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Items filtered by date: December 2014 - Foot Associates of NY

According to Baylor College of Medicine assistant professor Dr. Jason Ahuero, women should be sensible this holiday season about how often they wear high heels. Wearing high heels regularly can lead to many foot problems such as foot pain and ankle sprains. Ahuero states that women should not wear heels for long periods of time and they should alternate heel height if they are unable to just wear flats. High heel wearers should also roughen up the bottoms of their heels to avoid slipping during inclement weather. When buying new high heels, Ahuero suggests that women have their foot measured each time, purchase shoes with thicker heels for stability, and to avoid high heels that are uncomfortable to wear. At the end of a day of wearing high heels, elevating the feet as well as icing them may reduce any pain or swelling.

High heels are very fashionable and a necessity to some, but they can cause a tremendous about of harm to the feet and ankles. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists of the Foot Associates of New York. Our doctors will answer all of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet
High heels are popular shoes among women because they are associated with femininity.  Despite their appeal, they can cause many health problems if worn too frequently.
What parts my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – may shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – they decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  Also, the vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?
If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in New York. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about the Effects of High Heels

Monday, 22 December 2014 23:10

Effect of High-Heels on the Feet

For hundreds of years, women have been wearing various kinds of high-heels for mostly aesthetic reasons. Women who wear high-heels appear to be taller and to have longer and thinner legs, and the wearer’s gait and posture changes. Though high-heels have had an association with femininity and have kept them popular over the years, there are definite health problems caused by wearing them too frequently.

The motion of the ankle joints is limited when heels are worn. The ankle joint is very important to the body when it comes to walking. Because of their location, these joints have a great deal of weight put on them. Thus, it is very important to keep them as healthy as possible. The Achilles tendon is the main tendon in the ankle. Wearing high-heels too often, studies have shown, can cause the calf muscle and Achilles tendon to shorten and stiffen, which can cause problems when shoes without heels are worn.

By putting a great deal of pressure on the ball of the foot, by forcing the toes into a small toe box, high-heels can cause or may worsen many foot problems, such as corns, hammertoe, bunions, Morton’s neuroma and plantar fasciitis.

Not only does wearing very high-heels regularly have negative effects on the feet, the rest of the body can suffer as well. The knees, one of the most important joints in the entire body, can be affected by wearing high-heels.  High-heels causes the knees to stay bent all the time. Also, it can cause them to bend slightly inward as well. Doctors believe that women can suffer from osteoarthritis later in life because of constantly walking like this. By limiting the natural motion of the foot during walking, high-heels also cause an increased in stress on the knees.

Similarly, the back may also be affected by high-heels because it causes the back to go out of alignment. If high-heels are worn constantly, the spine’s ability to absorb shock can cause continued back pain. They can compress the vertebrae of the lower back, and can overuse the back muscles.

However, this is not to say that high-heels can never be worn. If worn occasionally, they will not cause serious problems. They should not be worn every day in order to avoid the long-term physical health problems of the feet, knees, ankles, and back like mentioned above.

At the annually-held Stratford Festival, 1000 pairs of shoes are made each year by its various shoemakers. These specially made shoes are created for the many actors and dancers performing in multiple productions staged by the theater at the festival. Customized specifications are often requested by Stratford performers, as professional dancing tends to be rather athletically demanding on the feet.


Several of the tap dancers performing in the theater’s upcoming production of Crazy for You requested an alteration in shoe size to allow a certain amount of toe room. The experienced shoe staff readily meets these requests, either altering the shoes themselves or having them done off-site. “It makes a difference as to how you perform, especially with tap dancing,” said Kerry Gage, associate choreographer of Crazy for You. “Everybody’s feet are entirely different.”
Wearing the proper shoe size is pertinent for dancers and other people who are always on their feet. If you require assistance in selecting proper-fitting footwear, see one of our podiatrists of Foot Associates of New York. Our doctors can attend to any of your foot and ankle needs. 


Getting the Right Shoe Size
Sometimes it may be difficult finding the right shoe size especially because shoe sizes tend to vary depending on the brand and company you are looking for. A size 6 for one brand may be a size 7 in another. Although many people know their exact shoe size, it can range within 2 sizes depending on where they shop.

So it is important not to always go for a size 7 just because you think you might be a size 7 universally. It is best to try on the shoe and walk around for a bit to see how it fits and how it feels. Comfort is essential and the fitting has to be well otherwise it can lead to blisters, bruises at the back of the ankle and it can also hurt your toes if the shoe is too tight for example.

People walk a lot, so it is important for you to find what is comfortable when it is possible.

For more information about Getting the Right Shoe Size, follow the link below.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in New York. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Getting the Right Shoe Size

Are your shoes the right size? Many people are walking around with ill-fitting shoes. Picking the right shoe size is not rocket science, but there are a few things to remember when selecting your next pair.

Most shoe stores and department stores have rulers for measuring your feet, and these can give you an exact size. Be sure to measure with your shoe on. Measuring your foot will give you a different size than your shoe. If you do measure your foot size, you will need to add 1-2 inches to get the proper sizing.

Wiggle room is the most important factor when selecting shoes. Make sure that your toes are not cramped and that you can wiggle them. A rule of thumb is that there should be one inch between your toes and the tip of your shoe. If your shoes are not properly sized, you can experience foot pain, knee pain, blisters and swelling.

Don’t assume that you will always wear the same size in a shoe. Often manufacturers size shoes differently. The size you wear with one company may not be the same as the size you wear with another. Make sure that the company you buy from has a return policy. No one needs a closet full of shoes which they cannot wear.

It is advisable not to buy your shoes in the morning, but rather late in the day. Your feet actually swell as the day goes on and you need plenty of room to walk comfortably. Buying shoes in the morning that are snug is sure to cause problems once the day is done. Also, make sure that you are buying the right sizes for both feet. It is not uncommon for one foot to be larger than the other, and some people have to buy two separate sizes to accommodate different sized feet.

The biggest concern in buying shoes is comfort. Oftentimes people will buy shoes that are not the most comfortable in the store. People think that the shoes simply need to be “broken in”. If a shoe does not fit in the store, it will not fit at home either. Comfort should be the ultimate goal when purchasing a pair of shoes; your feet will thank you.

Let’s face it; we all walk a lot, some of us more than others. Selecting the best shoes for your particular lifestyle is essential. By properly sizing your shoes and buying the proper comfort level, your feet will be dancing all day long.

Indiana Pacers’ best remaining player, David West, was escorted off the court after a sprained ankle occurred near the basket during a preseason game against the Dallas Mavericks. It appeared as though the forward’s foot rolled during an attempted layup to the point that his foot came out of his shoe, keeping him on the ground until his benched teammates came out to aid him. West was seen being carried to the locker room with the help of two of his team mates. Although it is only the preseason, many of the Pacers’ top players are already out on injury. If West is unable to play again for the season, things will not look so good for the rest of the team. 

Some sprained ankles can be worse than others, in any case it is always best to make sure your ankle is fully healed before engaging in strenuous activity. If your ankle is sprained, consult with one of our podiatrists of Foot Associates New York. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer all of your related questions.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Happen?
This type of injury takes place when the ligaments are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured; however, even the simple act of walking may cause a sprain. If footing is lost or you are walking on uneven terrain, ankle damage may occur.


What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin, depending on severity

Is there a Way to Care for my Ankle at Home?
Self-care for ankle sprains includes propping the ankle up and keeping it elevated, applying ice packs as needed, and remaining off your feet. Some may also find that wrapping the ankle with an ACE bandage and taking over-the-counter pain relievers are helpful. One of the most important things is to avoid further stress to the affected area.


Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits can aid in prevention

 
Treatment of a Sprain
Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast, which will allow you to walk while stabilizing the ankle.  


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in New York. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


Read more about Ankle Sprains

Thursday, 04 December 2014 15:52

Orthotics Can Assist With Painful Conditions

 Brandi Schlossberg believes that making use of orthotics can help address painful conditions such as plantar fasciitis. Foot orthotics work can treat plantar fasciitis since they can reduce the pressure being placed on the heel and spread any shock being absorbed by the foot.  
Additionally, orthotics can improve the foot’s biomechanics of the feet. Having good or improved biomechanics can prevent or reduce the likelihood of plantar fasciitis. However, as with any treatment, Schlossberg advises consulting with a physician first before wearing foot orthotics.

Foot orthotics serve a wide range of usefulness when it comes to foot and ankle conditions. If you are undergoing discomfort in your feet, see one of our podiatrists of the Foot Associates of New York. Our doctors can treat your foot and ankle needs.  

What are Ankle Foot Orthotics?
Orthotics are physical aids used to support weak limbs or direct the proper function of limbs. Often they are used to support the ankle and foot. Such orthotics are known as AFOs. AFOs help strengthen the muscles or train them to function in the proper position. AFOs can also benefit muscles that need to be lengthened or loosened.

Why might you need orthotics?
Orthotics are often prescribed when someone is suffering from diseases that affect the musculature, like polio and multiple sclerosis. However, more common conditions like arthritis and stroke, or those that “toe in”, may also require orthotics.
Modern orthotics have improved dramatically from the metal braces of previous years. Many of today’s orthotics are made of lightweight plastics and other advanced materials to provide new levels of comfort and support. Often the orthosis is designed in a rigid L shape that is contoured to the calf and flesh colored.

For more information about Ankle Foot Orthotics, please follow the link below.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our five offices located in New York. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Ankle Orthotics

Thursday, 04 December 2014 15:51

What Are Ankle/Foot Orthotics?

Orthotics is a medical field concerned with the design, manufacture and use of aids used to support weak limbs or direct the proper function of limbs, in this case the foot and ankle. Ankle-foot orthotics, or AFOs, are braces worn at the ankle that encompass some or all of the foot. Diseases that affect the musculature or weaken the affected area require AFOs to strengthen the muscles or train in the proper direction. Tight muscles that need to be lengthened and loosened also benefit from AFOs.

When we think of diseases that affect the musculature we think of the big boys: muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, polio and multiple sclerosis. We rarely think that arthritis and stroke can affect the musculature or that there are some who "toe in". But whatever trauma affects that musculature, there is a way to correct it. The orthosis helps to control range of motion, provide support by stabilizing walk, correct deformities and manage pain load. A podiatrist would be consulted for those who "toe in", for instance, or an arthritis sufferer whose ankles suffer through walking on the job or perhaps a victim of stroke whose musculature is wasting away and requires strength.

Before the advent of modern orthotic devices, it wasn’t uncommon to see polio victims wearing metal braces from mid thigh to the bottom of the foot, or children who "toed in" wearing metal braces around their ankle and foot. However, both designs and materials have improved dramatically, allowing for new levels of comfort, functionality, and appearance. Many orthotics are now made from plastics in the shape of an L and designed to fit inside a corrective shoe. These can be rigid, buckling at the calf and extending the length of the foot to support the ankle. This same design except with a hinged ankle provides support while walking by normalizing the gait. In the past boots lined with leather and fiberboard provided the rigidity needed for correction and support. Now corrective shoes are available with built up soles to correct the gait or manage pain by sharing it with another area when the foot spreads during walking.

The podiatrist would prescribe this orthosis in the rigid L shape because the foot moves on a hinge. If the hinge isn't functioning as intended due to an injury or malformation, the muscles tighten up, thus making it difficult to flex the foot. When we walk, the foot flexes and muscles stretch. This brace or AFO would support the ankle and musculature during flexion of the foot, in much the same way a knee brace works. Corrective shoes are for people whose feet hit the ground backward, causing tight muscles and arch problems. Wedges and rocker bars on the heels correct the step to heel first and rock onto the ball of the foot, resulting in relaxed musculature and strengthened ankles.

Appearance also counts when we consider a particular support device, especially if the item is intended for regular, daily wear. The L shaped orthotic is contoured to the calf and flesh-colored, fitting into a sneaker or dress shoe. As present, corrective shoes are more attractive than past models, enabling patients wear such devices with greater comfort and confidence.

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an affiliate of:
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Columbia University Medical Center