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December 2019

People who enjoy running marathons are most likely familiar with the pounding the feet can endure during this sport. It is beneficial to have a strong connection between the feet and the ground, and this can be accomplished by performing foot stretches. When the big toe is strong, it may be easier to balance and move forward. An effective stretch for the toes is known as the towel scrunch. This is done by placing your foot on top of a towel while sitting in a chair and pulling the towel toward you by using your toes. This stretch can help to improve dexterity and strength in the numerous muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Additionally, it generally feels good when the arch of the foot is stretched. This is done by rolling your foot on a large ball to stretch the soft tissues. Research has indicated this may be helpful in preventing inflammation. If you would like additional information about how to perform foot stretches, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

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

Read more about How to Stretch Your Feet
Monday, 23 December 2019 00:00

Common Causes of Running Injuries

Many running injuries occur due to the repetitive motion the sport requires. This can often result in overuse. There are a number of reasons running injuries occur, and many of them can be prevented. For example, errors in your training can cause running injuries, as well as poor running form. A lack of stretching or warming up can also lead to damage while running. Wearing the improper footwear is another factor that influences the development of an injury due to running. Some signs of overuse include the gradual onset of pain, the feeling of stiffness or aching after a run, noticeable swelling or tenderness, and overall discomfort during or after a run. If you feel you have an injury caused by running and would like advice on treatment, we suggest you consult with a podiatrist for professional advice and care.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood of Foot Health Institute. Our doctor 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 Lansing, and Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Preventing Running Injuries
Monday, 16 December 2019 00:00

Contagious Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is typically caused by a nail infection. The medical term for this type of fungus is known as onychomycosis. Common symptoms can include thicker nails, nail discoloration, and in severe cases, the nail may split. Patients may notice pain when the affected nail is pressing against the inside of the shoe. The fungus that causes this type of infection thrives in warm and moist environments that can include shower and locker room floors, and public pools. It may help to wear appropriate shoes while in these areas, and this may be beneficial in preventing this infection. People who are diabetic, obese, or have a family history of toenail fungus may be more susceptible to developing toenail fungus. If you notice symptoms of this condition, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer proper treatment options. 

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood of Foot Health Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
Saturday, 14 December 2019 00:00

Reminder: When was the last time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Saturday, 07 December 2019 00:00

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

The medical condition that is known as athlete’s foot can cause pain and discomfort. It is considered to be a fungal infection of the skin, and generally affects the bottom of the foot and the area between the toes. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition can consist of itchy skin, red patches, and in severe cases, small blisters may form on the foot. If the infection is relatively mild, using a foot powder may relieve a portion of the symptoms. There are methods that can be taken which may help to prevent athlete’s foot. These can include washing and drying the feet regularly, and wearing appropriate shoes while in public swimming pools and surrounding areas. Additionally, it is beneficial to wear shoes and socks that are made of breathable materials. For severe infections, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can prescribe medication that is needed for relief.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

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

Read more about Athlete’s Foot

Stress fractures consist of small cracks in the bone or severe bruising within a bone, that develop most commonly from sudden increases in physical activity. For example, if a person begins exercising more often during the week for a longer duration and with a more intense workout regime, they are increasing their likelihood of obtaining a stress fracture. They can also occur due to improper form, a change in surface, or the use of poor equipment. To avoid getting a stress fracture, it is recommended to slowly introduce yourself to a new activity, make sure you’re using the proper equipment for the activity of your choice, and vary your activities to avoid over straining a particular area of your body. Swelling, tenderness, pain, and possible bruising in the foot or ankle region are a few symptoms one might experience if they have a stress fracture. To help treat your fracture it is recommended to modify your activities, use protective footwear, and practice casting. If untreated, stress fractures can lead to further foot and ankle complications, which is why we recommend you visit a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment regime.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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