My Blog

Posts for: April, 2011

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
April 15, 2011
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Health  

WalkingLooking for a safe, easy and inexpensive way to stay healthy, increase your energy level and improve your figure? Start walking. Walking is one of the easiest and most popular forms of exercise, and when done properly, can significantly improve your health.

The basic kind of walking -- often called healthwalking -- can be done almost anywhere and at any time, year around. And for individuals with a long history of inactivity or problems with obesity, walking is an excellent way to begin an exercise program.

If the Shoe Fits- Get Walking

Footwear plays a vital role in the duration and achievement of your walking routine, and shoes that don't fit properly or that lack support can lead to foot pain or injuries, such as blisters, corns, calluses, nail fungus and plantar fasciitis.

Not sure which shoe will offer you the most support? Come into our Sammamish office for an examination. We can help determine the best shoe for your feet based on your arch, walking experience and foot mechanics. Your shoes should be well-cushioned and stable, offering you comfort and fit that enables you to walk smoothly and without discomfort.

Keep Your Feet Healthy

To gain the most health benefit from walking, it's important to pay close attention to your feet. Trim your nails regularly, keep your feet clean and dry, and inspect your feet for signs of sores, blisters, corns, calluses or other infections. Serious foot ailments, such as bunions or hammertoes, should be checked by our Sammamish office before you begin your exercise regimen.

Once you're ready to hit the road, you'll want set appropriate goals based on your overall health and walking experience. Start slow and build upon your distance gradually. And don't forget to stretch in order to prevent injury and keep muscles loose.

Walking is meant to be safe, easy and fun, but in order to do so, you must have healthy feet. Experiencing foot pain and discomfort isn't normal. Talk with a podiatrist at Howard Schaengold, DPM if you encounter any problems while walking. Every step you take is one step closer to a healthier lifestyle. So what are you waiting for? Take a stroll in the mall, walk your dog in the park, or grab a friend and go for a leisurely walk around your neighborhood. It's easy and fun, and when done regularly can lead to a healthier you!

 


By Howard Schaengold, DPM
April 01, 2011
Category: Foot Care
Tags: High Heels  

Wearing HeelsWhile high heel shoes may look stylish or complement your favorite outfit, they are rarely the best option for a woman's feet. According to a study by the American Podiatric Medical Association, 39 percent of women wear high heels every day; of the women who wear heels daily, three out of four reported foot problems. Despite the numbers, many women continue to underestimate the health risks associated with high heels.

High heel shoes disrupt the body's alignment, crowd the toes and force the body's weight onto the ball of the foot. Wearing heels can contribute to a variety of foot and ankle problems, including:

  • Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon and calf muscles tighten and shorten as the front of the foot moves down in relation to the heel. This causes stress and painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
  • Bunions. Narrow-toed shoes can cause a bony growth on the joint at the base of the big toe. The bunion forces the big toe to slant in toward the other toes, resulting in discomfort, blisters, corns and calluses.
  • Hammertoes. A narrow toe box crowds the smaller toes into a bent, claw-like position at the middle joint.
  • Metatarsalgia. Continued high heel wear can lead to joint pain in the ball of the foot as a result of heels forcing the body's weight to be redistributed.
  • Ankle injuries. Because heels impair balance and increase the risk of falling, ankle sprains and fractures are common.
  • Pump Bump. The rigid back of a pump-style shoe can cause pressure that irritates the heel bone, creating a bony enlargement known as Haglund's deformity.
  • Neuromas. A narrow toe box and high heel can compress and create a thickening of tissue around a nerve between the third and fourth toes, leading to pain and numbness in the toes.

Still not willing to ditch the heels? There are ways to relieve some of the damaging effects of high heels.

  • Avoid heels taller than 2 inches
  • Choose thicker, more stable heels. Thicker heels are still stylish, plus they lessen the stress on your feet and provide better shock absorption.
  • If you must wear heels, wear your gym shoes or flats for commuting and change into your heels once you arrive to your destination.
  • Stretch and massage your calf, heel, and foot muscles. This helps relax the muscles and tendons and prevents them from tightening and shortening.
  • Avoid shoes with pointed toes

High heel shoes can cause pain and foot deformities that can last a lifetime. So the next time you go to slip on your heels for a long day at work or a night out, consider the consequences and rethink your options. If foot pain persists, visit Howard Schaengold, DPM for treatment.