Shoes serve many functions. They protect our feet. They cushion our body weight. They can make our feet feel comfortable or fashionable — hopefully both! Finding the proper shoes and making sure they fit are important for keeping your feet and your body happy. Poorly fitting shoes can be painful and cause foot problems like bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more.
10 Points of Proper Shoe Fitting
Custom Diabetic Shoes
People who suffer from diabetes can have problems with circulation, nerves, immunity, and deformity. Occasionally one or more of these may exist as an isolated issue but often people suffer from more than one at the same time.
- Circulation: People with circulation problems don’t have as much oxygenated blood supplying their feet as other individuals and therefore have difficulty healing any wounds.
- Nerves: Those who have nerve problems can develop a blister and oftentimes not even know it is there until they take off their shoes.
- Immunity: Some individuals with diabetes have a diminished response of their immune system. Because of this, they can get an infection from a cut or blister more easily and have more difficulty treating it.
- Deformity: People who suffer from diabetes can have collapse of the arch of their foot or other deformities which makes the foot more difficult to place into off-the-shelf shoes because of the risk of blisters developing over areas of high pressure.
Proper footwear is therefore very important for people with diabetes. Your foot and ankle orthopaedic specialist can help you choose proper footwear and recommend shoe modifications to protect your feet.
How Smoking Affects Healing
If you're a smoker thinking about having surgery on your foot or ankle, there are some important things you should know. Cigarette smoke is filled with harmful chemicals including nicotine, hydrogen cyanide, and carbon monoxide. Smoking increases the chance that your bones and tissue may not heal well, that the area may become infected, or that you may have more pain after surgery than you did before.
How to Assess Changes in Feet: Normal or Abnormal
Over time or through improper use or overuse, feet can change. Some of these changes are normal, such as a foot widening as a person ages. But other changes are abnormal and should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. For instance, if a painful knob begins to develop near the big toe, it could be a bunion. Click below for information on how to assess your feet and know when you should see a doctor.
How to Be Non-Weightbearing After Surgery
If you're considering foot or ankle surgery, your foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon may have said you'll need to be non-weightbearing for a period of weeks after your procedure. What does that mean?
The term non-weightbearing, sometimes prescribed simply as N.W.B., refers to restrictions placed on you immediately after surgery. You will be advised to avoid putting the surgically repaired foot on the floor. This typically means no weight whatsoever, not even for a second or two whether standing or seated.
How to Care for a Sprained Ankle
Ankle sprains are very common injuries -- some 25,000 people do it every day. Sometimes, it is an awkward moment when you lose your balance, but the pain quickly fades away and you go on your way. But the sprain could be more severe; your ankle might swell and it might hurt too much to stand on it. If it's a severe sprain, you might have felt a "pop" when the injury happened.
How to Care for Your Diabetic Feet
People with diabetes are at risk for foot problems that can develop into more serious issues. However, regular visits to the doctor along with proper daily foot care and protection at home can help reduce the risks. Click the button below for expert tips on caring for diabetic feet at home.
How to Eat Right for Your Foot Health
One step you can take to help keep your feet healthy is to consume plenty of calcium. Calcium keeps bones strong, and the amount your body needs varies at different times in your life. Dairy products like cheese and yogurt are examples of foods high in calcium. Click the button below to find out how much calcium you should have each day and for more tips to ensure you get enough in your diet.
How to Identify an Ankle Fracture
To understand if an ankle is fractured (broken), it helps not only to know the symptoms but also to understand how the bones, muscles, and other soft tissues work together. Click the button below to learn more about the anatomy of the ankle as well as signs that indicate it may be broken.
How to Keep Your Feet Flexible
When you take time to do a few foot flexibility exercises each day, it not only helps reduce any current discomfort you may have, but it can also help you avoid foot pain and injury in the future. Click the button below for diagrams and instructions on how to perform several foot flexibility exercises that can be practiced at home, such as towel curls and toe raises.
How to Prepare for Foot or Ankle Surgery: Part I
Use this three-part guide to help make your orthopaedic foot or ankle surgery and recovery go smoothly. You achieve the best results when you work with your surgeon to prepare for surgery and post-surgical recovery. Part 1 will focus on what to do before your surgery.
How to Prepare for Foot or Ankle Surgery: Part II
Use this three-part guide to help make your orthopaedic foot or ankle surgery and recovery go smoothly. You achieve the best results when you work with your surgeon to prepare for surgery and post-surgical recovery. Part 2 will focus on what to do the day of your surgery.
How to Prepare for Foot or Ankle Surgery: Part III
Use this three-part guide to help make your orthopaedic foot or ankle surgery and recovery go smoothly. You achieve the best results when you work with your surgeon to prepare for surgery and post-surgical recovery. Part 3 will focus on what to do in the days immediately after your surgery.
How to Select Children's Shoes
Most children learn to walk at about the time of their first birthday, although some learn months earlier or later. As your child begins to walk, you may have your first questions about what shoes he or she should wear. A growing child will need new shoes frequently, and more questions will arise.
You should ask yourself the following questions when selecting your child's shoes:
- How does the shoe fit?
- How is the shoe made?
- Is the type of shoe appropriate for your child's age?
How to Strengthen Your Ankle After a Sprain
Following an ankle sprain, you should start strengthening exercises once you can bear weight comfortably and your range of motion is near full. There are several types of strengthening exercises. It is easiest to begin with isometric exercises that you do by pushing against a fixed object with your ankle.
Once you have mastered isometric exercises, you can progress to isotonic exercises. In isotonic exercises, you use your ankle's range of motion against some form of resistance. The photos below show isotonic exercises performed with a resistance band, which you can get from your local physical therapist or a sporting goods store.
How to Stretch Your Ankle After a Sprain
After the initial pain and swelling from your ankle sprain have subsided (usually within 5-7 days) and you can tolerate weight on your foot, you can begin stretching exercises in stages. The goal of these exercises is to restore your ankle's range of motion.
Once ankle range of motion has been almost or completely restored, you must strengthen your ankle. Along with strengthening, you should work toward a feeling of stability and comfort in your ankle, which foot and ankle ankle orthopaedic specialists call proprioception.
How to Wear High Heels to Avoid Injury
High-heeled shoes are a popular fashion choice, but wearing them can lead to foot pain and injury. Some common injuries and pain associated with wearing high heels may be prevented with the following steps.
How Vitamin D Affects Bone Health
Vitamin D is important for maintaining bone health. It affects bones by controlling the body’s levels of calcium and phosphate, which are critical for building new bone. Vitamin D controls calcium and phosphate levels in three ways: by regulating how much we absorb from our diet, how much is within our bones, and how much we excrete.
We get vitamin D from our diet, sun exposure, and oral supplements like multivitamins. Only a few foods naturally contain vitamin D. These include some oil-rich fish, certain mushrooms, and egg yolks. Most of our dietary vitamin D comes from fortified dairy products, cereals, and bread products. The sun provides a major source of vitamin D, but sunscreen, which protects against sunburn and skin cancer, decreases the skin’s production of vitamin D.