Posts for: March, 2020
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know that most of our Middlesex and Hartford county patients are self-isolating and largely confined to home. Let’s stay positive! One benefit to being home is a chance to get to those jobs there never seems to be enough time for—like cleaning out your closet. Below are some tips on what on deciding what to keep and what to toss. When the quarantine is over, we’ll all be looking forward to lots of socializing and your wardrobe will be ready for every occasion.
Start with Shoes
Obviously, it’s our favorite section of your closet! The best shoes are those made of a somewhat soft and flexible material and have roomy toe boxes and low, wide heels. Soles should be shock absorbing and made of a skid-resistant material like rubber. It may surprise you to know, but a study conducted by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society found that 8 out of 10 women say their shoes are painful and that women are 9 times more likely to develop a foot problem than men due to improper fitting shoes. Our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. and Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. urge patients to discard shoes that make your feet hurt.
Weeding out Your Wardrobe
Here are some tips for sorting through the clothes in your closet:
Start by going through and removing everything you know you don’t wear anymore or that doesn’t fit. If you don’t feel that you have a clear handle on this, try facing all your hangers in the same direction. When you wear an item, turn the hanger around. At the end of the season, donate items you haven’t worn.
For items you are on the fence about, ask yourself if the piece can be used with at least three other items in your wardrobe. Going forward, try to buy clothes that coordinate with multiple items for a more efficient closet.
If you have clothes that are tough to toss, ask yourself why? If it’s a classic piece that is stained, for example, you need to get a replacement. If the hem is coming down, get it fixed. If you’re not able to wear it, determine if what’s stopping you is fixable or not.
Add a fun social element to your purge by face timing with friends and offer a virtual swap of items that are in good condition that you no longer use.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we hope that all of our Middlesex and Hartford County patients are staying healthy during this uncertain time of the Coronavirus. We are hearing that many families are getting a little stir crazy. We’d like to suggest a way to help the health of your feet (and the rest of your body) and restore some family sanity: exercise.
Being Active Has Multiple Benefits
Chances are your children are less active with the cancellation of school and the spring sports season. With limited places open and many adults unable to go into their offices, everyone is definitely low on steps and physical movement.
Exercise can be helpful in many ways:
- Helps maintain a healthy weight (or aids in a weight loss program)
- Improves circulation
- Keep legs, ankles and feet flexible
- Decreases stress
- Reduces blood sugar
- Lowers the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease
Although social distancing is the rule of the day, there are several ways you and your family can still be active and reap the benefits of exercise.
- Get the yard in shape. Its spring clean-up time. Rake leaves, pick up sticks, turn over gardens and trim bushes and shrubs.
- Set up the backyard Olympics. Create stations such as high jump, 50-foot dash, push-ups, pull-ups on the swing set, etc. and have each family member complete the circuit. Keep score and award prizes for best in individual categories and overall.
- Dance it out. Remember those old dance video games? Get them out! Or just turn on a good rock station and have your own dance party.
- Create an obstacle course. Find cones, bikes, and other objects in the garage and make your own obstacle course. Go thru by two’s or time one another to see who can get through the fastest.
Of course, even with seemingly unstructured physical fun, it’s important to wear the appropriate athletic shoes to keep feet safe. If you or a family member experiences heel pain or other podiatric discomforts while participating in fitness activities, be sure to contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices and get your feet evaluated by our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. and Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we see many patients who are suffering from debilitating foot problems from diabetes. These include foot pain, ulcers, and wounds that are extremely difficult to heal, infections, and injuries that occurred as a result of nerve damage, which decreased the ability to perceive pain in the feet. The good news is that if detected early, patients with type 2 diabetes can make changes that will reverse this disabling disease. The bad news is that nearly 1 in 4 adults with diabetes (approximately 7.2 million Americans) are unaware that they have the disease. Another 84 million Americans have prediabetes (higher than normal blood glucose levels), and 9 out of 10 of these patients don’t know it.
March 24th is American Diabetes Association Alert Day. We encourage all patients to take a few minutes and learn about your risk for diabetes. Start with a simple test that takes less than one minute to complete.
Factors that increase your risk of diabetes:
- Family history of diabetes
- Being male
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Physically Inactive
- Poor sleep habits
By making changes in your lifestyle you can reduce your risk factors. Small adjustments can produce big results. Drinking seltzer instead of soda, adding 30 minutes of brisk activity to your daily routine, developing a “wind-down” routine before bedtime, and other little steps can lower your risk of developing diabetes in a big way.
Discuss your concerns about diabetes with our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. and Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. Tingling in your feet and wounds on your legs and feet that are slow to heal can be symptoms of diabetes. If you notice these or any other unusual changes in your feet, contact any of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices as soon as possible.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know there’s a direct correlation between being overweight and foot pain. For every pound you gain, you increase the pressure on your knees and feet by three to five pounds. March is National Nutrition Month and a good opportunity to focus on healthy ways to achieve an appropriate weight. Of course, if you are experiencing any lower extremity discomfort, your first step should be to get your feet evaluated by our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. and Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. You can make an appointment at any of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices.
A Food Plan that Will Work for You
Studies show that quick weight loss plans and fad diets often do not result in keeping off the weight you lose. A sound weight management program should incorporate as many of the following factors as possible:
- Be well-balanced and contain appropriate amounts of foods from all five food groups. (Uncertain what those are? Go to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov for guidelines)
- Involves changes to the way you eat and the types of food you consume most often that you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life—not just until you lose the weight
- It has some of your favorite foods
- Consists of food that is easily available at your supermarket and fits your budget and your lifestyle
- Includes regular exercise and physical activity.
Don’t try to change everything at once. Make small changes and master them before moving on. Set attainable goals—say the first 5 pounds. Breaking a larger goal into more manageable pieces will allow you to experience success and keep you motivated.
Managing your weight is just one lifestyle choice that can positively impact your feet. To learn more ways to be proactive about your podiatric health, contact us today.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we find that many of our Hartford and Middlesex County patients don’t seek treatment for bunions in their early stages. While it’s true not all bunions are painful, it’s a mistake not to get them evaluated at one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices when you first notice a toe moving out of position. Bunions are a progressive condition and will not get better without treatment.
What Can be Done
Our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. and Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. will start by conducting a complete examination of your toes and feet and also get a medical history from you. The most common cause of bunions is an inherited faulty foot structure. The foot doctor will most likely order x-rays of your toe to get a better picture of the deformity and also to use as a baseline for monitoring the progression of the bunion. Once the current status of the bunion is known, the podiatrist can employ one or more of the following treatment options.
- Footwear Modifications—wearing shoes that are too tight in the toe box and/or have high heels that force the foot forward can cause exacerbated bunions. You’ll want to find shoes made of soft material that has a wide and roomy toe box to minimize discomfort and not speed the progression of the bunion.
- Orthotics—custom orthotics may be employed to correct the position of the foot when walking and standing.
- Exercise—the podiatrist may recommend exercises aimed at maintaining joint mobility and preventing stiffness and other arthritic symptoms.
- Corn and Callus Control—a secondary problem that can develop along with bunions are corns and calluses due to the friction between the deformed digit and your shoes. The foot doctor may want to remove them and will often suggest protective padding to reduce friction and keep skin from getting irritated.
If a bunion does not respond to conservative measures or has already progressed to an advanced stage, surgery may be the best option. A bunionectomy will remove the bunion and realign the toe.
The best outcomes in patients with bunions occur when treatment begins early. If you believe you have a bunion, contact us as soon as possible.