Foot Health

Your feet are what support you in everything you do – running, playing sports, standing on the job, simply walking from one place to the next – and they need a little support from you, too. There are some easy things you can do to make sure your feet are in the best shape possible, and to avoid foot pain. We want you to stay on your feet! Here’s how:

Tip #1:

Make sure your running shoes and everyday shoes are breathable and have good arch support. Every foot is different, and you might need a certain fit to be completely comfortable. Don’t rest until the shoe fits – your feet will thank you!

Tip #2:

Try not to walk around community spaces barefoot, and don’t be afraid to show your feet a bit of extra love in the shower by cleaning them thoroughly. Infections such as athletes foot are easily avoided with breathable socks and shoes, and some extra washing and drying after a workout.

Tip #3:

If you have diabetes, you are more prone to sores and other uncomfortable foot problems. To avoid this, we recommend regular checkups. Medicare pays for two diabetic foot exams a year by a Podiatrist. We have two of the best podiatrists in Omaha on our team who do thorough exams that involve vascular and neurological testing. They are accepting new patients now! In the meantime, give your feet the occasional break and prop them up on a pillow for maximum blood flow and comfort.

Tip #4:

If you do experience foot pain or problems, be sure to see your doctor to identify the problem and avoid its progression. Your doctor may recommend inserts or insoles for your shoes, depending on the problem. We provide same-day access to your Primary Physician, so you won’t miss a beat!

 

As summer draws to an end, don’t forget to give your feet a little extra loving. Keeping your feet clean and healthy will help you to do the things you love, which is what we want, because Life is for Living.

 

Bonus Tip: For those smelly shoes, this one is more about keeping your nose happy! If you’ve got a pair of shoes that are stinking up a room, put them in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer for the night.

 

Meet our Podiatrists: Brad Copple, DPM and Reanen Michael, DPM


 

How to Put Your Best Foot Forward for Marathons

 

Brad Copple, DPM
Podiatrist
Think Whole Person Healthcare

 

 

At Omaha’s 43rd Marathon, Sunday, September 16, runners will participate at many different levels, anywhere from a mile to a marathon. There is a distance for everyone.

With any long-term run, make sure you have the right shoes. Keep your feet healthy and happy by running in proper footwear.

A shoe that is too tight, too loose or is uncomfortable in any way can bring on problems for your feet. A too short shoe can lead to black toenails. A shoe that is too loose does not hold the foot firmly and can allow for friction that can cause blisters and other painful foot ailments.

Caution: Break in those new shoes before the run.

Selecting the right pair of socks is equally essential to choosing the right shoe.

Socks that are made of cotton reduce sweating. Socks that breathe can reduce heat and keep your foot from sweating excessively. The key is to find a sock that is right for you. Remember to keep your feet clean and dry.

Now, the personal stuff…

Remember to keep your toenails trimmed properly. Don’t do it the day of the run. The buffer of time from trim to run assures that if you make a mistake while trimming, time will allow the sore or tender area to heal. If there is pain or soreness, don’t run.

After trimming moisturizing is a must.

Keep the skin on your feet as soft as possible. The skin on our feet is often thick and dry. Avoid heel fissures and dry, cracked skin that bleeds by adopting a daily moisturizing regimen. There are numerous creams, balms and anti-chaffing products on the market that will help you keep your feet moisturized while reducing the amount of friction you might experience while running.

Before any race, STRETCH!

Most runners employ a stretching program as part of their training routine, but for those who do not train on a regular basis, stretching should not be overlooked. Stretching before and after a run can minimize aches and pains. And where most runners focus on stretching their hamstrings, quads and calves, don’t forget the importance of basic foot stretches.

Here are three foot stretches you can do:

  1. Step Stretch
    Place your toes on a step with your heels off the edge. Slowly lower your heels down and hold for ten to fifteen seconds. Raise your heels to the starting position. Repeat this exercise five to ten times. Depending on what is most comfortable, stretch both feet or just one foot at a time.
  2. Toe Stretch
    Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet on the floor. Spread your toes apart. Hold the toes apart for five-seconds, then release. Repeat this exercise up to ten times.
  3. Foot Roll
    Find a golf ball, baseball or tennis ball and place it under your foot. Roll the ball back and forth from your toes to your heels. Repeat a few times with each foot.

The last thing to mention is that feet tend to overheat and swell after a long run. One way to reduce inflammation is to immerse your feet in a tub filled with ice water for about fifteen minutes (unless you have vascular issues) after the run. You can also, lie down and elevate your legs and apply an ice bag or cold compress to them. A bag of frozen vegetables is a convenient substitute for a cold compress. It’s also a good idea to massage your feet after a race and that tennis ball can do the trick.

For more information on foot health, contact Brad Copple, DPM at team.clinicians@thinkhealthcare.org.