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Posts for tag: flat feet

Sandals and summer go together like peanut butter and jelly, but too many sandals don’t offer the correct support or protection and can leave your feet aching or lead to other issues. Don’t fret, there are still plenty of options out there that will make your podiatrist happy and look fashionable.

 

The key features to look for in a summer sandal are:

Arch Support – Perhaps the biggest complain podiatrists have about sandals is the lack of support. When your foot is not properly supported, it can lead or contribute to plantar fasciitis, fallen arches, and even ankle, knee, hip, and back pain. Sandals might be appropriate at times, but you should never plan on walking in them for long distances or periods of time as this can exacerbate issues.

READ MORE: Plantar Fasciitis

Toe Protection – Personally, I love showing off my toes in the summer (especially after my latest PediCare Salon visit!), but leaving your tootsies exposed can result in pain or injury. Stubbed or stepped on toes are common and can result in fractures and unsightly bruising. There is also a potential for cuts and abrasions or even sunburn. Choosing sandals with enclosed toes can eliminate some of these flip flop risks.

READ MORE: PediCare vs Pedicure

Materials – Choosing the right sandal all depends on the occasion, but you should always match the material of the sandal to your activity. If you’re going to be wearing your sandals around water, don’t choose leather, suede, canvass, or other materials that absorb water or are damaged by it. Make sure any straps are comfortable and wont rub to form blisters. Pay attention to the sole thickness as well; the shoe should not fold in half if you attempt to bend it.

Sandals fit properly only if your entire foot is resting on the footbed. If your heel hangs off the back or your smallest toe is falling off the side, you need a bigger size or a completely different sandal. Look for brands that boast the APMA seal of approval. This seal is granted only to products that have shown consistent benefits for foot and ankle health. To find brands with this approval click HERE, scroll down to shoes, flip flops/sandals and click. There are over 400 individual sandals to explore!

If you’re looking for the perfect summer sandals, the FAAWC offers Revere sandals for both men and women. The footbed is removable to fit your orthotics, meaning you’ll be looking good and keeping your feet (and your podiatrist) happy and supported.

READ MORE: Insoles vs Orthotics

Call or drop by today to browse our selection of perfect summer sandals.

 

Our ancient ancestors once believed the world was flat, but it’s a good thing the world is round, otherwise we’d have a lot of troubles. Another thing that causes trouble when it’s flat is your foot!

The arch is an extremely important feature of your foot. As you walk or run, there are certain times when your foot must remain rigid to push off the ground and provide balance. At other times, your foot needs to relax to distribute bodyweight and act as a shock absorber. If the tendons or ligaments supporting the arch are damaged or become weak, the arch will start to fall, and these functions will be impacted.

READ MORE: Choosing Exercise Shoes

When your arch flattens, the rest of your foot will fall inward, resulting in overpronation. This throws off the alignment of your steps and leads to other foot and ankle conditions. If you overpronate, the shock of each step is not absorbed or distributed properly. Extra wear and tear on the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons of your foot can lead to plantar fasciitis, tendon ruptures, stress fractures, heel pain, and more.

Fallen arches occur due to a variety of different causes. When we are born, our feet are completely flat. Eventually an arch will develop; usually by age six. In some children, however, the arch will never fully form, mostly due to genetics. If you have diabetes, are obese, or are pregnant, your arches are more likely to fall. Adults can also acquire flat feet from wear and tear or as the result of an injury. Additionally, it may be a secondary symptom of a different underlying condition such as an excessively tight Achilles tendon or a weakened tibial tendon.

READ MORE: Achilles Tendon Ruptures

You may notice that the arch is visible when sitting, but the foot flattens once the person stands. This is common in kids, and many children outgrow flexible flat foot with no problems. In adults, the disappearance of the arch may be due to lack of strength in the foot and excess body weight.

The flattening of the arch itself generally does not cause symptoms, but the stress it adds to other portions of the foot can lead to new issues or exacerbate existing conditions. Pain may develop in the hips, back, or knees as well as the feet and ankles. One of the easiest ways to support a flat foot and avoid pain is by using orthotics and proper footwear. These will realign the ankle and reduce chances of injury. When combined with stretching and physical therapy, these methods can eliminate pain and other symptoms associated with flat feet.

READ MORE: Accommodative Orthotics

To determine the best course of treatment, your podiatrist will examine your feet from the front, back, while standing, and on tiptoe. They may also inspect the wear pattern on the bottom of your shoes to determine where you need support most. If you have fallen arches, make an appointment today to avoid pain tomorrow.

This Saturday we celebrate Veteran’s Day, a day to show appreciation for all the men and women in our armed forces who risk their lives for our freedom and safety. Unfortunately, veterans are also sacrificing their foot health for us. One study found that “flatfoot deformity and arthritis were significantly more prevalent in veterans versus nonveterans” (https://goo.gl/WX88Uo). In addition, male veterans have significantly more bunion deformities than male nonveterans and female veterans were more likely to suffer sprains. The goal of the study was to form guidelines for soldiers to help prevent these common veteran foot problems. Whether you’re a soldier or not, let’s take a look at how to prevent these common podiatric problems.

 

Flatfoot Deformity

It’s possible for your feet to go flat of your own doing. This is called Acquired Adult Flatfoot Deformity (AAFD). There is no single cause for this deformity; it occurs from the daily wear and tear of walking and running, which soldiers certainly do a lot of. As we walk, the posterior tibial tendon (the one that connects the calf muscle to the bones on the inside of the foot) rolls our foot inward and keeps our arches raised. If we overuse this tendon, our feet can go flat. Proper arch support through insoles, orthotics, and choosing good footwear is the best prevention method for this deformity.

 

Arthritis

There are over 100 different forms of arthritis, but soldiers are particularly susceptible to two of these: osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs from the slow disintegration of the protective layer between our bones. It can take a lot to make this happen, but veterans have been through a lot. Post-traumatic arthritis generally occurs as a result of other foot injuries such as dislocations and fractures, which soldiers suffer plenty of. The best way to avoid giving yourself arthritis is to keep your weight down, wear supportive shoes, and exercise your feet. If you’re just standing around, get into a light lunge and stretch that Achilles tendon. Try picking up things with your toes to keep your joints mobile and healthy.

 

Bunions

If you want to get technical, a deformity of the bone at the base of your big toe is called hallux valgus, but know them better as bunions. Bunions are tricky suckers because doctors still don’t know the exact cause. Some bunions can form from trauma, others are blamed on genetics, while still others can form from abnormal biomechanics. Shoes don’t directly cause bunions, but podiatrists still agree that a good prevention method is to wear shoes with a wide toe box that avoid squeezing the big toe out of alignment. The only other prevention method is to make sure you see your podiatrist regularly and especially if you experience any pain or visible deformity of your joint.

 

Sprains

Female service members were found to be more likely than non-military females to suffer from chronic ankle sprains. Luckily, there are a lot of prevention methods for avoiding these injuries. Keeping your foot, ankle, and calf muscles strong can allow for better control over our gait and thus help us maintain a proper stride. If you know you are going to be active and you are susceptible to ankle sprains, you may consider wearing a supportive ankle brace or learning some new taping techniques on your next podiatrist visit. As with all health issues, it helps to maintain a healthy weight and get all your vitamins and minerals to strengthen bones and keep you going without injury.

 

Don’t forget to thank a veteran this Saturday. His or her feet have done a lot for you.

Last week we talked about Functional Orthotics, which are designed to align your foot so it functions in an efficient and healthy motion. Accommodative orthotics are somewhat different, so let’s take a look…

Accommodative orthotics do exactly what they say, they accommodate the foot as it is rather than changing it. Some foot deformities are considered “rigid”, meaning they are something we have to work around, not correct. Examples of these include high arches, flat feet, and diabetic ulcerations. These orthotics allow for pressure alleviation on sensitive areas by redistributing body weight and provide support to decrease pain.

Just like functional orthotics, these are custom molded in our office and will arrive back within a week or so. The materials used for accommodative orthotics vary between plastic, EVA, multi-cork, neoprene, or even viscoelastic gel. If you are in need of an accommodative orthotic, it’s very important that this be custom molded to you. Use of an over-the-counter functional orthotic when you really need an accommodative orthotic can actually do more harm than good.

I will be the first to admit that I am a proud person and sometimes have trouble asking for help when I need it. I’m sure you know people who are like this or maybe you are one yourself, but you may not realize that almost everyone takes this same attitude toward their foot health. Sometimes our feet need a helping hand or in a lot of cases a helping orthotic. Orthotics come in many varieties, but two terms you will hear are “functional” orthotics and “accommodative” orthotics. For today, we are going to look at functional orthotics.

A functional orthotic is exactly what it sounds like; the orthotic helps your foot function in a normal fashion. Not many people have a perfect foot strike. That means that most of us, often without our knowledge, don’t walk perfectly upright with an even distribution of weight around the foot. Issues like these can lead to all sorts of ailments such as flat feet, high arches, bunions, plantar fasciitis, and neuromas. If you have one of these conditions, your podiatrist may recommend a custom molded orthotic.

Let’s talk for a short second about custom versus generic orthotics. Whenever consumers hear the word “custom” they automatically associate it with “expensive”. Sadly, this is often true. The FAAWC carries a wide variety of generic orthotics and we will always steer you toward that option first if we can. Not all foot problems can be helped with something directly off the shelf, but if yours can, we can help you pick out the best size and shape for you and your problems.

The whole idea behind a functional orthotic is that it places your foot in a more natural position where the tendons and muscles and ligaments are aligned for maximum efficiency and comfort. If you have a high arch, the orthotic will fill in the gaps and help your foot strike the ground evenly. Do you overpronate? An orthotic can help turn your foot to the correct positioning and avoid uncomfortable things like bunions. Functional orthotics are designed to make your foot act exactly as it should under ideal circumstances. And after all, don’t we all want to perform at our best?

The molding process is easy; all you have to do is stand up in a box filled with blue foam and your exact foot map will be created. Most custom orthotics will arrive within a week, which means you will be on your way to better foot health in no time. Isn’t that what we all want in the end?

Stay tuned next week to hear about accommodative orthotics!