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The best shoes to buy for your feet this Christmas

I was watching a television the other day when a commercial for a department store caught my attention. In the commercial, a mom celebrates ask her kids open their Christmas presents, surprised at how their cool mom got them the exact pair of shoes that they wanted! While the commercial stood out to me as a parent, it also got me thinking about the hundreds of people that buy shoes as Christmas gifts.

As a podiatrist, I thought it might be helpful to share some tips if you’re considering buying yourself or a loved one a new pair of kicks for Christmas. Since you might be buying for a man, woman, kid, runner, I wanted to pull together some of the best resources from across the Internet. Here are the best shoes for whomever you might be buying for this Christmas:

  • Know someone suffering from Plantar Fasciitis or heel pain? Here are some great shoe ideas for them.

If you’re loved ones are looking forward to opening up a new pair of shoes this Christmas, I hope these links were helpful. We hope you have an awesome Holiday Season! Don’t forget to take care of your feet as you hit the malls and walk around looking at the lights this year!

What pair of shoes are you hoping to get this Christmas?

Are you suffering from shin splints and don’t know it?

Although a shin splint is commonly used to describe various pains between the ankle and the knee, it actually refers to a specific inflammatory condition of the tibia — a condition called medial tibial stress syndrome.

Causes

The most common causes of shin splints include excessive running, poor conditioning and over-pronation (flattening of the arch). The result is pain in the front or inside of the lower leg that usually gets worse with a sudden increase in distance or intensity of training. Shin splints are a common problem for many runners and athletes. Muscle weakness, non-supportive shoes and overtraining are also contributing factors.

Symptoms

Shin pain isn’t always indicative of a shin splint. Lower leg pain may actually signal a more serious problem, including a stress fracture, partial muscle tear and tendonitis, all of which require special treatment. Always seek the professional care of a podiatrist if:

  • Severe pain in your shin follows an injury
  • Your shin is hot and inflamed
  • Swelling in your shin increases
  • Shin pain persists during rest

 

Preventing Shin Splints

To prevent shin splints, warm up and stretch muscles before starting any work out activity and choose supportive footwear. Begin workouts gradually and avoid over-training. All of these methods will go a long way in helping to prevent many lower leg problems. Conservative treatment for most shin splint pain includes rest, ice, compression and elevation. Strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory agents and custom foot orthotics may also be recommended to reduce symptoms.

Curing Shin Splints

Proper diagnosis of the cause of pain is necessary in order to administer the most appropriate treatment. If you suffer from shin pain, make an appointment to visit our office for an evaluation and proper treatment.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Pain Treatment

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain and it’s one of the most common foot or ankle issues we treat at University Foot & Ankle. Doctors in Nashville and Franklin are consistently referring patients to us who’ve been suffering from heel pain for a while, but haven’t ever taken the steps to fix it.

While most people think that runners are the only people susceptible to Plantar Fasciitis, we’ve seen it affect people from every demographic. It’ is common in middle-aged people and also occurs in younger people who are on their feet a lot, like athletes or soldiers.

Symptoms

The most common complaint is pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel. The heel pain may be dull or sharp. The bottom of the foot may also ache or burn.

The pain is usually worse:

  • In the morning when you take your first steps
  • After standing or sitting for a while
  • When climbing stairs
  • After intense activity

Treatment

There are a variety of methods for treating Plantar Fasciitis, but here are the most common treatments we recommend:

  • Rest is the simplest way to relieve plantar fasciitis pain and is recommended in correlation with any other treatment.
  • Physical therapy and exercises are good plantar fasciitis treatment. Stretching and other physical therapy measures may be used to provide relief.
  • Orthotics or inserts or custom made arch supportshelp to distribute the pressure on your feet more evenly.
  • Night splints are worn during sleep.
  • Anti-inflammatory or Pain medication is often recommended to treat plantar fasciitis. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can reduce swelling and relieve pain.

If you’ve been experiencing heel pain and believe you might be suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, the best thing you can do is to schedule an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist. We’ve dealt with hundreds of Plantar Fasciitis cases and can help you take the steps to overcoming your heel pain.

How To: Save your feet during the Holidays

The holidays are here which means your days are full of working, running errands, shopping, wrapping presents, visiting family, and all of the other Holiday traditions. The madness of holiday shopping and traveling can add up to painful feet. Luckily, there are some very easy steps you can take to alleviate pain and reduce swelling.

Here are 5 things you can do to help save your feet from injury or pain during your crazy holiday schedule.

  1.  Massaging your feet increases circulation, relieves tension and rejuvenates skin. Use a frozen water bottle to both ice and massage your feet at the same time.
  2.  Point your toes for a quick and easy toe stretch. Then curl your toes and hold for 10 seconds.
  3.  Hold the heel of your foot in your hand and rotate your ankles to loosen the ankle joint and relax feet.
  4.  Wear appropriate shoes for your activity. If you know you will be walking around for a long period of time, do not wear high heels.
  5.  Elevating your legs will reduce the swelling in your feet. Make sure they are elevated above your heart

If you have chronic foot pain and swelling, come see us at University Foot & Ankle Centers.

We hope you and yours have a wonderful, pain free, holiday season!

2 Foot Conditions to watch for this winter

As the days grow shorter and colder weather moves in, the affects can be felt on every part of our body, including our feet. Hopefully you have found the right winter shoes and put your flip-flops and sandals away for the season.  Winter is here and this season has it’s own set of foot problems.  Here are two of the most common foot issues we see this time of year and how to check your feet for them:

Chilblains

Chilblains are a common cold weather foot problem.  Chilblains are small, red, itchy swellings on the skin. They are caused when the skin is exposed to cold weather for long periods of time. In the cold, the blood vessels in your toes get smaller in size. When your toes get warm again, the blood vessels go back to their normal size. If your toes get warm too fast, blood can leak out of the blood vessels and cause the redness, swelling, blistering, and pain associated with chilblains. Chilblains usually form on the smaller toes, but they can also develop on areas of the feet that carry more pressure.

The good news is that chilblains can be treated. There are lotions and creams that your podiatrist can prescribe to get rid of the redness and itchiness.  If not treated correctly, chilblains can become a bigger problem. If you do not take care of the problem, chilblains can lead to ulcers.

 

Raynaud’s disease

Raynaud’s disease affects small blood vessels, like the ones in toes. The blood vessels get smaller and this shrinkage causes less oxygen to reach the skin. A patient with Raynaud’s disease will see their toes turn colors. The toes will change color in the following order: white, blue, and then red. The color of the toes is based on temperature, how much blood is able to reach the skin, and how much oxygen is able to reach the skin.

At your next University Foot & Ankle Center appointment let your podiatrist know of any changes in your feet, especially color changes.  It is not common, but serious forms of Raynaud’s disease can lead to bigger problems.

Unfortunately, cold weather can be harder on the feet for people with conditions like poor circulation and diabetes. These conditions can make it harder for you to know when your feet are too cold. This is why it is important for you to bring your winter shoes with you to University Foot & Ankle Center when you have an appointment. Our podiatrists knows your feet and can let you know if your shoes have the right kind of support to keep your feet warm and dry.

Dr. Gannon named to Make-A-Wish Board of Directors

University Foot & Ankle Center’s own Dr. Caroline Gannon was recently nominated and appointed to the Board of Directors for the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the Make-A-Wish® Foundation. Serving as the lead medical contact for the wish granting committee, Dr. Gannon will support the Foundation and board by continuing to build connections between Make-A-Wish and the Middle Tennessee medical community.

“As both a doctor and parent, the mission of Make-A-Wish is something I can easily identify with and wholeheartedly support,” Dr. Gannon stated. “Make-A-Wish is an organization that provides immense hope and joy for children and families during such a difficult time. It’s truly an honor to serve such an incredible cause and I’m excited to further connect the Middle Tennessee medical community to Make-A-Wish.”

Make-A-Wish of Middle Tennessee grants the wishes of children between 2 ½-18 years old and have life-threatening medical conditions, to enrich their experience with hope, strength and joy. The chapter serves 38 counties in the Middle Tennessee area and grants over 100 wishes every year Although it has become one of the world’s most well-known charities, Make-A-Wish® has maintained the grassroots fulfillment to serve children with life-threatening medical conditions and relies on the support of volunteers in the local community to accomplish their mission.

For stories of the lives impacted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee, click here.

Do you want to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee? Click here to learn more.

Get rid of nail fungus and be proud of your feet again

Nail fungus is a topic that most people don’t like to discuss, but its one that affects nearly 1 in 4 Americans. While most people are familiar with the cosmetic ramifications, if left untreated, the fungus could lead into a more serious infection.

Up until this point, there were very few treatments for nail fungus and even those treatments provided very little success. Thankfully, that’s not the case anymore.

If you suffer from nail fungus, there is a revolutionary laser treatment that is providing tremendous results.

The Genesis Plus laser is a fast and effective way to increase clear toenails in patients with oncyhomycosis without drug therapy. Developed by Cutera, this state-of-the-art laser treatment only lasts 20 minutes and causes no downtime for patients.

But don’t just take our word for it; check out what some of the other leading podiatrists across the country are saying about Genesis Plus.

If you’ve suffered from nail fungus for years, now there is something you can do about it. Stop burying you toes in your shoes and cure the fungus once and for all. Give us a call if you have questions. Univeristy Foot and Ankle Center is the only provider of GenesisPlus toenail fungus care in the entire region.

Ladies, curing your toenail fungus with GenesisPlus will help you stay healthy and give you another reason to go out and buy a new pair of shoes… and this time, they’ll be open-toed.

HOW TO: Treat an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail, or onychocryptosis, can happen to anyone. Often the problem is hereditary, but can be the result of improper footwear or improper nail care. Ingrown toenails can even result from harming your toe by dropping something on it or stubbing it on something hard.

Most importantly, if you suspect an infection in your toenail, or if you have a medical condition that can potentially affect your feet (such as diabetes), have the toe inspected by a professional as soon as possible.

How to treat an ingrown toenail:

1. Soak your foot in room-temperature water and tenderly massage the inflamed area of your toe.
2. Use anti-bacterial ointment to prevent infection while the toe heals.
3. Ensure your shoes fit properly

How NOT to treat an ingrown toenail:

1. Cut a notch in the nail or cut the nail in an abnormal way. This will not force the nail to grow as it should.
2. Do not rely on over-the-counter medications. These may temporarily relieve pain, but will not cure the underlying cause.
3. Do not pick at your nail. Doing so will create an infection.
4. Do not apply hydrogen peroxide to the nail. It is unhealthy to the tissue and won’t help “bubble out the infection.”

How to prevent an ingrown toenail:

1. Wear correctly fitting shoes. Not too loose, not too tight. Well-fitting shoes will lessen pain on the toes when walking quickly.
2. Keep your nails trimmed in a straight line. Do not cut them too short. A good length is if you can still get your fingernail under the sides and end of the nail but not long enough to rip holes in your socks.

If you’re currently suffering from an ingrown toenail that you can’t seem to shake, professional treatment might be the only way to cure the issue. Our doctors have treated countless cases and would be more than happy to help you through the process.