Flat feet have carried a stigma in the past, although many people have them without even realizing it. There are three types of stances that appear in feet, and these stances can change when standing: pes planus (flat foot), neutral, and pes cavus (high arches). Each foot type has its own type of care that can keep them from causing you any kind of pain, and even perfectly arched feet can benefit from preservative care.
Flat feet can be deceiving, because the arch of your foot changes when you are weight bearing. This means that even if your feet look like they have an arch when you’re sitting, the bones in your feet can collapse when you stand, causing the bones to rub against each other and the tendons in your foot to stretch quickly and more than necessary. This can lead to arthritis in the joints in your foot, tendonitis in your ankle, and/or plantar fasciitis in the bottom of your foot.
Alternately, high arched feet have are composed as a more rigid structure, with an angle higher than that of the neutral arch. This can be compensated for with custom inserts or padding, preventing pressure injuries on the ball or heel of your foot.
While high arched feet can cause issues, it is more likely that flat feet could be the root of foot pain, many of which you feel primarily in your heel or the arch of your foot. Without the proper supports, flat feet can even change the alignment of your hips and lower legs. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but rigid arch supports are the best for this foot type.
To test the rigidity of the orthotics, simply bend the orthotic at the arch using your hands. If the insert folds in half, especially if it is very easy for you to fold it, the arch is not rigid enough and you should look for another insert. While such a hard insert may seem counterintuitive, the soft inserts are of no use to provide support, leaving your foot to work overtime on its own. The overworking of the tendons and ligaments would be what is causing your foot pain in the first place.
We offer different types of supports in our office, ranging from braces that extend up the ankle to provide extra stability, to simple inserts that can be placed in the sole of the shoe, never to be seen when the shoes are on. Custom orthotics are covered by many insurances, and are made to match your foot using casting material or a digital scanner to notate the shape and depth of all areas of your foot. If your insurance does not cover custom orthotics, or if you are hesitant to try them, we also offer many different forms of semi-custom inserts, all of which feature a rigid arch support and will become shaped to your foot with recurrent wear. Make an appointment with our office today to have your foot evaluated to see if you would benefit from supports in your life.
Image courtesy of www.austria2017.org
The Special Olympics 2017 took place in Austria this year between March 14th and March 25th. The Games occur every two years, rather than every four years, and alternate between summer and winter sporting events. This year, the focus was on winter sports, encompassing over 4.7 million participants and 1 million volunteers and coaches performing in more than 30 winter sports. The Special Olympics have been taking place for 49 years and the participation numbers have only grown and expanded since they first premiered.
The games were founded under the vision of the Special Olympics, “to gain, with the positive attributes of sport, athletes, families and volunteers from all over the world for their idea.” The games not only attempt to spread the message of equality and participation, but also to strengthen human rights overall. Up until recent years, there has been an unnecessary stigma on the mentally and physically disabled, but the Special Olympics has changed the way the world views handicapped individuals.
The Special Olympics were not only developed to broaden the view of the world, but to introduce a new world to special individuals. The video on the Special Olympics website, titled “Speechless,” spoke to me on a very deep level. I have a nephew who is developmentally disabled, and I often worry about how he will adapt to the ever-changing social environment this modern-day world poses.
At home, we watch his mind flourish with his toys and games. Everyone who encounters him, whether in the park or at the grocery store, speaks so highly of his positive attitude and how he brightens their day. This video on the Special Olympics website addresses one young man’s former fears of embarrassment, which made him shy and anxious in school and other social settings. He says that, as he started playing golf and participating in the Special Olympics, he became more upbeat and outgoing. The young man gained a confidence which he had never thought would be possible for someone in his position. This is my wish for everyone who is handicapped and to the families of all those special individuals, who understand the many gifts given to their loved ones, and who fear the world may never see those gifts shine through.
The Special Olympics is geared toward families, too, allowing them to participate in tours and events with the participants, as well as providing seats to see their loved ones compete in person in the games. The hosts of the Special Olympics have partnered with hotels, tour companies, and car rental facilities to make it as easy as possible for the loved ones of participants to organize their trips to Austria for the games this year.
The participants, their families, and the millions of spectators viewing the games will now be able to enjoy the talents of these young people, who may never have had the courage to take the spotlight without the Special Olympics. To any possible participants reading these, Frederick Foot & Ankle wishes you the best of luck. Keep warm and keep moving!
Although our office is known to have a blast on St. Patrick’s Day, enjoying green-themed decorations to offset our standard scrubs, there are plenty of other celebration-worthy holidays in March that not many people know about. Of course, there is Daylight Savings Time, which pops up on March 12th, taking an hour away but giving us more sunshine day-to-day. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had about enough of leaving for work in the dark and coming back home in the dark every day. I need some sun, even if it means getting up at a time that feels earlier.
We are also looking forward to celebrating Employee Appreciation Day with some of the best employees an office could ask for. Our staff always goes out of their way to make patients and co-workers alike feel happy and comfortable, and we want to thank them for their tireless dedication to our FFA Family. Last year, many of our employees bought each other lunch, brought in coffee, or offered their help on difficult tasks to show just how much they mean to one another. It was heartwarming to see!
Maryland Day closes out the month on March 25th, and we could not feel much more festive! This year we have partnered with the Frederick Running Festival to sponsor their 5K Run, which also means that our names will be on the participation metals. The run is one of Maryland’s most inclusive marathons, encompassing four different kinds of races: a two-person relay, Kids Fun Run, 5K, and a half-marathon. The event takes place May 6th & 7th this year, and boasts some excellent Maryland-themed swag, including a Maryland flag metal! Keep an eye out for the Frederick Running Festival sign ups; anyone can compete! You can even walk the 5K if that is easier for you. Either way, we hope to see you out there.
The month of March is Women’s Month, too, and as you may have read in our National Women Physician’s Day blog, we have several very impressive ladies that hold together our company. Not only are our doctors spectacular and very well versed in the medical field, we also have employees who have left us to attend podiatry school for 4 years, and employees who have just begun their journey, working at our office for internships to meet school requirements. No matter what walk of life, all our female employees have something unique and wonderful to offer, and we are so thankful for them. Whatever you decide to celebrate this month, Frederick Foot & Ankle is here to keep you moving!
While February is often thought of for Valentine’s Day, there are many other very important national holidays that should be celebrated just as widely, if not more so. In the spirit of love and caring, I wanted to talk about a holiday that is dear to my heart. You may be familiar with some famous quotes such as,
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Ghandi
“A life lived for others is the only life worth living.” – Albert Einstein
These quotes reflect the ideals of National Random Acts of Kindness Day. This idea is nationally celebrated in a single day, on February 17th to bring awareness to the movement, but the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation celebrates this occasion as a weeklong event, spreading awareness to thousands of other non-profit organizations as well as several small and large businesses across the country. I’ve read many of the stories on the foundation’s website and gathered that the idea of a random act of kindness is not only for grandiose gestures that require time and money, but also for small acts from the heart. Some of the stories were as simple as asking a woman how she was doing when everyone else ignored her, and some of them were as thorough as collecting money from the community to buy supplies for the homeless.
In this world, there is not enough love and kindness going around. I think that some people lose track of the good in our society because of constant negativity surrounding the media. What a beautiful idea it is to bring some light to someone’s day simply by holding a door for them, asking them how their day is, or maybe even paying for a stranger’s lunch. Giving a little bit of your time or effort to another human being not only gives them some joy, but also gives you a sense of accomplishment.
To me, going out of my way to help someone else not only makes me feel accomplished, but also humble. Doing for others out of the goodness of your heart really allows you to consider the fact that we are all people, no matter what class, race, or gender, and no one is above or exempt from generosity. This year, we encourage all our employees and patients alike to go out there and perform acts of kindness all day. Once you feel how wonderful it feels to help others, I can almost guarantee you will want to make it your new lifestyle. As Mark Twain once said, “kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” So please carry this message in your heart not just on February 17th, but on every day of the year because respect and compassion never go out of style!
By Sraddha Lamichhane
Super Bowl LI (51) kicks off on February 5th, 2017 at 6:30pm ET at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX.
A few years back, the NCAA released statistics stating that just over 50% of football-related injuries affect the lower limbs. This isn’t too hard to believe, considering some of the most famous Super Bowl injuries involved the foot and ankle. Steve Wallace of the 49ers broke his left fibula in Super Bowl XXIII just a few plays before Tim Krumrie of the Cincinnati Bengals went down in history for shattering his left ankle. Some of the most common foot and ankle injuries that occur in the NFL, and in football players in general, include Lisfranc injuries, Achilles tears, ankle fractures, and turf toe.
Lisfranc injuries are defined by the American Foot and Ankle Society as an injury that occurs in the metatarsals that dislocates a metatarsal bone from the joint that connects to the bones of the midfoot. This injury can also include the tendons and ligaments of the midfoot. These injuries are usually caused by some sort of blunt trauma to the midfoot, and is often considered one of the worst injuries because of the placement of the injury. Historically, of 28 players that sustained this injury between 2000 and 2010, only two were out of the NFL competition for good.
The Achilles tendon is the tendon that connects the calcaneus, or the heel bone, to the muscles of the calf. Achilles injuries can occur in many different forms that can range from a strain, to a partial or total tear. Most partial tears are longitudinal, meaning they occur vertically down the tendon, while a total rupture of the Achilles occurs horizontally, dislocating the band entirely. Most often, the cause is a sudden and drastic change in tension to the area. Many football players injure their Achilles from repeated wear and tear on the area and statistics show only 2/3 of NFL players ever come back to the game after a rupture.
The severity of the ankle injuries varies drastically, and can range from a slight sprain, to a dislocated fracture, such as Tim Krumrie’s injury. There are three bones that make up the ankle – the tibia, fibula, and the talus. These bones compose joints that are meant to be very mobile and flexible, and provide support for the entire body, connecting to the foot with the help of many tendons and ligaments, including the Achilles. In the case of Krumrie, his left foot remained planted firmly on the ground and force of his body weight working in the opposite direction resulted in a high ankle fracture, meaning the fracture occurred in the bone above the joint. A similar injury to that of Oakland Raiders’ Derek Carr in December of 2016.
Turf toe is a common term for an injury caused by repetitive jamming or pushing off the joint in the big toe, such as when running or jumping. The condition got its nickname because it is very common in athletes, like football players, who play on artificial turf which is harder than grass, but it can happen on any type of playing surface without supportive shoes. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and lack of mobility in the joint, and often occurs suddenly and worsens with time. Turf toe will be diagnosed using a simple x-ray, and can usually be resolved in 2 to 3 weeks with conservative treatment such as taping and use of anti-inflammatories. So, no worries if your favorite player is diagnosed with Turf Toe, they will be back in action in no time!
While these issues are more common in star NFL players, they can also happen in a simple pick-up game in your back yard, so make sure you are always taking necessary precautions to prevent injuries, such as stretching and bracing areas that are likely to be hurt. Not everyone can have a million-dollar medical team behind them 24/7, but at Frederick Foot & Ankle, you could have an award-winning staff that will keep you happy, healthy, and keep you moving!
If you or anyone you know has a foot and ankle injury, we have same day appointments, Saturday hours and two convenient locations in Frederick and Urbana, MD. Call us at (301) 668-9707 to schedule an appointment. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @mynewfeet and "Like Us" on Facebook.
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