Posts for category: Type of Feet
Does stretching help older people become better runners? Absolutely! It is incredibly important to stretch before running for many different reasons. Most runners are able to run for longer distances if they have done a good stretch before. You always hear about how you should stretch before a good workout, but do you know why? Proper stretching preceding a workout will decrease lactic acid buildup. Cramps and leg or foot pain are caused by a decrease in oxygen to the muscles, which then causes a lactic acid build up. When lactic acid builds up it causes a cramp. So if you stretch before you run, pain in your muscles legs and feet will be decreased.
Do runners lose flexibility as they age? Not necessarily. The more you exercise the more flexible your muscles are. The more flexible your muscles are the longer you can run. Stretching routinely will provide you the ability to continue running with minimal cramping and discomfort. Normal aging probably won't decrease flexibility. However, if a person decreases their exercise regiment their ability to run will decrease from loss of muscle tone.
Routine stretching before and after running are important for the ability to run. As we age muscle atrophy, or muscle break down, occurs if we stop using certain muscles. Stretching exercises to prevent muscle breakdown is very important.
Flexibility and ability to run is not truly age dependent, but dependent on several factors: muscle tone, muscle use, and proper stretching both before and after exercise. If possible never lead a sedentary life and always develop a plan to stretch and strengthen your muscles.
Orthotics are an important tool for your feet, which correct many problems both structurally and mechanically. They are able to do this because they ultimately realign your feet to a more usual or "neutral" position. On a daily basis many people suffer from foot pain, flat feet, excessive pronation, bowlegs, knock knees, pigeon-toes, duck feet, and high-arched feet. Orthotics can help these issues by restoring balance and eliminating or reducing foot, back, and leg pain. They improve function and efficiency, and can make you feel like a new person while on your feet.
Orthotics are custom-made inserts that fit inside the shoe. They are developed from a mold made of your specific foot and made to fix your exact walking pattern or structural issue. We offer several styles, which can be worn comfortably in most types of shoes.
Foot and ankle pain will affect most Americans at some point in their life. In fact, a recent American Podiatric Medical Association poll discovered that half of all working Americans have missed at least one day of work due to a foot problem. When you consider how much time is spent on your feet, the stress put on them, and the complex nature of them, this should really be no surprise.
The human foot is a marvelously complicated and efficient machine. It is comprised of over 100 working parts, including as many as 28 bones working in conjunction with ligaments, tendons and muscles. These parts work to support and balance our entire body. In the course of normal walking our feet bear up to one and a half times our body weight per foot. This pressure is enormous, and with the average foot traveling 1,000 miles a year there are many foot and ankle injuries.
The feet act as shock absorbers for the entire body. In the course of a one-hour strenuous workout they will cushion nearly one million pounds of pressure. As a result, many people feel the pain of this stress, usually caused by foot imbalance. This pain shouldn't be ignored, as it is not a normal result of foot function.
Orthotics are one of the most common ways to treat the majority of foot problems. They come in many forms and functions depending on your foot problem or injury. The most common foot orthotics are arch supports, cushion insoles, and more specific orthotics such as cushions for the heel or ball of the foot.
Regardless of the type or model, the goal of these orthotic inserts is to help keep the feet in proper balance by offering support and aiding in shock absorption. They also help to improve the biomechanical function of the foot, as well as the other joints of the lower body including the knees, hips and lower back.
The importance of proper foot function cannot be over stressed. When the foot fails, not only is there increased strain, and ultimately pain to the joints in the foot, but also in the ankle, knee and hip. These imbalances can lead to many other painful conditions but spur from the feet.
To help take the stress off of your overworked feet and to help avoid painful knee and hip conditions you should speak to a podiatrist or visit an online store to inquire about orthotics and inserts. There are many podiatrist recommended orthotics in the form of arch supports, insole cushions, gel insoles, gel cushions, arthritic and diabetic insoles. They can tremendously help your walking pattern, foot pain, or structural issues. Don't make your feet suffer any longer. Start protecting them so they can continue to serve you well for many years to come.
It's incredibly important to deal with foot and ankle pain at a young age. Your feet are what carry you for your whole life. It's important to build a strong foundation for your body. If you don't have that strong foundation you may develop knee, hip, back, and shoulder pain, just from problems in your feet.
In a young child's feet the bones are soft and more apt to develop deformities with abnormal pressure. This includes wearing shoes that are too tight, which may halt development. In the first year of life a child's foot develops to almost half the size of an adult's foot. This first year is critical to their development.
While a child is growing it is very important to change shoes and socks sizes every few months. This gives their feet the room to grow and develop that they need. Shoes should also be flexible and comfortable for the child. You should be aware of your child's walking pattern in order to catch any underlying defect or condition. We are able to treat foot and ankle conditions and address any concerns you may have.
Sports injuries are on the rise in children as more and more become actively involved. One of the most common sports injuries are ankle sprains. X-rays are often the best way to detect any fracture or break, which can be treated with a fiberglass cast. There are other treatment options for ankle sprains such as soft casts and pneumatic walking splints that help treat both ankle and foot problems. Soft casts can be used for fractures and are more comfortable than fiberglass casts. It allows more movement, but still provides support. A pneumatic walking splint immobilizes the foot and ankle, but still allows the patient to walk with the splint on. After patients are taken out of a boot or a splint, a light or structurally sturdy ankle brace is usually dispensed to them.
After a full recovery from an ankle sprain the ligaments are still weakened. Custom made and over the counter orthotics can help provide the support needed to the weak ankle. Our over the counter orthotics can be dispensed directly to the patient. These orthotics are low cost if they are not already covered by insurance. Physical therapy is also an important step in the recovery process so that your child can get back onto the field as soon as possible.
Heel and arch pain is a major condition treated in the podiatric world. Heel and arch pain are usually symptoms of an underlying issue. Heel pain is often felt by 8-14 year olds because their feet are still growing and developing. During the growth their heel bone is weak and any stress put on it can often cause this pain. Heel and arch pain can be treated with orthotics. If this pain is not treated during childhood years later on they will experience worse pain. Treatment with orthotics is often a way to keep children with heel and arch pain from seeing an orthopedist for these problems later in life.
Limb length discrepancy is often a problem experienced by young children. This problem is simply when one leg is longer than the other leg. The difference can be anywhere from 1 centimeter to more than 6 centimeters. The greater the difference the more the patient has to compensate in their walking technique, posture, etc. Leaving this untreated can lead to many problems including back, ankle, and hip problems. Orthotics can help to correct any walking and posture changes. A simple adjustment to an orthotic can help to easily treat any length discrepancy.
Another common issue experienced by many children is called knock-knees which is when your knees touch but your ankles are not touching. This becomes apparent from age 2-3 and gets progressively worse until age 4. This can develop when a child is learning to walk and is trying to achieve balance. Sometimes it only occurs in one knee. Leaving knock-knees untreated can result in difficulty running and walking. Knock-knee can be treated with braces.
Often night braces are used to correct the position of the knee.
In toe and out toe are 2 of the most common gait issues. This type of gait, or walking, causes abnormal stresses on the foot and ankle as well as hip, knee, and back. Many deformities in the foot such as flatfoot and a high arch foot can cause a weakening of musculature. There are multiple types of braces can help a patient walk better. Sometimes the muscle of the upper leg and torso are weakened by the foot deformity; certain types of physical therapy and muscular strengthening exercises need to be addressed.
Toe walkers don't land on their heels when walking; because of it certain muscles in the back of the foot, leg and ankle area become very tight and certain stretching exercises will help along with certain types of braces. The shoe a child wears is extremely important to the way they land on their foot and need to be evaluated.
There are many common concerns over the type of walking pattern, pains, etc that children experience during growth. It is important to have these problems evaluated by a podiatrist so that this problem does not turn into a long-term malady. It's important to keep a close watch on these issues because often time there is a quick fix.
People with high arches come into my office with a multitude of foot and ankle problems. A high arch is when the foot is shaped like a "c". This shape of the foot can cause various problems in the foot and the ankle. The mere shape of the foot causes many patients to land on- the heel and foot in an unstable manner. High arch, also called cavus foot, causes rigidity in the foot and the body's natural ability to absorb shock is hampered. Several other problems typically occur due to high arches, such a heel pain, Achilles tendinitis, painful bumps on the back of the heel called bone spurs and arch pain. The way the foot is shaped and high arched feet can be surgically corrected to change the way that it lands. The arch is typically stretched in a weird way and arch tissue gets inflamed and painful. Due to the instability bunions, or knob like structures on the side of the foot, occur and can get larger. Tendons on top of the foot and ankle typically will get strained because of the structure of the foot.
Treatment varies from patient to patient. It is important to have x-rays to see if there is what we call spurring, or bony growths (also called degenerative joint damage), that occurs due to this foot type. Caves or high arched feet can be surgically corrected, but we usually try a conservative treatment, which is usually is the treatment of choice. Typically custom orthotics, which are custom casted to your feet, will provide relief for our patients. Another device we use is an ankle foot orthotic, a bulkier device that completely encapsulates the foot and ankle. Shoe gear that is not structurally sound for a high arched foot could be quite problematic. We recommend that if you have a cavus foot type that you be evaluated by a podiatrist. Lastly, if you have a child that has this type of foot it would be best if the patient is evaluated because early detection is the key to healthier and less problematic scenarios that will occur in the foot.
My foot looks like a pancake but my pain is on my shin!
Many patients that are young come into the office complaining that there shins hurt. After evaluation it is noted that the foot usually is everted or the arch is very flattened throughout the entire foot. This is what we refer to as referred pain. The muscle bellies of the foot attach to the shins and the tendons that they control travel to the foot and attach there. Unfortunately for people with flatfoot deformity the foot is flat and pulls the tendons of the foot for very long periods of time and there is pain in the shin area called shin splints.
Many other long term problems such as knee, back and hip pain can occur if flatfoot deformity goes untreated. Patients that are runners cannot run for long periods of time because of the pain in the shin area and the arch area. In addition patients that are runners overpronate and cause excessive strain on the arch and increase tendonitis like pain in the foot. We have a multitude of bracing devices that are slimlined and fit in the shoe and or sneaker. There are a multitude of new styles of sneakers that can be used to help patients both walk and run comfortably. Besides bracing here are a multitude of stretching exercises and physical therapy that can help to decrease many of the painful scenarios that occur in the foot and ankle.
Please feel free to visit our shoe store in the office as well as get a physical evaluation with our new physical therapist Suzanne Pierri, PT.
Dr. Mitchell Wachtel is a podiatrist in Lowell, Bradford, Methuen and North Andover - all located in North Andover, MA