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Posts for tag: orthotics

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.

 

September 29, 2016
Category: Uncategorized

We have covered a lot of topics in our past blog posts, but something we haven’t really touched on is actually one of the most common foot ailments: Bunions. With over 3 million cases each year in the United States alone, bunions (aka. hallux valgus) are a common sight in podiatry offices.

A bunion occurs when the big toe pushes against the adjoining toes, forcing the big toe joint (metatarsophalangeal joint) outward. This creates a visible deformity of the foot and can be accompanied by redness, swelling, pain, and stiffness. Since this deformity can become quite pronounced, many people are able to “self-diagnose” the issue. As you can see in this photo, along with a bad case of farmers-tan, this gentleman probably noticed his bunions and sought treatment from his podiatrist.

There is a debate in the podiatric community about the cause of bunions. On the one side, podiatrists argue that bunions are formed due to genetic conditions such as flat feet, abnormal bone structure, or even certain neurological conditions. On the other side, we have those who say tight or ill-fitting footwear is the sole cause. This view tends to have the stronger following and is backed up by research. In a study of cultures that did not wear shoes, no bunions were found. That’s a pretty strong argument.

So, does this mean that everyone who wears shoes could form a bunion? Well, no, but with certain shoes, absolutely yes. Just as water slowly wears down rock, constant pressure from your shoes can force your toes to move in unnatural directions. Pointed toe shoes tend to be the biggest culprit. Shoes that are too narrow will eventually push your big toe towards or even over or under the adjoining toes. As this happens, the joint protrudes and becomes irritated. The large visible bump is partially caused by an inflamed bursal sac. Bunions may also occur on the outer side of the foot at the base of the little toe. This is called a Tailor’s Bunion.

READ MORE: Bursitis

So, what do I do if I have a bunion? Well, the first thing to do is go see your podiatrist. Even before you see a bump, if you have consistent pain in your big toe joint, make an appointment. For some bunions, treatment can be as simple as changing the type of shoes you wear or adding orthotics and padding. However, these options treat the symptoms and prevent worsening of the bunion, they do not take care of the underlying problem. For that, a simple surgical procedure may be required. Options include shaving down the bony protrusion and realigning the big toe into its proper position. Your podiatrist will discuss all the options with you and help choose the best procedure for your exact condition. Surgeries are typically outpatient procedures with a 6 to 8 week recovery time, during which crutches or orthopedic casts may be used.

If you have pain, redness, stiffness, or protrusion at the base of your big toe, go see your podiatrist. Early treatment means better healing and foot health. Don’t live your life with pain! (And don’t wear tight shoes!)

photo credit: Badly Drawn Dad <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/249661028">20060903_Pre-Op</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">(license)</a>

During the month of August, we looked at different types of insoles and orthotics. The company Digitsole has been looking at insoles and orthotics for years and they’ve been doing it in a very different way. While pedometers and fitbits can tell you your heart rate and keep track of your pace and stats, they are missing a key element of running that every podiatrist worries about: your stride.

The Digitsole Run Profiler is an insert for your running shoe that packs big technology and function. A thin, rechargeable lithium polymer battery powers the insole and a single charge can last for up to ten hours of activity. It features an anti-bacterial material, arch support, and specific flex zones designed to move better with your foot.

The technology inside the Run Profiler is even more impressive. There are tons of running apps out there that can measure distance, steps, elevation, pace, splits, etc. But this is the first of its kind that can actually interpret what your feet would say to you if they could talk. First, the Run Profiler tracks and measures the 3D movement of your foot in real time. Next the Run Profiler analyzes your gait to show you how to expend less energy with each stride and make your running more efficient. Run Profiler can also detect fatigue and warn you so that you can reduce your risk of injury. But how do we get all this data? The insole features built in Bluetooth that connects to the app on your phone and a coach gives you this advice as it is happening.

The technology packed into this small space is incredible and it could change the way we run and protect us from injury. Currently available only in Europe, the insole retails for 99 Euros (about $112 USD). I don’t know about you, but that seems like a small investment to make for the health of my feet.

For more information on the Digitsole Run Profiler, visit http://www.digitsole.com/run-profiler/

Throughout August, we have talked about different types of orthotics, but let’s concentrate today just a little on over-the-counter insoles, which are so readily available you can pick them up with your weekly groceries. First of all, it’s important to know that there is a subtle difference between insoles and orthotics. Orthotics are generally made of a stiff material and are designed to support the foot. Insoles are designed primarily for cushion and offer limited support while adding comfort instead. Over-the-counter insoles are often advertized as orthotics when they really aren’t. This is what leads to a lot of confusion and debate within the medical community.

On one side of the debate, the affordability and ease associated with acquiring OTC insoles makes them a great choice for those who want support or cushion, but can’t dig very far into their wallet. On the other side of the debate, many people are being taken in by the kiosk signs advertizing a “custom fit”, which is not at all custom. Buying something OTC that claims to be custom is a game of chance. Sometimes the OTC insole will provide exactly what you need and sometimes it may end up doing more damage than good.

Overall, Podiatrists will be on both sides of the fence. We at the FAAWC carry many styles of OTC insoles and can help you get the closest fit to your needs if custom orthotics aren’t necessary. We do however encourage you to book a visit with us for an evaluation before you head to your local superstore to pick up a pair. Just as we talked about accommodative versus functional orthotics, there are so many factors to consider when choosing an OTC insole that having your podiatrist there to lead you can be invaluable. At the very least, talk to your podiatrist about your needs and make the best choice for you. Just remember, knowledge is power and the more you know about your feet and what they need, the better your decision making power will be.

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.