Find out how to prevent and treat running injuries.
If athletes could have it their way, they would enjoy every mile of their run without experiencing any pain, discomfort or soreness. While this sounds ideal, it’s sadly not the reality we live in. With uneven and sometimes rough and rocky terrain, runners face a variety of conditions that are tough on their feet and ankles and can cause serious issues. Here are some of the most common running injuries we see and what you can do about them.
This condition often occurs because of repeated stress or overuse and affects the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the back of the heel. When a runner develops Achilles tendinitis, this means the tendon is irritated and often stiff.
- Risk Factors: This condition is usually the result of a sudden increase in training, which can put unnecessary pressure on your calves. While it’s great to push yourself during your workout, you must create realistic goals to prevent injuries.
- Care: You will want to rest whenever you can and elevate your foot. Apply ice for 10 to 20 minutes a day, several times a day. Also, perform strengthening and stretching exercises like heel drops, and opt for low-impact cardio instead.
- Workout Impact: If you notice pain during or after your run you need to halt all activities until your injury is better. This is certainly not a condition that you want to continue to work out with. If you stop your workouts while the condition is still minor, you will have a faster healing time than someone who continues to work out through the pain.
Repeated stress and overtraining are the two main causes of these fractures, which can be caused by increasing your workout intensity or duration too fast. They are one of the most serious conditions that runners face.
- Risk Factors: However, those who’ve been running longer are less at risk for stress fractures than those who just started. Women are also more prone to stress fractures than men, often due to a lack of sufficient calorie intake or other nutritional deficits.
- Care: Stay off your foot until you can walk without pain. Once this happens, you can slowly incorporate jogging into your routine. You can use OTC pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and swelling. Talk to your podiatrist about whether you may need crutches.
- Workout Impact: Do not workout while you have a stress fracture. You should take anywhere from eight to 16 weeks away from your workouts. This, of course, will depend on the severity of your fracture. Again, opt for swimming or other low-impact sports in the meantime.
If you ever experience severe or chronic pain in your feet or ankles it’s important to contact your podiatrist right away. While at-home care can certainly alleviate your symptoms, if your symptoms affect your daytoday activities, then it’s time to seek medical attention.
Venous ulcers can be painful and difficult to treat. Knowing how they form is essential to treating them before they advance.
Venous ulcers, also called vascular, stasis or varicose ulcers, form when the veins in the lower extremities do not allow for sufficient blood flow back to the heart. They typically appear as dark purple or red blotches under the skin on the inside of the leg between the ankle and the calf. Over time, they can ulcerate, creating an open wound that is painful, inflamed and itchy. These ulcers are typically slow to heal and can harbor infection as a result.
Recognizing the signs
If you notice a dark bruiselike area forming on one or both of your lower legs, contact your doctor immediately. Treating these pools of stagnant blood before they turn into ulcers is extremely important.
The first step in treating venous ulcers is to promote blood circulation. Alternate lying down with your feet propped up to the level of your heart with daily walking. Physical activity helps the blood to move through your body more efficiently. Even after an ulcer has healed, wearing compression stockings at all times (except for bathing and sleep) will also help to encourage the blood to continue to circulate properly.
Recurring ulcers may require skin grafts or surgery.
Although venous ulcers can be caused by other problems, they are often caused by lifestyle issues such as smoking, obesity and inactivity. Maintaining a healthful diet and a regimen of regular exercise can help prevent a multitude of problems, including the formation of venous ulcers.
It is important to remember that if an ulcer has formed, early treatment is usually more successful than waiting until the ulcer has become larger or infected. If you think you may be at risk for venous ulcers or other circulatory problems, talk with your doctor.
No one likes smelly shoes; here are some fast and easy ways to eliminate shoe odors.
Sometimes our day just wouldn’t be complete without our morning runs; however, sweating and active feet can often cause some rather unpleasant shoe odors. You don’t even have to be athletic to deal with this problem. Even just wearing the same shoes all day can cause this embarrassing issue. If you’ve started to notice an unpleasant smell coming from your shoes, there are ways to combat this problem without needing to toss them out.
- Use a newspaper: After wearing your shoes all day be sure to put newspaper in them immediately after taking them off. Even if you haven’t exercised in your shoes, your feet can still sweat. Absorb some of the odorproducing sweat by putting newspapers in your shoes. Leave the paper in until you’re ready to wear them, and you’ll be amazed at how fresh they still smell.
- Put them in the freezer or outside: While this sounds like an unusual method, putting your shoes in the freezer is a highly effective way to kill the bacteria that cause shoe odors (the bacteria is no match for the extreme cold). However, before you just toss your shoes into the freezer, it’s best to put them in a plastic bag first so you don’t contaminate your freezer and its contents. Leave the shoes inside overnight, then and take them out and let them thaw a bit before wearing. And if you happen to live in a climate where the temperature regularly drops below freezing at night, putting the shoes in a paper bag and leaving them out for the night isn’t a bad idea either!
- Create your own odorkilling powder: Baking soda is a miracle agent that can remove odors from just about anything, so why not your shoes? You don’t have to spend a ton of money on odorfighting products when you can make your very own powder with things you can easily find in your kitchen. Mix three tablespoons of baking soda with one tablespoon of cornstarch, and then add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil before mixing everything together. Sprinkle the powder into your shoes and let it sit overnight. Just be sure to dump out the powder before wearing them.
Follow these handy tips, and your shoes will smell brand new again. Don’t just shove your shoes in the closet after a long day, deodorize them to keep your shoes smelling fresh and clean!
Monitoring your child's foot growth and health is an invaluable part of preparing for their future.
Parents have a lot to worry about from diet to exercise to interaction with peers, their children's health is a constant concern. While their kids' feet might not be at the top of most parents' priority list, it's a vital part of their development. Remember these tips:
Above all else, it is imperative to be sure your growing child is wearing the proper shoes. Their bones are still very flexible and need to be positioned properly in their footwear. Don't wait for them to complain about discomfort often the contortion of their feet happens so gradually that neither you nor your child may realize it.
This is also true of athletic shoes they should be comfortable and offer proper support for the type of activity your child will be doing. Inquire at your podiatrist's office about their brand recommendations.
Kids outgrow shoes fast
All parents know that feeling: your child has outgrown yet another pair of shoes. Experts advise that younger children's feet tend to grow faster. Therefore, toddlers will generally go up in size every two to three months. By the time your child is three years old, he or she will likely stay in the same size for about six months. Up until kids are in their early teens, parents can expect to replace the children's shoes at least once, if not twice, a year.
No bare feet outdoors
Childhood memories often include the feeling of running through the fresh grass in bare feet, but doctors caution against this idyllic rite of passage. Sharp, dirty objects on the ground may be discovered the hard way by stepping on them. Not only are they painful, but deep puncture wounds can harbor harmful bacteria, including tetanus.
Talk to your podiatrist if you have any questions or concerns about your child's foot or ankle health.
Certain foods should be eliminated from your diet if you want to alleviate this condition.
If you have gout then chances are you know it. Gout is a severe and painful attack on the joints, most often reserved for the joint at the base of the big toe. Gout is a form of arthritis that can affect both men and women, but tends to happen more often in men. Those with gout experience symptoms suddenly and may describe the pain as feeling as if their toe is on fire. Gout is anything but pleasant; however, what you eat could help improve your condition and prevent a recurrence.
While it can be challenging to eliminate your nightly glass of vino, if you are suffering from gout you may need to remove alcohol altogether just to be safe. While it’s certainly not a comparable replacement, you should be choosing water over alcoholic beverages. Beer is particularly bad for those with gout, as both the alcohol and the brewer’s yeast can trigger a flare up.
Say No to Sugar
Sugar gets a bad rap, and rightfully so. Besides the laundry list of other issues sugar causes, it can also raise your uric acid levels. As gout is brought about by too much uric acid in the bloodstream, this naturally can lead to more flare ups.
Limit PurineRich Foods
If you have gout your podiatrist has probably already warned you about staying away from purinerich foods like seafood and organ meats. When our body ingests purine, it begins to break it down into uric acid. While avoiding alcohol and sugar are probably your most effective ways to stop gout, it’s not a bad idea to also limit foods high in purines.
No one should have to explain how great regular exercise is for your body; however, for those who are at a greater risk for developing gout, you will want to spend a little extra time making sure you are getting routine exercise. When you work out, you reduce your urate (salt created from uric acid) levels, which in turn reduces the likelihood that you will develop gout.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
When you are overweight your uric acid levels will also be elevated. To ensure that this doesn’t continue, you will want to eat a healthy, balanced diet to help you maintain a healthier weight. Avoid diets that promote high levels of protein and low levels of carbohydrates, as these diets tend to be high in purine consumption.
Sometimes overthecounter pain relievers aren’t enough to reduce your gout pain. If this is the case, talk to your podiatrist about other medications you can take to alleviate your symptoms.
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