Each day in my podiatry practice I am asked about foot swelling. This can occur for a variety of reasons. One is prolonged sitting in a fixed position such as on a long airline trip.. Many of us notice that our shoes seem to be much tighter after the flight, especially if we have removed our shoes. Other times it can be from prolonged standing throughout the day.
The veins are the anatomical structure necessary to bring blood from our feet to our heart. If there is some compromise of the veins swelling of the feet can become an issue. As we age our veins weaken and the valves inside them tend to stretch. This will result in reflux and accumulation of fluid in our feet.
In both of the above cases there are some simple treatments that can alleviate or reduce the fluid in the feet. Exercise helps greatly as the muscles in the lower extremity can force the fluid back towards the heart. Another simple treatment is to elevate your feet above of the level of your heart. Over the counter compression stockings can also be used if necessary. These can be purchased in most pharmacies and are very effective.
Of course there are other more serious causes and one should always consider speaking to your family doctor if these simple methods do not work.
With the harshness of the winter many people are choosing to take vacations in the sunny south. Please remember to sunscreen your feet as they are also susceptible to sunburn.
Each day in my podiatry practice, patients are complaining of dry and scaling heels. Most times these are merely annoying but for some patients this is more serious as fissures and cracks may develop. These cracks can be painful and potentially become infected.
Here are my recommendations.
- Soak the feet in plain water with a tablespoon of baby oil.
- Gently pat the feet dry.
- Apply moisturizing cream. I suggest vaseline intensive care, Keri lotion, Lubiderm and Lachydrin.
- Allow 10 minutes to absorb
- Wrap with saran wrap or apply vaseline petroleum jelly. Put your socks on and wear them overnight.
Over the years I have found this to be extremely successful.
Cold feet can occur for a number of reasons including diabetes and Raynaud’s disease. During this winter’s harsh conditions patients with either of these disorders should be especially careful to avoid prolonged exposure outdoors.
In addition, Infracare socks can be especially valuable in keeping our feet warm.
Infracare cold feet socks are coated with biomaterials that increase temperature by 5 – 7 Deg C or 10-12 Deg F.
In addition Infracare cold feet socks come with unique patient friendly features. They are Seam free, Constriction free and made of Breathable fabric.
Patients with diabetes and poor circulation should be under the care of a Podiatrist. Preventative maintenance can reduce the potential for infections and potential gangrene and amputation.
Senior citizens in particular are in a high risk group for foot problems. With proper foot care senior citizens can enjoy many years of pain free activity. Toenail problems are quite common. As we get older toenails may thicken, become ingrown or be affected by fungus. Corns and calluses are more frequent and can result in foot pain. If you have these maladies visit your Podiatrist promptly.
Beware of excessive use of flip flops during the summer. This type of footwear offers no support which can result in foot pain. If you are looking for sandals, look for a firm heel cup, arch support, and straps that go over the feet. Some excellent brands are Naot, FinnComfort, and Birkenstock.
Orthotics generally provide proper foot support for between 2 and 4 years. See your podiatrist to have your orthotics assessed to ensure that you have the correct biomechanical suppport and to determine if your prescription hasn’t changed.
Spring has begun and many of us are beginning to run outside again. Whether you are running for recreation, or training for upcoming races, spring is an excellent time to check your shoes to see if they need replacing. The rule of thumb is that running shoes should be replaced every 500 miles or 800 kilometers.