How To Determine If You Have Flat Feet

Flat feet, or over-pronation, is a common biomechanical problem that occurs in the walking process when a person’s arch collapses upon weight bearing. This motion can cause extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia, potentially causing discomfort and leading to other foot related problems.

Over-pronation is very prominent in people who have flexible, flat feet. The framework of the foot begins to collapse, causing the foot to flatten and adding stress to other parts of the foot. As a result, over-pronation, often leads to Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Metatarsalgia, Post-tib Tendonitis and/or Bunions. There are many causes of flat feet. Obesity, pregnancy or repetitive pounding on a hard surface can weaken the arch leading to over-pronation. Often people with flat feet do not experience discomfort immediately, and some never suffer from any discomfort at all. However, when symptoms develop and become painful, walking becomes awkward and causes increased strain on the feet and calves.

low

Approximately 20% of the population has low arches. Low arches are more flexible and tend to roll inwards and over-pronate.  Typically, imprints or iStep scans for your foot type show almost your entire foot. Low arches are often biomechanically imbalanced and can make your feet more susceptible to common foot problems such as heel pain, arch pain and plantar fasciitis.

Over-Pronation can be treated conservatively with over-the-counter orthotics. These orthotics should be designed with appropriate arch support and medial rearfoot posting to prevent the over-pronation. Footwear should also be examined to ensure there is a proper fit. Footwear with a firm heel counter is often recommended for extra support and stability. Improperly fitting footwear can lead to additional foot problems.

To find the orthotics that are right for your specific arch type and lifestyle, click here.

To find an iStep dealer and get your FREE personalized foot scan, that will help you identify your arch type and the appropriate products to coordinate, click here.

DISCLAIMER:  THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE IS NOT PROVIDED BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.  THE INFORMATION ON THIS SITE IS NOT MEANT TO SUBSTITUTE CONSULTING WITH YOUR PODIATRIST, DOCTOR OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON OR THROUGH THIS SITE IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, INFLUENCE TREATMENT OR CURE ANY FOOT OR OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS NOR IS IT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SERVICES OR ADVICE OF A PODIATRIST, PHYSICIAN, OR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.  YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT A PHYSICIAN LICENSED IN YOUR STATE IN ALL MATTERS RELATING TO YOUR HEALTH.

How to Give An Amazing Foot Massage

Aaahhh, the wonders of a good foot massage. Nothing has a leg up on its ability to make your entire body feel soothed, relaxed and perfectly pleasured. Couple that with the fact that foot massages promote better sleep, and make you healthier overall, it’s a no brainer that feet deserve those awe-inspiring strokes. Master the following foot massage techniques to make sure the foot rub you give is the most pain relieving, stress reducing, pleasurable massage ever.

Step One: Warm Up With a Foot Soak
Start with a simple, warm footbath with ingredients of your choice. Try adding in calming, aromatic essential oils for additional “mood control,” as well as using orange, lemon or lime slices to rub on your companion’s feet. The fruit’s acid will help soften the skin, release toxins and improve overall foot health.

Step Two: Increase Blood Flow
Place a pillow on your lap and cover it with a soft towel. After drying your partner’s feet, place one foot at a time on the pillow (you’ll enact all of the steps below on one foot first, and then switch and move to the other foot). Use one hand to hold his/her foot by the heel, and use your other hand to gently rotate the foot in a clockwise circle motion three times and in a counterclockwise circle motion three times. Rotate each toe in the same manner. This helps to warm up the feet and get the blood circulating through the toes and ankles.

Step Three: Melt Tension With Arch Pressure
Place some foot cream, massage oil or coconut oil into your thumbs and then place each on the center of his/her foot arch, directly below the ball of the foot. With light pressure, rub your thumbs in small circles, one going clockwise, the other going counterclockwise. Do this stress-melting arch technique for about 30 seconds to a minute to help melt away the stresses of the day. Follow up by applying more lotion or oil to your hands and then walking your thumbs up and down the entire length of the foot, using firm pressure. Then slide your thumbs up and down the length of the foot (this feels best when each thumb starts at opposite ends of the foot and slowly move toward one another, one going up and the other going down). Do this for several minutes, or for as much time as you can handle without getting tired.

Step Four: Try Some Tender Toe Techniques
Give each and every toe on the foot a light squeeze with your thumb and index finger, and then use your thumbs to make small clockwise or counterclockwise circles just beneath each toe. Give each toe about 15 seconds of this relaxing treatment to help reduce pressure in the feet and toes.

Step Five: Soothe the Sole
Starting at the ball of the foot, use your thumbs to make small circles (one thumb going clockwise, the other going counterclockwise) all the way up and down the length of the sole, adding extra pressure as you near the heel. Do this for several minutes, or as long as you can last without getting too tired.

Step Six: Feel Good Finish
Either use your thumb and forefinger to gently squeeze the hollow area below the ankle for several seconds, or use your fingers to gently rub the Achilles tendon.

Couple foot massage with some quiet time and you will now be able to provide your friends, family or companions with relief and gift of good health treatments.

Reference source:
http://www.footfiles.com/wellness/foot-massages/article/how-to-give-an-amazing-foot-massage

Get Rid of Foot Odor For Good

If embarrassing foot odor has stopped you in your tracks, follow these tips to get rid of stinky feet and have them back to smelling fresh in no time.

Foot odor — called bromodosis in the medical world — can easily have you turning green and feeling blue, but luckily it’s a common condition that is fairly easy to control. All it takes is a little knowledge about what causes smelly feet and then you can get rid of stinky feet for good.

Why Do My Feet Stink?
Believe it or not, there are more sweat glands found on the human foot than any other place on the body. This means that pretty much every single human being experiences foot sweat. However, the sweat is actually odorless: the stink comes when bacteria are given a chance to thrive in the warm, wet conditions. Therefore, the best way to reduce the odor is to reduce the sweat that the bacteria love to eat.

There are a number of reasons why some people have sweatier feet than others. They include hormones (which is why teenagers and pregnant women often have sweatier feet than most), stress, wearing shoes made of non-breathable material and frequently wearing shoes without giving them a chance to fully air out. Certain medical conditions like hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the feet) and fungal infections like Athlete’s foot can also create extra sweat and odor.

How Do I Tackle a Smelly Feet Problem?
You must focus on two areas to permanently get rid of stinky feet: your feet and your shoes. There are a number of home remedies to remove and prevent odor from both your feet and from your kicks. The most important include improving personal hygiene and rotating your shoes.

  • Switch Your Shoes: One of the number one causes of foot odor is not giving your shoes enough time to completely dry out before wearing them again, so the most important thing you can do to eliminate foot odor is to rotate your shoes on a daily basis so that you never wear the same pair two days in a row.  It also helps to choose footwear made out of comfortable, breathable material and to store shoes in the open rather than shut away in a closet so they’re able to get plenty of airflow.
  • Keep Your Feet Clean: It’s important to thoroughly clean your feet daily and make sure they’re completely dry afterward. Try using an antibacterial soap like Hibiscrub to kill bacteria and keep it from coming back and a pumice stone to eliminate dead skin that bacteria can thrive on.
  • Sock It To ‘Em: Cotton soaks are a much better bet than nylon socks because they allow your feet to breath. But if you truly want to control foot sweat and odor, it’s actually recommended that you avoid cotton socks (which can become sodden and smelly) and instead wear specially designed socks made out of moisture wicking material, such as merino wool. Odor control socks are also a good solution.
  • Powder Power: Another way to keep your feet and shoes dry is by using moisture-absorbing powder. Simply sprinkle cornstarch, talcum powder, baby powder or specially formulated foot powders into your shoes and onto your feet daily to keep them dry and smell-free.
  • Use Antiperspirant: Just as antiperspirant and deodorant can help to keep your underarms dry and odor free, they can keep your feet dry and odor free, as well.
  • Try Odor Eliminating Insoles: If your foot odor persists, you can try using special shoe insoles which are a natural, antibacterial product meant to help control odors and conditions like Athlete’s foot. Check out
  • Soak Your Feet: There are a number of foot soaks that work wonders on smelly feet by acting as an astringent, drawing away moisture, killing bacteria and reducing pore size. For a list of salt, vinegar, baking soda, tea and other soaks that are effective in eliminating foot odor, check out this article.
  • Go Barefoot: Give your feet a chance to breath as often as possible by going barefoot at home, but be careful not to injure your feet!

When to See a Doctor
Most cases of bromodosis can easily be cleared up at home, but stubborn cases could signify other medical problems like fungal infections and hyperhidrosis, which is when the feet sweat excessively. When in doubt about what’s causing your foot odor, it’s always best to visit your podiatrist or health care practitioner.

 

Source:http://www.footfiles.com/health/diseases/article/how-to-get-rid-of-stinky-feet-once-and-for-all

10 Tips For Growing Healthy Toenails

Here’s how to grow strong and healthy toenails free from fungus, bacteria, ingrown nails and other conditions that require a visit to a podiatrist.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman: Strong, healthy toenails are a must for overall health and wellbeing. And all it takes to get clear, shiny toenails any podiatrist would be proud of is a few basic maintenance steps you can easily do at home.

  1. Daily Cleansing
    Bathing your feet once per day using a mild soap not only helps ward off pesky toenail fungus (onychomycosis) and bromodosis, the warm water can help stimulate circulation to your feet and toes, which helps toenails grow healthy and strong. Be sure to scrub your toenails with a foot brush while bathing and thoroughly dry each foot, including between the toes, afterward.
  2. Moisturize
    One of the easiest ways to keep your toenails in great shape is to practice great dermatology by moisturizing them on a daily basis. Using regular lotion on your feet helps keep the skin around each toenail soft and healthy, while using nail oils that contain quick-absorbing ingredients like jojoba oil keeps your toenails from becoming dry, cracked and brittle.

3. Frequent Trimming
Inspect and trim your toenails with nail scissors or a quality pair of toenail clippers about once a month. It is very important that you trim your toenails properly — straight across, never in a curved shape — to help prevent ingrown toenails and bacterial and fungal infections. You should also never cut your toenails too short, as having a slight bit of nail at the end helps protect the toes from pressure and possible trauma.

4. Filing
Use a fine nail file or very gentle emery board to smooth out any rigid toenail edges, which can help prevent hangnails as well as rips and tears to the nail. Note: use caution when cutting or trimming your cuticles and surrounding nail skin (in fact, podiatrists recommend you never cut your cuticles.)

5. Toenail Friendly Diet
Both your fingernails and your toenails are made from a protein called keratin. You can help your body produce healthy amounts of the protein by eating a balanced diet filled with vitamin and nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts and lean meats. You can also use vitamin or biotin supplements to help boost nail growth, but most doctors and podiatrists agree that eating a healthy diet is the best way to give your body the fuel it needs.

6. Wearing Proper Shoes and Socks
Properly fitted shoes and socks can go a long way toward maintaining clear, shiny and healthy toenails. Socks that are too tight can restrict the blood circulation your nails need to grow strong, while shoes that don’t fit properly can lead to ingrown toenails, black toenails (subungual hematoma), corns, calluses, blisters and other foot issues that can potentially affect the way you walk and therefore put undue pressure on your toenails. Wearing foot health conscious shoes is a way to possibly prevent these bad foot condition. Your feet stay can healthier with technically designed arch support and footbed cushioning shoes that are still funky and fashionable.

  1. Occasional Massage
    Whether you spring for a professional rub, receive help from your partner or do it yourself, occasional foot rubs (twice per month or more) help keep the circulation in your feet and toes strong. Good circulation gives your nails a rich blood supply, which helps them maintain a healthy light pink color with a smooth sheen.
  2. Treat Yourself To Foot Soaks
    It’s always a good idea to indulge in a foot soak every once in awhile. Footbaths are relaxing, help decrease stress and can do wonders for your toenails, as well. Soaking the nails helps loosen dirt and debris that may be lurking in the nail folds, lessens your chance of developing smelly feet and foot fungus infections, and can also be moisturizing if oils are added to the water.
  3. Use Caution With Pedicures and Polish
    Professional pedicures can leave your toenails vulnerable to toenail fungal infections, and nail techs often cut your cuticles and eponychium (the skin surrounding your nails), which can lead to inflammation and infection. Meanwhile, non-organic nail polish can leave your toenails stained yellow, and acetone nail polish remover can significantly dry out your nails, leading to unattractive peeling and cracking. Therefore, it’s best to use caution when treating your feet and toes to pedicures. Try opting for all-natural, organic pedicures and using nail polishes free from toxic ingredients like tolulene, dibutyl phthalate and formaldehyde
  4. Frequent Inspections
    If you follow the above steps, you will more than likely be much more aware of your toenails and their overall health condition than before you started, but it’s still a good idea to frequently inspect your toenails, which oftentimes are the first place serious health issues show their symptoms. Diseases like diabetes, psoriasis and onychomycosis (toenail fungus) show up on your nails via pits, marks, discoloration and ridges. Being aware of your nails and visiting a podiatrist at the first sign of trouble could save your health and potentially your life.

Reference source:
http://www.footfiles.com/beauty/cosmetic-foot-care/article/10-tips-for-growing-healthy-toenails

A Podiatrist (DPM), Medical Doctor (MD), or Orthopedic (DO): Which is Best for Foot and Ankle Care?

Numerous types of healthcare providers can evaluate and treat conditions of the feet. These include podiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, primary care physicians, and physical therapists. However, choosing the best one for your needs is most important.

The difference between podiatrists  and medical Doctors

Podiatrists are far more than simply foot doctors who treat toenail fungus, calluses, and bunions. In fact, your podiatrist is a highly trained foot and ankle surgeon who has received in-depth training to address problems, injuries, and complaints of the lower extremities.

In contrast, a medical doctor, even if they are an orthopedist, has a broader, less focused base of training and education.

Do I need a podiatrist or an orthopedist?

If foot or ankle pain stopping you from living your life to the fullest, or standing up and walking around is leaving you in discomfort, don’t suffer! No matter what, your feet need to function, feel good and perform well. It’s always best to seek the help of a professional who can get you back to feeling great again…but which doctor do you go to?

The answer to this very common question lies in what your specific problem is and what type of treatment would be best for you.

What’s the difference between a podiatrist and an orthopedist?

In simple terms, a podiatrist focuses solely on conditions of the foot and ankle while an orthopedist focuses on the entire musculoskeletal system.

But let’s break down both types of doctors a bit more, and get into the specifics of each specialty.

Podiatrists
A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). A podiatrist has specialized training to treat disorders of the foot and ankle. Currently, they must complete the following formal education:

  • Four years of undergraduate school
  • Four years at an accredited podiatric medical school
  • Three to four years of only foot and ankle surgical residency training

They receive medical training plus specialized training on the foot, ankle, and lower leg. They are also extremely well trained in biomechanics and proper foot balance and therefore well equipped to fit orthotics, custom shoes, and a variety of braces.

Podiatrists study medicine as it relates to feet, during the entire course of study. They spend their entire surgical residency training on the foot and ankle, often with multiple podiatric and orthopedic surgeons. Therefore, they have more years of study that is focused specifically on feet.

Podiatrists are able to perform surgery and can also prescribe medicine and physical therapy sessions. There are many podiatrists who are also specialists in dermatology, as they often deal with skin conditions around the foot and ankle.

Arthritis, kidney disease and diabetes are just a few of the diseases with symptoms that manifest in the areas around the foot and ankle.

Orthopedists

Next, let’s take a more in-depth look at what orthopedists do.

What is an orthopedic surgeon?
An orthopedic surgeon is a medical doctor (MD or DO) who treats the entire musculoskeletal system, not just the lower extremity. Orthopedics is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of injuries and diseases in your musculoskeletal system.

Some foot and ankle problems originate from your knee, hip, or lower back. Foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons are able to effectively treat complex lower extremity conditions in conjunction with the rest of your body. Currently, they must complete the following formal education:

  • Four years of undergraduate school
  • Four years at an accredited medical school
  • Five years of generalized orthopedic surgical residency training

Orthopedic surgeons have a better general medical background, but less time specifically learning about feet. Orthopedists can prescribe medicine and physical therapy as well as perform surgery.

Those who specialize in the foot and ankle are usually able to link conditions in these areas to issues elsewhere in the musculoskeletal system.

What’s the first step to take if you need foot or ankle care?
If your condition is related to the foot and/or ankle it is best to see a podiatrist first.
It’s always best to start where the pain/injury/condition is and then go from there.

When deciding which podiatrist is best for you, make sure that you take the time to review their educational background, their experience, and any patient testimonials you can find online. After all, an informed choice is always the best choice!

Remember, both podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons are qualified to treat foot and ankle conditions, surgically and non-surgically. In general, the best bet is to choose the doctor you feel the most comfortable with, or who has the most experience treating your particular condition.

Source reference:
http://www.beltsvillefootcare.com/do-i-need-a-podiatrist-or-an-orthopedist/

Skyler: The Perfect Commuter Boot!

The Skyler lace up ankle boot, made with quality leathers, a soft fabric lining & plush memory foam, is the most functional heeled ankle boot you will wear this season. Featuring the Aetrex “Healthy 3″, this stylish ankle boot utilizes functional laces, a side zip & a heel tab for easy on/off wear. The round toe combined with the 2” chunky heel and rubber lug sole make for a stylish combination of fashion, function and comfort.

These boots are perfect for the busy commuter who doesn’t want to have to sacrifice comfort for style. You can pair these versatile boots with any outfit to keep your feet warm and comfy on the go.

Sklyer boots are available in a variety of colors including: Iron, Black fabric, Black leather, Barley, Pacific Blue and Merlot. You can learn more about these boots and where to buy them HERE.

 

Tips For Winter Hiking Foot Health

When hiking in the winter, it is essential to ensure your feet are properly cared for. It’s important to find the proper balance and be sure you are warm enough but not too hot.

To keep your upper body temperature properly regulated, be sure to dress in layers. If you are exerting yourself you don’t want to be dressed in clothing that is too warm which may cause excessive sweating and discomfort. You will want to start with a base layer that wicks moisture and is breathable, followed by a mid-layer that is insulating like a fleece jacket, completed with an outer layer that is water and wind proof to protect you from the elements. Be sure to incorporate a warm, weatherproof hat and waterproof gloves into your gear.

Now let’s talk FEET! Obviously, good warm socks that properly wick moisture away from your feet are essential. You don’t want your feet to get wet with moisture from sweat, and then get cold. This will not only cause discomfort, but could also lead to blisters and fungal growth. Wool socks are often a popular choice for hiking as well. Warm, waterproof hiking boots are essential to keep your feet comfortable and dry in the cold weather elements.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Signs of Disease Your Feet May Be Telling You

Often, we don’t give our feet enough credit! They can be a great indicator of potential health issues. Keep a close eye on your feet and be sure to consult with a medical professional if you observe any of the following changes:

Bald toes: If you notice that you suddenly lose all the hair on your toes, this could be an indication of poor circulation caused by arterial disease. It’s possible you could be suffering from a buildup of plaque in the leg arteries, which happens to approximately 8 million Americans, according to Dr. Suzanne Fuchs of North Shore University Hospital in New York.

Foot ulcers: If you notice you are developing foot ulcers that have difficulty healing, this could be a sign of diabetes. Uncontrolled glucose levels can damage nerves and cause poor circulation, making it difficult for blood to reach the feet. As a result, skin has a hard time healing properly. Foot ulcers are often a first indicator of diabetes, so be sure to get your blood sugar checked if you are experiencing foot ulcers.

Red streaks under toenails: You could have broken blood vessels known as splinter hemorrhages which happen when small blood clots damage the tiny capillaries under the nails. They can be a sign of endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart’s inner lining. This infection can result in heart failure if left untreated, so please seek medical treatment if you notice red streaks or lines under your toenails.

Dry or cracked skin: Dry, cracked or flaky skin can be a sign of a thyroid condition. If moisturizer doesn’t work to heal your dry skin, it could be a result of the thyroid not producing proper thyroid hormones, which control metabolic rate, blood pressure, tissue growth, and skeletal and nervous system development.

If you are experiencing any of these foot health issues, be sure to seek medical attention to ensure your symptoms are not indicative of a more serious disease.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Why Are Our Feet Are So Ticklish?

Lightly trailing a feather or a finger over the instep of someone’s foot usually causes several predictable reactions: The person laughs, giggles or becomes irritated, instinctively draws his foot out of reach and does his utmost to avoid being tickled a second time. Dr. Michael Nirenberg of the America’s Podiatrist website says having ticklish feet is a good thing for a variety of reasons.

Evolutionary Response
Though our feet are extremely strong, they’re also very sensitive due to almost 8,000 nerve endings located in each foot. Scientists believe that these nerve endings — called Meissner’s corpuscles — exist as a sort of evolutionary defense mechanism to help protect us from injuries, harmful impacts and potentially dangerous insects or reptiles on the ground. And because the nerves are a mixture of both touch receptors and pain receptors that carry information along neural pathways to the brain, feet tickling creates very different sensations in each person.

Indicator of Health
Ticklish feet are usually a good indication of health. Non-ticklish feet can indicate problems with nerve receptors caused by illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, arthritis, certain vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems. Losing ticklish sensation on the feet can also indicate neuropathy, a disease in which the nerves deteriorate.

Knismesis vs. Gargalesis
There actually two different types of tickling, discovered in 1897 by psychologists G. Stanley Hall and Arthur Allin. Light tickling, such as the brush of a feather across the soles of your feet, is called knismesis. This type of tickle oftentimes produces irritation that makes a person squirm or instinctively pull away rather than laugh with pleasure. Meanwhile, harder tickling is called gargalesis. This type of tickle comes from using your fingers on the sole of the foot, for example, and usually elicits laughter from your “victim” if done in a playful manner.

Darwin’s and Other Theories
Scientists and psychologists at one time thought ticklishness was a reflex, but now view it as social-bonding behavior that can be learned at an early age between a parent and child. Nirenberg of the America’s Podiatrist website states that “tickling helps establish trust between a child and mother.” The mother-child tickling scenario was part of Darwin’s theory about tickling. He posited that a child expecting to be tickled laughed, but a child who wasn’t expecting to be tickled initially showed displeasure. Tickling a complete stranger’s foot on a subway train would most likely not draw the same reaction as tickling the feet of a child, lover, friend or sibling.

 

Tickling Techniques

  • Use a light touch. Whether you use your hands, a feather, or a brush, the best way to tickle a person is to use a light touch that causes a tingling sensation that makes people laugh. If you put in too much force, you’ll just cause pain and annoyance.
  • Tickle the ends and the pads of the toes. This is a sensitive spot for many people, so you can try to delicately tickle this part of the feet first.
  • Tickle between the toes. Try tickling the pad of the feet with one hand and tickling between the toes with another. Or try using one hand to hold the toes apart and tickling in between them with your other hand.
  • Tickle the arch of the foot. This is another very sensitive area of the feet and is perfect for being tickled, whether you’re using your fingers, a feather, or a brush. Remember to use a light touch to heighten the tickling sensation and to avoid causing any pain to your victim.
  • Tickle the tops of the toes. This may be an unexpected place to tickle your victim — and all the better! This part of the feet is very sensitive to tickling as well.

References:

https://www.livestrong.com/article/198315-why-feet-are-ticklish/

http://www.footfiles.com/wellness/relaxation/article/why-do-we-have-ticklish-feet

The Basics on Shin Splints and How to Avoid Them

Although the name has “shin” in it, it’s directly related to your foot and how it hits the ground or surface in sports, running or your daily activities. Knowing how and why this can occur can help you dodge discomfort.

What are shin splints?
Shin splints are a condition that causes pain and sometimes swelling in the front part of the lower leg (shin) . The pain is most likely from repeated stress on the shinbone (tibia) and the tissue that connects the muscle to the tibia. They are common in people who run or jog. Activities where you run or jump on hard surfaces, such as basketball or tennis, can also lead to this painful condition.

What causes shin splints?
Most people get shin splints from repeated pounding on hard surfaces during activities. You can also get them when you:

  • Change to new running or workout shoes or wear shoes that don’t have enough support—also when you wear your shoes too long and they wear out.
  • Run or walk on a different surface than you are used to. For example, you might get shin splints when you switch from running on a trail to concrete or asphalt.
  • Work out harder than usual or train too hard or too fast instead of working up to a training level gradually.

Some people have flat arches in their feet, which can make the feet roll inward when running. This may also lead to shin splints.

Most cases of shin splints can be treated with rest, ice and other self-care measures. Wearing proper footwear and modifying your exercise routine can help prevent shin splints from recurring.

Symptoms
If you have shin splints, you might notice tenderness, soreness or pain along the inner side of your shinbone and mild swelling in your lower leg. At first, the pain might stop when you stop exercising. Eventually, however, the pain can be continuous and might progress to a stress reaction or stress fracture.

Therefore it is important that people who are overweight, combine their exercise with a diet or try to lose weight before starting therapy or a training program. When to see a doctor
Consult your doctor if rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers don’t ease your shin pain.

Risk factors
You’re more at risk of shin splints if:

  • You’re a runner, especially beginner
  • You suddenly increase the duration, frequency or intensity of exercise
  • You run on uneven terrain, such as hills, or hard surfaces, such as concrete
  • You’re in military training
  • You have flat feet or high arches

Prevention
To help prevent shin splints:

  • Avoid overdoing. Too much running or other high-impact activity performed for too long at too high an intensity can overload the shins.
  • Choose the right shoes. If you’re a runner, replace your footgear regularly. For daily wear shoes, look for quality support and cushioning in the footbed.
  • Consider arch supports. Arch supports can help prevent the pain of shin splints, especially if you have flat arches.
  • Consider shock-absorbing insoles. They might reduce shin splint symptoms and prevent recurrence.
  • Lessen the impact. Cross-train with a sport that places less impact on your shins, such as swimming, walking or biking.
  • Add strength training to your workout. Exercises to strengthen and stabilize your legs, ankles, hips and core can help prepare your legs to deal with high-impact activities.

Note: People who are overweight are more susceptible to getting this syndrome. Therefore it is important that people who are overweight, combine their exercise with a diet or try to lose weight before starting therapy or a training program. Cold weather contributes to this symptom as well, therefore it’s important (even more than usual) to warm up properly.

References:

https://www.physio-pedia.com/Shin-splints,

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/shin-splints-illustration