Blog

Posts for tag: standing

    For many people, swollen feet and ankles after a long day at work are nothing new, but for someone suffering from Venous Insufficiency, swelling can be painful and dangerous. Venous Insufficiency refers to a valve malfunction in the veins of the legs that inhibits upward movement of blood. If left untreated, it can lead to varicose veins and leg ulcers.

READ MORE: Venous Insufficiency

Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms and revitalizing the circulatory system. For most people this will involve losing weight, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. All of these actions help to strengthen your heart and keep your blood flowing properly. Avoid sitting or standing for too long so that blood does not pool in the legs. If you are sitting, elevate your calves, ankles, and feet above the level of your thighs; when lying down, keep them above the level of your heart.

There are no medications to treat venous insufficiency, but antibiotics may be needed to treat skin infections. Practicing good skin hygiene can help avoid additional complications. Compression stockings are considered the most effective treatment for relieving swelling and pain. Store bought compression socks may help many people, but those living with venous insufficiency require socks with higher compression strengths and graduated designs that start tightest at the ankle and lessen power as they go up the leg.

Do not use elastic bandages or wraps as these may block circulation rather than assisting it. Avoid stockings or socks that bunch up and cut off blood flow and be sure to wash and dry them after each use to keep skin healthy and infection free. Treating the secondary factors of this disease is key to continued health.

READ MORE: Two Sides of Circulation

If you have significant swelling in the feet and ankles, a feeling of heaviness in your legs, or see increasing numbers of varicose veins call the FAAWC today. Early diagnosis and treatment can help keep you healthy and active.

 

Today we continue our look at the amazing uses of lasers. Everyone wants to look and feel their best, but having unsightly spider veins can bring your mood down. Spider veins affect both women and men, but are more common in women. They generally occur on the face and legs. Your podiatrists at the Foot and Ankle Wellness Center offer non-invasive treatment for spider veins with our Aerolase LightPro Neo Laser.

Spider veins are small red or purple blood vessels that twist and turn beneath the skin. They can be painful and are highly visible. Many people who spend long days on their feet will develop spider veins although they can also occur due to heredity, pregnancy, and blood clots. The simple laser treatment is easy, quick, and can greatly reduce the appearance of these spider veins. The heat from the laser damages the veins, causing scar tissue to form. The scar tissue then fills the veins and makes it disappear.

Your podiatrist is here to help find the right treatment for your spider veins. Even if your spider veins don’t cause you pain, they can worsen and spread over time, so treating them early is important. For more information about our laser and possible treatment options, visit our website, check us out on Facebook, and call the office to schedule your appointment today.

Every summer the heels of my feet seem to dry out and crack. Sometimes these cracks can be very deep and painful. How do these crack occur? Why are they more common in some people than others? Why do cracked heels affect some people in the summer and some in the winter? Let’s take a look:

How do we get cracked heels?

Cracks on the feet are caused by insufficient moisture. Our feet have no oil glands so they rely heavily on our sweat glands instead. When they dry out, our heels shrink and when they try to expand… “It’s kind of like if you put plaster on a balloon and let it harden and blow up the balloon, the balloon will expand the plaster and crack. The heel pad wants to expand outward, but the skin is not pliable enough to expand with it, so it cracks.” (http://goo.gl/0MZkuj)

READ MORE: Year-Round Footcare

Some people are more susceptible to cracks than others. Contributing factors can include diabetes, obesity, dehydration, and people who just plain don’t take care of their feet. Diabetics commonly suffer from diabetic neuropathy, loss of feeling in the feet, which means a small crack can go unnoticed and turn into a larger crack, which leads to more serious issues, and that’s never good.

For people who are overweight, the simple act of standing for long periods of time can lead to cracks. The increased pressure on the heel causes the heel pad to expand outward and if the skin is not supple enough, it will crack.

What are the dangers of cracked heels?

Cracks in the heel can be as minor as an aesthetic annoyance or as serious as a deep fissure that cracks open and bleeds. More minor conditions include redness, flaky, itchy, or peeling skin, and rash (usually from itching).

If minor cracks are ignored they can deepen to the point where they open and start bleeding. These more serious cracks can be an entry point for bacteria and viruses, which can lead to infection.

So what do I do about this?

            There are a lot of ways you can prevent and treat dry feet. First of all, stay hydrated. Well-hydrated skin will not shrink and expand so the chances of cracking are lessened. Next, make sure you are moisturizing your feet daily. Use a non-fragranced, light lotion after you shower. Moisturize daily if you wear a lot of open heeled shoes (which can contribute to dry skin). Wearing socks to bed over moisturized heels is also a good idea.

            There are a lot of other home remedies out there, but make sure you talk to your podiatrist before trying them out. Even things like pumice stones must be used with caution. Most importantly, don’t ignore your feet! A little crack or a little peeling skin can lead to bigger problems so catch it early. If you do have pain in your heel that won’t go away, see your podiatrist immediately.

 

READ MORE: Take Care of Your Feet

 

        There will be two types of people this upcoming Sunday, those who watch the Super Bowl and those who play in the Super Bowl. Both groups should be majorly concerned about their feet. No matter how much I would love to believe that the Seattle Seahawks or New England Patriots read this blog, I’m not holding my breath, so let’s look at foot pain from the point of our sports spectators.

Football stadiums are designed to hold tens of thousands of people. The University of Phoenix Stadium (where the 2015 Super Bowl will be played) holds 63,400 seats, with the option for expansion of temporary seating to 72,200 seats. Maybe, it’s the small size of the seats or perhaps it’s the hard materials that make the seats uncomfortable, but the majority of people will spend the game standing rather than sitting. Standing for long periods of time, like the average 3 hours and 35 minutes of a professional football game, can cause or aggravate many foot problems.

STANDING

Foot health problems that can arise from standing too long will not simply occur from standing for the length of one football game. However, millions of Americans work on their feet all day and already have foot pain or problems that can be further irritated by more standing. First and foremost, pick the right shoes! It may seem logical to wear flat shoes, but having a heel of about ¼ inch can help support the foot properly. So can the proper arch support. For people with low or flat arches, shoe inserts can “bump up” the arch and provide stability. Arch support reduces weakness and soreness in the legs and feet. Gel, foam, or plastic insoles provide extra cushioning which can make standing for long hours much more comfortable. Anti-fatigue insoles are also available and work by combining the properties of arch-support, extra padding, and moisture management.

Shoe size is a big factor in foot comfort. When picking your shoes for the big game, make sure they have room for expansion. Hours of standing can result in swollen feet. The soles of your shoes should give sold footing and not slip. Thick soles provide extra cushion while walking or standing on hard surfaces. Athletic shoes are a great choice because different pairs are designed to alleviate specific ailments such as fallen arches, high arches, wide feet, plantar fasciitis, bunions, thinning heel pads, and more. Good shoes should also be lightweight and aerated. There is no reason to put up with foot discomfort when so many good shoes options are available.

One easy way to keep your feet from hurting at the big game is to stretch them. Flex and point your feet at regular intervals. Raise, stretch, and curl your toes for five seconds. Bend your leg back at the knee and place your foot on the seat of your chair to stretch your quadriceps. Give your calves a stretch by placing the ball of your foot on the back of the chair in front of you. Keep your heel on the ground and lean into it lightly. Keep blood flowing to the feet and ankles by periodically lifting each foot and writing out the letters of the alphabet with your toe. There are hundreds of stretches you can do mindlessly while putting all your energy into cheering on your team.

SITTING

Most of us are not lucky enough to watch the big game at the stadium so we do so on our televisions (which, let’s face it, is so much better because we get to see the commercials). You may think you have it better than those standing for hours on end at the game, but sitting for three or more hours can also worsen foot problems.

Sitting in one position for too long causes swelling in the feet and ankles. Movement is important. If you sit with your legs crossed, reverse or uncross them every so often. Get up and walk around during the game. I’m not suggesting that you make a visit to the kitchen or buffet table each commercial break. That certainly isn’t the best for your health, but walking around the couch several times will keep your feet healthier. If you can, grab the recliner chair or the footstool and elevate your legs. This reduces swelling.

However you decide to watch the 2015 Super Bowl, make sure that you don’t neglect your feet. Without proper foot care, the players wouldn’t be able to run down the field to make the touchdown. Same goes for you as a spectator. Reaching down to rub those aching feet might mean missing the game changing play. Wear the right shoes, stretch periodically, and elevate and ice your feet when you get home. Doing so will ensure that your feet remain healthy and happy for many Super Bowls to come.