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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Certified Pedorthist Ends Foot Pain.wmv

NEED AN EXTRA 12 INCHES? WOMEN TRY THESE SHOES…OR NOT!

A Romanian man, known as the “shoe architect” has created a line of stilettos that will increase a women’s height by twelve inches! Mihai Albu claims his shoes are distinctly appealing to most women since many do not have long legs. The shoes are miraculous sculptress of beauty. With feathers and jewels, skull heads and curves, he has created masterpieces for fashion. Not only are these shoe eye catching, they are also wallet drying! A pair of Mihai Albu’s shoes cost over $1,500. That is a lot of money, for something I would never put on my feet!

Yes, these shoes are beautiful and truly a piece of art, but probably the most ridiculous thing you could put on your feet. We would all like to be a little taller, but at what expense? Not only will these shoes hurt the pocketbook, they will also hurt the foot and ankle and all other body parts that hit floor after an easy accident in these towering skyscraper shoes.

Have you ever sprained your ankle? The first reason to not wear these shoes is an ankle sprain. After an ankle sprain or other similar injuries, your ligaments get damaged and weakened. Your ankle is inevitably less stable and you are prone to more injuries in the future. Not really a good idea to jump into intensely tall shoes that gives you zero protection to the ankle and makes you quite unstable. I would give you two hours in these shoes before you injured yourself, and I am being generous!

Do the balls of your feet ever hurt? Your foot is not designed to walk only on the balls of your feet and your toes. This week, I removed a fractured bone from women in her 20s. She injured her sesamoid bone, a small bone near your big toe. The injury occurred while dancing in high heels all night at a wedding. She unfortunately could not heal the bone and it had to be removed. Stress fractures are also common. To heal these types of fractures, surgery is usually not necessary. The area will need to be immobile in a surgical boot or cast. A severely unattractive and cumbersome device that has to be worn in replace of your cute high heels.

High heels are attractive and fashionable. I understand why women love to buy them and wear them. Many of them are truly pieces of art, but some should just be art. Not all shoe skyscrapers should be worn. Many should be admired from the store window or from the box. As soon as they hit the feet, they are disastrous. Be sensible.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Kelly Ripa’s Charity is a Podiatrists Nightmare

Many know Kelly Ripa for her days in daytime drama starring on the legendary soap opera All My Children. She fell into superstardom when she hit the talk show host scene on Regis and Kelly. Now Kelly is turning heads while racing through central park in high heels!!! In an annual charity event sponsored by Regis and Kelly and Zappos.com, Kelly and many other women raced in high heels. The event was to raise awareness and money for women’s heart heath and The Heart Truth, a national campaign combating women’s heart disease. I am all about raising money for good causes, but in 3 inch stilettos? Running in high heels is near insanity.

Running shoes are designed specifically to absorb the impact of running and accommodating the foot forces on the terrain. When running, your feet take on an impact of forces that is three times greater than your weight. Athletic shoes are made out of shock absorbing materials that help reduce the amount force that gets transmitted through your knees and back.

There is a growing culture of runners who are ditching shoes all together and going barefoot. Some small studies have been done looking at the biomechanics of this naked foot running, but most results have been inconclusive. The current belief is that when running barefoot, you change your running style and run more on your toes than your heel. This promotes a softer step and less impact is transmitted through your body. It is also noted that you must have a healthy, rectus foot for barefoot running to be beneficial. Unfortunately, most Americans do not have a healthy foot structure.

So if running on your toes causes less impact and high heels force you to bear all of your weight on your toes, shouldn’t stiletto racing be to our benefit? In high heels, your foot doesn’t have any control. You are still confined to the narrow space of tight shoe. It is also difficult to clear the heel from hitting the ground. The distinct style of barefoot running that causes less impact on the body takes many months of training and foot strengthening. I cannot find any correlation between the benefits of forefoot running, or barefoot running and high heel running.

Nail avulsion or damage, blisters, lacerations, sprains, and fractures are only a few injuries that will dominate a stiletto race. I think it would be easier to run to the ATM in sneakers. I’ll happily donate to the cause, but you won’t be catching me in red high heels, especially since I am not that kind of guy. It is very commendable for these women to stand up to women’s heart disease and I am inspired by their strength and daring attitude. Hopefully they all survived the race with healthy feet and hearts full of joy. Kelly Ripa always keeps us on our toe! If you have an inspiring way to raise awareness of heart disease, visit http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/index.htm.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Forbes Claims Shoes to Tone Your Legs are a Waste of Money!

You see them on TV, hear about them on the radio, and you see them on everyone. Shoes that promise to tone your legs and lift your butt are the new craze. No time to work out? No problem, just wear some special shoes to help melt the pounds away. These shoes carry a heavy price tag and Forbes has announced your money is better spent on a gym membership. Are you wasting your money or do these shoes actually work?
The theory behind all of the different “tone shoes” is to make you less stable so your legs work harder. The more you use your muscles, the stronger and better looking they will become. Your legs are made up of a number of different muscles. Some work harder than others. The shoes rock in abnormal directions or have different contours than a typical shoe or foot. This causes your leg muscles to work harder to keep you upright and walking normal. A simple concept, but does it work?
These shoes will work muscles that you are not used to working. Many will notice soreness in their butt and legs after their first few walks. I have no doubt that different muscles are being strengthened and that toning of your legs is essentially happening. The question is whether or not it is enough to be noticeable?
Very few dependable studies have been done to allow us to assess the long term outcomes of wearing the shoes. With no scientific evidence it is very easy to be skeptical. What I do know for sure is that there is no magic trick, magic product, or magic pill to help you lose weight. If you are simply buying the shoes and not changing your lifestyle, you will most definitely not see a change in your weight or muscle strength. If you buy the shoes and as a result start a walking program then, you will probably see a difference due your increased activity.
I do not discourage my patients from buying the shoes unless I feel their foot type puts them at an increased risk of injury. Since the shoe is intentionally making you unstable, it is important for the consumer to be stable in nature and able to withstand those abnormal forces. I caution elderly or the disabled since their gait can already be unsteady. The shoes will put them at higher risk for falls. Anyone who has had an ankle injury or has frequent ankle sprains should avoid theses shoes or wear with caution. The shoes can cause greater instability in the ankle and may lead to sprains or fractures. No one should use the shoes to run or play sports. The shoes are specifically designed for walking only.
Since these shoes function much different than your typical shoe, you should expect some discomfort after the first few times of wearing them. It is recommended to make a slow transition into the shoe to prevent overuse injuries. If you experience consistent pain or discomfort discontinue wearing the shoes and allow your muscles and feet to rest. Some shoes are not for everyone. Be sensible. Don’t replace your gym membership with a magic shoe; it will not work out in your favor.

Monday, May 31, 2010

NEED AN EXTRA 12 INCHES? WOMEN TRY THESE SHOES…OR NOT!

A Romanian man, known as the “shoe architect” has created a line of stilettos that will increase a women’s height by twelve inches! Mihai Albu claims his shoes are distinctly appealing to most women since many do not have long legs. The shoes are miraculous sculptress of beauty. With feathers and jewels, skull heads and curves, he has created masterpieces for fashion. Not only are these shoe eye catching, they are also wallet drying! A pair of Mihai Albu’s shoes cost over $1,500. That is a lot of money, for something I would never put on my feet!

Yes, these shoes are beautiful and truly a piece of art, but probably the most ridiculous thing you could put on your feet. We would all like to be a little taller, but at what expense? Not only will these shoes hurt the pocketbook, they will also hurt the foot and ankle and all other body parts that hit floor after an easy accident in these towering skyscraper shoes.



Have you ever sprained your ankle? The first reason to not wear these shoes is an ankle sprain. After an ankle sprain or other similar injuries, your ligaments get damaged and weakened. Your ankle is inevitably less stable and you are prone to more injuries in the future. Not really a good idea to jump into intensely tall shoes that gives you zero protection to the ankle and makes you quite unstable. I would give you two hours in these shoes before you injured yourself, and I am being generous!

Do the balls of your feet ever hurt? Your foot is not designed to walk only on the balls of your feet and your toes. This week, I removed a fractured bone from women in her 20s. She injured her sesamoid bone, a small bone near your big toe. The injury occurred while dancing in high heels all night at a wedding. She unfortunately could not heal the bone and it had to be removed. Stress fractures are also common. To heal these types of fractures, surgery is usually not necessary. The area will need to be immobile in a surgical boot or cast. A severely unattractive and cumbersome device that has to be worn in replace of your cute high heels.

High heels are attractive and fashionable. I understand why women love to buy them and wear them. Many of them are truly pieces of art, but some should just be art. Not all shoe skyscrapers should be worn. Many should be admired from the store window or from the box. As soon as they hit the feet, they are disastrous. Be sensible.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Am a Hippocrit!

Podiatrist Demands you Wear Flip Flops?

We are nearing the time of the year that families, couples, and friends pack up their bathing suits and head south for a much needed vacation. You may be anxiously awaiting the sand, sun, and cocktails. Burring your feet in the sand beats the day to day routine of boots, snow, and cold toes. With the growing check lists for your upcoming departure, foot health may not be on your list of thing to prepare for, but maybe it should! The number most vital thing to pack to save your feet are sandals or Flip Flops!

It is not often that you hear a podiatric physician promoting flip-flops, but they can be very important in protecting you on your vacation. We often forget that viruses, bacteria, and fungus enjoy the warm weather as much as we do. Though walking around barefoot can be relaxing, it is dangerous. You can pick up warts, athletes foot, and bacterial infection just about anywhere. Always wear sandals by the pool and even in your hotel room on the carpet. Do you know who stayed in your room last and how well did they clean the carpet?

Walking barefoot in the sand is very relaxing until you step on a piece of glass, a sharp twig, a shell or whatever the last metal detector-vacationer dropped from his pocket. Flip flops do not offer you any support, but they do provide a barrier between you and something harmful. Wearing flip flops can prevent you from getting an open wound. You may be thinking so what; a little cut on my foot won’t ruin my vacation. Not only are you at risk of getting an infection, but you will also be in a lot of pain. Even a small cut is easily aggravated by the salt water in the ocean or the chlorine in the pool. Planning on going golfing? How will your cut feel after a full day of walking on the greens?

On a nice tropical evening, it is so enjoyable to take a walk on the boardwalk or watch the sunset off the deck. Where there is wood, there are splinters! I see a number of patients every year with splinters in their foot. Sometimes, they remember the exact moment the stubborn piece of wood found a home in their foot, other times they had no idea their pain was being caused by a splinter. Two things can happen with a splinter in your foot. First, the wood harvests bacteria and can cause a local infection. The area will be red, hot, swollen, and some drainage from the wound site may be noted. If possible, your body will identify the splinter and immediately wall it off to prevent an infection. This walling off mechanism may cause a painful cyst that would need to be surgically excised.

It is very rare for a podiatric physician to tell you to wear your flip-flops. Vacationing is a great time to pull out the flip flops and use them for your safety. It should be noted that flip flops only provide protection and do not provide any support. Thus, if you are doing a lot of walking or standing, you should be wearing a more supportive shoe gear.