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Five Tips for Healthy Holiday Feet
Sore, achy feet should not ruin your holiday season. Follow these five quick tips to keep your feet and ankles safe and healthy:
1. If the shoe fits, wear it. When hitting the dance floor or the shopping malls during the holiday season, do not compromise comfort and safety when picking the right shoes to wear. Narrow shoes, overly high-heeled ones or shoes that are not worn very often, such as dress shoes, can irritate feet and lead to blisters, calluses, swelling and even severe ankle injuries. Choose a shoe that has a low heel and fits your foot in length, width and depth while you are standing.
2. Avoid overindulging in holiday cheer. Certain foods and beverages high in purines, such as shellfish, red meat, red wine and beer, can trigger painful gout attacks, a condition in which uric acid builds up and crystallizes in and around joints, particularly in the big toe. Stay hydrated and be mindful of what you are putting into your body.
3. Be pedicure-safety conscious. Before you head out for your holiday pedicure, remember that nail salons can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Reduce your risk of infection by choosing a salon that follows proper sanitation practices and is licensed by the state. Also consider purchasing your own pedicure instruments to bring along to your appointment. The safest option is to schedule a nail care appointment with us, and get your nails painted at the salon.
4. Watch for ice and snow. Holiday winter wonderlands can be beautiful but also dangerous. Use caution when traveling outdoors and watch for ice or snow patches along your trail. If you experience a fall, take a break from activities until you can see a foot and ankle surgeon. Use RICE therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) to help reduce the pain and control swelling around the injury.
5. Listen to your feet. Foot pain and holiday fun do not mix. Inspect your feet regularly for any evidence of ingrown toenails, bruising, swelling, blisters, dry skin or calluses. If you notice any pain, swelling or signs of problems, schedule an appointment with us right away!
Maintaining your body can seem like a daunting task some days. We've all been there and we get it! Some days it might seem like the aches and pains of getting older just keep creeping up on you. Or maybe you wake up in the morning and feel fantastic? No matter what stage of life you are in, or the level of wellness that you have achieved, sticking to the basics will keep you headed in the right direction!
Exercise is something we all know that we should be doing, but it's not always at the top of our list of things we "must do" daily. There are some easy ways to get more exercise without changing your entire life's schedule. Trying one of these a week will add longevity to your life, and will only take up a few extra moments in the process.
- Try parking a little further away from the entrance at the next store you visit.
- While shopping in the grocery store, take a couple laps around the store before you check out.
- If there's an elevator in the lobby, maybe take the stairs?
- Instead of letting your puppy outside on his own, take him/her for a walk around the block.
Water is one of the most basic needs we have as human beings. Our body requires consumption of water to assist in all of the body's functions. With the vast variety of beverage choices at any local convenience store, choosing to drink water is sometimes a difficult choice. Consider the following when choosing your beverage for the day:
- Water aides in digestion, removal of toxins and waste, and promotes healthy regeneration inside the body.
- Drinking plenty of water through out the day can help with headaches, can reduce constipation, and promote heart health.
- Drinking water regularly can help with joint inflammation, aches & pains, muscle cramps, and stiffness.
Eating a healthy diet can absolutely improve your level of health & wellness, in the short and long-term. It can be difficult to completely change the way that you eat, but making some small changes to your diet could make all the difference. At the supermarket, gas station, or just about any store that offers food to purchase, you will find many "new" options that are more healthy and natural. Paying attention to what you put into your body will ultimately determine what you get out of your body!
- Choose snacks that are natural as opposed to processed ( apples instead of fruit snacks)
- Choose fresh ingredients when ever it is possible (visit a local produce stand!)
- Talk to your doctor about choosing the best diet for YOUR body
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While conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, and nerve impingements can cause heel pain, the most common cause is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot. Poor biomechanics, lack of supportive footwear, obesity, and overuse contribute to the condition. The pain is typically worse in the morning upon first rising. Pain may present on the bottom of the heel and radiate to the arch, or in the arch alone. Plantar fasciitis typically worsens over time. As with most conditions, the longer one has the issue, the longer it may take to recover.
The best course of treatment uses a multi-modal approach. Henderson Podiatry offers an array of options consisting of: prescribing a day and night splint for support and stretch, stretching exercises to relieve tension, steroid injections to reduce inflammation, supportive footwear and orthotics to promote proper gait mechanics, and following the R.I.C.E. guidelines (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). Other treatment options include: laser therapy, physical therapy, and surgery.
Reduce your risk for developing or preventing a recurrence of plantar fasciitis. Be sure to stretch after exercising and be careful not to over train. Wear supportive footwear that does not bend or twist easily. Invest in a good pair of custom orthotics, especially if you work on your feet a lot. If you are experiencing any kind of foot pain that is impacting your daily life, call our office today.
An ingrown toenail, also known as onychocryptosis, occurs when a corner or side of the nail grows into the skin of the toe. This may cause redness, swelling, pain, and possible infection. An ingrown nail is most common, but not limited to, the big toe. The nail may become ingrown on either or both sides of the toe. As with any foot concern, those with weakened immune systems, poor circulation, or diabetes are at greater risk for developing an infection.
Ingrown nails may result from trimming the nails too short or too curved. Toenails should grow to the tip of the toe and be cut straight across. Footwear that is particularly constraining to the toes, may also put excessive pressure on the nails and cause them to be ingrown. An injury to the nail itself can cause an ingrown nail.
Left untreated an infection can arise and in severe cases spread to the bone. Home remedies include: soaking, lifting the nail with a small piece of cotton, applying antibiotic ointment, and taking oral pain relievers. When home remedies don’t correct the issue, it’s time to call the Podiatrist. An ingrown nail can be treated in the office as a minimally invasive procedure. The toe will be injected with a numbing agent. The nail will be partially or fully removed, and a chemical mixture may be applied to prevent regrowth. In cases of partial removal, once healed, the skin will grow back up to the new nail border and look like a normal nail. It is imperative to follow any after care instructions given and if prescribed an oral antibiotic, be sure to take all the allotted doses.
If you have an ingrown nail and experience any signs of an infection (fever, chills, nausea, discharge from the area, red streaking from the affected area, or the area is warm to the touch), call our office to schedule an appointment immediately. It’s best to treat the infection right away, rather then let it develop and spread to other areas of the body.
Warts are areas of hard skin that can present in different forms. They may appear to look like a callus, some are bubbled, and some can be distinguished by small black dots. The dots are the blood vessels that supply the wart. Warts are caused by an infection of the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is a transmittable virus that can be spread through contact. HPV thrives in warm moist places such as public swimming pools and gym locker rooms. The virus typically enters the foot through small cracks or breaks in the skin. Not everyone who comes in contact with the virus will develop a wart, but it is always best to take proper precautions. Plantar warts are warts found on the bottom of the foot, typically on the heel or ball of the foot near the toes. Plantar warts can be solitary (just a single wart) or mosaic (a cluster of warts). Since these warts are found on the soles of the feet, they can become painful when weight bearing.
The best prevention method is to always wear proper footwear and never walk barefoot. Keep your feet clean and dry by wearing breathable shoes and changing socks as needed. While it is unlikely to transmit the virus just by touching a wart, it is recommended to use a separate wash cloth for the affected area. Be sure to seek treatment for any household members affected to prevent the spread to others.
Without treatment, some warts may resolve on their own in six months to two years. The most effective treatment combines modalities. Topical and oral medications may be prescribed. The wart may be debrided (clearing the area of dead skin), and laser treatment may be used. Laser therapy is fast and effective as it seals off the blood vessels that supply the wart with nutrients.
If you think you have a wart, notice a change in skin on the bottom of your foot, or have a lesion on your foot, call our office today for a consultation.