Posts for: July, 2019
Summer is an easy season for implementing and maintaining an outdoor fitness regimen. At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know that being active has several benefits for your feet, including:
- Increasing flexibility and range of motion
- Maintaining a healthy weight which in turn reduces stress on your feet and ankles
- Improving circulation
However, there are certain conditions in the summer months that require some extra precautions. Below are some do’s and don’ts for a healthy summer workout.
Don’t: plan to exercise during the hottest time of the day. Late afternoon or early evening and early morning are usually safer time slots, especially during particularly hot stretches.
Do: always have plenty of water with you. Not only do you sweat more during hot weather, but your risk of edema or painful swelling of the feet and ankles is increased. Drinking lots of water will help flush excess fluid from your body.
Don’t: exercise if you don’t have the proper shoes. While it might be tempting to join in an impromptu softball game at a family barbeque, if the only shoes you have are sandals or flip flops sit the game out. Wearing non-supportive footwear to play sports is likely to result in an ankle sprain or other injuries.
Do: find a cool place to cool down after your workout. Inflammation and swelling will be worse if you stay out in the heat after you’re done exercising. Be sure to engage in some static stretches of your quads, hamstring, calves and other large muscle groups—these types of stretches are best done on muscles that are warmed up, not before you start.
Do: stop exercising if you feel lightheaded, start to cramp or experience any foot or ankle pain. If the pain persists even after you stop, contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices today for an appointment so that one of our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. can examine you and determine if a sports injury has occurred.
Have you noticed that your heels are hurting more this summer or that you have pain in the arch of your foot? At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, our next question would be: “How much time are you spending in flip-flops?” These popular summer shoes are easy to slip on and the favorites of many patients, but flip-flops were never designed for all-day, everyday wear.
Why They Flop
Part of what attracts people to flip-flops is precisely their primary shortcoming: there’s nothing there. While you may enjoy the freedom that having very little material on or around your foot brings, it also leaves your foot vulnerable to a host of foot and ankle problems.
- No arch support—when your foot hits the ground flat with each step, it puts a strain on the long band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, the plantar fascia. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed from an excessive amount of time wearing flip-flops, you develop plantar fasciitis and your arch and heel can begin to hurt quite badly. Good arch support is essential for avoiding foot pain.
- Lack of cushioning—traditional flip-flops have only a thin layer of rubber between the bottom of your foot and the surface you’re walking on. This means a lack of shock absorption and leads to pain in the ball and heel of your foot.
- No protection—because there is no footbed or material surrounding your foot, it is nearly impossible for your foot to stay in place. Flip-flop wearers have a high risk of ankle sprains. The opportunity for cuts, scrapes and toe stubs is also greatly increased.
The Flip Side
The one scenario where flip-flops are an appropriate shoe choice is at the pool, lake or ocean. Worn briefly in these settings, flip-flops can help prevent fungal infections like athlete’s foot and protect your feet from burns as you go from the parking area to your beach blanket.
If you are unwilling to give up your flip-flops, look for manufacturers that are adding support and other features to address common flip-flop flaws. If you are experiencing foot pain or would like shoe recommendations, contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices today and talk to our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know the importance of wearing good shoes for the health of your feet. To prevent injury and ensure good podiatric health, you should wear shoes that fit properly, are well-made and offer adequate arch support, have a cushioned footbed, a firm heel counter and sturdy sole with a non-slip tread.
Below are some fun facts about footwear that you may not know:
- The average shoe size in America has increased two sizes in the last four decades.
- The oldest shoe found dates back 5,500 years ago and was found in an Armenian cave.
- The U.S. Rubber Company created the first sneaker in America in 1916. They were originally called Keds.
- The most expensive shoes ever were Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, which sold for $660,000.
- 9 out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small for their feet.
- The world record for largest foot belongs to Matthew McGrory who wears a US size 28 ½.
- There is only one shoe museum in North America. It is located in Toronto, Canada and features shoes over a 4,500-year period.
- In Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, all heels on shoes were colored red.
- The ancient Romans were the first to make shoes that fit left and a right foot. Before that, a shoe could be worn on either foot.
- It wasn’t until the 18th century in Europe that women’s shoes began to be different from men’s shoes.
If you have questions about the best shoes for your feet, particularly if you have a chronic foot or ankle problem you need to accommodate, don’t hesitate to contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices and ask one of our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. for recommendations.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know that many of our patients are planning to spend time at some of Connecticut’s beautiful beaches this summer. Nothing can ruin a day at the beach quicker than a foot or ankle problem, however. Below are some common podiatric issues that can occur while you’re enjoying surf and sand.
Burns—there are two kinds of burns you need to protect your feet from at the beach: sun and sand. For some reason, people often don’t apply sunscreen to their feet, but a burn on the skin of your feet can make it treacherous to walk or wear shoes. Always re-apply sunscreen after you come out of the water and put on the bottoms of your feet too if you are lying out in the sun. Sand can also be way hotter than it looks. Even a short run to your beach towel can result in a bad burn to the soles of your feet.
Ankle Sprains—the sand gives way under your feet and turns them in unexpected directions. This can lead to an ankle-twisting injury if you are playing Frisbee or another beach game, or even just walking. Pack a pair of sneakers in your beach bag if a walk along the shore is part of your beach day plans.
Jellyfish Stings—even dead jellyfish that have washed up on the sand still have stingers that will hurt your feet if you step on them. Steer clear if you see these sea creatures.
Cuts and Puncture Wounds—while your path may look clear, just beneath the surface of the sand may be glass, metal debris, sharps stones or broken shells that can cause a cut or deep puncture wound. If this occurs, wash out the wound immediately and apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage. For deep puncture wounds, call one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices so that one of our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. can check it and make sure it does not become infected.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we find that the summer months tend to bring an increase in the number of cases of athlete’s foot we treat. Although children get this fungal infection more often than adults due to their habits and hygiene, both are particularly susceptible to the condition during this season because of the greater opportunity for people to be barefoot.
Symptoms of athlete’s foot include:
- Intense itching between the toes and on the soles of the feet
- Dry skin
- Redness and inflammation
- Blisters and oozing
Many over-the-counter treatments available for athlete’s foot often fail to make contact with the fungus which can be in the lower layers of the skin. If not treated promptly, athlete’s foot can spread to other parts of the body and other family members. It’s also possible for a secondary bacterial infection to develop where blisters pop and leave tender new tissue exposed. For this reason, it’s best to let our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. evaluate the skin condition and prescribe the best treatment.
Of course, the best treatment is prevention. Below are some suggestions for how to avoid contracting athlete’s foot.
- Keep feet clean. Wash them every day with warm water and a mild soap. It’s also important to dry them very well between the toes and all over.
- Don’t walk barefoot. Especially in public places like pools, beach or lake changing areas and restrooms, nail salons, gyms and camp showers.
- Change your shoes. Wearing the same pair over and over can increase the growth of fungi and bacteria inside the shoe.
- Don’t let feet get damp. Change your socks during the day if necessary. Apply a talcum or anti-fungal powder each day to help keep feet dry.
- Teach children not to share footwear, towels or other items that touch another person’s foot.