DMFA Blog

Posts for: November, 2013

It's hard to believe, but the holidays are here. People are putting up decorations, planning Hanukkah and Christmas gatherings and making plans for New Year's Eve.

But come Jan. 1, many people across Lemont and beyond are sure to make resolutions to get into shape.

In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine recently released it's list of exercise trends expected to be big in 2014.

The list includes:

High-Intensity Interval Training: Also known as HIIT, this type of exercise took the No. 1 spot. It involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. These exercise programs usually take 30 minutes or less.

Fitness Programs for Older Adults. As baby boomers age toward retirement, many members of this generation will have more discretionary money. As a result, many fitness professionals are creating programs to keep older adults healthy and active.

Group Personal Training. Thanks to the tough economy – which left many gym-goes with less money to spend on pricey training -- many trainers began offering options where they work with two or three clients at once.

Boot Camp.  Patterned after military-style training, Boot Camp includes cardiovascular, strength, endurance and flexibility drills led by an instructor.

Yoga. It's been around forever, but today, there's practically a yoga studio on every corner. That could be because yoga comes in a variety of forms: Power Yoga, Yogalates, and Bikram Yoga (better known as “hot yoga.”)

No matter what exercise you choose – and as podiatrists at DM Foot and Ankle Associates, Dr. Diana Emini and I encourage lifestyles that include fitness – it's important to have proper footwear.  

Athletic shoes must be comfortable, well-constructed and appropriate for a given activity. Shoes that fit well should help avoid blisters and skin irritations.

Also, keep in mind that different shoes serve different purposes.

Running shoes are built to take impact, but tennis shoes allow for sudden stops and turns. Meanwhile, cross training shoes are fine for PE classes or activities at the gym such as on stair-climbing machines and weight-lifting.

We recommend patients replace athletic shoes after one year – even if they aren't worn out. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine advises replacing running or walking shoes after 300 to 500 miles, and getting new aerobic, basketball and tennis shoes after 45 to 60 hours of wear.

By following some of these guidelines, we hope you will stay on your feet and reach your fitness goals for 2014!


By Michelle Kim


Open a magazine such as People or US Weekly, flip on shows such as “Fashion Police” on E! Or log on to Hollywood blogs such as Perez Hilton's, and odds are good that you will see actresses sporting tall, platform heels such as those by Christian Louboutin.

"Sex and the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker, actress Jessica Alba and "Twilight" leading lady Kristen Stewart have all been spotted in the tall shoes with their trademark, red-soled platforms. But while the footwear may be fashionable among A-listers, did you know these shoes can earn failing grades for the feet?

Women who frequently wear high heels that are too tight and cause stress on the foot may be at risk for neuromas. It's a painful growth of nerve tissue in the foot, often between the third and fourth toes. A neuroma forms when bones in the feet press together and aggrivate the nerve between the bones.

The condition causes pain and discomfort, which can keep people from normal activities and even make walking painful.

Symptoms of neuromas include:

·         Sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot, especially while walking

·         Tingling or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot

·         A feeling that there's a stone in your shoe or your sock is wrinkled

·         A painful lump

In addition to poor-fitting shoes, other factors can lead to a nueroma:

·         High impact sports such as running, skiiing or rock climbing. These activities are high-impact and/or require tight shoes, which can expose the feet to trauma and pressure.

·         Foot deformities. Those with hammertoes, flat feet or high arches may be more at risk

·         Injury. This can lead to a deformity that might make a neuroma more likely

Luckily, medication, shoe inserts, switching to shoes with good support and a wide toe box, physical therapy and cortrisone injections may reduce pain. When conservative measures fail, there are surgical options. At DM Foot and Ankle, Dr. Michelle Kim and I offer a minimally invasive option that leaves the nerve tissue intact. Traditional surgeries remove the whole nueroma.

If you are suffering from pain – whether it's from too-tall shoes or other issues – consult your doctor. Pain is never normal, and visiting our Lemont office can get you back on your feet and living pain-free.

By Diana Emini


November is more than Thanksgiving and Butterball turkey -- it's also Diabetes Awareness Month!

Did you know that in the United States alone, this disease impacts about 8 percent of the population, or 25 million people?  Anyone can get the disease. Some famous faces who suffer from the condition are:

Paula Deen: The 64-year-old celebrity chef known for her high-fat Southern food made news last year when she announced she had type 2 diabetes.  While poor diet doesn't always lead to diabetes, being overweight is a strong contributor.

Randy Jackson: The "American Idol" judge weighed over 300 pounds when he was diagnosed, and his blood sugar level was a staggering 500 mg/dL.  The normal range is between 80 and 110.  His father also suffered from the disease – family history is another risk factor for developing this.

Halle Barry: The actress has been managing her diabetes since she was 22.  With a healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle change, she no longer requires insulin. 

Diabetes can affect the cardiovascular and neurological systems.  That means diabetics can be more prone to heart attacks, stroke, poor circulation in the legs and feet and kidney failure. In the feet, diabetics can suffer from skin changes, open sores, infection, nail problems, numbness or even amputations. 

The American Diabetes Association recommends an annual foot exam by your podiatrist (Dr. Diana Emini and myself can provide these exams at our Lemont office.)  Other services that are covered by insurance include circulation tests, diabetic shoes and shoe inserts, nail care and wound care. By seeking care from a podiatrist early on, the chances of keeping the feet healthy and free of amputations are significantly higher!

Many elderly tend to keep their feet hidden in shoes all day long, and what no one may realize is there could be a problem lurking in the feet.  The only way to find out is to get checked out.  If you or a loved one has diabetes, DM Foot & Ankle Associates is the place for you.

By Michelle Kim


Early Sunday morning, thousands of runners – 3,500 to be exact – will get up before dawn, brave the cold and hit the streets for the first-ever Naperville Marathon.

The race website says nearly 75 percent of runners are from Naperville and nearby communities, a list that likely includes Lemont.

Meanwhile, the event serves as a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon.

While plenty of athletes will sport shoes of all sorts along the 26.2-mile route, some runners might not wear shoes at all.

A trend has emerged among some joggers:  Barefoot running. It's also called minimalism or natural running and involves wearing thin-soled shoes – or no shoes at all. It's considered by some as a way to correct a runner’s form and prompt a forefoot strike -- which, believe it or not -- some say can lead to fewer injuries than those who run with a heel-strike.

Barefoot running has even prompted footwear companies to offer special shoes – perhaps the most well-known is Vibram with its FiveFingers shoe – to those who want to try barefoot running while protecting their feet.

According to Runners World magazine, research hasn't concluded whether barefoot running has benefits.

Regardless, advocates say it strengthens feet and cuts down on common running injuries such as shin splints.

Perhaps not surprisingly, barefoot running is controversial.

The New York Times reported that five different studies at this summer's American College of Sports Medicine meeting found no major benefits to switching to barefoot-style shoes.

Other researchers asked 566 runners if they ever tried – and liked – barefoot-style shoes. About a third of the runners said they'd tried them. Of of those, 32 percent said they got injuries they blamed on the footwear.

 

Also, the Times reported that Brigham Young University researchers didn't find evidence that barefoot-style running toughens foot muscles, which advocates say could prevent injury.

As podiatrists at DM Foot and Ankle, we see plenty of local athletes and runners and get asked about this topic frequently When it comes to barefoot running or minimalist shoes, we believe high-impact sports such as running should NOT be done in shoes that lack structure, support or shock absorption.  Very few people have the ideal arch or foot conditioning to run on concrete with bare feet.  My colleage, Dr. Michelle Kim, and I see this as stress fracture, foot sprain or tendon injury waiting to happen! 

Different feet need different arch and shoe support.  Not every shoe is right for every foot – so if you are unsure, call us for an evaluation.  We are happy to help.

 

By Diana Emini