Posts for: April, 2012
People with foot pain are often extra careful about the shoes they buy (and with good reason!). A common question about shoes is how long do they last? Unfortunately, shoes have no expiration date noted on the bottom. How long your shoes will last depends on several factors, including how often you wear them, where you run or walk, how your foot functions, and your workout conditions and mileage. Contrary to popular opinion, however, you cannot always tell whether a shoe is worn out by visual inspection. With the technologies available today, the outer sole can hold up and not show deterioration even after the shock absorption and stability capacities of the shoe are gone. Wearing old athletic shoes, specifically for running, or wearing the wrong type of shoes for your foot or for a specific sport can lead to injuries. For example, running in a shoe that no longer provides traction, support, and cushioning can lead to a number of musculoskeletal complaints, among them heel pain, shin splints, and stress fractures. A basic rule of thumb for runners is to replace shoes every 300-500 miles.
Some things to consider are:
• Type of shoe/type of foot: Go to a high quality shoe store with well-trained staff. They will know how to evaluate your feet and place you in the proper shoe. Do not just go by brand. Even top name brand shoes make different levels of shoes. Remember the old saying – you get what you pay for.
• Environment: A humid climate can contribute to a shoe’s rapid
breakdown because running in a wet shoe will overstretch the upper part of the shoe while over-compressing the lower part.
• Body type: Your body weight is a big factor in determining which shoe is best for you. In general, the more you weigh, the more cushioning your feet will need to withstand the impact.
• Usage: The amount you wear your shoe and how many miles you log can also affect the life of your shoe. Runners and walkers can easily track their mileage. Shoes used outside will break down more rapidly than those in the gym.
About half-way through the life of your shoes, buy a second pair to rotate in during workouts. Having a newer pair as a point of reference will also help you identify the feel of shoes that have run their course. Additionally, by rotating your shoes you give each pair adequate time to allow the sweat to dry inside.
Sources: Orly Cohen, Certified Pedorthist & the American Podiatric Medical Association
What does Diabetes have to do with my feet?
People with diabetes can develop many different foot problems. Foot problems can occur when there is nerve damage also called neuropathy, which can lead to loss of feeling in your feet. Neuropathy can lead to an inability to feel pain, heat or cold. You may develop a foot injury and not even know it. Dr Cohen has had patients come into the office with thumb tacks in their shoes and not know it! The skin on your feet may also change become dry and crack and peel. The nerves in your feet that control oil and moisture may no longer work. You may develop corns and callusesthat if left untreated could result in ulcerations. Circulation is key to good foot health. If you develop poor circulation, you lose the ability to fight infection and to heal.
How can Foot & Ankle Centers Help?
Dr. Cohen will schedule routine diabetic foot examinations allowing him to check your feet thoroughly to check for any unusual signs. He may do testing on your feet to check your circulation and nerve function. He will check the feet and toes for any redness, swelling and sores. The best way to effectively maintain your foot health is to see the doctor. Do not hesitate to call for an appointment and let the doctor check your feet! Below are some things you should do regularly:
Diabetic Footcare Guidelines:
¨ Do not smoke
¨ Inspect your feet daily for blisters, cuts, scratches, bleeding and lesions between toes. Using a mirror can aid in seeing the bottom of your foot
¨ Do not soak your feet
¨ Avoid temperature extremes-do not use hot water bottles or heating pads on your feet. Test water before bathing
¨ Wash feet daily with warm, soapy water, and dry them well, especially between the toes
¨ Use a moisturizing cream or lotion daily, but avoid between the toes
¨ Make sure that shoes are comfortable at the time of purchase. Do not depend on them to stretch out. Break in new shoes gradually
¨ Do not use acids or chemical corn removers
¨ Do not perform “bathroom surgery” on corns, calluses, or ingrown toenails
¨ Trim your toenails carefully and file them gently. Have a podiatrist treat you regularly if you cannot trim them yourself. Contact your podiatric surgeon immediately if your foot becomes swollen, painful, or if redness occurs
¨ Learn all you can about diabetes and how it can affect your feet