OC Feet News

Posts for tag: exercise

December 15, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: shoes   feet   exercise   healthy  

Happy healthy holiday feet warming by the fireHoliday shopping, decorating, parties and traveling are all part of our holiday revelries. But while you’re making all that merriment, how happy are your feet?

You may be doing a lot of walking, dancing, standing, and sitting in one position throughout the holiday season.

“Half of all Americans report experiencing foot pain at some point in their lives, according to a survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA),” says Jonathan Bennett DPM, a podiatrist at Orange County Foot and Ankle Group and APMA member.

“No one wants soreness or injuries to slow them down during the holidays, so it’s important to care for your feet so they can carry you through all those seasonal celebrations and chores.”

APMA offers some advice for keeping feet healthy (and happy) this holiday season:

  • Moisturize—Dry winter air and cold temperatures can take a toll on skin. Moisturize feet daily to help avoid dry, cracked, and irritated skin.

  • Exercise your feet—Stretching is a good way to avoid muscle cramps. Stave off toe cramps by raising, pointing, and curling your toes for five seconds. Repeat 10 times. Rotating your ankles can also help relax feet. Cup your heel and turn each ankle slowly five times to loosen ankle joints.

  • Massage—Foot rubs not only feel good, but they’re also a great way to release tension, boost circulation, and refresh skin after a long day on your feet. Take a few minutes to massage your feet at the end of a day of shopping and celebrating. Use lotion and take care of moisturizing at the same time!

  • Pedicure properly—Picture-perfect toes are part of a great holiday wardrobe for many women. Whether you do it yourself or go to a salon, be sure your pedicure is done properly. “Never use a razor to remove dead skin—opt for a good pumice stone instead,” says Dr. Bennett.

  • Don’t cut cuticles; push them back gently with a rubber tool made for this purpose. Use toenail clippers with a straight edge to cut nails straight across.

  • Raise your legs—Feet and ankles can swell from sitting too long in one position (taking a long flight to grandma’s house for the holidays, for example) or if you’ve been on your feet all day (shopping, baking, or cooking). Elevate your legs to reduce swelling. Lie down or sit and lift your legs above your heart.

  • Wear smart shoes—Okay, so you’ll never give up your sparkly high heels when it’s time for that special soiree. But for other holiday activities such as shopping, traveling, or cooking, ditch the high heels. When you know you’ll be on your feet all day, wear comfortable shoes with good arch support and a padded sole. See which types of footwear have received the APMA Seal of Acceptance for promoting foot health by visiting www.apma.org/seal

Feet shouldn’t hurt all the time. “Persistent foot pain can be an indication of injury, irritation, or illness,” Dr. Bennett adds. “See a podiatrist if you experience pain; don’t wait until the holidays end!”

Summertime is vacation time, and while rest and relaxation are the primary goals for most vacations, getting out and exploring your destination is too. This usually involves a lot of walking, and a lot of walking usually involves sore feet.

"Walking is great exercise and one of the most reliable forms of transportation," says Jonathan Bennett, DPM, FACFAS, "But if your feet aren’t in the best shape, or you don’t have the right shoes, too much walking can cause foot problems."

According to Bennett, good foot care is essential if you plan to subject your feet to long periods of walking. Some simple foot care tips include:

  • Soothing foot powderMoisture wicking compression sockWear thick moisture wicking socks. Try our energizing compression socks (pictured right)
  • Dry feet thoroughly after bathing, making sure to dry between toes.
  • Optional: Use powder before putting on shoes. Try our Soothing Foot Powder (pictured right)
  • Nails should be cut regularly, straight across the toe.
  • Bunions, hammertoes or any other serious foot problems should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon.
  • The right shoes (more on that below)

"The right shoe is also important to healthy walking," says Bennett "The ideal walking shoe should be stable from side to side, and well-cushioned, and it should enable you to walk smoothly. Many running shoes will fit the bill."

He adds there are also shoes made especially for walking. Walking shoes tend to be slightly less cushioned, yet not as bulky, and lighter than running shoes. Whether a walking or running shoe, the shoes need to feel stable and comfortable.

Warming up exercises to help alleviate any muscle stiffness or pulled muscles are also advised before walking. Loosening up the heel cords (Achilles and calf) and thigh muscles before a walk is especially effective.

"If you’re not accustomed to long walks, start slowly and rest if your feet start hurting," says Bennett. "And above all, have fun!

New Year's Resolutions can include many goals, from getting healthier to traveling more to running a marathon. It's always a good idea to make sure your feet are in tip top shape, and we're here to help you prep.

This blog post focuses on a top goal for many, weight loss and your feet. An estimated 70 million overweight Americans experience foot problems, like heel pain and flat feet. Sore feet make it hard to exercise and lose weight; and without exercise, those extra pounds worsen or exacerbate the progression of diabetes, heart disease and other serious health threats. Today, Orange County Foot & Ankle Surgeons urged overweight adults to seek immediate treatment for chronic, activity-limiting foot and ankle problems to foster compliance with physician-directed exercise programs.

2015 new years resolutions

“It’s unfortunate overweight adults get caught up in the vicious cycle of avoiding physical activity due to foot or ankle pain, thereby permitting cardiovascular disease and other life-threatening conditions to worsen as a result,” says Dr. Bennett, DPM.  “For example, in many cases, chronic heel pain occurs from carrying too much weight. Left untreated, it becomes an impediment to physical activity and meaningful weight loss.”

Bennett says there’s no reason foot or ankle pain should stop patients from exercising. The first step toward breaking the cycle is an evaluation by a foot and ankle surgeon.

According to the ACFAS consumer Web site, FootHealthFacts.org, many causes of foot pain can be relieved without surgery through stretching exercises, orthotics and athletic shoes with good shock absorption and support. If a bunion, heel pain or other condition requires surgery, patients can participate during their recovery in non-weight-bearing activities, such as riding a stationary bike, swimming or weight training.

For those moderately to severely overweight, Bennett says a thorough physical examination is mandatory before beginning an exercise program.

“Once cleared by your physician to begin exercising, don’t try to do too much too soon. Follow a gradual routine until your body adjusts to the stress of regular physical activity,” he says. “For example, I counsel overweight patients to avoid working out on treadmills or elliptical machines to minimize pounding and stress on their joints.”

Shedding excess pounds helps diabetic patients control their disease, but Bennett notes many who experience foot ulcerations and vascular problems caused by diabetes might think they shouldn’t exercise.

“Every diabetes patient needs regular foot exams to check for possible sore spots and assess nerve sensation,” says Bennett. “And with proper diabetic foot care and the right footwear, most patients can follow an exercise regimen that is safe and appropriate for them.”

For more information about ankle fractures and sprains or other foot and ankle problems, check out our Patient Education center on line, or make an appointment today!