Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Basic Facts about Five Common Running Injuries

Staying fit and healthy is the key to leading happy life. A daily running routine ensures sound health and keeps you in great shape too. However, certain precautions are highly advised for regular joggers to prevent any serious foot and ankle injury. While some injuries can be tended at home, there are few common running injuries for which you need to visit a foot care expert.

Podiatrists nowadays are uniquely qualified with specialized training and expertise to deal with running related foot and ankle injuries. They conduct the treatment carefully so that your running routine doesn’t get hampered for long. Before consulting a podiatrist for any running foot ailment, it is important to know what types of injuries are really serious and when you should consult an expert.
  1. Plantar Fasciitis affects the bottom of the foot and often extends from heel bone to the toe portion, because of inflammation of fibrous band of tissue in the region. Too much stress, mainly excessive running or jumping can cause this foot ailment. Podiatrists suggest stretching exercises before and after you start jogging/ running. It can be prevented by wearing supportive running shoes. For any information regarding custom foot orthotics or night splint, a podiatrist’s guidance does help.
  2. Achilles Tendonitis mainly irritates or inflames a large tendon located in the back of the lower calf which connects to the back of the heel. Lack of flexibility or over-pronation often results in this particular foot ailment. Regular stretching helps so also shoe inserts that corrects faulty foot mechanism. If the podiatrist prescribes, the patient might need to resort to anti-inflammatory medication for few days. Sometimes the expert suggests temporary immobilization with walking boot so that the area heals faster.
  3. Morton’s Neuroma is a benign tumor of the nerve that causes a burning or stinging pain in the forefoot. Sometimes ball of the foot is affected as the runner complains of a needle-pricking sensation. Blame it on tight-fitting footwear that often causes this painful foot ailment. The remedy lies in shifting to comfortable running shoes with enough forefoot cushioning. The foot care expert might suggest a professional gait analysis and customized foot orthotics to prevent recurrence of Morton’s Neuroma.
  4. Stress fracture is another common running foot injury which is caused by repetitive forces on foot or ankle areas. It starts with localized pain and then turns serious with swelling. The healing period might extend for over a month or so. Icing, complete rest along with immobilization of the affected area with casting or bracing are few remedial measures that the podiatrist usually recommends.
  5. Shin splints prove to be really troublesome for runners irrespective of age groups.  The patient complaints of a shooting pain felt either sideways or near the front or of tibia bones, i.e. the shins. The foot expert suggests physical therapy or orthotic inserts to cure Shin Splints.
Running foot syndromes can be healed quickly, provided you have taken the first step by visiting an expert podiatrist. It is very important to follow the foot specialists’ recommendations to be back on the running track as fast as possible. 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Tips to Buy the Right Footwear

If you have ever explored ancient Spanish cave drawings which are more than 15,000 years old, then attires and footwear of those carvings must have drawn your attention.  In the primitive age, animal skins or furs were used as feet coverings which gradually changed to footwear stuffed with straw. Thus, it can be said the evolution of footwear remains quite an interesting one.

Present day shoes can be considered engineering wonders as new materials and techniques are used to stylishly protect and support the feet. Discussed below are some helpful tips to buy the right footwear for different categories.

Buying a Child’s Shoes

The tender feet demand the very best footwear. Ideally a child’s shoe should be made of soft material and have adequate cushioning of the insole. It is even better if the shoe has firm heel counter, a built-in arch and enough flexibility to bend at the ball of the foot. The kid should feel comfortable wiggling his toes inside the shoe. Make him walk for few minutes wearing the new shoe and sock. Monitor closely. If you sense any irregularity in his walking then immediately opt for a different pair.

Selecting Appropriate Woman’s Shoe

This is a tough task indeed, considering a woman’s penchant for fashionable, high-heeled footwear. Most often she sacrifices foot comfort and safety to pick up high-heels or fashionable flip-flops. According to podiatrists, such footwear is medically unsafe and can cause postural and other safety problems. Those who just can’t do without their trendy high-heels can surely try to limit its time of wear and alternate it with good quality flats or sneakers. Another wise idea is to shift to comfortable yet trendy pumps for workplaces.

Foot experts opine that the best woman’s footwear for regular use is walking shoe with laces, preferably with polymerized sole. If you are desperate to wear heels then opt for wider ones with firm and cushioned heel counter. The heel height should not be more than three-quarters of an inch.

Searching for Men’s Footwear

Now that the footwear segment is styled, men don’t mind flaunting fashionable boots, trainers or sleepers. However, till date, the Oxford style remains a man’s favorite. Wing-tip or cap toe men’s shoe designs are the most common. Then, for non-formal occasions many prefer to shift to comfortable slip-ons, smart loafers and low dress boots.

There are many whose job pattern demands standing or walking at a stretch. They would feel comfortable picking up shoes with cushioned soles. Another piece of advice for men is that they should try to earmark at least three to five pairs of boot or general loafers for everyday work purpose.

Purchasing Athletic shoes

This purchase should be done carefully. Pick up pairs based on specific sports activities. A good idea is to consult any reliable sports footwear store or a podiatrist for right selection of sports shoes. Further, make sure to discard the shoe beyond its useful life.

From above discussion, it is evident that your foot health depends on buying right kind of footwear. So, do it carefully. If needed, consult a foot specialist for necessary guidance.