Caring For Pregnant Feet

Pregnancy triggers many different changes in a woman’s body. Many women have common complaints throughout their pregnancy. One of these complaints, often overlooked, is foot pain. Due to the natural weight gain during pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity is completely altered. This causes a new weight-bearing stance and added pressure to the knees and feet. Two of the most common foot problems experienced by pregnant woman are over- pronation and edema. These problems can lead to pain at the heel, arch, or the ball-of-foot. Many women may also experience leg cramping and varicose veins due to weight gain. Because of this, it is important for all pregnant women to learn more about foot health during their pregnancy to help make this nine month period more comfortable for them.

over-pronation

Over-pronation and edema a very common foot problem experienced during pregnancy. Over-Pronation, also referred to as flat feet, is caused when a person’s arch flattens out upon weight bearing and their feet roll inward when walking. This can create extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia, the fibrous band of tissue that runs from the heel to the forefoot. Over-pronation can make walking very painful and can increase strain on the feet, calves and/or back. The reason many pregnant women suffer from over-pronation is the added pressure on the body as a result of weight gain. Over-pronation is also very prominent in people who have flexible, flat feet or in people who are obese.

edema

Edema, also referred to as swelling in the feet, normally occurs in the latter part of pregnancy. Edema results from the extra blood accumulated during pregnancy. The enlarging uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis and legs causing circulation to slow down and blood to pool in the lower extremities. The total water fluid in the body remains the same as before pregnancy, however it becomes displaced. When feet are swollen, they can become purplish in color. Sometimes extra water is retained during pregnancy, adding to the swelling. If there is swelling in the face or hands, a doctor should be contacted immediately.

orthotics-W

There are effective ways to treat both over-pronation and edema during pregnancy. Over-Pronation can be treated conservatively with “ready-made” orthotics or sandals/flip-slops with added arch support. These orthotics/footwear should be designed with appropriate arch support and medial rearfoot posting to correct the over-pronation. Proper fitting footwear is also very important in treating over-pronation. Choose comfortable footwear that provides extra support and shock absorption. It is important to treat over-pronation for pain relief but also to prevent other foot conditions from developing such as Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Metatarsalgia, Post-Tib Tendonitis and/or Bunions.

elevate-feet

Edema in the feet can be minimized by the following methods: Elevate your feet as often as possible. If you have to sit for long periods of time, place a small stool by your feet to elevate them. Wear proper fitting footwear. Footwear that is too narrow or short will constrict circulation. Have your feet measured several times throughout your pregnancy. They will probably change sizes. Wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation. If you are driving for a long period of time, take regular breaks to stretch your legs to promote circulation. Exercise regularly to promote overall health; walking is the best exercise. Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. This helps the body retain less fluid. Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid foods high in salt that can cause water retention. Swelling is normally similar in both feet. If swelling is not symmetrical in both feet, this may be a sign of a vascular problem and a doctor should be contacted immediately.

 

Since the weather is getting cooler, clogs are the perfect show for women to wear during pregnancy. They are easy to slip on, but also provide the proper support. Aetrex makes a few great clogs that can help keep your feet supported, comfortable and looking cute this fall land winter. Sneakers are also a great choice for comfort and support. Aetrex’s footwear is designed to give your pregnant feet optimum support and comfort. Click on the links below to learn more.

Women’s Clogs

Women’s Sneakers

Women’s Lyncos

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.

What Are Overlapping Toes?

You may have long believed that your overlapping toe condition is merely cosmetic and not in need of correction, but having overlapping toes is actually a serious problem. It may not seem so when it first occurs, but if left untreated, this form of hammertoe can lead to discomfort and severe irritation, mostly due to the friction caused by toes not being in correct alignment with each other and with the interior surface of a shoe.
Also, an overlapping toe can actually occur to any of the toes on the foot.

 What Can Cause Me to Have Overlapping Toes?

Just as the condition is more serious than many people realize, so are the causes more complex. Common wisdom, as we all know, is often wrong. It certainly is so in this case, when common wisdom insists that the cause of overlapping toes is poor footwear because it is too cramped. While it is true that overly tight footwear can exacerbate and worsen the condition of overlapping toes, it is not the only or even the primary cause of this physical condition in most people who suffer it. The root cause of overlapping toes is actually a hammertoe. So then, what is the cause of a hammertoe?

In essence, a hammertoe results from an imbalance between the muscles and tendons of the foot. This imbalance causes the foot to not function as it should, and over time this can lead to the development of a hammertoe, which is turn can develop into overlapping toes. The imbalance that starts this whole process off can actually be induced by months or years of wearing improper footwear, but it can also be part of a person’s genetic inheritance.

Symptoms of Overlapping Toes

Overlapping toes are usually obvious and can be diagnosed by visual inspection. They have the appearance of toes being smashed together to the point where they almost appear to overlap, hence the name. Despite the ease with which overlapping toes can be detected and officially diagnosed, there are some signs and symptoms that usually or almost always accompany the condition. These include all of the following:

  • pain
  • inflammation
  • calluses on the toes
  • an altered gait when walking
  • irritation due to friction
  • corns

Factors that may cause overlapping toes

Your Footwear

Footwear can sometimes be a culprit. Tight shoes can lead to the formation of bunions caused by friction, and these in turn can cause overlapping toes to develop over time. This is particularly true when the bunions form on the big toe, which leads to the second toe not having enough space. As it cramps up, overlapping toes can result.

The worst shoe of all is one that it so tight across the toe box that even when a man or woman is sitting, the toes are being compressed. Less egregious but still quite problematic is the type of shoe that doesn’t flex enough during motions such as walking, running, and jumping. Toes need to flex and move during these activities; if they can’t do so, problems such as overlapping toe and many other foot conditions can develop.

Genetic Conditions

There are various genetic conditions or deformities of the foot that can, over time, cause overlapping toes to develop. These include:

  • Morton’s toe (an unusually long second toe)
  • stiff tendons – these keep the foot from flattening against the ground
  • various other inherited foot conditions

What is problematic about the above conditions is that they cause an imbalance to occur in the way your foot tendons and muscles operate. These two bodily structures are supposed to function in concert to manage the stress and strain that standing, walking, running, jumping, and other motions place on your feet.

If you have an imbalance between the muscles and tendons in your foot or feet, it will lead you to walk off center or with another kind of gait that over time causes your toes to bend and align in non standard ways.

Prevention of Overlapping Toes

Several factors may work together to help prevent the formation of overlapping toes in the first place.

These include:

  • wearing shoes with ample room for the toes
  • avoiding high heels whenever possible
  • using vitamin supplements to maintain healthy bones and joints

These prevention measures will of course be most effective when the overlapping toes are an acquired problem to begin with. When the overlapping toe condition is a result of genetic factors, it may not be possible to prevent them using such methods as those listed above.

 Treatments for Overlapping Toes

The most common treatment of all is for patients with overlapping toes to be instructed to wear appropriate shoes or footwear. The most important criterion men and women need to pay attention to is the size of the “toe box.” This is the portion of the shoe that houses the toes.

Toe boxes should be roomy in all situations, never cramping the toes together or smashing them up against the walls of the shoe. For those who have already developed a condition of overlapping toes, toe boxes must be even more roomy than should previously have been true. This is because the second most common treatment for overlapping toes is the use of various devices that all share a similar function: to keep the toes properly separated. These devices take up space in the toe box – therefore, the shoe must be extra generous in size in order to accommodate them.

Corrective Devices Treatment Option

Conservative treatment options for overlapping toes include both a recommendation to wear improved footwear and the use of corrective devices to keep toes separated. Both of these options are quite common and standard for patients with overlapping toes.

The most common treatment devices to correct the condition of overlapping toes are:

  • gel toe straighteners
  • toe “combs”
  • toe caps

By reducing friction, the devices immediate lessen a patient’s experience of discomfort and pain, and over time the toes will learn to adapt to their new positions in which they do not overlap.

Surgery Treatment Option

This treatment option is not considered conservative. Surgical treatment of overlapping toes is usually reserved for the most serious cases of the problem. In many of these cases, a genetic deformity is at the heart of the problem – such deformities are much less likely to be amenable to conservative treatments such as using gel toe caps.

Overall, just to be safe you should always consult a podiatrist for proper evaluation of your foot problem and head their advice before taking treatments into your own hands.
Source: http://beatplantarfasciitis.com/overlapping-toes/

 

 

 

 

7 Quick Foot Facts

  • A 2½-inch high heel can increase the load on the forefoot by 75% .
  • Humans have nearly 8000 nerves in our feet.
  • The foot accounts for 25% of the bones in the human body.
  • It takes at least 5-6 months to grow an entirely new toenail.
  • 75% of Americans will experience foot problems at one time or another in their lives.
  • About 60% of all foot & ankle injuries aged 17 or older are ankle strains or sprains.
  • It’s rare that two feet are exactly the same; one of them is often larger than the other.

Good Foot Health is Key to Aging Well

Feeling good for all your years takes mindful steps, especially for our feet!

With age our bodies change. Since our feet are the furthest from our line of sight it’s easy to ignore them, that is until pain sets in, and then it’s impossible to forget about your feet.

With foot discomfort comes a wide range of ailments, both physical and emotional.

Foot pain and dysfunction brings an abrupt halt to our current wellbeing. Once your movement becomes restricted your mood will likely plunge causing more stress. Your chance of falling increases as well, which can be very dangerous especially as we get older.

Realizing how important your feet are to your entire life is a pathway to getting in control and being proactive about preventative health and foot care. Today there are a host of things you can do to help avoid potential foot problems as the years progress. Of course, diet and exercise are key to overall health from the start.

Since each person’s feet are unique it is wise to look at the interior and base of your shoes to make sure they are constructed well. The shape of the foot arch needs proper support and the density of the base cushion needs to work in unison with your natural foot movement, specifically known as gait. Each time you take a step your gait puts tremendous force upon the structure of your foot.

Over time the following can occur:

  • Arches get flatter and lose elasticity
  • Reduction in cushion and natural padding in your heels
  • Joints become less flexible

In addition, reduced blood circulation from conditions such as Diabetes is very common. Less blood means less vital nutrients and oxygen; never a good thing!

Best way to avoid problems with your feet is correct fitting shoes and socks, coupled with good support.

There are amazing choices today for technically advanced orthotic based shoes that look and perform fantastic. You will immediately feel the difference when you walk and carry out your daily activities. The result of healthy, comfortable feet is feeling more at ease, more energy and less overall fatigue in your day. Our vitality depends on feet that function well and it can really change your life for the better.

Extensor Tendonitis Explained

One of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain is tendonitis. The muscles of your leg, foot, and ankle are anchored to the bone by the tendons, which are strong, cord-like structures. Tendonitis is inflammation surrounding a tendon. You will have pain with activity and it usually goes away with rest, only to return again.

The most common types of foot and ankle tendonitis are Achilles tendinitis, posterior tibial tendonitis, peroneal tendinosis, flexor tendonitis, and extensor tendonitis.

Self-care measures will usually heal these injuries over the course of a few weeks. Learn more about what causes them, when to see your doctor, and how to prevent foot and ankle tendonitis.

Causes

  • Overuse: The most common cause of tendonitis is overuse, which means a tendon is overly stretched and possibly experiencing a small degree of pulling apart or tearing. This occurs when there is an increase in activity, which can include anything from walking to participating in competitive sports.
  • Abnormal foot structure: Problems such as flat feet or high arches can create muscular imbalances that put stress on one or more tendons.
  • Trauma: A foot or ankle injury can cause tendonitis. This can occur with a sudden, powerful motion like jumping. Another form of trauma is chronic rubbing against a shoe, which most often occurs at the top of the foot or heel.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions that cause general inflammation can lead to tendonitis. Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and spondyloarthropathy can cause Achilles tendonitis or posterior tibial tendonitis.

Symptoms

The characteristic symptoms of tendonitis include pain and, occasionally, swelling during activity or with stretching of the affected tendon. The pain is usually relieved by rest, although the affected tendon may be painful to the touch.

Often, the pain will lessen but then return as you keep walking or doing other activities. You may notice swelling, although this isn’t usually an immediate symptom. Often, your foot and ankle will become stiff when you have tendonitis.

Self-Care

When tendonitis symptoms occur, the first thing to do is R.I.C.E, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  • Decrease activity as much as possible.
  • Apply ice or cold compresses for 20 minutes at a time.
  • Compression can mean applying an ACE wrap or other store-bought ankle support if necessary.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen can also be taken to help decrease pain and swelling.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If pain and swelling worsen, are not relieved with home care, or occur while at rest, it is best to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

If you frequently experience tendonitis symptoms, a podiatric evaluation can help identify foot abnormalities that may be causing them. Shoe recommendations, arch supports or orthotics, and prescription braces are possible treatments options to
manage and prevent tendonitis.

Treatment

The general principle for treating foot and ankle tendonitis is to give the injury rest so the body can heal it. This takes time, usually weeks to months. Your doctor may give you a walking boot to keep your foot and ankle immobilized so you aren’t using it, or you may be directed to have no weight bearing on the affected foot.

You are likely to be prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Also, you may be referred to physical therapy to learn stretching and strengthening exercises that will help reduce the stress on the affected tendon.

Prevention

One of the best ways to prevent tendonitis is to do foot and ankle stretching exercises before activity. Tight muscles put extra strain on your tendons. You also should wear appropriate shoes and avoid worn-out athletic shoes. When you start a new activity or sport, increase your time and intensity gradually.

 

Source: Very Well.com | Not affiliated with Aetrex WorldWide

Why You Should Never Shave Before A Pedicure

Even in the colder weather, I still love getting a pedicure and having my feet look nice! But I also must admit, I don’t regularly keep up with shaving my legs the way I do in the summer when it’s colder out. One thing I am always very careful about is making sure I never shave my legs the same day I go to get a pedicure. I always try to plan ahead and shave them the day before. Why you ask?

When you shave your legs the razor creates tiny tears in your skin, which is a perfect opportunity for bacteria to enter your skin. The micro-tears in your skin combined with the bacteria present in pedicure tubs is a perfect storm for creating a nasty infection like cellulitis. These infections can be very serious, and even lead to hospitalization.

Believe it or not, this actually happened to me when I was younger! I shaved in the morning and got a pedicure in the afternoon, and then developed a bazaar leg infection that took months to heal with the treatment of a dermatologist. Please learn from my mistake and make sure you never shave just before a pedi! Also, if you suspect the nail salon isn’t meeting sanitary guidelines, leave immediately! It’s just not worth the risk.

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.

Healthy Baked Apples – A Perfect Fall Treat!

Apple picking is one of my favorite fall traditions. There is only so much applesauce or pie a girl can make. Baked apples are a perfect fall dessert that won’t cause you to pack on the pounds, and kids love them too.
 
INGREDIENTS
1 organic apple
1 TBSP maple syrup
1 tsp ghee 
1 pinch salt & cinammon
1 tsp raisins (optional)
1 tbsp nuts (I prefer walnuts or almonds)
 
INSTRUCTIONS
Slice off the top off your apple and remove the core, beings sure not to cut all the way through (leave some flesh in the bottom of the apple).
Fill the center of the apple with nuts and raisins. Top with maple syrup, then ghee. Sprinkle salt and cinnamon on top.

Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes.

Detoxing Through Your Feet

There’s nothing more relaxing for tired feet than a great foot soak at the end of the day. By adding some simple ingredients to your foot soak, you can increase the healing properties of your foot soak, and boost the overall health benefits.

Bentonite clay is well known for its ability to pull toxin out when it comes into contact with the body. Epsom salts are said to break down into magnesium and sulfate in the water, then your body absorbs the minerals through the skin, and then “draw out” toxins from the body. Lavender oil is well known for its soothing and calming properties.

My favorite add-ins include:

To set up a foot detox bath, start by getting a large tub or bowl. Mix 1/2 cup of epsom salts in to 6 quarts of hot water and let it dissolve. While waiting, mix 2 TBSP of bentonite clay with 1 TBSP of apple cider vinegar and apply to your feet. Leave it on until it dries (about 10-15 minutes). Add 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil to the water and place your feet in the tub. Soak for about 15 minutes and you can use a pumice stone or natural bristle brush to help remove the clay and/or dead skin.

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.

 

Watch Out for Dry, Itchy Feet

Regardless of age, we all have experienced itchy and flaky skin especially when the weather gets chilly. Besides winter wind, other factors that can cause discomfort in our feet include dry indoor air, low humidity, and harsh soaps.

The skin on our feet is dry in nature compared to other parts of our body such as the face and the hands. This is because it has no oil glands and only solely relies on sweat glands to keep it moisturized. This can be one of the problems faced by people who don’t regularly moisturize their feet. Dry, itchy feet are more common in adults and in those who are diabetic as well. Cold weather especially during fall and winter is another factor that causes dry feet.

Symptoms of Dry Feet

Dryness of the feet may or may not have underlying causes. Usually, it is associated with other symptoms such as:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Rough skin
  • Cracks or fissures
  • Flaky skin
  • Rashes

These symptoms worsen as the winter months approach.

 Complications of Dry Feet

Now, while you may think that having dry feet is harmless, think again.

The symptoms associated with dry feet may not cause alarm initially but they can develop into severe problems.

Apart from being painful, additional complications of dry feet can include:

  • Difficulty in walking
  • Development of skin conditions such as dermatitis or psoriasis
  • Limitations in using your feet
  • Regular itchiness and burning sensation
  • Expensive treatment in cases when over-the-counter medicines no longer work

 Treatment of Dry Feet

Addressing the underlying causes of dry feet is the first step in treating it. However, if your dry feet are solely due to the cold weather, here are some things you can do to keep it soft and smooth:

 Take lukewarm showers and baths only
While taking hot baths and showers can feel divine and relaxing, it actually strips off your skin with its natural oils. Plus, it can also worsen the itchiness of your feet.
Lukewarm water helps retain the moisture of your skin including that of your feet.

Use gentle products for your feet
Scented foot lotions, creams or deodorants can be harsh and can strip off your skin’s essential oils. This is why you should use unscented foot products instead.

Hydrate yourself
Hydrating yourself from the inside is one of the best ways to deal with dry feet effectively. For optimal skin hydration, drink 6-8 glasses of water daily.

Hydrate your house
Dry indoor air also contributes to the drying of your feet. This is why you have to keep your home moist during winter. You can use a humidifier and add indoor plants.

What are Chilblains?

Very cold temperatures cause small blood vessels to tighten, limiting circulation towards the extremities, which are already at a disadvantage for being so far from the body’s core.Chilblains are small, itchy swellings on the skin that occur as a reaction to cold temperatures. They most often affect the body’s extremities, such as the toes, heels, ears and nose. Chilblains can be uncomfortable, but rarely cause any permanent damage. They normally heal within a few weeks if further exposure to the cold is avoided.

Signs and symptoms of chilblains

Chilblains usually develop several hours after exposure to the cold. They typically cause a burning and itching sensation in the affected areas, which can become more intense if you go into a warm room.

In severe cases, the surface of the skin may break and sores or blisters can develop. It’s important not to scratch the skin as it can break easily and become infected.

What causes chilblains?

Chilblains are the result of an abnormal reaction to the cold. Some people develop chilblains due to poor circulation since cold temperatures cause small blood vessels to tighten and limit circulation towards the extremities like your toes.

When the skin is cold, blood vessels near its surface get narrower. If the skin is then exposed to heat, the blood vessels become wider. If this happens too quickly, blood vessels near the surface of the skin can’t always handle the increased blood flow.
This can cause blood to leak into the surrounding tissue, which may cause the swelling and itchiness associated with chilblains.

Treating chilblains

Chilblains often get better on their own after a week or two. It may help to use a soothing lotion, such as calamine or witch hazel, to relieve itching..

If your chilblains are severe and keep returning, speak to your doctor who can prescribe proper medicine.

Preventing chilblains

If you’re susceptible to chilblains, you can reduce your risk of developing them by:

  • limiting your exposure to the cold
  • looking after your feet
  • taking steps to improve your circulation

Complications of chilblains

If you have severe or recurring chilblains, there’s a small risk of further problems developing, such as:

  • infection from blistered or scratched skin
  • ulcers forming on the skin
  • permanent discoloration of the skin
  • scarring of the skin

It’s often possible to avoid these complications by:

  • not scratching or rubbing the affected areas of skin
  • not directly overheating the chilblains (by using hot water, for example)

You can also help reduce your risk of infection by cleaning any breaks in your skin with antiseptic and covering the area with an antiseptic dressing.