Don’t Be Embarrassed About Feet Urge Podiatrists

Visit a HSE Reg Podiatrist Feet are one of the hardest working parts of the body and in a lifetime you will walk in excess of 150,000 miles which is about five times around the world. As a result, foot problems are common and if untreated can cause discomfort and wider health problems.
 
As part of its annual Feet for Life month in June 2013, The College of Podiatry ilooked to raise awareness of common foot complaints. The College is encouraging people to become more foot aware and not be embarrassed about seeking help where needed.
 
Some of the most common foot problems that can cause embarrassment include foot odour, verrucae, corns and callus, fungal infections, ingrowing toenails, bunions and cracked heels.
 
Podiatrist Lorraine Jones said: “Our feet are one of the most neglected parts of our body, but it’s important to keep an eye on them and to know what’s normal for you so you can spot any problems. Feet are not supposed to hurt so if you do experience ongoing pain then you need to have this investigated. Don’t be embarrassed about seeking professional help, it’s a podiatrist’s job to treat feet so there will be nothing we haven’t seen before. Follow our tips to spot some of the symptoms of common foot problems so you don’t have to suffer in silence or hide your feet away in the summer!



Common foot problems
 
Foot odour: to keep foot odour at bay, wash feet at least once a day and dry carefully between the toes. Wear clean socks made from at least 70% cotton or wool. Alternate shoes daily to allow them to dry out. If odour persists try an antibacterial soap.

Verrucae: a verruca is a type of wart that looks like a small, dark puncture mark in the early stages but later turns grey or brown. It’s contagious through direct contact. You can buy over-the-counter remedies from your pharmacy; ask for products with salicylic acid. If at any stage your verruca becomes painful and the surrounding skin goes red, stop treating immediately and see a podiatrist.

- Corns and calluses: corns and calluses occur as a result of pressure on the foot. Corns appear over a bony prominence such as a joint and a callus usually occurs on the sole of the foot. Do not cut corns yourself and don’t use corn plasters or paints which can burn the healthy tissue around the corns. Commercially available cures should only be used following professional advice. Calluses can usually be kept at bay by using a pumice stone or non metal foot file gently in the bath.

Fungal infections: fungal infections such as athletes foot can lead to intense itching, cracked, blistered or peeling areas of the skin. If left untreated it can spread to the toenails causing thickening and yellowing of the nail. Fungal infections are highly contagious so avoid handling and do not use the same towel for your feet as the rest of your body. You can buy over the counter remedies but nail infections do not often respond to topical treatments so you may need oral medication. See a podiatrist if your infection persists.

Ingrowing toenails: ingrowing toenails pierce the flesh of the toe and can be extremely painful and lead to further infection. They most commonly affect the big toenail but can affect other toes too. To reduce risk use nail cutters and cut nails straight across and don’t cut too low at the edge or down the side.  If you have an ingrowing toenail, see a podiatrist who can remove the offending spike of nail and cover with an antiseptic dressing. If you have bleeding or discharge, you may require antibiotics.

Bunions: a bunion is a condition where the big toe is angled excessively towards the second toe and a bony prominence develops on the side of the big toe. Contrary to popular belief, bunions are not solely caused by shoes. They are caused by a defective mechanical structure of the foot which is genetic, although footwear can contribute to a bunion developing. Some treatments can ease the pain of bunions such as padding in the shoes, but only surgery can correct the defect. To avoid exacerbating a bunion, try not to wear narrow shoes with pointed toes. If you experience frequent pain, see a podiatrist.

Cracked heels: cracked heels can be extremely painful and occur where the skin has become dry or has experienced excessive pressure. To prevent them moisturise regularly and use a pumice stone or non-metal file in the bath or shower. If the problem worsens see a podiatrist as some severe cases can require strapping of the cracks in order to allow the feet to heal.

Call the Athlone Foot Clinic in the Athlone Primary care centre, Clonbrusk for treatment & assessment. Contact us by email on info@athlonefootclinic.ie or call 0851911271

Taken from UK POD SOCIETY: http://www.scpod.org/foot-health/foot-health-focus/dont-be-embarrassed-about-feet-urge-podiatrists/

Tips to Keep Feet Warm and Cozy All Winter Long

Winter Foot Care

Tips to Keep Feet Warm and Cozy All Winter Long

Snow AngelWhether you’re slogging through deep snow and sub-zero temperatures in the north, or contending with dampness, chill, and muddy conditions in the south, it’s important to take care of your feet all winter long. You’ll want them to be healthy and ready for action when spring finally arrives.

Most Americans will have walked 75,000 miles by the time they turn 50. Is it little wonder, then, that APMA’s 2010 foot health survey found that foot pain affects the daily activities—walking, exercising, or standing for long periods of time—of a majority of Americans?

“Each season presents unique challenges to foot health,” said Matthew Garoufalis, DPM, a podiatrist and APMA president. “Surveys and research tell us that foot health is intrinsic to overall health, so protecting feet all year long is vital to our overall well-being.”

APMA offers some advice for keeping feet healthy in common winter scenarios:

  • Winter is skiing and snowboarding season, activities enjoyed by nearly 10 million Americans, according to the National Ski Areas Association. Never ski or snowboard in footwear other than ski boots specifically designed for that purpose. Make sure your boots fit properly; you should be able to wiggle your toes, but the boots should immobilize the heel, instep, and ball of your foot. You can use orthotics (support devices that go inside shoes) to help control the foot’s movement inside ski boots or ice skates.
  • Committed runners don’t need to let the cold stop them. A variety of warm, light-weight, moisture-wicking active wear available at most running or sporting goods stores helps ensure runners stay warm and dry in bitter temperatures. However, some runners may compensate for icy conditions by altering how their foot strikes the ground. Instead of changing your footstrike pattern, shorten your stride to help maintain stability. And remember, it’s more important than ever to stretch before you begin your run. Cold weather can make you less flexible in winter than you are in summer, so it’s important to warm muscles up before running.
  • Boots are must-have footwear in winter climates, especially when dealing with winter precipitation. Between the waterproof material of the boots themselves and the warm socks you wear to keep toes toasty, you may find your feet sweat a lot. Damp, sweaty feet can chill more easily and are more prone to bacterial infections. To keep feet clean and dry, consider using foot powder inside socks and incorporating extra foot baths into your foot care regimen this winter.
  • Be size smart. It may be tempting to buy pricey specialty footwear (like winter boots or ski boots) for kids in a slightly larger size, thinking they’ll be able to get two seasons of wear out of them. But unlike coats that kids can grow into, footwear needs to fit properly right away. Properly fitted skates and boots can help prevent blisters, chafing, and ankle or foot injuries. Likewise, if socks are too small, they can force toes to bunch together, and that friction can cause painful blisters or corns.

Finally—and although this one seems like it should go without saying, it bears spelling out—don’t try to tip-toe through winter snow, ice, and temperatures in summer-appropriate footwear. “More than one news show across the country aired images of people in sneakers, sandals, and even flip-flops during the severe cold snap that hit the country in early January,” Dr. Garoufalis said. “Exposing feet to extreme temperatures means risking frostbite and injury. Choose winter footwear that will keep your feet warm, dry, and well-supported.”

 

Taken from:

http://www.apma.org/Learn/HealthyFeetTips.cfm?ItemNumber=11069

Everything you need to know about running shoes We look at the anatomy of a running shoe, how to get the right fit, and other shoe shopping tips.

anatomy running shoe

A few tips this morning from the foot clinic in Athlone. When buying runners have a look for a few key thing. If you need more advise or are having problems visit the Athlone Foot Clinic in Athlone town centre, Co.Westmeath or call us on 0851911271

Anatomy of a running shoe

Midsole

Where you’ll find all of the foam and cushioning (especially under the arch of the foot). A more supportive shoe contains denser foam, which helps absorb the impact on your feet and body from running on hard surfaces.

Heel counter

Where the shoe cups your heel. A lot of stability is built into this spot, says Krista Madsen Baker, a McMaster University kinesiology professor in Hamilton, Ont. Squeeze both sides of the counter — the more it resists, the more support you’ll have on your run.

Outsole

The bottom of the shoe, where tread thickness varies depending on whether shoes are designed for pavement or for trail. Trail shoes have a thicker, deeper tread to better grasp the ground and give you more traction. ‘

Flex point

Where the shoe bends most easily. It should line up with the widest part of your foot. “If it doesn’t bend enough, your foot can’t move through its normal range of motion, which may lead to shin splints and plantar fasciitis,” Madsen Baker says.

Toe box

Where your toes and the ball of your foot fit. “Make sure the toe box is wide enough and doesn’t feel constricting,” says Madsen Baker. “If you feel pressure on either side, it’s a sign you’re setting yourself up for a blister.”

Running Shoe Guide_Feature

Tips for shopping for a running shoe

How much should you pay for the perfect shoe?

Running shoes vary in price, but experts say anywhere from $100 to $150 is reasonable for a quality sneaker.

How long should your shoes last?

German researchers tested more than 150 pairs of shoes and found that high-quality kicks still maintained their integrity after 1,000 km. If you’re unsure, Smith recommends returning to the store and trying on the new version of your shoes about every six months. “If the newer version feels the same, it’s likely not time to change,” he says. “But if you can tell the difference between the two, it may be time to invest in another pair.”

How to shop for shoes:

1. Go at the end of the day, or after a workout, when your foot has swollen to its full size. And don’t forget your socks! Bring the ones you work out in most often.

2. Test drive the shoes on the store’s treadmill, or take them for a quick jog down a hallway.

3. Be aware of friction points. “You should never feel that you need to break the shoe in,” says Madsen Baker, a McMaster University kinesiology professor in Hamilton, Ont. “The shoe should fit perfectly comfortably, and your foot should feel like it belongs there.”

Cheyenne Ellis/Alyssa Pizer

Five questions to ask

The Running Room’s Bryan Smith shares the questions he always asks his shoppers.

1. Is there room at the end of the toe?

Smith, the Running Room’s Toronto-area manager, recommends a half to a full thumb’s width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. “That will give your foot space to shift forward, so that you won’t damage your foot or bruise your toenails.”

2. Does your heel slip when you walk?

It shouldn’t. The heel counter should be comfortably tight to help you avoid blisters.

3. Does the material rub against your ankle?

It’s important for your entire ankle joint to move easily. The shoe should never get in the way of full freedom of movement.

4. Are you laced up correctly?

Eyelets should be evenly aligned; they shouldn’t touch or be splayed wide open. And always lace shoes to the top or second-highest eyelet.

5. Can you move the front of your foot from side to side?

You should be able to wiggle a bit from left to right. “When your foot expands, you want there to be room so the shoe doesn’t get too tight.”

 

 

Taken from:http://www.chatelaine.com/health/fitness/everything-you-need-to-know-about-running-shoes/?DFIX