Monday, 24 September 2018

5 Indications That Your Feet Need A Podiatrist Right Away

Your feet are probably one of the most overworked yet under appreciated parts of the body. You may not realize how important they are until they suffer from dysfunction, discomfort or pain. Suddenly, even walking may seem like an uphill task. Most people do not see a podiatrist until the problem becomes unbearable. But this delay can spell trouble for your feet, and at times, even to your overall health. Here are five indications that need the immediate attention of a podiatrist:

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      1. Conditions affecting your normal activity:

If you experience pain in your feet every time you move around to perform normal activities, you may have a foot injury that has not healed properly. Without prompt and proper treatment, this injury can get worse over time and may make it increasingly difficult to live your normal, active life.

      2. Structural problems with bones, muscles and more:

Structural problems with bones, muscles and different connective tissues do not heal themselves. Instead, they only get worse if left untreated. These problems often happen due to mechanical dysfunctions that can lead to protruding bony prominence and gradual shift in the bone alignment. Once these things happen in one part of your body, they can impact other areas significantly, especially when they are connected just like how your feet, knees, ankles, and hips are. These appendages can trigger crucial discomfort in your overall health, since you walk upright on the feet.

      3. Numbness, tingling or burning sensations:

These things can be symptoms of neuropathy that can trigger decreased sensation in the feet. If your feet feel numb rarely, it should not be a big cause for concern. But if they are happening quite regularly, you should head straight to a podiatrist. If the numbness is accompanied by burning or tingling sensation, it can be a sign of nerve damage – a condition that diabetics are particularly susceptible to. Diabetic neuropathy is something that needs immediate attention of a podiatrist. Or else, it can put you at a higher risk of developing foot ulcers.

      4. Sore or wounds that refuse to heal

If you have a wound or an open sore on the ankle or foot, you should see your podiatrist. This is  particularly important if you have diabetes because such conditions would then take longer to heal. You will have a better chance of timely healing if you consult a podiatrist immediately and get the recommended treatment started. If you have an open sore for a prolonged time, your risk of getting a bone or skin infection increases.

      5. A lump/bump/mole that grows or hurts

A mole that bleeds, gets bigger, or changes color needs to be examined by a podiatrist closely to identify the key reason. A bump or lump that hurts and grows should also be looked at by a podiatrist. It may turn out to be a sort of cyst, but there is also a probability of it being something more hazardous like a tumor. Though tumors in the feet are rare, they do occur sometimes.

The health of the feet is crucial to your overall wellbeing. Podiatrists have years of professional training under their belts, making them highly qualified to care for your feet. No matter how small your ankle or foot condition is, if you observe any of these conditions, it is important to have your podiatrist diagnose the problem right away so as  to that ensure your quality of life doesn’t get comprised.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

5 Foot Care Tips for Diabetics

For diabetics, the foot often becomes one of the most problematic areas of their body. The extremities can get deprived of adequate blood flow because of diabetes, leading to deprivation of oxygen and nutrients. Apart from problems like blisters taking more time to heal, and numbness in the feet, the area may also become more prone to infections. All these make it more important for diabetics to take good care of their feet to avoid serious complications. Here are some essential diabetes foot care tips to keep your feet healthy.

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      1.       Manage your diabetes well

      There is a direct relationship between diabetes and damage to your nerve cells. The better you manage your diabetes, the healthier your feet will be for a prolonged time. If you have a foot infection, uncontrolled diabetes can make it difficult for the body to fight it. So, it is important that you work with your doctor to manage diabetes and keep your blood sugar level within range.

      2.       Stay active

      Staying active can help your feet to function properly and feel stretched. While exercise for diabetics certainly isn’t one-size-fits-all, low impact fitness programs that include walking, swimming, yoga etc can prove to be helpful as they don’t put excessive pressure on the feet. However, it’s crucial to ensure you have proper footwear for whatever activity you prefer to get started with. If you choose the wrong footwear that offer inadequate support to your feet, you may end up hurting your feet, which could create complications due to your pre-existing diabetes.

      3.       Check your feet daily and keep them clean

      Carefully observe your feet everyday to identify blisters, cuts, swelling, soreness and red spots. It’s good to have a mirror to thoroughly check the bottom of your feet. If you have difficulty seeing, ask a family member to do it.It’s also important to wash your feet everyday properly. Remember to use lukewarm water instead of hot water. Drying your feet after washing should be done the right way since the space between your toes is heavily airtight, and leaving the region moist may lead to infections. Towel off thoroughly to prevent this from happening.

     4.       Trim toenails carefully

      Trim your toenails every week or as and when needed. Trim them straight across without cutting too short. File the edges with a nail file or an emery board. Remember to avoid knife or conventional scissors, and don’t bite, pull or tear the toenails. Have them trimmed by a professional if you find it difficult to see or reach them.

    5.       Protect your toes from cold/hot temperature 

      Always wear shoes when walking on a hot pavement or at the beach. Avoid putting your feet into hot water. People with diabetes often develop neuropathy, which makes it difficult to feel the right temperature of hot water that may lead to scalding of the skin. You can use the elbow to check the water temperature instead. Also, if your feet get cold at night, wear socks.

Even seemingly harmless feet hazards may turn into serious conditions if you ignore them,    especially when you have diabetes. Ideally, you should consider consulting a podiatrist when developing your diabetes healthcare routine instead of heading straight to the pharmacy for over-the-counter products for taking care of your feet.

Monday, 23 July 2018

5 Important Tips to Take Care of Your Feet During The Monsoons

Despite giving you respite from the scorching summer, monsoon brings in a number of health hazards too, including those related to your feet. Stickiness, sweat and moisture are common elements during this season that often promote development of molds and fungus. If your personal hygiene with respect to feet is not taken care of seriously, you can become prone to various feet-related woes. Here’re five crucial tips to take care of this body part that perhaps gets the dirtiest in rainwater.




1. Perfect footwear

Choosing the perfect footwear is absolutely crucial during the rainy season. While gum boots are a wise option, you should avoid wearing canvas or sports shoes as they get wet easily and remain so for a prolonged time. This, in turn, could create a highly conducive medium for the growth of fungi, bacteria etc. Ideally, you should try wearing strappy sandals or open-toed plastic sandals as they dry faster.

2. Thorough cleaning

Thorough cleaning is another thing that helps your feet do well in the monsoons. Make sure to clean and rinse your feet well twice everyday to avoid development of any fungal or bacterial infection. Try soaking your feet in lukewarm water with a little amount of salt added to it. It’ll offer relaxation and remove any dirt from your feet. Also, remove your footwear as soon as you step inside to help your feet breathe.

3. Exfoliation

While thorough washing of your feet on a regular basis is perhaps the best monsoon foot care tip, you should also consider exfoliation to clean the pores of your feet more deeply and to make the skin revitalized. You can try a mixture of herbs, salts, moisturizers orsimilar ingredients thrown into lukewarm water for the purpose.

4. Foot therapy

Foot scrubs, soaks and healing creams are widely available, and they work effectively to restore the natural smoothness of your feet. Foot scrubs come loaded with healing oils, likethose of sunflower and jojoba, together with vitamin E. Apart from making your footpad supple, they also replenish the lost moisture. A foot soak is something that needs to be added to warm water, after which its fresh aqua scent and salt beads would help to cleanse and relax your feet. If you have excessively rough and dry feet, or suffer from cracked heels, healing creams can help soften them and eliminate the cracks.

5. Nail care

Another important way to take care of your feet during the monsoons is to frequently trim the nails. When your nails are long, they will be difficult to keep clean, and become more prone to the development of bacteria and germs beneath them. So, it’s wise to keep the nails short by trimming them frequently in the rainy season.

The old adage that says “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is perfectly applicable to our feet. While we should always pay serious attention to our feet, monsoon is the season when feet demand more care and attention. Any negligence on your part may lead to infections that couldcreate a lot of discomfort and pain, and even take a lot of time to heal. So, put these tips into effect right away and enjoy the monsoons to the fullest.

Friday, 22 June 2018

4 Steps To Stay Away From Sore Feet During Your Workouts


Endorphins, the feel-good chemicals released by the body during workouts. elicit the feeling of euphoria and lessen the perception of pain. Thus, if you’re having sore feet during exercising, you’re probably missing out on one of the biggest advantages of exercise – feeling good. While it’s true that small foot problems don’t make much difference at other times, during an exercise program, they can appear to be quite a big deal and may even make you compromise on your fitness goals. However, with some simple modifications and a little attention, you can effortlessly diminish the risk of developing sore feet during workouts. Here are four simple, yet highly effective,steps you can take to keep your feet feeling happy and healthy during workouts..

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Choose the right shoes

Wearing proper shoes is the first step to take if you want to stay away from foot pain. Wrong shoes can uncomfortably angle your arch, triggering pain on the bottom of the feet. Shoes that provide too much or too little support can make the sole of the foot hurt while shoes that are too wide or too big allow your foot to move around during workouts, getting rubbed in the process, which then triggers discomfort and pain. Ideally, your shoe should come with good arch support, padded insoles, a solid heel counter and a flexible toe bed.

Start small

While it’s quite natural to become excited about your new workout regimen, doing too much at once is probably the fastest way to put the feet out of commission. Doing too much leads to problems like corns, blisters, ingrown toenails, and tendonitis, among others. The key to stay safe is to adopt a gradual progression that starts small and thus, allows your feet to get used to the new workout regimen.

Stretch and strengthen your muscles

Like any other body part, your feet can become overworked and tightened. Gently stretching the feet – rotating the feet from left to right, raising the toes upward or pointing them forward – decreases foot stiffness or tightness and alleviates heel pain triggered by plantar fasciitis. Exercises such as ankle circles, heel raises, lunges, squats etc. help to strengthen the muscles of the lower body as well. Once the key areas of your body become stronger, it’ll reduce the amount of shock absorbed by your feet.

Opt for cross-training

Just because you are surrounded by equipment meant for weight training it doesn’t mean you need to only use the machines and weights. Cross-training helps you maintain your fitness level whilst lowering the chances of worsening your foot pain. For example, if you are a regular runner, you can try easier cardio machines like cross trainers or exercise bikes. If any of these still hurt the heels, you can try swimming or elliptical workouts.

Conclusion

Flexibility of your feet plays a crucial role in preventing sore feet during workouts. Activities like rolling the sole of your foot gently on a golf ball or picking up a towel with your toes, can improve your foot’s flexibility. You can also try occasional barefoot walking on surfaces without edgy debris, like a sandy beach, to enhance the toughness of your feet.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Four travel tips for your feet

Whether you are going to the beach for enjoying the sun and the sand, or planning a hike, your legs and feet should be fit to sail through it all. But getting your feet travel-ready isn’t an overnight job. From treating foot issues like blisters and corns ahead of your trip to choosing the right shoes based on your travel destination and the activities you plan to indulge in, taking the right steps is important. After all, having aching and sore feet would take the joy out of your carefully planned travel itinerary. Yet, most people ignore their feet until it interferes with their travel plans. If you too belong to this list, here are some travel tips for your feet that could help.

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  • Treat foot issues and get your feet in tip-top condition: If you suffer from foot conditions like blisters, corns, calluses, or ingrown toenails, get them treated before your trip to avoid infections and other issues that may cause pain and discomfort during travel. In case you suffer from arch pain, bunion pain or pain in the heel, get it assessed and treated because during your travel, walking more than what you usually do or on uneven surfaces could aggravate the condition.
  • Select the right shoes: Depending on the climate of your destination and the terrain you need to travel to reach there, the amount of luggage you will be carrying, and the activities you have planned, select the right shoes that offer your feet adequate support and cushioning. In case you need to purchase a new pair, break them in before wearing them on your trip to avoid surprise blisters and other issues.
  • Take steps to avoid infections: Travelling to different climates, taking a dip in a hotel swimming pool or showering in different hotels during the course of your journey – all these can make your feet prone to infections like plantar warts andAthlete's foot. To protect your feet, wash and dry them, and wear rubber flip-flops around the pool and in shower. As a preventive measure,you may use a tea tree oil foot spray to reduce your risk of infections. 
  •  Wear flight socks, if needed, and use orthotics, if suggested: If you have a history of swollen feet and ankles after a long flight and are about to travel a long distance, choose flight socks with the right compression level and of the right size to ensure a comfortable flight. In case your podiatrist has suggested the use of orthotics, don’t forget them when you travel. Also, if you arebuying a new pair of shoes before your trip, get the right fit wearing those orthotics
      Traveling to and exploring a new place is an incredible experience, which you should enjoy to the optimum. If you forget to take proper care of your feet and they start feeling uncomfortable and aching so that the only thing you think of is reaching your hotel to kick off your shoes, your entire travel itinerary can soon turn from something you were looking forward to with great interest to an unpleasant one. Don’t let that happen because you truly deserve your hard earned retreat. 

Monday, 23 April 2018

Five Tips for Buying Football Boots This Summer


With the impending football season, there is a rush among football novices and pros alike to shop for their football boots. If you take the sports seriously and want to play at your best, while staying away from foot injuries as much as you can, these tips to buy your best football boot would surely help you: 

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        1.   Getting the right fit while wearing your kits: Purchasing boots is best done while wearing the kits that you will use on the field. So, have your thick, footy socks on (which are different from your regular ones) when trying out a new pair of football boots. Wear your ankle braces and shin guards too in case you wear them when playing football. 

        2.   Selecting the material carefully: Investing in leather boots would mean having a comfortable footwear since they usually stretch to match your feet’s contour. Buying synthetic boots that don’t get deformed easily would ensure durability. You should ideally stay away from boots made of cheaper materials like plastic as they generate excessive friction, thus increasing your feet’s chances of being rubbed and getting blisters. The general rule while buying football boots is to steer clear of lighter materials since they don’t offer your feet adequate support.  

        3.  Getting the boots professionally fitted: Buying footballs boots isn’t just picking any one that catches your fancy.  Rather, you have to consider several factors like your foot shape, gait, player position, foot function and history of injuries, if any, to buy the best pair of boots that will meet your personal requirements. The ideal step is to consult your podiatrist and get your boots professionally fitted for injury prevention and optimum comfort. 

        4.  Deciding on the type of studs: While boots with screw-in studs are ideal for wet and/or soft grounds where you need a better grip, those with molded studs (which are shorter than screw-in studs) are best for dry and/or hard surfaces. You can also look for boots with changeable or multidisciplinary stud patterns that can be adjusted based on the game’s variable conditions, and the surfaces you play on. 

        5.  Wearing them in: You should never wear new boots on your game day. The norm is to wear in your boots gradually. The ideal time frame for wearing a new pair in is two training sessions at the least, before you wear them on your match day. 

Apart from the above, you should ensure to wear your orthotics (in case you are advised by your podiatrist to use them) while getting fitted for the new pair of boots. Even when testing a new pair, you should have your orthotics on. Those who need to wear orthotics could choose boots with a removable insole since that would let them make some room inside. 

Football boots are available from different manufacturers in a wide range, and you can buy many through online stores. But since you need to try them on with your playing kit for the right fit and may even need some customized changes to suit your individual needs, it’s best to buy them from brick-and-mortar stores.  

Friday, 23 March 2018

Five Foot-care Tips for Pregnant Women

During pregnancy, a woman’s weight gain causes her centre of gravity to change, which in turn alters her weight-bearing stance and puts additional pressure on her knees and feet. Water retention, overpronation, edema and swelling are some other conditions causing discomfort and pain in the feet. But pregnancy is that time of your life that you should enjoy, not worry incessantly about foot pains, aches, and other conditions causing distress and discomfort. If you are pregnant and your feet are already hurting, these five foot-care tips will help: 

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      1. 
Getting medical advice for foot swelling/aches:If your foot aches and/or swelling seem to be troublesome (like when they happen all of a sudden, or are restricted to just one foot) or become too much to handle on your own, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor. Apart from prescribing some medications to offer you relief, your doctor can also ensure that these are triggered by your pregnancy and not any other factor.

          2.   Wearing the right shoes with adequate support: Choosing comfortable,shock absorbing shoes with the right fit and arch support is crucial during pregnancy. Due to loosening of your ligaments during pregnancy, your feet seem to be getting bigger (though they aren’t actually growing bigger). Swelling and water retention can also make your feet feel bigger during pregnancy. Going up in your shoe size can help in such cases since you will no longer have the pain and discomfort caused by tight shoes.

          3. Doing daily stretches for the legs and feet:From doing some fundamental leg stretches tostretching your shins and toes out, stick to some simple stretching routinesthroughout the day that will ease your foot pain and offer relief from the overall discomfort that you experience during pregnancy.

          4.  Keeping the foot elevated:Try to keep your feet elevated as much as is possible, and take adequate rest to prevent swelling. Though it’s best to keep them elevated above your hips (thus not allowing the blood to pool and making gravity direct the blood flow out of your feet and to the rest of your body), it’s not possible until you lie back. But even just using a stool to put your feet up while being seated would be helpful.

          5.  Wearing orthotic shoes: As you cope with the additional weight gained during pregnancy, experiencing achy, tired and sore feet is a common phenomenon. Your doctor or podiatrist may suggest you to use customized orthotics for added support and optimal comfort, which will take the pressure and stress off your foot’s relaxed ligaments. However, you should make sure to get your orthotics fitted by a professional.
             
       These nine months of carrying your little bundle of joy inside you need not be a distressing or scary time for your feet.You just need to stick to a foot care routine as advised by your doctor or podiatrist, and seek medical attention at the slightest hint of trouble. Above all, stay away from popping over-the-counter painkillers or other medications and put your complete trust in your doctor – for both, your own health and the health of your unborn child.