Getting Help for Foot Problems

February 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Health 

If you have persistent foot problems or recurring pain that you cannot resolve, seek medical treatment from a medical specialist. There are pedorthists, physical therapists, athletic trainers, massage therapists, and sports chiropractors that can provide assistance for strengthening, alignment, rehabilitation, and footwear design and fit.

Listen to your whole body; especially your feet. Be attentive to when the pain begins and what makes it hurt more or less. Then be prepared to tell the specialist about the problem, its history, what you have done to correct it, and whether it worked or got worse. Conditions that could require the services of a specialist include ingrown toenails, burning feet, cold feet, warts, arch pain, forefoot pain, heel pain, and severe cases of Athlete’s foot.

It is easy to email others and seek answers, especially online forums, but there comes a time when professional help is needed. The above are the best at whet they do. Check out their web sites for more information.

Tossing Socks

February 15, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Footwear Products 

Ok, this is a quiz. Of all the socks in your sock drawer, how many should have been tossed months ago? I’ll bet you have two to three pair of socks that should have been aimed at the wastebasket a long time ago. Maybe even more. So how do you know when to toss out a pair of socks?

Actually, it’s fairly easy. After washing socks, put your hand inside and feel around. Then turn them inside out and check them again.
  1. Can you see your fingers through the weave of the fabric?
  2. Can you see threadbare areas, typically on the heels?
  3. Are their holes in the toes, or anywhere else for that matter?
  4. Is the inside starting to unravel?
  5. Are any areas thinner in cushioning than the rest of the fabric around that area?
  6. Is the top cuff around your ankle starting to come apart?
  7. Is the toe seam bothersome?
  8. Is the top cuff no longer supportive, hanging down your ankle?
Well worn socks

Well worn socks

If you can answer “Yes” to any of one or more of these eight questions, toss the socks. Socks are relatively inexpensive. Sure some cost upwards of $15.00 to $20.00 but just like other gear, there some a time when it is necessary to clean out your drawers.

Here’s an added tip. Don’t just check your old socks. Check them all. I once ran in a fairly new pair of brand name socks and developed a hot spot on one heel. When I too my shoe off, I discovered the sock was defective and the weave on the heel had separated. I had no more than 60 miles on the socks-but saved them for when I do foot care clinics as an example of a sock to toss.

When you need new socks, head over to Zombierunner and check out their selection. They have a well deserved reputation for quality product selection and service. Don and Gillian have selected only top of the line socks. We need to support our local running and outdoor stores, but for many without local stores, Zombierunner is a good source of products for the serious athlete.

Disclosure: I have an affiliate relationship with ZombieRunner and earn a small amount from referrals.

The Little Toe Triangle

February 6, 2010 by · 11 Comments
Filed under: blister care, Foot Care 

The little toe triangle? Huh? The what?

A recent post on blisters resulted in an email from a reader asking what this was. So I decided to answer his question by posting the explanation out of Fixing Your Feet (4th edition).

We each have two. Little toes that is. The number of problems with these little appendages has impressed me. “What problems?” you ask. It’s all about that little triangle of skin where most problems occur.

If you look at your little toes, your toes may be well rounded and soft. Or they may have the often-typical triangle look where the skin on the bottom of the triangle is hard and callused. The skin on the bottom of the toe forms the point of the triangle. The problem is that on many of our little toes, this bottom point is hard and callused skin. The hard skin is prone to blisters forming underneath as pressure from the toebox creates friction. Often this hardened skin is partially under the skin of the next toe, another pressure area. The outside of the foot, the little toe area, is often more wet and damp than the inside of the shoes, leading to macerated skin. Once softened, this skin can easily blister underneath, or worse yet, the skin can separate, leading to major skin problems.

One of the last runners whose feet I patched at Primal Quest had struggled for the whole event with macerated skin on his feet. When he came into a transition area, the skin had stripped off the bottom point of this triangle-of both feet. I’m sure it was painful and very uncomfortable. Once patched, he continued on as best he could.

The little toe is so small that it is hard to patch well. The use of Micropore or Kinesio tape is a good choice. Even better, in my opinion, is reducing the hard callused skin. Injinji toe socks can also be helpful. Good shoes are vital too. Shoes with a good toebox that allows the toes room to wiggle are best. Once the skin has blistered, 2nd Skin is good to use as a patch. Cut it to fit the blister. Too much and it becomes bulky and rubs on the neighboring toe.

During a race or hike, be watchful of your little toes. This small but potentially troublesome triangle of skin deserves special care. While this common problem happens most often to our pinky toes, it can affect other toes too.

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