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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. 
As millions of Americans hit the beach this summer, we want to share some tips to keep your feet healthy and safe.
 

Puncture wounds and cuts: Wear shoes to protect your feet from puncture wounds and cuts caused by sea shells, broken glass and other sharp objects. Don’t go in the water if your skin gets cut – bacteria in oceans and lakes can cause infection. To avoid complications from a puncture wound, see a foot and ankle surgeon for treatment within 24 hours.

Jellyfish stings: Remember that a jellyfish washed up on the beach can still sting if you step on it. If their tentacles stick to the foot or ankle, remove them, but protect your hands from getting stung too. Vinegar, meat tenderizer or baking soda reduce pain and swelling. Most jellyfish stings heal within days, but if they don’t, medical treatment is required.

Sunburns: Feet get sunburn too. Rare but deadly skin cancers can occur on the foot. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet.

Burns: Sand, sidewalks and paved surfaces get hot in the summer sun. Wear shoes to protect your soles from getting burned, especially if you have diabetes.

Ankle injuries, arch and heel pain: Walking, jogging and playing sports on soft, uneven surfaces like sand frequently leads to arch pain, heel pain, ankle sprains and other injuries. Athletic shoes provide the heel cushioning and arch support that flip-flops and sandals lack. If injuries occur, use rest, ice, compression and elevation to ease pain and swelling. Any injury that does not resolve within a few days should be examined by a foot and ankle surgeon.

Diabetes risks: The 20 million Americans with diabetes face serious foot safety risks at the beach. The disease causes poor blood circulation and numbness in the feet. A diabetic may not feel pain from a cut, puncture wound or burn. Any type of skin break on a diabetic foot has the potential to get infected and ulcerate if it isn’t noticed right away. Diabetics should always wear shoes to the beach and remove them regularly to check for foreign objects like sand and shells that can cause sores, ulcers and infections.
 
For treatment of beach-related foot injuries, contact us!
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. 
 
 
Taking a vacation? Make it easy on your feet
Although rest and relaxation are the goals for most vacations, they can involve a lot of walking and a lot of walking may lead to sore feet.
Walking is great exercise and one of the most reliable forms of transportation but if your feet aren’t in the best shape or you don’t have the right shoes, too much walking can cause foot problems.
Good foot care is essential if you plan to subject your feet to long periods of walking. Some simple foot care tips include:
  •  Wear thick, absorbent socks (acrylic instead of cotton).
  •  Dry feet thoroughly after bathing, making sure to dry between toes. Use powder before putting on shoes.
  •  Nails should be cut regularly, straight across the toe.
  •  Bunions, hammertoes or any other serious foot problems should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon.
The right shoe is also important to healthy walking. The ideal walking shoe should be stable from side to side, and well-cushioned, and it should enable you to walk smoothly. Many running shoes will fit the bill.
There are also shoes made especially for walking. Walking shoes tend to be slightly less cushioned, yet not as bulky, and lighter than running shoes. Whether a walking or running shoe, the shoes need to feel stable and comfortable.
Warming up exercises to help alleviate any muscle stiffness or pulled muscles are also advised before walking. Loosening up the heel cords (Achilles and calf) and thigh muscles before a walk is especially effective.
If you’re not accustomed to long walks, start slowly and rest if your feet start hurting…and above all, have fun!
 
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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