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Posts for: December, 2013

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
December 30, 2013
Category: Orthotics

Orthotics for AthletesLeBron James has been known to throw his shoes into the crowd after a game as souvenirs. At one game this gesture was followed by an announcement asking the person who caught them to come to the scorers’ table. Why? Because LeBron had forgotten to take his inserts out, and he wanted them back! Years ago few athletes wore orthotic inserts, but in recent years more and more players are finding that these supports help manage their foot pain and may even increase their performance.

Two types of orthotics for athletes are generally used: those that provide general cushioning and support and those that try to compensate for faulty mechanics in the foot. Over-the-counter inserts are often used for painful calluses or because the foot has lost some of its natural padding. They can be of foam, gel, or plastic, and they protect the feet from hard surfaces that can irritate the skin or bone structure.

The second type provides support for the heel and the arch, to help spread the weight more evenly over the whole foot. They help correct the pressure resulting from over-pronation, fallen arches, or tendon problems like plantar fasciitis. They can also help reduce the pain resulting from a faulty gait. This type is usually made of more rigid plastic or graphite. Some people try an over-the-counter orthotic, but it is best to use those that are custom designed for your particular foot and your specific problem.

Dr. Howard Schaengold specializes in sports medicine and can fit you with a custom orthotic that is best for your feet. If you participate in athletics and have noticed pain after activity, contact The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic for an evaluation. Our office in Sammamish, WA, serves the surrounding Bellevue, Issaquah, and Redmond communities as well. Call us at (425) 868-3338 today, and get yourself back in the game without pain!

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
December 18, 2013
Category: Cold Weather

If you love to run, you are out in all types of weather. Sun? No problem. Pouring down rain? You can handle that. Chilly temperatures? That might slow you down a little, but you still want to get out there and rack up some miles. The trick is to prepare properly for running in cold weather.

Humans are warm weather animals, and we can’t function as well in cold temperatures without some protection. While you can run in the cold, you may not be able to do it efficiently. The experts at Runner Academy point out that your time per mile will probably not be affected unless temperatures drop below freezing. However, your lungs may not use oxygen as easily in the cold. Your muscles won’t contract as well, and more energy will be used to keep your body warm, leaving less to put towards movement. Your body will burn fuel differently, so you may run out of energy sooner.

Some tricks to handle running in cold weather are to eat enough carbs before you start, dress in layers that wick the sweat away from your body, and make sure your socks and shoes will keep your feet warm on the road. Once you are outside, warm up by starting slowly and gradually increasing until you are up to speed. If it’s windy, run against the wind first, because you may not have as much energy to face it at the end of your run. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you are too chilly, you can always turn back and decide to hit the gym that day instead. After a run in the cold, warm up with some hot soup and a warm shower, and then finish by gently stretching out your muscles.

The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic specializes in sports medicine, so if running in cold weather has caused an injury or other problems with your feet, contact us for a consultation. Our Sammamish, WA office also serves Bellevue, Issaquah, and Redmond. Call (425) 868-3338, or request an appointment online.



By Dr. Howard Schaengold
December 05, 2013
Category: Cold Weather

Chilly Weather and Your FeetIt’s that time of year when family parties, shopping, and gala celebrations fill our calendars. The festive holiday season officially kicks off with the Holiday Lighting event in Sammamish on December 6th from 6 to 9 PM. Come to City Hall to view several vehicles decked out in their holiday finery, including the Reindeer Truck, while students from local schools provide the musical background for the evening.

Gather with your family and friends and enjoy the celebration, but be sure you come prepared. Freezing toes and numb feet can mar even the most delightful event. Here are some tips to make sure you have warm feet throughout the evening.

Start with your socks. Wear a thin pair that wicks moisture away from your foot (not cotton, which holds the moisture it absorbs). Top that with a thicker pair that insulates you from the cold. Another option is commercial toe warmers that are activated when you open the plastic package. They provide heat for up to six hours.

Now, select your shoes. The best choice is something leather that’s waterproof. Better yet, consider a shoe with gortex. Just make sure that your shoes have plenty of room for all the extra layers you are using. If they are too tight, it defeats the purpose.

Finally, keep walking! Good circulation keeps your feet warmer, so keep wiggling those toes and step up the pace if they start feeling chilly.

The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic staff wants you to enjoy the holiday season free of foot pain. If you have problems or need advice on footwear, call Dr. Howard Schaengold at (425) 868-3338 for great foot care in the Sammamish, Issaquah, Bellevue, and Redmond areas.

Photo credit: debsch