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.

Diabetic Foot Care: What You Need to Know

diabetic foot care

People with diabetes are prone to many foot problems. When you have diabetes, being aware of how foot problems can arise from disturbances in the skin, nails, nerves, bones, muscles, and blood vessels is essential. Furthermore, in diabetics, small foot problems can turn into serious complications. Let’s look at what you need to know to manage diabetes for healthy feet.

Risk of Diabetes

Both nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor blood circulation can cause loss of feeling in your feet. This may take away your ability to feel pain and discomfort so that it’s difficult to detect an injury. Poor circulation in your feet also reduces your ability to heal, making it hard for even a tiny cut to resist infection.

Having diabetes puts you at risk for developing a wide range of foot problems:

  • Infections and ulcers that don’t heal.Because of poor circulation in the feet, cuts or blisters can easily turn into ulcers that become infected and won’t heal.
  • Corns and calluses.When neuropathy is present, you can’t tell if your shoes are causing pressure and producing corns or calluses.
  • Dry, cracked skin.Poor circulation can make your skin dry and can result in cracks that may become sores.

What You Can Do

Luckily, there are a variety of things you can do to decrease the risk of developing serious complications from diabetes. You play a vital role in reducing complications. Here are some tips:

  • Inspect your feet daily.
  • Pay attention to the color of your feet and toes. If they turn red, pink, or purplish, poor circulation may be a problem.
  • Don’t ignore foot or leg pain.

  • Keep floors free of sharp objects. With reduced sensitivity, you may not notice any inflicted wounds or cuts on your feet.
  • Don’t go barefoot. Wear shoes, indoors and outdoors.

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.

Has Covid Ruined Your Feet?

foot health

Covid has certainly turned our lives upside-down. Everyone has had to make radical changes in their lives. Unfortunately, many of these changes have negatively affected our health, including the health of our feet! Let’s look at how the changes in our habits have impacted our feet.

Why Has Covid Ruined Our Feet?

First, foot pain has been on the rise during the pandemic. The main reason is that people are working from home. While staying home, many have kicked off their supportive shoes and instead decided to wear slippers or flip-flops. The problem is that these provide little support or cushioning for your feet and increase the likelihood of injuries.

Another reason foot pain is more prevalent is that Covid has put many out of work, allowing people to use this extra free time to be more active. Attempting new sports and utilizing new exercise equipment have become more common, but it has led to more stress on the feet, injuries, and worsening chronic conditions. Podiatrists have reported they are specifically seeing more cases of plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

This is commonly known as heel pain. The pain is caused by an inflammation of the band of tissue that extends from the heel to the toes. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or a cyst. It’s important to see an experienced specialist who can diagnose the exact problem.

What is Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Usually, this inflammation is short-lived. Over time the condition often progresses to a degeneration of the tendon, which is a case of Achilles tendinosis, in which the tendon loses its organized structure and is likely to develop small tears.

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.

Tips to Stay Injury Free This Winter

winter foot care

Winter is finally here and with it plenty of snow, ice, freezing rain, and bone-chilling temperatures. These conditions can make for dangerous situations and put a lot of stress on your feet. Let’s look at some of the most common injuries suffered during winter and what you can do to prevent them.

Ankle Injuries

Ankle injuries are extremely common during the winter months. One big culprit is the ice. A sprain occurs when the ligaments surrounding the bone tear from excessive force or stress. Bruising, pain, or redness can all be symptomatic of an ankle injury. If left untreated, chronic ankle instability and the need for surgery may be necessary. To prevent an ankle injury, make sure you have footwear with proper support. Shoes and boots with thick rubber soles are recommended to grip the ground and prevent slipping. If you do suffer a sprain, follow the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. An ankle brace is also a good idea.

Frostbite

Frostbite can occur anytime the outdoor temperature gets to zero and the skin is exposed. This is different than simply cold feet which may be due to poor circulation or other conditions. Minor frostbite can heal, however more severe cases may lead to permanent damage. The best way to prevent frostbite is to minimize the time you spend outdoors in freezing temperatures. If you do go outside, make sure you bundle up. Try to wear thick wool socks. Sometimes two pairs are necessary.

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures in the foot are tiny, hairline breaks that can occur in the bones of the foot. Often they are caused by overtraining or overuse. Signs of a stress fracture include pain, swelling, redness, and bruising around the area. If left untreated it can lead to a complete break. At that point, surgery may be necessary. To prevent a stress fracture, try not to overdo things. Take frequent breaks and make sure you have footwear with proper support. 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.

Holiday Foot Care Tips

foot care

The holidays are here again. That means plenty of hustle and bustle. People will be doing a lot of shopping, going to malls, waiting in long lines, and traveling to see friends and family. It can be stressful. It’s easy to forget to take good care of your feet in all this activity. Here are five tips to make sure your feet stay safe and healthy this holiday season.

  • Keep your feet dry. Many people this winter are wearing heavy wool socks or fur-lined boots. While these can keep your feet warm they can also make your feet sweaty! A moist environment is perfect to develop a rash or athlete’s foot. The best way to prevent this is to have an extra pair of socks on hand to change into whenever your feet feel damp.
  • Minimize time in heels. Although they can be stylish, long hours spent in high heels can increase the risk for several foot problems. If you do wear heels make sure to do so only for short periods.
  • Treat your feet. One way to give your feet a nice relaxing treat is to go for a professional pedicure. Make sure the salon you use sanitizes all their instruments. When in doubt, it can be a good idea to bring your own clippers and other nail tools to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Choose the right footwear. Winter weather means snow and ice. Slippery conditions make it essential to have shoes or boots with a sturdy, gripping tread, and a wide, stable heel.
  • Take breaks! Instead of trying to get all your shopping and errands done at once try spacing out your shopping. Rest your feet whenever possible. If you do start to experience foot pain, take a break immediately, and if the pain persists contact your podiatrist.

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 appointment, contact us at (973) 917-3785.