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Saturday, 29 September 2018 17:57

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Here is a foot fact... Children's feet reach almost half their adult foot size during their first year. Parents must pay close attention to their child’s feet to ensure proper growth during every stage of development. Suffolk Foot and Ankle has provided expert care, diagnosis and treatment of ankle and foot disorders for children since 1982.

The human foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body with 26 bones, ligaments, muscles, blood vessels and nerves. Young children's feet are soft and pliable. Abnormal pressure can easily cause deformities. The feet carry the entire weight of the body through a lifetime so they need to be well taken care of.

These tips will help parents ensure normal development of their children's feet:

- Avoid covering babies feet too tight, as restricted movement can delay normal development.

- Exercise baby feet by laying uncovered enabling the baby to kick and perform other related motions that prepare the feet for weight-bearing.

- Child athletes need to wear a shoe designed for the exact sport they are participating in. This not only improves your child’s performance on the court or field, but also helps keep him/her free from serious foot and ankle injuries.

- Observe how your child walks. Do the toes turn in or out? In-toeing and out-toeing are when the feet turn inwards ("pigeon-toed") or outwards. Toe-Walking is when a child walks on their toes without putting much weight on their heels. Do you see bowlegs or knock-knees; limp or experience other gait abnormalities? Early detection is the key to correcting problems.

- Have your child's feet measured often. Sneakers and shoes should be supportive and cushiony. As a child's feet are constantly growing, it is important to allow at least one finger's width from the end of the longest toe when buying shoes. Foot problems mainly result from injury, deformity, illness or hereditary factors, improper footwear can aggravate pre-existing conditions. Hand-me-downs are great, but not for footwear. Socks are important too. Socks made of a natural/synthetic blend “wick” away moisture best. Avoid large seams that can cause blisters or irritation.

- Walking barefoot can increase a child’s risk of infection, sprains or fractures. Another potential problem are plantar warts, a condition caused by a virus which invades the sole of the foot through cuts and breaks in the skin.

- Sunscreen should be applied from head to toe.

Children's feet are often more unstable because of muscle problems that make walking difficult or uncomfortable. Kids might not always complain! The flexible bones of growing feet can be twisted and distorted without the child being aware of it. A thorough examination in our office can detect an underlying defect or condition.

Healthy feet are vital for mobility and need to last a lifetime! Overall health is maintained by foot health. Taking care of their feet when they're young will help to maintain good foot health when they are old. Whenever you have questions about your child's foot health, contact Suffolk Foot and Ankle. 

Saturday, 29 September 2018 17:38

Athletic competition dates back to Ancient Greece with the first Olympics. Sports encourage physical fitness and teach children the value of sportsmanship and teamwork. Feet provide mobility and keep you in the game. Sports have positive effects on many parts of the body including the heart, lungs and mind. The feet and ankles are the exceptions.

Common sports injuries include ankle sprains, pulled muscles and ligaments, tendinitis, stress fractures, blackened toenails, bone bruises, calluses, blisters and others. Suffolk Foot and Ankle can recommend some good habits and practices that both serious and recreational athletes can take to avoid or minimize injury.

Do's

- Warm-up exercises and stretching are musts prior to playing your sport. Muscle and tendon injuries can result from insufficient flexibility. Before play, warm-up by jogging a short distance, walking briskly, jumping rope, riding a stationary bike, or running in one place for a few minutes. Your muscles will then be ready to begin stretching. After your sport, "cool down" with stretching. This will make you feel less stiff the next day.

- Put powder or use a foot spray on your feet and in your shoes. By absorbing moisture it reduces friction and lessens the chance of a fungal infection.

- Sock-sense is wearing wool, cotton-wool blends or semi-synthetic athletic socks that wick moisture away from your feet. These let the feet breathe. Avoid 100% cotton socks.

- Blisters can be avoided by using Vaseline and gauze. Wear thick and cushiony socks designed for your sport or two thinner layers of socks. Water blisters should be cleaned with an antiseptic solution and punctured with sterile needle to let water out. Leave the skin on, as the skin acts as a protection. Then cover with gauze and tape. Put Moleskin over the gauze for added comfort. It is best to assess and correct the cause, which may be tight shoes, foot imbalances, etc.

- Wear the correct sport specific shoe. This not only improves your performance on the court or field, but also helps keep you free from serious foot and ankle injuries.

 

Don’ts

- Don't be a hero and suffer through the pain. Evaluate the problem and call our office.

- Don't get right back into your routine by doing "too much too soon." Build up your level or duration of activity gradually to strengthen your foot and ankle.

- Don't self-medicate to mask foot pain. Visit Suffolk Foot and Ankle to treat the cause of the problem.

- Don't attempt a 100% workout if you are just back from a foot or ankle injury. Restoration of flexibility and muscle strength takes time.

In case of injury remember "RICE!" RestIce, Compression and Elevation. Injuries should be treated as soon as possible after they have occurred. Take these precautions to reduce the incidence and severity of injury: develop endurance, strength, flexibility and agility with physical training and have the best protective equipment. A proper assessment and appropriate treatment by a podiatrist can pave the way to pain-free playing. Prevention is the key to comfort!

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 02:08

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According to the National University of Health Sciences (NUHS), an ankle sprain is one of the most common causes of ankle pain — making up 85 percent of all ankle injuries. A sprain occurs when your ligaments (the tissues that connect bones) tear or get overstretched.

Ankle pain can often be accompanied by symptoms such as redness, swelling, stiffness and warm in the affected area. Pain can be described differently depending on the condition; short, stabbing pain and a dull ache are some examples. If such symptoms are persistent and do not improve after time, be sure to schedule an appointment.

Pain experienced in the ankle can be caused by a multitude of conditions. While the most common cause is an ankle sprain, other possible problems can include arthritis, gout, ankle instability, ankle fracture, nerve compression, or tendinitis. In more serious cases, ankle pain can be a sign of improper alignment of the foot or an infection.

If you have any questions or concerns about your ankle pain, or any other foot and ankle issues, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 02:03

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Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Because of these problems, you may not notice a foreign object in your shoe. As a result, you could develop a blister or a sore. This could lead to an infection or a non-healing wound that could put you at risk for an amputation.

Here are some ways to avoid such serious foot problems:

          • Inspect your feet daily. Check for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling or nail problems.
          • Bathe feet in lukewarm, never hot, water. Keep your feet clean by washing them daily.
          • Moisturize your feet but not between your toes. 
          • Cut nails carefully. 
          • Wear clean, dry socks. 
          • Shake out your shoes and feel the inside before wearing. 
          • Never walk barefoot. Not even at home! Always wear shoes or slippers.
          • Take care of your diabetes. 

Make sure to get periodic foot exams. Seeing your foot and ankle surgeon on a regular basis can help prevent the foot complications of diabetes.

Thursday, 02 August 2018 01:34

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As the summer comes to an end, that means it’s time to start shopping for the kids’ back to school supplies. One item many parents tend to look over is footwear. Not every shoe is made the same when it comes to its purpose, structure, and comfort level. Here are two tips to follow when you are looking for the right pair of shoes for your kids for the new school year.

MATERIAL: The first criteria, right off the bat, is the shoe material. The child’s age can definitely play a factor in this. Toddlers need shoes to be lightweight and flexible; more comfortable walkers can have shoes with grip. Preschoolers need shoes that are sturdy, but still flexible. You should easily be able to “fold” the shoe in half or twist the toe. Older kids need shoes that are sturdy and supportive with grip.

SIZING: “They seem to grow so fast, doesn’t it seem like a good idea to buy their shoes a little big? They’ll grow into them right?” There’s nothing wrong with not overspending on shoes, but too big of shoes makes walking and running that much harder. 

If you have any questions or concerns about Morton’s Neuroma, or any other foot and ankle issues, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Thursday, 02 August 2018 01:31

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Believe it or not, exercise is extremely beneficial for your ankles and feet. Exercising your feet on a regular basis not only improves overall foot health, but may also reduce your risk for injury. When you walk, you put your foot through its full range of motion, from the time your heel hits the ground until you lift off with your toes. Here are some benefits of exercise related to your feet and ankles…

HEEL SPURS: Exercise is a powerful tool to help alleviate pain from heel spurs and can help in dealing with some of the symptoms. When exercising to alleviate heel spurs, exercising strengthens muscles around the surrounding tissue around the ankle. Stretching will also keep the tendons around the ankle flexible. It is important to keep in mind that exercising incorrectly and forgetting to protect your feet can lead to further pain.

ARTHRITIS: Exercise is a key aspect of arthritic foot care, as it not only strengthens the muscles and joints but helps prevent further injury and pain as well. Stretching the Achilles tendon, the tendon located in the back of your heel, will give you added mobility and reduce pain due to stress. 

PLANTAR FASCIITIS: Slowly stretching and exercising your feet to re-strengthen the tissue to overcome issues such as over-pronation are all ways to help manage your plantar fasciitis.

If you have any question or concern about how exercise affects your feet and/or ankles, please don’t hesitate to reach out! 

Tuesday, 03 July 2018 01:01

morton

Morton's Neuroma is a condition that affects the nerves of the feet. It usually affects the area between the third and fourth toe. Neuroma refers to a benign growth that can occur in different parts of the body. Morton's Neuroma strictly affects the feet. This condition causes the tissue around the nerves that lead to the toes to become thick, causing pain in the ball of the foot.

This condition can be caused by injury, pressure or irritation. It is common for burning pain in the ball of the foot to be experienced. Numbness and tingling may also occur. With the onset of this condition, a person may feel pain when tight or narrow shoes are worn. As the condition worsens, the pain may persist for days, or even weeks.

There are some factors that can play a role in the development of Morton's Neuroma. These include wearing ill fitting shoes that cause pressure to the toes, such as high-heels. Also, high impact exercise may contribute to the cause of this condition. Another cause includes walking abnormally due to bunions or flat feet, which causes excessive pressure and irritates the tissue.

If you have any questions or concerns about Morton’s Neuroma, or any other foot and ankle issues, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Tuesday, 03 July 2018 00:57

bare feet

From heels to boots to sandals… the footwear options are endless. But, did you know that going barefoot has been shown to have various benefits for our health? Yes! In fact, as we evolved as humans, we didn’t have shoes and so our body became designed to walk on bare feet. 

So what are some benefits of walking barefoot?

  • You get more muscle development walking barefoot as your muscles are used in a more intense way to support yourself. The more developed your leg and foot muscles are, the less likely you are to injure your ankle or trip over.

  • It can possibly help you sleep. A study in PubMed revealed that walking barefoot on the earth influences physiologic processes and induces relaxation. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine also reported that people who had been exposed to this had a better night’s sleep compared with those who did not walk barefoot regularly.

  • It can lessen aches and pains. After a day in shoes, your feet can be hot, sore, and cramped. This not only leaves you with achy feet, but your whole body feeling uncomfortable as well. Simply stepping out of shoes lets our feet stretch and readjust,  possibly leading to less overall aches and pains.

When going barefoot, it is important to do so only in a safe, comfortable area. And if you have any serious back or foot issues, be sure to consult with your doctor first! If you have any question or concern about your feet and/or ankles, please don’t hesitate to reach out! 

Thursday, 21 June 2018 03:27

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With warm summer weather taking over and the cold days now behind us, most of us are taking out our sandals. Flip-flops are light in weight, allow air to hit our feet freely, and are often a quick solution in our hectic lives. But, did you know they may be causing you more harm then good?

While they may feel comfortable, flip-flops can potentially cause serious foot, hip, knee, and back injuries. Lack of support can cause critical problems in the arch and heel of the foot, including plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of tissue on the bottom of the foot. Wearing flip-flops can also cause long-term arch and heel pain.

Flip-flops can also alter the way you walk. Due to the structure of this type of sandal, our toes tend to crunch up tightly to hang on to the sandal. The tension created from this action often leads to hip, knee, and back pain. Foot doctors often caution that if you plan on wearing flip-flops, shop for brands that offer arch support, and don't wear them for long periods of time.

If you have any questions or concerns about proper footwear, sandals or any other types, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Thursday, 21 June 2018 03:20

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Summer is almost here and that means it’s almost beach time! Aside from the beautiful view of the ocean, did you know walking on the beach has many health benefits? Here are a few reasons why walking and running on sand is something you should consider…

    • You know that mild struggle you feel when take a step forward in dry sand and your foot sinks a bit trying to get traction? That's your muscles at work! Scientists say it takes 2.1–2.7 times more energy to walk or run on sand than it does to move at the same pace on hard surfaces. That energy is used to strengthen all the muscles between your feet and back, especially your calves, quadriceps and glutes. 
    • Health advocates say that walking barefoot at the beach grounds us.  At the very least, it reconnects us to nature’s beauty which helps reduce stress as life finds perspective. It is so relaxing that most people walk further distances than they normally would on treadmills, tracks or city streets.  Pedometer steps increase without effort.
    • Instead of pounding your joints and feet on hard pavement, sand acts as a natural cushion as well as a natural exfoliant! Wet sand acts as an exfoliant that helps peel dead skin cells from your body. Try it out by walking or running in loose sand and then wandering into the path of shallow waves from time to time to wash it off. It will work for the rest of your body, too!

For a short stroll down the beach bare feet are fine, but if you are going to walk a longer distances then make sure you walk in shoes. If you have any question or concern about your feet and/or ankles, please don’t hesitate to reach out! 

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