Tag Archives: podiatrist

For the Ladies: HIGH HEEL HAZARDS

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We know, we know. We can already hear you saying, “But I love my high heels”. Aesthetically, high heels make the shape of a woman’s leg more appealing yet it seems the prettiest shoes are the most dangerous. Unfortunately, high heels are the poorest shoe choice for your health, propelling your entire body out of alignment, and altering your gait. What’s a girl to do? We’re not suggesting you become a fashion “don’t”, however there are some things you should ponder before buying your next pair of high heels.

First, some facts:

  • Every day in the US, there are over 28,000 ankle sprains.
  • 55% of those go untreated as “just a sprain”.
  • An untreated sprain may lead to future instability, early arthritis, exercise difficulty, and balance issues
  • High heels pull the muscles and joints out of sync with the rest of your body, causing back and knee pain.
  • 42% of women 25-49 years of age wear heels daily; 34% of women over 50 wear them as well.
  • In 1986, 60% of women wore heels daily; that has decreased today to below 39%. Women are now opting for more comfort and there are many well- known brands offering sophisticated choices.
  • A 1” heel puts 22% of body weight on the ball of your foot; a 2” heel places 57% of your weight; and a 3” heel puts a whopping 76% of your body weight on the forward foot. Ouch.

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So, how can you be fashionable and healthy at the same time? Some tips:

  • Avoid wearing high heels on a daily basis; vary your shoe choices to rotate heel heights.
  • When wearing heels, limit wear to 4 or 5 hours at a time.
  • Limit heel height to 2”; if you need more height, choose a platform with an incline of a couple inches. A “kitten” heel (a one inch, tapered skinny heel) is a fashionable alternative.
  • Avoid pointed toe boxes that squeeze your toes together; if you want a pointed look, make sure your toes have room in the toe box before the shoe tapers (a pointy toe high heel may cause ingrown toenails).
  • Our feet tend to expand as the day progresses so purchase shoes later in the day for the best fit.
  • Perform daily calf stretches.
  • Shoes that are too large may cause blisters from friction when walking; leather insoles will help keep your foot from sliding inside the shoe.
  • Choose a thicker heel rather than a skinny stiletto for better balance.
  • Many savvy shoe brands are making dressy flats so why not opt for a pair?

If your feet or ankles have suffered the wear and tear of time in high heels, the physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates can help get you back on your feet. We have convenient locations in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton and are able to accommodate same day appointments when needed. For more information go to our website at www.SOA.md or give us a call at 941-951-2663. Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

Sources: American Podiatric Medical Association; American Osteopathic Association; Medical Daily; Women’s Health

THE HUMAN FOOT: Engineering or Art?

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Leonardo da Vinci was quoted as saying “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”. He wasn’t kidding around considering a human foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Because the foot is so intricate, there are so many things that can go awry; a break or fracture in any area can have an effect in another area of the body. In every case, an injury as serious as a fracture will mean the inability to bear any weight. This can be quite painful, offset balance, increase pressure on the opposite leg and joints, and even affect overall mood due to lack of exercise that may ensue. If not addressed quickly, a collapsed bone, severed ligament, or permanent deformity may develop.

In the case of breaks or fractures, foot treatment can be as straightforward as a cast or brace if treated quickly. A digital x-ray will indicate how to proceed. When an MRI is indicated, our office has a digital extremity MRI which means just the foot and ankle are inserted into the machine … no confining tube for your body! If the break is serious or ignored, surgery may be an option to offset the shift in the foot/ankle structure. Stress fractures may require protective footgear for a period of time.

Swelling is a sure sign that medical attention is in order, but it doesn’t always indicate a compromised bone. Swelling of the foot and ankle could be a result of an injury, but may also be caused by a medication, diet, pregnancy, or blood clot. Determining the source of swelling requires a medical diagnosis.

Some of the more common foot conditions we see at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates:

  • Fungal nail infections are hard to treat and unfortunately don’t go away without treatment.
  • Bunions occur at the base of the large toe forcing the toe to migrate toward the smaller ones.
  • Corns and calluses, or thick, hard areas of dead skin, are caused by friction or pressure.
  • Gout is actually a type of arthritis that occurs in the big toe.
  • Athlete’s foot is contagious, usually picked up by going barefoot in damp areas like a locker room.
  • Hammertoes can be painful, generally seen in any of the middle toes when bent at the middle joint. It is often hereditary.
  • Plantar fasciitis is often at the worst case in the morning and is noted with pain across the bottom of the foot.
  • There are more common foot conditions, and fortunately, they are generally correctable.

Our team of physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates handles many types of extremity, joint, and back injuries. While all injuries are to be taken seriously, damage to the foot and ankle musculoskeletal system should be carefully monitored, as these injuries may cause challenges in other parts of the body. If you’ve had an accident and are seeking treatment, contact us today at 941-951-2663 to make an appointment. We have four locations and offer same day appointments when necessary. You may also make an appointment directly through our website at www.SOA.md   Just click on the button at the home page to request an appointment.

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Sources: www.SOA.md and WebMD