Winter Foot Pain

Foot Pain

As we get into the thick of the winter, many are experiencing some frustrating foot pain that seemingly has no root cause. You may be wondering why this is occurring. Foot pain is unfortunately common during the winter and there are a range of reasons why! Here’s a breakdown of where cold weather foot pain comes from and what you can do about it!

Where It’s Coming From

If you’re not actively healing an injury and practicing daily foot care habits, you may be confused as to why you have mild to moderate pain. But it’s not that strange! Here are some of the top reasons why this could be happening to you:

  • Cold weather: Bitter winds are known to lead to sore, achy limbs. Cold weather causes your body to slow blood circulation to your arms and legs in an attempt to preserve your body’s core temperature. This can result in cold feet and joint pain!
  • Gaining weight: It’s important to eat well and enjoy yourself during the holidays. But did you know that weight gain can lead to poor foot health? Extra weight can put more pressure on your feet, leading to more wear and tear.
  • Wearing the wrong shoes: One of the biggest causes of foot problems is wearing ill-fitting shoes. If you don’t take good care of your feet by wearing comfy, supportive footwear, you can end up with blisters, bunions, and hammertoes. Winter is a time when a lot of people go skiing or ice skating, which can be fun, but if you don’t wear the right kind of boots, you can easily injure yourself.

Lessening The Pain

So, what can you do to help ease the stress? Here are some of our best tips for treating cold-weather foot pain:

  • Call your podiatrist if you’re experiencing ongoing or severe pain
  • If you run into a minor injury, follow R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation)
  • Stretch your feet daily
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Bundle up with thick socks and insulated boots
  • Maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.

Recovery From an Ankle Sprain

Ankle Sprain

It doesn’t take much to get an ankle sprain. Whether you roll your ankle during a workout or step wrong on uneven ground, accidents happen all the time. When you overstretch one of the ligaments in your ankle, it results in a sprain. Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries you can face in your lifetime and podiatry offices are no stranger to them. Most people stick to at-home treatments for their injuries, which can work in some mild cases.

However, there are plenty of complications that can arise if your sprained ankle is more severe, and you don’t seek treatment. Without proper rest and recovery, you can expect it to not heal well and create long-term issues as you age. Not only are you more susceptible to further injury and repeated sprained ankles, but you’ll likely have a limited range of motion and ongoing pain.

Diagnosing a Sprained Ankle

How can you tell if you’ve sprained your ankle? For a diagnosis, it’s best to seek out the help of a professional. Contact your podiatrist if your ankle doesn’t feel better after 2-3 days of rest – they can help heal your injury. But if you want to have a better understanding of what you could be dealing with, look for these signs and symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Joint instability
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Difficulty putting weight on your ankle

Recovery From Your Injury

So, you’ve been diagnosed with an ankle sprain (or suspect you will be). What’s next? You’ll likely be working alongside your podiatrist for up to a few months, depending on the severity of your injury. They’ll give you an x-ray to rule out further damage and injury to your foot, bones, and tendons.

Your foot doctor will determine a specific treatment plan depending on your injury. This usually involves applying the RICE regime (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), using bandages or splints, and certain foot and ankle exercises after you’ve healed. For more severe cases, surgery or a physical therapist may be recommended.

If you suspect you have a sprained ankle, it’s crucial to seek help from a podiatrist ASAP! Letting it “heal” on its own without proper treatment is a recipe for disaster. Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.

Five Ways to Say Thank You to Your Feet

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope your start to the holiday season is enjoyable. Thanksgiving is naturally a time when people like to reflect on their everyday life and consider what they’re most grateful for. Our feet do so much for us, but they’re often neglected when it comes to self-care. This Thanksgiving, we’re encouraging everyone to spend some time giving their feet extra TLC. What better way to show gratitude and appreciation for your feet than with an at-home foot care routine? We’re sharing five of the best ways you can give your feet some love this November!

Trim

First things first. Are your toenails trimmed properly? For the best results, cut straight across the nail and file down any rough spots with a file. Rounding the edges or cutting too short can cause ingrown nails! If trimming your nails is difficult, see if your podiatrist offers this service or go to your local nail salon. Another thing to keep in mind – never share nail tools with others!

Soak

What’s better than a nice foot soak? Foot soaks have so many benefits. Not only are they great for moisturization, decreasing inflammation, and getting rid of odor, but they’re the perfect way to relax after a long day. Fill your tub or a big bucket with lukewarm water up to your ankle. Next, add Epsom salts, black or green tea bags, vinegar, or essential oils to amp up the experience and benefits. Allow your feet to soak for up to 30 minutes before drying.

Exfoliate

With the weather cooling down, dry skin may seem to be inevitable. But exfoliation is one of the ways you can keep your feet itch and flake-free! Use a gentle washcloth or sponge and some mild soap during your shower. Alternatively, you can get a pumice stone if you suffer from calluses.

Massage

The best treat for your feet? Daily foot massages! This is especially helpful for those who deal with foot conditions that cause soreness, pain, or inflammation. For even more benefits, consider reflexology.

Moisturize

Incorporate some lotion into your foot massage or apply it after your shower! Moisturizer can not only help with dry feet but calluses and corns as well. Just be sure to avoid applying in between your toes!

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.

Living With Arthritis

Arthritis

We know arthritis can limit your activity and prevent you from enjoying the things you love. With no cure for your condition, you might begin to feel hopeless. But hope is not lost! With the help of a trusted podiatrist, there are plenty of ways you can treat and overcome arthritis. Here’s your simple guide on how to live with arthritis.

Switch Up Your Daily Routine

Making some minor lifestyle changes can drastically help ease any pain and discomfort you feel from arthritis. Minimizing any activities that aggravate your condition is highly recommended. For those who love to run, limit your activity to a short walk. Always pay attention to how your body responds and adjust from there. Swimming and cycling are also great alternatives to high-impact sports. Staying active despite your arthritis is recommended; maintaining a healthy weight can help put less stress on your joints.

Ask About Physical Therapy

There are plenty of specific exercises that help increase flexibility and strengthen muscles. Your podiatrist can come up with a personalized exercise routine that fits your needs. In most cases, physical therapy is a great way to lessen pain from arthritis. But for others, exercise and movement can lead to more pain. If this is the case, let your podiatrist know.

Consider Orthotics and Inserts

One of the best ways you can manage arthritis is by wearing custom orthotics and shoe inserts. Orthotics are designed to be worn inside your shoe, providing support, and lessening the pain of the condition you’re dealing with. For arthritis, they can also put less pressure on your joints and increase mobility.

Seek Surgery

If your arthritis pain and discomfort impact your life daily, it might be time to talk with your podiatrist about surgery. There are numerous types of surgery, all based on where your arthritis is located and the impact it’s had on your joints.

If you suffer from arthritis, getting treatment is crucial. Contact your podiatrist and discuss your pain. Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.

It’s Falls Prevention Month! Stay Safe With These 5 Tips

All of September, we’d like to bring attention to Falls Prevention Awareness Month. Falls can put you at serious risk for injury and it’s important to do all you can to prevent that. Here at Step By Step Family Foot Care, we want you to stay safe every month with this simple guide:

  1. Visit your doctor’s office to assess and discuss your risk of falling. This includes any past falls, conditions you have that may increase the likelihood of falling, medications you’re taking, and their side effects.
  2. Exercise is an important factor in preventing a dangerous fall. Walking, swimming, and any other gentle exercises can help improve your strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination. If exercise makes you nervous, look into monitored exercises.
  3. Wearing comfortable shoes is key to maintaining healthy feet. They also play a role in fall prevention. Choosing well-fitting, sensible shoes for everyday use can lessen your risk. Flip flops, sandals, and heels are more dangerous to walk in and can easily lead to an accident. Instead, choose flat shoes like sneakers.
  4. It’s common to fall in your own home, either by tripping over furniture or slipping on the stairs. Take a look around your house and assess your risk. Ensure that there aren’t any power plugs or cords laying loose on the floor. Place furniture in your rooms with enough space to walk through without bumping into tables or decor. Secure any loose rugs to the floor and fix any tricky floorboards or carpeting. If something spills on your floor, clean it up right away to avoid slipping. You can also invest in non-slip rugs and mats for your bathroom and kitchen.
  5. Be sure that you keep enough lights on in your house to be able to see where you’re going. Bring a flashlight with you if you’re walking outside in the dark, this way you can clearly survey your surroundings.

Prevention is necessary for those at an older age, but it doesn’t hurt to keep these tips in mind, since falls can happen at any point in your life.

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.

Keep Your Feet Beautiful with These Simple Tips

If you missed out on August 17th’ National I Love My Feet Day, this is the perfect time to remind you to show some gratitude to your feet.  Our feet do so much for us, from carrying our entire body weight to carrying groceries. One way to show your feet some love is to keep them beautiful. The first step is to rid yourself of dry skin and keep your feet moisturized. Here are some easy tips to do that.

Use gentle soap in the shower. Harsh soaps can make dry skin worse. When buying soap try to look for words like “For Sensitive Skin” and “Moisturizing.”

Keep it warm. When you shower or bathe, it’s best to stick with lukewarm water. Hot water can dry out skin even more.

Scrub off dead skin with an exfoliant. Using a pumice stone works great. You can also use a simple foot file. Another option is to use a liquid foot scrub that is designed to exfoliate. Rub it on in the shower and wash it off.

Soak your feet. Try a mixture of 1 part Listerine, 1 part vinegar, and 2 parts warm water and soak your feet for 20 minutes.

Seal in moisture. Apply a lotion after you bathe or shower. Showering and bathing can dry out your skin. Try applying lotion to lock in the moisture that showers can take out.

Put on cream at night. Applying cream to your feet when you go to bed can also help.  To keep it sealed in, try pulling socks on over the cream.

Avoid open-backed shoes.  They can cause increased weight and increased friction from the back of shoes resulting in cracked heels. Dry cracking skin can also be a subtle sign of more significant problems, such as diabetes or loss of nerve function (autonomic neuropathy).  Heels should be kept well moisturized with a cream to help reduce the cracking. If an open sore is noted, make an appointment with a foot and ankle surgeon for evaluation and treatment.

If you have any issues with foot health, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, offers treatment for foot and ankle disorders, biomechanical analysis, and functional orthotic fabrication. For more information and answers to your questions and to schedule an appointment, contact us at (973) 917-3785. 

3 Hiking Tips to Avoid Injuries

The great summer weather is here, and it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy nature. There’s plenty to explore with nature’s endless beauty, but you also have to be careful.

Slippery stones, uneven paths, and roots that grab at your feet can send you sprawling, and you don’t want to end up on crutches this summer! Let’s go over some tips to avoid foot injuries when hiking.

Hiking too much or carrying too much weight can lead to foot fractures, broken or sprained ankles, or generalized pain. With some thoughtful preparation, however, you can enjoy the outdoors while staying safe from foot and ankle injury. Here are three tips:

  1. Wear hiking boots. Sneakers don’t do the best job when hiking. Running shoes don’t provide enough support. Luckily, there are well-made boots explicitly designed for hiking. These provide proper foot and ankle support and protection. Just make sure they fit correctly.
  2. Keep your feet dry. Try to wear clean socks and change them when they get wet with sweat. Socks damp with perspiration set you up for annoying blisters and fungal infections. You can also apply foot powder before you set out to help keep your feet dry.
  3. Don’t overdo it. For people that are fit and used to exercise, a long hike is probably safe. However, many of us were quarantined due to COVID and have-not had much exercise for the past several months. Too much activity too soon, too long a hike, or carrying a heavy backpack can stress your lower limbs and cause an overuse injury. Try to go easy until your muscles can adjust to the new activity.

If you sustain an injury or have foot or ankle pain while hiking, make an appointment with one of our expert podiatrists.

If you have any issues with foot health, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, offers treatment for foot and ankle disorders, biomechanical analysis, and functional orthotic fabrication. For more information and answers to your questions and schedule an appointmentcontact us at (973) 917-3785. 

5 Quick Tips to Protect Your Kid’s Feet This Summer

Summer is in full effect. Kids everywhere are getting out to enjoy everything the nice weather has to offer. However, with all this extra activity, your children’s feet are vulnerable to several possible injuries, especially if they play sports. Let’s review some quick tips to ensure your kid’s feet stay happy and healthy during the summer months.

According to Johns Hopkins, “almost one-third of all injuries incurred in childhood are sports-related injuries.” Don’t worry, though. There are several things you can do to avoid sports injuries. Follow these summer foot tips:

  1. Buy the right shoes. Each sport usually has a specific shoe designed for that particular sport. Always ensure your child tries on the shoes first, making sure he has plenty of wiggle room in the front for his toes. Since children’s feet tend to grow fast, check often that their shoes haven’t become too tight. Also, it’s a good idea to buy new shoes every season.
  2. Check playing surfaces for any foot or ankle hazards. It doesn’t only include objects like rocks littering the playing field; even uneven surfaces can cause children to lose balance and suffer an ankle sprain or broken bone. Always alert coaches to any potential hazards.
  3. Make sure your children are warming up. It can ensure their tendons and muscles stretch properly to prevent stiffness. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Light cardio, jumping jacks, or just simple stretching are great ways to warm up before engaging in any sport.
  4. Put your child in a different sport each season. By encouraging your child to try different sports each season, you help prevent the overuse of some muscles. Engaging in the same activity for extended periods can increase the chances of injury and wear and tear on your child’s feet and ankles. It can lead to muscle fatigue, tears, and strains.
  5. If you suspect your child has suffered any injury, you should contact our office right away to assess and treat the problem as soon as possible. It will help prevent further problems from developing down the line.

If you have any issues with foot health and mobility, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, offers treatment for foot and ankle disorders, biomechanical analysis, and functional orthotic fabrication. For more information and answers to your questions and to schedule an appointmentcontact us at (973) 917-3785.

Foot Tips to Keep Summer Fun!

The glorious summer weather is finally here. The great outdoors beckons with fun and adventure, but it can all put quite a bit of pressure on your feet. Don’t worry though, follow these tips and you’ll have a fun-filled summer.

There are several things you can do to make sure your feet stay in the best of shape during summer, here are some easy tips to follow:

Always wear shoes!

Yes, it’s tempting to kick off your shoes and go barefoot but going barefoot can lead to all sorts of problems. It’s important you know your feet. Your feet need to have the support that only shoes can provide, especially when you’re walking long distances.  Shoes also can protect your feet from sharp objects. Finally, wearing shoes can protect you from athlete’s foot and other bacterial infections.

Dont forget the sunscreen!

Everyone remembers to use sunscreen on their arms and legs, but often forget about their feet. The ankles and the tops of the feet are very likely to get burned if you don’t apply sunscreen. Also, remember to reapply after going into the water.

Avoid blisters!

Blisters can get much worse during the summer months, especially due to sweaty feet. Try to buy shoes that are already comfortable and soft. If you are getting blisters, make sure to wash the area with soap and water and avoid popping the blister. If you have to pop it because it becomes extremely painful, do so with a sterile needle and let the fluid drain out, leaving the skin intact. This, however, is not advisable for those with diabetes.

Keep these tips in mind and your feet will thank you for it! If you have any issues with foot health and mobility, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, offers treatment for foot and ankle disorders, biomechanical analysis, and functional orthotic fabrication. For more information and answers to your questions, and to schedule an appointmentcontact us at (973) 917-3785.

Everyday Tips for Healthy Feet

Your feet are an essential aspect of your overall health, and with spring here people are increasing their activities. Now is the perfect time to take a moment and look at some simple tips to help keep your feet healthy and happy.

A lot of us take the health of our feet for granted until something goes wrong. Unfortunately, by the time a foot condition is detected, it can require extensive treatment. That’s why it’s important to avoid foot problems in the first place through preventive care instead of waiting to treat them after they develop. Here are some general foot care tips:

  • WASH YOUR FEET REGULARLY – wash your feet every day in warm soapy water. You may not want to soak them for long periods as this might take away your skin’s natural oils.
  • KEEP YOUR FEET DRY – dry your feet carefully after washing them. Make sure you get between the toes. Dampness is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and this may cause a fungal infection like athlete’s foot to occur.
  • MOISTURIZE – if you have dry skin you need to apply moisturizing cream all over the foot but remember to leave the area between your toes dry.
  • CUT YOUR TOENAILS – trim your toenails frequently using appropriate nail clippers. Always cut straight across and never down the corners or at an angle. This can result in ingrown toenails which can be painful and may lead to an infection.
  • CHANGE SOCKS DAILY – this will help prevent foot odor. Sweaty feet can attract bacteria that produce odor. Try to wear socks made of wool or cotton. These enable your feet to breathe and help them in temperature regulation.
  • AVOID FLIP-FLOPS – flip-flops don’t support your feet. They may cause arch and heel pain to develop if you wear them for too long.

If you have any issues with foot health and mobility, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, offers treatment for foot and ankle disorders, biomechanical analysis, and functional orthotic fabrication. For more information and answers to your questions, and to schedule an appointmentcontact us at (973) 917-3785.