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For today’s baby boomers, it’s more important than ever to stay healthy and active as they age. While growing older causes some unavoidable body changes, more boomers are focusing on healthy lifestyles that can help them prevent problems associated with aging such as mobility issues related to the feet and legs. Impairment of the lower extremities is a leading cause of activity limitation in older people, according to the US National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

“Foot problems are a health concern that can lead to further complications like knee, hip, and lower-back pain, all of which undermine mobility,” says Dr. Cherrie Cindric, DPM, a podiatrist at Westmoreland Foot and Ankle, member of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “The human foot has been called the mirror of health. Systemic problems often related to age, such as diabetes, arthritis, and circulatory disease often can first be detected in the feet.”
Fortunately, boomers can do a lot to maintain and even improve their foot health. APMA offers the following advice to keep your feet pain-free.
 

Keep walking
Walking offers many benefits for both physical and mental health. If your feet hurt, however, you may find yourself less willing to get in the daily walking that’s good for your overall well-being.
To keep your walking regimen comfortable, choose a good-quality, lightweight walking shoe with breathable upper materials like leather or nylon mesh. The heel counter should be firm, and the shoe heel should have less cushioning in order to position the foot’s heel closer to the ground for stability. The front of the shoe should offer adequate support but also be flexible. For a list of footwear that has been awarded APMA’s Seal of Acceptance, visit www.apma.org/seal.
Shop for shoes in the late afternoon, because feet swell throughout the day, and have both feet fitted professionally. Wear the type of socks you intend to wear while walking and be sure the shoe fits snugly, but not tightly, over the sock. Your toes should have plenty of room to move around.

Deal with diabetes
“Diabetes symptoms often appear in the feet first, and the extremities can be hit hard by this chronic disease,” says Dr. Cindric. “In fact, diabetes complications lead to more than 65,000 lower-limb amputations each year.” Including a podiatrist in your diabetes care can reduce the risk of amputation up to 85 percent. Learn to recognize warning signs that often appear in the feet, including changes in skin color, swelling, numbness, pain, open sores that heal slowly, ingrown or fungal toenails, bleeding corns and calluses, and dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heels.
If you have diabetes, inspect your feet daily for cuts, bruises, sores or changes to the toenails. Wear thick, soft socks without seams that could rub or cause blisters. Always have new shoes fitted properly and never go barefoot, not even in your own home.
 
Manage arthritis
Arthritis can affect the structure and function of your feet. Common symptoms in the feet include joint swelling, joint pain or tenderness, redness or heat in joints, limited movement, early-morning stiffness, and skin changes, including rashes and growths.
Podiatrists are often the first to diagnose a patient’s arthritis. Treatment can take many forms, including physical therapy, exercise, and medication. Regular check-ups are vital to managing the condition successfully.

General foot health
In addition to shoes that fit properly, it’s important to choose socks, pantyhose, or stockings that also fit well. If you have corns or calluses, never cut them with a razor, pocket knife, or other sharp instrument. Consult a podiatrist and only use over-the-counter foot products if he or she advises it. Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm water with a mild soap that contains moisturizers, or use a separate moisturizer after your bath or shower. Trim or file toenails straight across and inspect your feet every day. If you notice redness, swelling, cracks in the skin or sores, see your podiatrist.

How can we help you?
The professional staff at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care find caring for your podiatric health exceptionally rewarding. If you are experiencing pain, please don't wait. Contact the office right away for an appointment at one of our two offices. In Irwin, call (724) 863-0996. For the Greensburg location, call (724) 832-1000. 
Few things in life are as darling as a newborn’s little feet, and most new moms take great joy in counting 10 tiny, perfect toes. But foot health can be a source of anxiety for both new and expectant mothers, who may wonder about the best ways to care for their baby’s feet, and how to cope with changes in their own feet.

“Pregnancy creates many changes in the body and can even affect the size of a woman’s feet,” says Dr. Cherrie Cindric, DPM. “And even though newborns aren’t walking yet, it’s understandable that mothers may have some concerns about how to best take care of their baby’s feet.”

The discomforts of pregnancy are common and well-known, ranging from back pain and frequent bathroom trips to feet that are swollen and sore.

“It’s not at all unusual for a woman to gain a shoe size while pregnant,” Dr. Cindric says. “Increased weight puts more pressure on the foot, the arch flattens a bit, and the foot elongates. Just a quarter-inch increase in foot length is enough to prompt a change in shoe size.”

While it’s probably impossible to completely avoid foot challenges during pregnancy, moms-to-be can take steps to minimize them:
• Control weight gain. Added weight is the most likely cause of foot expansion. Do your best to follow your obstetrician’s guidelines for how much weight you should gain throughout the pregnancy.

• Avoid high heels. Sure, you see celebrities accessorizing their baby bumps with stilettos, but a lower heel during pregnancy will relieve pressure on the foot. Also, lower heels will provide you with greater stability during a time when newly gained weight might throw off your balance. It’s easy to find plenty of pretty, stylish lower heels—1 to 2 inches in height—that will look and feel great while you’re pregnant.

• Comfort and support should be key considerations any time you choose footwear, but they are even more important for pregnant women. With extra weight and pressure on your feet for nine months, you need a shoe that provides support and cushioning. Avoid thin-soled shoes (including flip-flops and ballet flats); look for shoes with thicker soles and plenty of cushioning inside the shoes. Whatever shoe you choose, it should bend only at the ball of the foot, and you should never be able to twist the sole or bend it anywhere else.

While it’s common for women’s feet to enlarge during pregnancy—and remain that size even after delivery—generally that size increase occurs only with a first pregnancy. So you shouldn’t worry that your feet will continue to grow with subsequent pregnancies. Instead, many new moms will worry about their new baby’s feet.

The good news is, as long as the baby’s feet are healthy at birth, most newborns won’t require special care for their feet.
Don’t worry if your baby’s feet look discolored or wrinkled or even have flaky, peeling skin when he or she is born. After nine months in protective fluid within the womb, they’re bound to look a bit different from yours. Your pediatrician will look for any obvious abnormalities of your baby’s feet and legs and will let you know what to do if he or she finds any cause for concern.

Use baby nail clippers to keep your child’s toenails trimmed, cutting straight across to prevent ingrown toenails. Be sure to thoroughly dry baby’s feet after a bath, and choose soft, anti-microbial socks that don’t wrinkle or bunch to keep those little feet warm and protected.
When your baby starts to walk, bare feet are best inside the house as he or she learns the finer points of getting around. Outside, put him or her in a lightweight, flexible shoe made of natural materials.

If foot problems run in your family, have your child examined by a podiatrist when he or she begins to walk. Your podiatrist can inspect your child’s feet to ensure they’re growing normally.

How can we help you?
The professional staff at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care find caring for your podiatric health exceptionally rewarding. If you are experiencing pain, please don't wait. Contact the office right away for an appointment at one of our two offices. In Irwin, call (724) 863-0996. For the Greensburg location, call (724) 832-1000. 
No one disputes that exercise provides a host of health benefits, from helping control weight to improving cardiovascular function. But exercising in the wrong footwear can cause more harm than good, especially because foot health is integral to overall well-being.
“To get the most out of your workout or from playing a favorite sport, it’s imperative to choose the right footwear for the type of exercise you’ll engage in,” says Dr. Cindric DPM, a podiatrist at Westmoreland Foot and Ankle Care, LLC and member of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “Improper footwear can lead to irritation and injury.”

Foot or ankle sprains and fractures are the most common types of injuries related to exercise and footwear. The type of exercise or sport you prefer can influence the type of injury you could experience. For example, foot and ankle sprains and fractures are generally more common among football players, while basketball players may suffer more ankle sprains, and runners experience stress fractures to feet or ankles.
 
 

APMA offers some guidance on how to avoid foot injury while exercising:

• Always warm up before exercise. Just as you stretch to warm up leg and arm muscles, your feet need to warm up gradually too.

• If you experience foot pain while exercising or engaging in physical activity, stop immediately. Foot pain is not normal, and you shouldn’t feel any when you exercise. If pain persists even after you stop your workout, see a podiatrist.

• Always wear supportive shoes that are appropriate for the type of physical activity you’re engaging in. “Runners need more arch support and cushioning to absorb impact,” says Dr. Cindric. “Basketball players require extra ankle support to prevent injury from side-to-side movement—which is why basketball shoes come up over the ankles.” Choosing the right footwear can help ensure you minimize the risk of injury and enjoy a more productive and comfortable workout.

• Don’t go it alone when you’re shopping for a workout or sports shoe. Go to a store that specializes in athletic footwear and ask to be fitted professionally before you buy. Shoes should fit comfortably as soon as you try them on; never assume you’ll “break in” an uncomfortable athletic shoe. Shop toward the end of the day, when feet are at their largest due to normal daily swelling.

• Whatever your exercise or sport of choice, your athletic shoes should offer plenty of support in the front and back.
Finally, when athletic shoes begin to show signs of wearing out, it’s time to replace them. Examine the tread, especially around mid-sole. Generally, you should replace athletic shoes every year, and running shoes every 300 to 400 miles.

How can we help you?
The professional staff at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care find caring for your podiatric health exceptionally rewarding. If you are experiencing pain, please don't wait. Contact the office right away for an appointment at one of our two offices. In Irwin, call (724) 863-0996. For the Greensburg location, call (724) 832-1000. 
By Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care, LLC
July 26, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Athlete's Foot  

Itchy, cracking, flaky toes are characteristic of a fungal infection called Tinea pedis, or more commonly, athlete's foot. While young men athlete's footwho routinely engage in gym workouts and strenuous pursuits, such as hockey and basketball, develop this podiatric condition most often, anyone can develop it. At Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care in Irwin and Greensburg, PA, podiatrists Dr. Todd Cindric and Dr. Cherrie Cindric see scores of patients with athlete's foot, and they successfully treat them.

Symptoms of Athlete's Foot

They range from annoying to really painful and include:

  • Itching (many times very intense)
  • Redness
  • Cracking and oozing of the skin between and at the base of the toes
  • Blistering along the soles of the feet

While athlete's foot is very common, nonetheless it's nothing to be ignored as it easily spreads from household member to household member and even to other parts of the body. Plus, people who are immunosuppressed or have diabetes should be extra-vigilant and begin treatment at the first signs of infection, reports Harvard Health.

Treating and Preventing Tinea pedis

Your podiatrist in Irwin and Greensburg can tell from simple visual inspection and a review of your symptoms if you have athlete's foot. Our doctors may advise the application of over-the-counter or prescription anti-fungal creams which can take up to two weeks to clear the infection.

However, simple foot hygiene may take care of the problem as well. The doctor may suggest:

  • Washing and drying your feet daily with soap and water
  • Changing your socks every day or more often if they get sweaty or wet
  • Changing your shoes--that is, alternating pairs
  • Wearing flip-flops in the gym locker room or poolside
  • Dusting your feet with anti-fungal powder
  • Using clean clippers to trim your toenails

Because the athlete's foot fungus loves dark, moist environments, patients who are prone to this podiatric infection should ensure their feet get plenty of time in open sandals or other well-ventilated footwear, particularly in the hot summer months.

Have Happy Feet

At Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care, Drs. Todd and Cherrie Cindric care for all aspects of podiatric health. If you think you have a stubborn athlete's foot infection and want relief that lasts, call for a consultation. For the Irwin location, phone (724) 863-0996, and in Greensburg, call (724) 832-1000.

Flip-flop fiascoes to sunburned toes: Tips for avoiding summer foot woes

Relaxing on the beach, hiking through the mountains, trekking around a new city, or just keeping up with all the kids’ summer activities—however you spend summer vacation, your feet will carry you through it all. During the course of these adventures, your feet may endure stubbed toes, miles of walking, hot sand, and possibly even some sunburn. So be kind to your feet, and take note of these tips for protecting your feet from summer heat.

Foot care on the road
You may be looking forward to a beach vacation or lounging by the pool at a luxury hotel. But even those fun activities can take a toll on your feet if you don’t practice proper safety.
“Even if you're just lying still on your back soaking up the sun’s rays, your feet are still vulnerable,” says Dr. Cindric, DPM, and member of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “You can seriously sunburn your feet. And no matter how upscale your hotel is, athlete’s foot can be present in all public pool areas.”

To help steer clear of foot problems, follow these tips:

• Walk barefoot as little as possible. Going shoeless exposes your feet to sunburn, plantar warts, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and other infections, and increases the risk of injury. Wear shoes or flip-flops around the pool, to the beach, in locker rooms, and even inside your hotel room, as infection-causing bacteria can linger in carpets and on bathroom tiles.

• Just as you rely on sunscreen and drinking plenty of water during the summer, these practices also help your feet. Apply sunscreen on your whole foot, especially the tops and fronts of ankles. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help minimize foot swelling caused by the heat.

• Always pack an extra pair of shoes, especially if you expect your feet will get wet.

• Take along a foot-care kit that includes sterile bandages, antibiotic cream, an emollient-enriched cream, blister pads, and an anti-inflammatory pain-reliever.

• Avoid a flip-flop fiasco. Ditching heavy boots and wearing lighter footwear is one of the great joys of summer. But be aware that not all types of footwear are good for your feet. Flip-flops, in particular, can cause problems.

During warmer months, many podiatrists treat more foot problems, and they can often be traced back to the wearing of flip-flops. You don’t have to give up wearing flip-flops altogether; certain types offer a superior amount of stability and support than others.
So, what's considered a bad flip-flop? Flip-flops with soles that bend and twist freely offer no support or stability. Choose flip-flops that bend only at the ball of the foot and that provide arch support, which cushions the foot and provides stability. High-quality soft leather for the thong part of the flip-flop will help you avoid blisters. Your toes or heels should never hang off the edge of the flip-flop. Throw away flip-flops that are old, worn, cracked, or frayed—no matter how much you loved them last season.

Finally, never wear flip-flops for doing yard work, playing sports, or taking long walks. Do wear good, supportive flip-flips at the pool, beach, or in public places. Your feet will take you to a lot of cool places this summer. Keeping them safe and comfortable can maximize the fun during your next warm-weather adventure.

How can we help you?
The professional staff at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care find caring for your podiatric health exceptionally rewarding. If you are experiencing pain, please don't wait. Contact the office right away for an appointment at one of our two offices. In Irwin, call (724) 863-0996. For the Greensburg location, call (724) 832-1000. 




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