Remember trick-or-treating as a kid? Going from door to door, ringing the bell, and the old saying, “Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!” Well smelly feet can be a real problem. Smelly feet tend to cause problems for people with excessively sweaty feet and people whose feet spend too much time in enclosed shoes. If your feet are always smelly, you might want to try asking your doctor if there is anything he can do for you. Wash your feet daily with soap and water, and dry them well. That way, you can enjoy your Halloween smell-free, and focus on the costumes, candy, and fun with the kids.
I saw a patient today who came in with heel pain, but as it turns out, that was not the only thing she wanted to discuss. She mentioned how happy she was with herself during the conversation because she was so chatty. This is an unusual comment during a medical examination. As it turns out, she is taking some classes with a psychologist to learn how to be more social, because she suffers from bipolar disorder. She feels that they are working very well and that it is time well spent. She discussed her life a little bit, and it is difficult because she has this mental condition. It seems more difficult for her because people often perceive her lack of social grace as being aloof or that she is dis-interested. Also, on occasion she will have to be hospitalized for several weeks. This, of course, takes her out of the very social circles she wants so desperately to be a part of. It is also very difficult to explain where she has been when she returns. Without a pretty constant struggle, this patient finds it very difficult to continually engage with those she knows, works with, and sometimes even with her family.
The lesson for us here is perhaps that when we meet someone who is not as socially adept as we are or as we would like for them to be, that we might extend them a little grace and compassion. Perhaps they are in a situation like this young lady and are desperately trying to find friends and be accepted. Just a little extra effort on our part when we meet people different from us might really, in both the short term and long term, actually change her life. I have made a commitment since I met this young lady to really try to be more flexible, patient and tolerant of those not exactly like I would like them to be or exactly like the people I’m used to being around. This young lady turns out to be a wonderful person and wants to be loved and appreciated just like all of us. I want to help them just like I would want to be helped if I were them. Maybe someone should come up with a golden rule about that!
Cool crisp mornings and the changing of the leaves not only signifies the beginning of fall, but also the marathon season. On a recent long run, I spent some time really thinking about this season. I have a few marathons under my belt these days, but I remember my first – almost 17 years ago – like it was yesterday. Not only because it was my first marathon, but I was training and running with a beautiful young woman I had recently met (who is now my wife).
She really jump-started my passion for running long before I was a podiatrist, or even thinking about podiatry school. Thank goodness it was an amazing experience, and any runners out there that have completed a marathon can relate to that life changing moment when you push past all the pain and cross the finish line. Back then, I did not give much thought to shoes, training, or injuries. However, these days as a podiatrist that races in marathons and triathlons, this topic is high on my priority list!
Those of you out there packing on the mileage and preparing for a race, please listen to your feet. Foot pain when running is not normal and ignoring it can prevent you from finishing or possibly even starting that important race. If you are experiencing pain, get it checked out sooner rather than later. Often, there are treatments that can keep you running. Trust me when I tell you as a doctor and a runner, you do not want to train hard and miss that glorious finish. Cheers to fall!
Pain in the heel is one of the most common symptoms seen by foot & ankle specialists—and it is not fun! People with heel pain suffer. Whether it is a fresh injury keeping you from walking across the bedroom floor, or a chronic injury not allowing you to exercise regularly, frustration can really reach a boiling point.
Now, some good news. You don’t have to live with heel pain!! Many treatments exist and most lead to a complete recovery. What is the key to success? A plan. A focused strategy to do all the things that are good for healing while eliminating the things that are bad. Usually, it can be a pretty simple plan; home exercises, shoe wear changes, custom shoe inserts (orthotics). All are examples of simple treatments. Of course, there are many more treatments for heel pain. Surely, there is a plan for you, right?
Having heel pain is a drag. It’s time for a plan.
Heading back to school is an exciting time in and of itself; there is no need to complicate things with unhappy feet! In this post I will highlight a few of the things we at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center think are important healthy feet tips for your kids as they head back for another successful school year!
Back to school shopping is a ritual that parents, and inherently children, partake in on a yearly basis. A big reason for this is the fact that our little loved ones are constantly out-growing old clothes. This includes their shoes as well! It is important to pay close attention to shoes that may be too small or causing pain, as they may need new shoes as often as every few months during “growth spurts.”
It is important that we teach our kids about sharing, but this should exclude shoes! Parents really shouldn’t hand down shoes from one kid to the next, as often times this can promote the spread of conditions such as Athlete’s foot and toenail fungus. It is also rare for both children to have exactly the same foot type, so their shoes likely won’t fit the same anyways.
Shoes should be comfortable straight out of the box. Any excessive “break-in” period could mean that the shoes don’t actually fit well. Make sure to keep an eye on how the shoe is wearing on the bottom as well. If you notice areas of heavy wear, such as the heels or forefoot area, you should see your local foot & ankle expert to ensure there isn’t something biomechanically that needs to be altered. The good news is that sometimes all that is needed is a simple custom insert to re-align biomechanical instability and promote good lower extremity health for life! A simple analogy to orthotics keeping foot pain away is brushing your teeth to keep cavities away.
We wish you all the best of luck in this new school year, and look forward to sharing in your success stories when you come by the office!