The Most Important Do’s and Don’ts for Fall Sports Prep

Is your child ready for the fall sports season? While activities such as soccer, swimming and hiking are all good ways to keep children fit and active, it is important that we don’t take any shortcuts in ensuring their health and safety. At Step by Step Family Foot Care, we see many injuries in young athletes that could have been avoided if the preseason conditioning was exercised.

Below are some of the do’s and don’ts to be kept in mind so that your children have a safe and injury-free season.

Do: Always encourage your children to take part in all kinds of sports activities and make them aware of the importance of pre and post warm-up routines.

Do: Make sure you set up an appointment at our office in Parsippany NJ (973) 917-3785 to consult our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim. The foot doctor can help address all podiatric health concerns of your child and formulate a suitable course of action to avoid any unforeseen problems.

Do: Stay in touch with your child’s physical training instructor so that you can share your feedback on any issues that need to be considered before your child takes up a certain activity. This will also help the instructor to determine which exercises may be assigned for their strength and a healthy start to the season.

Don’t: Wearing last year’s shoes may be tempting yet damaging for your children. Over time shoes tend to wear out and lose their support structure especially in areas like the padding at the heels and the arch. Make sure to check their shoes to avoid any issues like heel pain, sprains, blisters, etc.

Don’t: You will be able to find shoes now that are designed for specific sports. Don’t opt for shoes that were handed down or passed on because new shoes will help your child’s feet by adjusting according to their shape and size.

For any questions or concerns regarding your child’s foot and ankle health, feel free to get in touch with our experts.

Beware of Foot Blisters

Blisters are tiny bubble-like pockets that appear on the skin of your feet usually due to excessive and repetitive friction. The bubble is filled with fluid and is supposed to protect the damaged skin from further harm.

What are the likely reasons for blisters to appear? Here are a few:

  • Poorly fitted shoes that rub against the skin of your feet constantly
  • Diseases like chickenpox also lead to many blisters
  • Skin burns or cold sores cause blisters too
  • Some insect bites may also result in itchy or painful blisters

The big question that revolves around blisters is whether to pop them or let them be. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim advises patients to leave the blister alone. Meddling with it or bursting it will only expose your feet to bacterial skin infections and possibly bleeding wounds.

In case a blister bursts on its own, you should clean it using water and soap. Dry the affected area carefully. Make sure the skin lies flat on the area; do not try to peel it off or remove it.

Using an antibacterial ointment is effective in preventing infections. Avoid covering it with a bandage as moisture will make it worse. However, loosely covering it with gauze will help to protect it from dust and rubbing.

If you notice blisters on your feet that appear too frequently or do no heal properly, we at Step by Step Family Foot Care advise you to schedule an appointment with our broad-certified podiatrist right away. Knowing what is causing your blisters is important so that the right course of treatment can be administered.

We have your best interest in mind and our team is available to help you in case of any questions or concerns regarding your foot health. Our office is located in Parsippany, New Jersey, and you may contact us at (973) 917-3785 to schedule a convenient appointment. For more information on foot disorders and foot health, you can browse through our patient education library.

4 Exercises to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis

Have you ever experienced pain in your heels or the arches of your feet? Chances are that you may be suffering from a condition known as “plantar fasciitis”.

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the tissue (plantar fascia) that runs under your feet and connects your toes with the heel. Reasons that may cause this inflammation include wear and tear due to sports activities, incessant pressure, sudden impact, and stress.

Here are a few exercises that can strengthen your muscles and safeguard your plantar fascia:

  1. Stretch your arches: you can sit with one leg over the other and gently pull your toes towards your shin to feel a stretch under your foot. Another way is to place a stretching band under your feet, pull your feet towards yourself and hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Release and then repeat the routine.
  2. Roll a ball: while sitting on a chair, place a ball or any round object under your feet and rotate it to loosen up any tight muscles under your feet and toes.
  3. Ease your calves: place one leg forward and extend the other towards the back while you lean your hands against the wall. Bend the forward leg slightly and feel the stretch in the calf of the leg at the back. Repeat a few times and then switch legs.
  4. Stretching your toes: wrapping your toes with an elastic band, stretching them apart and then closing them, is also an effective exercise to build muscle strength.

If you feel pain in your feet or are unsure about the cause of your discomfort, we, at Step by Step Family Foot Care, urge you to visit your podiatrist right away.

To avoid any permanent tissue damage, schedule an appointment with Dr. Debra B. Manheim, who is an expert in treating a range of foot conditions and disorders such as arthritis, neuromas, sports injuries, diabetic foot complications, flat feet, and fungal toenails, etc. Contact us and save your feet from any further harm.

Keep Your Feet Fit for Summer Fun Indulgences

Summer activities expose our feet to many risks and hazards. However, that does not mean that one should deprive oneself of all the fun that this season has to offer.

Being careful and making sensible choices can help protect our feet from harm. At Step by Step Family Foot Care, we advise our patients to keep their eyes open for the following:

  • Fungus and bacteria: Infections are thriving during summertime and spread easily if not treated immediately. Fungal toenails, athlete’s foot, blisters, warts, and calluses are common occurrences and should be treated as early as possible.
  • Heel pain: This pain is ascribed to the most popular summer footwear i.e. flip-flops. These airy and easy-to-slip-on shoes provide the least support to your foot arch, causing your heels to come under stress due to excessive weight. It is advised to wear shoes that provide adequate support or use orthotic inserts for appropriate distribution of your body weight on your feet.
  • Sprains: The chances of sprains and stress fractures increase if you wear uncomfortable shoes for long durations or during intensive physical activity. Shoes with a stronger grip, softer insoles, and proper arch support are highly recommended to prevent injuries and pain.
  • Wounds and cuts: Wearing open shoes or being barefoot increases the risk of being injured by splinters and sharp objects. If you suffer a cut or a wound, make sure you have it cleaned up properly and use an antiseptic to prevent infection. It is advised to keep your wounds open and dry to avoid pus and bacterial infections.

If you encounter any of the above conditions and feel that your feet are not improving or healing properly, we urge you to visit our Parsippany, NJ office or call us at (973) 917-3785 to schedule an appointment. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim will conduct a thorough examination and administer the appropriate course of treatment to restore the health of your feet.

Are Ingrown Toenails Giving You Trouble?

An ingrown toenail is a condition in which the nails tend to grow into the skin of the toes. This can cause burning, pain, swelling, and even numbness. If left unattended, ingrown toenails may start bleeding, or become infected with pus and bacteria.

What are the causes of ingrown toenails and how can they be prevented?

  • Restrictive and ill-fitted shoes tend to compress your toes together and push your nails inside your skin leading to ingrown toenails. Wearing proper shoes and leaving your feet open every now and then will keep your toenails safe and secure.
  • Footwear that does not have ample space between the big toe and the inside of the shoe wall may constantly rub against your toenail and make you fall prey to ingrown nails. Therefore, it is integral to wear the right size of shoes and see any foot changes that may occur.
  • The most common reason cited for ingrown toenails is cutting your nails in a curved shape. Foot doctors recommend that the nails be cut straight so that they do not grow into the skin surrounding the nail area.
  • Cutting your nails too short can also cause your nails to penetrate your skin when they are growing back.
  • Bumping into hard surfaces and injuring your nails can also change the shape of your toenails and the direction in which they grow. Keep your feet safe and watch where you are going.

If you notice any unusual changes in your ankles, feet or toenails like swelling, redness, nail or skin thickening, discoloration, bone structure alterations etc. Do not ignore such signs and visit your podiatrist immediately.

Moreover, if you are unsure about your foot condition or require more information, we suggest you visit our patient education library or schedule an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Debra B. Manheim at Step by Step Family Foot Care. Visit or contact our Parsippany office at your ease and convenience.

Are You Suffering From Foot Odor?

As temperatures rise, sweating is a very common outcome in the feet, especially when you are wearing closed shoes and socks. Here is a sweaty fact for you: On average, each foot produces 500ml of sweat daily, that is equivalent to a cup of sweat per day!

Excessive sweating that is unable to evaporate and instead gets contained in the shoes, creates a nurturing platform for bacterial and fungal infections, causing odor.

The most commonly observed reasons that cause smelly feet are:

  • The menacing “sweat!” Surprisingly, moisture itself is not smelly; it is the isovaleric acid produced by bacteria that causes the smell.
  • Athlete’s Foot and other infections: These skin conditions result from fungi that proliferates in confined and moist feet.
  • Fungal nail infections are also known to cause foot odor. In fact, one of the early signs of fungal infections is smelly feet.

Here are a few effective remedies:

  • Keeping your feet clean and dry is important to avoid foot odor. Antiseptic soaps prevent bacteria.
  • Wearing airy socks reduces sweat and ultimately reduces odors. Therefore avoid synthetic socks.
  • Spraying your shoes and insoles with disinfectants or surgical spirit also helps in killing bacteria.
  • Soaking feet in a mixture that is two-thirds water and one-third vinegar is effective in eliminating fungi. However, this remedy is strictly not advised in case of cuts or rashes on the skin.
  • Using antiperspirants on your feet also reduces the amount of sweat produced by your feet.

If your smelly feet condition persists, you should consult our board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Debra B. Manheim at Step By Step Family Foot Care, to identify the root cause of the issue and accordingly get the right treatment.

We are experienced in treating a vast number of foot and ankle related problems including bone and joint issues, toenail and skin infections, injuries, sprains, bunions, hammertoes, and more. Contact us or visit our Parsippany office for complete and reliable solutions.

Celebrate Your Feet This National Foot Health Awareness Month

As April marks the National Foot Health Awareness month, we at Step By Step Family Foot Care urge everyone to prioritize their feet and work to ensure their health and safety at all times.

Helping patients understand their feet and ankle health is our primary goal. Doing so, allows you to take necessary precautions to avoid foot problems in the long term.

We recommend the following:

  • Be Watchful: Patients come to our Parsippany office with foot and ankle issues that have progressed to an extreme stage and have started to obstruct there day to day functions. It is vital to start assessing your feet day by day so that you can spot changes as soon as they occur. In the event of any abnormality in your feet or any strange sensations, it is imperative to get an appointment and see our board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Debra B. Manheim as early as possible.
  • Protect your feet and ankles from infections: Most frequent and easily treatable foot issues we see are bacterial and fungal infections. These infections include athlete’s foot and fungal toenails, which spread quickly and are extremely contagious. Avoid roaming barefoot and keeping your feet uncovered in public places like swimming pools and parks.
  • Shoe Savvy: The size of your feet can change with time; that why it is important to get your size checked every time you go shoe shopping. Also, wear a similar pair of socks when trying on new shoes. Make sure to try on both shoes and walk around to make sure your feet feel comfortable and are not under any excessive pressure. In case a foot doctor has recommended a custom orthotic device, make it a point to put it on before trying new shoes.

Keeping these points in mind can help ensure happy and healthy feet. Promise your feet the care and the treatment they deserve by calling us today at (973) 917-3785.

Precautions to Take For Athlete’s Foot

foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection characterized by redness, rash, incessant itching and burning on your feet. It is contagious and can spread to other parts of your body if proper treatment is not administered.

While there is a variety of fungi that cause the infection, getting your feet examined at Step By Step Family Foot Care will enable you to get the right treatment according to the infected fungus.

Precautions you may undertake to avoid the onset of this infection

  • Avoid moist places: Fungus thrives in warm and moisture-rich places like public showers, gym rooms, pools etc. Use antiseptics if exposed to such places.
  • Personal hygiene utensils: It is strongly recommended that you do not share your personal hygiene tools such as soaps, nail cutters, towels and even footgear like socks and shoes. When visiting salons or nail spas, make sure their staff sterilize their utensils and use effective disinfectants.
  • Closed shoes: If your feet are infected, the fungus can stay in your shoes and aggravate your infection. Closed shoes and sweaty feet are breeding ground for athlete’s foot condition.
  • Socks: Even though socks act as a protective tool for your feet, make sure that the material you choose allows breathing space for your feet and dries away moisture that may build up while your feet are undercover.
  • Personal habits: Washing your feet and drying them up thoroughly can protect your feet from various foot infections.
  • Foot powders: Using foot or any talcum powders also reduce chances of developing infections as they keep your feet dry, control sweat, and prevent friction between your toes.

If you are suffering from athlete’s foot or fear that you may become prey to this fungal infection, feel free to consult our podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, at our Parsippany Office, New Jersey. Call us at (973) 917-3785 and benefit from our expertise in dealing with diverse foot conditions and providing effective foot health solutions.

How to Know If Your Child Is Suffering From a Foot Disorder?

Children may expressive any pain or discomfort that they may be experiencing; however, they may not be able to identify the exact problem. While they may be feeling uneasiness in running or walking, they may not be able to tell you whether it is their toenail causing the problem or a blister or pain in their ankle or foot.

Parents need to keep examining their children’s feet so that any issues can be addressed in a timely manner. Keeping a lookout for some of the following warning signals can give a heads up and save your child from prolonged suffering:

  • Avoidance: Children are energetic and playful almost all the time. If you notice your child avoiding games or opting to sit out more frequently than usual, there is a possibility that something might be wrong. Check their feet and inquire about any trouble that they may be facing.
  • Fatigue: While feeling exhausted after a day filled with play is normal, excess fatigue or complaints about feeling too tired too soon from children should be taken seriously. They may be feeling pain in their feet and hence may be making excuses about feeling tired.
  • Being too slow: Each child has their own pace and ability. However, persistently falling behind in comparison to children of the same age group could be a sign that there is a problem with their feet.
  • Awkward walk: At times, children alter the way they walk or run in order to avoid the pain in their feet. If you notice your child walking in an unusual manner, you should consult a podiatrist immediately.
  • Tiptoeing: Children often start walking on tiptoes or limp when they feel pain in their feet. They could avoid pain temporarily; however, tiptoeing hurts more as the balls of their feet come under stress.

If you notice any of the above signs in your children, immediately inspect their feet for any issues. For professional help and guidance, come visit Step by Step Family Foot Care. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim can help diagnose your child’s foot condition and devise a treatment plan that best suit his/or her feet. Call us today at our office in Parsippany (973) 917-3785, New Jersey.

Laser Therapy for Your Foot and Ankle Pain

surgery

Technology has revolutionized our world manifold. These revolutions/advances in the field of medicine have helped people cope with their health problems in a befitting manner. The podiatry field is no exception. In the past, one could not think of coming out of an ankle sprain so severe, as the star wide receiver for the New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr. had faced some two seasons ago and recovered miraculously within 3 weeks. An injury that would have kept one of the faces of the National Football League (NFL) out of the game for many months as predicted by many, laser treatment is all it took for the renowned athlete to get back in the game.

At Step by Step Family Foot Care in Parsippany (973) 917-3785, New Jersey, our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Debra B. Manheim uses high-tech laser therapy treatment to a quicker, more effective and complete healing at a cellular level, treating a variety of foot and ankle issues.

Laser Therapy Treatment

This non-invasive, drug-free laser therapy treatment is relatively a new technology. More specifically, it includes a device that releases a concentrated beam of laser light energy that penetrates the soft skin tissue on a cellular level. This treatment repairs any injured or damaged tissue, reduces pain and inflammation and accelerates the healing process. The treatment is virtually painless and has no known side effects. The laser therapy is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – a federal agency that ensures the safety of all medical equipment.

Treatable ailments include:

Is the laser therapy right for you?

If you have painful feet, damaged tissue, mobility issues or other foot and ankle problems, it is essential to talk to a podiatrist and discuss laser therapy treatment.

The laser treatments from our foot expert, Dr. Debra B. Manheim can help you reach optimal foot health. We use advanced treatments and technologies, including laser technology as a key component in the quest to help our patients overcome their acute and chronic foot pain. If you have any questions you can call our office on the number listed above or set up a consultation with our foot experts. For more information about podiatric related problems and treatment, you can browse through our patient education library online.