Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pamper Yourself!

Need an excuse to pamper yourself? Head to the doctor.  You probably think I'm crazy but the Step Alive Spa is located within the Advanced Footcare Clinic. Head to the Step Alive Spa and get pampered!

The Step Alive Spa is located within the Advanced Footcare Clinic.  The spa is a complete medi-spa.  This means that you get the experience of a salon in the privacy and clean environment of a doctor's office.  All instruments are sterilized in auto-clave, just like surgical instruments would be.  The spa also reuses removable liners that are disposed of between each visit to avoid the risk of cross contamination.  

Don't be put off by the sterile environment.  You will still receive a spa experience, just in a private and clean room.  Click here for a download able brochure of all the treatments available through the step alive spa.  The best part is; all treatments are comparable to local salon pricing.  Why risk infection when you can receive a sterile spa experience for the same price? Call us at 419-423-1888 and schedule yourself some pamper time!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Common Foot Problems in Women

Women are more likely than men to experience problems with their feet.  In fact, women experience about four times as many foot problems as men.  Can you guess why?  If you guessed improperly fitted shoes or habitual heel wearing give yourself a pat on the back.  Some common foot problems in women that are caused by improper shoes include hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and other various foot problems.

A hammertoe is a deformity of the toe.  As a result of squeezing feet into shoes that are too small or have very narrow toe boxes, toes can become permanently deformed and bent! To prevent hammertoes from occurring, make sure you always purchase shoes that are the right size and shoes that have a toe box wide enough for your foot.

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes.  It can be caused by wearing shoes with inadequate arch and heel support.  To prevent plantar fasciitis, trade in your old skimpy flip flops for a pair of supportive shoes.  You should also ensure your Achilles tendons and calves don't get too tight.

Bunions are another product of ill fitting shoes.  Bunions are a result of the joint of the big toe becoming unaligned, resulting in it bending toward the other toes. This can happen as a result of wearing shoes that are too tight. Wearing wide-toe shoes and special pads to protect the area can help. Try these pads, available through our online product store

Other common foot problems in women include blisters, corns, and calluses.  All of these problems can result from wearing shoes that are too big or too small as they will cause rubbing and friction.  In order to prevent these problems from developing, always purchase shoes that fit.  Do not allow time for the shoes to "break in."  You should be able to walk out of the store in your new shoe and feel comfortable.  Wearing properly fitted and supportive shoes can prevent a lot of problems in your feet. If you are experiencing any foot problems as a result of ill fitting shoes, do not hesitate to contact out office to schedule an appointment.  Foot pain is not normal! Contact us at 419-423-1888 or visit our website to request an appointment.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

APMA Pedicure Pointers

The warm weather may have you showing off your feet more than usual and you are probably regretting not getting a pedicure sooner!  Pedicures are wonderful and relaxing but are potentially dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken.  An improper pedicure can result in very serious infections of the feet.  Here are APMA's guidelines for an in-home or spa pedicure.  However, most of these tips can be disregarded if you are getting your pedicure at the Step Alive Spa.  The Step Alive Spa is a medi-spa that is closely monitored by our doctor and instruments are sterilized in an auto-clave. 
  • If you have diabetes or poor circulation in your feet, consult a podiatrist so he or she can recommend a customized pedicure that both you and your salon can follow for optimal foot health.
  • Schedule your pedicure first thing in the morning. Salon foot baths are typically cleanest earlier in the day. If you're not a morning person, make sure that the salon filters and cleans the foot bath between clients.
  • Bring your own pedicure utensils to the salon. Bacteria and fungus can move easily from one person to the next if the salon doesn't use proper sterilization techniques.
  • When eliminating thick, dead skin build-up, also known as calluses, on the heel, ball and sides of the feet, use a pumice stone, foot file or exfoliating scrub. Soak feet in warm water for at least five minutes, then use the stone, scrub, or foot file to gently smooth calluses and other rough patches.
  • When trimming nails, use a toenail clipper with a straight edge to ensure your toenail is cut straight across. Other tools like manicure scissors or fingernail clippers increase the risk of ingrown toenails because of their small, curved shape. See a podiatrist if you have a tendency to develop ingrown toenails.
  • To smooth nail edges, use an emery board. File lightly in one direction without using too much pressure, being sure not to scrape the nail's surface.
  • Gently run a wooden or rubber manicure stick under your nails to keep them clean. This helps remove the dirt and build-up you may or may not be able to see.
  • Maintain the proper moisture balance of the skin on your feet by applying emollient-enriched moisturizer to keep soles soft.
  • Use a rubber cuticle pusher or manicure stick to gently push back cuticles. If toenails are healthy, you can use nail polish to paint toenails. Make sure to remove polish regularly using non-acetone nail polish remover.
  • Resist the urge to shave your legs before receiving a pedicure. Freshly shaven legs or small cuts on your legs may allow bacteria to enter.
  • If you are receiving a pedicure and manicure, don't use the same tools for both services as bacteria and fungus can transfer between fingers and toes.
  • Although certain salons offer this technique, don't allow technicians to use a foot razor to remove dead skin. Using a razor can result in permanent damage if used incorrectly and can easily cause infection if too much skin is removed.
  • Don't round the edges of your toenails. This type of shape increases the chances that painful ingrown toenails will develop. 
  • Emery boards are extremely porous and can trap germs that spread. Since they can't be sterilized, don't share nail files with friends and be sure to bring your own to the salon, unless you are sure that the salon replaces them with each customer.
  • Don't use any sharp tools to clean under nails. Using anything sharp makes it easy to puncture the skin, leaving it vulnerable to infection.
  • Be sure that you don't leave any moisture between toes. Anything left behind can promote the development of athlete's foot or a fungal infection.
  • Because cuticles serve as a protective barrier against bacteria, don't ever cut them. Cutting cuticles increases the risk of infection. Also, avoid incessantly pushing back cuticles, as doing so can make them thicker.
  • If you suffer from thick and discolored toenails, which could be a sign of a fungal infection, don't apply nail polish to cover up the problem. Nail polish locks out moisture and doesn't allow the nail bed to "breathe." Once you fix the underlying issue, then it is safe to paint nails. If the problem persists, be sure to visit your podiatrist.

A personal pedicure set is a good investment whether you do your own pedicures or visit the salon.  Bringing your own tools to the salon will help prevent germs from spreading and infections from happening.  The pedicure set pictured above is available through our online product store. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Are Your Shoes to Small?

Did you know most women are wearing shoes that are two sizes too small? Just because you want to wear a size seven shoe doesn't mean it is good for your feet!  Check out these tips for shoe fitting and shopping. Visit for more information on the benefits of wearing properly fitted shoes.

  • Have your feet measured everytime you buy shoes.
  • Remember, the size is just a guideline.  Fit can vary with brands and shoe style.
  • Go shoe shopping in the afternoon.  This is when your feet are most swollen and you will get the best fit.
  • You should be able to wiggle all of your toes in the toebox.
  • If your feet are different sizes, buy for the larger foot.
  • Only buy a pair of shoes if they feel comfortable; there should be no 'break-in' period.
If you are experiencing foot pain from wearing ill fitting shoes, make an appointment with your podiatrist to treat or prevent serious damage in your feet.  Call us at 419-423-1888 or visit our website, to make an appointment.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Women's Shoes

The best shoe for women's feet is a walking shoe with laces (not a slip-on), a composition sole, and a relatively wider heel with a rigid and padded heel counter, no more than three-quarters of an inch in height. You may want to try the Orthaheel Walker Shoe. Just like the tires on a car, improper alignment of the feet can cause wear and tear to other parts of the body… like the knees, hips, and lower back. This patented, orthotic walking shoe is designed to realign your foot to its natural position and improve posture. The ingenuity is in the motion controlling Tri-Planar System footbed with its contoured arch support and a deep heel cup. This durable cross-trainer has a leather and mesh upper, shock-absorbing EVA midsole and a rubber outsole.
Some women inflict punishment on their feet from improper footwear that can bring about unnecessary foot problems. Some of the problems result from high-heeled shoes (generally defined as pumps with heels of more than two inches).
A study conducted by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society found that:
•Nine out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small for their feet.

•Eight out of 10 women say their shoes are painful.

•More than 7 out of 10 women have developed a bunion, hammertoe, or other painful foot deformity.

•Women are nine times more likely to develop a foot problem because of improper fitting shoes than a man.

•Nine out of 10 women's foot deformities can be attributed to tight shoes.

High-heeled, pointed-toe shoes can cause numerous orthopedic problems, leading to discomfort or injury to the toes, ankles, knees, calves, and back. Many high-heeled-shoes also have a pointed, narrow toe box that crowds the toes and forces them into an unnatural triangular shape. These shoes distribute the body's weight unevenly, placing excess stress on the ball of the foot and on the forefoot. This uneven distribution of weight, coupled with the narrow toe box characteristic of most high heels, can lead to discomfort, bunions, hammertoes, and other deformities.
The height of the heel makes a dramatic difference in the pressure that occurs on the bottom of the foot. As heel height increases, the pressure under the ball of the foot may double, placing greater pressure on the forefoot as it is forced into the pointed toe box.

To relieve the abusive effects of high heels, women should limit the amount of time they wear them and alternate these shoes with good quality sneakers or flats for part of the day. Look for comfortable and attractive walking pumps for work and social activities, that blend fashion appeal with athletic shoe-derived construction, reinforced heels, and wider toe room for greater comfort. Low-heeled shoes (one inch or lower) with a wide toe box are the ideal choice for women. An ample toe box that can accommodate the front part of the foot is as important as the heel in determining fit.

If you're experiencing any pain in your feet that may have been caused by improperly fitting shoes, call our office at 419-423-1888 and schedule an appointment to make the first step toward pain free feet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Shoes

The holidays can be a really fun time for women because of all the opportunities they provide to get dressed up. Whether you are headed out to an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party or an Elegant Christmas Eve Dinner, chances are you will put some thought into which shoes you will wear.  Most women pick out their shoes based on style rather than comfort and function.  Here at the Advanced Footcare Clinic, we can't stress enough the importance of wearing proper shoes. You may be dying to wear those new sparkly sky-high heels, but you might just kill your feet in the process.  High heels add a lot of extra stress on your body and can cause several health problems.  A list of the top 3 reasons to never wear heels is listed below.

Top 3 Reasons to Never Wear Heels

1.  The shoes put extra stress on your feet, ankles, knees, and back. Many women suffer from unnecessary foot pain caused by high heels.

2. Shoes with "pointed toes, shoes with thin soles, and shoes with high spike heels" are of the cruel variety, according to the Web site of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, because they can "cause crowding of the toes and increased pressure," which can result in hammertoes and bunions. The American Society of Podiatric Sports Medicine reports that a three-inch heel creates seven times more stress than a one-inch heel.

3.  They can cause problems that can include bunions, stress fractures, joint pain in the ball of the foot, Morton's neuroma, "pump bumps" (enlargement of the bony area on the back of heel), corns and calluses, hammertoe, toenail problems and tight heel cords (shortening or tightening the Achilles tendon).

So you are probably thinking to yourself, "Well, I will just ditch my heels and grab my cool new ballet flats instead."  Unfortunately, this is a myth.  Flat shoes can also cause your feet several problems because they do not provide adequate support.  Flats provide you with no schock absorbency and little heel support, which can lead to plantar fasciitis. 

Instead of harming your body in the name of fashion, try our doctor approved shoes from Our Doctor Store. These Orthaheel Gia Booties are perfect for your holiday party needs.  They are not only cute but provide all of these cool features 

  • Podiatrist-designed, biomechanical footbed with a deep heel cup helps stabilize, support, and realign the feet back to their natural position.
  • Elasticized fabric knit sides and cuff provides a custom-like fit
  • New and improved “Active” removable biomechanical orthotic footbed supports feet and helps realign the lower legs, improving posture and balance.
  • EcoFresh® anti-bacterial odor-reducing footbed and linings.
  • Doctor recommended for unbeatable comfort and support.
  • Water resistant, lightweight, and flexible.
  • Textured rubber outsole provides traction and enhances walking comfort both indoors and outdoors.
  • Convenient, pain-free “natural healing” solution to many of the common aches and pains associated with poor lower limb alignment.
  • Orthaheel technology is clinically proven to reduce excess pronation, a contributing factor to “flat feet.” 

So the next holiday party you primp for, think twice before reaching for those high heels. They could pose much more of a risk to your health than you think. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Beware Fall Foot Pain

Women tend to experience more foot pain in the fall.  This is because of the transition from sandals and open toed shoes into boots and sneakers.  Always wear properly fitting shoes and avoid shoes with no support or shoes that are worn out.  Also, keep these ten tips for foot health from the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Top Ten Foot Health Tips

1. Don't ignore foot pain—it's not normal. If the pain persists, see a podiatric physician.

2. Inspect your feet regularly. Pay attention to changes in color and temperature of your feet. Look for thick or discolored nails (a sign of developing fungus), and check for cracks or cuts in the skin. Peeling or scaling on the soles of feet could indicate athlete's foot. Any growth on the foot is not considered normal.

3. Wash your feet regularly, especially between the toes, and be sure to dry them completely.

4. Trim toenails straight across, but not too short. Be careful not to cut nails in corners or on the sides; it can lead to ingrown toenails. Persons with diabetes, poor circulation, or heart problems should not treat their own feet because they are more prone to infection.
5. Make sure that your shoes fit properly. Purchase new shoes later in the day when feet tend to be at their largest and replace worn out shoes as soon as possible.

6. Select and wear the right shoe for the activity that you are engaged in (i.e., running shoes for running).

7. Alternate shoes—don't wear the same pair of shoes every day.

8. Avoid walking barefooted—your feet will be more prone to injury and infection. At the beach or when wearing sandals, always use sunblock on your feet just as on the rest of your body.

9. Be cautious when using home remedies for foot ailments; self-treatment can often turn a minor problem into a major one.

10. If you are a person with diabetes, it is vital that you see a podiatric physician at least once a year for a check-up.

To relieve the dreaded fall foot pain, try the unique cold therapy biofreeze spray. Its cold application reduces the sensation of pain and inflammation while the cold and re-warming stimulates the healing of tissue.  Biofreeze can also be used to ease pain associated with plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains and strains, joint and arthritis pain, and several more. It is available through our product store

If your feet are causing you a lot of pain or you think there may something causing you pain other than the change of seasons and footwear, call our office at 419-423-1888 or visit our website to request an appointment.