Next Step: Foot Care In Connecticut

Posts for: January, 2014

Could it be that heels are becoming a persona non grata amongst celebrities?

Recently, Madonna bruised a bone falling off her heels, Emma Thompson took off her heels at the Golden Globes to avoid foot pain, and Camila Avles de-heeled herself at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

So if celebrities keep tumbling when they're wearing heels (remember Jennifer Lawrence's fall last year at the Oscars?), how can the average person?

Meghan Cleary, author of "How To Be Truly Unstoppable In Your Stilettos" and the website Shoe Are You says it's possible. "You've got to be savvy about your high heels," Cleary said.

"It's all about planning," she adds. Her biggest tip: don't wear stilettos for more than an hour and bring a back up pair to wear the rest of the time.

The New York Daily News talked to foot experts about wearing heels, and taking a tumble in our footwear is not a new problem. Heels appeared as early as the Renaissance, and even back then, women who wore them had weakened Achilles tendons, shortened gastrocnemius muscles in the lower legs, and battered bones in the foot and toes. 

One foot doctor even created a full-body workout designed to keep our bodies in shape for wearing stilettos (no lie!). 

"You need to train the foot, ankle, and [abdominal] core," said Emily Splichal, creator of the Catwalk Confidence program. 

According to Broadway choreographer Lorin Latarr, "It takes more work than you'd expect to get your body used to it."

Shop function, not fashion. The biggest women's shoe brands, like Dior and Christian Louboutin, have heels typically ranging from 3 to 5 inches. When selecting a shoe, try the "bounce back" test: put your fingers in your shoes and see if the bottoms have a strong bounce. And before you leave the store, talk those heels for a stroll on the hard wood floors.

"When you wear heels that high, you're going to pay the price for it," said Vasilios Christofilakos, an accessories design professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. 

"You just have to have some common sense when you're shopping for heels," adds Christofilakos, who has designed the RobertoVasi footwear line for men. 

Even Sarah Jessica Parker, the queen of stilettos, said last year that she would have to give them up after they destroyed her feet. But for many women, you'd don't have to be that severe.

"You should only wear it when you have to," commented Dr. Louis Peterson, a Manhattan podiatrist, who said that one in six of his patients are women who have a high heel injury. 

Cleary adds that if you absolutely have to wear stilettos, take time at home wearing the shoes. "You have to practice, practice, practice. Feel it out before you go out," Cleary said. 

Reference: New York Daily News

If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.

Connecticut Foot Care Centers

Podiatrists in CT

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More than one in six adults over the age of 50 in the United Kingdom are affected by painful foot osteoarthritis, a number that is higher than previously believed. The new research from Keele University shows that the disease, which affects 3.5 million UK adults, has a significant impact on daily tasks.

The research was led by Keele University's Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre and included 5,000 participants. More than one million visits every year are made to doctors because of osteoarthritis, a disease with symptoms of inflammation of the joints, damage to cartilage, and swelling of the bone. Difficulty moving, pain, and stiffness are effects of these symptoms.

The research team found that painful foot arthritis affects more women than men, and is more common in those who have spent their careers performing manual work. Previous studies focused on x-ray findings, and this was the first to investigate how foot arthritis affects the daily lives of sufferers. Three-quarters of people with the condition reported having trouble with everyday activities like walking, standing, housework, and shopping.

This new study included new methods of detecting osteoarthritis in the midfoot, which had previously been difficult to diagnose.

Dr. Edward Roddy, clinical senior lecturer in rheumatology at Keele University, said, "Foot osteoarthritis is a more common and disabling problem than we previously thought, making everyday tasks difficult and painful for people affected.

"While it's been known for decades that joints in the foot can be affected by osteoarthritis, much of the previous research has focused on the hip and knee areas, and research on the foot has concentrated almost entirely on the bunion joint at the base of the big toe. However, by looking at the whole foot and the impact on people's lives, it's clear the problem is more widespread than we anticipated.

"This is an area that needs much more research to understand the reasons why people develop osteoarthritis in their feet, and what we can do to help improve pain and suffering from this common condition. Doctors and other healthcare professionals should also be aware of osteoarthritis as a common cause of foot pain in this age group."

Professor Anthony Redman, spokesman for Arthritis Research UK and Professor of Clinical Biomechanics at the University of Leeds said, "We know that foot problems become much more common as we get older but the medical and healthcare community have been guilty in the past of dismissing this as just an inevitable part of aging.

"We have long known about some forms of osteoarthritis in the feet such as bunions, which are a common type of osteoarthritic damage affecting the big toe joints and are taken much more seriously, with both on-surgical and surgical treatments widely employed. The study tells us that if we want to keep our over 50's active and healthy we should be similarly serious about arch or midfoot pain. While osteoarthritis does not yet have a miracle cure, the associated pain and disability are not inevitable and people with foot pain should be given genuine treatment options- something can always be done."

Reference: Medical Xpress

If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.

Connecticut Foot Care Centers

Podiatrists in CT

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As the new year begins, the top resolution for many people will be to join a gym or go to the gym more frequently. It's a great resolution to have, and keep, but if you're not wearing the proper shoes for the gym, you're likely to do more harm than damage. 

"The right shoe is very important in terms of injury prevention," said Dr. Daniel Geller, a foot and ankle specialist at Empire State Orthopedics. "The right shoe supports your body's natural biomechanics, which is the way your body hits the ground. If your body hits the ground and we do something that we shouldn't be doing, we're going to be stressing structures in the lower leg that can lead to injury."

Our podiatrists see injuries frequently that could have been prevented with the proper shoe. The most important thing in finding the right shoe is knowing your foot type. 

"There's a promontory foot type that rolls in, there's a neutral foot type that maintains its arch support, and there's a supinatory foot type that rolls out just a bit. Finding the right shoe that compliments your foot type will supplement your biomechanics, therefore making you more efficient, less injury prone, and it will enable you to run more comfortably," said Dr. Geller. 

If you're unsure as to what type of foot you have, visit a podiatrist today, who can tell you about your foot and what would be the best kind of shoe for you. Everyone's needs are different. With those suggestions, you can go to a shoe store knowing what you need. 

Many specialty shoe stores offer a treadmill, where your movement is recorded and analyzed. Based on what the salesperson or pedorthist sees, they can point you in a specific direction. 

Patrick Murford of the NY Running Company says he see people all the time who purchase incorrect shoes. 

"One of the biggest mistakes people make when they're shopping for workout shoes is that they shop by style instead of by function," Burford said. "It's important to get something that is proper for the way your foot moves and the way your body moves in motion."

This year, make sure you start off with the right shoe, on the right foot, before you head to the gym!

Reference: Time Warner Cable News

If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.

Connecticut Foot Care Centers

Podiatrists in CT

Visit our website, like our page on Facebook, and follow our tweets on Twitter.

If you have knee pain, or arthritis in your feet, ankles, or knees, you may be more confused about what to put on your feet after reading this article. 

A new small study was recently conducted on people who suffer from osteoarthritis in the knee and the results indicate that wearing clogs and comfort shoes puts more of a strain on the wearer when compared to walking barefoot or in flip flops. 

So for anyone with this condition who has gone out and purchased expensive and specialty shoes this may have been a waste of their money. Examples of "comfort" shoes include Dansko, Ecco, Birkenstock, and Aerosoles and as a group they tend to include cushioning under the pad of the foot and insoles for the arch. However, the study says that when arthritis sufferers wear these shoes, they change the wearer's gait and cause them pain.

We typically recommend comfort shoes to patients who have foot pain, or specific foot conditions that would benefit from wearing these particular type of shoe, so we were surprised to hear of this new study. In general, before you purchase any shoes, it is important to know what type of foot you have- are you a high arch, flat footed, or have a normal arch? Do you have foot deformities that prevent you from wearing specific types of shoes? Not everyone's foot is designed to wear the exact same shoe. 

Just because a shoe is expensive doesn't mean it is a good quality or even right for your foot. When a podiatrist tells you to pick out a shoe that is supportive, you can often find these items at various price points- you don't have to run out and purchase the most expensive one. If you have any questions as to what types of shoes are best for your feet, make an appointment with a podiatrist to discuss your options. 

We'll be interested to see if this study, even though small, has any ramifications in the podiatric world. 

Reference: Medical Daily

If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.

Connecticut Foot Care Centers

Podiatrists in CT

Visit our website, like our page on Facebook, and follow our tweets on Twitter.

Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that can affect all parts of your body, including your feet, ankles, and toes. Although this area of your body is not the most common place you will experience fibromyalgia pain, a paper published in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy says that half of the 202 patients they studied had foot problems.

"Compensation for foot pain leads to pain in the knees, hips, and lower back," says Dennis Frisch, DPM, in practice in Boca Raton, Florida. Having foot pain is just one more thing you don't need when you have fibromyalgia. As well, foot pain increases your likelihood of falling, having an injury, and being less active. 

Patients with fibromyalgia tend to have a greater awareness of pains throughout their bodies than those who do not have the condition. "In general, because people with fibromyalgia have higher sensitivity to pain and lower pain tolerance, they are more sensitive to pain everywhere," says Dr. Frisch.

No foot pain is directly related to fibromyalgia, but the pains associated with them can be increased because of the condition. A Morton's neuroma, an enlargement of the nerve between the third and fourth toes that causes shooting pain, can be exasperated by fibromyalgia. Plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the plantar fascia, the large ligament that runs from your big toe to your heel bone, is an another example.

It can be very easy with fibromyalgia to stop physical activity. You likely feel fatigued, and even when you start to exercise, you feel discomfort in your feet and blame it on your fibromyalgia. Many stop exercising all together, and "usually, for fibromyalgia, the recommendation is walking," Dr. Frisch adds.

To avoid unnecessary foot pain and get moving again, here are some tips you can try:

  • See your doctor. If you experience any pain in your feet, see your podiatrist. Before you start any exercise regimen, see your fibromyalgia doctor and speak with them about it. 
  • Choose the right shoes. "Make sure you have the right shoe for whatever activity you are going to do," says Dr. Frisch. If possible, pay a little more for a quality shoe that will help support your feet and keep you pain free. You should look for shoes that have a wide toe box, a supportive arch, and a sole that provides stability and flexibility.
  • Start slowly. We know it's easy when you're motivated to start exercising to go in whole hog. But you're more likely to sustain an injury when you start too quickly. And remember: fibromyalgia can be an unpredictable condition. Think moderation.
  • Know you will have some discomfort. When you begin exercising, it's likely you will experience some discomfort. This is normal. However, if the pain persists, seek medical attention.
  • Wear lower heels for everyday use. We know it's difficult to give up your beloved heels. But bringing your heel height down to an inch will significantly decrease your fibromyalgia symptoms. If you absolutely have to wear high heels, pack them for times when you are sitting or not standing for long periods of time. 

Reference: Everyday Health.

If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.

Connecticut Foot Care Centers

Podiatrists in CT

Visit our website, like our page on Facebook, and follow our tweets on Twitter.