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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Easy Spirit Heel Riser - Comfortable Women's Sandal...

Are you addicted to your Fit-Flop's but find that you need more support?

A wonderful alternative is...

The Easy Spirit Heel Riser Sandal.

At $24.97 at Footsmart, 
this is an excellent choice for a casual sandal that is similar to the Fit-Flop but offers more support and comfort. If you prefer to try on the sandal, J.C. Penny's usually carries the Heel Riser. 
This sandal has a thick, rigid sole that is very protective of the foot joints and offers superior biomechanical control because it has forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot strapping. Even though the sole is thick and rigid - it has a lot of cushion that allows for more shock absorption and comfort. 

 If you are currently wearing the Fit-Flop
(or any flip-flop!) and you are experiencing rearfoot pain such as Achilles Tendonitis or heel pain, I highly recommend that you "bump up" to a shoe with rearfoot control! With the Easy Spirit Heel Riser, you get the added benefit of the midfoot and rearfoot strapping, which offers more biomechanical control of the midfoot and rearfoot joints - resulting in less mechanical strain of your tendons, muscles and joints. Not to mention your knees, hips and lower back! More biomechanical control means less mechanical strain, less chance of injury and significantly more comfort. 

Overall, I highly recommend the Easy Spirit Heel Riser for casual wear because it is protective of the foot, has good biomechanical control, wide, soft straps and it's lightweight. 
Not to mention the price is fabulous!

This Sandal IS Recommended For Patients with:
Mild to Moderate Hammertoes
Mild to Moderate Bunions
Morton's Neuroma
Hallux Limitus 
(Limited range-of-motion of the 1st toe joint)
Hallux Rigidus 
(No motion of the 1st toe joint)
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Mild Tendonitis
Mild Achilles Tendonitis
 Corns & Calluses
Mild to Moderate Edema (Swelling) 
Mild Hypermobility

This Sandal is NOT Recommended For Patients with:
Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)
Peripheral Arterial Disease (Poor Circulation)
History of Ulcerations
Charcot Foot 
Moderate to Severe Hypermobility
Ankle Instability
Posterior Tibial Dysfunction
Drop Foot

I have as yet to talk to a patient who owns this sandal that doesn't love this sandal!

Hope this was helpful!

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy


For More Info - 
Check out my articles on this blog:

"My Feet Hurt - Top Ten Things to Do To Relieve Foot Pain Today."

"Shoe Recommendations For Patients Recovering From Lisfranc's Fractures." 

You can go to the 'search' box at the top of the page and search:

My Feet Hurt
Shoe Recommendations

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Effects of High Heels on Your Feet...

The Effects of High Heels
On Your Feet...

For the woman who is lucky enough to say, 
"I've been wearing heels for years and I've never had any foot problems" -
I would say, "You're one of the lucky ones - 
so far..."

In my mind, 
it's the same thing as the person who says, 
"My dad's been smoking a pack a day of cigarettes for fifty years and he's never had a problem."

In both cases, 
the only way to figure out if you are one of the 'lucky ones' that won't develop foot pain or 
lung cancer is -
you have to wear heels and smoke like a chimney for years and see what happens...

It's a gamble!

Don't gamble with your body!

Protecting your feet and taking care of your body will significantly improve your quality of life, keep you active longer and decrease the chance of injury.  

Let's talk feet...

Please don't get me wrong -
I'm not against wearing high heels! 
I do, however, have specific recommendations for the type of shoes you should be looking for if you want to wear high heels based on your individual biomechanics.

There are many women who will not be able to tolerate high heels due to the genetic biomechanical structure of their feet. 
Whether or not you can tolerate high heels is directly related to the biomechanical structure of your feet. 
The biomechanical structure of your feet is genetic and runs in families and it can also be 
related to previous injury. 

One example: 
If you have Hallux Limitus, which is decreased motion of your first toe joint and you try to wear an ultra high heel 
(i.e. you are trying to push motion through a joint that doesn't have motion) 
you are at risk for developing bone spurs, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease and lateral ankle strain (to name a few).

Determining what type of shoe that works best for you is pathology specific! 

Basically, what type of biomechanical foot structure you have or what type of foot problems you have 
will determine what type of shoe will be ideal for you...

What works for one person, will not necessarily work for another person. 

Let's look at some pictures...


Ah, yes, those were the days!
Pre-Podiatry shoes...
And, yes, they did come out of my closet and, although I haven't worn them in two decades,
 I can't bring myself to throw them away. 
You know what I'm talking about, ladies...

What's wrong with these heels:

1. With a true heel height of 3 and 1/2 inches, they are too high and putting too much pressure across my foot and ankle joints - not to mention my knee, hip and lower back, which can cause joint damage, muscle strain, tendonitis, bunions, hammertoes and a multitude of other problems.

2. There is no midfoot or rearfoot strapping, which is forcing me to put more strain and wear-and-tear on my tendons, joints, and muscles - not to mention my knees, hips and lower back.  With no rearfoot strapping, I am struggling to keep my foot in this shoe!
I am crunching down my toes so that I can stay in the shoe, which causes more inflammation, swelling, strain and damage.
This can cause 'Tired Leg Syndrome' as well as a multitude of other problems.

3. The combination of the aggressive angle of the high heel and lack of midfoot and rearfoot strapping is forcing my joints, tendons and muscle to struggle to stay in my shoe.

Why this heel is better than the previous heel:

1. Because of the wedge style, this shoe has a true heel height of 3 inches. I'm getting the height (for fashion) but not as aggressive 'tilt' on my foot and ankle joints as the previous shoe.

2. There is midfoot and rearfoot control, which helps decrease mechanical strain, the chance of injury and pain. 

3.  This heel will not work for everyone, but it is better than the first shoe we looked at...

This is the Dansko Rowena and it is currently my 'go-to' casual heels to wear with jeans. 

Why this shoe is better than the 
previous two shoes choices:

1.  The wedge in the front of the shoe is thick and rigid for more biomechanical control and increased protection for the foot structures such as joints, tendons and muscles. 
The true heel height is 2 and 1/8 inches.

2.  There is midfoot and rearfoot control for more biomechanical control, which means less strain and more comfort.

 Wearing high heels 
changes your gait and the biomechanics 
of your feet, ankles, knees, hips and 
lower back and...

Inappropriate High Heels can cause:

*Degenerative Joint Disease
*Forefoot Pain
*Plantar Plate Injury
 *Lateral Ankle Strain
*Tailor's Bunions 
*Morton's Neuromas
*Knee, Hip & Lower Back Pain
*Corns & Calluses

For Recommendations for Comfortable Shoes that are Pathology Specific - 
please refer to my blog:
Within the Blog, 
Use the 'Search' box to look up: 
Top 10 Comfortable Sandals
Top 20 Comfortable Women's Dress Shoes
Top 5 Comfortable Walking Shoes

Hope this was helpful!
Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Comfortable Women's Wedge Heels - Tusbo Stlye!


Two Comfortable Cool Women's Wedges...

 Tsubo Barto
$119 at 6pm.com

 Tsubo Sedna 
$159 at zappos.com

I absolutely love Tsubo shoes!
Every pair I've owned has been a go-to shoe for comfort and style. 

What's great about these two wedges are that they have a thick, rigid sole that is very protective of your foot joints. 
More protection for your feet means 
less wear-and-tear of the joints, which results in 
more comfort and less chance of injury. 
Not to mention prettier feet! 
You are either beating up your feet or you are beating up the shoes...

The Barto shoe is superior because it has forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot control, which allows for more biomechanical control. 
More biomechanical control of the foot and ankle means you get less mechanical strain, which allows for  less chance of injury and 
superior comfort. 

The Tsubo Sedna lacks midfoot control but has rearfoot and ankle control, which makes it an amazingly comfortable wedge sandal. The Sedna  is a particularly good shoe for anyone who has a large bump on the top of their foot (exostosis) and can't have any pressure on it.

Are you starting to develop bunions or hammertoes? 
Are you concerned about stopping or slowing the progression of foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes? 

To do this, it is imperative that you only wear shoes with a thick rigid sole that has forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot control.

Excessive motion in the foot while wearing substandard shoegear (i.e. flexible!) encourages the deveopment of:

*Tailor's Bunions
*Morton's Neuromas 
*Corns & Calluses
*Achilles Tendonitis
*Bone Spurs
*Joint Damage
*Stress Fractures
*Knee, Hip & Lower Back Pain

These Tsubo wedge sandals are a great option for women who want fashion, height and comfort while not wanting to cause their bunions or hammertoes to get worse!

 These Shoes ARE Recommended for Patients with:
*Mild Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint)
*Mild Bunions
*Mild Hammertoes
*Mild Achilles Tendonitis
*Mild Tendonitis
*Morton's Neuroma
*Mild Capsulitis of the Forefoot Joints 
*Mild Osteoarthritis
*Mild Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
*Mild Plantar Plate Injuries
*Recovering from Lisfranc's Injury (i.e. Jone's Fracture)
*Mild Ankle Instability
*Mild Hypermobility

These Wedges Are NOT Recommended For Patients with:
*Charcot Foot
*Diabetics with history of Ulcerations
*Peripheral Arterial Disease (Poor Circulation)
*Peripheral Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)
*Muscle Weakness
*Balance Issues
*The Elderly
*Severe Hallux Limitus or Hallux Limitus (No Range of Motion of the 1st Toe Joint)
*Severe Degenerative Joint Disease and limited range of motion of any of the forefoot structures

I hope this was helpful and I would love to hear any feedback on your experience with these shoes!

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Encore of 'Top 10 Things To Do To Relive Foot Pain Today"...

My Feet Hurt!

Top Ten Things 
To Relieve Foot Pain Today...
The following advice may not be popular but it is highly effective! 
It's straight forward, common sense medicine and --
it sure beats surgery! 
Give it a try and I would love to hear how it works for you...

Stop Walking Barefoot.
Forget about what people say about being barefoot being "natural" -- being naked is "natural" but we all wear clothes to protect our bodies from the elements.
It's wise to protect your feet also. 
There's nothing "natural" about walking around on concrete all day!
Plus, if your feet weren't hurting, 
you wouldn't be reading this.

Stop Wearing Flip-Flops.
Zero biomechanical control.
Try an experiment -- have someone video you on their cell phone from behind as you walk barefoot or wear flip-flops.
Now video you doing the same thing while wearing proper shoes with arch support.
Pay attention to what is happening to your feet, ankles and knees.
Not pretty, is it?
Lots of extra wear-and-tear on your joints, muscles and tendons.  
Remember, you're either beating up your feet -- 
or you're beating up your shoes.
If you think what you're shoes look like after several years of wear, 
what do you think is happening to your joints?

Stop Walking Around the House Wearing Only Socks.
Minimal protection!
Zero biomechanical control. 
Although I do recommend wearing socks with shoes, if you are walking around the house in only socks -- that is only slightly better than being barefoot. 

Stop Wearing Flimsy Bedroom Slippers.
If your slippers are flexible or bend too easily, 
you may be causing damage to your joints as well as setting you up for potential injury.
If you like to wear slippers in the house, 
at least look into getting"Diabetic Slippers" 
even if you are not diaabetic. 
These slippers offer more protection and are probably ten times more comfortable. 
Foot Solutions has a great Diabetic Slipper 
and you can find many others online. 

Around the house - as a bedroom slipper - 
wear Crocs RX clogs 
with the strap to the back.
Do you have heel pain? 
Knee, hip, lower back pain?
This is the cheapest and best medical advice you will ever get!!
If you wear Croc Rx Clogs with the strap to the back around the house, you will probably have a significant improvement 
in a very short period of time. 
The only time you should be barefoot and standing is in the shower! 

For a great Walking Shoe - 
go to a New Balance Store and purchase a 
New Balance Walking Shoe 
with Roll-Bar Technology 
and a wide base with an extra-depth toebox.
I often write my patients prescriptions for this shoe, which can make it tax deductible and give them a 10% discount at any New Balance store. 
I truly believe that proper shoes are medically necessary for many patients because it will decrease pain, risk of injury and prevent surgery. 
Not to mention make your life more pleasant because you will have less pain and you can concentrate on staying active and having fun! 

Elevate and Rest Your Feet 
and use a topical pain reliever like: 
Biofreeze or Traumeel -
both are over-the-counter and safe. 
Don't underestimate the power of rest!
As a physician, I am always amazed at the body's healing power so --
at the end of the day, 
grab a good book and put those feet up... 

Wear Arch Support.
Either Custom-Molded Orthotics or 
a good Over-The-Counter Insert
which you can purchase from your local Podiatrist or your local running shoe store.  
Ten percent of people cannot tolerate arch support, which means you have a ninety percent chance that arch support can improve your life.
I wish Las Vegas had those odds! 
Good arch support can also significantly help with knee, hip and lower back pain.
I've had patients say, 
"I have high arches -- I don't need arch support"
and my response is, 
"Bridges have arches but engineers design them with struts for support."
It's the same with your foot -- 
support under the arch means less strain on the joints, tendons and muscles. 

Wear Diabetic Socks 
for extra cushion 
and comfort. 
It sounds silly but I've been to lectures entitled "Current Technological Advances in Socks &
Sock Strategy."
Proper socks can decrease friction and thereby decrease calluses, corns, blisters and 
heel fissures. 
Diabetic socks may cost a couple dollars more but hopefully will be well worth it! 

Make an Appointment with your 
local Podiatrist!
Try to find a Podiatrist that specializes in conservative, non-surgical treatment. 
In my opinion, less than five percent of patients with foot pain need surgery. I am not referring to foot "procedures" that can be done in the office such as fixing ingrown toenails -- I am referring to more serious surgeries such as bunions and fusions of joints that will permanently change your foot and ankle biomechanics.
Foot surgery is more than you think!
The foot heals slower, hurts more, and swells more because while you are trying to heal it -- 
you are walking on it!
Not to mention, recovering from foot surgery poses many risks and the results are never guarenteed.
I always tell my patients that 
the goal of surgery is 
to take an "abnormal painful foot" and turn it into an "abnormal non-painful foot."
The only time you should consider having foot surgery is if you have tried everything and completely exhausted conservative treatment and you cannot perform your normal daily activities because of the pain.
Before you have foot surgery, please get a second or even third opinion!
 Most biomechanical foot pain can be resolved using conservative, non-surgical treatment. 


For more information, 
please see the article on this blog for:
Shoe Recommendations for Patients Recovering from Lisfranc's Injuries.

On this Blog, you can also look up:
  Top Ten Comfortable Sandals
Top Twenty Comfortable Dress Shoes
Top Five Comfortable Walking Shoes
Top Twenty Women's Comfortable Boots

Please feel free to explore the blog!
I have lots of information, articles and shoe recommendations for people who suffer from foot pain.

Have a Great Day!
Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy