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By Crofton Podiatry
August 22, 2018
Category: Children's Feet
Tags: Orthotics   walk   inward   supportive shoes   gait  

Got your Back-to-School lists in hand? Clothing companies and office supply stores are ready to get your kiddos equipped with the latest and greatest. Backpacks, pencil cases, loose leaf paper, and of course, the best locker supplies, are at the top of the list. But don’t forget about those rapidly growing feet!

Get measured!

Children’s feet can grow at such a pace that they might need new shoes within three months (depending on their developmental stage)! While you might not add “get new shoes” to your back-to-school shopping list, you might want to add “measure feet for new shoes.” This way, if their feet have indeed grown, you’ll already be in a shoe store!

Observe their walk

Have your children walk in a straight line in their current shoes. Are they walking in a heel-to-toe gait or are they flat stomping? Do their ankles seem to roll inward or outward? Are their feet pointing inward or outward? Are the outer soles more worn down on one side than the other? Have they complained about any pain?

If you notice any of these issues, it might be a good time to review whether or not their shoes are supportive enough. Supportive shoes (with adequate arch and heel support) can help to reduce the risk of foot problems from developing. However, if your child complains of pain or if you notice that their gait is off, you may want to consider orthotics to correct issues and reduce pain.

Function OVER Fashion or Convenience

The “in” thing at school might be backless sandals or the latest Nike LeBron 15’s. While popularity might seem to be the most important thing for children and teenagers, remind them that uncomfortable or painful feet can get in the way of that. Encourage your children to find a balance between fashion and function, especially if they walk long distances to and from school. Oh! And don’t forget those socks! Not wearing socks with closed-toe shoes can really make for a stink fest (and talk about embarrassing smelly feet!).

Additionally, we warn parents against simply buying a pair of shoes for your children without them present. Unless they tried the specific pair of shoes on very recently, it’s in your children’s best interest to try the shoes on themselves. Each pair of shoes fits a bit differently, so it’s best to get a feel for them in the store.

If your child has been complaining of foot pain, or if you notice that your children are walking abnormally, make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. At Crofton Podiatry, we use the latest treatment options to assess and take care of your family’s foot and ankle care needs. Our Crofton, MD office serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
February 28, 2018
Category: Gait analysis
Tags: flat feet   walk   ankle roll   inward  

Did you know that there is a right way and a wrong way to walk? It might not be something you’ve ever really thought about or evaluated, but that just means the time is now. That’s because if you happen to have abnormalities with your gait (the way you walk), it can be the cause of your foot or ankle problem.

What could I be doing wrong?

After you read this post, check in with your feet and ankles. Take a walk across the room to see if you might be doing some of the following:

  • Does any part of your foot hurt when taking steps? Maybe the balls of your feet or your heels?
  • Are you leaning your foot more to the outside or inside?
  • Are your toes pointed slightly outward, instead of forward?
  • Have you been stomping, without realizing?
  • Are all parts of your feet touching the ground at the same time?

How should I walk?

Look at the following aspects of your walking habits to see where you might be able to make some corrections.

  • Foot strike: The way that each foot hits the ground should go as follows: heel > outside of the foot > ball of the foot > toes (as the heel comes off the ground). As the toes roll off, the heel of the other foot should be striking the ground, and continuing with the rest of the foot as described above.
  • Foot direction: Next, pay attention to the shape of your feet as you walk. The feet should be walking on parallel tracks, not making zigzags or a V shape. If the toes point inward or outward, it can cause strain on the feet to help you stabilize.
  • Ankle roll: Ideally, your ankles should be stacked in a line, between the heel bone and the knees. However, some may find their ankles to roll inward (overpronation) or outward (under pronation). This can cause ankle pain over time, especially if you have flat feet.

Next time you have a chance, check your gait to see if you should “walk this way.”  If you a self-evaluation on your gait is difficult, you may want to have our podiatrist help you. Make an appointment by calling our office at (410) 721-4505 to consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. He can help you with an assessment and treatment if needed. Come visit our podiatry team at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

 

By Crofton Podiatry
December 18, 2017
Category: Feet Safety

When you think about it, there are some clearly identifiable dangers to your foot health, such as blunt trauma and sports injuries. But did you know that some of your everyday habits might be posing risks as well? While some are a bit more obvious than others, we encourage you to review the following risk factors to see how much you know about what can be affecting your foot health!

Where you walk:

  • Outdoors – For those who like to be barefoot, you can have exposure to disease and sharp objects.
  • Indoors –When walking on smooth surfaces, you want to be careful of slipping. Older adults, in particular should wear non-slip socks or slippers. However, when walking on carpet, you do not want non-slip soles since they can trip you up.

The Way You walk:

  • Gait – Depending on the way you roll your ankles, the way the feet touch the ground, you may be more prone to having heel or ankle pain. You may want to get a gait analysis done by our podiatrist to screen for risks.
  • Heavy stomping – If you tend to have “lead” feet when you walk, you may be more prone to ankle, knee, and hip pain from the impact on hard floors. Wearing cushioned slippers can reduce the impact experienced by your legs.

Shoes you wear:

  • Size matters! – Be sure that you and your children wear shoes that fit appropriately. If shoes are too small, feet will be crammed and can develop corns and calluses. If shoes are too big, feet can slide around inside and they have to work harder to stabilize you, resulting in sore muscles.
  • Flats, flip flops, high heels, and pointy toe shoes – These do not have adequate support and can lead to injury as well as strained muscles and tendons as your feet and ankles work overtime to keep you stable. High heels put excessive pressure on the balls of the feet as well as cram the toes. This can lead to bunions and other foot deformities, as well as arch and heel pain.

Your workouts:

  • Not stretching your ankles and calves, sudden increases in workout, and high impact activities can all be causes of injury due to your physical activity routines. Overuse injuries, such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis are typical foot problems from your workouts. 

Lifestyle and other Risk Factors:

  • Being overweight or obese and/or having a sedentary lifestyle can lead to poor circulation and excessive strain on the feet.
  • Smoking – Among a host of other health problems, you have a higher chance of developing Peripheral Artery Disease, in which plaque builds up in your arteries, making it hard for blood to reach your feet. Your feet can begin to feel pain and be slower to heal injuries.
  • Drinking excessively – This can lead to alcoholic neuropathy, in which there is weakness, pain, and tingling in the hands and feet. Eventually, nerve damage can result in loss of sensation and poor circulation, which means poor healing.

While not a complete list, these are risk factors that you should check often when considering foot health. If you have found that one or more of these may be affecting your foot health, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505 to receive a thorough assessment. Contact our dedicated team at our Crofton office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

 




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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

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