Tag Archives: Prevention

What Kind of Orthotics Work for You?

Orthotics reduce pain and prevent foot conditions from progressing. While adjustments may be made, the trickiest part is determining what kind truly works for your unique situation.

There are three broad categories of orthotics. The first category of orthotics primarily optimizes foot functions; the second category primarily protects your feet; and the third category contains orthotics which both optimize and protect. You may also distinguish between rigid, semirigid and soft orthotics.

Rigid Orthotics

Rigid orthotics control motion in two major foot joints. They are often made of plastic or carbon fiber and can be used for a longer period.

Semirigid Orthotics

Semirigid orthotics help maintain your balance by supporting muscles, joints and tendons. They usually consist of a soft layer of material which is reinforced with rigid orthotic elements. Semirigid orthotics are often used by athletes.

Soft Orthotics

Soft orthotics improve absorption from shock and take pressure off of painful areas caused by arthritis, diabetes and other conditions. This type of orthotic pads certain areas, which is why they are made of compressible materials requiring more space in your shoes.

Incorrectly fitted orthotics may not only be inefficient, but they may also cause other conditions to emerge or worsen. We strongly recommend consulting with a qualified podiatrist like Dr. Smith to avoid injuries and costly readjustments. One visit may do the trick and set you up with the perfect orthotics for years to come. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office team with any questions.

Our Tips to Stay Warm and Cozy

The cold season is here to stay, so we would like to share some of our favorite tips on how to stay warm and cozy during the holidays!

Our first recommendation comes from Tammy Norberg. She loves watching a good movie with her husband and their dog Beatrice. Tammy stays warm in front of her electric fireplace with a pair of comfy fuzzy socks.

Warm socks are a great idea, indeed! We recommend avoiding 100% cotton socks, because they capture moisture, especially when wearing them outside with thick boots. This moisture cancels out any insulation effects and may cause Athletes Foot. Wool socks will keep your feet both warm and healthy. Here is a selection of some of the best winter socks:

Our next recommendation comes from Dr. Smith. He enjoys a cup of hot cocoa when temperatures drop and likes to cover himself with his favorite Iowa Hawkeye blanket. If possible, he heads to California or Arizona for a week in January to warm up.

Choosing a good blanket is easier than choosing the perfect sock. You may choose between blankets made of flannel, fleece, Sherpa and others because humidity is not a concern. Have a look at the following selection of  cozy blankets based on these professional’s recommendations and user reviews:

Every family has their own special strategies, so talk with your friends and neighbors and exchange ideas. Also do not hesitate to gift a nice blanket or a warm pair of socks.

We wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving weekend!

5 Tips to Avoid Toenail Fungus this Season

Toenail fungus is becoming more common this time of year since it’s warming up. This irritating condition is a hassle to deal with, which is why we collected our top 5 tips to prevent toenail fungus:

1. Change your socks

Nail fungus loves moist and dark environments, so sweaty feet and wet socks are the perfect environment for toenail fungus. No matter whether you go hiking or have a stressful day at the office, make sure to have an extra pair of socks with you. Your colleagues will appreciate it as well!

2. Clean your toes

Just like your teeth, your toenails need to be cleaned. The more regular you clean, the lower the chance of getting toenail fungus! Once a day is probably more than enough, but twice a day makes sense when going to the gym or engaging on any other physically challenging activity.

3. Wear sandals

Talking about the gym: public showers and locker rooms are filled with bacteria and moisture, so wear sandals to protect your feet when going to the gym or local pool.

4. Use antifungal sprays or powders

Some people naturally sweat more than others, so control sweat by spraying antifungal sprays/powders inside your shoes and on your socks.

5. Wear shoes that fit

If your shoes are irritating your toes, they are most likely irritating your toenails. Any irritation increases the risk of getting toenail fungus, so make sure your shoes don’t touch your toenails. Alternate the shoes you wear so that they can air out before you wear them again.

Let’s all try to prevent toenail fungus for happier healthier feet, and keep your eyes open for upcoming blogs about toenail fungus detection and treatment options.

Toenail Fungus

Foot Protection – Winter Edition

Don’t let the weather have control over your feet. Whether you are shoveling, sledding, or simply walking through the snow it is important to make sure your feet are properly protected. Harsh winter conditions can often have a negative effect on your feet. Here are some tips on how to keep your feet protected and healthy this winter.

Proper footwear

Although this may seem obvious, it is extremely important to wear the correct shoes for winter. No matter what type of boot you decide to wear this winter, make sure they are waterproof. Snow and slush are unavoidable, so investing in a pair of waterproof boots is essential to keep your feet dry. It is also important to get your winter boots in a slightly larger size to be able to fit thicker socks and multiple layers. However, when participating in winter activities such as skiing or snowboarding, it is important to make sure your boots fight snug and comfortably. Boots that are too big can create instability and if your boots are too tight they can cause blisters.

Warm toes are happy toes

Not only are the type of boots you wear important, but so are your socks. This winter layering is your friend. A thin sock and an outer layer of a wool sock is a perfect combination for keeping your toes warm and comfortable. Although the temperatures can become extremely frigid, your feet still sweat. Avoid wearing cotton socks and look in to getting a pair of sweat-wick socks that won’t absorb your sweat like cotton socks do. This is a great way to avoid any problems of athlete’s foot this winter. Feet play a large role in body temperature, so make your feet a priority this winter

Keep your feet moisturized

One of the most common foot complaints in winter is dry skin, specifically cracked heels. Cracked heels, also known as “heel fissures” can be very uncomfortable and possibly painful. Like most other dry skin issues, apply lotion or moisturizing cream daily. Proper socks and footwear also play a role in protecting your feet.

Get a Grip

One way to avoid any nasty falls this winter is to make sure your boots have proper traction. Many winter boots are equipped with certain soles meant for gripping cold or wet surfaces. Generally made from rubber due to its water-proof ability, rubber soles are very effective when navigating slippery surfaces. So, do your research and make sure you’re properly equipped this winter.

Finally, always keep safety in mind. Wear proper boots, layer your socks, and take breaks to warm-up inside.

Plantar Warts – Identification & Prevention

What are Plantar Warts?

Similar to other warts, plantar warts are caused by an infection of the skin caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).  Plantar warts usually appear on the heel or ball of your foot, anywhere where large amounts of friction and pressure are applied.  This virus enters your body through tiny cuts, lesions or breaks in the bottom of your feet. Although Plantar Warts can affect anyone, they are more common among children, teenagers and people with weakened immune systems. Plantar warts are not a serious health concern and go away untreated or with home remedy treatments. But, if they become painful, start bleeding, reoccur or multiply please see your Podiatrist.

How to Identify Plantar Warts?

Plantar Warts are small, rough and appear on the soles or heels of the feet. Plantar warts can be flat and commonly grow inward under a hard, thick layer of skin such as the calluses on your feet. They can be a single wart or grow in a cluster also known as mosaic warts. Additionally, plantar warts may appear to have tiny black pinpoints inside the wart, also known as wart seeds. Don’t worry, these are just clotted blood vessels. Plantar warts usually grow slowly, but are easily identifiable because they often cause pain or tenderness in the area of the foot affected when walking or standing.

How to Prevent Plantar Warts?

It is hard to say how each person’s immune system will react to encountering HPV, but the spread of plantar warts is usually caused by coming in contact with an infected surface. Since it thrives in warm, moist environments, avoid walking barefoot in locker rooms, swimming pools and public shower rooms. Use shower sandals, keep your feet dry, always wear clean shoes and socks and avoid sharing socks with other people. To avoid spreading plantar warts, avoid direct contact with people who have them.  If you have a wart, do not scratch them.  Scratching can help plantar warts spread quickly to other smaller cuts and lesions.  Last, always cover your warts in warm environments to avoid getting more and spreading to others.

Learn more about Plantar Warts here: