You may have heard about orthotics in the past and wondered if they can help you and if it’s worth the investment. This post is focused on answering all of your questions about orthotics. Orthotics are supportive devices used in shoes to give functional support and control to the foot. They work by encouraging your foot into a neutral position which more evenly distributes forces throughout your foot and eliminates pain-inducing abnormal motion.
What types of conditions can orthotics help with? Amazingly, orthotics can aid in the treatment of several types of foot problems. Orthotics can be a great help to those suffering with issues such as:
- Heel pain (plantar fasciitis)
- Achilles Tendonitis (inflammation and/or pain in the Achilles tendon)
- Flat Feet
- Great Toe Pain
- Neuromas (Thickening of the tissue surrounding the nerves causing pain)
- Metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot)
- Diabetic Neuropathy
What are the advantages of using orthotics? First, many patients find immediate relief from pain by using orthotics. Second, there are several types of orthotics to fit all budgets, shoe styles, and comfort levels. Third, they are often times a less expensive and less invasive way of treating foot conditions than surgical intervention. Fourth, many insurance companies cover the cost of custom orthotics either partially or entirely, making custom orthotics even more affordable.
Curious about whether orthotics might be right for you? Contact our office at 209-823-3700 or make an appointment for a consultation.
Now that I’ve said my piece about our resolution to eat better, let’s talk about our exercise routine. Did you know there’s actually quite a bit of damage that we can do to our feet if we jump into exercising without considering the consequences? The very first point to consider before tackling this goal is to ensure we are healthy enough for exercise. It’s always a good idea to make a quick stop into our Primary Care Physician’s office for a physical exam to get the green light before beginning any type of exercise regimen.
Once the doc has verified we’re healthy enough for exercise, let’s make sure we consider what we wear when we exercise. I’m not qualified to give you advice about Lululemon or the latest in athletic fabwear today, but I do have opinions about what we put on our feet. As a Foot Doctor in Manteca, I’m acutely aware of the negative consequences of poor footwear choices, since I can see the damage it causes over time. Conditions like ingrown nails, plantar fasciitis, and more can be traced back to footwear issues. When I work out, I make sure that my shoes fit correctly with enough wiggle room for my toes and have proper arch support, cushioning, and flexible soles. I’m not paid by Brooks Running company, but you’ll always see me wearing a pair of their running shoes when I’m exercising. Feel free to ask me why on your next visit to the office.
My last piece of advice here is that we should make sure we ease into our new workout routines, one step at a time. Conditions such as heel pain, also known as plantar fasciitis, often creep up when starting an exercise routine too quickly. If exercising causes foot or ankle pain, stop immediately to prevent further damage and make an appointment to have it checked out. Pain in our feet is our body’s way of warning us that something is wrong, so we shouldn’t ignore it. There are plenty of non-weight bearing exercises we can continue in the mean time to get our cardio workouts in, such as swimming, cycling, or utilizing rowing machines at the gym.
I hope these little tidbits of advice can help you meet your resolutions to achieve better overall health without sacrificing the health of your feet in the short or long term, and I wish you the best and healthiest year yet!
The hustle and bustle and glitter of the holidays is behind us and the New Year with its resolutions is upon us. It probably won’t come as a surprise that the most common New Year’s Resolutions are health related. In fact, the top 3 resolutions people make are to exercise more, lose weight, and eat better. Do these resolutions sound familiar to you? You might find it comforting to know that I’m squarely in that boat myself and that I have health and fitness goals in mind for 2018. Personally, I'd love to be ready to compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in September this year. So this post is for us! It’s dedicated to helping us meet our New Year’s Resolutions with a twist: keeping the health of our feet in mind as we strive to achieve our goals.
Are you looking to lose weight by eating better and exercising more? Are you ready to jump in, feet first? That thought thrills me because besides joining you in my personal resolution to lose weight and exercise more, having healthy patients is the goal of my practice in Manteca, CA!
In this post, let’s tackle the goal of eating healthier in 2018. This is a fantastic resolution for the health of our feet! Did you know that the foot has a whopping 26 bones in it? Second only to the hand, it is the part of our body with the most bones! Since our feet have so many bones, eating in a way that prevents bone degeneration, like osteoporosis, is paramount to maintaining proper foot health! Individuals with osteoporosis tend to visit my office more often with conditions like stress fractures in the foot or from injuries from falling because of a lack of essential vitamins such as vitamin D and calcium. So as we jump into our New Year’s Resolution to eat smarter, let’s not skimp on our dairy products! The marketing hype is real: milk does a body good. Lactose intolerant or vegan? There are plenty of other foods rich in these nutrients such as leafy greens, fatty fish, and vitamin D-fortified foods like cereals and juices.
Check out my next post on Achieving Our Goals One Step at a Time. In it I talk about how to meet our New Year's Resolution to exercise more and I give you my opinions on footwear and avoiding injury. In the mean time, Happy New Year!
When I was attending Podiatry School in Oakland, I had a neighbor we'll call Morris, who was a workaholic & a weekend warrior. During the week, Morris commuted into the city where he managed a clothing boutique business for at least 12 hours a day before commuting back home. His busy work schedule didn't allow him much time for a good workout during the week. But every Saturday morning, Morris would wake up early and literally bang out a half marathon on the trails in our neighborhood. It was like a super workout. With little time for physical exercise during the week, he more than made up for it on the weekend. My friend Morris is the perfect example of a weekend warrior.
While Morris is an incredible athlete, as a weekend warrior, he may be prone to what is known at Weekend Warrior's Plantar Fasciitis, among other issues. While plantar fasciitis affects about 10% of the U.S. population, the lifestyle of the weekend warrior lends itself to this condition because weekend warriors tend to do too much too quickly, which can put extra strain on muscles, and in particular the plantar fascia.
What is Weekend Warrior's Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is most commonly recognized as “first-step-in-the-morning” pain or pain after long periods of inactivity. There are many conservative treatments for this problem, including icing, performing regular stretches, and wearing supportive shoes as we discussed in the first part of our Ode-to-Runners blog series. More advanced treatments include wearing orthotic devices, receiving injections available in our office, wearing nightsplints, & even surgery.
To avoid this condition, take your workouts slowly. My advice is to spread out your workouts, and avoid increasing your distance by more than 10% per week to reduce strain on your body and muscles. Stretch well, stay hydrated, and listen to what your body is telling you. If your feet are telling you that you are doing too much, take a break, slow your pace, or dial back your mileage.
If you are suffering from Weekend Warrior's Plantar Fasciitis, there is help available, and you need not suffer in pain. Check out our heel pain section here our website for more detailed information on causes, symptoms, and treatements, or make an appointment online with Dr. Jack Harvey in Manteca, CA or by calling 209-823-2700 today!
If you are anything like the team at San Joaquin Foot & Ankle, the New Year brings with it plenty of new goals and resolutions, many of which are health related. Whether you like to run indoors on the treadmill or like to brave the cooler weather jogging outdoors, this blog series is for you. We'll start today by talking about the best gear, and in the coming weeks we'll give you our recommendations for technique, common foot problems runners face, along with the best treatments to help, and even a list of upcoming runs in the Central Valley area. We hope you enjoy this series, our Ode-To-Runners.
Whether you are a novice or a pro, the first thing you need to consider before going out for your next run are the shoes you wear. Your best support & defense against foot problems is choosing the right pair of shoes. Select a pair that fits you well. Your toes should have some wiggle room and the width should be appropriate. The soles should be flexible at the ball of the foot and provide appropriate arch support & cushioning. I advise replacing your shoes every 300-500 miles or roughly once a year. Visit our patient education section for more detailed information on my recommendations for athletic footwear. By scrolling to the bottom right hand side of the page, you'll find a section on shoes. Clicking on the arrow next to "Shoes," you'll find I specifically break down footwear by gender, the type of activity you are engaging in, such as running, hiking, etc, and even what your shoe wear patterns may say about your foot structure and potential issues.
Inside your shoes, I advise wearing socks made of a synthetic “wicking” material made to keep your feet dry when running to reduce the incidence of fungus, blisters, and odor. Another piece of gear to consider: arch supports. Give your feet an extra boost during your workout with a pair of prefabricated or custom orthotics, both of which are available in our office, and provide support to your foot structure which can provide extra comfort during your runs and prevent biomechanical problems down the road.
Do you have running gear or other related questions? Check out the rest of our Ode-to-Runners Blog Series, or feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jack Harvey at his office in Manteca by calling 209-827-2700 or by scheduling an appointment online. Happy Trails!
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