Do You Have Shin Splints?

Shin splints are a common lower extremity complaint, especially among runners and other athletes. They are characterized by pain in the front or inside aspect of the lower leg due to overexertion of the muscles. The pain usually develops gradually without a history of trauma, and might begin as a dull ache along the front or inside of the shin (Tibia) after running or even walking. Small bumps and tender areas may become evident adjacent to the shin bone. The pain can become more intense if not addressed, and shin splints should not be left untreated because of an increased risk of developing stress fractures. Shin splints usually involve small tears in the leg muscles where they are attached to the shin bone. The two types of shin splints are: anterior shin splints, in the front portion of the tibia; and posterior shin splints, occurring on the inside of the leg along the tibia.

Shin splints can be caused when the anterior leg muscles are stressed by running, especially on hard surfaces or extensively on the toes, or by sports that involve jumping. Wearing athletic shoes that are worn out or don’t have enough shock absorption can also cause this condition. Over-pronated (flat feet) are another factor that can lead to increased stress on the lower leg muscles during exercise. People with high arched feet can also experience shin splint discomfort because this foot type is a poor shock absorber.

The best way to prevent shin splints is to stretch and strengthen the leg muscles, wear footwear with good shock absorption, and avoid running on hard surfaces or excessive running or jumping on the ball-of-the-foot. Insoles or orthotics that offer arch support for over-pronation are also important. Treatment for shin splints should include taking a break from the exercise that is causing the problem until pain subsides. Icing the area immediately after running or other exercise can also be effective, along with gentle stretching before and after training. Another option is taking aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. It is important not to try to train through the pain of shin splints. Runners should decrease mileage for about a week and avoid hills or hard surfaces. If a muscle imbalance, poor running form or flat feet are causing the problem, a long-term solution might involve a stretching and strengthening program and orthotics that support the foot and correct over-pronation. In more severe cases, ice massage, electrostimuli, heat treatments and ultra-sound might be used.

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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.

Managing Arch Pain

The term arch pain (often referred to as arch strain) refers to an inflammation and/or burning sensation at the arch of the foot.

Cause

There are many different factors that can cause arch pain. A structural imbalance or an injury to the foot can often be the direct cause. However, most frequently the cause is a common condition called plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue located along the bottom surface of the foot that runs from the heel to the forefoot. Excessive stretching of the plantar fascia, usually due to over-pronation (flat feet), causes plantar fasciitis. The inflammation caused by the plantar fascia being stretched away from the heel often leads to pain in the heel and arch areas. The pain is often extreme in the morning when an individual first gets out of bed or after a prolonged period of rest. If this condition is left untreated and strain on the longitudinal arch continues, a bony protrusion may develop, known as a heel spur. It is important to treat the condition promptly before it worsens.

Treatment & Prevention

This is a common foot condition that can be easily treated. If you suffer from arch pain avoid high-heeled shoes whenever possible. Try to choose footwear with a reasonable heel, soft leather uppers, shock absorbing soles and removable foot insoles. When the arch pain is pronation related (flat feet), an orthotic designed with a medial heel post and proper arch support is recommended for treating the pain. This type of orthotic will control over-pronation, support the arch and provide the necessary relief.

 

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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.

Using Arnica For Natural Pain Relief

It’s a natural part of life to experience pain from time to time. Being a holistic health coach, using natural alternatives whenever possible is a big priority for me. I avoid pain-killers and medications whenever possible. So how do I handle bumps, bruises, soreness, sprains, swelling, and arthritis, muscle and joint pain? ARNICA!

Arnica comes as tinctures, creams, salves, ointments, gels and oils, all for topical use. These products are available at local health food stores, online and even at some pharmacies. I personally love the gel and/or cream topically, as well as pellets internally.

Never apply arnica in any form on broken skin or on an open wound. Arnica can be toxic if it gets inside the body in the wrong form. ONLY take arnica internally if it’s in the form of tiny homeopathic pills the proper amount to be taken internally. I recommend the 30X potency for minor injuries (sprains, strains, bumps, bruises). Follow the dosage instructions on the packaging and avoid handling the pills (use the cap to distribute). The pills can be taken every 2 hours for the first 24 hours after the injury, but not within a half hour of eating.

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.

Do You Have Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis causes inflammation and degeneration of the achilles tendon. The achilles tendon is the large tendon located in the back of the leg that inserts into the heel. The pain caused by achilles tendonitis can develop gradually without a history of trauma. The pain can be a shooting pain, burning pain, or even an extremely piercing pain. Achilles tendonitis should not be left untreated due to the danger that the tendon can become weak and ruptured.

Achilles Tendonitis is aggravated by activities that repeatedly stress the tendon, causing inflammation. In some cases even prolonged periods of standing can cause symptoms. It is a common problem often experienced by athletes, particularly distance runners. Achilles Tendonitis is a difficult injury to treat in athletes due to their high level of activity and reluctance to stop or slow down their training.   Individuals who suffer from achilles tendonitis often complain that their first steps out of bed in the morning are extremely painful. Another common complaint is pain after steps are taken after long periods of sitting. This pain often lessens with activity.

There are several factors that can cause achilles tendonitis. The most common cause is over-pronation. Over-pronation occurs in the walking process, when the arch collapses upon weight bearing, adding stress on the achilles tendon.   Other factors that lead to achilles tendonitis are improper shoe selection, inadequate stretching prior to engaging in athletics, a short achilles tendon, direct trauma (injury) to the tendon, and heel bone deformity.

Athletes, particularly runners, should incorporate a thorough stretching program to properly warm-up the muscles. They should decrease the distance of their walk or run, apply ice after the activity and avoid any uphill climbs. Athletes should use an orthotic device, heel cup, or heel cradle for extra support.   A heel cup or heel cradle elevates the heel to reduce stress and pressure on the achilles tendon. The device should be made with light-weight, shock absorbing materials. An orthotic device like Lynco can be used to control over-pronation, support the longitudinal arch, and reduce stress on the achilles tendon.

Mens-Lynco

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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 You Need More Turmeric In Your Life!

Turmeric is not a popular spice in the US, but it has very powerful health benefits that should not be ignored. It has been used for thousands of years in India as a medicinal herb, and is what gives curry its signature yellow color. Turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and a very strong antioxidant.

It is now believed that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions. Incorporating anti-inflammatories into our diet is critical.

I try to sprinkle turmeric in most of my sautés and soups to give my meals a nutritional, anti-inflammatory boost. However, if you are really looking to get a concentrated dose of curcumin, you can take it in capsule form. This allows you to get all the benefits without having to alter the taste of your food much. Be aware that it is poorly absorbed in the blood stream, but absorption may be improved by eating it with a healthy fat (it is fat soluble).

Some trusted turmeric/curcumin supplement brands include:

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.

Do You Have Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s Neuroma is a common foot problem associated with pain, swelling and/or an inflammation of a nerve, usually at the ball-of-the-foot between the 3rd and 4th toes. Symptoms of this condition include sharp pain, burning, and even a lack of feeling in the affected area. Morton’s Neuroma may also cause numbness, tingling, or cramping in the forefoot.

Morton’s Neuroma is a foot condition caused from an abnormal function of the foot that leads to bones squeezing a nerve usually between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads. Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma often occur during or after you have been placing significant pressure on the forefoot area, while walking, standing, jumping, or sprinting. This condition can also be caused by footwear selection. Footwear with pointed toes and/or high heels can often lead to a neuroma. Constricting shoes can pinch the nerve between the toes, causing discomfort and extreme pain.

The first step in treating Morton’s Neuroma is to select proper footwear. Footwear with a high and wide toe box (toe area) is ideal for treating and relieving the pain. The next step in treatment is to use an orthotic designed with a metatarsal pad. This pad is located behind the ball-of-the-foot to unload pressure, and relieve the pain caused by the neuroma.

mens-slipon

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Mens-Lynco

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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.

Reduce Stress & Improve Sleep Naturally With Your Feet

Today’s world is always go, go go. It’s no wonder many of us have a difficult time shutting down and sleeping at night. Our brains are going at full speed all day long, stress is high and we are often using our electronics late into the evening. There are many natural ways to help your body sleep better including breathing exercises, essential oils, turning off electronics at least 1 hour before bedtime and even some natural supplements you can take. However, one of my favorite ways to reduce stress and improve sleep naturally involves your feet…Earthing!

The theory behind Earthing is that our bodies are designed to come into contact with the Earth (a “grounding” force) on a regular basis. Positive electrons in the form of free radicals can build up in our bodies and direct contact with the ground balances this out as it is a negative grounding charge. Our bodies and cells have electrical energy, and with our constant use of Electromagnetic waves, Wi-Fi and mobile phone waves, many of us have a high amount of positive electrons built up in our bodies. Direct contact with the Earth helps to rebalance the body’s charge and bring it back to its natural state.

When Early Man lived, daily contact with the ground was a regular part of life. They didn’t have shoes or homes to prevent them from coming into contact with the Earth as they went about their day. In modern society, the amount of time our bare feet ever actually come into contact with the ground outside is minimal.

For example, have you ever noticed how much better you sleep when you are at the beach? Walking in the sand and water, contacting the Earth throughout the day and exposure to the natural sunlight can do wonders for rebalancing the body.

What Is Earthing Good For?

According to emerging research, Earthing can be beneficial in:

  • Reducing inflammation by defusing excess positive electrons
  • Reducing chronic pain
  • Improving Sleep (I can vouch strongly for this!)
  • Increasing Energy (I noticed this also)
  • Lowering stress and promoting calmness by reducing stress hormones.
  • Normalizing biological rhythms including circadian rhythm
  • Improving blood pressure and blood flow
  • Relieving muscle tension and headache (I noticed this)
  • Lessens menstrual and female hormone symptoms
  • Speeds healing- used in some places to prevent bed sores
  • Can eliminate jet lag
  • Protecting the body from EMFs
  • Shortens recovery time from injury or athletic activity
  • Reducing or eliminating snoring
  • Helping  support adrenal health

How Do I “Earth?”

If you have time and access to walking barefoot outdoors each day, this is the best and most inexpensive way to try Earthing. Remove your shoes and socks, walk in the dirt, grass, sand or even ocean to allow the Earth’s energy to rebalance you.

If you are unable to go barefoot outside because of your location or lifestyle, you can try an Earthing Mat. You can place the mat on the floor and put your feet on it throughout the day (a great option for those who work a desk job), or even get a half mat and place in it your bed so you can experience the benefits while you’re sleeping. These mats allow the Earth’s natural electrons to flow up through the mat, regardless of where you are located.

Since the weather is getting warmer, now is a great opportunity to practice Earthing and get back in touch with nature. Try Earthing outside or get a mat and let me know what you think!

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.

Using A Hot Water Bottle For Self-Care

Once you use a hot water bottle, you won’t believe how you ever got along without it! The hot water bottle is one of the most useful all-purpose health care products you will ever use. It is designed to apply comfortable, soothing heat therapy easily and conveniently to any part of the body for a variety of ailments.

 Fill it with hot water from the sink. The water bottle will stay warm for up to 2 hours.

Use it to:

  • Relax particular muscles or use for the entire body
  • Deliver nurturing comfort to enable a deep state of relaxation

Try using the hot water bottle on:

  • The feet for warmth
  • The back for strain
  • The lower abdomen for cramps
  • The abdomen for digestion and relaxation of body and mind

Additional Uses:

  • To combat illness: use as a warm, soothing companion to help you through flu, chills, and aches.
  • To ease menstrual cramps: a hot water bottle on the abdomen brings pain relief and soothing comfort.
  • As a bed warmer: a warm hot water bottle placed in your bed makes for a cozy sleep, especially on cold winter nights.
  • To ease arthritic pain: a natural, moist heat therapy for arthritic pain relief, especially great for hands.
  • To calm children: a warm cuddly companion to provide a calm secure feeling when children are ill or upset.
  • As a traveling companion: take it with you on trips to comfort you – no electricity needed.
  • To calm your pet: placed under a blanket, a warm hot water bottle soothes puppies in new surroundings — it provides warmth and security and calms them down.
  • To encourage restful sleep: to help you sleep after a high-stress day, lie down with a hot water bottle on your stomach, close your eyes and breathe deeply, so the bottle rises and falls. Many people carry a lot of tension there and the weighted heat releases it. Try it!

© Integrative Nutrition, Inc. | Reprinted with permission

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.

Foot Stretches To Prevent Injuries

Plantar fasciitis is a runner’s recurring nightmare. It strikes when the thick band of fibers that runs along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. It can start as a minor irritation but can advance and develop into a very stubborn and sidelining injury, especially if it’s not treated promptly or properly. While ice, rest, orthotics, and pain relievers may ease the discomfort, the injury can come back repeatedly unless you address the underlying cause—weakness and tightness in the muscles and tendons that make up and support the foot.

There are a few quick and easy stretches you can do at home to help prevent and treat heel pain.

staircase-stretch

Stair Case Stretch: Stand on a step with your feet together. The toes and balls of your feet should be on the step but your heels should overhang the step. Be sure you are supporting yourself with one hand on a railing or wall. Slowly lift up and down on your toes ten times. Repeat three sets of ten lifts. This exercise helps to strengthen your feet and heels, preventing and healing Plantar Fasciitis.

wall-stretch

The Wall Stretch: Stand facing a wall with both feet together. Place your hands at shoulder height and width on the wall in front of you. Take a step forward with your right foot so that it is now only a few inches from the wall. Shift your weight onto your right leg and bend at the knee. Keeping both heels on the ground, lean your upper body slowly toward the wall until you feel a good stretch happening along the calf muscles of your left leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Return to your original position with both feet together. Repeat the stretch, this time putting your left leg forward. Do this exercise three times on each foot.

toe-wall-stretch

Toe To Wall Stretch: To begin this stretch, the heel should be on the ground and the toes on the wall. Place the opposite foot behind you. Keep the legs straight and move the entire body forward. Do not move your upper body forward and stick your backside out. You should feel a very strong stretch in the back of the calf and some stretch in the arch. To increase the stretch, move your heel closer to the wall and increase the angle of your foot. To decrease the stretch, move your heel back and lower your toes. Hold for 60 seconds and repeat 3 times.

To properly treat heel pain, you must absorb shock, provide cushioning and elevate the heel to transfer pressure. This can be accomplished with a heel cup, visco heel cradle, or an orthotic designed with materials that will absorb shock and shear forces. When the condition is pronation related (usually plantar fasciitis), an orthotic with medial posting and good arch support will control the pronation and prevent the inflammation of the plantar fascia. Footwear selection is also an important criteria when treating heel pain. Shoes with a firm heel counter, good arch support, and appropriate heel height are the ideal choice.

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Mens-Lynco

Buy Lynco Men’s orthotics: Here

Womens-Lynco

Buy Lynco Women’s orthotics: 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.

Sore Feet Can Indicate Something More Serious

Most of us experience sore feet from time to time. Most of the time, it is simply from walking, standing or overuse of our feet for an extended time. However, it’s important to know that recurring sore feet can be a sign of something more serious. Here are a few of the health conditions associated with sore feet. Should you suspect you may be experiencing any of these conditions, please consult your medical professional as soon as possible.

Gout

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases notes that gout pain is caused by uric acid crystals that are deposited in joints and other areas, specifically your big toe. Typically, the pain and discomfort subsides after about 10 days on its own.

Some of the common triggers for a gout attack include: joint injury, infection, chemotherapy, crash diets/fasting, excess alcohol consumption, eating large portions of foods high in purine such as red meat or shellfish, dehydration and sweet sodas.

Nerve Damage

The Mayo Clinic lists peripheral neuropathy as one of the possible causes of painful/sore feet. This condition can cause weakness and numbness in your feet and burning or stabbing pain, and can be caused by traumatic injuries, infections or exposure to toxins.

Individuals with Diabetes can also experience numbness or tingling in the feet. If you suspect you may have Diabetes, it is extremely important to immediately contact your medical professional for testing.

Soft Tissue Tumors

According to Podiatry Today, “Soft tissue tumors may often be overlooked or mistaken as “simple lesions.” For example, ganglion cysts occur so frequently in the foot and ankle that it has often led to the careless assumption that every asymptomatic, soft, movable mass represents a benign lesion…Although rare, some “simple lesions” may actually represent a malignant process that goes undiagnosed until skeletal metastasis occurs or amputation is required.”

If you examine your feet and find any unusual bumps or lumps, it may be in your best interest to get a thorough examination to rule out cancer.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

About 8 million Americans have peripheral arterial disease (PAD), according to the American Heart Association. In PAD, a fatty substance called plaque that builds up in the arteries in your legs, reducing the flow of blood to your lower legs and feet.

PAD can cause the muscles in your calves and other parts of your legs to cramp when moving. This condition can also lead to foot pain and poorly healed foot wounds. This disease is also associated with hidden damage to the heart and brain — which places those with PAD at much higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) develops when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your joints, causing them to become painful and swollen. The symptoms of RA can include extreme foot pain. When caused by RA, the pain usually begins in your toes and later spreads to the rest of your feet and ankles. Over time, the joint damage caused by RA can eventually change the shape of your toes and feet. Foot pain can be one of the first symptoms of RA. If you suspect you may have RA, a medical professional may recommend medications, exercise and, in some cases, surgery.

So, if you find your feet are constantly nagging you, consider getting an evaluation by a professional to rule out something more serious. Your feet will thank you!

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.