Posts for tag: slips and falls
Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go and when we get there there’s slipping and sliding up to the front door. Nothing can ruin your holiday spirit faster than a broken bone from a bad fall. One of the most common areas affected by slips and falls is the ankle. The ankle is made of the tibia, fibula (both running down the leg), and the talus. It also contains multiple ligaments and tendons, all susceptible to injury. There are some important things you can do to help avoid injury this winter.
Get the Right Shoes
The right shoes can make all the difference this winter. Ice has very little surface grip because when your shoes step down on it, the very topmost layer melts, causing a slippery surface. Having shoes with high treads (lots of deep grooves in the bottom) can help you gain traction. Flat shoes with no tread will be unable to grip the ground, meaning you risk slipping and falling. High heals are also a no-no on ice. Take them with you and put them on once you are inside the venue.
The most logical way to avoid falling on ice is to avoid walking on ice, but this is easier said than done. Properly treating walkways is a key step. Ice can be avoided or it can be melted after it forms. To avoid ice, pre-treat with a liquid solution that coats the entire surface (make sure it’s environmentally safe though or you’ll be killing your lawn in the process). You can also use ice melting products after the snow has fallen and frozen. Rock salt is a popular option, but can cause damage to concrete and plants and is lethal to pets. Try something with less impact like Magnesium Chloride. If you can’t melt the ice, you can also avoid slipping by putting down rubber mats or sand.
Hands Free/Penguin Walk
If you can’t avoid icy surfaces, then make sure you are walking correctly as you cross them. Work on your penguin walk. This means no hands in your pockets or full of extra items. Leave them free and slightly out from your sides to stabilize yourself. You also want to shuffle your feet more than pick them up and set them down. Lean forward and go slow; this keeps your weight over your front leg, giving you a better center of gravity.
If you do fall, try to do it with some grace. Or at least with some proper form. DON’T stick your hands out in front of you to stop yourself (the wrist and clavicle are also commonly broken from falls). Tuck your head toward your chest and try to fall onto a big muscle such as your thigh or upper arm. These softer body parts have more insulation to avoid breaks from sudden jarring.
If you do slip and fall on the ice and experience any ankle pain, please go see your podiatrist immediately. Sprains, fractures, and full breaks can present with similar symptoms and if you don’t treat your injury properly it could lead to problems down the road. Be smart this winter and if you know you are prone to falling, maybe stay home until the ice melts.
Winter is fully upon us and in the midst of all your shopping frenzy, you may have noticed all the signs for new winter boots! Buy One, Get One Free or Clearance Prices may get our attention, but what about the boots themselves? How do we know if that sweet deal is going to treat our feet right? Here is a list of practical must-haves in your next pair of winter boots.
Winter is wet and having wet feet in cold weather is a serious risk, so we want to keep our tootsies dry. For practical boots (like snow boots or hiking boots), look for naturally waterproof materials such as neoprene or rubber. In fashion boots (such as you might wear to a office holiday party), go for a treated leather to get a nice slick surface with a high quality and trendy shine. Some boots will have waterproof layers sewn into the boot liners. These keep moisture from penetrating all the way down to your socks, but still allow for a bit of breathability. Look also at the tongue of the boot, does it connect to the sides to keep water out or is it disconnected? A cuff at the top of the boot will absorb water before it enters your boot and can be very handy for activities like playing in the snow.
The tread of your boot is the very bottom and determines how much grip the boot will have on slippery surfaces. There’s nothing worse than going over the river and through the woods only to slip on Grandma’s front walk and end up in the emergency room. Picking the tread may be the most important feature to get right. For outdoor activities, boots should have high treads, meaning lots of space and deep channels for good grip. Same thing for indoor boots! Tracked in ice and snow quickly melts and makes floors slippery. Even if you are only wearing your boots inside, make sure they have a good solid tread. Some boots offer removable outsoles with different levels of tread so your single pair of winter boots will be just as useful hiking in a winter wonderland as they are shoveling snow so you can get to work.
I don’t think it needs saying that winter is cold, but I’m going to say it anyways. Winter is cold! So of course we want out winter boots to keep our feet warm. Socks can help, but the boot itself should have insulating materials such as wool or fleece linings. Synthetic insulators are good as well, but don’t get distracted by the fancy names they make up for it. Look at the actual tag and look for what the materials really are. You may even see a temperature rating on the tag, obviously the lower the temperature it protects you in, the more insulation it has.
Once you’ve chosen all your other features, you need to make sure you get that amazing pair of boots in the correct size. One good way to do this is to bring your winter socks along when you try them on. Plain cotton socks just don’t cut it in the wintertime, not even inside. You need to have thermal socks made of breathable materials that wick moisture and perspiration away from the foot. A sweaty foot inside a boot can make you colder, so look for wool or similar synthetic materials. These socks tend to be thick so try them on with your boots to get a real idea of how much room you need inside. Walk around the store and make sure your foot isn’t sliding around inside the boot which can cause blisters. Try the wall kick test; just lightly kick the wall with the boot tip and if your toes hit the front of the boot, you may need to consider going up a size.
New shoes can make everything better, but not if they lead to pain, slipping, or cold and wet feet. Make sure you check each of these important features before heading to the checkout.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
One of the best parts of freedom is the fact that we have the right to make our own choices and you need to be making the right choices to keep your feet healthy. Summer is a great season for runners, but if you want to keep your feet at their fastest you need to take care of yourself. Here are some quick tips for running in the summer months:
- Drink water! Lots of it!
Dehydration is a huge problem when it comes to your feet. There are 250,000 sweat glands in your feet and if you’re running outside in hot weather, you better believe that your feet are going to be pouring buckets into your shoes. Make sure you hydrate before, during, and after a run, even if you aren’t thirsty. Also, make sure you rinse and dry your feet to avoid problems associated with extra sweatiness (like athletes foot).
- Breathable shoes and socks
Remember those sweat glands we just talked about? Well one way to keep your feet cool and dry is to wear the proper socks and shoes. Sweat wicking socks made of nylon, polyester, and wool will pull moisture away from the skin. 100% cotton socks only absorb the moisture, but trap it against your skin, leaving your feet open to odor, bacteria, or infection. Get the right socks and your feet will thank you.
While you don’t have to worry about your feet getting sun burned inside your shoes, the rest of your body is subject to burn. Not only does sunscreen protect you from harmful UV rays, but it can also help prevent runners’ tan (that thing where your feet are white below your sock line). Don’t forget to lather it on even for that early morning or late evening run. Unless the sun is below the horizon, you’re absorbing those rays and you need to protect yourself.
Running on varied surfaces can help protect your feet. Concrete and asphalt are very tough and put enormous amounts of pressure on your joints and bones. Running on dirt or grass is softer and thus gives you a more complete workout, but it takes a lot of concentration when you run on these surfaces to avoid trips, twists, and other ankle injuries. Overall, it’s best to work on a mixture of these surfaces. If you prefer road running, change one run a week to a trail instead. Soft surfaces absorb the shock of our bodyweight and stop it from being transferred up your feet and legs.
Why anyone would want to go running in the heat is beyond my reckoning, but if you just have to get out for your morning jog, make sure you follow through on thinking about your feet first.
There’s always been a debate in the podiatry world about whether going barefoot is healthy or harming. Many doctors claim that being barefoot is natural and promotes healthy movement. Others will warn patients away for going barefoot due to the risk of cuts or falling. Both sides have very good arguments and there may not be one right answer for everybody. So we would like to introduce you to Fitkicks, the middle ground of this hotly debated topic.
If you aren’t familiar with them, Fitkicks were created to promote minimalist footwear that allows for freedom of the foot, but also allows for an active lifestyle inside and outside. The base of your Fitkick is a Flex Form sole, giving you traction to the ground and minimalist cushion on the inside. The upper portion of the Fitkick is a light and flexible material that conforms to the foot like a sock. A bungee cross-strap secures the Fitkick to your foot while a small toe guard protects against wear and tear.
Fitkicks are designed for every activity; yoga, outdoor walking, water sports, time at the beach…you can even carry them in your purse to put on when you need relief from your high heels. Color options range from basic black to large floral graphics. Browse the whole collection HERE.
Podiatrists see an influx of foot injuries during the spring. More people are going barefoot and risking injury or a slip and fall. Many people are switching to flip flops, which offer no ankle stability and little protection. Walk more confidently on smooth or slippery surfaces with the textured sole of Fitkicks. Protect your feet from dirt and infection with the sock-like protection. What I’m trying to say is, come to the FAAWC today to get your first pair. It will improve your life and you won’t regret it.