurs cause no symptoms and many go undetected for years.

    The following are risk factors for developing plantar fasciitis:

    • Being overweight/ obese
    • Age (between ages of 40 and 60)
    • Tight calf muscles
    • Faulty foot mechanics such as high arches or flat feet
    • Impact activity from running or other sports
    • New or increased activity
    • Occupations that require you to spend long hours on feet

    Some simple treatments that you can do from the comfort of your home include rolling a frozen water bottle underneath your foot and stretching your calf muscles multiple times a day. You could also do a towel stretch by using a towel to pull the top part of your foot back towards you while sitting down.

    If you suffer from a more severe case of heel pain, come see us. Some of our treatments include taking an oral anti-inflammatory, cortisone injections, shoe orthotics, and night splints. Call our office to schedule an appointment today.

    Community Foot Specialists
    - Podiatrists/Foot & Ankle Surgeons Serving Dayton and Springfield, Ohio Call today to schedule your appointment! (937) 426-9500