Wide Foot Facts

Living the Good Life with Wide Feet!

Clogs – Good or Bad

Clogs – Good or Bad

Don’t fall into the misconception that all clogs are good for you. Clogs may be harmful to the health of your feet, legs and/or back. Back pain, foot pain, heel pain, bunions, stress fractures, neuromas can all be attributed to the clog shoe.

Wooden shoes have absolutely no give, so clog wearers tend to drag their feet. If you are planning on walking long distances, clogs are the last shoe you should choose.

Dansko makes professional clogs that are perfect for professionals’ shoes, such as nurses, chefs, and older people on their feet.

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Planter Fasciitis

The most common reason for foot pain is planter fasciitis, or heel pain. Sometimes referred to as heel spur syndrome, planter fasciitis can be present with or without an actual bony spur.
Stepping down on the foot, especially just getting up in the morning or after sitting for an extended time, can cause immediate shooting planter fasciitis pain. And pressing harder on a sore heel, the way some do with a foot that’s fallen asleep, causes planter fasciitis pain worsen. Starting exercise without warming up, Planter fasciitis flares up when the planter fascia ligament that stretches from the heel to the ball of the foot – which also supports the arch – becomes inflamed. Planter fasciitis is a serious condition and should not be ignored.
Heel spurs and planter fasciitis typically occur in people with flat feet and can usually be avoided by making a special effort to wear support shoes with arch support. Otherwise, the arch starts to collapse and stretches beyond its limits, leading to possible muscle tears and bone spurs.
Additionally high arches that pull on the muscles, tight calf muscles from lack of stretching or muscle tension that pulls away a piece of the bone can also cause planter fasciitis. In severe and chronic cases, heel spurs may require surgical correction.
Treating planter fasciitis consists of:
• Taking pressure off the foot
• Always wearing appropriate footwear with insoles.
• Using a heel cup, heel pad, heel cushion or slight heel lift to relieve pressure and reduce inflammation.
• Keeping calf muscles at a proper length using a night splint.
• Correcting leg length discrepancy via an adjustable heel lift.
• Ice massaging to reduce inflammation.
• Stretching calf muscle to reduce tightness.

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Treating Swollen Feet, Swelling, Edema

Swollen feet, sometimes called edema, is a condition where the muscles in the feet have an excessive buildup of fluid. Gravity pulls the fluid to your ankles and feet.
Swelling can be a symptom of a serious underlying problem, be it a sports injury, pregnancy, heart disease, fluid retention, kidney problems or another condition. If your feet swell chronically, is accompanied by shortness of breath or weight gain, see your doctor.
Slight swelling of the lower legs commonly occurs in warm summer months. Slight swelling is more likely to occur if a person has been standing or walking a lot.
Traditional treatment might include any or all of these suggestions:
Elevate your feet and legs. Place a pillow under your heels, and prop your feet on a chair or high stool. Use a leg wedge to elevate while sleeping.
Dip your feet into a tub of cold water or sit on the side of the bath with your feet under a cold-water tap. After this put your feet up for a while.
Reduce your salt intake. Salt causes you to retain water.
Do not abuse laxatives.
Take diuretics if prescribed by your doctor. Diuretics increase urination by pulling excess fluid out of your cellular tissues.
Practice good health habits. Proper nutrition and daily exercise improve the health of your cardiovascular system and your circulation, helping to reduce the tendency of your feet to swell.
Wear support socks or stockings and well fitting shoes.

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Understanding & Treating Metatarsalgia

The cause of Metatarsalgia (sometimes referred to as ball-of-foot-pain) is usually due to excessive pressure over a long period of time. This all-purpose term indicates a painful foot condition in the metatarsal area of the foot. It is normal to experience acute, recurring, or chronic pain in the the area just before the toes. And sometimes more isolated at the first metatarsal head (near the big toe).
Most often causing the condition are poor fitting footwear or shoes with heels that are too high. Any shoes with a narrow toe or that inhibit the walking process can lead to this extreme discomfort in the forefoot.
Treating metatarsalgia is accomplished by wearing shoes designed with a high, wide toe and a rocker sole. In addition, orthotics designed to relieve ball-of-foot pain usually feature a metatarsal pad. Constructed with the pad placed to redistribute weight from the painful area, these products should provide significant relief.

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Swelling During Pregnancy, Edema

Usually swollen feet don’t indicate a problem, but it can signal pre-eclampsia. If the swelling appears abruptly or if you notice that you are also getting swelling in your hands at the same time, call your health-care provider immediately! Pre-eclampsia is a type of pregnancy-related high blood pressure than can be very dangerous.
Feet are particularly vulnerable to swelling during pregnancy because you have more blood and other fluids circulating in your body — as much as six to eight extra quarts. Women tend to notice slight swelling throughout pregnancy, but especially during the third trimester.
Your feet will grow a half size to a full size during the nine months that you are pregnant Many pregnant women’s feet grow right along with the baby. Even though the fluid-related swelling will disappear within a few days of delivering your baby, some women find that their feet are as much as a size larger following a pregnancy. For that you can blame the hormone relaxin. Relaxin helps loosen your pelvic joints in preparation for your baby’s journey down the birth canal.
Tips for reducing swelling include:
• Lie on your left side. This reduces pressure on major blood vessels to the heart and kidneys.
• Rest lying flat on the floor. Put your feet up to a 45 degree angle.
• Take a luke-warm to cool bath. Water pressure puts more fluid back into your blood vessels.
• Wear tighter, thick stocking socks.
• Wear a well fitting, strong arch support shoe to support the extra weight your carrying.

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Foot Blisters

Blisters are small swelling of the skin containing watery fluid caused by friction. The body responds to the friction by producing fluid which builds up beneath the part of the skin being rubbed, causing pressure and pain.
Blisters are a common problem with athletes wearing in new shoes. They are also a common problem for athletes, runners and walkers who participate in exceptionally long events such as marathons or long hill walks. To help avoid or lessen blisters, use petroleum jelly or baby powder applied before long walks.
After a blister develops keep it clean and dry. If the blister has not “popped,” leave it alone. Most of the time, the blister will reabsorb and heal on its own.
If a blister is red, leaking yellow fluid or has red lines near the blister, visit a doctor immediately. Redness and leaking yellow fluid are symptoms of infection.

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Cracked Dry Heels

Dry cracking heels (xeorosis) is a condition of thickening and fissuring (cracking of the bottom part of the heels). This is a very common problem and in most people it is only a nuisance and a cosmetic problem. But when the problem persists, especially in diabetes or people with impaired vascular sufficiency, this can lead to a serious medical problem.
Common symptom of cracked heels are:
• Peeling and cracked skin
• Hard growth of skin on the outer edge of the heel
• Pain while walking
• Increased pain in thin soles or open back shoes
• Red or flaky patches on the heel of the foot
• Yellow or dark skin on the heel
• Itchy skin
Most common causes are:
• Dry skin
• Prolonged standing
• Wearing shoes with an open back
• In active sweat glands
• Misaligment of the metatarsal bones
• Flat feet
• High arched feet
• Improperly fitting shoes
• Athlete’s foot
• Surgery to the lower extremities
• Psoriasis
• Thyroid disease
• Diabetes
The best treatment for cracked heels are:
• Appling a moisturizing cream
• Using a pumice stone
• Wearing closed backed shoes
• Wearing shoes with a good shock absorbing sole

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Pain on the Side of the Foot, Foot Pain

Pain on the side of your foot making it hard to walk? Hard to do everyday activities because of the pain?
The pain can be attributed to several factors:
• Tailors bunion is a bony prominence on the lateral (outside) of the foot where the fifth metatarsal head connects to the toe.
• Sacs of jelly-like fluid that develops following a leak in the joint capsule, commonly known as Ganglions, forming on the side of the foot.
• Pain on the back of your ankle & on the side of your foot may be sinus tarsi syndrome, a condition which follows a severe inversion ankle injury.
• Any ligament injury connecting the calcaneocuboid joints, cuboid-fifth metatarsal, etc. can also cause pain.
There are many other reasons or conditions that cause pain on the side of the foot. Many conditions resulting in pain on the side of the foot can worsen if left untreated, so visit your doctor or podiatrist as soon as possible to determine the real root of the pain on the side of the foot.

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Osteo, Gouty and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis is generally characterized by the inflammation of the cartilage and lining of the body’s joints. Each foot has 33 joints which can become affected by the disease causing redness, warmth, pain and swelling. There are many causes of arthritis including heredity, bacterial and viral infections, prescription and illegal drugs, traumatic injuries, and bowel disorders such as ileitis and colitis.
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculo-skeletal and Skin Diseases, reports about 40 million Americans suffer from arthritis and that by the year 2020, that number will go to 60 million. Both men and women over 50 are most susceptible to become affected by the disease.
Osteoarthritis
Although there are many different types of arthritis, the most common is osteoarthritis. This condition causes extreme strain and the wearing away of cartilage in the joints of the foot. Pain and swelling gets progressively worse when upright and stiffness usually occurs after rest.
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most crippling form of the disease and effects people of all ages. There is no known cause for this condition and it is known to develop at any age. Those suffering from RA often develop severe forefoot problems such as claw toes, bunions and hammer toes. In some cases severe deformities of the joints with associated fatigue of the entire body can occur.
Gouty Arthritis
Gout is another form of arthritis caused from excess uric acid crystals collecting in and around the joints. The big toe joint is commonly the focal point due to the stress and pressure it experiences during walking and other weight bearing activities, leading to severe pain.
Traditional, non-surgical treatment, includes proper footwear, orthotics, or forefoot supports. Footwear offering high and wide space in the toe area, removable insoles for flexibility and rocker soles can reduce stress and pain at the ball-of-the-foot. Arthritic footwear should always accommodate swelling of the foot.

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Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a very common skin condition, in fact many people will develop it at least once. However it is uncommon in women and children.
Moisture, sweating and lack of proper ventilation of the feet is the perfect environment for the fungus of athlete’s foot to grow. Athlete’s foot should not be ignored–it can be easily treated, but it also can be very resistant to treatment. Not all fungus conditions are athlete’s foot. Other conditions, such as disturbances of the sweat mechanism, reaction to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema, and psoriasis, may mimic athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s foot affects people in different ways. Itching, scaling, peeling and cracking of the skin between the toes, and redness, scaling and even blisters on the soles and along the sides of the feet are common symptoms. Additionally, toenail infections sometimes go along with athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s foot can spread to the soles of the feet and toother parts of the body, notably the groin and underarms, by those who scratch the infection and then touch themselves elsewhere. The organisms causing athlete’s foot may persist for long periods. Consequently, the infection may be spread by contaminated bed sheets or clothing to other parts of the body.
The fungi that causes athlete’s foot grows in moist, damp places. Sweaty feet, not drying feet well after swimming or bathing, tight shoes and socks, and a warm climate all contribute to the development of athlete’s foot.
The medical term for athlete’s foot is tinea pedis. To diagnose athlete’s foot, your doctor will examine your feet and might include scraping some skin off your feet. Then the doctor examines the skin under a microscope to look for growth of the fungus. If the fungus is found, your doctor will prescribe medication for you.
Tips to avoid getting athlete’s foot:
Avoid walking barefoot; use shower shoes.
Reduce perspiration by using talcum powder.
Wear light and airy shoes.
Wear socks that keep your feet dry, and change them frequently if you perspire heavily.

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