Dr. Baird’s Footcare Tips
Don’t let heel pain keep you from reaching your goals. Take action now to get rid of your heel pains by following Dr. Baird’s 5 tips to avoid heel pain:
- Wear shows with adequate arch support and cushioning – throw out old running shoes
- Perform Calf Exercises every day
- Add intensity and duration slowly to your workout routine – adding hills to your run may lead to increase heel pain
- Avoid highly flexible shoes and get a good house shoe
- Avoid long periods of standing
- The key to successfully getting rid of this sharp pain is treating it early and having a plan of action. The good news is it usually responds well to conservative treatment. If following these tips offers no relief, it may be time to visit Family Foot & Ankle Specialists for one of our non-invasive treatment options.
Summer offers distinct issues for your feet. Follow Dr. Baird’s summer footcare tips to take keep your feet happy all summer long:
- Drinking plenty of water will help you stay hydrated and prevent any swelling of the feet due to heat.
- Summer is flip flop time! Exposed skin is prone to sunburn, so don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your feet, as well as the rest of your body. Sunscreen should be reapplied after swimming.
- Be sure to wear flip flops or water shoes around the pool, beach, and locker room. These surfaces are breeding grounds for bacteria causing warts, athlete’s foot, and ringworm.
- Open backed shoes can contribute to dry, cracked heels. As you wear your sandals, use a daily regimen of buffing the heels with a Healthy Feet Buffing Pad and applying Foot Miracle Cream, which are both available in our office.
- Do not wear flip flops when walking long distances or playing sports. They will promote the formation of hammertoes and provide little protection or support.
The transition from summer to fall weather can have a big impact on your feet. Dr. Baird offers the following fall tips to keep your feet in shape:
- Open backed shoes and dry weather can contribute to cracked heels. As you continue to wear your sandals this fall, use a daily regimen of buffing the heels with a Healthy Feet Buffing Pad and applying Foot Miracle Cream, which are both available in our office.
- Do not wear flip flops when walking long distances or playing sports.
- Retire any inexpensive foam flip flops that you have worn this summer. Hanging onto these until next spring can increase your chance of starting next summer with a bacteria or fungus.
- Shop for your new fall shoes at the end of the day. Our feet swell during the day and shopping later in the day will make sure you accommodate for this by purchasing the correct size shoe.
- How many miles are on your current workout shoes? Running shoes should be replaced every 300 miles or at any sign of breakdown in the sole of the shoe.
Staying active year-round is important for overall health, and walkers and runners should be extra vigilant to keep their feet healthy.
- Your running shoes should have a finger’s width of space between your longest toe and the front of your shoe.
- If you have one or more black toenails, your shoes are too small!
- Try a “Heel Locking” shoe lacing technique to lock your foot in place and avoid the annoyance of tight laces. Visit our website by clicking this link for a demonstration.
- As the weather gets colder, always dress like it is 20 degrees warmer than the thermometer. If it is 60 degrees, pull out the shorts and dress for 80 degrees when going out for a run.
- Never run in cotton socks. Hybrid synthetic socks are superior for controlling sweat and odor. My personal favorite brand are Thorlos, which have a thin cushion.
Footcare Frequently Asked Questions
Is immediate care necessary if I break a toe?
A toe fracture needs prompt attention. X-rays will reveal if it is a simple, displaced fracture or an angulated break. If you suspect you have broken a toe, call the office and we will develop the right treatment plan for you.
Can my foot be broken if I can move it?
You can walk with certain types of fractures. Common examples include breaks in the smaller, outer bone of the lower leg, small chip fractures of the foot or ankle bones and the often-neglected fracture of the toe.
Why do I have sharp, stabbing foot pains when I get out of bed in the morning?
What you are experiencing is likely plantar fasciitis. It is an inflammation of the band of fibers that run from your heel to toes. While you are sleeping the band begins to repair itself in a relaxed position. First thing in the morning, when you put pressure on the foot, the newly repaired fiber stretches and causes pain.
This is a common condition and can usually be treated with a conservative care regimen of icing, stretching, anti-inflammatory medication, and arch support. If not addressed, this can become a chronic condition that may require non-invasive Shockwave therapy or surgery.
How often do I need to replace my orthotics?
Orthotics should not look worn or show cracks on the top or bottom. They should be replaced every three years and evaluated for fit annually. Keep your orthotics in shape so that they will continue to work well for you.