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Posts for: August, 2017

We always think of spring as the time of new birth, but in fact August holds the prize as the month with the highest birth rate for women in the US. Since 7/10 pregnant women report foot and ankle problems, it’s a good idea to take a look at why. Ruling out all the obvious problems stemming from the massive changes going on inside your body, one culprit that we can avoid are high heels. There are a lot of myths concerning the health risk of high heels during pregnancy, but the truth is they’re not going to magically harm you, but there are risks to wearing high heels (or really any non-supportive shoe) while pregnant. There three main reasons for this:

  1. Change to the center of gravity - Women gain weight during pregnancy, this is a fact that is often over-dramatized, but even if you keep a healthy diet and exercise, the life form inside you has volume and weight so you will inevitably being getting larger and heavier. This completely changes your center of gravity, pulling you forward and resulting in extra pressure on the knees and feet. High heels will also shift a woman’s center of gravity forward, compounding the problem. If you insist on high heels, choose something very low that offers support. Your feet will thank you.

 

  1. Muscles - Lot’s of fun things happen to your leg muscles when you’re pregnant. Cramps are a common symptom of muscle fatigue due to increased body weight. Hormones released during pregnancy will loosen the muscles and ligaments in the foot, so when we use our foot muscles too much with no support (like when we wear high heels), permanent changes to the foot can occur. Wear tennis shoes with Velcro or slip on shoes with arch support. If you must wear heels, do so for short periods of time and raise your feet afterwards to reduce swelling.

 

  1. Tripping - Remember that center of gravity thing we just talked about? Not only does that tilt women forward adding pressure to their feet with every step, it also makes them unstable, which can lead to a nasty fall. Technically, this can happen to anyone wearing high heels at any time, but if you’re pregnant a fall could mean serious complications for both mother and baby. It’s best to just go with a flat and supportive shoe that keeps you firmly planted on the ground.

While high heels are not the enemy, they should be avoided as much as possible during pregnancy to protect the health of everyone involved. Your muscles need support so that your feet can keep up with your kid for years to come. 


August 21st is Senior Citizens day. After a certain age it seems there aren’t many milestones to hit before we start getting the senior citizen discount, but being a senior citizen can come with serious foot complications. In fact, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 seniors deal with foot problems needing medical treatment. Here’s a look at the most common foot ailments for those over 65 and some tips on how to keep your feet healthy before you reach that important milestone.

Bunions

As we know (if you’ve been reading this blog for a while), a bunion is a bony growth at the base of the big toe. Bunions are in actuality, a misalignment of the big toe joint, which means they will form very slowly over time from constant pressure. Of course, as senior citizens they have had plenty of time for these to develop. The exact cause of bunions is unknown, but can stem from trauma to the foot, genetic predisposition, or arthritis. Some bunions may have no symptoms whatsoever, but usually patients will experience tenderness, redness, and of course pain. Bunions tend to affect women more than men since tight high heels that squeeze the toes together are thought to contribute to bunion formation and symptoms. For seniors, bunions can represent a big problem, as they can either be a side effect of arthritis or even lead to chronic arthritic pain in the bunion. Some of the best ways to avoid bunion complications in later life are to make sure you are wearing proper footwear that gives your toes space, take care of existing bunions now before you develop pain, and take extra special care if you have genetic inclinations for foot deformities or arthritis. With proper care now, you can avoid bunions as a senior.

Toenail Problems

As we age, our aches and pains become more noticeable and many seniors have trouble reaching their feet. This can mean all sorts of things for your toenails. If you can’t see or never look at your feet you may miss all sorts of things such as fungal nails, ingrown toenails, and diabetic sores. Make sure you are washing your feet with soap; scrubbing lightly with pumice stone when necessary, and keep your toenails neatly trimmed. If you have trouble doing this yourself, don’t hesitate to visit our PediCare salon. It isn’t your standard pedicure; performed by certified medical nail technicians, this goes way beyond beauty. Basic service includes the One Half-hour PediCare: A no-frills service that includes toenail trimming, callus and corn reduction and the post-service application of moisturizer – $35. Take care of yourself now to maintain the healthy feet you need to carry you into your senior citizenship smoothly.

Arthritis and Diabetes

Sometimes old age can bring along some serious complications like diabetes and arthritis. Both of these diseases need medical attention as they have serious complications for you feet. Arthritis occurs from gradual wear and tear on the foot over a long time. In fact, out of all the age groups surveyed, the 65 and older crowd came in first with nearly 50% of participants reporting doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Pain, stiffness, and progressive foot deformities can be signs of rheumatoid arthritis. Diabetes progresses differently. Instead of your feet erupting in pain, you may slowly lose all feeling and have trouble distinguishing hot and cold or even be numb to painful wounds. Not only does diabetes cause loss of feeling, leaving foot ailments unnoticed, but it also cuts off full oxygen supply in the peripheral nerves making existing wounds slow to heal. Easy ways to combat these wounds is to manage diabetes through a plan with your primary care physician. Make seeing a podiatrist part of that plan. Check your feet, wash them well, use non-impact exercise, and fight existing foot ailments immediately.

The best way to ensure you remain, dancing, running, swimming, or even just lounging your way into old age is to take care of your feet early. We are taught to have annual checkups from a family physician, optometrist, and dentist. Why would you not add podiatrist to that list considering your feet are the foundation to a healthy life? Don’t wait until you start getting the senior citizen discount to think about your feet. Your feet will thank you.