Pedicures Are Not Just for Good Looking Feet

The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which adds up to about 115,000 miles over a lifetime! All this wear and tear on your feet can be harmful if they are not maintained properly.

Pedicures are generally defined as basic foot care or as cosmetic treatments for feet. But in actual fact they do not only have a cosmetic function, and are not modern treatments, as one might suppose. They date back over 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians, who practiced this procedure to pamper feet and toenails (“pamper” being the operative word, since they used solid gold tools!)

Pedicures are a great way to provide basic care for your feet. Contrary to popular belief, pedicures are NOT just for women! They are for anyone who to take care of their feet.

Here are the top six benefits of regularly getting pedicures.

  1. Early Detection of Problems
    Receiving a regular pedicure can help the pedicurist detect early signs of corns, bunions and fungal infections. These conditions are easier to treat when they are identified in its earlier stages.
  2. Decreases Chances of Infections
    Clipping, cutting and cleaning of the toe nails prevents them from growing inward and causing infection. The elimination of dirt and bacteria from your feet will also help prevent nail diseases disorders (fungi) and foot odors. It is also important to keep toenails healthy because they protect toes from trauma.
  3. Preserves Skin’s Moisture
    A pedicure includes soaks in warm water and massages with oils and lotions that help preserve the moisture and integrity of your feet. Moisturized feet are less likely to get blisters, crakes or other foot problems. It is also important to keep your cuticles moisturized to prevent nails from growing out with ridges or split ends which can cause the nails to lift out of the nail beds.
  4. Exfoliates the Feet
    Exfoliation, or removal of dead skin cells, prevents the cells from accumulating and causing bunions or corns, which can be uncomfortable and painful. The removal of the dead skin on your feet, especially on the heel, encourages new cell growth which creates smoother and more attractive feet.
  5. Promotes Circulation
    The most enjoyable part of the salon pedicure is the massage. Massaging helps promotes circulation and helps relieve tension in the calves and feet. Increase in blood circulation can reduce pain and help distribute heat throughout your body.
  6. Relaxes the Body
    Feet get little care compared to other parts of your body such as your hands and face. Healthy feet are vital to our overall health so don’t neglect them! Whether you go to a salon or you do your own pedicure, make sure to get one at least once a month to health your feet stay in good condition.

These procedures also help the posture, since they smooth and relax the feet, and prevent problems with toenails, e.g. ingrown ones, which can cause pain and limping.

The American Podiatric Medical Association website gives a helpful and comprehensive list of Dos and Don’ts for your feet before you consider getting a pedicure, whether doing it yourself or visiting a salon. Just click here to get all the information you need!

Reference: http://nuestepprocedure.com/6-health-benefits-pedicures/

Elliptical Exercise with Plantar Fasciitis

When you suffer from plantar fasciitis, exercise can be complicated. High impact, aerobic activities like jogging, hiking, and even walking on hard surfaces can make your feet and heels hurt.

What’s an active person with plantar fasciitis to do? Low impact aerobic exercises are a great way to stay active while avoiding stress to your plantar fascia. One of the most popular is using an elliptical machine to exercise.

Why Use the Elliptical for Plantar Fasciitis?

Elliptical exercise is an ideal cross-training method to stay in shape while resting your feet to avoid re-injury while you recover from plantar fasciitis.

The elliptical allows your feet to remain in place while your leg muscles do all the work. Workouts can be as intense or as mild as you prefer, depending on how quickly you stride and the elevation of the elliptical machine — all without straining your plantar fascia!

Benefits of Elliptical Exercise for Heel Pain

Many health experts predict that elliptical exercise may surpass the treadmill in popularity among workout equipment. According to recent studies, the machine burns approximately the same amount of calories as a treadmill and offers several unique benefits when it comes to heel pain and plantar fasciitis:

Weight Loss: Rapid or chronic weight gain is strongly linked with plantar fasciitis and heel pain because of the strain additional weight puts on the plantar fascia. Maintaining a healthy weight through aerobic exercise can lessen this strain and impact.

Strengthening Core Muscles and Ligaments: When you strengthen the muscles and ligaments that support your feet and heels — like your thighs, calves, and tendons — you reduce the likelihood of reinjury to your arch!

Low Impact Cross Training: For active individuals, it can be stressful and disappointing to some forms of exercise and training while healing from plantar fasciitis. The elliptical allows you to maintain cardiovascular health without the dangers of high impact activity.

Using the Elliptical for Weight Loss When You Have Plantar Fasciitis

Because of the connection between healing from plantar fasciitis and maintaining a healthy weight, elliptical exercise can also be a great tool for weight loss. If you’re hoping to shed a few pounds using the elliptical, keep in mind that calories burned will depend on your weight and the intensity of your workout. Someone who is 125 pounds will burn an average of 540 calories in one hour of moderate elliptical exercise, while someone who is 185 pounds will burn approximately 800 calories in a hour.

Keep an eye on your heart rate while you exercise, and stay within a healthy zone for your physical condition. Remember, exercising regularly will yield the best results for weight loss, so commit to an exercise routine that includes three or four days per week of 20 to 30 minutes of exercise.

Ideas for Elliptical Exercises

There are a number of ways you can use elliptical exercise to improve heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Remember to listen to your body and consult your doctor with any exercise regimen, to avoid re-injury or pushing yourself too hard.

HIIT Workouts or Interval Training: Try varying the speed and intensity in intervals, sometimes known as HIIT (high intensity interval training). Alternate between giving it your all, and slowing your pace to recover. Research shows this will keep your heart rate higher consistently, and burn more fat.

Isolating Areas of the Body: Experiment with moving the elliptical machine using just your arms, just your legs, or cycling backward. Varying your workout will keep you engaged and will exercise more muscle groups.

Exercise to Music: While some research indicates that watching TV can diminish the quality of your workout, music has been shown to help you stay more engaged and even enjoy your workout more. Experiment with different types of music to find out what makes you feel the best.

Four More Ways to Get Your Feet in Shape

These daily exercises work the small muscles in your feet and ankles to enhance mobility and keep them pain-free, say physical therapists and orthopedic experts. And while you’re at it, remember to find the right running shoes for your feet, too.

  1. Heel and Toe Walks: Spend a minute walking on your heels, then toes.
  2. Toe “Lifts”: Pick up a marble with your toes. Hold 20 counts; repeat twice; switch feet. Too easy? Lift one toe at a time.
  3. Foot Taps: Sit with your feet flat on the floor and tap them 50 times, keeping heels down.
  4. Toe “Spelling”: Elevate one foot; write the alphabet with your toes (ankle will flex); switch feet

Reference: https://heelthatpain.com/plantar-fasciitis/elliptical/

Is Your Foot Pain Caused by Bursitis?

The body has a number of mechanisms that help cushion and lubricate joints and bones. One of these is called the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that separates, cushions and lubricates in order to reduce the friction between two surfaces that move in opposing directions. In the process of protecting these structures from becoming inflamed, the bursa itself can become inflamed—
a condition called “bursitis.”

In the foot, there is only one naturally-occurring bursa. It is located between the Achilles tendon and the heel bone (calcaneus). This bursa protects the Achilles tendon from the pressure of the heel bone pressing against it during walking and running. This is the most common area of bursitis in the feet, also known as retrocalcaneal bursitis.

In addition, bursitis can occur in the toe joints, the side of the foot, and the heel and around the ankle. Since the feet take such a tremendous load as we go about our daily tasks, there are several points in the foot that can develop bursitis due to added pressure and rubbing.

Causes of Bursitis
The feet are subjected to ongoing stress when walking and doing other activities on unfriendly surfaces such as concrete, asphalt, and hard floors. This foot stress is often exacerbated by poorly designed and fitted shoes. The effects of pressure, impact and shear force can damage the feet over time. The body’s response to this damage is to create a bursa that protects weight-bearing and joint areas. Many times, the bursa itself becomes inflamed.

Symptoms
Symptoms of bursitis usually are specific to the affected area, and may include:

  • Pain, especially with walking, running, or when touched.
  • Increased pain intensity when standing on tiptoes.
  • Red, warm skin over the affected area.

Treatments

  • Use cushioned insoles and padding to help relieve places in your shoes where you feel pressure.
  • Use deep cushioning heel cups to help provide additional shock absorption. Wear comfortable shoes that fit your feet.
  • If your bursitis pain is located in the ball of your foot or toes, wear shoes with a large toe box
  • Stop any strenuous activities that put pressure on your feet
  • Apply ice or cold packs to your foot every 15 minutes to help reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen as needed.

Haglund’s deformity
A common condition that can cause bursitis in the heel area is Haglund’s deformity, a bony enlargement on the back of the heel. In this condition, the soft tissue near the Achilles tendon becomes irritated when the bony enlargement rubs against shoes, especially the rigid heel counters of high heel pumps. Haglund’s deformity is often called “pump bump,” and it generally affects women.

If your bursitis persists or gets worse, we recommend that you make an appointment with your doctor. You may need anti-inflammatory medicines such as cortisone or steroids to help shrink the bursa, such as a corticosteroid injection to relieve severe irritation. In especially bad cases, your bursa may need to be surgically removed.

How To Combat Those Ugly Cracked Heels

Cracked heels, also called “heel fissures,” are a fairly common foot condition.  For many people they are merely a nuisance or a cosmetic problem, but if the cracks are deep, they can be painful when you’re on your feet. Cracked heels may also bleed.

Cracked heels generally are caused by dry skin (xerosis) and are more difficult to treat if the skin around the rim of the heel is thickened or callused. In severe cases, the cracks or fissures can become infected. The problem is more severe among women, who report the condition at a rate more than 50 percent higher than men.

Visual symptoms usually are obvious – cracks or fissures in the skin in the heel area that may cause discomfort or pain and bleeding.  Bacteria may enter through the breaks in the skin, resulting in infection. Signs of infection include redness/red streaks, swelling and warmth to the touch. In addition, the area may be painful to the touch, or when more pressure is applied.

Properly designed shoes or boots can help prevent heel cracks. Good solid heel in the rear of the shoe or boot help protect the heel. Avoid open-heeled shoes.

What Causes Dry Cracked Heels?

While one of the main causes of dry, cracking skin is the arid winter air, other factors can impact heels. Common problems that contribute to heel fissures include but are not limited to:

  • Shoes with poor support
  • Age
  • Psoriasis or other skin-related conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Excess weight

Skin loses its ability to stretch with age, so cracks are more common as you get older.

Best Ways to Prevent and Help Repair Cracked Heels

Conservative treatment of dry, cracked heels is easily prevented by wearing adequate supportive shoes and with regular use of moisturizers. Ideally, the goal is to prevent cracks from first forming.

  • Topical creams and heel balms are documented to be the best treatment. Creams that use keratolytic and humectant agents containing urea, salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, saccharide isomerate, and petroleum jelly may all be successful.
  • Pumice stones can remove some of the excess dead skin
  • Bandages or coverings allow moisturizing agents to work more effectively, prevent moisture loss, and act as a barrier against bacteria growth.
  • Insoles (orthotics) can also redistribute pressure abnormalities on the heel.

If healing is slow, your podiatrist or other healthcare practitioner may decide to remove specific callus tissue to help the healing process. Pay close attention to your feet daily and ideally you can avoid this from day one!

Source: https://www.footsmart.com/health-resource-center/foot/dry-cracked-heels

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.