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.

mens-runner

Buy Men’s Athletic Footwear with high toe-boxes: Here

womens-runner

Buy Women’s Athletic Footwear with high toe-boxes: Here

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.

Soothing Joint Pain Without Medication

Joint pain can really limit our ability to participate in the activities we love, and often take for granted until we aren’t able to do them anymore. Joint pain is typically cause by a form of arthritis, and can limit our mobility. Luckily, there are some great natural remedies that can soothe your pain naturally, making it easier to participate in the things you love.

joint-soak

Epsom Salt Soak

Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, a naturally occurring mineral that has been used to get relief from pain for years because of its high levels of magnesium. To soak, simply add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to a large bowl of warm water, stir it and soak your joints for at least 1 minutes.

shutterstock_193533122

Olive Oil Massage

A main compound in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) called oleocanthal inhibits inflammatory enzymes COX-1 and COX-2, just like Advil or aspirin does. The study showed that 1 ½ tablespoons is equal to 200-mg of ibuprofen. Make sure the oil is extra virgin olive oil or “cold-pressed.” The ripeness of the olives at the time they were pressed determines the levels present. To massage, rub some olive oil (about 1 TBSP) onto your joints 2-3 times a day and gently rub.

essential oils

Essential Oils

Peppermint and eucalyptus have analgesic, or pain-relieving, properties. They are very cooling oils, and can temporarily soothe your discomfort. To use, blend 5-10 drops of both eucalyptus and peppermint oil together, and then mix into 1-2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil (known as the “carrier” oil). You MUST dilute the essential oil or it may irritate your skin. Be sure to keep your blended oil in a dark glass bottle out of direct sunlight to maintain potency.

ginger-turmeric

Turmeric & Ginger

Turmeric is a bright yellow herb that has been used in cooking, dyes and Ayurvedic medicine in India and China for 2,000 years. Turmeric has recently drawn attention from Western health practitioners for the treatment of arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. Please note: turmeric can cause side effects, specifically thinning of the blood, so please consult a practitioner before starting this herbal treatment. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends combining turmeric with ginger for natural relief of inflammation. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce swelling and stiffness. Take both herbs together in capsules at the same time, or make a tea, brewing a one-inch piece of each herb in two cups of boiling water for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the herbs and add honey or stevia to sweeten if desired.

By using some of these readily available natural remedies, you can support your body and help soother your pain without the use of medications. Treat your body well, and it will treat you well in return!

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’s 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).

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 (like running) 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.

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. I’ve posted some links to products below that you may find helpful in eliminating metatarsalgia.

mens-slipon

Buy Men’s Casual Slip-ons with high toe-boxes: Here

cork-slipon

Buy Women’s Slip-ons with high toe-boxes: Here

Mens-Lynco

Buy Lynco Men’s Customizable orthotics with metatarsal pad: Here

Womens-Lynco

Buy Lynco Women’s Customizable orthotics with metatarsal pad: 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.

Celebrity Fitness Trainer Larysa DiDio’s Three Tips for Keeping Your Feet Fit

Although your workout may start in your head, it actually begins with your feet!  Unfortunately, pain and discomfort can wreak havoc on your body and workout schedule.  No need to worry! To help you stay on schedule and feel better, I have identified the 3 most common foot problems and what you can do about them:

  1. Plantar Fasciitis (heel pain), a very common issue that creates a lot of pain, is inflammation of the tissue running from the heel to the ball of the foot typically caused by muscle imbalance and tightness of the muscles on the back of the leg. Target stretching, taping the foot and wearing a supportive, orthotic device, as well as supportive footwear can help alleviate pain and help it heal.
  2. Fallen Arches are also quite common and painful. Structural deformity caused by injury, arthritis or imbalances may cause the arch of the foot to lower.  The best protocol is to wear supportive shoes and orthotics.
  3. Achilles Tendonitis, another painful issue that is characterized by inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the heel bone, is usually caused by overtraining, not warming up or previous injury. Target stretches, heel lifts, orthotics and possibly anti inflammatories can help manage pain and heal the area.

Overall, the best way to keep your feet fit is to keep them from getting injured!  Most people injure themselves when their shoes don’t fit properly or when they walk for long periods of time on poorly made shoes, further supporting the importance wearing proper fitting footwear that is supportive and comfortable.   Aetrex is one of my favorite brands because their shoes are made with orthotic support and memory foam cushions.  Not only are their Berries boots super comfortable and have supportive sides, but you can stay active in these boots all day without arch pain or blisters.  I also love the Aetrex RX Runners because the stability in the rear and forefoot is fantastic without compromising comfort.  The most important practice is to find a shoe that fits you….and to keep searching until you do.  Both your feet and body will thank you!