Thursday, 30 May 2013

Flat feet in adults

What is flat feet?

Flat feet occur when the arch of the foot collapses. The entire foot is in contact with the floor since the arch that supports the leg has collapsed. Flat feet can be hereditary and can occur in children. When it is diagnosed in children, it can be corrected using special shoes that help raise the arch of the feet. 

Can flat feet occur in adults?

Flat feet can occur in adults because of injury or prolonged stress to the foot. This is called adult acquired flat footedness. If flat feet occur in an adult, it is due to the collapse of the arch and this acquired flat foot is permanent. The reason why flat feet occur often as people age is due to the usual and known risks like hypertension, obesity and diabetes. Flat feet can sometimes occur in pregnant women but it is usually temporary. 

Symptoms that accompany AAFD

1. There may be pain along the posterior tendon of the tibia which is on the inside of the foot or ankle. There may be swelling around the ankles.
2. Collapse of the arch may cause a shift in the heel bone and this may put pressure on the fibula causing stress related pain and swelling.
3. People who gym regularly or jog will be unable to do so if their arch collapses. Any kind of high impact activity will be quite painful and in severe cases, people can have difficulty with normal walking.
4. Old injuries or the onset of arthritis may cause an arch collapse resulting in flat footedness
5. Diabetics could get flat feet and they should be extra careful as their illness may cause numbness in the extremities and the patient may not feel pain. 

How does an arch collapse happen?

AAFD is caused when the posterior tendon of the tibia is damaged. This tendon begins at the calf and goes along the inside of the leg and attaches to the bones of the feet. This tendon is responsible for holding the arch of your foot up. If this tendon gets injured, the arch of your foot will collapse. In people with arthritis or diabetes, the steady degeneration of the tendon will lead to an eventual collapse of the arch. 

Treating AAFD

There are special shoes and other orthotics to help in the treatment of flat feet. AAFD is permanent so there is no cure for it. But your podiatrist will be able to help you treat it and lessen the pain. Some helpful products that are available for flat feet are:
  • For mild cases where the pain is not so severe, gel supports that conform to the contours of your foot and have a raised arch will help support your collapsed arch. These gel supports can be fitted into any kind of shoe and worn on a regular basis.
  • For a more painful AAFD, the Orthofeet BioSole-Gel Self Forming Orthotics Sport is a self-forming arch-support that uses bladder construction, filled with polyurethane foam and viscoelastic gel and shapes dynamically to the contours of the foot without bottoming out.
  • In severe cases, Aircast AirLift™ PTTD Brace offers foot support and ankle stabilization. Located under the foot arch is the aircell. This is adjustable with the Hand Bulb (included with the brace). When it is inflated, the aircell can accommodate variances in arch shapes and heights and can comfortably lift the foot arch to achieve a more natural foot position.
AAFD cannot be cured but a podiatrist will be able to help you deal effectively with the symptoms that it causes!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Diabetics and foot problems

People who suffer from diabetes are at a high risk for a number of problems including foot ailments. Some of the common foot problems that people who suffer from diabetes could get are diabetic neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, athlete’s foot, fungal infection of the nails, ingrown toenails, bunions, calluses, corns, blisters etc.

Preventing diabetic related foot problems

By taking care of your diabetes, you are taking care of your foot problems too. But even so, it is advisable for a diabetic to see a podiatrist regularly to make sure that they are not at risk from any kind of foot ailments. Wearing the right kind of shoes can go a long way in keeping foot problems at bay. 

There are some good looking shoes especially made for people with diabetes. They look good and protect the feet. Some of them are:

The Orthofeet Women's Slip-On Wedge 

This is a therapeutic shoe that looks as great as it feels. Orthofeet shoes offer the most comfortable fit and pain relief for those suffering from diabetes, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, bunions, hammertoes, corns, Morton’s neuroma, and swollen feet and toes. Orthofeet Easy Slip-On Low-Heel shoes combine handsome, non-binding design, along with a unique closure system and therapeutic shoe detailing for the ultimate comfort and protection. 

Orthofeet Women's Slip-On Wedge Shoe with a strap

This is a lightweight shoe with a moderate wedge design that provides comfort and looks attractive. It has supple leather with extra foam padding in the tongue and collar. The hook and loop straps and a wide opening make for an easy on/off shoe. The construction across the metatarsals provides extra room, if needed, to accommodate swollen feet and forefoot deformities, especially bunions. It has seamless fabric lining, padded with foam enhances comfort and protection. It has a stretchable padded collar along the entire edge of the upper insures comfortable fit, box and eliminates pressure points. Wider and deeper toe box ensures a comfortable fit, even for those with hammertoes and corns. It has a cushioning sole for added comfort. It is made of light weight EVA midsole and rubber outsole. It has an adjustable and customized fit with a single strap that can be fastened on either side of the shoe. 

SteriShoe Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer

The SteriShoe Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer is a safe, easy and highly effective way to provide a healthier in-shoe environment for feet and is doctor tested and recommended. It kills up to 99.9% of the germs that cause foot infections and offensive shoe odor and helps keep at-risk feet safer. The combination of sweat and heat inside the shoe makes for a perfect breeding ground for the bacteria and fungi that cause toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, and foul odor. And when foot conditions already exist, then shoes can also be a common source of post-treatment re-infection. Therefore, to fully minimize the likelihood of new or re-infection, germs must be eradicated at the risk source! Hundreds of doctors dispense SteriShoe and patients across the US benefit from SteriShoe every day. 

The innovative SteriShoe® shoe sanitizer kills the germs that reside inside shoes with a special germicidal ultraviolet light (UVC). With the first treatment, SteriShoe destroys up to 99.9% of the microorganisms in shoes, including the bacteria and fungi that cause toenail fungus (onychomycosis), athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) and offensive foot odor. SteriShoe is also an excellent choice for those with diabetes or concerned about their foot hygiene.

With this kind of good looking and comfortable shoes available, people suffering from diabetes no longer need to compromise looks for protection.