Monday, 25 September 2017

How to take care of your feet if you are a runner?

Our feet have to endure so much beating from running, particularly if we run high mileage or train for a marathon. Every step pushes all our body weight onto a single foot. The truth is, a commitment to running should not be a commitment towards battered and painful feet. In fact, you can easily enhance your performance and enjoy running more by taking good care of your feet. Here are a few tips that will help you take care of your feet.

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Always wear the right shoes:

While as a runner you already know the importance of wearing the right shoes, with the popularity of specialty running stores, most runners now have access to gait analysis and advice about the right way to pick proper running shoe. It is important that the kicks provide enough room so that all toenails are properly spaced and the appropriate amount of stability for smoothing out any issues with your stride.

Also, the shoes we wear the whole day matter just as much as the ones we put on while running. Footwear such as, flip flops that don’t offer arch support can only make it worse for our feet. In case you are prone to injuries related to the foot, unsupported footwear can only lead to injury.

Invest In Best Quality Socks

Non-wicking and ill-fitting socks can lead to blisters. Poor fitting socks will cause your shoes to brush against the ankles and the blisters can make running difficult due to pain. Socks that are non-wicking will not let your feet breathe, consequentially creating a wet environment leading to foot fungus and athlete’s foot.

Go Barefoot:

This does not mean running barefoot. However, Pilates, yoga and weight lifting can strengthen foot muscles if you keep the restrictive footwear away. When lifting weights, you would want to keep your shoes due to hygiene, so decide to wear lightweight shoes that permit your feet to move freely and with stability. This will assist you in engaging the muscles within your ankles, feet, and calves. Also, do a lot of squats and lunges to create powerful, strong, injury-proof feet.

Pilates and yoga can strengthen and stretch the feet, particularly if you do the poses barefoot or by wearing socks. When holding a tough yoga pose, the muscles of your feet stabilize and contract to provide a solid base.

Reduce Swelling

If you pound your feet for several miles against the pavement, you will end up altering your circulation and cause swelling in your feet and ankles. This swelling may get uncomfortable, particularly if you spend the whole day on your feet. To lessen swelling, lie down and elevate your feet immediately above the heart.


With just a little effort you can keep your feet looking and feeling wonderful. Running will no longer lead to injuries or feet that look deformed.  

Monday, 28 August 2017

Six reasons why your feet are peeling?

Your feet are out of the hiding and you can finally let them bask in those flip flops to welcome the glory of summers. But the winters may have left your skin dry and peeling. Peeling feet is a common problem with several reasons. We are constantly on our feet and the continuous walking and pounding can cause scaling and cracking of the skin.
However, there could be much more to it. Here are a few reasons why your feet may be peeling.

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  1. Fungal infection:
Fungal infection is one of the most common reasons why people have peeling feet but people might not realize it. Many times it just looks like peeling skin with no itchiness. So if you ever observe that your foot skin has started peeling away mysteriously, get the problem checked sooner instead of later. Fungal infection can spread if not checked.


  1. Sweaty exercise regimen
Perspiring excessively and living in moist environments often leads to foot infections that cause peeling. This may mean that your exercise regimen, particularly if there is hot yoga involved, can contribute to skin peeling. It is best to see a podiatrist if you think you have it.


  1. Heels:
A lot of women love to wear heels or flats that are strappy. However, snug footwear can lead to serious friction which in turn can cause blisters, resulting in peeling or scaling of the skin. It is recommended to not wear such shoes for longer periods of time, instead wear material that molds to your feet. Moreover, as soon as you start to feel friction, make sure to change your shoes. Do not bare it for too long.


  1. Sunburns:
No one wants to get a painful-to-touch, beet-red sunburn. However, while you may not forget putting sunscreen on your back, face, and shoulders, the feet tend to get ignored. So in case you end up dipping your feet in the sea, reapply the sunscreen. Sunburns cause peeling. Do not let your feet get damaged due to dangerous ultra violet rays!


  1. Eczema:
Eczema is a common condition that causes scaling of the skin. It may create itching, peeling, and dryness on the body—including the foot soles. Even though a lot of people experience eczema from childhood, they can also develop skin conditions as they age. Fortunately, there are several topical cures available through dermatologists and podiatrists.


  1. Dehydration:
Dehydration can decrease metabolism, and dullness and cause the feet to start peeling. In case you are not hydrated, your skin will begin to flake off. Remember to drink a lot of water at all times.


While there are certain eyebrow-raising reasons why your feet may be peeling, this may not always be a very bad thing. Sometimes your body has to slough off skin. You can use a pumice stone and rub your legs and feet while taking a shower and get dead skin cells away so that it starts to regenerate new foot skin

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Are Your Shoes Ruining Your Feet?

While most of us like to wear shoes that are aesthetically pleasing, we can certainly make an exception while choosing running shoes. However, even the most unfussy walkers and runners might be making bad choices when it comes to buying the right kind of running shoes.

How can you tell if you have the wrong pair? Take notice of some of these problems.

1. Your toes are grazing the tip of the shoes

There must be some room between the shoe’s start and your toe. It is important to have enough space to wiggle your toes into. This is because our feet tend to swell as the day passes, so what will fit properly in the morning may get tight in the evening.

2. You have bruised toe nails or blisters

Such injuries mean your shoes are rubbing against your feet the wrong way. They may fit too tightly in certain areas. The pressure may make your skin hard or affect the joints, leading to painful bunions, corns, and ingrown toenails. Make sure you get the shoes stretched.

3. You have aching arches

In case you are wearing shoes that are way too big for you, or if the shoes do not offer any support, the muscles at the foot’s bottom tighten with every step. It can also cause an overuse injury, including plantar fasciitis, where the tendon running along the foot’s bottom from heel to toes becomes inflamed chronically.

Walking the trails can wear down your shoes, and they may not be able to offer enough support. If you are an ardent walker, it is best that you change your shoes in every nine to twelve months. Also, if you increase the mileage, do not wear the same shoes more than four to six months. Another sign that indicates towards an upgrade is when your shoes are obviously creased, or they tilt towards one side when placed on a flat surface.

Here are a few tips we have put together to get you active outside, without pain.

1. Take help from the pros: There is no one better to guide you than the professionals at the sports store near you. There are so many shops that offer in-depth analysis to identify the best shoe that will provide you with the perfect amount of cushioning and support.
 
2. When shopping for new shoes, get your old ones with you: The worn out areas of the sole of your old shoes provide several insights as to how your foot hits the ground, which in turn can assist you in determining the kind of shoe that will do justice to your feet.
 
3. Take sizing seriously: Running shoes usually run a size smaller in comparison to heels or flats. So if you are usually a size 8, then be open to trying a size 9.

By making sure you wear the right shoes, you will be able to save yourself a lot of foot pain and injury all your life.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

How healthy are your Feet?

If you are able to spot early signs of foot problems, you can easily prevent them from aggravating. There are so many serious issues lurking behind your feet. Here is a quick test that will help you figure out the health of your feet.

Skin:

Does your feet have red spots or blisters? Buy shoes with proper width and size, and be careful about inconvenient seams inside. If the red spots or blisters do not go, make sure you see your doctor for further diagnosis.

Foot Care:

1. Do you trim your toenails straight across? This helps in preventing the problem of ingrown nails.
2. Are you in a habit of pushing your cuticles back? Healthy cuticles provide protection from infection and bacteria, but they should be prevented from overgrowing.
3. Are you using a pumice stone frequently? This can help in preventing sore buildup of calluses and dead skin and allow healthy skin to get enough moisture.
4. Do you have pink toes? Toes that look purple, red, or blue indicate an injury, infection, or blood flow issue. Make sure you see your podiatrist for treatment.
5. Press the nail of your big toe till the color lightens, then release. Observe how long it takes for the color to come back? You may be suffering from a circulation problem if it takes 5 seconds or more.

Sensation:

Rub an eraser along the sides, bottom, and top of both your feet. Does the eraser feel the same in every area? Poor sensation can indicate towards diabetes or a nerve injury and must be assessed by a podiatrist. It is completely normal to feel ticklish in some areas.

Flexibility

Can you easily pick up a marble or a small towel with your toes? If this task seems impossible, you can enhance flexibility by gently massaging your toes and feet every day. Some foot stretches include:

1. Use a stretchy band and take it under your foot. Press and flex your feet. As you flex you will feel a deep stretch in your calf muscles. Do this on both your feet.
2. Roll the ankles to loosen up the calf muscles.
3. Make sure you practice doing the marble and towel pickups regularly. Remember, flexibility of calf muscles goes a long way in increasing the quality of your life.

Any kind of change in your feet - whether it is on the nails, skin, or even the way they feel - can be a big indicator towards a possibly serious problem that, if captured early, can save your life. Foot doctors believe that our feet are one of the first to be affected by problems with the nerve because they are the furthest from our spine and heart. This is an even bigger reason why you should never ignore your feet: They are very easily affected when our bodies are threatened, as the body tends to send blood to the brain and internal organs before any extremities.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Things Your Podiatrist Wishes You Know About Your Feet

Most people are very hard on their feet, walking almost 8,000 steps a day. And honestly, no one bothers to give their feet a little TLC except for an occasional pedicure. It is important to pay more attention. Here are a few things every podiatrist wishes their patients would do -

Do not use the public shower barefoot:

Locker rooms and gym showers are a breeding ground for fungus that leads to athlete's foot, so make sure you wear water shoes or flip-flops. Go that extra mile when drying your feet. Similarly, if you plan for a pedicure, try to get the first appointment when the pedicure tubs are expected to be the cleanest.

Your feet are an insight to your overall health:

For instance, if the skin of your feet gets shinier or thinner or hair on your feet starts to disappear, you may have peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD can lead to stroke or heart problems because clogged arteries within the legs are normally linked to blockages elsewhere within the body. Also, if your foot ulcers don't heal; they may be a consequence of undiagnosed diabetes.

Avoid pointy pumps:

Shoes that squish the toes together are likely to get you bumps or bunion. The skin over the bunion will get irritated, red, and swollen, making it very difficult for you to walk. Also, avoid wearing heels that are above 2 inches.

Your toe length is important:

In case your second toe is longer than the first toe, you are likely to get hammer toes, bunions, and even back problems because of pressure gets distributed throughout the body. The weight should ideally leave the first toe, but because the second toe is longer, it flattens and rolls, causing foot problems. In case you are suffering from this condition, speak to your podiatrist and learn about the best footwear for you.

Fungal infection:

In case the toenails have become discolored or are getting thicker, chances are you are suffering from fungus. Make sure you keep the feet dry at all times and get rid of sweaty socks to prevent fungus - which flourishes in moist, warm environments and can attack your skin through small cuts or separation between the nail bed and nail.

Take good care of your feet if you are diabetic:

In case you suffer from diabetes, make sure to check your feet regularly for cuts, blisters, ulcers and redness. If you neglect your wounds, you may get an infection, causing serious consequences.

Your feet are actually getting bigger:

Did you know that there is a possibility that you have gone up half-size in the past decade? Feet tend to get both wider and longer as you start to age because the ligaments and tendons that link small bones start to lose elasticity. Measure the feet once a year so that you are aware of your true size. If you wear shoes that don't fit you properly, you may end up with a lot of discomfort, accelerating or creating a bunion or blister, among other problems.

Knowing your feet well and taking good care of them helps you stay fit and healthy!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

FAQ : Answers to Some Very Common Questions about Feet

What's that muck on the gym’s shower floor? What does that uncomfortable tingling feeling really mean? Here are answers to some of the most common health mysteries related to your feet.

Q: Can I catch anything more than an athlete's foot from the shower area of the gym?

A: The truth is, you can catch athlete's foot from the carpet or the stalls of your gym. Plantar warts are one of the most common shower threats. In case you have a weak immune system and the warts don’t vanish on their own, your podiatrist can easily laser them off.

It is always a good idea to wear shower shoes, and wash them with water and soap after every use, and then dry them at home.

Q: At times my feet tingle or go numb. I'm fit and healthy—is there anything to worry about?

A: These symptoms may not signal a serious issue in people who are healthy. If you observe the lack of feeling only when taking off your shoes, your shoes might be too packed, which may compress the nerves. The other problem could be in your diet. Inflammatory foods such as, refined sugars and carbs can affect the peripheral nerves and cause tingles.

Q: My feet are getting bigger?


A: The ligaments and tendons supporting your feet begin to loosen up in your 30s, and the arch starts to fall. These changes make the foot wider and longer. It’s a delicate growth expansion, so the shoes will only need to be stretched. Another factor is pregnancy. Pregnant women may see their feet go up a full size due to a hormone called relaxin, which makes the body’s ligaments lengthen and spread.

Q: What causes smelly feet and what is the best way to remedy it?

A: The bad odor comes out when bacteria and sweat mix on your feet. Make sure, after the daily wash, you sprinkle some foot powder for getting rid of extra moisture, leaving bacteria nothing to breed on. In case you have time, brew black tea and after it cools, soak your feet in it for ten minutes shrinking the sweat glands.

Q: I am a thirty year old woman who has a very hard time wearing heels while my 55-year-old aunt wears them every day without fuss. Why?

A: The cushion in our soul starts to thin out with age, making it very hard to wear heels. However, if you start wearing heels on a regular basis, sometimes your body can adjust by substituting the fat pads with dense calluses that can help withstand height.

Q: What is the best way of treating a bunion?

A: Bunions are a boney lump that can cause a lot of pain. It is important to stop their development by wearing shoes that have a roomy toe area. Doctors also recommend utilizing a bunion bootie - a sock-like design that assists in improving the flexibility of ligaments - once every week. It is also a good idea to keep the weight balanced as added pounds can aggravate the problem.

If you feel you are suffering from a foot problem that requires your attention then make sure you go to a podiatrist for a checkup.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Pain-Fighting Tricks for Flat Feet

Almost 20% of the Americans who have flat feet suffer from pains and aches every single day. Our arches offer support to our feet and when they collapse, there is more strain and pressure on the ligaments in our soles. After a while, this can cause inflammation, tightness, and an injury, such as tendonitis or plantar fasciitis.

How to know if you suffer from flat feet? Check the impression your foot leaves, on a dry pavement, when dipped in water. If the foot does not have a properly defined "waist"- part where the arch rises from the ground - it is a sign that your feet are flat.

Here is how to fight the pain emerging from flat feet:

1. Get proper support:


While flat shoes are fashionable but if you have flat feet, your soles will hurt later. You will require arch support to cushion the impact of every step and keep the body in alignment. It is best to go to a local running or walking store and ask them for suggestions. You can think of buying a supportive insole or a thin gel insole.

2. Always wear house shoes:


After a long day, there is absolutely nothing better than taking off those dress shoes or heels. However, walking barefoot around the house applies pressure on the feet, causing them to pain. It is best to wear comfortable and supportive clogs or slippers for indoors.

3. Ball massage:

You can relax your tight tendons by applying a little pressure. This can also increase the flow of blood to the bottoms of the feet. Try to roll your feet or soles over a golf or tennis ball. Apart from this, you can also make use of a frozen water bottle. The coldness will help in decreasing inflammation in the feet.

4. Stretch:

If you suffer from flat feet, you are likely to over-pronate, with your foot rolling inward with every step. This will make your muscles work too hard to stabilize the foot, leading to muscle tightness in the feet and up to the back of the leg. A great stretch you must do on a regular basis is the calf stretch: stand approximately two feet from a wall. Now, step the right foot forward, and put the ball of the foot on the wall while keeping the heel on the ground. Make sure the right leg is straight, and your palms are pressed into the wall as you bend forward to extend the foot and calf. Hold this position for fifteen to twenty seconds; repeat with the other leg.

Flat feet can be a nuisance because of the restrictions they impose on you. However, if you take care of them properly, you may never have to deal with pain emerging from this problem. It is also a good idea to see a podiatrist who can help you keep your feet in the best health possible so that you do not face any problems later in life.