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.

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.

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.