"Top Ten" Foot Health Tips
Diseases, disorders and disabilities of the foot or ankle affect the quality of
life and mobility of millions of Americans. However, the general public and even
many physicians are unaware of the important relationship between foot health
and overall health and well-being. With this in mind, the American Podiatric
Medical Association (APMA) would like to share a few tips to help keep feet
1. Don't ignore foot pain—it's not normal. If the pain persists, see a podiatric
2. Inspect your feet regularly. Pay attention to changes in color and
temperature of your feet. Look for thick or discolored nails (a sign of
developing fungus), and check for cracks or cuts in the skin. Peeling or scaling
on the soles of feet could indicate athlete's foot. Any growth on the foot is
not considered normal.
3. Wash your feet regularly, especially between the toes, and be sure to dry
4. Trim toenails straight across, but not too short. Be careful not to cut nails
in corners or on the sides; it can lead to ingrown toenails. Persons with
diabetes, poor circulation or heart problems should not treat their own feet
because they are more prone to infection.
5. Make sure that your shoes fit properly. Purchase new shoes later in the day
when feet tend to be at their largest and replace worn out shoes as soon as
6. Select and wear the right shoe for the activity that you are engaged in (i.e.
running shoes for running).
7. Alternate shoes—don't wear the same pair of shoes every day.
8. Avoid walking barefooted—your feet will be more prone to injury and
infection. At the beach or when wearing sandals always use sunblock lotion on
your feet as the rest of your body.
9. Be cautious when using home remedies for foot ailments; self-treatment can
often turn a minor problem into a major one.
10. If you are a person with diabetes it is vital that you see a podiatric
physician at least once a year for a check-up.
Your podiatric physician/surgeon has been trained specifically and extensively
in the diagnosis and treatment of all manners of foot conditions. This training
encompasses all of the intricately related systems and structures of the foot
and lower leg including neurological, circulatory, skin, and the musculoskeletal
system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves.
The preceding information was reprinted from the APMA website with permission.
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Dr. Nelson's "Top 10 Tips" for
Treating Plantar Fasciitis (aka - "Heel Spurs")
1) Wear a
custom-made prescription orthotic (best treatment) or a
high quality pre-made type
arch support, like Orthofeet BioSole.
- *very important*
2) Use a plantar fasciitis
night splint, while sleeping
or sitting down to gently stretch the plantar fascia and prevent it from
- *very important*
3) Do "runner's
stretches" (or other stretches) to stretch the back of the calves and the
arch of the foot. - *very important*
4) Stretch the arch of the foot in bed before getting out of bed in the morning.
5) Don't run, jog or use stair climbers until the pain
resolves. Wear supportive, cushioned, "athletic" type shoes.
6) Apply ice to
the arch and heel after being active on the foot.
7) Consider taking
anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), if you can tolerate them, but be
cautious of possible dangerous side effects.
8) Don't climb
ladders, don't walk barefoot, avoid going up/down stairs, avoid prolonged
walking/standing, don't rest the arch or heel on cross bars and avoid smoking.
9) If overweight,
try to lose weight.
10) If not
improving, see your podiatrist who may be able to offer you other treatments,
such as "cortisone" injections, anti-inflammatory medications, extracorporial shock wave therapy,
physical therapy, surgery and more.
have to suffer with heel pain. You can get rid of your heel pain
if you follow each of the top 5 suggestions listed above. If you do
each of the top 5 suggestions on a daily basis, you have over a 90% chance of
eliminating your pain due to plantar fasciitis (heel spurs).
relieving plantar fasciitis heel pain requires using a variety of synergistic
treatment modalities. The goal is to stop the activities which are
irritating the plantar fascia, position the foot into the correct anatomical
alignment, reduce strain on the plantar fascia while standing/walking, calm down
the inflammation and stretch out the plantar fascia, so that it can heal
properly in an elongated position. The longer you let heel pain go
untreated, the harder it becomes to eliminate the pain. For most people,
using a combination of arch supports/orthotics, a night splint while sleeping or
sitting down, stretching twice daily and modifying their activities is
sufficient to make their plantar fasciitis heel pain progressively resolve.
Fortunately, surgery is rarely needed. Keep a positive attitude and
remember that, yes, you can usually eliminate your heel pain by using these
The Strassburg Sock ™
Strassburg Sock treats plantar fasciitis heel pain at night while you sleep in comfort. Plantar
fasciitis is also commonly called "heel spur syndrome" or "heel spurs".
This style of night splint is much more comfortable to wear while sleeping than
traditional hard plastic back (or front) style night splints. Plus, the
Strassburg Sock night splint is much less expensive than most other styles of
Which Orthotic / Arch Support Should I Use?
Dr Nelson's comments:
The best fitting and functioning type of arch support is a custom made
prescription orthotic, which can be made by your podiatrist. Generally,
for most people, I recommend trying a pre-made arch support before progressing
to an expensive pair of custom made orthotics. Finding a comfortable and
effective pre-made arch support can be difficult. There are hundreds of
varieties on the market and that can make it confusing for customers. Due
to the variations in people's foot shapes, foot problems and style variations in
different products, there is no "one type fits all" arch support available.
That's why DrNelsonClinic offers different brands and models like
WalkFit and PowerStep to
choose among. Fortunately, for most people, I've found that the
OrthoFeet BioSole gel self-molding orthotics work the best and fit almost everybody.
Among the hundreds of pre-made arch supports I've seen and used, the
BioSole models give the best support and pain relief for people with
plantar fasciitis and heel pain. It's by far my favorite model for
people with heel pain, due in part to the higher arch and shock absorbing
gel under the heel. Be aware that the standard OrthoFeet BioSole "sport"
model is rather thick through the arch and it fits into athletic, work boots and
walking shoes, but may not fit into a shallow shoe, like a dress shoe. If
you want to use the OrthoFeet in a shallow shoe, like a dress shoe, then use the
"thin-line" or "high heel dress" models. The "sport" model may also be too
high in the arch area for people with very flat feet. For elderly or
arthritic people and those that want extra cushioning and softness under the
foot, while still getting extra support under the arch, try the OrthoFeet
BioSole "soft" model. If you don't need extra arch support or heel pain
relief and only want shock absorption and cushioning under the foot, try
the OrthoFeet "ThermoFit" model. After you start using any brand of arch supports,
remember to break them in gradually, because is will take some time for the orthotic and your feet to adjust to each other. I personally use the
OrthoFeet BioSole sport model in my athletic shoes and have found them to be as
effective and comfortable as my expensive custom prescription orthotics.
But, it did take longer to "break-in" the OrthoFeet supports than my custom
orthotics. If you don't have plantar fasciitis or heel pain or if you have
a flat foot and can't tolerate an arch support with a higher arch, but still
want great foot support to relieve foot fatigue and strain, you should also
consider SuperFeet Synergizer orthotics, which are
our most popular arch supports. SuperFeet Synergizer orthotics have
been highly recommended by sports and outdoor publications such as Backpacker™
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