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Myths About Running and Foot Health

Myths and realities of running and foot health

Stress fracture is the most common foot problem associated with running barefoot. A sudden change in physical activity without proper adaptation usually causes stress fractures, and it is not correlated with the type of shoe worn, or a lack of it. On the other hand there is actually a reduction in the probability of a stress fracture while running barefoot.

Experts are of the opinion that running barefoot is natural and cost effective, considering the fact that human beings have progressively evolved to run without wearing shoes. There is an added expenditure of energy to lift the shoe along with the foot.

Running with shoes involved a slightly greater expenditure of energy compared to running barefoot, to travel the same distance.

Reality: Running has long been in vogue, but is not really considered a good physical activity since:

1) Gradual atrophy of the pads of fat along with advancing age in feet is a common occurence.

2) Fractures in the foot due to stress or other reactions in the feet.

Remedy: Shoes with proper support can alleviate problems of the foot, and it should be nipped in the bud, which can worsen with time.

Reality: Bunion and hammertoe may have a genetic basis, and may or may not be painful, which may be exacerbated by wearing heels.

Remedy: Instead of discontinuing wearing heels, it is advisable to choose low heels, or a wedge heel to lessen the slope, to reduce foot problems. Limiting the duration of wearing heels and choosing the correct fit can alleviate foot problems. But ideally speaking fore foot problems will always hinder comfort while wearing high heeled shoes.

Reality: The acute, sudden painful bursts of plantar fasciitis generally happens due to a change in physical activity that adds pressure to heels, involving increased time in running habits, a change of job, having a baby, or weight gain. It is diagnosed as rotator cuff tendonitis or tennis elbow.

Remedy: Orthotics can help alleviate such foot problems, but Wu suggests that stretching and applying ice can prove to be a far simpler approach. Stretching the calf muscles a number of times daily can remedy the pain due to plantar’s fasciitis. In acute cases, physical supports, and medical intervention may help, but generally speaking exercises and changes in leading life helps. Patients are prone to suffer from additional bouts of the disease, without following a treatment plan.

If one experiences foot pain, knowing and visiting austin podiatrist locations can help. Very few people are generally born without foot problems An Austin podiatrist can be very effective in getting to the root of the foot problem.

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Fungal Infections of the Feet

Fungal Infections of the FeetFungal infections of the feet are fairly common and are easily treated with anti-fungal medications. However, left untreated, the symptoms can be very unpleasant. These symptoms include itching and burning, peeling of the skin, and in more severe cases, cracking, bleeding, and blistering. Fungal infections of the feet, commonly called athlete’s foot, are very contagious and can be spread through skin to skin contact, or through contact with a contaminated surface: gyms, locker rooms, communal showers and swimming pools, for example—places where people commonly go barefoot. Fungal infections can also be spread through contaminated clothing, especially socks and underwear.

Athlete’s foot fungus flourishes in warm, moist environments. For this reason, the best preventative is often to keep areas subject to infection clean and dry. For example, breathable shoes and clean cotton socks to wick away moisture can go a long way toward preventing fungal infections of the feet.

Once infected, anti-fungal medications such as miconazole, tolnaftate, econazole nitrate, clotrimazole, terbinafine, and ketoconazole (available in many prescription and over-the-counter medications) are the best method of treatment. Oral capsules are also available for more advanced cases, though these are generally not recommended during pregnancy and should always be taken with the advise of a doctor. Athlete’s foot fungus can also infect the groin area, the hands, and the toenails. To prevent reinfection, it is important to treat all sites of infection simultaneously.

Home remedies for fungal infections of the feet include dilutions of vinegar in water and of chlorine bleach in water. However, these remedies are much less consistent than most prescription or even over-the-counter medications, and can even be dangerous if the dilutions are too concentrated.

If home remedies or over-the-counter medications do not seem to be working, or if the symptoms get worse, medical attention should be sought. Diabetes or a compromised immune system can also result in complications, including foot ulcerations and secondary infections. If you suspect any of these complications, or if your symptoms persist, you may want to contact a board-certified dermatologist.

Once your case of athlete’s foot is cured, prevention is key to reduce the chance of reinfection. Keep your feet clean and dry, especially in humid or tropical environments. Only wear shoes that allow your feet to “breathe” and remove your shoes periodically to prevent moisture build-up. Wear clean, cotton socks that wick moisture away from your feet. And, avoid going barefoot where others may have spread the fungus: gyms, locker rooms, communal showers, and pools.