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Posts for: April, 2018

So long, snow boots—warmer weather is here at last! What toll will your seasonal footwear take on your hardworking feet? Nearly eight of every 10 Americans have experienced foot problems caused by wearing uncomfortable or ill-fitting shoes, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).

Many of us increase our activity levels in the spring and summer, which could lead to an increased risk of foot and ankle discomfort or even injury. Plus, many of the shoes we enjoy wearing during warm weather, like flip-flops and sandals, may not always be the best choice in terms of foot health. Once considered only beach wear, flip-flops have gone fashionable, now showing up in offices, classrooms, and social events when warm weather arrives. But some styles may be more harmful to your feet than others and can cause blisters and foot pain. Remember the following tips when shopping for flip-flops:

·Forego vinyl or rubber and look for high-quality, soft leather, which will minimize the potential for blisters and other irritations. APMA certifies some footwear products with its Seal of Acceptance, which tells you a team of APMA podiatrists has evaluated the footwear to ensure it allows the most normal foot function and promotes foot health. View the list of products by visiting www.apma.org/seal.

·Like all shoes, the flip-flop should bend at the ball of the foot. Don’t buy it if the flip-flop bends completely in half.

·Straps should fit comfortably but not be too loose or too snug. Your foot should not hang off the edge of the flip-flop. The thong between the toes should not be irritating.

·If last year’s flip-flops show severe signs of wear, toss them and buy a new pair.

·Don’t wear flip-flops for long walks; even the sturdiest styles don’t offer sufficient arch support and shock absorption for extended wearing. And never wear them when doing yard work or playing sports.

·If you suffer from heel pain or diabetes, avoid flip-flops altogether.

As popular as flip-flops, sandals are versatile options for warm weather footwear, but you don’t have to sacrifice foot health to look good in them. You should choose a sandal as much for its comfort and support as its fashion appeal. Fortunately, following a few simple steps can ensure your feet look and feel good in the summer’s hottest fashion sandals:

·Flats and slides are comfy and convenient, but prolonged wearing and inadequate support and cushioning may lead to arch and heel pain. Use cushioned inserts to improve sandals’ support and choose styles that have soles that don’t twist excessively.

·Gladiator sandals are back in step this season, but some styles may irritate the toes and cause calluses on the heels. Choose natural materials like soft, supple leathers.  Toes and heels should not hang off edges.

·Platforms and high heels may make your legs look great, but they can also put you at risk of foot and ankle injuries. Opt for heels less than two inches high, which offer more stability.

·Rubber soles with good traction are a must for anyone wearing wedges or espadrilles.

·Peep-toe sandals can put a lot of pressure on your feet, causing bunions and hammertoes over time. Wear them for short periods only and use toe inserts to improve comfort.

·Ankle-wrap sandals often lack true ankle support, and friction from the straps may cause blisters. Choose sandals with straps made of soft, breathable material like leather, cotton, or satin. Never wrap the straps too tightly.

If you experience persistent foot pain, please visit us. Feet shouldn’t hurt all the time, and if they do, it may indicate injury, irritation, or illness.

 

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. 


Parents can prevent a common childhood foot problem by following some simple recommendations.

Ingrown toenails are one of the most frequent conditions treated in children. Many kids hide their ingrown toenails from their parents, even though the condition can cause significant pain. An ingrown nail can break the skin and lead to dangerous infections.

Tight shoes, tight socks and incorrect nail trimming is to blame in most cases. In others, the children may inherit the tendency for nails to curve. The following tips may help prevent ingrown toenails:

Teach children how to trim their toenails properly. Trim toenails in a fairly straight line, and don't cut them too short.

Make sure children's shoes fit. Shoe width is more important than length. Make sure that the widest part of the shoe matches the widest part of your child's foot.

If a child develops a painful ingrown toenail, reduce the inflammation by soaking the child's foot in room-temperature water and gently massaging the side of the nail fold.

The only proper way to treat a child's ingrown toenail is with a minor surgical procedure at a doctor's office. Parents should never try to dig the nail out or cut it off. These dangerous "bathroom surgeries" carry a high risk for infection. Antibiotics may also help infected ingrown toenails.

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. 

 


April 11, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
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Well-heeled: Tips for picking high heels that are better for your feet

High heels are the No. 1 culprit of foot pain for women, according to an American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) survey. Nearly half of all women wear heels, and 71 percent of heel-wearers say those shoes hurt their feet, APMA reports. With many types of heels, like very high stilettos, foot pain is hard to avoid. But it is possible for women to find a happy mid-point between great looks and great pain.

APMA offers some basic guidelines for choosing better-for-you heels:

·Nearly half of heel-owners admit to wearing heels three inches or higher. That height, however, shifts body weight forward and puts great pressure on the ball of the foot and the toes. Avoid heels higher than two inches.

·A high stiletto with a pointy, closed toe is the worst type of shoe for your feet. Instead, choose heels with a generous toe box area and extra cushioning at the front of the shoe. A slight heel or wedge encourages your arch to lift.

·Consider wearing supportive shoes during your commute and changing into high heels after you arrive at the office. This simple step will help minimize the time your feet spend in heels.

·Kitten heels are a good-looking, foot-friendly option for heel wearers. With a heel height typically less than one inch, kitten heels deliver a bit of height without the pressure that higher heels can cause.

·Be extra careful when wearing platforms or wedges, as these styles can compromise your balance and stability. Very high shoes may lead to ankle rolls and falls. Choose lower platforms and wedges that secure with ankle straps.

·During warm weather, peep toes tempt women to show off pretty pedicures. Be aware, however, that peep toes can cause toes to slip forward or overlap, and may even push nail edges into skin, causing an ingrown toenail.

·Review a list of podiatrist-approved women’s footwear that has earned APMA’s Seal of Acceptance at www.apma.org/seal.

Finally, even if you own several different pairs, don’t wear them every day. Daily heel-wearing can cause the Achilles tendon (the strong tendon at the back of your ankle) to shrink, increasing your risk of an injury while doing activities in flat shoes, including exercise.

If you experience persistent foot pain, see a podiatrist. Feet shouldn’t hurt all the time, and if they do, it may indicate injury, irritation, or illness.

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.  


Heel Pain in Youth Athletes: A Warning Sign

Surgeon Urges Prompt Treatment for Growth Plate Injuries

Indoors and outdoors, youth athletes stay active year-round in competitive sports, and for many of them heel pain has become “just another part of the game.” But when a child complains of heel pain, it should be diagnosed promptly because it may be a warning sign of a serious foot problem.  

Heel pain occurs frequently in children ages 6 to 14 as their feet grow and the heel bone develops. As children become more active in sports they increase their risk for growth-plate injuries and subsequent heel pain.

New bone forms in an area behind the heel, known as the growth plate, and cartilage is vulnerable to severe inflammation from strain or stress. With repeated stresses and strains from over activity, the heel becomes very painful.

Even though growth-plate trauma is the leading cause of heel pain in young people, the condition can be difficult to diagnose. Parents should be concerned if a child has pain in the back or bottom of the heel, limps, walks on the toes, or seems to have difficulty participating in normal recreational activities. The condition is diagnosed by a thorough examination of the child’s feet and legs and possibly medical imaging tests to rule out other serious causes of heel pain, such as bursitis, tendonitis and fractures.

In most cases, mild or moderate heel pain can be treated successfully with shoe inserts to soften the impact on the heel, anti-inflammatory medications, stretching and physical therapy. In severe cases, the foot and ankle will be immobilized in a cast and, in some instances, surgery may be necessary.

Heel pain in young people often returns after treatment because the growth plate is still forming until the age of 14 or 15. However, the risk for recurrence can be lowered by choosing well-constructed shoes with good support and restricting use of spiked athletic shoes, especially on hard fields. It also is advised that young athletes avoid competition that exceeds their physical abilities.

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.