Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Foot pain exercises with orthotics

People will have some kind of foot problem at some point of their lives. Athletes injure themselves on a regular basis. Luckily, the medical technology to deal with foot problems has advanced to such a degree that people can get back to normal routines in no time at all. Some common problems that affect people are flat feet, neuropathy, shin splints, ankle sprains etc. A good combination of foot exercises and orthotics will help you overcome or combat your foot problems.

Flat Feet

When a person has flat feet, it means that the person does not have an arch that supports the foot. It can usually be identified early on in children and when treated then, it can go a long way in helping to mould the shape of the foot. There are special orthotic shoes available that come with a slight curve where the arch should be. This combined with a daily routine of simple foot exercise will slowly help the children develop an arch. If you are already an adult, using gel pads fixed inside your shoes helps alleviate foot pain due to flat feet. A physical therapist can recommend some foot exercises that will help with the flat footedness. 


Neuropathy is symptomized by numbness in the extremities and is closely related to diabetes. Diabetics are prone to neuropathy. There are a number of precautions that one can take to deal with this foot problem. There are orthotic diabetic foot sleeves available that can cover the foot and keep it warm. There are soft sleeves as well as hard sleeves available and you can use them depending on the severity of your problem. There are advanced orthotic devices to help people who have progressed to more severe cases of neuropathy. The orthotics offer relief from pain, when moving about,

Shin splints

Shin splints can be very painful if left untreated for a long time. People, especially athletes tend to ignore the early warning signs of shin splints and go to a podiatrist only after the pain is unbearable. Orthotic shin supports made of light, durable material are available to give support to the leg. These orthotics are so comfortable that they can be worn in the nights too. Foot exercises that include stretching will help relieve pain and stiffness caused by shin splints.

Ankle sprains

When you sprain your ankle, the first thing to do is put an ice compress to bring down the swelling. Then it is a good idea to take an X-Ray, to make sure that it is a sprain and not a hairline fracture. There are various orthotics available to help deal with ankle sprains. There is hard orthotics that makes sure that your ankle has enough support when you do start walking. Softer orthotics can be used if it is a mild sprain. These orthotics are not permanent casts and can be taken off and put on easily and tightened to your comfort level. It is imperative to do foot exercises while recuperating as it helps your foot heal faster.

There are many other orthotic devices to help in foot problems that are more severe like fractures, tendonitis etc. Unlike earlier days where one has to have large and inconvenient plaster cast for fractures, many podiatrists these days prefer prescribing removable orthotics. This is particularly helpful when doing physiotherapy. You can remove the orthotics when doing your foot exercises and put them on after you are done. A podiatrist will be able to prescribe a foot treatment that includes orthotics and foot exercises to help recover swiftly.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Foot pain diabetes and the risks involved

People suffering from diabetes have a high risk of developing foot problems and diabetic infections in the feet and legs. Diabetes can cause damage to the nervous system of these patients, thereby making them go numb in the feet. So, such people are unable to feel any sensation in their feet even when they develop sores or infection, leading to a delayed treatment. Many cases even end up with serious gangrene or amputation. That’s why foot care should be an important part of life for a diabetic.

The foot is the part of the body most prone to injuries. As diabetics experience numbness in their extremities, they may have a foot injury and not realize it. Even something as simple as an ingrown toenail could get infected and cause a big problem for a diabetic. Doctors counsel diabetics to take care of their sugar levels to make sure that they do not reach a stage where they advance to neuropathic symptoms. 

Reasons that may cause foot problems in diabetics
There are various reasons why a diabetic could get a foot problem like a foot ulcer or other foot infections. Diabetic neuropathy is one reason where there is damage to the nerves supplying the blood to the feet. Peripheral vascular disease causes decreased blood flow to the feet also resulting in numbness. A person who has been diabetic for ten or more years has more chance of foot problems. Smoking, alcohol and a bad diet could all trigger foot problems in a diabetic. If the diabetic is not managing their blood sugar levels, it could give rise to foot infections. Continuous trauma to the feet in the form of corns and calluses is not good for diabetics. If the diabetic already has a genetic predisposition towards foot problems or has foot bones that are deformed or suffers from bunions, they are at a risk for foot ulcers and infections. Thick or ingrown toenails can cause foot infections. 

How to take care of your feet if you are diabetic 

A wound takes a long time to heal in a diabetic. So a diabetic should take extra care when walking or running. Wearing shoes or covered footwear can lessen the chances of getting injured. But it also opens a Pandora’s box of other problems. Enclosed footwear is a breeding place for bacteria and so if you wear covered footwear all the time you could get an infection. The best thing to do is to find the right balance between both. Wear covered footwear to protect your feet, but take them off and air your feet every now and then. There is also anti fungal powder that is available and can be used to powder your feet at regular intervals. This prevents foot odor too. 

There are various products available for diabetics to keep foot problems at bay as well to help deal with them. There are topical creams that help ease foot pain and tablets that relieve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy like tingling, burning and numbness. It is very important for a diabetic to insulate their feet against cold weather as this aggravates foot problems. Very well made diabetic foot socks are available to combat the cold. You can get foot lotions, creams and sanitizers that will go a long way in keeping your feet free from infections. 

A regular check up with a podiatrist is necessary if you suffer from diabetes. As they say, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. By taking a few simple but important measures you can lessen the risks caused by diabetes.