Tuesday, October 30, 2012

High Heels Worth Pain For Some Women

As a model, you are asked to wear and do anything. Sometimes you're asked to wear shoes that are completely ridiculous and precariously high. Miyoshi Anderson remembers wearing 5 inch Gucci stilettos and
walking down a runway constructed of shaky tables for a Saks Fifth Avenue show. Attendees were sitting right at the tables, sipping cocktails, so models had to dodge spills. "I have had my share of pain in shoes on the runway, especially that one," said Anderson, executive director of Pittsburgh Fashion Week.
"Talk about a catwalk. I have also worn shoes that were way too small. When you are on the runway though, it's all about the performance to showcase the designer's collection. I think that adrenaline takes over, and you don't feel the pain. That is the epitome of fashion," said Anderson.
Podiatrists have been warning of the dangers of high heels and ill-fitting shoes for eons, but women are still blocking out our message. As long as high heels remain in our culture, and popular, it will be difficult to break women of the stiletto habit. Dr. Marlene Reid, one of the leading experts in women's foot health in Naperville, Il., says "There is no fighting fashion. I know that. But there are some things you can do to make your fashion days more comfortable."
She recommends changing up heel heights. "Even a half-inch difference can help, because it takes some pressure off the Achilles tendon and the ball of the foot. If you wear heels on a daily basis, your feet will suffer from it one day. I try to be realistic, but I know I can't fight fashion. Women don't want to hear, 'Don't wear heels.'"
Which is true. Tell any woman that wearing high heels, stilettos, or flip-flops will ruin their feet and you'll most likely hear "My feet are fine now." Cally Jamis-Vennare, 50, who is 5 foot 10 inches, says "I love wearing heels, and often, they come back to haunt me. I remember being in New York for business and walking all day in high-heeled boots. Afterward, I was in immense pain. I have had foot pain and back pain, but I did it in the name of fashion and would do it again, because I love the way heels look with a dress or skirt and even pants."
Women care an awful lot how much they look and want to look their best, often going beyond their health limits to achieve perfection. Sherri Lynn Dunik, 36, knows the risk of wearing high heels, but as a everyday wearer, she often  tapes her toes to fit the shoes. "I did it just the other day. Especially, when I wear heels without stockings, the shoes just fit better then when you tape the toes. Afterward, my feet are swollen and sore, but I like the way I look in heels, so I live with the pain." Dunik is 5 foot 3 inches and likes having the extra 3 or 4 inches.
Felicia Jones, 23, wears heels for a different reason. "I wear heels to attract men. They sometimes get you free drinks at the bar and they make your legs look a lot nicer. I know a lot of women who wear heels even though they hurt."
Some women who used to wear sky-high heels all the time are not able to anymore. Kristin DiGiacomo, 30, wore heels often, but her feet changed when she had her son, A.J., growing a whole size. The pain goes from her toes to the balls of her feet to heels to ankles. "Trying to wear heels, sometimes even just a little kitten heel, for an extended period of time is awful. I used to be able to wear 3 to 5 inch heels, but now I feel I can't wear a heel over 1 to 2 inches. And being 5 foot 2 inches doesn't help matters because most of the time heels are necessary to add height and length... I miss being able to wear heels without pain, but so goes life and growing up."
Women do not wear heels solely to add height or to be fashionable, says Ellen Goldstein, professor of accessories design at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. "They wear high heels to make them look sexy and for their boyfriends, husbands, and significant others. They also wear them because they make them look taller. They say the agony is totally worth it, and under certain circumstances you just put up with the pain," said Goldstein.
Dr. Greg Simunick, owner of HealthQuest Chiropractic in Pittsburgh, sees plenty of women who have put their bodies through the wringer. "Heels have been around for years, but they can cause back pain. They can also affect the calf muscles and Achilles tendonitis. The less you wear heels the better. Women are not going to stop wearing heels. My wife would never do it," said Simunick.
Dr. Marlene Reid and our doctors have the following tips for getting the best of both worlds:
  • Buy your shoes at the end of the day when you feet are largest. Go for a walk in the store with the shoes on. If the shoes don't fit in the store, they are not going to fit when you bring them home. 
  • Purchase shoes with a round or square toe box, or with a faux pointed toe.
  • Try kitten heels. They give added height without causing the problems stilettos do.
  • Your shoes should bend at the ball of the foot, but should not twist like a ballet flat. The heel of the shoe should also be firm for support.
  • Think about your day: if you are going to do a lot of walking, leave the 4 inch heels at home. However, if you are going to be sitting at a desk all day, then wear them. 
  • Depending on your foot type, you may not be able to wear all kinds of shoes. 
If you have a foot problem, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Toxic Nail Polish On Your Toenails?

Some nail polishes commonly found in salons and advertised as free of so-called "toxic-trio" of chemicals actually have high levels of agents linked to birth defects.
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control was the first to report this in April and determined that the mislabeled nail polish products have the potential to harm thousands of women who work in more than 48,000 nail salons in California, along with thousands more nationwide, and their customers.
The use of the three chemicals in nail polish is not illegal if properly labeled. But agency officials said the false claims may be a violation of a state law that requires disclosure of harmful chemicals in consumer products. The final decision on whether the companies will face legal action, which includes fine and an order to attach warning labels to their products, will be made by the California state attorney general's office.
Investigators chose 25 brands at random, including a number of products claiming to be free of the chemicals toulene, dibutyl phthalate, and formaldehyde, which are known as the toxic-trio. Regulators said exposure to large amounts of the chemicals has been linked to developmental problems, asthma, and other illnesses.
Investigators found that five of the seven products that claimed to be free of the toxic three actually included one or more of the agents in significant levels. The agency said that it did not have enough data to accurately estimate how many people were being exposed to the chemicals through the products. "We know there are exposures at salons, both to workers and customers, and we're concerned about potential harm," said Karl Palmer, the DTSC's pollution prevention performance manager who oversaw the report.
"Our strategy first and foremost is to shed light on the reality of what's in these products and put this information out to everyone."
The DTSC said all three chemicals are linked to chronic health conditions when inhaled, and that the 121,000 licensed nail care technicians who work in the salons, many of them young Asian-American women, are most at risk.
The agency said the salons are poorly ventilated, leading to exposure to a number of harmful chemicals. Because of these workplace health issues, some cities around the nation have passed laws seeking safety for workers and customers at nail salons.
San Francisco passed an ordinance in October 2010 that acknowledges salons that voluntarily choose to use nail polishes free of the three chemicals included in the DTSC's report. New York City had a similar ordinance to recognize salons that choose products devoid of the toxic trio.
"We are alarmed by the results of this report," Julia Liou, co-founder of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and a public health administrator for Asian Health Services, said in a statement. "The misbranding of products is not only a major public health problem, but also interferes with a salon worker's right to a safe and healthy work environment."
DBP has been banned in nail products in the European Union and the EU has strict limits on the amount of formadehyde and toulene that can be used.
Doug Schoon, a scientist who works with the Nail Manufacturers Council, agreed that mislabeling products should never be done, but said that proper ventilation and training of salon workers are much more important to preventing negative health effects. He said the level of toulene and other chemicals found in the nail polishes featured in the report do not pose a serious threat. He said the "need for appropriate ventilation for the work you're doing, whether it be in printing shops or other workplaces, is a huge area of opportunity that the DTSC should be focusing on."
The California attorney general's office said it will have to review DTSC's findings before making a decision on any legal action. "We will have to examine the data for compliance with Prop. 65 and other state laws," said Lynda Gledhill, spokeswoman for the attorney general's office.
Mike Vo, vice-president of Miss Professional Nail Products, Inc., the maker of Station products and others on the list, said he disputed the DTSC's findings. "We will look at the report and challenge it," he said.
If you have a foot problem, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What Personality Are You? Your Shoes Are An Indication

Researchers at the University of Kansas say that people can accurately judge 90% of a stranger's personality by simply looking at their shoes.
"Shoes convey a thin but useful slice of information about their wearers," the authors wrote in the new study published in the Journal of Research in Personality. "Shoes serve a practical purpose, and also serve as nonverbal cues with symbolic messages. People tend to pay attention to the shoes they and others wear."
Medical Daily reports that the number of detailed personality traits detected in the study include a person's age, their gender, income, political affiliation, and other personality traits, including someone's emotional stability.
Lead researcher Omri Gillath said the judgments were based on style, cost, color, and condition of someone's shoes. In the study, 63 University of Kansas students looked at pictures showing 208 different pairs of shoes worn by the study's participants. Volunteers in the study were photographed in their most commonly worn shoes, and then filled out a personality questionnaire.
So, what do your shoes say about your personality?
People with higher incomes wore expensive shoes, and flashier footwear was typically worn by extroverts. However, some of the more specific results are intriguing. For example, practical and functional shoes were generally worn by more "agreeable" people, while ankle boots were more closely aligned with "aggressive" personalities. The strangest of all may be that those who wore uncomfortable looking shoes tend to have "calm" personalities. There was also the political calculation that liberals wear shabbier and less expensive shoes.
"Shoes have a wide variety of styles, brands, looks, and functions. Because of this variety, shoes can carry individual difference information, but do they? We suggest the answer is yes," the study authors wrote.
And if you have several new pair of shoes or take exceptionally good care of them, you may suffer from "attachment anxiety", spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about what others think about your appearance.
The researchers noted that some people will chose shoe styles to mask their actual personality traits, but researchers noted that volunteers were also likely to be unaware that their footwear choices were revealing deep insights about their personalities.
If you have a foot problem, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Foreign Objects In The Foot

People step on weird stuff all the time. From glass to wood to nails, even dog fur, foreign bodies enter our feet and cause havoc. While it may seem strange, our podiatrists remove dog fur from patient's feet at least a half dozen times a year! Some times we don't even know that we have stepped on something and that it became embedded in our bare feet.
You may notice a while after you stepped on the foreign object pain, swelling, infection, irritation, or discomfort. Many of these objects can be removed by yourself at home- but be wary of botched bathroom surgeries! If you are a diabetic and believe that you have a foreign object in your foot, call a podiatrist immediately. Do not try to remove this on your own, as the diabetic foot needs special and extra attention.
Here are some tips to remove a foreign object on your own:
  1. Soak your foot in warm water to soften the foot.
  2. Make sure your hands are clean and dry your foot.
  3. Place fingers on either side of the splinter (if you can see it or know where it entered) and gently squeeze the object out.
  4. If the object won't come out on its own, disinfect a pair of tweezers with rubbing alcohol, let them dry, and grasp the end of the object. Pull in the direction the object entered. If the object is firmly embedded in your skin, with no entrance or exit visible, do not attempt this. 
If none of these tips work, call a podiatrist immediately. The longer the object stays in your foot, the more likely you are to develop an infection. Our podiatrists numb the area with a topical anesthetic and shave down the top layers of the skin.
If you believe you have a foreign object in your foot and cannot remove it yourself, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
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Friday, October 19, 2012

DWTS Kelly Monaco Breaks Toe

General Hospital star and Dancing With the Stars season 1 winner Kelly Monaco broke her second toe on Tuesday while camera blocking. Pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy says "We had three takes in rehearsal and she broke it on the first take. But she didn't tell me. And the second take, I said 'Come on, we need more'. And she's quiet. And just did her thing. Then we had a break and she said, 'Oh by the way, I broke my toe.'"
Monaco, 36, who is also suffering from a swollen left ankle, says about her broken toe, "I couldn't walk, so I knew something was wrong. And then it went all black and blue all over and puffed up. I had someone look at it. But there's nothing you can do with a broken toe. You just tape it up and call it a day." We would disagree with that statement- rest, icing, ibuprofen!
This however did not stop her from performing an emotional contemporary piece that left her in tears by the end of the routine. Rumors have been flying that Monaco and Chmerkovskiy are in a relationship, but nothing has been confirmed by the dancing couple and Monaco is still dating actor beau Heath Freeman.
If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Myths About Warts

Warts are contagious. Fact. Warts are one of the diseases that can be spread from person to person and from body part to body part. Warts can be spread from direct contact or touching something that has had direct contact with the wart, like our shoes, socks, and towels. If someone in your family has warts, it is important to bleach your tub or shower after that person has used it.
A wart can't be painful. Myth. Plantar warts can be painful, especially if they lie on the ball of the foot where there is a lot of pressure from walking. Warts can be removed through at home treatment or surgical treatment in the office.
Warts can be prevented. Fact. Vitamin D boosts your immune system, which can ward off warts. You can also exercise and eat a healthy diet, as well as avoid smoking and drinking to excess, as they increase your chance for contracting warts.
Warts are like trees and get deep roots in your feet. Myth. Warts grow on the top layers of your skin.
Toads cause warts. Myth. Fairy tales perpetuate this ridiculous myth. Toads cannot spread this disease from themselves to humans. But if you do come in contact with a toad, make sure to disinfect your hands as they carry other diseases.
You can cure warts on your own. Myth. Warts are caused by a virus that is not curable because it is part of your DNA. Warts can be treated or removed but you will have the chance they will reappear.
For more information about warts, visit our website and if you believe you have a wart and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
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Monday, October 15, 2012

What Is A Soft Tissue Biopsy?

A soft tissue biopsy is the removal and microscopic examination of a small sample of soft tissue for diagnostic purposes. Soft tissue includes the skin, fat, muscle, and tendons, that surround, connect, or support other tissues or organs.
Soft tissue biopsies require little time or involvement from the patient. They enable the foot and ankle surgeon to reach an accurate diagnosis and determine the best treatment for the specific condition.
A wide variety of medical conditions can be identified through a soft tissue biopsy. Some people think the word biopsy means that cancer is always suspected, but this is not true. In fact, premalignant or malignant conditions account for only a small percentage of the diagnoses made from soft tissue biopsies.
A few examples of conditions assessed through soft tissue biopsies include:
  • Freckles (macules)
  • Benign pigmented, or colored, spots (moles or nevus)
  • Fungal or bacterial infections.
  • Rashes (such as eczema or dermatitis)
  • Lesions related to a disease affecting the entire body (such as diabetes)
  • Nodular conditions (such as a ganglion cyst, lipoma, or fibroma)
  • Toenail conditions (onychomycosis, psoriasis)
  • Wart-like growths on the skin (benign keratoses)
  • Premalignant conditions (actinic and seborrheic keratoses)
  • Malignant conditions (skin cancer)
A biopsy involves removal of a small piece of tissues, and takes just a few minutes. The procedure performed will depend on the tissue to be sampled. After numbing the area, the surgeon performs one of the following:

  • Shave biopsy. A thin piece of tissue is shaved off.
  • Punch biopsy. A small, round instrument removes a tiny core of tissue. Stitches may be needed.
  • Incisional or excisional biopsy. A piece, or the entire lesion, is removed. Stitches are often needed.
Once the sample is obtained, the surgeon sends it to a clinical laboratory so that the condition can be identified. The specimen will be examined by a pathologist who specializes in evaluating soft tissue biopsies.
Patients should follow the instructions provided by the surgeon for care of the biopsy site. If the area has stitches, an appointment will be scheduled for their removal.
It usually takes several days for the lab results to arrive at the surgeon's office. If the patient has not heard about the results after 10 days, the surgeon's office should be contacted. Biopsy results, as well as additional treatment that may be required, will then be discussed.
If you believe you have a condition that requires a biopsy and have not seen a podiatrist yet, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
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Friday, October 12, 2012

Chronic Ankle Instability

Chronic ankle instability is a condition characterized by a recurring giving way of the outer (lateral) side of the ankle. This condition often develops after repeated ankle sprains. Usually the giving way occurs while walking or doing other activities, but it can also happen when you're just standing. Many athletes, as well as others, suffer from chronic ankle instability.
People with chronic instability often complain of:
  • A repeated turning of the ankle, especially on uneven surfaces or when participating in sports.
  • Persistent (chronic) discomfort and swelling.
  • Pain or tenderness.
  • The ankle feeling wobbly or unstable.
Chronic ankle instability usually develops following an ankle sprain that has not adequately healed or was not fully rehabilitated completely. When you sprain your ankle, the connective tissues (ligaments) are stretched or torn. The ability to balance is often affected. Proper rehabilitation is needed to strengthen the muscles around the ankle and retrain the tissues within the ankle that affect balance. Failure to do so may result in repeated ankle sprains.
Repeated ankle sprains often cause- and perpetuate- chronic ankle instability. Each subsequent sprain leads to further weakening (or stretching) of the ligaments, resulting ni greater instability and the likelihood of developing additional problems in the ankle. 
In evaluating and diagnosing your condition, the podiatrist will ask you about any previous ankle injuries and instability. Then he or she will examine your ankle to check for tender areas, signs of swelling, and instability of your ankle. X-rays or other imaging studies may be helpful in further evaluating the ankle. 
Treatment for chronic ankle instability is based on the results of the examination and tests, as well as the patient's level of activity. Non-surgical treatment may include:
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy involves various treatments and exercises to strengthen the ankle, improve balance and range of motion, and retrain your muscles. As you progress through rehabilitation, you may also receive training that relates specifically to your activities or sport. 
  • Bracing. Some patients wear an ankle brace to gain support for the ankle and keep ankle from turning. Bracing also helps prevent additional ankle sprains. 
  • Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation.
In some cases, the foot and ankle surgeon will recommend surgery based on the degree of instability or lack of response to non-surgical approaches. Surgery usually involves repair or reconstruction of the damaged ligament(s). The surgeon will select the surgical procedure best suited for your case based on the severity of the instability and your activity level. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.
If you believe you have chronic ankle instability and have not seen a podiatrist yet, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I Think I Broke My Toe- What Can A Podiatrist Do?

The structure of the foot is complex, consisting of bones, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Of the 26 metatarsal bones (the long bones in the midfoot). Fractures of the toe and metatarsal bones are common and require evaluation by a specialist. A foot and ankle surgeon should be seen for proper diagnosis and treatment, even if initial treatment has been received in an emergency room.
bones in the foot, 19 are toe bones (phalanges) and
A fracture is a break in the bone. Fractures can be divided into two categories: traumatic fractures and stress fractures.
Traumatic fractures (also called acute fractures) are caused by a direct blow or impact, such as seriously stubbing your toe. Traumatic fractures can be displaced or non-displaced. If the fracture is displaced, the bone is broken in such a way that it has changed in position (dislocated).
Signs and symptoms of a traumatic fracture include:
  • You may hear a sound at the time of the break.
  • Pinpoint pain (pain at the place of impact) at the time the fracture occurs and perhaps for a few hours later, but often the pain goes away after several hours.
  • Crooked or abnormal appearance of the toe.
  • Bruising and swelling the next day.
  • It is not true that if you can walk on it, it's not broken.
Evaluation by a podiatrist is always recommended.
Stress fractures are tiny, hairline breaks that are usually caused by repetitive stress. Stress fractures often afflict athletes who, for example, too rapidly increase their running mileage. They can also be caused by an abnormal foot structure, foot deformities, or osteoporosis. Improper footwear may also lead to stress fractures. Stress fractures should not be ignored. They require proper medical attention to heal correctly.
Symptoms of stress fractures include:
  • Pain with or after normal activity.
  • Pain that goes away when resting and then returns when standing or during activity.
  • Pinpoint pain (pain at the site of the fracture) when touched.
  • Swelling, but no bruising.
Some people say that the doctor can't do anything for a broken bone in the foot. This is usually not true. In fact, if a fractured toe or metatarsal bone is not treated correctly, serious complications may develop. For example:
  • A deformity in the bony structure which may limit the ability to move the foot or cause difficulty in fitting shoes.
  • Arthritis, which may be caused by a fracture in a joint (the juncture where two bones meet), or may be a result of angular deformities that develop when a displaced fracture is severe or hasn't been properly corrected.
  • Chronic pain and deformity.
  • Non-union, or failure to heal, can lead to subsequent surgery or chronic pain.
Fractures of the toe bones are almost always traumatic fractures. Treatment for traumatic fractures depends on the break itself and may include these options:
  • Rest. Sometimes rest is all that is needed to treat a traumatic fracture of the toe.
  • Splinting. The toe may be fitted with a splint to keep it in a fixed position.
  • Rigid or stiff-soled shoe. Wearing a stiff-soled shoe protects the toe and helps keep it properly positioned.
  • Buddy taping the fractured toe to another toe is sometimes appropriate, but in other cases it may be harmful. 
  • Surgery. If the break is badly displaced or if the joint is affected, surgery may be necessary. Surgery often involves the use of fixation devices, such as pins.
Breaks in the metatarsal bones may be either stress or traumatic fractures. Certain kinds of fractures of the metatarsal bones present unique challenges.
For example, sometimes a fracture of the first metatarsal bone (behind the big toe) can lead to arthritis. Since the big toe is used so frequently and bears more weight than other toes, arthritis in that area can make it painful to walk, bend, or even stand.
Another type of break, called a Jones fracture, occurs at the base of the fifth metatarsal bone (behind the little toe). It is often misdiagnosed as an ankle sprain, and misdiagnosis can have serious consequences since sprains and fractures require different treatments. Your podiatrist is an expert in correctly identifying these conditions as well as other problems of the foot.
Treatment of metatarsal fractures depend on the type and extent of the fracture, and may include:
  • Rest. Sometimes rest is the only treatment needed to promote healing of a stress or traumatic fracture of a metatarsal bone.
  • Avoid the offending activity. Because stress fractures result from repetitive stress, it is important to avoid the activity that led to the fracture. Crutches or a wheelchair are sometimes required to offload weight from the foot to give it time to heal. 
  • Immobilization, casting, or rigid shoe. A stiff-soled shoe or other form of immobilization may be used to protect the fractured bone while it is healing.
  • Surgery. Some traumatic fractures of the metatarsal bones require surgery, especially if the break is badly displaced.
  • Follow-up care. Your podiatrist will provide instructions for care following surgical or non-surgical treatment. Physical therapy, exercises and rehabilitation may be included in a schedule for return to normal activity. 
If you believe you have a toe or metatarsal fracture and have not seen a podiatrist yet, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Risk Factors of Deep Vein Thrombosis

These are potential risk factors for deep vein thrombosis:
Blood or vein conditions:
Other medical conditions
Women's health issues:
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Birth control pills containing estrogen
  • Pregnancy or recent childbirth
  • Age over 40 years old
  • Immobility (through inactivity or from wearing a cast)
  • Recent surgery
  • Trauma (an injury)
  • Smoking
If you have any of these risk factors please seek guidance from a physician who can tell you if you do in deed have deep vein thrombosis. If you believe you have deep vein thrombosis and have not seen a podiatrist yet, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Annie Lennox Cancels Performance Due To Foot Injury

Singer Annie Lennox cancelled her performance at the United Nation's Nansen Refugee Award Ceremony in Geneva on Monday night because of a foot injury that left her unable to travel.
The former Eurythmics star pulled out of the commitment due to an "ongoing issue" with her left foot that has left her in terrible pain. Lennox wrote on her Facebook page on Monday: "Sometimes I get searing electrical shocks flashing through the nerve endings. It's the kind of pain that makes you stop in your tracks. I'm sure that some of you know what that's like. It rendered me unfit to travel, so I'm not able to fulfill my performance at the Nansen Refugee Awards tonight, which is hugely disappointing. I'm therefore sending out a rather fragile pink flower as a means of apologies to everyone, once again... Unfortunately it was just one of those bad strokes of luck that you can't do anything about. Thanks to doses of ibuprofen and paracetamol, the situation is a lot better, and the 'flashing' has stopped for now. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible!"
Lennox is suffering from foot drop, a painful neurological condition. Foot drop refers to the inability to lift the front part of one's foot off the ground when walking, resulting in a scuffing or dragging of the foot or lifting the thigh, known as steppage gait. It is most often caused by nerve or muscle disorders or damage, or by a central nervous system disorder.
Foot drop is usually diagnosed by physical examination, although additional testing may be required in some cases. Treatment may include braces, physical therapy, and electrical nerve stimulation, and in severe cases, surgery.
Lennox first discovered the symptoms in 2008 and immediately sought professional help, fearing she would never be able to walk again unaided. She writes, "(Four) years ago I found myself in the most extreme pain I've ever experienced. It turned out that I had a dropped foot, caused by my spinal column being impinged by a bulged disc. For the first time in my life, I was facing a real physical handicap, and had no idea whether I'd be able to walk normally again. It took months of physiotherapy to get movement back in my left foot, but gradually... painstakingly... my toes began to move again, to the point where I don't even have a perceivable limp.
"Now the only drawback is that I have a permanently numb left foot, which feels as if it's stuck in a bucket of ice, with constant pins and needles. It's very strange, but somehow I've managed to adapt, and I'm finding that I'm less aware of it than I was before."
Lennox admits that it prompted her to take better care of her feet, after realizing how lucky she was to receive help from doctors and nurses who helped her overcome the ailment.
"The reason I'm blogging about my feet is that I'm grateful for the 57 years of great service they've given me. And if this hadn't happened, I would be coasting along, not realizing what a gift it  is to have something I'd taken for granted all my life. Thanks to my neurosurgeon, the nurses and the physiotherapists, I can walk quite decently," concludes Lennox.
If you are experiencing a foot problem, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
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What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

The blood supply of the leg is transported by arteries and veins. The arteries carry blood from the heart to the limbs; veins carry blood back to the heart. The leg contains superficial veins, which are close to the surface, and deep veins, which lie much deeper in the leg. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which a blood clot (a blockage) forms in a deep vein. While these clots most commonly occur in the veins of the leg (the calf or thigh), they can also develop in other parts of the body.
DVT can be very dangerous and is considered a medical emergency. If the clot (also known as a thrombus) breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream, it can lodge in the lung. This blockage in the lung, called a pulmonary embolism, can make it difficult to breathe and may even cause death. Blood clots in the thigh are more likely to cause a pulmonary embolism than those in the calf.
Many factors can contribute to the formation of a DVT. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their risk of having a DVT. However, even people without these risk factors can form a DVT.
Some people with DVT in the leg have either no warning signs at all or very vague symptoms. If any of the following warning signs or symptoms are present, it is important to see a doctor for evaluation:
  • Swelling in the leg.
  • Pain in the calf or thigh.
  • Warmth and redness of the leg.
DVT can be difficult to diagnose, especially if the patient has no symptoms. Diagnosis is also challenging because of the similarities between symptoms of DVT and those of other conditions such as a pulled muscle, an infection, a clot in a superficial vein (thrombophlebitis), a fracture, and arthritis.
If DVT is suspected, the doctor will immediately send the patient to a vascular laboratory or a hospital for testing, which may include a blood test, Doppler ultrasound, venogram, MRI, or angiogram.
If tests indicate a clot is present, the doctor will make a recommendation regarding treatment. Depending on the location of the clot, the patient may need hospitalization. Medical or surgical care will be managed by a team of physicians which may include a primary care physician, internist, vascular (blood vessel) surgeon, or hematologist (blood disease specialist).
Treatment may include:
  • Medication. A blood-thinning medication is usually prescribed to help prevent additional clots from forming.
  • Compression. Wearing fitted hosiery decreases pain and swelling. 
  • Surgery. A surgical procedure performed by a vascular specialist may be required.
An early and extremely serious complication of DVT is a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism develops if the clot breaks loose and travels to the lung. Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include:
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • A feeling of impending doom.
A long-term consequence of DVT is damage to the vein from the clot. This damage often results in persistent swelling, pain, and discoloration of the leg.
For those who have risk factors for DVT, these strategies may reduce the likelihood of developing a blood clot:
  • Take blood-thinning medication, if prescribed.
  • Reduce risk factors that can be changed. For example, stop smoking and lose excess weight.
  • During periods of prolonged immobility, such as on long trips: 
  1. Exercise legs every 2 to 3 hours to get the blood flowing back to the heart. Walk up and down the aisle of a plane or train, rotate ankles while sitting, and take regular breaks on road trips.
  2. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids; avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  3. Consider wearing compression socks. 
If you believe you have deep vein thrombosis and have not seen a podiatrist yet, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Laker's Steven Blake Out With Puncture Wound

The Lakers announced last Monday that Steven Blake will be restricted from impact exercises for three weeks after suffering from a puncture wound on his left foot. He sustained this injury after stepping on a spike strip in a parking lot.
We've demonstrated on this blog many times before that injuries for athletes don't have to occur on the court, field, track, etc. They can happen at any time, any where. Treating an injury for an athlete is a little different however, as their recovery times often need to be quicker than the average person.
This is Blake's third season with the Lakers and fans aren't convinced of his ability to actually spend time on the court and avoid strange mishaps. He was promised to be a consistent third point shooter. In his first season with the Lakers Blake had a bout of the chicken pox, and last year he missed 13 games because of a rib injury.
Reporters across the country are speculating as to how Blake got this bizarre injury. It was probably after a night on the town, and you know, sometimes you end up walking around barefoot. That's all we'll say.
Here are 5 reasons why this injury is a bummer for the Lakers:
1. He had a promising playoff finish, and loses his opportunity to build off that. Coach Mike Brown and General Manager Mitch Kupchak expressed their desire at the end of the playoffs for Blake to be more aggressive. Blake showed signs of improvement in the offseason, in that area, along with his shooting stroke, dribbling, and conditioning.
2. Lakers lose a dependable player. Even though Blake has not fulfilled his promise of three-pointers yet, he has been great in running offense, keeping it organized, and finding open teammates.
3. Steve Nash may have to play more minutes. Blake's absence lowers the team's hope they could diminish Nash's playing time- Nash, at 38 years, is still running the show, but he is getting older.
4. Who will be the backup point guard? There are two options in Chris Duhon and Darius Morris. It will likely come down to who makes the fewest mistakes
5. How will rehab affect Blake's game? A lot of athletes when they return from an injury are often cautious. It took Blake four games last season to get his shooting back to 50% after his rib injury. Even after that, Blake went on a six game stretch where he only made three field goals.
If you are experiencing a foot problem, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
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Monday, October 1, 2012

October Shoe of the Month: Loafers

Reliable and dependable, loafers are just right for pounding the pavement or relaxing with friends. The perfect loafer should not be too flexible nor too stiff. The shoe should bend at the ball of the foot, but shouldn't fold in half. Leather shoes should be soft and supple. Also, look for a shoe with a toe box that is both round and deep with a firm heel counter. Featured is Rockport's Men's Park Drive Penny, $149.99. All of Rockport's men's loafers are barefoot friendly, lightweight, flexible, and feature adiPRENE by Adidas, to absorb shock in the heel, cushioning every step.
If you are experiencing a foot problem, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
Visit our website, friend and like our page on Facebook, and follow our tweets on Twitter.