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Posts for tag: ryan anderson

The foot is a very complex structure which when functioning optimally supports and balances the weight of the entire body. Walking alone puts up to 1.5 times one's body weight on the foot. Running has been seen to put 3 times your body weight through every inch of your foot.

Foot pain is not normal and should not be ignored. It can lead to serious problems that can affect the functioning of other parts of the body, including the hips, knees, and back. Foot-related problems are often treated very successfully with orthotic shoe inserts.

Orthotics are prescribed to:

1) Reduce pain
2) Provide support
3) Prevent or slow down the development of a foot deformity
4) Provide better positioning of the foot, knee and hips
5) Improve the overall biomechanical function of the body

Orthotics allows the muscles, tendons and bones of the feet and lower legs to function at their highest potential. When correctly fabricated, orthotics can decrease pain, not only in the foot, but in other parts of the body such as the knee, hip and lower back. By eliminating the need for one's muscles to compensate for imbalances, orthotics can reduce fatigue and promote efficient muscle function to enhance performance. They can also increase stability in an unstable joint and prevent an early foot deformity from developing additional problems.

What you should know about orthotics:

The use of orthotics adds a new dimension in the treatment and prevention of overuse injuries of not only the lower extremity but also of the hip and back. However, there is still confusion as to what orthotics are, what they can and cannot do, along with who really needs them.

What is a functional orthotic?

An orthotic is a device that fits into running shoes to accomplish two things:

(1) To ensure that the foot moves correctly through the various phases of running which includes heel contact, whole foot contact and toe off, the orthotic functions like a rudder to help the foot function efficiently biomechanically.

(2) To support the foot, the orthotic assists the foot and enables it to communicate and align with the rest of the body. The body is then balanced above the foot in midstride as well as when the foot is on the ground.

A true foot orthotic is a custom-made device prescribed by a podiatrist. 

BIOMECHANICAL BASICS

To fully appreciate why some runners need orthotics and others do not, an insight into basic biomechanics will go a long way towards explaining the need for orthotics.

Our feet go through a very complex series of movements to help propel us forward. One of the most important functions of the foot is to help the body absorb shock when it hits the ground. Every time we strike the ground in running, our lower extremities experience a force between one and a half and three times our body weight.

Pronation

The foot normally strikes the ground on the outside (lateral) part of the heel. As soon as this occurs, the heel should roll in. This motion, called pronation, which absorbs shock, gives the appearance that the arch is flattening out. This mechanism of pronation reduces forces to the ankle, knee, hip and back and helps prevent impact related injuries such as stress fractures.

Once this 'pronation phase' is complete, the foot begins to roll-out or supinate slightly, creating a more stable foot position and allowing the lower extremity to achieve maximum efficiency when pushing off.

Pronation then, is a normal, necessary biomechanical motion in foot function. However, if the foot pronates too much or for too long it will remain unstable, making the lower extremity less supportive of body weight. This can result in a multitude of overuse injuries from heel or arch pain, stress fractures, knee, hip and back pain and injuries.

Pronation, therefore, is a problem only when it becomes excessive. Excessive pronation can result from several causes. Hereditary congenital bone structure refers to our foot type, which to a great extent, is genetically predetermined. The position of the joints can cause the foot to assume a pronated position.

Excessive pronation can also result from biomechanical abnormalities. If a certain part of the foot or leg is unable to go through the motion necessary in normal walking and running, another nearby joint may be required to make up or compensate for this lack of motion. For example, one of the most common biomechanical problems causing the foot to over pronate is a tight calf muscle also known as an equinus. The foot needs to bend (dorsiflex) upwards five to ten degrees at the ankle for normal lower extremity motion to occur.

If this motion is unavailable, the foot will overpronate to make up for the limitation. By stretching the calf muscle properly, these forces acting on the foot can be reduced and can help to prevent lower extremity injuries.

Finally, improper shoe gear is another cause of overpronation. Running shoes that have a curved last or shape will tend to increase the amount of pronation that occurs in the foot. Many shoes are categorized as 'motion control shoes', usually made from a straight last, have more supportive materials on the inner (medial) side of the shoe to limit the amount of inward roll (pronation). They are not included to stop pronation but to let this motion occur in normal limits.

Many runners almost literally run their shoes into the ground and discard them only when they have the shoes reduced to little more than a pulp. Shoes are meant to only last 6 months or 500 miles; whichever comes first. Remember that if the shoe is worn-out or broken down it cannot function in the way it was designed.

Supination

Is the opposite motion of pronation. It occurs normally right after heel strike to help the foot become a 'rigid lever' to propel toe-off. 

A foot that underpronates is not able to absorb ground shock very well and can be prone to stress fractures. A foot that underpronates needs a shoe capable of absorbing shock well. Motion control is usually not very important in this type of foot; however, in some cases foot orthotics can help in supporting and redistributing pressure in the foot when a neutral cushioned shoe is just not enough.

How do you know if you need orthotics?

Most serious runners who have biomechanical imperfections end up with orthotics out of necessity. The runner who runs fewer than 20 miles per week will not likely need orthotics unless they have a serious biomechanical weakness, but for the serious runner any biomechanical weakness will be magnified, with the result being injury.

When a runner gets a series of nagging injuries one after the other, they are probably caused by a biomechanical flaw and can be corrected by orthotics. Runners who suffer from chronic knee pain, arch pain, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, hip and lower back pain and certain types of muscular fatigue very often benefit from orthotics.

 

Is your foot red, hot and swollen? Does it hurt so bad you don’t even want to put your socks on? Did the swelling and pain come on overnight with no warning or trauma? You may have gout! If you have ever been diagnosed with gout you know just how painful it can be.    
Gout is an inflammatory condition induced by the deposition of uric acid crystals within our joints. Uric acid is produced in the body daily, but is also derived from purines found in foods we eat. When your body produces too much uric acid or excretes too little, you may experience a gout attack. Gout attacks are usually associated with over eating of purine rich foods, but also can be caused by dehydration and other kidney related problems. The condition can be extremely debilitating during an  attack which, usually comes on without warning and leads to excruciating pain. Even light pressure such as the touch of a bed sheet. Gout likes to deposit in the joints of our feet, especially the great toe joint, because the decreased body temperature at this part of our bodies allows uric acid crystals to precipitate out of our blood.
In the past gout was delegated mostly to the wealthy being dubbed the “rich man’s disease” because the prevalence of this condition among this group. Today the wealthy and poor are equally affected due to availability of foods rich in purine rich proteins.
Drug treatments that suppress the formation of uric acid crystals and reduce inflammation are generally prescribed; however, limiting your intake of purine-containing foods may also be advised. Let Foot and Ankle Specialists of Utah help! Call for your appointment today.   

 Guidelines to Manage Gout
Avoid excessive use of alcohol. No more than 1-2 drinks a day. Your body will selectively metabolize the alcohol instead of the uric acid in your system
Maintain your weight. Attempts to rapidly reduce weight may provoke an attack.
Use moderation when consuming foods high in purines.
Select foods that provide less than 100 grams of protein (14 oz. meat) daily

Foods with High Purine Content
Anchovies, Herring,  Meats, Bouillon (prepared) Sardines, Scallops, Consommé, Mackerel,
Game meats, Meat extracts, Goose Mincemeat Gravy, Mussels, Yeast, Red Wine and Beer.

 

 

Pregnancy causes a lot of changes in your body and let's face it some of them aren't the most appealing. Your feet, especially can take a real beating. Circulation may be limited, they become swollen and painful and you can't wear any of your normal shoes. Needless to say, it can become quite painful and frustrating.

 
 
Here are some tips to help make you and your feet more comfortable during your pregnancy:

1. Don't Go Barefoot- this is true for those pregnant or not, but pregnant women who have a hard time wearing their regular shoes may be more inclined to go without. however, you need the support now more than ever. This will also help ensure that you don't slip or fall.

2. Don't Cross Your Legs- this will only help the decrease of blood to your feet

3. Don't Smoke (of course!!)- but this will also decreases circulation to your feet

4. Get Checked by a Podiatrist- your feet can change size and shape during pregnancy, which is why your shoes may not fit. In addition the added baby weight can put your feet uinder a lot of pressure. Your feet need extra support during this time, which is why it's so important to visit a podiatrist. Orthotics, or other inserts can also help to stabilize the foot and reduce pressure.

Prevention is key to eliminating pain even before it happens. Be sure to have your feet checked by a podiatrist. Call  Foot and Ankle Specialists of Utah today for an appointment!
!enteeeanAA 

Take a second to think about it, but chances are you have been ignoring one of the 5 problems listed below? Your not alone! It's common to struggle with foot pain and not do anything about it. Let us help you get back to pain free feet!  

  1. Heel Pain. It’s #1 on the list because of how often it occurs. There are many reasons heel pain can occur and many of them are easily resolved with proper care.
  2. Ankle Sprain. There are many important ligaments that support your ankle. Ignoring or not treating them can lead to a repetitive problem and sometimes completely destroy these tissues.
  3. Achilles Pain. Most often caused by entering a new activity or increasing the intensity without proper training or warm up. Tendonitis can be treated conservatively and should be. Failure to get proper and timely treatment can result in ruptures, which do require surgery to repair.
  4. Big Toe Pain. Some problems affecting the big toe, such as gout, are often too painful for you to ignore. Stiffness or decreased motion is more likely to take a backseat. This is often the result of damage to the joint due to poor foot mechanics; mechanics that can easily be adjusted with inserts.
  5. Ingrown Toenails. Some individuals are more prone to developing them than others, but avoiding tight fitting shoes is a contributing factor you can easily implement. A simple in-office procedure can have you walking pain free.

All of our podiatrists are well qualified to identify and treat all of these problems. The Foot and Ankle Specialists of Utah website can help you schedule an appointment. Seeking proper treatment sooner, rather than later, can help you avoid future problems that may prevent you from many activities you enjoy. Call us today for an appointment!!!.........enteee 

What do we look for in a good school shoe?

First and foremost, we look for a good fit. We know this seems obvious, but so many parents pick out shoes without their children present! Yes, it is easier that way, but it is not the best option for shoe fit. Every shoe fits differently. A different style or brand can make the difference in needing to go up or down a size or a width.

It is so important to remember that growing kids need arch support and cushioning. It is always a better choice to send our children to school in a shoe with some support, rather than in some cute ballerina flats that are going to kill their feet by the end of the day!

Look for shoe options with a round toe box. This allows toes their own real estate. Shoes that taper will result in cramping toes. This over the years can cause permanent bending of the toes (called “hammertoes”) that could become painful.

If your child plays a sport consistently, it is important to invest in a sport specific shoe. The support for these shoes is very different depending on the sport they play.

Run your hand inside the shoe and feel for any sharp edges, creases, seams or lumps. They may look good on the outside and still be defective on the inside!

Take into account the weight of the shoe. A heavy shoe is a heavy burden on feet. Tendinitis is a common condition seen when feet are having to work over time to lug around the shoe.

Heels and wedge shoes are not appropriate for school! With lot's of stairs and play grounds these are a winning combination for ankle sprains.

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Shoe Sizing Tips!                                                                                                                                  

  1. Measure feet at the end of the day as they tend to swell later in the day.             
  2. Feet may measure different sizes. Always err to the larger size.
  3. Measure feet with the child standing with one foot next to the other. This allows full weight bearing on the foot being measured.
  4. Allow for one thumb width from the toe to the end of the shoe.
  5. Have the child walk around the store to feel for any creases and to make sure the heel is not coming up out of the shoe.

And let us not forget to check out the seams in those socks! Some sock seams are super bulky and can rub those little toes raw!

We all want what is best for our children. Place a little focus on their feet this month and they will put their best foot forward!