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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Podiatrist Recommended: Your Three Day Plan to Less Foot Pain.

Your Three Day Plan
To Alleviating Foot Pain

Step One:

Immediately, stop walking barefoot, stop wearing flip flops, stop walking around the house wearing only socks and stop wearing flimsy bedroom slippers. 

Step Two:

Purchase RX CROCS and wear them as bedroom slippers around the house. It is important that you wear the strap to the back. The RX Crocs are approved by the American Podaitric Medical Association for Diabetics and works wonders if you are suffering from heel pain or any forefoot pain. They also help alleviate knee, hip and lower back pain. 

Step Three: 

Find a New Balance store and purchase either the New Balance 928 or the 1540. If you are extremely sedentary and have trouble reaching your feet to tie your shoes, purchase the NB 812 with velcro straps. While you are at the store, purchase diabetic socks - even if you are not diabetic. They are amazing. 

Step Four:

REST. For the next three days, whenever you are sitting, elevate and rest your feet. Ice your feet with a bag of frozen vegtables for 5 to 10 minutes once or twice a day - unless you are diabetic, have poor circulation, have nerve damage or have a history of gout. 

If you are doing all this and you do not get significant pain relief within three days, you need to make an appointment with your local Podiatrist for further evaluation. 

If you have been walking around with a "dull ache" in your feet that is like a nagging tooth ache or you have unexplained swelling - you could potentially be walking around on a broken bone or stress fracture. Most Podiatrists can take X-rays in their offices and offer complete treatment for foot problems such as fractures, sprains, bunions, hammertoes, corns & calluses. If your Podiatrist immediately jumps to suggesting surgery for your bunions or hammertoes, please get a second opinion from a more conservative biomechanical-focused Podiatrist. You should only consider foot surgery after you have tried and failed conservative, non-surgical treatment.

After your Podiatrist properly diagnoses and treats your foot issues, ask him or her about getting Custom-Molded Orthotics, which are often covered by your insurance. CMO's are prescription arch supports that are custom-molded to your feet and hold your foot in the biomechanically correct and neutral position which helps to alleviate foot, knee, hip and lower back pain. CMO's also help slow or stop the progression of bunions, hammertoes and joint changes such as osteoarthritis and Hallux Rigidus. Your Podiatrist can also add "sweet spots" that off-load painful calluses on the bottom of your feet. 

Just remember, if you are limping or compensating for more than three days - it is very tough on your knees, hips and lower back and you are throwing off your biomechanics. The quicker you deal with foot and ankle pain, the better. Most problems with the foot and ankle are very treatable using gentle non-surgical treatment. When you see people limping around with terrible biomechanics - that usually did not happen overnight. The reality is that as soon as we start compensating or limping for any reason - and we ignore it and keep walking  - our bodies get used to it and that becomes our new normal. After decaades of this, we end up in a situation where our bodies start breaking down and it interferes with our ability to have an active and healthly lifestyle.

Don't wait. If you are limping, after three solid days of doing the things discussed here - please make an appointment to see your Podiatrist. 

As I always tell my patients - my job as your Podaitrist is to keep you as active as possible for as long as possible with as little problems as possible - so that you see less of me because you are out there having fun!

For more information - please go to the upper right hand corner of this blog and find the search butteon where you can search: 
"My feet hurt - top ten things to do to alleviate foot pain" 
"Shoe Recommendations for patients recovering from a Lisfranc's fracture." 

Have a lovely day,

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy