DMFA Blog

Posts for tag: injury prevention

 

In the middle of winter, your shoes of choice right now may be snowboots and Uggs. But with Groundhog Day approaching on Feb. 2nd, we hope it won't be long before you can get outdoors and enjoy warm-weather spots such as Navy Pier, the Brookfield Zoo or Lemont's Centennial Pool.

 

As the seasons change, so do many people's footwear. Unfortunately, at DM Foot and Ankle Associates, Dr. Diani Emini and I see many patients with foot pain or injuries from wearing the wrong shoes.

 

Here's a look at a few popular shoe types, and some of the ways they can harm the feet.

 

Ballet flats

Problem: These simple slip-ons may feel comfy, but they don't support the feet and can lead to pain.  They lack arch support and typically have very little insole padding.  People think because it is not a heeled shoe, it is better for them, but this super flat shoe is sometimes just as bad.

Solution: We have dressy fit orthotics that can work in the littlest of shoes.

 

Stilettos

Problem:  These tall, trendy shoes are stylish. But the price of looking good has its downside:  the narrow forefoot cramps those toes and can cause worsening of bunions and hammertoes.  The skinny heel does not offer much in balance and throws all the weight of the foot on the ball – causing neuromas and other joint inflammatory conditions. 

Solution:  A chunky heel or wedged heel are better optionsbecause they have more surface area and re-distribute the weight more evenly. Don't be fooled – these shoes still place stress on the ball of the foot, but the risk or tripping or spraining an ankle may be reduced.  Save the stilettos for those special occasions only.

 

Worn-out shoes

Problem:  Those pair of running shoes you’ve had for years or the old Chuck Taylors you keep wearing can make existing foot problems worse.  Just because they look OK on the outside doesn't mean the inner lining and overall structure of the shoe are still in good condition.  Most likely, they are worn down and are not offering you any shock absorption or support.

Solution: Thow away that too-old pair of shoes. If you need advice on finding a new pair, simply ask one of us at DM Foot and Ankle, or visit a store that specializes in running or walking shoes.

 

Flip flops

Problem:  These easy to slip-on sandals lack support, and your feet have to work extra hard to keep them on.  Over time, these can cause foot pain or tendon strain.

Solution: Choose a pair of sporty, fitted sandals that have a built-in arch support with a rigid sole.  While you shouldn’t go walking long distances in these, they are a great alternative to those rubber thongs that so many people love.

 

By Michelle Kim

For many people, getting their fill of cold weather sports may not be limited to watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Plenty of locals from Lemont are sure to make ski or snowboard trips this winter to places such as Four Lakes in Lisle or Villa Olivia in Bartlett – not to mention resorts in Wisconsin or Michigan.

Skiing is great exercise, but can also damage the feet. Here are a few tips for the slopes from the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. After all, your feet and ankles act as shock absorbers and brakes while skiing – make sure they are protected.

Blisters and bruises

It may sound minor, but a bruise or blister can keep you off the slopes! The ankle, toes, top of the foot and front of the shin can get rubbed by ski boots – even those that fit well. Plus, moisture held against the foot can cause friction and cause blisters.

Remember not to pop a blister. If it breaks naturally, apply antiseptic and cover it with a bandage. Skiers who are prone to blistering in a specific area might consider dabbing Vaseline on that spot before skiing.

 

Foot conditions

Ski boots have potential to aggrivate pre-existing issues such as bunions, while diseases such as diabetes – which can impact circulation – can get worse by the cold and footwear that doesn’t fit right. Before skiing, people with these conditions should consult a podiatrist such as Dr. Michelle Kim and myself at DM Foot and Ankle. For many conditions, keeping the feet warm and dry is the best prevention.

 

Good boots

Boots should fit snugly – if they’re too loose, the feet and ankles can slide around. Meanwhile, the pressure and motion of skiing could lead to sprains, strains and fractures.

Your boots should be rigid enough to keep your feet, ankles and heels in place, with enough room for your ankle to flex. The toe should not be too tight.  Check the fit of your boots by kicking your heel, then your toe, against the ground. If your foot slides forward and back, the boot is probably too loose.

Try on several pairs and wear them around the shop before deciding on a boot.

 

Socks

A good sock will keep your feet dry by wicking moisture from the feet while keeping them warm.  Take your socks with you when you try on boots. Both podiatrists and ski experts recommend thin socks. 

By Diana Emini