Items filtered by date: January 2024
Understanding the intricacies of pronation is essential for runners, as it significantly influences shock absorption and the efficiency of push-off during each stride. Pronation, which is simply the natural side-to-side movement of the foot, comes in three main types. Normal or neutral pronation, where the foot rolls naturally inward by approximately15 percent, ensures proper shock absorption and alignment of ankles and legs. Underpronation, or supination, occurs when the foot rolls outward. This is more common among people with higher arches and can lead to injuries like Achilles tendonitis and shin splints. Overpronation involves excessive inward or downward rolling of the foot and is often associated with flat feet. Determining your pronation type is helpful for selecting appropriate footwear, but more importantly, this knowledge can minimize the risk of injuries. A podiatrist can analyze your gait and determine which type of pronation you have, factors that can result in an injury-free and a more enjoyable running experience. For a full assessment, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.
Biomechanics in Podiatry
Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.
A History of Biomechanics
- Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
- In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.
Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.
Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.
Corns and calluses are thickened skin areas caused by pressure, often occurring on the feet. They result from a natural skin defense mechanism called hyperkeratosis. Calluses are flat and spread out, while corns are thick, localized, and can have a conical shape. Corns may appear dry or translucent and are also known as helomas or clavi, while calluses are called tylomas. Common areas for corns to develop can include the sole of the foot, the outside of the pinky toe, and between the 4th and 5th toes. Corns between the toes are termed soft corns, while those in other locations are hard corns. Hyperkeratosis occurs when the skin thickens due to friction or pressure, often related to foot deformities, wearing tight shoes, or abnormal walking patterns. Risk factors include foot anatomy, gait issues, bunions, ill-fitting shoes, and certain occupations. If you have a corn or callus that becomes bothersome or shows signs of infection, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can examine the area, provide treatment for relief, and help you find underlying causes for their development.
Corns can make walking very painful and should be treated immediately. If you have questions regarding your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of Ocotillo Foot and Ankle Centers. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.
Corns: What Are They? And How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns are thickened areas on the skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure and friction on the skin. Corns press into the deeper layers of the skin and are usually round in shape.
Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as:
- Wearing properly fitting shoes that have been measured by a professional
- Wearing shoes that are not sharply pointed or have high heels
- Wearing only shoes that offer support
Although most corns slowly disappear when the friction or pressure stops, this isn’t always the case. Consult with your podiatrist to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.
Children's footwear plays a pivotal role in supporting the healthy development of their feet and gait as they grow. The flexibility and sole firmness of children's shoes influence their feet and gait development. Compared to being barefoot, wearing shoes increases stride and step length, while decreasing cadence. It also affects parameters like support base, toe-off time, double support time, stance time, and single support time. Moreover, it influences the range of motion in the hip, knee, and ankle joints. As your child enters the stage where picking appropriate shoes is important, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for specific shoe recommendations for your child’s unique foot type to ensure healthy and safe growth and development.
Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact one of our podiatrists of Ocotillo Foot and Ankle Centers. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Keeping Children's Feet Healthy
Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...
Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.
Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.
Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.
As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’.
As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.
Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.
Be watchful for any pain or injury.
Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.
Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.
Foot or ankle pain can negatively affect your day-to-day life and can occur due to several different conditions. Pain can also be an indicator of a more serious underlying condition, which is why you should seek professional help as soon as you notice any abnormalities in your feet.
Peripheral neuropathy, a condition stemming from nerve damage in the peripheral nervous system, manifests as a range of symptoms that can significantly impact the feet. The peripheral nerves, responsible for transmitting signals between the body and the brain, may become compromised, leading to sensations like tingling, numbness, or foot pain. This condition often arises from various underlying causes, including diabetes, certain medications, or even infections. The feet, being distant from the central nervous system, are particularly vulnerable to peripheral neuropathy. The impaired nerve function can affect balance and coordination, increasing the risk of injuries. Moreover, individuals with peripheral neuropathy may experience difficulty in detecting temperature or pressure changes, raising concerns about foot health. If you have symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, it is suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you manage this condition.
Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with one of our podiatrists from Ocotillo Foot and Ankle Centers. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.
Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:
- Sensation loss
- Prickling and tingling sensations
- Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
- Muscle weakness
Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.
To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.
Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.
Fitting shoes properly is an important aspect of foot health and overall comfort. The Brannock device, a ubiquitous foot-measuring tool found in shoe stores, is a valuable tool for ensuring the right fit. Using the Brannock device is a straightforward process. Start by removing your current footwear and placing one foot onto the device's base, ensuring your heel is snug against the heel cup. Then, adjust the slider to reach the tip of your longest toe, typically the big toe. The device provides three key measurements, which are the heel-to-toe length, arch length, and width. Pay attention to all three as they contribute to a well-fitted shoe. The Brannock device takes the guesswork out of shoe sizing, enabling you to find the ideal fit. Remember that feet can vary in size, and it is essential to measure both feet. When trying on shoes, use the larger foot's measurements as a guide for the best overall fit. Properly fitted shoes can prevent discomfort, reduce the risk of foot problems, and provide a foundation for healthy, happy feet. A podiatrist can assist you in how to use the Brannock device to obtain your proper shoe size, and it is suggested that you confer with this type of doctor for any questions you may have.
Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Ocotillo Foot and Ankle Centers. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.
Proper Shoe Fitting
A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in proper fitting shoes:
- Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
- Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
- Even though they may look fashionable, improper fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
- Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity
Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, properly-fitting shoes are vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.