Study Links High-Heels To Heel And Ankle Pain

Women should think twice before buying their next pair of high-heels or pumps, according to researchers at the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife in a new study of older adults and foot problems. The researchers found that the types of shoes women wear, specifically high-heels, pumps and sandals, may cause future hind-foot (heel and ankle) pain. Nearly 64 percent of women who reported hind-foot pain regularly wore these types of shoes at some point in their life.

While foot pain is a common complaint in the U.S. adult population — foot and toe symptoms are among the top 20 reasons for physician visits among those 65 to 74 years of age—relatively little is known about the causes of foot pain in older adults.

From a list of 11 shoe types, study participants were asked about the one style of shoe they currently wear on a regular basis, what they regularly wore during five age periods in the past, and if they experience pain, aching or stiffness in either foot on most days. Nearly 30 percent of women and 20 percent of men reported generalized foot pain, which is in line with other foot-pain studies. There was a significant association in women who reported hind-foot pain and past shoe wear that included high-heels and pumps. The shoe types were classified as “poor” (high-heels, pumps, sandals and slippers), “average” (hard- or rubber-soled shoes and work boots), and “good” (athletic and casual sneakers). More than 60 percent of women reported wearing “poor” shoes in the past, compared to only 2 percent of men (13 percent of women said they currently wear “poor” shoes).

If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.

Posted in Foot Conditions, Foot and Ankle Injuries | Comments Off

Barefoot Running: How Humans Ran Comfortably and Safely Before The Invention Of Shoes

Scientists have found that those who run barefoot, or in minimal footwear, tend to avoid “heel-striking,” and instead land on the ball of the foot or the middle of the foot. In so doing, these runners use the architecture of the foot and leg and some clever Newtonian physics to avoid hurtful and potentially damaging impacts, equivalent to two to three times body weight, that shod heel-strikers repeatedly experience.

People who don’t wear shoes when they run have an astonishingly different strike. By landing on the middle or front of the foot, barefoot runners have almost no impact collision, much less than most shod runners generate when they heel-strike. Most people today think barefoot running is dangerous and hurts, but actually you can run barefoot on the world’s hardest surfaces without the slightest discomfort and pain. All you need is a few calluses to avoid roughing up the skin of the foot. Further, it might be less injurious than the way some people run in shoes.

Most shod runners—more than 75 percent of Americans—heel-strike, experiencing a very large and sudden collision force about 1,000 times per mile run. People who run barefoot, however, tend to land with a springy step towards the middle or front of the foot.

Heel-striking is painful when barefoot or in minimal shoes because it causes a large collisional force each time a foot lands on the ground. Barefoot runners point their toes more at landing, avoiding this collision by decreasing the effective mass of the foot that comes to a sudden stop when you land, and by having a more compliant, or springy, leg.

If you are experiencing foot pain, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.
Posted in Foot Care, Heel Pain | Comments Off

Runners’ Foot Injuries Could Be Due To Ill-Fitting Shoes

Loyola University Medical Center researchers conducted a first-of-its-kind study of marathon runners to determine if there is a link between foot injuries and ill-fitting shoes. Researchers surveyed runners in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon who sought treatment for foot and ankle injuries in the podiatry tent. Researchers asked runners their chief complaint for entering the podiatry tent, and measured the runners’ feet and shoe sizes. Researchers recorded how many marathons each runner had completed and the brand and style of the runner’s shoes and socks.

Runners also were asked to estimate how many miles they have put on their shoes. (Experts generally recommend replacing shoes after about 500 miles, but some runners keep their shoes much longer.) Runners who use minimalist shoes that mimic barefoot running were not included in the study. Previous studies have examined shoe fit and foot injuries in special populations such as in diabetic patients and the elderly. The Loyola study is the first to examine the association between shoe fit and foot injuries in marathon runners.

Usually, between 200 and 400 runners seek treatment in the podiatry tent for such injuries as blisters, toenail injuries, plantar fasciitis (heel pain), foot stress fractures and sprained ankles. Most of these injuries are related to improper shoes, socks or training

Shoes that are either too small or too large can cause injuries.  Many runners buy shoes that are half-a-size or a full size too large, to allow for foot swelling during running and to make room for their orthotics. When buying running shoes, wear your normal running socks and orthotics, and buy late in the day after your feet have become swollen from walking around all day.

If you are experiencing foot pain or a recent foot injury, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.

Posted in Foot Care, Heel Pain | Comments Off

For Foot, Ankle, and Heel Injuries Follow Up With A Podiatrist

Parents of kids with foot, ankle, and heel injuries often bring their kids to the pediatrician or the emergency room first, but they still need to follow up with a podiatrist. With extensive experience in foot and ankle therapies, podiatrists are uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat foot problems in young people through examination and imaging beyond basic x-rays, which don’t always reveal the cause of the pain.
Preparation and recognition of warning signs can help prevent or reduce the severity of the foot, ankle or heel pain. Supportive shoes are a must, but it’s not always obvious when to switch shoes or adapt them for the best fit. Consider these guidelines:

  • For heel pain, use inserts to raise the heel, especially in flat-footed cleats.
  • Discard shoes that caused pain. Don’t use them for another sport.
  • Wear well constructed shoes designed for specific sports.
  • Replace cleats often because they are not supportive shoes.
  • Don’t skip warm-up or cool-down exercises. Stretching helps prevent heel pain, especially when sports call for explosive sprints that pull suddenly on tendons.

Several things should tip parents off that their child needs attention, including limping, complaining, walking on toes, and pain the morning after a game. Parents should never push their children to play when their feet hurt, even if it is “the big game.” Foot pain is never normal and you should never play when you are in pain.

If you are interested in a foot examination, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.

Posted in Ankle Sprains, Foot Care, Foot and Ankle Injuries | Comments Off

Treating Stress Fractures In The Foot

Stress fractures can occur anywhere in the foot and can eventually lead to a complete break of the bone if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to ensure proper healing.

If a break is suspected, runners should immediately follow the RICE protocol: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. If pain and swelling last longer than a few days, a visit to a podiatrist for an x-ray and diagnosis is in order.

In most cases, treatment includes rest and immobilization with casting of the foot. Surgery may be required in certain instances to repair and stabilize a stress fracture that has progressed into a full fracture.

Runners can take action to prevent repetitive stress injuries in their feet by wearing supportive athletic shoes and slowly building up their activity levels according to their abilities.

If a runner suffers from abnormal mechanics in the foot, such as overpronation or hypermobility, custom orthotics can also be helpful to prevent these injuries.

If you are suffering from stress fractures in the foot, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.

Posted in Foot Care, Foot and Ankle Injuries | Comments Off

Perform The 1,2,3 Test Before Buying Shoes For Your Children

Shopping for healthy shoes can be a daunting task without knowing what to look for—but the following tips can make any shoe purchase an easy, smart, and safe one:

  • Before buying a shoe, perform the “1,2,3 Test.” First, squeeze the back of a shoe’s heel and ensure that it does not collapse. Second, grab the front (toe box) of the shoe and make sure that the shoe bends where the child’s toes would naturally bend in the shoe. Third, grab the shoe at both ends and try to gently twist. Shoes should never twist in the middle and should be rigid. If a shoe fails any of these three steps, it should not be purchased.
  • Never hand down footwear. Sharing shoes can spread fungus such as athlete’s foot, and regardless of shoe size, shoes that are previously worn can cause problems.
  • Have a child’s foot measured regularly. Most shoe stores will be happy to measure a child’s foot. Children should also receive a foot health check-up from a podiatrist that includes foot measurement to ensure proper fit. Since shoe sizes may not be consistent from one manufacturer to the next, use size only as a guide, making sure the shoe is comfortable on the child’s foot.
  • No “break-in” period required. Your child’s shoes should be comfortable to wear immediately and should not require a break-in period for comfort.

If you interested in a foot examiniation, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.

Posted in Foot Care | Comments Off

Diabetes Patients Should See A Podiatrist For Regular Foot Examinations

The number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes continues to rise toward record levels, with an estimated one in three adults predicted to have the disease by the year 2050, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Because many serious complications from diabetes present in the lower limbs, proper foot care for those with the disease is a vital step to keeping the disease in check. In fact, a new study on foot care for people with diabetes conducted by Thomson Reuters confirms that care by a podiatrist can drastically reduce the incidence of diabetes-related hospitalizations and amputations.

It’s important to realize that simple lifestyle changes can go a long way toward staying healthy with diabetes. These include eating right, being active, monitoring blood glucose, and checking your feet daily. Diabetic foot complications are the leading cause of non-traumatic, lower-limb amputations in the U.S .

According to preliminary results from the Thomson Reuters study, those with diabetes who received care from a podiatrist had a nearly 29 percent lower risk of lower limb amputation, and 24 percent lower risk of hospitalization, than those who did not. Everyone with diabetes and those at risk for the disease should remove their shoes and socks and inspect their feet and visit a podiatrist for a foot exam. Symptoms in the feet such as redness, tingling, and cuts that are not healing can lead to diabetic ulcers and even possible amputation without prompt medical care.
If you interested in a foot examiniation, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.
Posted in Diabetic Foot Problems, Foot Care, Foot Conditions | Comments Off

Pediatric Flatfoot: Cause For Alarm?

Parents keep a close eye on their growing children, watching for proper development and alert for any sign of a problem because small problems can have big implications. Pediatric flatfoot is a childhood condition that, if left untreated, can result in permanent deformity in adulthood. Flatfoot deformity makes mobility and exercise painful, increasing the risk of reduced cardiovascular health and obesity.

Parents never want their child to undergo a surgical procedure. But uncorrected symptomatic flatfoot can lead to chronic pain and instability as the child ages into adulthood. Children will be on their feet for a long time to come. It’s vital to keep those feet healthy. A podiatrist can help parents understand the options—surgical and non-surgical—for treating pediatric flatfoot.

Not all children have symptoms, but others will complain of pain, tenderness or cramping in the foot, leg, and knee. Parents may notice an outward tilting of the heel, awkwardness or clumsiness in walking and difficulty with shoes. Pediatric flatfoot makes participating in activities more difficult, so parents should take note if their child is unable to keep up with playmates, tires easily or voluntarily withdraws from physical activities.

To diagnose a pediatric flatfoot, a podiatrist examines the child’s foot in weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing positions, both in and out of shoes. The physician also notes how the child walks and evaluates the foot’s range of motion. In some cases, flat feet are associated with issues of the hip and knee, so the physician may examine those as well.

If you are concerned about your child developing Flatfoot, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best advice and options.

Posted in Flafoot, Foot Conditions | Comments Off

What is Hammer Toe?

Hammer toe is a deformity of the toe, in which the end of the toe is bent downward. It usually affects the second toe. However, it may also affect the other toes. The toe moves into a claw-like position.

The most common cause of hammer toe is wearing short, narrow shoes that are too tight. The toe is forced into a bent position. Muscles and tendons in the toe tighten and become shorter. Hammer toe is more likely to occur in women who wear shoes that do not fit well or have high heels, and children who keep wearing shoes they have outgrown. The condition may be present at birth (congenital) or develop over time. In rare cases, all of the toes are affected. This may be caused by a problem with the nerves or spinal cord.

Following are common symptoms: The middle joint of the toe is bent. The end part of the toe bends down into a claw-like deformity. At first, you may be able to move and straighten the toe. Over time, you will no longer be able to move the toe. A corn often forms on the top of the toe. A callus is found on the sole of the foot. Walking or wearing shoes can be painful.

Mild hammer toe in children can be treated by manipulating and splinting the affected toe. The following changes in footwear may help relieve symptoms: Wear the right size shoes or shoes with wide toe boxes for comfort, and to avoid making hammer toe worse. Avoid high heels as much as possible. Wear soft insoles to relieve pressure on the toe. Protect the joint that is sticking out with corn pads or felt pads.

For severe hammer toe, you will need an operation to straighten the joint. The surgery often involves cutting or moving tendons and ligaments. Sometimes the bones on each side of the joint need to be connected (fused) together. Most of the time, you will go home on the same day as the surgery. The toe may still be stiff afterward, and it may be shorter.

If you are suffering from Hammer Toe, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

Posted in Foot Conditions, Hammertoes | Comments Off

Researchers Examine Causes Of Chronic Heel Pain

A doctoral student in the kinesiology department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has begun an in-depth study of a foot disorder that affects more than 2 million Americans.   Ryan Chang’s research on the biomechanics of foot muscles and connective tissue will help scientists to understand the mechanisms that cause chronic heel pain and may lead to more specialized treatment of the disorder.

Chang’s preliminary results give the first experimental evidence to confirm the theory behind the disorder plantar fasciitis, or chronic heel pain.  People with the disorder have more flexible arches than those that do not, and the from and back portions of affected feet often move out of sync.

Chronic heel pain most often affects people whose jobs require them to work on their feet, such as service workers, hospital workers, flight attendants, postal workers and construction workers.

Many people affected by the disorder describe the symptoms as a sharp, knife-like pain in their heel.  The disorder gets its name from the portion of the foot that it is believed to affect:  the plantar fascia, which is a strip of connective tissue that attaches to the bottom of the heel and runs along the arch of the foot, fanning out to attach to all five toes.   Clinicians have traditional associated the painful symptoms with over-stretching and inflammation of the connective tissue, but this correlation has never been proven.

If you are suffering from a chronic heel pain?  The podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.

Posted in Foot Care, Heel Pain | Comments Off