Tuesday, October 26, 2010

If The Shoe Hurts, There May Be A Remedy

If The Shoe Hurts, There May Be A Remedy

by Patti Neighmond

Many people figure foot pain is just another problematic part of aging, and they'll just have to live with it and get used to the pain. Hannan says nothing could be further from the truth. If you have foot pain, she says, go see someone who specializes in feet. That would be either a podiatrist or a physical therapist with foot expertise. The pain can often be treated successfully and further problems prevented.

Foot pain in Hannan's study most commonly came from bunions, but people also had hammertoes, corns, calluses, flat feet and a very painful condition called plantar fasciitis. All of these conditions get worse with age, Hannan says.

The problem is also exacerbated by the obvious: Shoes — heels, pointy and narrow — that just don't fit. Men tend to buy ill-fitting shoes that are too big, which can present support problems.

But for women, the problems are more varied. Toes squished into pointy shoes. Foot bones crunched into shoes that are too narrow. And feet smooshed into shoes that are just too small. Heels, of course, put added pressure on the ball of the foot, and if the ball of the foot is squished into a pointy toe box, the problem is even worse.

And, unfortunately as we age, our feet can feel the brunt.

"Our feet can actually get wider, and they can change shape," says Emily Cook, the podiatrist. "They can change size. You can lose flexibility within your joints. Certain foot deformities — bunions, hammertoes" — can worsen over time. Weakened ligaments and joints, arthritis and a thinning of the fatty pads on the bottom of our feet can also cause complications.

And men aren't exactly off the hook. The same things happen to the aging male foot. But because of the shoes women tend to wear, foot problems are far more common among women.

The New Shoe Remedy

Cook says there can be remedies. Many problems, she says, can be diminished by simply buying more appropriate shoes. And she offers a number of suggestions: First off, shoes should fit properly. It's best to buy shoes at the end of the day, as feet can swell as the day wears on. Also, get your feet measured routinely. Aging feet can get wider and longer. You may no longer be that size 6 at age 55.

You should be able to wiggle your toes in the shoe. They should not be crunched. The heel should offer support and shouldn't collapse when you squeeze the heel-box portion of the shoe. If shoes don't feel comfortable right away, don't buy them. And don't be fooled by the you-just-have-to-break-them-in argument. There's no such thing as a break-in period.

If you feel you have to wear dressy shoes or heels for work, try wearing different pairs on different days.

"What I tell women in this particular situation is that you need to think of different types of shoes for different types of purposes," Cook says. "For example, when you're traveling, you don't want to wear a dressy type of shoe. You need something like a sneaker, something very supportive that's comfortable so you're not beating up your foot before you even make it to the event."

Cook also encourages patients to minimize the amount of pressure placed on their foot by wearing lower heels.

"If you must wear heels, try to change the heel height and use different-size heels on different days," she says. Cook appreciates women's need to appear stylish on the job, adding that it's frustrating for women in particular because the shoe industry is driven by fashion — not comfort and fit.

The Next Step

For some patients, new, more comfortable shoes may not be adequate enough to relieve and even treat foot pain. They may need orthotics, which are plastic inserts that fit directly into the shoe for cushioning and support. Some over-the-counter products are fine. Cook says patients often try these less expensive options first.

Some foot doctors think custom orthotics are too expensive, especially since they are typically not covered by health insurance. But for particularly complex problems, Cook says custom orthotics may be exactly what's needed.

For 62-year-old Robin Bentz, just putting her foot on the ground and standing up had become excruciating. Early on, she thought the pain would just go away. It didn't. As a retired nurse, Bentz suspected plantar fasciitis. She was right.

"It got so bad that I would get up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom, and my feet would ache so badly by the time I went to the bathroom and came back to bed," Bentz says. "The pain would just literally keep me awake for the rest of the night."

Bentz tried to adjust how she walked to compensate for the pain. But then, her knees started to hurt. She went to an orthopedic surgeon and had cortisone injections, but the pain continued.

Finally, she went to see Cook. After an examination, Cook suggested custom-made orthotics. Bentz has two pairs of orthotics that she alternates.

"It's been like a miracle," Bentz says. "My feet never touch the ground unless I have my orthotics."

Bentz says she was astounded that something so simple would cure such a huge problem, and she's forever grateful. But things don't always work out this way. Cook says some patients eventually require surgery, particularly for bunions. But often surgery can be put off for years with good shoes — and, possibly, orthotics.

Possible Causes Of Smarting Feet

Stiff Shoes: Shoes should be stable, but flexibility is also key. They should bend in the spot where the toes bend.

Shoes That Don't Fit Properly: Shoes that are too big or too small can pinch or strain feet. As you age, your feet may grow wider and longer, and your shoe size may change, so measure your feet regularly.

High Heels: If you have to wear high heels, try varying the shoe and the heel height during the week.

Same Shoes Every Day: Alternating shoes on different days can help keep feet limber.

—Eliza Barclay

Reggie Bush fractures fibula

Reggie Bush Injury: Injured Saint Has Broken Fibula
BRETT MARTEL 09/21/10 10:13 PM

NEW ORLEANS — Reggie Bush's broken leg likely will sideline him about six weeks but not the rest of the season, a person familiar with the injury said.

Bush was expected to be examined again Tuesday, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team has not officially updated Bush's condition.

The Saints had the day off after returning early in the morning from their 25-22 Monday night victory at San Francisco. Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said there were no planned updates on Bush's injury.

The bone in Bush's lower right leg was broken when recovered his muffed punt with 6:58 remaining. He had trouble catching the ball at windy Candlestick Park and was injured during the scrum after he dove for the ball and players landed on him.

"Last second it kind of shifted a little bit, just enough for me to drop it," he said. "I tried to recover it and somebody took my leg out. I don't know who it was, what happened or how it happened. I just know my leg got taken out. That's it.

"It hurt like hell," Bush said. "When I got back up and tried to walk on it, it felt terrible."

The injury capped a difficult past few days for Bush, who gave back his Heisman Trophy last week. The NCAA punished USC after concluding that Bush and his family improperly accepted money and gifts from sports agents while Bush played for the Trojans. Bush said he returned the award to end the controversy.

"It's been a pretty tough week," he said. "It's just the way life goes.

"I'm just trying not to think the worst and just try to stay as positive as I can in this situation," Bush said. "That's all you can do, hope for the best."

Brett Favre injures ankle again

Avulsion Fracture: Brett Favre's Injury Could Snap Snap Viking QB's Streak

By Adam Lazarus (Correspondent) on October 26, 2010 2,967

An avulsion fracture (broken bones in his ankle) caused Favre to limp during the end of the Vikings 28-24 loss Sunday Night against Green Bay.

Favre's ankle was a major issue this offseason--he injured it late last year--and surgery was required. The elbow tendonitis that bothered him and the Jenn Sterger scandal set the ankle issue on the backburner for a while. Now it has returned.

Favre was noticeably limping throughout the second half of the Vikings game against the Packers on Sunday night. Still, he continued to play and nearly led the team to an incredible last-second comeback.

When the game was over, Favre hobbled into the locker room. Team officials confirmed the injury on Monday but have not yet ruled him out. Favre has started 291 consecutive games, dating back to the 1992 season.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Antonio Gates injures toe

Injury Spin Cycle: Chargers Optimistic About Antonio Gates' Toe

.10/19/2010 9:00 AM ET By Tom Lorenzo

There was some good news out of San Diego on Monday, as the Chargers said they were optimistic about Antonio Gates suiting up in Week 7 against the Patriots, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Gates left Sunday's game against the Rams in the second quarter, having suffered a toe injury on his left foot. It's on the same foot he was forced to have surgery on back in 2007, but the Chargers are saying that the two injuries are not related.

This is promising for fantasy owners relying on the game's top tight end who had 29 catches and seven touchdowns heading into Week 6. There's absolutely no way to replace Gates' production at the tight end position, so keep those fingers crossed and hope that the news only gets better as we get closer to Sunday.

Willis out with broken foot

WR Willis lost for season

October 18th, 2010 6:05 pm MT.
The Broncos will once again be a man down as wide receiver Matthew Willis will miss the rest of the season with a broken foot, the Denver Post is reporting.

Willis left Sunday’s game with the Jets with a foot injury sustained on a special teams play. His foot will require season-ending surgery and he will be placed on injured reserve by the team.

It is not yet clear how the Broncos will fill his spot, but they do have another wide receiver, Britt Davis, on the practice squad. However, with the strong play of Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal and rookie Demaryius Thomas and with fellow rookie Eric Decker still in the mix, they may choose to fill another need with that spot.

Royal’s status is still unknown after he left Sunday’s game with a groin injury after a big hit from Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.

Botox for foot problems

Botox Now Being Used to Treat Foot Problems

LAKE CHARLES, La. -- You've heard of botox to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but how about problems with the feet?

That's just what one local group of doctors is using to get patients on their feet without pain.

At Center for Orthopaedics in Lake Charles, Drs. Craig Morton and Tyson Green are using botox injections to treat a wide range of foot problems.

"If there's damage to the brain or spinal cord," said Dr. Morton, "such as what you'd see in a spinal cord injury, head injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy - it can result in an abnormal posturing of the muscles of the hands and feet."

For the feet, Dr. Green said the muscle spasticities can cause the feet to remain contracted in a position which makes it difficult or impossible for the patient to walk comfortably.

"That's when the botox will come into play to relax a contracture," said Dr. Green, "so that we can either brace the foot or provide casting to provide stability and flexibility within that foot."

Botox weakens the targeted muscle, keeping it from contracting. Dr. Morton said by paralyzing one muscle or muscle group, the foot can relax enough to no longer overpower the surrounding muscles.

"It takes about two or three days from the initial injection into the spastic muscle to start to see results," said Dr. Morton, "and about two weeks after the injections, we see a peak effect - that can last about three months before slowly wearing off."

Dr. Green said many of the patients he treats in wound care have painful lesions resulting from the inability to move their feet in bed - reducing circulation. Botox has helped with this.

"When you relax the tension on the foot, you give it a more stable position," said Dr. Green, "that way the wound can heal and it will have adequate offloading, so that you're not having added pressure on the wound."

This pair says young children with cerebral palsy - all the way up to the elderly with muscle spasms can benefit from botox for the feet.

*Most insurance plans will cover botox treatments for foot problems.

Dont ignore your foot problems

Health Tip: Alert a Podiatrist to Foot Problems

Don't just ignore them
Posted: October 12, 2010

(HealthDay News) -- Problems with your feet shouldn't be ignored. They can get worse over time, and can signal trouble elsewhere.

The American Podiatric Medical Association mentions these issues that should be discussed with a podiatrist:

•An open sore or ulcer on the feet, as they can indicate problems such as high blood pressure, sickle cell disease or a blood vessel condition.

•Swelling of the feet, which can indicate problems with the heart, circulatory system or kidneys.

•A burning sensation in the feet, which may indicate poor circulation.

These underlying medical issues also should be discussed with a podiatrist:

•Cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure, which could lead to insufficient blood flow to the feet.

•Rheumatic heart disease, as medications used to treat it may interfere with some medications used to treat foot problems.

•Diabetes, as it may affect sensation and circulation in the feet.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Greek Health System Opts for Amputation as Money-Saver

Greek Health System Opts for Amputation as Money-Saver

This Saturday, one of Greece’s most respected newspapers, To Vima, reported that the nation’s largest government health insurance provider would no longer pay for special footwear for diabetes patients. Amputation is cheaper, says the Benefits Division of the state insurance provider.

The new policy was announced in a letter to the Pan-Hellenic Federation of People with Diabetes. The Federation disputes the science behind the decision of the Benefits Division. In a statement, the group argues that the decision is contrary to evidence as presented in the international scientific literature.

Greece’s National Healthcare System was created in the early 1980s, during the tenure of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou. Papandreou, an academic, won election under the slogan, Αλλαγή, which is the Greek word for Change.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NFL players sporting pink cleats

NFL Pink For Breast Cancer Awareness: NFL's Pink Shoes & Gloves

Share: by Jon Azpiri
October 1, 2009 at 01:27 pm

Pink is a color not normally associated with the NFL, but Week 4 of the NFL will see a wave of pink to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All 30 NFL teams will be hosting several pregame and in-stadium initiatives to raise awareness about breast cancer. Many NFL players will be getting in on the act as the league has allowed players to wear pink accessories during games.

Several NFL players will wear pink shoes, tapes or other accessories to remind viewers that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Players will wear a pink ribbon sticker on the back of their helmets.

At least 100 players are expected to wear pink shoes during this weekend's games. Perhaps the most prominent players wearing pink is Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who will wear pink shoes during Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.

Chad Ochocinco has been twittering non-stop about his pink shoes.

While Ochocinco has been the most vocal supporter of the NFL's pink football shoes, the campaign was spearheaded by Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams. Williams had heard about the idea of NFL players wearing pink accessories and suggested that players wear pink cleats. The issue of breast cancer is a very personal one: his mother is a breast cancer survivor and three of his aunts died from the disease.

Military Boot Technology Improved

GORE-TEX Footwear Technology Improves Comfort in Military Boots

W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., has introduced a footwear technology for the U.S. military with optimized breathability in extended climate ranges. Specifically designed for hot climate conditions, GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Footwear protects feet from exposure to rain and inclement weather, while allowing moisture vapor to escape from the boot, keeping feet dry and more comfortable. Boots made of this construction also pick up less water and dry out faster, in addition to reducing boot weight.

With a single-wall construction, GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Footwear has been engineered specifically to ensure maximum breathability without compromising durable waterproof performance. Unlike other jungle or hot weather footwear, boots with this new technology have proven to provide waterproof protection and breathable comfort. Lab tests showed that these new boots retained 90 percent less water than comparable boots and that breathability over time was excellent. In field tests, participants perceived that these boots kept feet as cool as both the current desert boot and the temperate weather boot.

This new technology provides the opportunity to have one pair of boots for the widest range of climate conditions. According to Bill Candy, Gore’s North American footwear product specialist, Gore works closely with each manufacturer as each new boot design is developed. Candy explains, “We work with our customers to deliver the best product for their intended application, which in this case was to increase the comfortable climate range, particularly on the warm to hot side, of waterproof boots. We also work with customers to understand their requirements, develop a solution, and test the final designs to ensure that each product meets the unique environmental challenges that the military is faced with today.”

W. L. Gore & Associates

Gore is a leading manufacturer of thousands of advanced technology products for the electronics, fabrics, industrial and medical markets. Perhaps best known for its waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX® fabric, the company’s portfolio features a diverse array of innovations, including everything from guitar strings to life-saving cardiovascular devices. Gore is headquartered in Newark, Del., and employs 9,000 associates in 30 countries worldwide. It is one of a select few companies to appear on all of the U.S. “100 Best Companies to Work For” lists since the rankings were introduced in 1984. Visit www.GoreMilitary.com to learn more.