It’s no surprise to see supermodel Heidi Klum photographed in high heel shoes nor is it uncommon to see her photographed with her two daughters. It is, however, uncommon to see young children--let’s say ages 4 and 10--inch high heels. So, the question becomes: How young does a person have to be to start wearing high heels? I think it is safe to say that most podiatrists advise against wearing high heels because of the associated complications that are involved. Wearing high heels increases the chance of bunions, ankle sprains, hammertoes, and overall generalized pain of the foot and ankle. Aside from these foot problems, high heels are still one of the most popularly worn shoes so it is hard to deter patients away from them. Moreover, to see children of such a young age wear them raises an even bigger concern: Will it affect how the child grows? Podiatrists are not only concerned with how the foot grows, but also how the entire lower extremity grows as well (this includes the tibia and fibula [shin bones], femur [thigh bone], and the os coxae [pelvis bones]).
High heels cause your foot to be suspended in a plantarflexed position (toes pointed towards the ground) for the duration the person is in the shoe. This puts a lot of stress and strain on the thigh and shin bones. With regards to children, their growth plates don’t fuse until they are mid-to-late teenagers. That said, any disruption of the growth of the bone or fusion process could potentially cause abnormal development.
So, should children who are not skeletally mature wear high heels? It’s probably not the best idea and I think proper education is extremely important. If there is any question or concern as to whether or not you think or child should or shouldn’t wear high heels, please call your local podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Monroe and Edison, NJ.
By Varun Gujral
There were many saves during the final match of the World Cup, but unfortunately the US were unable to save enough time to come out on top. United States goal keep, Tim Howard, set a new world record of 15 saves but it wasn’t enough to keep Belgium from advancing. Soccer is a unique sport compared to others. Why? Everything is done with their feet (and to some extent, their head)! Given, 95% of sports played today are played while on your feet, but what’s different with soccer is you cannot use your hands--other than the goalie, of course. That being said, soccer players rely solely (no pun intended) on their feet and legs--much like boxers rely on their hands and arms--so they need to make sure their lower extremities are protected. This is accomplished by the use of shin guards and proper taping techniques.
Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries. In fact, according to USAsoccer.com and other related research it is “estimated that ankle injuries account for 10 to 30% of all sports related injuries in young athletes and from 16 to 29% of all soccer specific injuries.” That means, almost 1 out of every 3 young athletes coming to Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Monroe and Edison, NJ with a sports-related ankle injury is from playing soccer. The bad news about ankle sprains is that they can occur very easily and it doesn’t take much. Therefore, it is very important that you warm up and stretch properly prior to engaging in any physical activity; especially soccer. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a certified athletic trainer or physician tape your ankle to add some extra support. There is, however, controversy regarding ankle taping and preventing ankle sprains, but that will be for another blog topic.
We just want to congratulate the United States of America on their amazing run this year in the 2014 World Cup. We look forward to them returning to Russia in 2018 with a chip on their shoulder and hopefully advancing farther and winning The Cup. Happy Independence Day!
By Nrupa Shah
It’s no secret that President Barack Obama has a passion for basketball. For example, every election day he hosts a pick-up game of basketball in his hometown of Chicago. He is also frequently playing on his court that he had installed at the White House with numerous political figures and friends. So, with how avid a basketball player he is and with all of the walking/traveling/standing he does on a day-to-day basis, it’s probably not another secret that his feet hurt. According to the presidential health exam conducted in May of this year, President Obama was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. It’s more commonly referred to as “heel pain”, or in this case, “basketball heel”.
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the ligament on the bottom of your foot and it is one of the, if not the most common complaints your podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care deal with. Plantar fasciitis can be caused by numerous things, the most common being improper shoe gear. It is very important, especially for athletes, that proper shoe gear is worn at all times. Athletes do a lot of jumping, running, cutting, landing, and falling so their feet take a beating. If they are wearing shoes that don’t fit them, that beating will actually be worse than expected. There are a couple things you want to keep in mind when buying your next pair of shoes. First, when trying them on, make sure you have at least a thumb’s width from your big toe to the end of the shoe. Second, and probably one of the most common mistakes, is making sure the width of the shoe is appropriate. The last thing you want is your feet to be crammed in your shoes. Lastly, make sure the heel of the shoe is solid or stiff. You really want to have good ankle support, and if not, your heel will continuously move around in your shoe and increase the chances of future heel pain.
Naturally, if none of these tips work, please make an appointment with your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Monroe and Edison, NJ. We can properly measure the length and width of your feet and make the proper recommendations for shoe gear.
By Varun Gujral
‘Tis the season for warm weather, pools, beaches and...fungi. No not your crazy next door neighbor, but fungus?! That’s right, fungus loves the summer too and it follows you everywhere. What it likes most about the summer is the warm, moist climate. Fungi are in places you might not even think about. Some of the most common places you’ll find it is in your shoes, your socks, on the floor of the shower and even your home. We will concentrate today on fungus being in your shoes and socks.
Have you ever wondered why your feet have that sudden onset of burning and itching? You can blame fungi for that. As previously stated, they thrive in warm moist environments, and what better place than in your shoes and socks. We are constantly on our feet generating heat and sweat and the fungi takes that in and grows and eventually cause Athlete’s Foot. This is an extremely common problem and is very treatable, even if caught a little later than usual. If you do notice a burning itch sensation on your feet, please don’t hesitate to contact your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Edison and Monroe, NJ. However, even though we talk about Athlete’s Foot being on the foot, it can also travel to your toenails and this can serve to be a more complicated problem but is very treatable with oral medications.
So, some at home tips to make sure this doesn’t happen again or to anyone else in the family are: 1) buy some antifungal powder from your local pharmacy and put that in your shoes at least once a day; 2) try wearing open toed shoes as much as possible. UV light kills fungus so if they are exposed to sun, the better chance they will be eliminated. 3) there are UV Trees you can buy to hang your shoes to kill the fungus. If all else fails, again, please don’t hesitate to call make an appointment with our office because we want you out enjoying the nice summer weather!
By Nrupa Shah
Prior to Manti Te’o’s matriculation into the NFL, he was surrounded by a lot of controversy. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say for a 20 year old NFL rookie, it was probably more than he anticipated...and probably for all the wrong reasons, but that makes for a different story. The story today is that he has recovered from his previous foot injury and participated in his first workout session of 2014, according to Yahoo Sports. Manti Te’o had surgery to repair a previously sprained foot that he played on for 15 games. It was said that the surgery was more than just a “clean up” process meaning that there was more wrong with his foot than a simple sprain. The message here is, no matter how strong or tough someone is, if there is pain in the foot, especially from a sprain, please get it checked out as soon as possible. Once “something” goes wrong in one part of your foot, another part of your foot has to take over and work harder causing that particular part of your foot to become injured, and so-on-and-so-forth.
Your feet are extremely important! A study concluded that American’s take, on average, approximately 5,000 steps per day. That is a lot of wear and tear and your feet! It also shows that we rely on our foot more than we think, and your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Edison and Monroe, NJ are here to make sure you don’t miss a beat. As stated earlier, pain will just compound to other joints and the problems will just get worse. Notice I said problems, meaning you will more than likely have pain in not only your foot but also your ankle, knee, hip, and possibly as high up as your back.
Moral of the story...do not take your feet for granted. You use them every single day and they take a lot of wear and tear so they need to be cared for appropriately. So, if there is anything that seems out of the ordinary, please don’t hesitate to call our office and make an appointment so it’s not too late and you need surgery, as in Manti Te’o’s case.
By Varun Gujral
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