Healthy Food Choices Keep Your Feet Happy

woman in supermarket shopping for healthy food

Most of us are either unaware or choose to ignore the link between the food choices we make and the health of our feet. In recognition of National Nutrition Month, the experts at Step by Step Family Foot Care would like to reinforce the importance of a nutritious diet as a way to keep your feet healthy and performing at their optimal level.

Here are a few tips to consider when you are finalizing your menu:

  • Go green! Eat various leafy vegetables to provide you with the necessary nutrients to strengthen your immune system and keep you healthy. Spinach, kale, soybeans are good sources of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Fill your plate with colors. Consuming a combination of produce, along with seasonal fruits and vegetables, will give your body a holistic boost. Not only will this replenish all your nutrient requirements, but you will feel fresh and upbeat.
  • Go nuts! Delight your taste buds with a range of nuts like almonds and walnuts.
  • Experiment while cooking. Explore cuisines from around the world and select all the healthy recipes. Try making new dishes at home and enjoy a family meal together.
  • Change your method of cooking. Avoid deep-fried foods as they tend to increase your cholesterol levels. You can always switch to baking or steaming for a change of taste.

Eating a nutritious diet is essential to maintain your body weight and prevent your feet from being overburdened. Excessive weight puts undue stress on your lower extremities, increasing your chances of problems like flat feet, heel and arch pain, ankle sprains, arthritis, and more.

To learn more about various health risks and their preventive measures, feel free to consult our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim. In case of pain or discomfort in your lower extremities, schedule an appointment by calling our office in Parsippany, New Jersey, at (973) 917-3785 right away.

Walk Your Way to a Healthy Heart

walking

February is American Heart Month and our experts at Step by Step Family Foot Care want to reinforce the importance of a healthy heart. You can avoid heart issues such as heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and more, by regularly engaging in a simple activity – walking!

Walking has numerous benefits including:

  • Improved blood circulation throughout the body, especially lower limbs
  • Feeling fresh and energetic
  • Reduced stress levels and mental pre-occupation
  • Weight loss or sustained healthy body weight
  • Controlled sugar and cholesterol levels
  • Improved sleep cycle and quality
  • Improved immunity and overall body strength

Walking is easy and is usually problem-free, however, as with any exercise, some precautions are necessary.

  • Use proper walking shoes. Walking in flip-flops or ill-fitting shoes will harm your feet.
  • If you encounter pain, take a break, and let your feet rest. If the pain persists, visit your foot doctor without delay to avoid any problems in the long run.
  • Use orthotics for strong heel and arch support. The extra padding will allow better shock absorption and reduce the risk of injuries.
  • Start slow and walk shorter lengths initially. Build your stamina and then target faster and longer distances.
  • Stay hydrated. Lack of water can result in muscle cramps and sprains that will disrupt your walking routine.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and watch where you are walking. Trips, bumps, and falls can lead to injuries or fractures that could make you immobile for an unknown time.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet or would like more information and guidelines to improve the quality of your health, feel free to make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Debra B. Manheim. Contact our office in Parsippany, New Jersey, by calling (973) 917-3785 so that our team can find, treat, and eliminate your source of foot discomfort.

What to Do If You Have an Ingrown Toenail?

ingrown toenail

Ingrown toenails can be very painful and tend to worsen quickly if proper care is not taken. At Step by Step Family Foot Care, our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Debra B. Manheim has often witnessed that people do not take ingrown toenails seriously until they become excessively painful or are infected with pus.

Keep these practices in mind if you feel you are developing an ingrown toenail:

  • Wear open shoes or ones with a spacious toe box. Avoid tight footwear that crams the toes together and pushes the nails to bend down and grow inwards.
  • Examine your feet regularly for any signs like tenderness, redness, swelling, or pain. Consult your doctor immediately if you have any symptoms.
  • If your nail sides feel tender, massage your feet in warm water so that the skin can be pushed aside from the nail.
  • Cut your nails short and straight across to prevent skin from overlapping on the nail.
  • Do not file your nails round as that increases the likelihood of ingrown toenails.
  • Do not try to “fix it” by meddling with the affected areas using sharp and/or pointed objects. One small nick in the wrong place could start the onset of a very painful infection.
  • Seek professional help right away to avoid aggravating the condition and suffering in pain unnecessarily.

Delaying your visit to your podiatrist will only intensify the situation. In worst cases, the nail could become infected with pus or bacteria, which could require several treatments, like surgical procedures, laser treatment, and more. Visit our office in Parsippany, New Jersey, to have a thorough check-up and get treated for any prevailing foot conditions that you may be encountering. Feel free to browse through our patient education library and blog section on our website.

Holiday Gifts for the Feet

foot gifts

If you still have some last-minute holiday gift shopping to do, foot pampering is the way to go. The team at Step By Step Family Foot Care has you covered with some great suggestions.

  • At-home spa kit—The perfect gift for someone special who needs a bit of pampering. A trip to the salon or spa may sound like a dream come true, but given the pandemic, it’s likely not practical. Instead, recreate a spa-like experience at home by putting together a set of amenities that will make your experience truly special. Be sure to include scented lotions, moisturizer or cream, multi-color nail polish, toenail clippers, toe separators, nail file, cuticle remover, and a pumice stone for callus removal.
  • Foot massager—Nothing says thanks like a soothing foot massage after a long, exhausting day at work. A wide variety of massage products are available for the feet. Invest in a good foot massager that can help you relax, improve circulation throughout the body, and reduce aches, pains, and stress in your feet.
  • Insulated water bottle—Water has a lot to do with the body and feet. The body functions best when adequately hydrated. Drinking the right amount of water can help flush out harmful toxins from the body, improve blood flow to the extremities, reduce the severity of gout flare-ups, promote healthy glowing skin/toenails, and prevent foot cramps. Doctors recommend that you drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.

If you need more gift ideas or have concerns about your foot health, contact Step By Step Family Foot Care. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, can help you with any foot or ankle pain or deformity you are experiencing. Call us at (973) 917-3785 to schedule a convenient appointment or visit our office in Parsippany, NJ. Step By Step Family Foot Care is well-equipped with state-of-the-art technologies and diagnostic tools to handle all your podiatric needs. For more information on podiatry related topics and the many services we offer, you can browse through our podiatric services and blog website sections.

November is American Diabetes Month

diabetic foot care

Did you know that over 34 million Americans have diabetes and the numbers have more than doubled in the last 20 years alone? Its upward trajectory worldwide has made the disease a global public health crisis. Your feet are of particular concern because of the way this chronic disease affects the entire body. Foot problems can sneak up with the added threat of neuropathy and lack of proper blood supply.

Because November is American Diabetes Month, Dr. Debra B. Manheim at Step by Step Family Foot Care has a few tips that you can adopt to lower your risk of diabetes-related foot complications.

  • Healthy living

Living with any form of diabetes is not easy, especially when you must make changes in your lifelong habits or lifestyle. A healthy, balanced diet plan can control your blood sugar levels and help you achieve better health – including improved foot health. Add lean meat, grains, fruits, and vegetables to your diet. Keep up your exercise regimen to maintain a healthy weight. Try to quit smoking. The tar and nicotine from cigarettes can damage your artery walls.

  • Team up with your podiatrist

A podiatrist is an important member of your diabetic care team. No matter where you are in your journey with diabetes, a podiatrist can treat, counsel, and manage any chronic foot condition successfully. Regular foot screenings and practicing healthy foot care habits can ensure that any signs of trouble are detected and treated at first sight.

Live your best life with diabetes and know that you have the support you need. Take prompt measures and regularly see your podiatrist for excellent foot health.

Whether you have diabetic foot conditions or a painful ingrown toenail, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care. Dr. Debra B. Manheim is here to treat disorders of the foot and ankle and help you find solutions that best suit your podiatric conditions. Call us at (973) 917-3785 to schedule a convenient appointment or visit our office in Parsippany, NJ. For more information on podiatry related problems, you can browse through our patient education library and blog section.

Keeping Your Feet Injury-Free this Halloween Season

children and Halloween

Kids love Halloween. It’s arguably the most kid-focused holiday of the year. Costume selection, trick or treating, decorating the house with spooky art, watching horror movies, and visiting haunted attractions are all fun Halloween activities for kids of all ages.

Whatever your activities are for the night, make sure the little ghosts and goblins stay safe. Potential foot problems can give you and your kids a scare and spoil all the fun out of your Halloween night.

Here are some tips to keep your Halloween injury-free:

  • Costume check: If you are making your costume, picking one out from a shop, or ordering online, the most important thing is the right measurements. A costume can become a tripping hazard. Ensure the outfit does not fall below the ankle or has a loose band of cloth as these things can cause a nasty fall. You can add reflective tape on the costumes to stay visible in the dark.
  • Shoe check: If your child is to have an active day, make sure they wear proper shoes. The little ones need to wear shoes that are ideal for supporting their feet for long hours and protecting them from hazards like broken glass or wet and uneven surfaces. Avoid wearing over-sized shoes as they can affect your balance and cause blisters or a potential injury.
  • Light check: If your child is trick or treating at night, carrying a flashlight can help save him or her from a trip or fall. If the neighborhood is not well lit, make sure to have a flashlight or even a glow stick to avoid curbs, bumps, and unexpected obstacles.

The key to excellent foot health is taking proactive measures and seeing your podiatrist regularly.

If you run into a foot or ankle problem on Halloween, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, can evaluate you for any risk factors and treat you promptly. Call us at (973) 917-3785 to schedule a convenient appointment or visit our office in Parsippany, NJ. Happy Halloween and stay safe!

4 Tips for Reducing Fall Risk in Older Adults

fall prevention, senior foot care

As we get older, our bodies tend to lose strength, balance, and flexibility, thus increasing the risk of falling and injury. Anyone can have a fall, but older individuals are most vulnerable. Seniors need to be proactive with their foot health to diminish the risk of falls.

September is National Falls Prevention Month, and at Step by Step Family Foot Care, we know how your foot health can play a significant role in preventing dangerous falls.

Here are some tips to help people reduce their risk of falling.

  1. Stay in shape. Regular exercise improves overall foot health. It strengthens the muscles and improves balance and flexibility, making injuries and falls less likely. Keeping a healthy weight also helps to reduce the stress on your feet.
  2. Annual eye exam. Low vision can increase the risk of falling and injury. An annual eye exam from your optometrists can play a significant role in reducing falls. Don’t ignore foot pain. If your feet hurt, you risk losing your balance as you try to alter the way you walk to avoid the problem. Foot pain is not normal – be sure to discuss any pains, aches, and symptoms with your podiatrist.
  3. Remove hazards at home. Over half of all falls occur at home. Inspect your home for any risks that could lead to a fall or injury. Make sure you have good lighting all around the house. Clear any clutter such as cords or small furniture items from the main living space. Make sure to clean up any spills on the floor immediately. Install handrails for the stairways and grab bars for the toilets and showers.

If you think that you or your loved one are at risk for falls, visit our office in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, can evaluate you for any risk factors and provide you the best advice on fall risk prevention so that you can get back to the life and activities you enjoy. Contact us at (973) 917-3785 to schedule your appointment today.

2 Common Running Injuries

One of the many benefits of running is that it keeps you healthy and in shape. It’s an easy sport to get started and doesn’t require much equipment. It is also an ideal way to clock in a workout while social distancing. While running has many health advantages, there is an ever-present threat of getting an injury. Runners’ feet endure the brunt of the punishment than any other part of the body. The stress across bones, joints, tendons, and muscles is part of the trade-off of this form of exercise. Anyone who takes up running as a sport or a hobby needs to pay special attention to their feet and take steps to prevent foot and ankle injuries.

Here are two of the common injuries experienced by runners:

  1. Plantar fasciitis: This injury occurs when the plantar fascia (a thick band of tissue that connects the heel to the front of your foot) becomes inflamed. The inflammation can cause heel pain and stiffness on the bottom of your foot. See your podiatrist if the pain worsens or lasts for two or more days. Plantar fasciitis is also commonly referred to as runners heel.
  2. Ankle Sprains: Often experienced by runners is an ankle sprain. It occurs as you overstretch the ligaments in your ankles beyond their capacity. A sprained ankle can cause a certain level of discomfort depending upon its severity. Everyone is prone to ankles sprains if they are not careful. A severe sprain can ultimately limit your mobility.

If you experience a running injury, contact your foot doctor for the best care. Call Step by Step Family Foot Care located in Parsippany, New Jersey. Dr. Debra B. Manheim and the dedicated staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. For more information on podiatry related problems, you can browse through our patient education library and blog section.

6 Steps to Fabulous Summer Feet

Many outdoor activities such as family picnics, barbecues, visiting local beaches and other summer hangouts have come to a standstill throughout the country because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This summer is, undoubtedly, going to look different.

You can still enjoy the outdoors while social distancing. However, it is of utmost importance that people with high-risk conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and circulation problems take specific measures to stay safe. Today Dr. Debra B. Manheim of Step By Step Family Foot Care recommends the following 6 steps to fabulous summer feet that will keep your feet safe, healthy, and looking their best even during the coronavirus outbreak.

  1. Avoid walking barefoot. Never go outdoors without shoes in the summer because of the increased risk of infection or injury to the feet.
  2. Wear activity-specific shoes. If you are going to pick an activity this summer like running or golf, be sure to wear appropriate footwear. The type of shoes you wear can help your feet stay healthy and safe. Wear flip-flops if you are out on the beach but avoid walking in them for prolonged periods as they lack cushioning and support.
  3. Keep shoes and socks dry. Podiatrists recommend that you switch your shoes periodically throughout the week. This helps your shoe air out properly between wearing, reduces moisture and bacteria buildup, and helps prevent foot odor. Change and wash your socks regularly.
  4. Use sunscreen. Don’t forget your feet when applying sunscreen. SPF helps guard against skin cancer and premature aging of the skin on your feet.
  5. Let your feet breathe. Open-toe shoes such as sandals are a good choice, but they may lack support. Wear shoes that offer plenty of support and are made of breathable materials to provide ventilation. This will help keep your feet healthy, dry, and sweat-free.
  6. Stay hydrated. As temperatures climb in the summer, make sure that your body is well hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will also help reduce swelling in the feet.

Your podiatrist is the best resource for any foot and ankle problem. Dr. Debra B. Manheim is here to help get your summer started on the right foot. Call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our office in Parsippany, NJ.

4 Tips to Stay Safe During Reopening

As states start to ease lockdown measures and reopen their economies during the coronavirus pandemic, essential questions loom. How can we venture out safely into the world knowing that a vaccine is most likely months or years away from development, approval, and finally distribution?

The best thing to do at our end is to stay safe and take the necessary precautions at all times. At Step By Step Family Foot Care, we recommend four essential tips that can protect you, your loved ones, and others from the risk of developing complications from COVID-19 and prevent its spread at the same time:

  1. Avoid unnecessary outings: If you have to go out, plan in such a way so that multiple tasks can be accomplished in a single trip. The fewer trips you make, the less chance you have of contracting the virus.
  2. Avoid crowds: We know everyone is missing their loved ones; however, it is strongly advised that you avoid close contact with people who have severe underlying medical conditions like diabetes. Keep a safe distance of 6 feet or more with one another. Use hand sanitizer, especially when you are outdoors.
  3. Wear a face mask: Research has proven that wearing masks not only helps in reducing the risk of contracting the virus, but it also prevents it from spreading as well.
  4. Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly (take 20 seconds at least).

In case you are experiencing any foot or ankle problem, be sure to see your foot doctor for proper care. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, provides the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care. For more information on our practice and the many services we provide, call our office in Parsippany, NJ, at (973) 917-3785.