Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

Flip-Flops and Bacteria

Despite their stylish appeal and popularity during the warm summer months, flip-flops can present several threats to the health of your feet. Since flip-flops lack a back strap, the wearer must scrunch their toes to keep the shoe on the feet. These toe contortions can cause pain and complications. Additionally, since flip-flops are but mere pieces of flat foam, they offer little to no support. You might, therefore, experience increased stress on the heel when walking with flip-flops because they offer no padding or cushioning. One often overlooked downside of wearing flip-flops is the extent to which they can accumulate bacteria. Especially if worn in cities, flip-flops can accumulate many different kinds of bacteria both on the top and bottom of the foam. If worn in cities during warm months and rainy seasons, environmental moisture will only help the bacteria thrive. Since flip-flops are open toed shoes that ultimately expose your entire foot, this accumulation of bacteria can be especially dangerous to your feet. Contact your podiatrist who will be able to help you select healthy summer footwear.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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

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Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

Flipping Out About Flip Flops

Although it may be tempting to wear flip-flops in warm weather, they are not the best choice of footwear for your feet. Flip-flops may be ideal for the beach, pool, spa, and shared showers, but you should avoid wearing them unless it is completely necessary.

Flip-flops only have a small strip of fabric holding your foot in place, but your toes need a better grip to keep your foot in place. The repetitive gripping can lead to an overuse of your muscles, which could result in tendinitis. This is only one of the many problems that stem from wearing flip-flops too often.

Flip flops aren’t good for extensive walking because they fail to offer arch support, heel cushioning, or shock absorption. As a result, people who wear flip flops are at a higher risk of experiencing an ankle sprain. Additionally, these shoes offer little protection for your feet, putting those who wear them at a greater risk for stubbed toes, glass cuts, and puncture wounds.

Although flip flops aren’t recommended for everyday use by anyone, it is especially important for diabetics to avoid them. A diabetic foot injury can easily become very serious, and it may even lead to amputation.

If you are experiencing pain from wearing flip-flops, you shouldn’t be hesitant to replace them with a more comfortable shoe that offers more support. If your flip-flop foot pain doesn’t go away, you should seek assistance from a podiatrist right away. It is possible that you may have a more serious foot problem such as a stress fracture or arthritis.

While toe injuries are usually not serious, they can seriously impede the progress of an athlete. If you participate in sports, it is critical that you wear the right shoes for the sport that you participate in. Watch for toe fractures by tending to the severity of the pain felt and possible swelling, looking for deformities of the toe or toenail and other possible wounds. If a toe is sprained and not broken, it can be buddy taped to the toe next to it to reduce pain and speed recovery. Doing some basic motion exercises might also help with blood flow, and reduce pain and stiffness. Toe injuries left untreated or unaddressed for too long could lead to stiffness, arthritis, or permanent pain long-term. Toe injuries sustained during sports that involve fractures or do not heal after resting for a period of time should be seen by a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and guidance in treatment. 

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact the podiatrists of Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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

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Tuesday, 26 July 2022 00:00

Sports Related Foot And Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are common among people who participate in sports. Several factors contribute to this. They include failing to stretch or warm up properly, not wearing the proper type of shoe and not taping or providing other types of support for the ankle or foot. The most common foot and ankle injuries suffered by people involved in sports are plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains and Achilles tendon damage or ruptures. If not treated properly, they can lead to permanent disability.

Treating these injuries is relatively simple if they are identified and addressed early. Many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains associated with injury as just soreness or tired muscles. Their first response is usually to try to work through it. This can lead to serious problems. Many minor injuries are made far more serious when athletes continue to put strain and pressure on them. That attitude can change a mild strain into a serious strain and a minor tear into a rupture. Athletes should have unusual aches and pains evaluated by a skilled medical professional.

Plantar fasciitis is a painful injury. It is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue running from the heel to the base of the toes. If left untreated, it can lead to a degenerative disease called plantar fasciosis. There are several effective treatments for this ailment. Doctors often prescribe rest, massages, stretching, night splints, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, corticosteroids or surgery, usually in that order. The most effective treatment for plantar fasciitis is orthotics, which offers foot support. Surgery is occasionally used as a last resort, but it comes with the risk of nerve damage and infection and often does not stop the pain.

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Running, jumping and walking all impact this tendon. Two common injuries to the Achilles tendon are tendonitis and a rupture of the tendon. Tendonitis is inflammation in the tendon often caused by an increase in the amount of stress placed on it. Non-surgical treatments include rest, ice or anti-inflammatory medication.  A rupture (tear) of the Achilles tendon can be treated by placing the lower leg in a cast for several weeks or with surgery. Many physicians feel surgery is the better option because it lowers the risk of re-ruptures. Both methods require 4 to 6 months of rehabilitation.

Ankle sprains are the most common sports related foot and ankle injury. A sprain occurs when the ligament holding the ankle bones and joint stretches beyond its normal range. It can be treated non-surgically with a combination of rest, ice wrapped around the joint for 30 minutes immediately after injury, compression by a bandage and elevating the ankle above the heart for 48 hours. This combination is referred to as RICE. Severe ankle sprains in which the ligaments are torn may require reconstructive surgery followed by rehabilitation.

Tuesday, 19 July 2022 00:00

How Long Does a Broken Toe Take To Heal?

Breaking any bone in the body can be a serious threat to your overall health and well-being. Broken toes are no exception. Since the bones in the toes are smaller, they can be particularly vulnerable to being injured and broken. When broken, toe bones will often bleed and swell. It is common also to identify blood beneath the toenail. Breaking bones in the toes is usually extremely painful and can make walking especially difficult. Many patients will wonder how long it takes for a broken toe to heal. Although it varies depending on the patient, the injury, and the particular toe bone, there are several rules of thumb to follow. Broken big toes generally take longer to heal. After wearing a walking boot and then eventually a shoe with a stiff sole, patients can recover from broken big toes in approximately 6 to 8 weeks. Broken toes other than the big toe, commonly the pinky toe, take less time to heal. For example, after strapping and wearing shoes with stiff soles, a patient can recover from a broken pinky toe in 4 to 6 weeks. No patient wants to suffer a broken toe injury for longer than is necessary or to prolong the pain. However, it is important to let the bone take time to properly heal. Always talk with a podiatrist to ask questions about your broken toe bone and how it can be treated.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

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

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Tuesday, 19 July 2022 00:00

What to Know About a Broken Toe

The forefoot is composed of five metatarsal bones and fourteen phalanges. Each toe has three phalanges except for the big toe which only has two. Our toes play an essential role to the walking process, which is why a broken toe could seriously disrupt one’s ability to move around. Toe fractures are common and can be very painful. Fortunately, these injuries rarely require surgery and usually heal with rest and a change in activity.

Broken toes typically result from a traumatic event such as falling, stubbing the toe, or dropping something on the toe. Traumatic toe fractures may be categorized as either minor or severe fractures. At times, one may hear a “pop” or “crack” sound when the bone breaks. Common symptoms of a traumatic toe fracture include pain, throbbing, bruising, swelling, and redness.

Another type of toe fractures is a stress fracture. These injuries usually appear in the form of small hairline breaks on the bone. Stress fractures develop after repetitive activity instead of a single injury. Stress fractures occur when the muscles in the bone become too weak to absorb impact. Consequently, the toe bone becomes vulnerable to any pressure and impact it endures. Symptoms for a stress fracture in the toe include swelling without bruising, tenderness to the touch, pain that goes away with rest, and pain after walking or running.

If you suspect that you have a broken toe, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist. He or she will likely diagnose you by performing a physical exam and an X-ray. Treatment for a broken toe may include the R.I.C.E. method, buddy taping, surgery, or antibiotics. The R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is a common treatment method for many injuries because it decreases pain. Buddy tapping involves wrapping the injured toe next to an adjacent toe to keep it supported and protected. These two methods have proven to be effective in the healing process for toe fractures. The estimated healing time for a broken toe is approximately four to six weeks. If the injury becomes infected or requires surgery, the estimated healing time may take eight weeks or more. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2022 00:00

Several Effective Foot Stretches

The feet carry the weight of the body so it is important to take proper care of them. One of the best things you can do for your feet is stretch them frequently. This helps maintain flexibility and range of motion. A stretch that can help the plantar fascia is performed by practicing a foot roll. This is done by placing your foot on top of a golf ball and rolling it back and forth. People who stand for the majority of the day also find this to be an effective foot stretch. The toes can become stronger when toe stretches are done, and this can positively affect the overall foot. Additionally, a towel lift is good for the toes and middle of the foot. This is done by placing a towel on the floor while sitting in a chair and lifting the towel with the toes. The heels can benefit from standing on a step and lowering the heels one at a time until a gentle stretch is felt. If you would like more information about the benefits of stretching the feet and additional stretches to practice, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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

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Tuesday, 12 July 2022 00:00

How to Stretch Your Feet

Your feet endure a great amount of stress each day from constantly allowing us to move around. It is important to stretch your feet to help prevent them from becoming injured. Your toes may easily deform into unhealthful positions if they are not stretched.

One of the most common reasons for toe deformities are the shoes you may be wearing. Shoes that are too tight may fold and shift the toes out of place. Heeled shoes may also push your toes upward. Forcing your toes into an unnatural position which may cause the muscles to tighten and prevent them from reverting to normal length. Another common reason is improper use of foot muscles. Many people fail to use the muscles in their feet or toes when they walk. Lastly, the positioning of your feet while walking may also cause toe deformities. If you walk with your feet facing outward, your “push-off” phase is on the side of your big toe instead of the bottom of your foot. This may cause the big toe to eventually tighten into a new shifted position.

There are many reasons why stretching your toes may be helpful. One reason is that healthy spacing may aid in avoiding calluses and other injuries that are caused by rubbing.  Stretching will also prevent you from developing toes that curl, hammertoes, or bunions.

A great way to stretch your toes is to place them in your hands and bend them all downward; this will help you stretch the top of your foot. Next, you should repeat this process but instead bend them upward enough to feel a nice stretch in the bottom of your foot. You should then try to pull each toe apart from the next and pull any toes that are bent upward until they are back downward.

If you are looking to practice stretching your entire foot, you can try a towel stretch. This is done by sitting on the floor with your legs in front of you. Take a towel and wrap it around your toes. Afterward, pull the towel toward you with your toes and hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds before releasing. Practice this stretch for three sets. Another stretch your feet are towel lifts. This is done by sitting in a chair and trying to pick a towel up from the ground with your toes. Try lifting the towel with your little toes for five sets before switching feet.

If you are an athlete, or exercise often, it is especially important for you to practice stretching your feet. Those who suffer from foot pain caused by poor footwear, plantar fasciitis, or long hours of standing at work may also benefit from foot exercises.

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

The importance of knowing how to prevent running injuries is crucial for people who enjoy the sport of marathon running or light jogging. Research has indicated that approximately 50 percent of injuries can happen every year to people who run regularly. An injury to the Achilles tendon is a common running mishap, and this can cause severe pain and discomfort. It often happens as a result of increasing speed and intensity too quickly, which may rupture or inflame the Achilles tendon. An effective prevention technique is to warm up and cool down for several minutes, and gradually increase the force of the running. Many people develop and suffer from plantar fasciitis, causing severe heel pain. It can occur from not stretching the calf muscles before running, and prevention can be increased when range of motion is expanded in the overall foot. An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments and tendons in the ankle become overstretched from rolling the ankle beyond its normal limitations. When the muscles are strengthened surrounding the ankle, the chance of incurring an ankle sprain may be decreased. If you would like more information about how running injuries affect the feet, and how to prevent them, please consult with a podiatrist.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact the podiatrists of Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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

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