Feet and Osteoporosis

Posted by on Friday, August 31st, 2012

I ‘m guessing that two thoughts come into your mind when you hear the word “osteoporosis.” One is an image of an old woman hunched almost halfway over, her spine crumbled into a “C” shape. The other is news that some elderly relative has fractured her hip after a fall that seemingly shouldn’t have left much more than a bruise.

Fibromyalgia and Foot Pain

Posted by on Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Feet are very sensitive–not-cry-at-sad commercials sensitive, but feel pain easily kind of sensitive. The soles of your feet have more nerve endings per square centimeter than any other part of the body, so you’re naturally  set up to feel pain there. Now add a condition that causes you to feel pain throughout your body; suddenly your feet become centers of deep hurt.

Rah! Rah! Foot Injuries in Cheerleading

Posted by on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

When I was in high school, I was a proud member of our school’s marching band. I know, you’re thinking, what, proud to be a band geek? Did you miss the “geek” part of that? Well, let me put it this way–our football team went 1-35 while I was there (and the one win was the last game of my senior year, a game I skipped) and our cheerleaders were so lackluster that they annoyed even the pathetic football players. There wasn’t much else to do at our school’s football games other than be entertained by the band. At least we put on a decent show.

Foot Injuries in Football

Posted by on Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

I’m always a little torn this time of year. On the one hand, I don’t want the beautiful summer weather to disappear, but on the other, I can’t wait for football season to start.

Football (we’re talking American football here, not what the rest of the world calls football and we call soccer) is the most popular sport in the US, watched by millions every week. It’s entertaining for spectators, but undoubtedly tough on the players. Actually, let’s be honest, it’s incredibly brutal for the players; their careers are often short and their health permanently affected. It is, as they say, not a contact sport, but a collision sport.

Feet and Knee Pain: Fixing Your Feet to Fix Your Knees

Posted by on Monday, August 27th, 2012

Today we are going to talk about knees.

Whoa, hold on, cowboy, what do you mean “knees?” Isn’t this supposed to be a foot blog?

This is indeed a foot blog, but did you know that knee pain is often related to a problem with your feet? Yes, that’s right, happy feet are the key to happy knees.

Let’s take a look at what can go wrong between your feet and your knees and how you can make it better.

Help for Sore Aching Feet

Posted by on Friday, August 24th, 2012

There are jobs where you get to sit pretty much throughout your entire shift. For example, airline pilots. Bus drivers. Various cubicle-oriented office jobs. Restaurant critics, movie critics. People with those jobs probably don’t come home after work with their feet aching.

Then there are those who do stand. You know who you are–cashiers, restaurant workers, nurses, security guards, hair stylists, and many others. When you get home, your feet are almost always in pain (I know–I’ve had a number of those jobs).

Let’s not just confine this to the work day either–everyone’s had a day where they had to wait on line for a really long time, walk around more than usual (think vacations where you walk to all the tourist sites), stand during a long presentation. Aching feet are a part of life.

So what can we do about them? Here are some ways to deal with painful feet:

Prevention

Here are some steps you can take to lessen the pain in your feet if you regularly put a lot of stress on them or know you will be doing something that taxes them more than usual:

  • Make sure your shoes fit. Poorly fitting shoes can contribute to your aching feet, so get your feet professionally sized when you buy shoes. You may think you know your shoe size, but as we age, our feet spread out and change. Don’t get stuck in the habit of automatically picking up the same size; instead get your feet measured in the store. Always shop for shoes at the end of the day, too–feet swell from morning to evening so you’re more likely to get the right size at the end of the day.
  • Add some support. Your feet may be hurting more than normal because you have flat feet or high arches. You can buy various kinds of arch supports over the counter, but to guarantee you’re addressing the right problem, see a podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine (212.996.1900) to get orthotics custom fit for your feet.
  • Wear the right kind of shoes for your activity. Don’t wear stilettos if you know you’re going to be standing for eight hours. Flip flops, which don’t offer support, are bad, too. Choose shoes that offer support.
  • Strengthen your feet. You can cut down on foot pain just by making your feet stronger. Try some of these foot exercises and activities to increase your feet’s ability to withstand pain.
  • Take care of your corns and calluses. These patches of thickened skin can become irritated when you spend a lot of time on your feet. Keep them in shape regularly rubbing them down with a pumice stone or carefully trimming them. You can also put pads on them; these are easily found in any drug store. If you’re not sure how to take care of corns and calluses, talk to a podiatrist.

So that’s prevention. Imagine your feet are already in pain (owww…I’m imagining too well…). What can you do to make them feel better?

  • Put your feet up, literally. Lie on the ground and elevate your feet above your head by putting them on a chair or stack of pillows. This will help the fluids that have pooled in your feet and made them swell rush away. Relax this way for about fifteen or twenty minutes.
  • Soak your feet in warm water. Adding a little tea tree oil or peppermint oil to the water will help, or you can add good old-fashioned Epsom salts. You can also sit on the edge of your bathtub and alternate running warm and cool water over your feet, one minute each way. End with a cool minute.
  • Moisturize your feet with peppermint foot lotion–peppermint is great for your feet. Trust me.
  • Get someone to give you a foot massage or learn how to massage your feet yourself. If your hands are tired too, try rolling your foot over a tennis ball while you sit and recover from the day (though don’t use your dog’s favorite tennis ball; you can’t enjoy a massage when a dog is giving you a sad, “I wanted to play with that” face).

There you go! Hopefully these tips will make your painful foot days a little less painful. If you think your foot pain is excessive, see a podiatrist to make user you don’t have something more complicated going on. You don’t want to miss a message from your feet.

Field Hockey Foot Injuries

Posted by on Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

I never played any organized sports when I was a kid. I was one of those arts kids, so my parents had enough to do with taking me to play rehearsals; they surely had no desire to sign me up for something that would also involve practices and games at odd hours. I didn’t really push for it either. I couldn’t run fast and couldn’t catch a cold, let alone a ball. I could have been the keynote speaker at a world conference for athletically challenged teens (provided I didn’t trip and fall on my way to the podium).

America’s Foot Problems

Posted by on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Earlier this summer, the Institute for Preventative Foot Health released the results of a survey they did to assess the state of Americans’ feet. Here’s the good news: if you have foot problems, don’t feel like you’re the only one–you’re not. Here’s the bad news: it’s likely that you have or will experience some kind of foot problem.

Hey Shorty–Short Toes

Posted by on Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

I have been a short person all my life, so I feel pretty comfortable in saying that the world prefers taller people. Tall people are more glamorous, they’re more desirable as athletes, and they can reach anything they want on the grocery store shelves. Even tall toes are good–or long toes, I guess I should say. A long second toe, known as a Morton’s toe, is considered a sign of beauty.  Okay, they’re vulnerable to some foot conditions but the ancient Greeks included long second toes on statues to indicate how beautiful these women were! Top that.

Losing Fat–In Your Foot

Posted by on Monday, August 20th, 2012

If you just realized that you had lost some fat, you’d probably be happy, right? Many of us do battle with our weight, so finding out that you’ve shed some of that fat might make you want to run out and buy new jeans, try on that wedding dress you bought a few sizes too small since you’re determined to lose weight before the wedding,  or head out to the ice cream shop for a special reward.

Uh oh, we’ve got trouble, though–what if the fat loss came from a part of your body that needs that fat? Like your foot?