Powerful TLC for Your Feet and Ankles

Eric James, MD is a Fellowship Trained orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. He specializes in foot and ankle advanced techniques and reconstruction of complex foot deformities. Dr James shares with us the importance of not neglecting our feet … they need a workout as much as the rest of our body!

happy foot

Stretch, Stretch, Stretch

Many common conditions affecting the foot and ankle can be attributed to, or worsened by, having a tight calf muscle. A large percentage of people have overly tight calf muscles and could benefit from a daily stretching routine. I prefer the runner’s stretch where the leg being stretched is straight behind you with the heel on the ground. This is done for varying periods of time, but I generally encourage a long, deep stretch.

calf stretch

Use the Little Muscles

The small muscles in our feet are often neglected and as they weaken, so does our foot’s ability to maintain correct alignment. Keep your feet strong by using them frequently. I recommend using the toes to pick up and grab objects off the floor. Spare sock on the ground? Grab it with your toes and avoid having to bend over while providing a work out for your feet.

Wear the Right Shoes

Finding the right pair of shoes can be challenging but makes a big difference in your foot health. Make sure you plan to try on shoes later in the day when your foot has done any swelling so you don’t end up buying shoes that are too small. Wear activity appropriate shoes. Try to limit high heel wear and shoes that are too small or pointy in the toe box. These shoes can lead to numerous problems like foot pain, bunions, hammertoes and neuromas.

Check Your Feet

It is a good idea to do a check on your feet daily when you shower or bathe. Check for any skin irritation, blistering, or other abnormalities. This is particular important if you have diabetes or neuropathy (loss or abnormal sensation) in the feet.

Our feet and ankles are very important and we need to keep them healthy! Let us know if we can help in maintaining your foot and ankle health!

NOTE: Eric James, MD is one of 13 physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates treating conditions of the joints, spine, and muscles. We offer same day appointments when needed. Call 941-951-2663 for an appointment at any of our four locations: Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, or Bradenton.

7 thoughts on “Powerful TLC for Your Feet and Ankles

  1. What can I do about toe nails that seem to be rotting? Been going on for about 18 months. My podiatrist doesn’t say a word. They have thicken and seem to have new ones growing in & pushing the rotted ones out. Also my fingernails are a disgrace. I am a 71 year old male. Spend every day swimming. A friend of your Sandi Wall.

    1. Our SOA foot and ankle physician, Dr Daniel Howard responds for you:
      There are a lot of treatment options these days. The most conservative approach is a topical treatment applied daily. Previously, a lacquer compound was used which had single-digit success rates. There is a new topical medication that has around 25 – 50% success rate. For more resistant forms of toenail fungus there are oral medications also. These require testing the liver function prior to administration. The FDA has approved these for daily oral use. They also are quite effective used in a pulse dose which dramatically lowers potential side effects. The oral medication studies show approximately 86% success in treating the spread of toenail fungus.

  2. It was interesting learning that, “Many common conditions affecting the foot and ankle can be attributed to, or worsened by, having a tight calf muscle.” It makes sense now that I think of it. It’s all connected in there, right? I’ll have to remember this before exercising so I can stretch properly and avoid any issues. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Without an examination to determine the cause, it would be difficult to determine what specifically would alleviate your pain. We recommend you seeing an foot and ankle orthopedist prior to purchasing a product or beginning an exercise regimen for your ankle. Thank you for your interest in our blog.

  3. I fell while running a couple months ago and had to see a foot and ankle surgeon. He operated on my broken foot. Luckily it is healing quickly and I can move it again. I asked my surgeon how I could prevent the same injury and he told me to wear better shoes. Great advice!

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