Posts for category: Foot Care
By Dr. James DiResta, DPM, MPH
July 27, 2021
When was the last time you bought new shoes? When was the last time you threw out shoes that were old and worn out? We often keep shoes long past the point where we should have retired them. Of course, other factors such as our age also play a role in the health of our feet, including our risk factors for developing certain conditions and also our footcare needs. Our feet have different needs and require different care as we get older. Here’s how to choose the appropriate shoes for all stages of life:
How Your Feet Change Over the Years
As we age, our feet will change shape and size, which can also predispose them to certain problems. This also means that your foot needs will change, particularly concerning footwear. Here’s how your feet will change:
- Loss of fat pads
- Dry, cracked skin
- The development or worsening of certain deformities such as hammertoes or bunions
- Widening or lengthening of the feet
- Loss of bone density (which can increase your risk for fracture)
- Changes in gait due to certain conditions such as neuropathy or arthritis
- Diabetic-related foot problems
- Issues with balance
Everyday Footwear for Aging Feet
You must look for shoes that provide proper cushioning and supportive insoles so that your feet can tackle the day-to-day activities. If you have foot problems or issues with gait, then you’ll want to turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Together, you can decide the proper footwear and whether prescription orthotics can also provide your feet with additional support and cushioning that footwear alone can’t.
You should turn to a specialty shoe store where they can analyze your gait, properly measure your feet, and determine whether the shoes you’re getting may require additional modifications including orthotics. For example, some shoes and brands adjust to foot swelling throughout the day, while others provide enough space to place orthotics.
There are also certain types of shoes that aging feet should avoid. Those include:
- Any shoes with pointed toes
- Shoes with heels over 2 inches
- Shoes that aren’t non-slip
- Sandals or flip-flops
- Shoes that don’t have a firm sole (including your slippers)
- Old, worn shoes (that simply need to be tossed)
- Shoes with rocker soles (particularly if you have gait problems)
If you are having trouble finding the right shoes to fit your needs, or if you are interested in learning more about custom orthotics and how it could provide additional support for your feet, turn to your podiatrist today for the care your feet deserve.
By Dr. James DiResta, DPM, MPH
July 01, 2021
Whether you simply stepped down awkwardly or you were in a sports-related accident, it could have left you with a painful, swollen ankle. Could it be a simple strain, or could you have sprained your ankle? If you even suspect that you might have a sprained ankle, or if you’ve never experienced an ankle injury before, it’s always a good idea to play it safe and to turn to a podiatrist right away for proper diagnosis and treatment.
How to Treat Sprained Ankles
Most minor sprains can be properly managed through simple at-home treatment and care. Conservative treatment is typically the first line of defense against minor ankle and foot problems, including minor sprains. While more moderate to severe sprains will require more aggressive attention and treatment options, the RICE method is ideal for most ankle sprains. Here’s what RICE stands for:
No matter the severity of your sprain, your podiatrist will be the first to tell you to stay off the ankle and to rest as much as possible to give the ankle time to heal. If the sprain is more moderate or severe, your podiatrist may recommend wearing a protective boot or using crutches to help stabilize the foot and ankle and take pressure off the ankle while standing or walking.
Especially for the first 72 hours after an ankle injury, it’s a good idea to use ice as much as possible to reduce swelling and pain. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply to the ankle for up to 20 minutes at a time. You can continue to do this every few hours throughout the day.
Your podiatrist can also show you the proper way to wrap and bandage your ankle, which not only promotes proper circulation and blood flow to the area to aid in healing but also can provide additional support and stabilization for the ankle. It’s important to know how to properly wrap your ankle to make sure it’s providing the very best support and your podiatrist can easily show you how.
Whenever you at resting (which should be most of the day!), it’s a good idea to prop your injured ankle up above your heart to reduce inflammation and bruising. You should elevate your ankle for at least a couple of hours each day!
If you are in pain, over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers can be great for reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation. For more severe sprains, your podiatrist may prescribe something stronger. Patients with more moderate-to-severe sprains may require physical therapy and rehabilitation to help rebuild and strengthen the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the ankle.
Knowing you have a proper treatment plan in place can provide you with the peace of mind you need to know that your ankle will heal properly. Don’t ignore any foot or ankle injuries. Turn to your podiatrist right away for sprained ankles, or any other problems you may be facing.
By Dr. James DiResta, DPM, MPH
June 14, 2021
You probably don’t think too much about the socks you wear but maybe you should. After all, just as it’s important to have shoes that fit properly and provide ample cushioning and support, there are also criteria that you should be following to find the ideal pair of socks. Want to find your “sole” mate? Follow these helpful sock-shopping tips.
Find the Perfect Fit
This might sound obvious but it’s important to find socks that offer the perfect amount of snugness for your feet. There shouldn’t be added material that can bunch up, as this can cause friction and blistering; however, socks shouldn’t be so tight that they put too much pressure on your feet. The seams of the socks should not rub against your feet or irritate.
Wear the Right Shoes
When going sock shopping you must be wearing the shoes to which you’re trying to match your socks. After all, it’s important to see how the socks affect the fit of your shoes. If your shoes are already tight, the socks you think are perfect may actually be too uncomfortable to wear with the shoes.
Different Socks for Different Activities
The socks that you wear for work are going to be different than the socks you’ll wear if you’re running, hiking, or working out. It’s important to find socks that fit your needs. Moisture-wicking socks can be great for athletes and those who like to work out. How much padding your socks offer is up to you. Personally, some athletes love a little additional padding while others may not. The extra padding could be great if you find that your feet get tired and achy easily during activity.
Don’t Forget Esthetics
If you’re simply shopping for socks for more day-to-day wear, then you can be a little more lenient about what you’re looking for. For one, style can play a bigger role in the types of socks you choose. You may want to go for something bolder or bright or with a fun pattern. While shopping for casual, everyday socks can lead to catering to your style you don’t want to ignore the fit or comfort of the pair you choose.
If you have special foot needs or you have concerns about the health of your feet, then you may have questions about the right type of shoes for you. That’s okay! This is where a podiatrist can help. Your podiatrist can answer any questions you have about shoes and sock recommendations, along with how to properly care for your feet.
By Dr. James DiResta, DPM, MPH
April 26, 2021
Tags: Diabetic Foot
When it comes to diabetes nothing is more important than living a healthy lifestyle and taking the proper medications to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Controlling your blood sugar is key to preventing health complications. Along with turning to a regular doctor and endocrinologist, it’s important that you also add a podiatrist to your team of specialists to monitor and maintain good foot health.
Why is foot health important?
People with diabetes are at a much greater risk for developing serious problems such as nerve damage, loss of sensation, ulcers, and decreased circulation. This chronic condition also increases your risk for infections. Even small cuts and minor blisters can lead to a serious infection if left untreated.
This is why it’s important that any changes to your feet, even minor ones, are addressed and treated by a podiatrist rather than trying to treat the problem yourself. By turning to a podiatrist you can prevent further complications from happening.
How do I care for diabetic feet?
There are many things that you can do every day to maintain healthy, happy feet. This is something that your podiatrist can discuss with you when you come in for a comprehensive evaluation. Even if you have your diabetes properly controlled with medication, it’s still important to have a foot doctor that you can turn to for routine care, nail trimming, and more. Some tips for keeping diabetic feet healthy and problem-free include,
- Washing feet with warm water and soap at least once a day. Make sure that you also clean between toes. Once your feet are thoroughly clean, also dry them off completely before applying moisturizer.
- Never go barefoot, even indoors, as this could lead to an injury. Make sure to always check your shoes before putting them on to ensure that dirt or small objects may not be inside (as this can lead to injury).
- Wear shoes that provide the proper fit. There are shoes designed specifically for those with diabetes; however, as long as you wear shoes that provide protection, optimal support, and the ideal fit, this is all you need.
- You should always have your feet examined by a podiatrist at least once a year to check blood flow and to make sure that there are no issues. If you have trouble trimming your nails properly, you can also turn to a podiatrist who will do it for you.
If you are living with diabetes and you don’t have a podiatrist that you turn to, you must find one that you trust. Foot problems can occur out of nowhere, and when they do, a foot doctor is going to be the specialist you’ll need to turn to right away.
By Dr. James DiResta, DPM, MPH
April 09, 2021
While there are many reasons for foot pain, if the pain is concentrated in the ball of the foot (between the arches and your toes) then you could be dealing with an overuse injury known as metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia can be incredibly painful, making it difficult to stand or even walk without discomfort. If you suspect that you might be dealing with metatarsalgia, a podiatrist can quickly diagnose and treat your condition.
What are the signs of metatarsalgia?
You could be dealing with metatarsalgia if,
- You have foot pain that is exacerbated by standing, walking, or flexing your foot
- Foot pain gets better with rest
- You have a sharp or burning pain in the ball of the foot
- There is a sharp or shooting pain in the toes
- Your toes tingle or feel numb
- You feel as if you have a stone in your shoe
Foot pain can happen for a variety of reasons, and mild symptoms typically won’t need medical intervention; however, if your foot pain lasts more than a few days then it might be time to consult your podiatrist.
What causes this foot problem?
Certain factors can certainly increase your risk of developing metatarsalgia. These risk factors include,
- Experiencing stress fractures in the toes
- Wearing high heels or shoes with a narrow toe box
- Being overweight or obese
- Having certain foot deformities such as bunions or hammertoes
- High arches
- Intense or endurance exercises such as long-distance running
How is metatarsalgia treated?
You can ease metatarsalgia pain and discomfort on your own through simple lifestyle changes including,
- Avoiding certain activities and exercises that make the pain worse (e.g., running)
- Wearing properly fitted and fully supportive shoes
- Avoiding high heels or shoes that are too tight
- Placing shoe inserts or padding under the metatarsal bones for further support
- Icing the area multiple times a day
- Taking a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication
Any new or worsening foot pain should be addressed by your podiatrist, as different injuries and conditions will require unique and individualized care. Don’t ignore your foot pain. If you suspect that you might have metatarsalgia, call your foot doctor today.