Thursday, December 31, 2009


We would like to give a special Thanks to all the people who donated to Toys for Tots and Food Pantry. At Community Foot Care we are always looking for ways to show our appreciation to the community. Thank you for helping us in our effort to help those around us.
We were able to collect several barrels of food and several boxes of toys! This is a great deal of food and toys for the community.
In these times we have to do all we can to help the community. Thank you for your continued support!

Community Foot Care Associates

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cantharone Wart Treatment

Cantharone is a wart treatment that we are currently using at Community Foot Care to treat plantar warts.
Warts are skin growths caused by viruses. Warts can grow on any part of the body and their appearance depends primarily on their location.
Foot Warts are usually on the soles of the feet and are called plantar warts. Most plantar warts do not stick out above the surface like common warts because the pressure of walking flattens them and pushes them back into the skin. Plantar warts usually appear as thick spot of skin.
The normal actions of these medications is to form a blister underneath the wart. This occurs within 24 hours of application. The blister formation kills the wart by cutting off its blood supply. Occasionally, there may be some blood in the blister fluid, this should not be alarming. The blister may also itch.
Once this Cantharone treatment is applied you should expect:
After 4 hours: mild discomfort may occur. Blister should occur after 24 hours.
After 4 days: Crusted blisters should fall off leaving a spot that may be tender and itchy. Medication may be needed to control itching.
After 7 days: May experience loss of pigment, but all symptoms should be gone.
Contact your Podiatrist if you have any questions about Cantharone Wart Treatment, or any other foot care needs.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Diabetic Recipe

Sugar Free Christmas Cookies
These cookies are as good as regular cookies but much better for you, because they are sugar free, low in calories and carbohydrates. You can make them into pattern cookies or any color variety you like. We love how easy they are too!
½ cup shortening
3 tablespoons Equal (sugar substitute)
1 egg
Several Drops of food coloring (color optional and color of choice)
2 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup skim milk
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Cream Shortening, add sweetener, egg and food coloring (if desired); beat very well.
2. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients, add the milk, vanilla, and water. Add flour mixture and stir well.
3. Chill dough 2 to 4 hours
4. Preheat oven to 325°F.
5. Roll out 1/8 inch thick and cut the cookies into desired shapes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
6. Cool.
7. Enjoy
8. Keep them fresh by storing in an air tight container.
Cookies can be frozen to stay fresh, keep them in an air tight container and place them in the freezer. Remember to lay them out the night before you plan to use them. ENJOY!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Winter Boot Blues

Get your feet ready for winter, by purchasing boots to suite not only your style, but your foot comfort. Boots need to be comfortable; although many women admit they would rather be fashionable than comfortable. This can be settled by finding stylish boots that are not dangerous to your feet.
 Don’t go for pointy stilettos, they may be the “fashion” but they are proven to cause bunions, hammertoes and ingrown toenails.
 Look for a boot that is not flat, but are less than 2 inches tall.
 Take your socks with you, and try on boots at the end of the day (to allow your feet to swell fully) and wear the socks or hosiery you plan to wear with the boots while you try them on.
 Try a boot with a wider heel to give your ankles more support.
 Select a boot with a rubber sole to provide protection.
 Remember most fashion boots are not made for snow.
 Buy leather boots. Leather over a synthetic material absorbs the best. Feet tend to sweat when they are closed in a boot, leather is absorbent, yet can stay cooler longer than most other materials.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Laser Fungal Treatment.. Is it a good thing?

Laser fungal treatment is a new treatment on the market, it has not been approved by the FDA. This procedure is considered experimental at this point and is not being covered by insurance companies.
We found several sources that say there are no guarantees that this treatment will work; however, there are no guarantees on other fungal treatments either. Laser fungal treatment takes about 10 minutes a toe and is most effective on healthy skin and nail beds. People who do not have healthy skin and nail beds are not advised to try the treatment.
There is a very high charge for laser treatment, this one is no exception. Charges amount to $200 - $ 500 for the laser. This price does not include many additional charges including a standard $50 treatment fee.
Unlike with pill treatments this procedure has a higher rate of failure and is often paid for and performed several times.
Talk to a podiatrist to see which treatment is right for you. Fungus is curable in most cases, so talk to your podiatrist.

Helping 'Feet'

At Community Foot Care we believe in giving back. To help the community we are having a Toys for Tots drive and several Canned Food drives. These events will take place during the whole month of November in ALL of our offices.

The Toys for Tots bins are in all the offices; however Toys for Tots only accepts new toys that are still in the package or have the tags still on them. As we have no other use for the toys we ask that all parties interested adhere to the Marine Toys for Tots regulations.

Food Pantry bins will also be placed in all locations to ensure all our patients are able to participate. Local food pantries are in need of canned foods and all other non-perishable food products, such as macaroni & cheese, cereal, peanut butter, and bottled juices.

At Community Foot Care we believe that helping the community is a way to give back for all the support we have received through out the years. Please help us in our efforts to help in any way possible. For more information please call our office at 937-426-9500 or 937-322-7607.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Halloween and the Affects for Diabetics

Halloween is especially hard on people with diabetes, and border line diabetes. For some border line diabetics Halloween and the holidays are prime time for full diabetes to strike. This is because weight gain is very hard on the body, diabetics already have sugar problems, and Halloween candy makes sugar levels elevate frequently.
Over 20 million Americans suffer from diabetes so we have some tips to get through Halloween safely:

1. Put extra effort into dressing up, then candy is the least of your worries!
2. Take dressing up even farther and have a party!
3. Go haunted housing, on a hay ride, or have a bonfire; all these will keep you moving!
4. Trade the candy for healthy treats, if a child is diabetic let them go Trick or Treating, but trade the candy for other gifts or even money!
5. Diabetics can have sweets, just keep sugar checking supplies handy, and check your sugar often.
6. Get extra exercise to account for sugar and carb intake.
7. Separate all candy into groups, freeze what you can and use it to treat low blood sugar throughout the year.
• Remember: Chocolate is not effective in treating low blood sugar, so stick to hard candy or sugar powder treats for a quick sugar boost.

Halloween and the holidays are supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year”, why ruin them with frequent sugar highs and lows, keep the diet even through the holidays, and keep exercising!

Monday, September 28, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
There are many things going on all over America for breast cancer awareness month! We looked at some interesting events right here in the Miami Valley. In downtown Dayton the fountain will be dyed pink and pink Flags will be raised all over Dayton. Round the US: October 2nd is Lee’s National Denim Day, all money raised goes to the Breast Cancer Research Fund. October 16th is National Mammography Day, everyone is encouraged to join in and get checked, because in early stages most women have no idea they have breast cancer.
More events that are taking place in American that everyone can join in: Avon walk for Breast Cancer, happens on different dates all over the world. Komen Race for the Cure, also happens all over America on different dates. Making Strides against Breast Cancer, presented by the American Cancer Society on different dates all over America.
There are events happening all over the world, The Canadian Cancer Society presents Taking Steps Against breast cancer. The UK presents Wear it Pink and Australia sponsors Pink Ribbon Breakfasts all over the country through the month of October!
Routine checks like mammograms and self exams are essential to being a survivor. Genes and family history are also important to know, since these are the main causes. Even healthy people can develop breast cancer; however a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle should be essential for every woman.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Time is Coming For Shoes Again but Shoes Means STINKY Feet!

The number one reason for stinky feet is perspiration. Your foot has many sweat glands on the bottom of the foot. Some people have more than others. It is just like the rest of your body. Some people just sweat more than others. It is estimated that there is over a quarter of a million sweat glands in your feet. So when your body heats up it releases heat via sweat from sweat glands.
Warm wet areas are a haven for bacteria. The bacteria live, reproduce and feed off of the foot, shoes and socks. The bacteria produce chemicals that cause an odor. Thus stinky feet are actually caused by bacteria!
To treat stinky feet we have to tackle the root of the problem, the sweat. The first line of defense is to wash your feet at least twice a day. Changing your socks to a dry pair in the middle of the day will also cut down on the bacteria because they need a warm, moist place to grow. It is also recommended to wear sandals often in the warmer months to allow your feet to breath. When choosing what shoes to wear, try to stay away from black shoes. Chose shoes that are lighter colors and that has a lot of mesh compared to all leather. It is also strongly recommended to never wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. This allows the shoes to dry and eliminate some of the stinky bacteria. Sometimes, these precautions are not enough or are impossible because of work or lifestyle restrictions. So then what?
There are products that can help dry the foot and decrease the sweat. These products must be recommended and monitored by a podiatric physician. There are different products for adults and children and thus you should never use products you receive for your husband on your children. Other products that a doctor can provide you with is anti-fungal and/or anti-bacteria powders. It is common for people with sweaty feet to acquire athlete's foot and toenail fungus. What starts out as stinky feet can quickly turn into ugly feet!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September is National Yoga Month

Yoga is the “union” of mind, body and soul, also known as purification. The National Yoga Celebration takes place in many cities, complete with music and food. The Celebration is for beginners and experienced yoga students.
Yoga promotes overall wellness of mind, body and soul. However there are risks to this convention. Going barefoot leaves your feet vulnerable to many bacteria, fungus and even viruses. Going barefoot in a crowd is also dangerous because it raises the risk for bruises, cuts and unsanitary conditions. This is especially dangerous to individuals with diabetes. Any cut or scrap needs immediate attention because it has a high risk of infection. Even a small puncture hole can lead to serious infection. Germs and viruses can imbed themselves under the skin, allowing them to grow. Symptoms may not present themselves for an extended period of time.
Tetanus and fungus are common among people who do not wear proper shoes; flip flops do not offer much protection against these infections either.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What's the Difference?

What's the difference between a sprain and a strain? Most people use strain and sprain interchangebly, however, they are very different conditions. A sprain is an injury to a ligament: the tough fibrous band of tissue that connects bone to bone. A sprain is caused when a ligament is stretched too far and torn. Where a strain is a painful stretching of a muscle or tendon.
Symptoms for both conditions may vary, most will result in pain, swelling, or bruising. Aching pain in the heel or ball of the foot could mean you have a strain. Strains are often caused by spending a lot of time on the feet, in shoes that offer poor suppport, people who are over-weight or wear high heels are also at risk for strains. Ankle sprains occur very quickly, during sports or in motion, most commonly seen when the foot twist in an awkward manner.
For both conditions you should see a podiatrist to make sure the pain is not a sign of what could be a serious condition. More than 50% of people who do not heal properly have a reoccurence, this is why it is important to see a podiatrist to ensure you are healing properly.

How to Prevent Ankle Injury:
*Warm up and stretch calf muscles prior to participating in sports activities or exercise program.
*Do not run on uneven surfaces.
*Avoid participating in sports activities or exercise program when you feel pain in ankle or tired.
*Apply protective equipment during sports.
*Wear properly fitting shoes.
*Exercise regularly. Those remaining inactive often suffer a sprain than.
*Take healthy and balanced diet to keep your muscles strong.

At the first sign of ankle pain, the best thing to do is contact a physician.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big News at Community Foot Care

During the month of August Community Foot Care will be expanding, with TWO new Doctors. Dr Adam Thomas will be taking patients during the whole month of August, and Dr. Ericka Penn will join August 17th for patient care.
Dr. Thomas has finished his residency with Ohio State University and will bring current, cutting edge treatment options to the greater Dayton area. He is from Zanesville area and is looking forward to working in the Springfield area where his wife Jennifer Trinidad, also a podiatrist, was raised.
Dr. Penn is a graduate of Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, she is joining from private practice in Cincinnati. Dr. Penn is an experienced podiatrist and surgeon who is eager to join the team and build relationships with her new patients.

Back to school and your feet

As the summer gets hotter and school is back in session, our feet are relied on for many things: walking, running, most importantly sports! That's right, it is the beginning of sports season, baseball is in full swing, football is beginning, and track will soon be here and gone. As sports begin so dones school, all the book bags, and back aches will soon return. During these hectic times there is a great solution to save your poor, painful feet. JM Orthotics have come out with an exclusive product to help with different foot problems. JM Orthotics offers a full line of custom molded orthotics to save your feet during these hectic times.
Benefits of these orthotics: Reduces heel and arch pain. Reduces back and all over pain. Increases stamina and relieves pressure of feet.
JM Orthotics are heat molded to fit your feet right in the office. There is no wait like with other brands. JM Orthotics are lighter yet more durable than other more expensive brands. JM Orthotics offers many products to better serve the comfort of the patient, with many different lengths and sizes to fit every foot.
JM Orthotics are sold at any of our Community Foot Care locations, we will mold them the day of your visit to relieve your pain instantly.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Sandals Developed For Toning While You Walk

Trendy FitFlops, which have already been given the “thumbs up” by Oprah Winfrey – are promoted to tone your butt and legs as you handle your daily activities. Developed by a personal trainer with input from a biomechanical engineer, FitFlops have a thick midsole, which encourages wearers to use feet and leg muscles more efficiently while walking. Research conducted by the manufacturer has shown that this thick midsole works the gluteals, hamstrings, thighs, and calf muscles more.

One thing is clear: FitFlops, which come in a host of colors and are available at many retailers such as Macy’s and Lady Footlocker, are flying off store shelves.
FitFlops give people an opportunity to add exercise to your already hectic schedule. The testimonials provided by the company based in London also include relief from back pain, heel spurs/pain and arthritis. They are not cheap though, ranging from $35-$50 per pair.

While FitFlops have certainly attracted consumers, are they worth the exorbitant price? They have a thick shock absorbing heel that tends to prevent overpronating, which in theory is a good thing. In people who overpronate, the foot continues to roll in when it should be pushing off, twisting the foot, shin, and knee -- and causing pain. However, FitFlops are a temporary solution and what will happen when you take them off? I prefer to train someone who is overpronating how to position their foot correctly while walking or recommend orthotics which are molded by an expert who has a degree.

The bottom line is FitFlops are a comfortable shoe to stand or walk in, so go ahead and use them. If you feel that when you stand in the shoe, the glutes and calf muscles are firing more, wear the shoe but don't overuse them.

Although, FitFlops have there place in certain people’s shoe collections, they are not intended for everybody. For example, the person with flat feet may experience an increase in calf pain as the sandal will push up on their arch. To determine if you can tolerate the sandal, I recommend wearing them at home for a couple hours each day prior to making your final decision whether to keep them.

In my opinion there are no magic bullets. You will tone if you walk and don’t just stand around. If I were to recommend FitFlops, they will only show positive results when combined with a healthy diet and a more active life style.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ped Egg-Friend or Foe

The Ped Egg is a foot care product that has recently made the transition from infomercial to stores such as Target, Wal-mart and the like. As this handheld foot product becomes more well-known, it frequently becomes a topic of conversation with my patients in the treatment rooms. My stance on patient’s use of the Egg varies on a case by case basis.

The name comes from a combination of its unique oval shape, intended to fit in the palm of your hand, and its intended use on your feet. The top of the product is smooth and the bottom looks like a small cheese grater. When not in use there is a cover that can be placed on it. The price runs about $10.00, and you must replace the blades as they become dull.

The Ped Egg is gently rubbed against dry skin on your feet to shave the top layer of dead skin away. The Ped Egg is a foot file that gently shaves down calluses, corns and dry peeling skin. It is intended to be used on completely dry feet or feet that have been softened from the bath or shower. Gently file the areas of your feet that have rough or hardened spots. These areas include the heels, pads of the feet, and on your toes around the nails. The dry skin will come off and be stored inside the Ped Egg leaving no mess behind (great for the person who wants to whip out their Ped Egg at work for some emergency callus care). The instructions advise you to: Glide the Egg over your heels in a back and forth motion (not side to side), should you see any bleeding, stop filing, and if you are diabetic use only the advisement of your doctor.

The most common complaint I have heard is patients filing too vigorously and drawing blood. There are of course certain patients who I would not recommend using the Ped Egg for.

1. Patients with fissures may remove some perfectly good skin to get rid of the cracks and therefore exacerbate the problem.

2. Patients with vascular or neurological issues may have problems if they take too much skin off

3. Diabetic patients-Any diabetic should always check with their podiatrist prior to using any foot care product that has blades on it.

In these cases, calluses can be well treated with a variety of creams, callus pumice stones and files, and pads. You can find a variety of these products on our website under the Our Doctor Store link.

There are many patients who I do suggest to use the Egg. It is great addition to your foot care repertoire when used in moderation and under the right conditions. You must follow the directions on the package and always follow the advise of your foot doctor because with certain conditions this product can cause more harm than good.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sports Related Stress Fractures

Okay, so it is May, and you are considering how much exercise you will have to do in the next 30 days to make up for the first four months of inactivity in order to still achieve your New Year’s resolutions. As you begin your exercise routine, you must consider the extra stress that your body is going to be subjected to and that any injury can easily place you on the couch planning next year’s resolutions. Common injuries I see this time of year are stress fractures in the feet, which already take a pounding everyday just from normal activity. Unlike typical fractures, there is not a single traumatic event causing them and many times a patient has no clue that any serious injury has occurred.

I see stress fractures as a source of pain and discomfort quite regularly. A stress fracture begins with the overuse or the over training of a muscle. This overuse causes the muscle to tire and transfers stress on to nearby bones, causing tiny fractures. Sports injuries related to stress fractures are most common. Studies have shown that the repeated pounding of the foot on hard surfaces involved in tennis, basketball, volleyball, and long distance running, make these sports the leading causes of stress fractures. I do not want to discourage the use of these activities, but there are steps you can take to increase strength and at the same time minimize injury.

The first step in preventing sports related stress fractures is to take it slow when you are first ramping up your routine. You want to make sure you gradually increase intensity and time of activities. A good way to do this is to plan out an entire routine before beginning. .Along with this you want to make sure you use the proper shoes for each activity. (Your basketball shoes should not serve as your running shoes).

You cannot build a house without a solid foundation. Similarly, your feet, and the support you give them, are the solid foundation you need for your exercise routine. Along with the shoes, the arch supports you add to them add to the foundation. There are different degrees of arch support. The simplest and cheapest are the ones you can purchase from the pharmacy or shoe store. Next, are Powersteps that offer more support, but generally only last 6-12 months. For the most support, you must see a trained podiatrist for a custom orthotic that will last for years.

If all you need is a little extra padding, I recommend pads that can be applied to the insole of the shoe or directly to the foot. They provide extra cushion by offloading the areas of your foot that receive the most pressure. Typically, it is best to build up the area adjacent to the callusing, not directly on top of it. You can always move it around to see what feels best.

If ankle pain is an issue you may need to look into some bracing devices, such as the Swedo Ankle Lok Brace. This brace is great for support while participating in sports. There are a variety of braces, so you want to find one that is right for your sport and activity level. Lastly, to combat the muscle soreness and the aches and pains that come with waking your muscles from hibernation, I recommend Biofreeze. It is a liniment, like Icy-hot or Ben-gay, but my patients rave about this product and its effectiveness.

When beginning your routine, it is always recommended to consult a physician. For the most effective prevention and treatment of foot and ankle injuries it is best to schedule an appointment with your podiatrist.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Homer Simpson’s kind of Marathon

Typically, when someone tells me they are about to run in a race, I am impressed by the person’s discipline and dedication to improvement. However, this marathon takes the cake (or the doughnut as it may be). The race is called the Krispy Kreme Challenge, and it has become a yearly staple in North Carolina.

Started by NC State college students, the participation has grown from 12 college kids in 2004 to over 5000 in 2009. With participants ranging from the seasoned marathoner to the college student who has been training hard with late night beer and pizza, this race attracts all kinds of runners. The proceeds are donated to a children’s hospital in North Carolina.

The race begins at 9 AM normal enough with a 2 mile jog to the Krispy Kreme store. This is where the race takes a turn for the worse. At this point, runners must indulge themselves with a dozen doughnuts. So with doughnuts engulfed, the final leg of the race is an agonizing 2 mile sprint back to the finish line (and maybe more importantly the port-a-john). Sound bad enough yet, well to make it worse you must finish in less than an hour. That is 2 miles of highway I would not want to be responsible for cleaning

If you're trying to slim down, do not attempt this race. A dozen Krispy Kremes packs on 2400 calories, while running for an hour will only burn between 580 and 740. Not to mention the months or maybe years of training that would be required in order to be able to eat 12 doughnuts at one time in just a few minutes. I would think you would have to train like a competitive eater just to figure out how to ingest this much. Do you dip them in water? Do you smoosh them together? That sounds like competition enough, but to still have to run 2 miles afterwards is not my idea of endurance training.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Should I believe the Orthotic Commercials?

Watching tv early Sunday morning, I saw an infomercial for the orthotics with the interchangeable heel piece so each person can adjust their insert to their foot. Later on, I saw a similar ad for a hi-tech computer force plate that you simply stand on in a pharmacy, and a computer will tell you what number insert you should buy for your feet from their store. The bottom line is, “what will make my feet feel better?”

For the person seeking relief from foot pain for the first time, I do not discourage trying one of these alternatives to traditional orthotics from your podiatrist. It is human nature to try the easy route before finally breaking down, months after the onset of pain when it becomes unbearable to work even for a few hours, and schedule an appointment to see a foot doctor. Sometimes, the problem is simple and can be relieved for a while by a plastic insert that you can buy from a pharmacy shelf. Other times, the right decision is to schedule an appointment with a trained specialist.

The Breakdown on inserts can become complex with so many varieties out there:

1) The insoles you will find in a pharmacy are little more than replacement sock-liners for your tennis shoes. They are flexible and offer little support. The gel insoles offer no support, but do offer cushioning for those whose natural fat padding has worn away.
2) The next level is an insole that you'll find in an athletic shoe store. These often have a plastic, graphite, or rubber shell that, while flexible, does offer support. Who are these right for? Anyone having minor to moderate pain in the heel, Achilles tendon, shin splints, or elsewhere in the foot should notice some improvement. If the pain is not significantly better in two to four weeks, a podiatrist should be consulted. A word of warning: These are generic arch supports that are appropriate for those with "flat feet." If you have a high arch, these insoles may make your pain worse.
3) And then there are the mall kiosks and shoe stores with their "experts" who have you stand on a hi-tech computer force plate to measure the pressures beneath the foot. Don't waste your money! First of all, a static footprint tells very little about how the foot functions when walking. Second, before you drop lots of money on something custom, be sure that the person has a degree and not just bought into a franchise.

For general foot pain, the product that I have found that works best for patients is the Powerstep brand orthotics. These orthotics were designed by a podiatrist and offer the extra support that you cannot receive from the pharmacy brands. You can find these products on the web at Amazon or at our website ( They should last 6-12 months depending on use. Custom orthotics are not simply arch supports; they are devices formulated to balance your feet, and entire lower extremity to allow them to function most optimally. Therefore, finding the right one can make all the difference to a person with painful feet and legs. If the pain persists or the condition worsens, you should call your local foot doctor, who will be able to assess your condition and fit you for the most appropriate shoe inserts.

If you have trouble seeing when you drive, you wouldn't solve it by buying a pair of one dollar reading glasses in the pharmacy, right? Why wouldn't you give the same consideration to your foot pain?

Monday, March 9, 2009

When to Replace Shoes?

From the mother of the 10 year old engaging constantly in active play, to the 80 year old diabetic patient who is largely inactive to the runner who runs 70 miles each week, everyone wants to know when they should purchase a new pair of shoes.

We all know that shoes do not last forever. Most people, however, continue to wear them well after their useful life has ended. Most commonly in my office I'll have people tell me that their shoes are three years old BUT (insert excuse here...). Some of my favorites, it fits my feet perfectly (meaning it's broken down), the heel is worn out just how I like it (meaning it has a hole inside the shoe), new shoes just bother me (meaning that I've worn these for so long, the support is too different at this point), and my favorite: They still look new.

Yes, they still look new. When all you do is run on the treadmill, use the elliptical, and some stationary bike, and your shoes never see the light of day, of course they look new. What's problematic is the part you don't see.

The support and function of a running shoe has little or nothing to do with the overall appearance of the upper part of the shoe or even the sole. It's the midsole, the portion of the sole that is largely invisible from the outside, which has the most function and limits the useful lifetime of a shoe. With every stride, the midsole compresses and, with time, loses the majority of its support. For runners, I estimate the useful lifetime of a running shoe at approximately 350-550 miles. For those who really don't run regularly, or participate in other sports and activities that can't be measured by mileage, your shoes should be replaced every 4-6 months, depending on the frequency and level of the activity.

So start keeping track of the life of your shoes. Dedicate a pair of shoes (or more) exclusively for exercise to get the most out of its useful life. Keep a tally of the mileage in your running journal, or even on the side of the shoe in pen. Write the date of the shoe on the tongue or the outsole of the shoe so you really know how old it is. You can check for signs of wear on the sole by placing your old shoes on a table and looking at them from behind. If the soles are worn and leaning to one side, the midsole cushioning is probably worn as well.

Other signs to look for in your aging shoes include:
• Look for creasing of the midsole material in areas of high load (under the heel or the ball of the foot). A worn out midsole will have wrinkles and creases there.
• Try to twist the shoe. A worn out midsole will allow the shoe to twist more easily than a new shoe.
• Try on a new pair of the model that you are currently wearing. Compare this to your current shoes. If the cushioning in your shoes feels dead in comparison, it probably is.

Just like the tread on your tires, you must constantly be looking for wear on your shoes. In your car worn tires may cause an accident, but we often overlook that injuries are much more likely in worn out shoes as well. Like tires, you can help prevent the normal wear and tear. By rotating your shoes daily between 2-3 pair, taking them off properly by unlacing them and removing them by hand and lastly having shoes dedicated to certain activities for example if you run, you would want to have a pair of shoes you use only for running, you can significantly lengthen the shelf-life of your shoes.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Healthy Feet for springtime activities

Spring, and the warm sunny weather that comes with it, is almost here, so it is time to dig through the closet and dust off your running and golf shoes. Unfortunately, for many the spring fun will be put on hold because of nagging foot pain. Heel pain is often debilitating, causing people to alter their work schedule, exercise schedule, and their lives in general. As a podiatrist, I encounter heel pain many times every day. The extent to which the pain improves with treatment often depends on the behaviors of the person suffering. At the end of the article, I will offer you suggestions to try at home before and during treatment in order to improve your results.

Plantar fasciitis (say "PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus") is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue(ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). Then your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk.

Plantar fasciitis is common in middle-aged people. It also occurs in younger people who are on their feet a lot, like athletes or soldiers. It can happen in one foot or both feet.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to pain and swelling. This is more likely to happen if:

  • Your feet roll inward too much when you walk (excessive pronation
  • You have high arches or flat feet.
  • You walk, stand, or run for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces.
  • You are overweight.
  • You wear shoes that don't fit well or are worn out.
  • You have tight calf muscles

Most people with plantar fasciitis have pain when they take their first steps after they get out of bed or sit for a long time. You may have less stiffness and pain after you take a few steps, but your foot may hurt more as the day goes on. It may hurt the most when you climb stairs or after you stand for a long time.

No single treatment works best for everyone with plantar fasciitis. But there are many things you can try to help your foot get better:

  • Give your feet a rest. Cut back on activities that make your foot hurt. Try not to walk or run on hard surfaces.
  • To reduce pain and swelling, try putting ice on your heel. Or take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), naproxen (such as Aleve), or aspirin.
  • Do calf stretches and towel stretches several times a day, especially when you first get up in the morning.
  • Get a new pair of shoes. Pick shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole. Or try heel cups or shoe inserts (orthotics). Use them in both shoes, even if only one foot hurts.

This is all the first line of treatment, if the condition persists or returns it is best to see a podiatrist. Hopefully, these tips will help end your suffering and improve your overall health and well-being by allowing you to participate in exercise activities and having fun in the sun with the family.