In This Issue...
- We Have the Solution for the Discomfort of Flat Feet
- Make a New Year’s Resolution
to Take Good Care of Your Feet!
- February 2nd is National Wear Red Day®
- Recipe of the Month:
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Ancho and Orange
Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Connie Ornelas
We Have the Solution
for the Discomfort of Flat Feet
Do you have flat feet? There is an easy test
that you can take. Just wet your feet and then
stand on a bathroom tile or concrete sidewalk,
or any flat surface that will show your footprint.
If you can see the shape of your whole foot
rather than just a portion, then you have flat
The foot’s arch has several important jobs,
including absorbing lots of force during
weight–bearing activities like walking and
running. When the tendons that help form the
arch pull together the right way, the foot will show a moderate arch. However, in those with flat
feet, the arch collapses with weight–bearing so the entire sole is in touch with the ground.
Many of those with flat feet are born with this condition and it tends to run in families. Other
causes include damaged tendons, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve problems and trauma such as a
fracture. Weakened tendons, for example caused by pregnancy or the wear and tear of aging,
can also cause flat feet.
Symptoms and Treatment for Flat Feet
Many individuals with flat feet have no symptoms, but others experience:
- Pain and aches in the heels and arches
- Feet that tire easily
- Difficulty standing on the toes
- Leg, hip and back pain
- Swollen soles
If you have no pain, you can continue your normal activities but avoid participating in high–impact
sports like basketball and running on hard surfaces.
However, if you are experiencing pain and you must limit your activities, we can give you relief.
Non–invasive therapies that will reduce pain and other symptoms from flat feet include:
- Icing the area
- Stretching exercises
- Physical therapy
- Anti–inflammatory medication, with your doctor’s permission
- Custom orthotics to support the arch
If your pain is severe or the foot is damaged, we will discuss surgical solutions with you.
A Word About Children and Flat Feet
It’s very common for a baby’s feet to be flat. You’ll see the arches begin to develop by age 2 or 3.
You should, however, keep an eye on your child’s feet and watch for any gait changes such as
limping or walking clumsily. Excessive fatigue or pain during long walks may be a warning sign
that something is wrong.
If you have any concern about your child’s feet, walking habits or arch development, we’d be
happy to help!
Make a New Year’s Resolution
Good Care of Your Feet!
If you are like most of us, you have made a resolution or
two for the New Year. We have one to add to your list:
Take better care of your feet!
Those two hard–working feet will take you a long way
through your lifetime and need attention to keep them in
tip–top shape. Here’s how:
- Check your feet every day. Look for any damage such as cuts, punctures, cracked skin or
fungal infections. Don’t forget between the toes and your soles!
- Wash your feet daily with warm, soapy water and a soft sponge or washcloth. Be sure to dry
carefully, especially between the toes.
- After washing, moisturize your feet with a rich, emollient lotion or cream. This will keep your
skin smooth and prevent cracking that can let in damaging bacteria.
- Empty out your shoe closet and donate shoes and boots that are too tight, too narrow or worn
out. Use a few of those holiday gift cards to upgrade your shoe wardrobe. Shop late in the
day when feet are largest and select shoes with a flatter heel and plenty of toe wiggle room.
- Keep your feet well–protected. Avoid going barefoot and limit wearing flimsy flip–flops to pools
and the beach. Opt instead for sturdy sandals, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen. Wear
moisture–wicking socks in cooler or wet weather.
- Treat yourself to a professional pedicure, but vet the nail salon thoroughly in advance. Look
for the proper license postings. Check the foot baths and equipment for cleanliness and make
sure that all implements have been sterilized and are taken from new packaging.
- Add some simple feet, toe and ankle stretching exercises to your daily routine to maintain flexibility.
We wish you – and your feet – a happy and healthy 2018!