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By contactus@faawc.com
July 20, 2017
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Ok so I'm exaggerating, but the health of your feet is often a good indicator of your overall health so when something seems wrong with your feet, it may have started elsewhere. Let’s look at a few signs our feet may tell us and what they may mean for our overall health:

  1. Skin and nails

Many people have dry feet and we just put up with it as a side effect of our feet being feet, but dryness in not normal. If you have dry feet no matter how much you moisturize, have your thyroid checked. A misbehaving thyroid can cause extreme skin dryness and even cracking of the toenails. Check your nails too. Do you see small pits or curves in your nails? These could be signs of psoriasis, anemia, or even lupus. But don’t jump to conclusions, only a podiatrist or other physician can definitively diagnose these conditions.

  1. Circulation

Do you have bald toes? Are your feet cold all of the time? These could be indications of poor circulation. Most people know when they have a serious vascular disease (PAD, arteriosclerosis, etc), but if you once had hairy toes and now they are smooth, this could indicate that your circulation is declining. Cold feet can also be another indicator of a pesky thyroid.

  1. Inflammation

Did you wake up with a bright red, hot, and painful big toe? That would be gout, an inflammatory disease that’s a cousin to arthritis. How about sudden clubbing – swelling of the digits creating a ‘rounded’ look to feet and toes? This could indicate a serious lung infection, intestinal disease (like Crohns), or even lung cancer. Watch the tips of your toes specifically and if you see swelling that just won’t go away, see your podiatrist. Just like vascular diseases though, most people know they have a greater health issue before they see these symptoms.

  1. Persistent sores or numbness

Both of these are strong indicators of diabetes. If you see sores or injuries on your feet (particularly the bottom) that just wont seem to heal or you suddenly start experiencing pins and needles sensations in your feet, have your blood sugar checked. Don’t put this one off either, when left untreated (meaning managing your diabetes) a foot ulcer can worsen over time creating infection. In fact, 6% of people with chronic ulcers end up hospitalized from complications.

  1. Pain

I say it over and over again, but pain is never normal! If you experience pain of any sort in your feet, go get it checked. Having pain around your joints? Could be an early indication of arthritis. Constantly cramping up? Could be dehydration or a mineral insufficiency of potassium, calcium, magnesium, or sodium. If your feet hurt all the time and become very painful to walk on you could be losing bone density, an early indication of osteoporosis.

There are all sorts of incredible things your feet can tell you (even if they aren’t really predicting the future) so pay attention to them. Examine your skin and nails for abnormalities, watch for sores or discolorations, and remember that pain in your feet is not normal! Start by seeing your podiatrist to rule out a directly related foot injury or disease then see your primary care physician to continue routine health monitoring. Your feet can tell you a lot if you just stop and listen.

By contactus@faawc.com
July 13, 2017
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Sports injuries aren’t really news anymore considering professional athletes are one of only five occupations that report over 1,000 injuries for every 10,000 workers. But even though the public sees sports injuries as common, that doesn’t lessen the severity or life impact they can have on the athletes themselves. Right now, over 600 tennis players are gathered at Wimbledon hoping to take home the championship title, but for some of these athletes, injuries will hold them back.

Tennis players are at risk for any number of serious foot and ankle injuries so let’s look at some common ones:

Subungal hematomas: This refers to a collection of blood under the toenail causing a black coloring to appear under the nail. While these are not serious injuries, they can be quite painful. Usually a subungal hematoma will solve itself when the toenail grows out over several months, but occasionally it is necessary to drain the blood from under the nail or remove the toenail completely. This type of injury is most often caused by shoes that are too tight and don’t allow for proper movement of the toes.

Muscle cramps: Everyone reading this has had a cramped muscle at some point in the past. Proper stretching before activity as well as maintaining proper hydration and nutrition is the best way to prevent cramps. If you do get a leg or foot cramp, make sure you immediately begin stretching the area to help relieve the tight muscle. It may be necessary to remove shoes and socks to get to the painful area to provide a gentle massage with your hands and thumbs. Once the pain begins to lessen, put some weight on the injured foot or leg and make sure you walk around and continue to use and stretch the area. This will help prevent the cramp from immediately returning.

Ankle sprains: We’ve talked a lot about ankle sprains in the past so I won’t repeat myself too much, but the biggest thing about spraining your ankle is to rest it afterwards. Use the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation). There are varying degrees of ankle sprains so you may want to visit your podiatrist if the pain persists for more than a day or two, during which time you should NOT overuse the affected ankle. If you try to walk off a sprain the way you walk off a cramp, you could end up injuring yourself further and be out for a whole season rather than just a couple games. For more information on ankle sprains click here.

Achilles tendonitis: Tendonitis is an umbrella term used to describe inflammation of a tendon over a muscle or bone. Our tendons are what allow our bodies to stretch in the ways they do. When we overuse or overload these tendons, they tend to revolt against us in painful ways. With an Achilles tendon, this can be a major issue because it is one of the major tendons that enable everyday walking and running. Yet again, the best thing to do is to immediately start the RICE method. Treatment for Achilles tendonitis can usually be done at home, but only after consulting with your podiatrist first. If left untreated, tendonitis can lead to a full tendon rupture, which is definitely not going to get you back in the game anytime soon. To learn more about your Achilles tendon click here.

Heel bruises: These are exactly what they sound like, a big, ugly, painful bruise on the back or bottom of your heel. Generally the bruise will appear over time and many athletes ignore them as a small problem that will go away easily. If you rest the affected foot (meaning no sports or any kind) the bruising may go away on its own. Better foot cushioning or padding for shoes can help prevent more occurrences of this. However, if a heel bruise is ignored, it can eventually alter the interior structure of the foot by flattening the fat pad under your heel causing more pain and a longer recovery time.

This is just a small sample of the many injuries that can affect tennis players and other athletes, but they are also the most common ones and luckily the most easily treated. The moral of the story is to listen to your feet, use proper pre and post care of your feet and legs, and if you do become injured, wait to go back into the game until you are completely healed. If you don’t you may never make it to Wimbledon.

By contactus@faawc.com
July 06, 2017
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Summer is in full swing and the Fourth of July brought out the festivities in everyone. Whether you spent the day hiking, fishing, boating, partying, or just hanging out on the couch, you should make sure to protect yourself from insect-carried diseases. Ok, so maybe the people on the couch don’t have to worry…

Everyone knows about mosquitoes and the diseases they can carry – West Nile virus, yellow fever, zika, and even malaria – and we all know to use bug spray and wear long loose clothing, but there’s one more critter you have to keep an eye out for: the tick. Ticks, although commonly labeled as insects, are actually a type of mite closer in form to a spider and they like to suck blood just like mosquitoes and thus can transmit diseases to humans and animals. The black legged tick and the deer tick can both carry Lyme disease.

A very specific type of bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease. Ticks do not fly or jump so they “hunt” by latching on to clothing and skin as you brush by. This is why you should always wear high socks, long pants, and long sleeves when walking in any wooded areas. If you’re reading this from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, or Wisconsin then congratulations – you win the prize of having about 95% of all Lyme disease cases reported from your states. That doesn’t mean we’re in the clear my fellow Ohioans. Reforestation efforts over the past several decades have succeeded in increasing deer populations, which is the favorite taxi cab of black legged and deer ticks. Cases have been steadily on the rise in recent years.

Unfortunately it’s hard to say exactly how many cases of Lyme disease occur each year. Approximately 30,000 cases are reported to and confirmed by the CDC, but since only a fraction of data actually makes it back to the CDC, medical experts suggest the annual number of cases may be closer to 300,000. This makes it the most prevalent vectorborne (animal carried) disease in the United States.

Symptoms of Lyme disease occur in 70-80% of patients within 3 to 30 days after the initial bite and infection. The most common symptom is a rash, warm to the touch though not itchy, spreading from the bite outward and sometimes becoming a “bull’s eye” shape as it expands. This can happen on any part of the body since a tick bite may be anywhere. Other symptoms may show a more gradual onset, but can also be much more severe, including migraines, neck pain, arthritis with joint pain and swelling, heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat, nerve pain, shortness of breath, and even short-term memory loss.

Patients treated in the early stages of the disease will generally recover fully with a 2 to 4 week run of antibiotics. Patients with more progressed symptoms will also most likely benefit from antibiotics, but may have suffered long term damage before the disease can be eradicated. It is a common misconception that Lyme disease “lasts forever” and that one you have it, it never really goes away. This is false, but symptoms may persist for weeks or even months after the bacteria are all gone.

If you think you have a symptom of Lyme disease, consult a physician. A simple blood test is used to diagnose Lyme disease, but don’t be surprised if it comes back negative at first, your body can take up to two weeks to start producing antibodies to the bacteria. Your doctor will most likely ask you questions about your recent outdoor activities and do a visual examination of the rash and site of infection. Many times, these are sufficient for a positive diagnosis and treatment.

When you go outside this summer, make sure you are always wearing the proper clothing for your activity and don’t forget to use insect repellant!

By contactus@faawc.com
June 29, 2017
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The Fourth of July: a wonderful day where we celebrate all the freedoms that America has to offer, including the freedom to light up the sky with our colorful explosions of fireworks. However, it’s important to know what fireworks you are allowed to set off and how to stay safe around them.

Ohio law prohibits the use of personal fireworks except those classified as novelty and trick items. These include “(1) Devices that produce a small report intended to surprise the user, including, but not limited to, booby traps, cigarette loads, party poppers and snappers; (2) snakes or glow worms; (3) smoke devices; and (4) trick matches.” Anything larger that is purchased in the state of Ohio must be taken out of the state within 48 hours. But of course, there are many people who don’t research this kind of thing and go ahead and shoot off their own large fireworks anyways. So for those people, here is a list of basic safety tips:

  • Always read the label and instructions for ignition before lighting your fireworks
  • Always have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of fire
  • Never mix alcohol and fireworks, save it until after the festivities
  • Never try and make your own fireworks
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities, even for the small legal fireworks
  • Never bring your pet to a fireworks show, they will thank you for that
  • This one should be obvious, but…Always use fireworks outdoors in open areas away from people, buildings, and cars
  • Always dispose of used fireworks properly including soaking them in water overnight and placing them in metal (not plastic) trash cans away from combustible material

Celebrating our freedoms is an important reminder of what it means to be an American, but it’s usually best to leave the explosions to licensed professionals while you sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. See below for a short list of Central Ohio fireworks shows and Happy Fourth of July!

 

 

JULY 1

·       Dusk: Columbus Symphony Patriotic Pops, 160 S. High St., Columbus

·       10 p.m.: Olentangy Summer Bash, Olentangy High School, 675 Lewis Center Rd., Lewis Center

·       10 p.m.: Pataskala Fourth of July, Foundation Park, 10255 McIntosh Rd., Pataskala

 

JULY 2

·       Dusk: Central College Church Freedom Celebration, Central College Church, 975 S. Sunbury Rd., Westerville

·       Dusk: Heath Star-Spangled Celebration, Geller Park, 480 Cynthia St., Heath

·       10 p.m.: Granville Independence Day, Wildwood Park, 799 W. Broadway, Granville

 

JULY 3

·       Dusk: Morrow County 4th of July, Morrow County Fairgrounds, 195 S. Main St., Mount Gilead

·       Dusk: OSU-Newark/COTC Concert and Fireworks, Martha Grace Reese Amphitheatre, 1179 University Dr., Newark

·       9:45 p.m.: Reynoldsburg 4th of July, Civic Park, Daugherty Drive, Reynoldsburg

·       10 p.m.: Columbus Red White & Boom, near the Veterans Memorial, 300 W. Broad St., Columbus

·       10 p.m.: Whitehall July 4th Fireworks, John Bishop Park, 4920 Etna Rd., Whitehall

 

JULY 4

·       Dusk: Delaware Fourth of July, public viewing along Henry Street and Ohio Wesleyan University practice fields

·       Dusk: Marysville Independence Day, Union County Fairgrounds, 845 N. Main St., Marysville

·       Dusk: Ostrander Fourth of July Celebration, downtown Ostrander

·       Dusk: Plain City July 4 Celebration, Pastime Park, 344 N. Chillicothe St., Plain City

·       Dusk: Sunbury Independence Day Celebration, Big Walnut High School, 555 S. Old 3C Rd., Sunbury

By contactus@faawc.com
June 15, 2017
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Being a dad is hard work as any father will tell you, but it can also be dangerous work! The average parent sustains 22 injuries per year. Let’s take a look at a couple of common parenting injuries and how we can avoid or treat them…

Toy-Covered Floor

When I think about the most painful injuries I could sustain in my living room, the thought of stepping on a Lego sticks out as the worst. Small toys underfoot can cause pain, cuts and bruises, and accidental falls. Luckily avoiding these is as easy as cleaning up (easier said than done usually). Consider an easy option such as a toy mat that keeps small pieces from going everywhere and can slide out of the way or fold up when not in use. For larger toys, a laundry basket works great for a quick pick-up and easy transportation. If you just can’t avoid the mess, make sure you don’t walk through the room in the dark to avoid any surprises underfoot.

Sports Injury

This category of injuries is a varied as the sports our dads teach us to play. Whether it’s tossing a ball in the backyard to help your little one start JR softball or running around the field with your teenager trying to keep up with her soccer drills, dads play lots of sports and that leaves them open to lots of injuries. Luckily, there are a few general rules of thumb that will help you avoid injury no matter what you happen to be doing. First, remember you aren’t that age anymore and sometimes you may not be able to keep up. No worries, your kids understand and are probably just glad you’re helping anyways. Second, be prepared. Stretching before exercising is crucial, as is wearing the right equipment for it. If your kid needs special basketball shoes to support his ankles as he jumps for a 3-pointer, maybe you should wear some too. Using common sense can be an easy way for dads to avoid a sports injury and make sure they can keep playing with their kids for years to come.

Aging

You may be thinking my kids are all grown up so I don’t have to worry about that stuff, right? Wrong. Aging can do any number of things to our health, especially after the active years of raising kids. Maybe those years left you with a constant pain in your heels or a stress fracture you used to write off as the pain of being a parent. Take care of these issues now. Taking care of existing problems now will help lessen the number of issues aging can bring on. As we say, healthy feet and ankles are the foundation of an active lifestyle. If you want to be sure you can keep up with your grown kids for years to come, it’s a good time to start taking care of your feet now.

Being a dad can certainly have its pains, but your kids appreciate every minute of it…or at least they probably will when they get older and look back on it. Give your father a big hug this Sunday and make sure you don’t step on his toes or knock his noggin while you’re doing it. Happy Father’s Day!





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