What May Be Causing Your Ball-of-Foot Pain?

Metatarsalgia is a general term used to denote a painful foot condition in the metatarsal region of the foot (the area just before the toes, more commonly referred to as the ball-of-the-foot). This is a common foot disorder that can affect the bones and joints at the ball-of-the-foot. Metatarsalgia (ball-of-foot-pain) is often located under the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal heads, or more isolated at the first metatarsal head (near the big toe).

Cause

With this common foot condition, one or more of the metatarsal heads become painful and/or inflamed, usually due to excessive pressure over a long period of time. It is common to experience acute, recurrent, or chronic pain with metatarsalgia. Ball-of-foot pain is often caused from improper fitting footwear, most frequently by women’s dress shoes and other restrictive footwear. Footwear with a narrow toe box (toe area) forces the ball-of-foot area to be forced into a minimal amount of space. This can inhibit the walking process and lead to extreme discomfort in the forefoot. Other factors can cause excessive pressure in the ball-of-foot area that can result in metatarsalgia. These include shoes with heels that are too high or participating in high impact activities without proper footwear and/or orthotics. Also as we get older, the fat pad in our foot tends to thin out, making us much more susceptible to pain in the ball-of-the-foot.

Treatment & Prevention

The first step in treating metatarsalgia is to determine the cause of the pain. If improper fitting footwear is the cause of the pain, the footwear must be changed. Footwear designed with a high, wide toe box (toe area) and a rocker sole is ideal for treating metatarsalgia. The high, wide toe box allows the foot to spread out while the rocker sole reduces stress on the ball-of-the-foot. Unloading pressure to the ball-of-the-foot can be accomplished with a variety of footcare products. Orthotics designed to relieve ball-of-foot pain usually feature a metatarsal pad. The orthotic is constructed with the pad placed behind the ball-of-the-foot to relieve pressure and redistribute weight from the painful area to more tolerant areas. Other products often recommended include gel metatarsal cushions and metatarsal bandages. When these products are used with proper footwear, you should experience significant relief.

If problem persists, consult your foot doctor.

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 To Do If Your Toenail Is Falling Off

Onychoptosis, the loss of a nail, is a condition where a portion or the entire toenail or fingernail fall off. It can be associated with either a fungal infection or personal injury/overuse. Typically, as the nail detaches from the nail-bed, it becomes discolored before falling off.

Managing Fungal Infections

There are various fungal infections that can lead to loss of a toenail. Typically, the infection develops at the top edge of the toenail and progresses as it moves down the nail toward the nail bed. As the nail becomes more damaged, it may eventually fall off. It is important to note that the new nail that grows in will also be infected by the fungus unless it is properly treated.

Since toenail fungus can look like other conditions, including psoriasis, you’ll want to have your toenail checked by a doctor. You may need to see a podiatrist  or a dermatologist.

The way you treat toenail fungus depends on which fungus you have and how bad the infection is. Your doctor may try one thing or a combination:

  • A topical cream that goes directly on the nail
  • A topical nail lacquer
  • An antifungal prescription pill
  • Removing the damaged area of the nail or skin
  • Essential Oils

Managing Personal Injury/Overuse

If your toenail has been damaged from personal injury or overuse, be sure to have proper hygiene for your feet to maintain healthy skin. Protect any broken or damaged toenails with a bandage to ensure no further damage is done. Always be sure to keep your feet dry and clean, changing socks at least once a day and drying them thoroughly after showering. Also, be sure to choose footwear that has a high, wide toe box to prevent shoes from irritating your feet during everyday wear or activity.

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.

 

Kylie: Super Fun Flats For Spring!

I’m so excited that spring is finally on the horizon! My feet are so ready to ditch the thick socks and heavy boots and get into some fun, playful flats! I just love the versatility and comfort of the Kylie. The built-in Lynco orthotic and memory foam cushioning give me the support I need so I can wear them all day and feel great on my feet. As a busy woman, I really appreciate how these flats are easy on/off, making them simple to throw on as I head out the door in the morning.

The Kylie features Aetrex’s signature braid and comes in a bunch of really cute colors and materials, including leathers as well as fabrics. It’s the perfect everyday flat to dress up for a work day or dress down for a casual day out with friends. I like to pair them with jeans, capris, skirts or dresses – anything goes! Kylie is available in fun colors like bright rose, leopard, black fabric, grey fabric, blush, black leather or navy. You can find out more about Kylie and purchase them HERE.

Keeping Feet Healthy & Clean During Your Pedicure

It’s almost time to start showing off those toes in sandals again. Better head down to your nail salon and get a nice fresh pedicure! Pedicures can make your feet look and feel fantastic, but it’s important to remember to take certain precautions when getting a pedicure to avoid infections, fungus etc. Below are a few of my favorite tried and true tips for a healthy pedicure. After getting a horrible infection after a pedicure many years ago, I always make sure to be extra careful!

  1. Don’t let them tamper with your cuticles. Allowing them to clip or aggressively push back your cuticles can let bacteria in and invite infection.
  2. Be sure to have the nail technician cut your nails straight across or with a slight curve. Cutting too far down on the corners can cause ingrown toenails which can lead to infection.
  3. Be sure that all pedicure instruments are sanitized in an auto clave. Don’t be embarrassed to ask them to see their sanitizing machines! Be sure to watch closely, as your instruments should come directly out of the sanitizer when they are used on your feet. Otherwise, there is no way to know for sure that they were properly cleaned.
  4. Bringing your own pedicure instruments is another great way to ensure they are cleaned. I always bring my own file, buffer and pumice stone to be sure I don’t pick up bacteria from someone else. The technicians never mind and it seems to be a common practice.
  5. Don’t shave your legs the day of your pedicure! It can open your pores, cause tiny abrasions and make you more susceptible to bacteria. I always shave the day before I go. The one time I didn’t was the time I got an infection…on my leg! The follicle was irritated from shaving and then the bacteria from the nail salon infected it. It was awful and I certainly learned my lesson.
  6. Going along with the theme of tip #5, be sure not to get a pedicure if you have an open wound, scrape, bug bite or injury in the area that will be soaked. It will leave you susceptible to infection.
  7. Be sure they properly disinfect the soaking tubs after each use. I like to visit a new salon ahead of time and watch what happens when they get new clients. Do they take the instruments directly from the sanitizer AND do they properly sanitize the foot tubs after use? Don’t be afraid to ask them what they use to clean the tubs.

Some of the less desirable conditions that one can contract as a result of a pedicure gone bad include:

  1. Fungal infections: If your nail turns yellow and starts to lift from your nail bed, this is often a sign of a fungal infection. These can be treated topically or orally with medication depending on what your health care professional feels will be most effective.
  2. Plantar warts: A viral infection that may not even show up for months after the pedicure. These are transmitted anywhere your feet get wet in a common public area, including pools, showers and nail salons. These are typically treated topically by your health care provider.
  3. Bacterial Infections: If your nail bed or the skin surrounding your toenails appears red and swollen, you may have a bacterial infection. Your health care provider may need to drain the area depending on the severity of the infection, and sometimes antibiotics are prescribed.

In order to avoid these nasty and inconvenient foot infections and fungi, be sure to take the proper precautions mentioned above.

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.

Remedies For Swollen Feet While Pregnant

With my first pregnancy I remember having swollen feet toward the end of the pregnancy. It seemed as if none of my shoes fit properly. I was grateful for my clogs and flip flops which seemed to be the only shoes that could handle my extra wide feet! I wish I had known then what I know now. There are some great natural ways you can manage swollen feet while pregnant.

Elevate Your Feet

To help reduce swelling, be sure to sit with your feet elevated slightly above your heart for at least 20 minutes about 4 times a day. This can help to bring the blood back to your heart and out of your feet/legs.

Skip The Caffeine

Caffeine is a natural diuretic, which means it increases urination, which in turn causes dehydration. When the body is in a state of dehydration, it holds onto fluid, which can cause swelling. Rather than drinking coffee or caffeinated tea, you can opt for herbal caffeine free tea, or a coffee alternative like Teecino or Dandy Blend.

Epsom Salt Foot Soak

Soak your feet in a tub of warm water with a 2:1 water to Epsom salt ratio. So, for every cup of water, you should use ½ cup Epsom salt. I also like to add lavender EO to increase relaxation benefits. Do this nightly for continued benefits.

Dandelion/Nettle Tea

Dandelion and nettle are great for improving overall circulation and maintaining electrolyte balance within the body. Sipping 1-2 cups of dandelion/nettle tea a day can help to reduce overall swelling.

Exercise Regularly

30 minutes of light exercise daily can be a great way to boost your circulation, making it less likely for fluids to settle in your feet/legs. You can consider gentle exercises like prenatal yoga or walking if you have not been regularly exercising before pregnancy.

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.

Lynco Clogs: Gardening Season is Around The Corner!

I don’t know about you guys, but I am getting excited about seeing spring on the horizon! Every spring, I look forward to getting back outside and doing more gardening. While I certainly love being outdoors more, one of the things that drives me nuts about gardening is that my sneakers get destroyed! Aetrex’s clogs are a favorite for me because they are easy on and off, and the water-friendly EVA foam rinses right off after digging around in the dirt.

One of the things that really stands out for me about the Aetrex clogs compared to other brands is that they have excellent arch support in the form of a built in Lynco orthotic. Spending a lot of my time on my feet outdoors gardening and playing with my kids, I notice that my feet, knees and back really start to hurt if I don’t have proper arch support.  I also like that these clogs have excellent traction so I don’t have to worry about slipping.

The Aetrex clogs have a dual-density outsole and superior cushioning to reduce stress in both the heel & ball-of-foot. This means I can spend more time on my feet and not have to worry about my feet getting tired and sore.

I love the versatility of a clog. They’re the perfect shoe to throw on with leggings or jeans to run errands, play with the kids outside or go for a stroll with friends. Aetrex’s clogs come in a bunch of colors, so there are plenty of great options to choose from, including black, charcoal, pink camo, white and navy. You can learn more about the Lynco clogs or purchase them HERE.

 

Manage Headaches Using Your Feet

Thankfully, I have never personally suffered with headaches, but I have clients, friends and family who have. I have done extensive research on how to handle headaches naturally and avoid over the counter pain medication. I have had several people report back to me that the below method was effective in eliminating their headaches…no medication required!

Headache relief foot soak

Fill a basin, sink or tub with hot water (and lavender or peppermint essential oil if you have it). Place your bare feet into the hot water and let them soak for 20 minute. The heat will draw the blood to your feet, easing the pressure on the blood-vessels in your head. If the headache is extreme, it has been said that adding hot mustard powder can make the soak even more effective.

While your feet are soaking place an ice pack on your forehead or your neck to draw the blood away from this area. Be sure to place a paper towel or towel between the ice pack and your skin to ensure there is no damage to the skin from direct contact with the cold.

After 20 minutes of soaking in the hot water, rinse your feet in cold water, then dry them and lay down for 20 more minutes to allow the muscles to continue to relax.

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 Paraffin Wax Helps Your Feet Look & Feel Better

Have you ever tried a paraffin bath for your hands or feet? It’s the most amazing feeling! It’s so soothing, not just for your skin, but also for your joints and muscles. I wanted to share some of the benefits of this lovely treatment in the hopes that you will go out and give it a try!

Benefits of Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax aids to increase blood flow and relax muscles.  Aside from easing symptoms of arthritis, it can also be used to bring relief from the pain caused by fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.  When hands and/or feet are dipped in the heated wax, the natural properties of the wax will help to soften the skin while reducing inflammation and pain due to arthritis, strains and stress of the muscles.

Prior to receiving your treatment, make sure to inform the salon, spa, hospital or clinic about any health conditions you may have so that they can tailor your treatment for your specific needs.

How Paraffin Baths Work

Paraffin baths work by heating up the wax/oil combination in a sterile container until it is melted. The feet or hands are then immersed in the melted wax and allowed to sit in the warm mixture to soothe aches and pains. While being exposed to the heated was, the pores of the skin open up, allowing the skin to detox itself of harmful toxins. Once feet or hands are removed, the wax cools and forms onto the skin. At that point, you can either choose to massage the hardened wax and use it as part of a foot massage, or you can simply peel it off. You will notice skin is infinitely smoother and silkier once the wax is peeled off.

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.

 

 

 

Addison: A Versatile Boot For Both Dressy Or Casual Wear

How cute is this ankle boot? I love the extra touches like the signature Aetrex braid around the sole, as well as the flat cotton laces that add to the sleek look of the boot. One of the problems I have with most flats by other brands is that they usually have very little arch support, leaving my feet and knees tired and sore at the end of the day. I love that the Addison has a built-in Lynco® orthotic footbed for arch support along with memory foam cushioning so I never have to sacrifice style for comfort. This is my go-to boot for every day wear.

This is the perfect boot to throw on for a day out in the city with friends or even for a dressier ladies night out. I love how the Addison chukka can be dressed up or down, pairing it with jeans, a skirt, or basically anything I can think of! There are so many super cute color choices available, so I love the versatility (brown suede, olive suede, black suede, blue suede and black fabric print). You can learn more about the Addison and buy them HERE.

Wearing Heels Without Pain!

As most of us women know, sometimes flats just won’t cut it. When you want to look and feel sexy, heels are where it’s at. So what’s a girl to do when torn between feeling comfortable and torturing herself in a sexy pair of heels? There are a few tricks you can apply to help keep your feet feeling happy.

  1. Thicker heels are better. You can still be sexy without a stiletto. Of course there will be times when an outfit just requires a thinner heel, but for everyday use, try to go with a bit more support. The thicker the heel of the shoe, the more support it will offer your body and the less wobbling you will do.
  2. Take your shoes off intermittently throughout the day to give your feet a break. If you have some down time under your desk, kick your shoes off and let your feet stretch out and get some air. Keeping your feet crammed into heels all day is usually a recipe for achey feet. Flex your toes up and down and rotate side to side to stretch the calves, arches and achilles tendons.
  3. Thicker platforms under the ball of your foot are better. They give you more cushioning under your feet so you have less pressure on your metatarsals. Look for shoes that have a rubber or PU base because they will offer more cushion than some of the harder materials like wood or plastic.
  4. Shoes with more coverage on the foot offer more support. The strappier the shoe, the more discomfort you will feel. In the cooler months, opt for boots that will hug and support the foot. In warmer months, opt for platforms, wedges and sandals with thicker straps (preferably also with an ankle strap for added support). To find comfortable shoes that look and feel amazing on your feet, shop HERE.
  5. Use an orthotic or foot pad to add cushioning and support to your shoe. Aetrex’s Lynco Women’s Fashion Orthotics help provide much needed comfort and support for your favorite fashion footwear. These innovative orthotics are flexible, ultra light-weight and designed for support and pressure relief. The unique Cobra shape and built-in Lynco support comfortably balances your feet and helps provide proper body alignment. Made from soft, breathable full grain leathers and state-of-the-art thermoplastic urethanes. You can learn more and purchase them HERE.
  6. Be sure you are wearing the right size shoes! You would be surprised to find out how many people wear shoes that are the wrong size. Be sure to get your feet measured by a professional. You can also visit a location that uses iStep foot scanning technology for a total foot evaluation. The Step will identify your arch type, foot size and pressure points. It will then recommend the appropriate orthotics for your particular needs. With the right orthotic style and in combination with the proper footwear, you can prevent unnecessary foot pain and achieve maximum foot comfort to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. In a matter of  seconds you’ll be on your way to a better life. You can find your local iStep location HERE.

By treating your feet right, making sure your shoes fit and ensuring you get breaks throughout the day, it is possible to wear heels pain-free!

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.