If you’re like the average American, you will walk over two hundred million steps – more than 100,000 miles! – in your lifetime, most before you reach middle age. Each step creates wear and tear on the bones, muscles, and ligaments of the feet. This can lead to a change in shoe size, especially when combined with natural changes that occur as you age. Some people will experience a slight change; others will experience as much as a half size increase every 10 years after their 40th birthday.
Start with a Proper Fitting
Your high school blue jeans probably don’t fit anymore. The same may be true for your shoes. When foot size changes, it becomes necessary to purchase shoes that accommodate your feet as they are, not as they were. It’s essential to get your feet professionally measured and assessed every few years. New shoes in a different size can be especially important for patients with hammertoes, corns, or deformities caused by diabetes or arthritis.
Thanks to time and gravity, your ligaments and tendons loosen as you age. This is especially problematic in the plantar fascia, which runs along the bottom of your foot. As the plantar fascia becomes permanently stretched, it causes the arch to become lower, leading to lengthening and widening of the foot.
Motherhood is another cause of foot growth. The hormones released during pregnancy cause ligaments to relax throughout the body, including in the feet. Most women will experience temporary foot growth. For a few, the change will be permanent.
A healthy diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats is essential for overall wellbeing, including foot health. The natural age-related flattening of the feet is made worse when you’re overweight. Avoid junk food and highly processed items at the grocery store.
Are your shoes uncomfortable? Call Wexler Foot Center at (973) 383-3115 for an appointment in our convenient Newton office. Dr. Craig Wexler will thoroughly examine your feet, diagnose any existing or potential issues, and work with you to create a treatment plan that just might include some new footwear in a bigger size.
If you’re experiencing ongoing foot pain when standing, walking, or exercising, custom orthotics may be the solution to your problem. Shoe inserts sold in drug stores can provide some relief for foot pain, but they’re no match for custom orthotics provided by your podiatrist. Those over-the-counter inserts add a bit of cushioning and support to your shoes, but they’re not made for just for you.
Prescribed and provided by your podiatrist, orthotics are medical devices that slip into your existing footwear to improve your foot movement. They can lead to increased comfort, stability, and mobility and will do a better job of accommodating your unique foot structure. Clinical research has demonstrated that custom orthotics frequently decrease foot pain and improve function. When prescribing orthotics, Dr. Craig Wexler draws not only on what he sees when he examines your feet, but also on decades of experience to customize relief based on your specific needs.
diabetes, painful calluses on the bottom of the foot, and other uncomfortable conditions. At Wexler Foot Center, Dr. Craig Wexler uses orthotics to treat a wide range of issues, including plantar fasciitis, bursitis, tendonitis, and diabetic foot ulcers.help control atypical motion. They may be used to treat foot pain caused by an unusual stance or gait and can also be used to treat injuries such as shin splints or tendinitis. Functional orthotics are crafted of firm materials such as plastic or graphite. are softer and are usually prescribed to offer additional cushioning and support. They can be used to treat side effects of
Many insurance plans offer coverage for orthotics. A quick call can help you understand your policy. Even if you have to pay some or all of the cost for your orthotics out of pocket, your orthotics will be a worthwhile investment. You can be confident that orthotics prescribed by Craig Wexler, DPM will be made of high quality materials, fit properly, work effectively, and last for years.
If foot pain is making you uncomfortable standing or walking, orthotics may provide relief. Click here or call Wexler Foot Center at (973) 383-3115 today to schedule an appointment with Craig Wexler, DPM. He will examine your feet to determine the source of your pain and, if needed, will design and create custom orthotics for you, using state of the art technology. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel, and at how quickly the change will come.
Fungal infections of the toenail or nail bed are common reasons for visits to the podiatrist’s office. For the most part, these infections are unsightly but harmless, but they can create lasting damage if left untreated. More seriously, for patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes or compromised immune systems, they can become systemic.
The Causes of Fungal Nail Infections
Nail infections can be caused by numerous yeasts, molds, and fungi. Many are caused by t. mentagrophytes, the same type of fungus that causes athlete's foot. Others are caused by t. rubrum and assorted viruses and bacteria. Take good care of your feet. Microbes can enter your body through small cuts, especially in the skin near your nails.
Preventing Fungal Nail Infection
Fungi are highly contagious. They grow best in warm, moist places. You can minimize your risk of infection with the following steps:
- Refrain from sharing personal items such as razors, towels, and nail clippers.
- Bring your own tools to the nail salon.
- Wear shoes in public places such as showers, locker rooms, and pools.
- Treat athlete’s foot and other skin infections promptly and completely to keep the fungus from spreading to your nails.
Symptoms of Fungal Nail Infection
An infected nail may turn yellow or white, become thicker than usual, crumble and/or split, or separate from the skin. It may become uncomfortable to wear shoes or you may notice that you have difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time. The fungus may also spread to other nails or your skin.
Diagnosing and Treating a Fungal Nail Infection
If you suspect that you have a fungal nail infection, seek treatment as soon as possible. With years of specialized training and experience, your podiatrist is the most qualified medical professional for the job. He or she can determine whether your symptoms are, in fact, a fungal infection and then work with you to plan and implement an effective course of treatment.
Craig Wexler, DPM treats patients with fungal nail infections every week. He can help you, too. Get started on the path to wellness today. Call Wexler Foot Center at (973) 383-3115 or click here to make an appointment at our convenient and comfortable Newton office.
Most of the effects of pregnancy on a woman’s body are fairly pleasant, but there can be uncomfortable changes in the legs, ankles, and feet. The weight gain associated with pregnancy sometimes adds pressure, alters a woman’s center of gravity, and creates new ways of standing and walking, leading to common problems.
Leg and Foot Cramps
Muscle cramps are harmless but painful, whether you’re pregnant or not. To prevent and stop cramps, gently pull your toes back toward your shins while extending your leg. Be careful to flex, rather than point your toes while stretching; pointing can contract the muscle and exacerbate your cramp. After stretching, massage the muscle and walk around for a few minutes to let it relax.
A woman’s blood volume grows by approximately 50% during pregnancy, stressing the blood vessels in the legs. Combining this with the force that the increased weight of the uterus puts on the lower body and the effects of increased progesterone in the body can lead to unsightly and uncomfortable third-trimester varicose veins for many pregnant women.
Varicose veins are large, swollen blood vessels that present as distinctive purplish lumps. They occur predominantly in the legs, although they do occasionally appear in the rectum or vulva. While they may itch or ache, varicose veins are typically a cosmetic issue. They usually shrink or disappear altogether within a few months after birth.
Some women experience swelling, known medically as edema, during the later stages of pregnancy. This is a result of the extra blood accumulated and/or water retained by the body. Edema is also caused by the enlarged uterus, which puts pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis and legs and decreases circulation in the lower body. Feet can become swollen and purple.
Craig Wexler, DPM recommends the following steps to minimize edema:
- Stay hydrated…drink plenty of water!
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Try to avoid table salt and highly processed foods, which contain a lot of sodium and promote fluid retention.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get off your feet as often as possible.
- Use a small stool to elevate your feet while sitting at a desk.
- Choose proper fitting footwear. Have your feet professionally measured several times throughout your pregnancy as they will probably change sizes.
- Wear seamless socks that do not restrict circulation.
- Take regular breaks to stretch your legs and promote circulation when flying or driving over long distances.
Over-pronation is caused when a person’s arch flattens and their feet roll inward when walking. This can stress the plantar fascia, a band of fibrous tissue that runs from the heel to the front of the foot and walking may become painful. Custom orthotics are easily available from your podiatrist and are the best treatment for the problem.
Dr. Craig Wexler is experienced in treating the special needs of pregnant women. Call Wexler Foot Center at (973) 383-3115 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment for Craig Wexler, DPM to examine your feet, diagnose any current or potential issues, and work with you to keep you feeling great both before and after your baby is born.
A heel spur is a collection of tiny, irregularly shaped growths on the bone at the underside of the heel that forms when the heel is subjected to constant wear and tear. The membrane that covers the heel bone tears and the bone is then exposed. Over a period of several months, bone-forming cells migrate to the site and deposit calcium, causing the creation of heel spurs.
They are most often seen in middle-aged men and women, but anyone can get them. Heel spurs are especially common in people who have already been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. When observed with an X-ray, 70% of plantar fasciitis patients are found to also have heel spurs.
Heel spurs can be traced to numerous sources, including damage to the foot caused by running, jogging, jumping, or walking over a period of years, especially on hard surfaces. Obesity and excess weight are common factors as well. Poorly fitted or worn out shoes, especially casual footwear without appropriate arch support, are thought to contribute to heel spurs. Patients with unusual stances or atypical gaits are at particular risk.
Contrary to popular belief, heel spurs aren’t pointy or sharp pieces of bone and they don’t always present with symptoms. You might have a heel spur and not feel any pain, but it’s more likely that it will be uncomfortable.
The site of the heel spur and the surrounding tissue can become inflamed, leading to chronic pain. This pain is most often described as similar to the discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis -- a sharp, stabbing sensation when using the foot after a long period of rest. That initial sensation typically reduces to a dull throb, but worsens again during physical activity, especially walking or jogging.
Are you experiencing morning heel pain? It might be a bone spur. The best place to find relief is at the podiatrist’s office. It’s important to have the source of your discomfort properly diagnosed in order to embark on the best possible course of treatment. Your podiatrist is an expert with years of training and is the best qualified medical professional to treat issues in your feet, ankles, and lower legs.
Call Wexler Foot Center at (973) 383-3115 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment with Craig Wexler, DPM in our comfortable Newton office. He’ll determine the source of your discomfort and help you feel better as quickly as possible.