Posted on May 22nd, 2012 in Barefoot
By DAVE MCGINN
“In the three years since it was published, Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run has single-handedly ignited the barefoot running craze. The bestseller argues that heavily cushioned shoes don’t prevent injuries – they lead to them because they encourage a style of running in which people take large strides and land on their heels, sending impact forces shooting up their legs.”
Footstar Orthotic Systems submitted a number of articles to be published on The Shoe Review. Do you need custom comfortable orthotics for your running, dress are everyday shoe? Then visit FootstarOrthotics.com. watch this video for more info.
Posted on April 06th, 2012 in Injuries
When your feet hurt, you hurt all over! You’ve heard this saying many times but it is still as true as ever. So what can we do to make sure that we take care of our feet so that our feet can take care of us?
The following are a few foot and leg problems that all of us experience at one time or another and some possible solutions to these problems.
- Dry Cracked Skin
Dry cracked skin is common, especially in the Winter months when the air is the most dry. This condition can be very painful especially when deep fissures develop. Applying an oil based moisturizing cream twice daily is really important to get on top of this problem. A pumice stone can be used to reduce the thickness of the hard skin. Never try to reduce the hard skin yourself with a razor blade or a pair of scissors. There is a risk of an infection developing and taking too much off.
Corns or callouses are areas of thickened skin that occur in areas of pressure. They are actually a normal and natural way for the body to protect itself. For example, callus develops on the hand when chopping a lot of wood – its a normal way for the skin to protect itself. In the foot, the skin will thicken up to protect itself when there are areas of high pressure. The problem occurs when the pressure continues, so the skin gets thicker. It eventually becomes painful and is treated as something foreign by the body.
- Regular maintenance to keep the corn and callus reduced
- Use of padding to prevent the pressure
- Professionally fitted footwear
- The use of foot orthotics or supports to relieve the pressure under the foot
- Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail occurs when part of the nail penetrates the skin, which can often result in an infection. The ingrown nail can also apply pressure in the nail fold area without penetrating the skin – this is not technically an ingrown toe nail, but can also be painful (a corn/callus is also common down the side of the nail and is a reaction to this pressure, rather than the nail actually penetrating the skin).
- Cutting the nail straight across to allow the corners to protrude, so that they do not penetrate the skin. Cut the toe nails straight across without tapering the corners.
- Avoid wearing shoes and socks that are too tight.
- Keep feet clean to prevent the ingrown nail from becoming infected.
- Those with poor circulation or diabetes should not do any self management of ingrown toenails but see a Podiatrist.
Gout is one of the most common forms of arthritis or inflammation of a joint. It most commonly affects the big toe joint but can affect any joint. Gout usually starts as an acute attack that often comes on overnight. Within 12-24 hours there is usually severe pain and swelling in the joint.
The mainstay of gout treatment is correcting the factors that lead to the high levels of uric acid. This involves a combination of diet and drugs.
The following foods have higher levels of purines should be restricted or avoided:
- foods like liver, kidneys, tripe, sweetbreads and tongue.
- Large amounts of red meat.
- Peas. lentils and beans.
- Alcohol intake should be reduced.
Being overweight is a risk factor, so weight loss may be very important. High blood pressure (hypertension) is also a risk factor that your doctor may need to address.
- Shin Splints
Shin splints are a term commonly used to describe lower leg pain. However, shin splints are only one of several conditions that affect the lower leg. The most common causes of lower leg pain are: general shin soreness; shin splints; and stress fractures. They are normally caused by:
- Exercising on hard surfaces, like concrete;
- Exercising on uneven ground;
- Beginning an exercise program after a long lay-off period;
- Increasing exercise intensity or duration too quickly;
- Exercising in worn out or ill fitting shoes; and
- Excessive uphill or downhill running.
- Rest to allow the injury to heal.
- Apply ice or cold therapy in the early stages, particularly when it is very painful. Cold therapy reduces pain and inflammation.
- Stretch the muscles of the lower leg. In particular the tibialis posterior which is associated with shin splints.
- Wear shock absorbing orthotics in shoes. This helps reduce the shock on the lower leg.
- Maintain fitness with other non weight bearing exercises such as swimming, cycling or running in water.
- Hammer Toes
Hammer toes can be due to a number of things. Several factors are known to increase the risk of developing hammer toes:
- some people are just structurally prone to develop hammer toes (hereditary)
- tight footwear is an important factor in the cause of hammer toes as well as providing the pressure that causes the symptoms
- weaker small muscles in the foot may also play a role.
A number of approaches can be undertaken to the manage a hammer toe:
- It is important that any footwear advice is followed. The correct amount of space in the toe box will allow room for the toes to function without excessive pressure.
- If a corn is present, this will need to be treated.
- If the toe is still flexible, it may be possible to use splints or tape to try and correct the toe. Without correct fitting footwear, this is often unsuccessful.
- Padding is often used to get pressure off the toe to help the symptoms.
- Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy deserves special mention as it is the most common type and can lead to serious complications in those with diabetes. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy means damage of nerve fibres in people with diabetes. The process by which the nerves are damaged is not entirely clear but it is probably related to high blood glucose changes that affect the metabolism of nerve cells.
The treatment for peripheral neuropathy will differ, depending on the cause. For example, if it is caused by diabetes the therapy involves better control of the diabetes. If it is caused by a vitamin deficiency, then supplementation will help.
Medications, such as pain relievers are often used.
- General Foot and Leg Pain
Pain of any kind is definitely not normal and should be addressed. Many foot and leg problems are the result of improper or excessive foot motion and insufficient arches. In many cases custom orthotics are necessary to control this improper foot motion. Custom orthotics are removable arch supports made from a digital foot scan or plaster cast. These orthotics generally replace the insoles that come with your shoes or sneakers, but they are offered in styles that are designed for dress shoes and sandals. Ask your foot care professional.
Posted on March 29th, 2012 in Shoes
Now that you know what toot type you have and how your feet are aligned, the next step is finding a shoe that’s right for you. (If you haven’t determined your foot type, check out the article Your Footprint – Why its Important) Asics, Nike, New Balance, Adidas, Saucony, Brooks and Reebok… all makes different [...]
Shoes, we all wear them. They’re a huge part of our daily routine and the majority of us probably don’t place as much emphasis or importance on them as we should. Even if all you do is get up in the morning and put on your dress shoe for work, it’s important that this dress [...]
As mentioned The Shoe Review is live and we’re hitting the ground running… With the newest Asics GEL-Kayano 18. Are you a runner looking for new shoes? Stay tuned for an update and our first video review.
Tags: Asics GEL-Kayano 18
Posted on March 11th, 2012 in Shoes
The Shoe Review is finally live and we’re SUPER excited to get started! Sneakers and Shoes are our passion and we’d like to share that love of shoes with you. The types of shoes we’ll be reviewing on the site include but are not limited to; Running shoes, Tennis shoes, Walking Shoes, Climbing Shoes, Casual [...]