Author Archives: Dr. Kevin Smith, DPM

Orthotic Shoes to Beat the Summer Heat

Orthotics improve your well-being by relieving pain and correcting your gait, but finding shoes to accommodate your orthotic inserts remains a challenge. Common questions you need to ask yourself when buying new shoes include the following:

  • Is the footbed deep enough?
  • Is there extra space around the toes?
  • Is a larger size than you would usually need available?
  • Does the shoe allow you to easily adjust orthotics?

Finding fashionable yet durable summer footwear is even more of a challenge, which is why we would like to introduce a couple of models for those of you using orthotics.

Wolky Jewel Sandals

These lightweight sandals with wedge heel come in many different styles. Removable footbeds and upper straps allow for easily fitting orthotics.

Naot Paris

The stylish Naot Paris sandal offers a removable, anatomic cork & latex footbed which is wrapped in pampering suede and molds to the foot with wear.

Propet TravelActiv Mary Jane

Propet’s durable sandals with removable insoles for custom orthotics are ideal for taking a stroll with the family. Their loop closure at instep ensures a comfortable grip.

Our office team is more than happy to consult on summer orthotic footwear to meet your unique needs. We also carry a full line of prescription footwear, socks and other items used to care for your feet.

Getting Back on Your Feet

Many of us are adapting to different daily routines. Some work more than ever, others found a new work-life balance allowing them to better focus more on their personal well-being. Creating new workout routines to stay active has become a common trend not only for people working out on a regular basis. We want you to know we are still available if you have any questions on how to get back on your feet – literally.

Are you new to running and started to experience a burning sensation or numbness? This may be caused by incorrectly sized shoes or shoes that are not made for running. Inform yourself about appropriate gear prior to starting a new workout to genuinely enjoy your new hobby. The same applies to any other sport, so don’t overcommit to too many new activities since each requires specialized, and potentially expensive, equipment.

If any of your new workout routines still cause any foot pain, we recommend to first check for ingrown toenails.  These are often caused by injuries, infections, improper trimming, or excessive pressure on the toes. We provide quick evaluations and treatments ranging from chemical to surgical.

Even if you are not making any changes to your daily routine, now may be a good time to assess your fitness goals and to address any foot concerns that didn’t seem relevant just a couple of months ago. A quick treatment may save you much trouble down the road when damage cannot be reversed that easily anymore. Check out the links below for more information on some common foot issues:

Keep in mind that healthy feet will also help with daily activities. They allow you to spend time at the lake, wear your favorite high heels, get your weekly grocery shopping done, and be active with your friends and family.

Foot and Leg Stretching Exercises

Remaining active during the COVID-19 lockdown is a challenge for most people. Some have spontaneously created a home workout routine or even attempted building their own workout equipment. In any case, stretching your feet and legs daily will provide relief against inactivity and warm you up for some home routines. Since many stretching exercises are fun and have health benefits for senior citizens as well, the entire family can participate in the following activities together.

Medical News Today offers detailed instructions for the following exercises promoting flexibility, mobility and strength. Their gifs and step by step instructions are especially well-suited for beginners.

  • Big toe stretches
  • Toe raise, point and curl
  • Toe splay
  • Toe curls
  • Marble pickup

Ready for the next level? Healthline offers similarly descriptive instructions on stretches, but focuses more on exercises you perform while standing. They suit most children and adults alike.

  • Ankle circles
  • Achilles stretch
  • Towel stretch
  • Band stretch
  • Standing calf stretch
  • Standing soleus stretch
  • Cross leg ankle stretch
  • Chair Pose

You can also check out Ardash Williams, a popular Yoga instructor. He created a YouTube video with tips on more advanced leg and feet stretches for healthy adults. These work best for individuals who have experience with professional workout equipment.

Some exercises are more adequate than others depending on your age and physical health. Please reach out to our office for more information on foot and leg exercises you can safely perform from home.

Tammy’s FAQs

Tammy has been with Dr. Smith for more than four years. Not only does she own horses, she also expanded her animal family by 28 newly hatched chickens this week. There are certain topics Tammy addresses on a regular basis, so she wanted to make sure you have the answers to the following top 2 frequently asked questions.

Do I need a referral to see Dr. Smith?

No, you don’t need a referral from a primary health physician or other medial professionals to make an appointment with Dr. Smith. There are exceptions when it comes to insurance providers, though. Some require referrals as a condition to cover expenses. Others don’t, though, so please check with your insurance carrier before making an appointment. Once you have scheduled an appointment, we will ask you to bring the following documents:

  • Completed New Patient Form
  • Insurance Cards
  • Co-Payment Information
  • List of Current Medications

Does my insurance covers orthotic treatments?

We accept most insurance.  Ask your insurance prior to making an appointment is crucial to avoid any surprises. This applies especially to orthotics which are often not covered. We do understand how important orthotics are to improve the quality of many people’s lives, which is why we offer a discounted cash price in certain cases. We will also go the extra step of checking with your insurance beforehand to provide a better estimate on the cost of orthotics. We will always work with you to come up with the best solution.

Thank you for the insights, Tammy! She is more than happy to answer your questions, so please feel free to give her a call at 309-762-7919.

High Heels, Low Fun?

Did you know each foot consists of 26 bones, 33 joints and plenty of muscles?  Now imagine how all of these elements interact with each other throughout the day. Adding high heels to the mix gives you a pronounced feel of how these intricate movements interact, but not necessarily in a good way. Follow these 6 steps to feel confident in your fashion choices and the well-being of your feet:

  • We all have our favorite shoes, but be sure to change them out.  Wearing the same shoes on a daily basis allows bacteria and fungus to flourish. A nice side effect with this tip; your shoes will better stay in shape.
  • Listen to your body. Pain is a signal your current behavior is a detriment to your health. Sit down and rest on a regular basis. Have a second pair of comfortable shows around you at any time.
  • Avoid cracked heels by moisturizing regularly and watch out for misaligned toenails.
  • Ask your podiatrist for advice if you suffer from conditions like diabetes.
  • Watch out for bunions. Once bunions develop, treatment may be necessary. The earlier you detect warning signs, the better chance you have to avoid them.
  • Keep your eyes open for more comfortable versions of your favorite heels. They may look slightly different, but the gains from avoided pain will outweigh the height.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying your high heels, as long as you take care of your feet and react to early warning signs indicating your feet are suffering. Read this article for more information.