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Our feet deal with a significant amount of stress on a daily basis. The American Podiatric Medical Association says the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day – contributing a force equal to several hundred tons our feet year. Those cover several miles, and they all add up to about 115,000 miles in a lifetime – more than four times the circumference of the globe. When you are running the pressure on your feet may exceed your body weight roughly four times.
It is no wonder that seventy-five percent of Americans will experience foot health problems of varying degrees of severity at one time or another in their lives. A doctor of Podiatric medicine can make an important contribution to your total health, whether it is regular preventive care or surgery to correct a deformity.
The foot has Thirty-three joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons that hold the 28 bones of the foot together and help form it’s intricate structure to allow it to move in a variety of ways. Incredibly the 56 bones in both feet make up one fourth of all the bones in your body.
Foot problems may be the first sign of more serious medical problems. Your feet can be a window to your general health. Conditions such as circulatory and nerve disorders, diabetes, or arthritis can show their initial symptoms in your feet. Though we may contribute to our foot health by the shoe gear and lifestyle we choose, frequently we can trace our foot problems to heredity.
• Find a shoe store that is trained to and will measure your kid’s feet. A trained shoe fitter will check for length of the Heel to toe and heel to ball of the foot as well as length. That funny little think that rests against the side of the big toe on a Brannick Device (Foot Measuring Device).
→ Important: Feet should be measured when standing not sitting.
• Choose leather uppers or other breathable shoes to reduce the chances of fungal infections.
• Avoid slip-ons, rather choose lace-ups, straps or Velcro as these act like a seat-belt, keeping the feet secure.
• Flats and ballet pumps do not provide support.
→ Ideally the arch area should offer support.
• The heel cup of the shoe should fit exactly without being too tight or too loose.
→ Your should not be able to slip your finger past the first knuckle in the top of the heel, between it and the heel of the foot.
• The toe area should allow the toes to move and not be squashed at the sides.
• Allow about a finger width’s space between the toes and the end of the shoe for growth. Check this periodically to make sure your child’s feet haven’t had a growth spurt.
• Heels should have a broad base and be moderately low, but not flat for young children.
• Wear new shoes in the house first to make sure they do not hurt or rub.
• Finally, it is always a good idea to check your children’s feet and shoes regularly for blisters, cuts, infections, etc. and watch-out for any growth-spurts!
As both a coach of multiple sports and as a foot specialist (Podiatrist), I have learned the importance of Sport-specific shoes and how they can really elevate your game and help you avoid injury. Make sure not to just have your feet measured but make sure that the shoe fitter knows to check the length of your foot from heel to ball – yeah, kinda different hugh? That funny little gauge that is rested against the side of your big toe actually measures the true size of your foot. Although your foot may measure a size “9” from heel to toe, the true length of your foot could measure a “10” from “heel to ball”. You guessed it, that means you should actually be wearing a size “10”. Many shoe fitters don’t understand this. So when a shoe salesman is running to get you larger sizes because the measured size just doesn’t cut it, that means they don’t really have a clue about the true size of your foot, or even worse they don’t know the ins-and-outs of the variances in the shapes of the shoes they carry. Politely excuse yourself, and find a specialty shoe store to buy your new kicks.
If you play a sport at least two to three times a week, you should wear a sport-specific shoe.
Common foot injuries include: sprains, tendinitis, and stress fractures
The ideal basketball shoe should:
• Have a thick, rigid sole that gives support while running and jumping while not being so flexible that your foot has to absorb all of the force.
• High-tops will give you the support to cut quicker and change directions better on your cross-over.
Common foot injuries include: sprained ankles, ingrown toenails and turf toe.
• Not smash your toes together.
• or on the flip side, not have more than a half inch of space (typically – the sideways thumb trick on the front of your shoes) so you don’t jamb the front of your shoes into the turf when ripping a shot to the top corner of the goal.
• Have the right stud (cleat) type for the type of field that you will be playing on most often.
soft, hard, or firm.
FOOTBALL & LACROSSE
Common foot injuries include: Heel Pains (especially in the 10-14 year old players), turf toe, Achilles tendinitis.
The ideal football cleat should:
• A decent amount of high ankle support if you are playing on the line or if you have had ankle issues and you play a position where you make frequent cuts (sideways movements)
• Allow for proper traction in both wet and dry conditions, as well as
Common foot injuries include: Heel and Arch pain (plantar fasciitis), shin splints, Morton’s neuroma (pain in the ball of foot or a toe going numb)
The ideal running shoe should:
• Provide significant shock absorption, to lessen the impact.
• Accommodate the shape of your foot (Running shoes come in different shapes – pretty cool)
There are approximately 16 million Americans with diabetes. Approximately 25% of them will develop foot problems related to their diabetes, and may be at risk for serious complications. Protective footwear (specially designed ‘Diabetic Shoes’) can help them in the fight to prevent a large percentage of the 68,000 diabetic amputations that occur EACH YEAR.
This risk is so great and the need for special shoes so important that, even Medicare recognizes the importance of preventative footcare. Medicare has passed “The Therapeutic Shoe Bill” which pays for “at risk” diabetic patients to obtain one pair of ‘Qualifying’ Diabetic shoes and 3 pairs of specially designed, removable diabetic shoe inserts each calendar year.
As a service to our patients we proudly offer a full line of quality footwear. We are working exclusively with the Dr. Comfort shoe company to provide you with the highest quality diabetic footwear. From the design of the shoe to the materials that go into its construction, every effort is made to provide the utmost comfort and protection. The shoes are doctor designed, patient tested and certified by the American Podiatric Medical Association. Click here to see: a sampling of Our Diabetic Shoe Selection.
Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions, or want to check out the display in our office. Set up an appointment to see if you qualify for Medicare’s Diabetic Shoe Program. If so, our very experienced staff will measure, fit and dispense the shoes as well as customize the Diabetic insoles specifically to protect your feet.