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.

Preventing Falls at Any Age

fall prevention

Falling is a painful thing, and it can cause damage later. There are things that make us more susceptible to this issue, such as age, health, or underlying medical conditions. You can also be at risk because of the shoes you wear and your lifestyle choices. However, there are things that you can do to ensure that you stand a more substantial chance of avoiding a dangerous fall, no matter your age.

  • Ensure you are at your best: if you have trouble seeing or hearing, this is a problematic issue that needs to be rectified. If you need glasses, let yourself get used to them. If you need a hearing aid, you must remember to wear it properly and don’t skip it. Neglecting to use these items can cause disorientation and can lead to a fall.
  • Avoid alcohol: alcohol in any form or dosage can impair you and cause you to sway or experience dizziness. This can lead to having trouble staying upright and walking correctly. Cutting alcohol completely from your diet will ensure better health which is also vital to avoid a fall.
  • Be careful in different weather: in the winter, you can experience snow and ice, which causes slippery areas, and water on the ground can cause slick regions. Be careful in these areas and ensure that you are walking around the mess to avoid getting hurt.
  • Don’t jump up: standing quickly or jumping up after sitting can cause a drop in your blood pressure. This is what causes the ‘head rush.’ You can also experience dizziness or a near-immediate fall as your legs buckle.
  • Avoid improper shoes: high heels make ankles wobble, toes cramp, and feet sweat. All these issues can cause an imbalance and unsteadiness on your feet. Choose non-skid shoes with a low heel and rubber soles.  These will help you walk on various surfaces with confidence.

If you have concerns about your 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, answers to your questions, and to schedule an appointment, contact us at (973) 917-3785.

Ways to Manage Your Arthritis Pain

Did you know that arthritis is not one disease – but an umbrella term used for over 100 different conditions of the joint? May is Arthritis Awareness Month and at Step by Step Family Foot Care, we think it’s essential to pass on information about this disease which has engulfed millions of people around the globe.

The prevalence of arthritis in the United States has grown exponentially. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 54 million adults in the US have some form of arthritis, which is about 1 in 4. Even kids can get arthritis! Symptoms of arthritis may vary depending on the type. Still, some common characteristics include pain, stiffness, fatigue, inflammation, and swelling of the joints, loss of foot function, and mobility issues. The thirty-three joints in each foot are common targets of this disease.

There are no instant solutions for arthritis, but there are several steps you can take to mitigate its effects.

  • Weight loss can reduce the stress and pressure on the joints of the foot and ankle. Make sure that you eat healthily and stay active. A good diet and regular exercise or sport can help you maintain a healthy body weight while relieving pain and stiffness in the joints.
  • Customized orthotics can be very beneficial in redistributing pressure loads across the foot.
  • Use medication and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Wear shoes that are not too tight around the toe area to minimize pressure points. Extra-padding in the shoes can be helpful.
  • Physical therapy can help enhance your foot function and mobility issues.
  • Joint surgery.

If you have arthritis symptoms or have any concerns about your foot health, contact Step By Step Family Foot Care. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, can evaluate your symptoms and treat you promptly. You can call us at (973) 917-3785 to schedule a convenient appointment or visit our office in Parsippany, NJ.

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.