John Hollander, DPM

Mirror, Mirror on the Floor: I See Diabetic Foot Checks in Store

Proper foot care for diabetics is crucial. Diabetic patients are more prone to foot problems such as:

  • Loss of feeling in their feet
  • Changes in the shape of their feet
  • Foot ulcers and sores that do not heal

Simple daily foot checkups can prevent serious problems in the long run. It is always better to catch them early rather than later.

Follow these simple everyday steps that will help prevent serious complications with your feet:

  1. Take care of your Diabetes.
  2. Check your feet every day. If you have trouble bending over use a plastic mirror to see your feet.
  3. Protect your feet from the elements by wearing proper shoes and socks. If you are unsure of what types of shoes and socks to wear, contact your podiatrist. Your questions are important and we want to help!
  4. Wash your feet every day. Be sure to keep the area between your toes dry, as that is an area fungus likes to live!
  5. Keep skin soft and smooth.
  6. Keep the blood flowing through your feet with light activities.

A simple search online for plastic mirrors will get you on your way to healthier feet. Start your diabetic foot checks today!!

At Doctor Hollander’s office, our staff is highly trained and sensitive to diabetic patient’s needs. If you feel you are in need of care, please call our office today at (707) 578-1222.

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Pronation Injuries

Running can be a solitary or group activity. Some people run on their own so they can set the pace, while others prefer the social aspect—and motivation—of running in a group. That’s why clubs like the Empire Runners Club in Sonoma County exist. They allow runners of all skill levels to learn from each other and train for local races. Whether you’re an avid runner involved in a club or a beginner exploring the sport, you should be on the look out for pronation injuries which can happen whether you pronate too much or too little.

Pronation is the motion your foot makes when it strikes the ground. It rolls inward slightly, distributing the force of your impact and allowing you push off the front of your foot evenly. It’s a normal and important mechanic for your feet. However, you can either over-pronate or under-pronate which can often lead to injuries.

Overpronation occurs when your foot rolls too far inward, destabilizing the ankle and directing the majority of the shock and force to the big toe and inside of your arch. With overpronation, you don’t push off the ground evenly which can strain your toes. Over time, overpronation may strain your ankles, knees, hips, and back.

Underpronation is not as common, but it can also cause problems. If your foot doesn’t roll inward enough, the force and shock is directed down the outside of your foot. Your push-off is then handled by the smallest toes. This forces them to handle more strain than they should, potentially causing overuse injuries.

Shin splints, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and tendonitis are a few of the pronation injuries that can arise. The key to preventing these types of injuries is by understanding your pronation style and taking steps to accommodate it in your footwear and orthotic choices.

If you’d like to have your gait and pronation analyzed, or are already struggling with overuse injuries, let us know here at John D. Hollander, DPM, in Santa Rosa, CA. You can request more information or an appointment with us by calling (707) 578-1222.

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Back to School Shoe Shopping Guide

For Sonoma County students, the school year is only a few weeks away and at the top of their school shopping list is a new pair of shoes.  You want your child to have quality shoes that follow the latest trends, but you also want to make sure that they will not cause discomfort in the first week of school. Why? Because shoes are expensive and foot pain can distract from studies and having fun.

Take a look at our easy shoe shopping guide to help you search for that perfect new pair of shoes.

  1. Measure their feet. Always measure your child’s feet the day of shoe shopping. Children’s feet will grow on average a ½ to a full size every 4-6 months.
  2. Shop in the afternoon. Don’t head out to the shoe store first thing in the AM. Our feet will swell as the day progresses, so shop during the afternoon where the foot will be the largest.
  3. Quality Materials. Look for a shoe with a leather or mesh upper at minimum. Children’s feet sweat a lot, and this will allow them to breathe. Look for absorbent insoles to take on that extra moisture.
  4. Check out the soles. Look for shoes with a cushioned sole and rubber traction. A thicker sole will act as a shock absorber and make jumping and running more enjoyable.  A rubber sole facilitates in traction and prevents falls.
  5. Avoid twisters. You want the shoe bend at the ball of the foot, but you don’t want it to be so flexible that you can actually twist the shoe.

Other factors to consider when shopping for your child’s school shoes are: purpose (play time, sports, weather), closure options (lace, Velcro, bungy laces- pick what is easiest to put on for your child, but still secure) and socks (wear cotton or poly-blend socks to keep moisture away from the feet).

If possible, consider purchasing two or three pairs of shoes for your child. This will allow for the shoes to be rotated daily and to fully dry out.  Allowing shoes to dry thoroughly will help prevent foot odor. Using a shoe deodorant or sanitizing shoe spray is another beneficial option to preventing foot odor. Also, having shoes for different activities and weather will allow them to last a bit longer while also supporting the foot properly.

Dr. Hollander treats patients of all ages. If you find that your child is having discomfort related to their feet, please give our office a call at (707) 578-1222 to schedule an appointment.  We carry shoe deodorant, fungicidal and sanitizing shoe sprays in our office, all of which you can purchase without an appointment or prescription.

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5 Quick Exercises to Strengthen Lower Legs

Keeping your lower legs strong is important to help you stay upright and moving forward. Having stronger legs allows you to support your upper body. Having stronger ankles means your response to changes in direction will be swift.  And having stronger arches and toes means a better grip on the ground and less opportunity for foot pain.

Quick Calf Exercise: Calf raises are the easiest exercise you can do to strengthen your calves. Not to mention, they can literally be done almost anywhere! Calf raises are done by standing with your feet shoulder width apart.  Start by slowly raising yourself up onto the balls of your feet and then bringing your heels back to the ground. Repeat this movement 15 times.  Next, point your toes inward and repeat the lifting motion. Complete this movement 15 times.  Finally, point your toes outward with your heels together (like a ballerina) and repeat the lifting motion 15 times.

Quick Achilles Exercise: This is more of a stretch, but still very beneficial to the health of your lower legs. Stand 8-10 inches in front of a wall and place your hands flat against the wall.  Step one foot backward, keeping the knee straight. Then, bend the knee of the opposite leg while keeping both heels flat on the floor.  Push your hips forward until the Achilles tendon and calf muscles can be felt stretching.  Hold this stretch for 30 seconds before switching sides. Repeat three times on each side.

Quick Ankle Exercise: If you know your alphabet (and I hope you do) you can complete this exercise with ease.  Sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, raise one foot off the ground, about 3-4 inches. Using your foot, start to draw out the capital letters of the alphabet A-Z.  Repeat motions on the opposite foot.  If you want to do more, you can try spelling the lower-case letters as well.

Quick Arch Exercise: You can strengthen your arches and the underside of your feet with the use of a marble!  While sitting in a chair (or standing) pick up a marble with your toes and put the marble into a container. Repeat exercise with opposite foot.

Quick Toe Exercise: With a towel on the ground, use your toes in a scrunching motion, to pull the towel closer to you.  You can make this exercise more challenging by placing an object on the towel, such as a bottle of water or shoe.

With these 5 quick lower leg exercises, you will be on your way to building stronger bones, increasing your flexibility and having leaner muscle, which means a better functioning metabolism.  Remember to perform new exercises slowly and try not to over do it. Instead, work on building up your repetitions or holding time, little by little.

If you are experiencing Achilles pain, shin splints or foot pain, remember, that foot pain is NOT normal. Call Dr. Hollander today at (707) 578-1222 to address your discomfort and find a solution today!

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Gaining Your Sense of Balance

For the last 40 years the Redwood Empire Ice Arena here in Santa Rosa has hosted the Annual Senior World Hockey Tournament.  Unfortunately, this year it has been cancelled so that they can replace the ice rink floors.  The tournament has been a wonderful opportunity for middle-aged—and much older—ice hockey enthusiasts to compete or enjoy watching their friends play.   A game like hockey requires significant balance from all its players, which is something many older adults struggle with.  You don’t have to be a senior hockey player to want better balance, though.

Your sense of balance is crucial for your mobility and for avoiding potentially serious injuries from falling.  The risks of falling only increase as you get older, that is why balance becomes more and more vital with time.  It is a good thing, then, that you can make changes to improve your equilibrium.  Exercising and strengthening your feet, along with wearing the right shoes, can make a difference for your stability.

Try a few of these exercises for your lower limbs and sense of balance:

  • Standing on one leg – Stand on one leg without holding anything for balance.  Try to stand for 30 seconds or more before switching legs.  If that is too easy, attempt this with your eyes closed.
  • Ankle circles – Sit with your feet in front of you and rotate them clockwise at the ankles.  After 10 to 20 circles, rotate them counterclockwise.
  • Toe walking – Rise up on your toes and try to walk across a room without letting your heels touch the ground.

Make sure you invest in footwear with wide soles and have traction.  Shoes should also have a strong, stiff back and arch support to stabilize your lower limbs.  Footwear without enough support is more likely to allow bio-mechanical issues to contribute to falls.

The more you invest in your lower limbs, the more you will achieve better balance.  Adding daily exercises and choosing the right shoes isn’t difficult, but the payoff from both is huge.  If you are concerned about falls, or are not sure how to do any of these exercises, contact us at John D. Hollander, DPM, in Santa Rosa, CA. We can help you establish healthy habits.  Call (707) 578-1222 or use our online request form to reach us.

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Watch Out for BBQ Foods That Cause Gout!

Fourth of July weekend brings out a variety of celebratory traditions, including fireworks and wearing red, white, and blue.  Another common one is the outdoor cookout.  Families and friends gather in backyards and on porches to enjoy grilling and eating together. For anyone with gout, however, this tradition could set up a painful attack later.  You can still grill this holiday weekend, but you should keep in mind certain foods to avoid with gout.

Foods that are high in purines can increase the production of uric acid in your body, making it more likely the crystals will collect in your joints—especially your feet—and cause pain.  By avoiding these foods and drinks, and eating other healthy choices, you can decrease your odds of developing an uncomfortable problem.

Reduce your intake of meat, including poultry and fish.  Watch your fat consumption, too, since saturated fats impair your ability to eliminate uric acid.  Instead, choose low-fat options, especially for dairy products and snack foods like potato chips.  Limit the snacks you consume with high-fructose corn syrup as well.  This may mean skipping the soda or sweetened juice.  You should also avoid alcohol, especially beer, since it seems to have a link to gout attacks.

Instead, get extra protein with beans or legumes.  Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and look for whole-grain and starch-rich carbohydrates.  Rice, potatoes, oats, barley, and other whole grains are good options.  Choose water or a 100% juice to drink over other alternatives.

Changing your diet now is better than waking up at night with a painful gout attack.  This may mean eating only one burger or hot dog, saying no to the beer, and looking for fruits and veggies to fill up your plate this holiday weekend.  Pay attention to what you consume and watch for the foods to avoid with gout. If you experience a gout flare up, contact John D. Hollander, DPM, in Santa Rosa, CA. You can call (707) 578-1222 or use our online request form to reach us.

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Can I Get a Fungal Infection from the Swimming Pool?!

The summer heat is here early, and that means many people are seeking ways to stay cool.  They wear shorts and t-shirts, stomp around in sandals, flock to ice cream trucks, and look for activities that can keep them cool.  Swimming remains one of the best and most popular options for the whole family and Santa Rosa’s public pools are open for summer hours.  However, if you want to keep your feet looking good in your sandals, you may need to spend some of your summertime preventing fungal nails.

While swimming is a great way to stay cool, it can also increase your risk for contracting a fungal nail infection.  Places like public pools are breeding grounds for the pathogens that cause the condition.  Damp floors and protected corners, especially in locker rooms, foster the fungus and expose your feet to it.  Some simple precautions, though, can help you keep your nails clean and healthy.

Make sure you wear water moccasins, sandals or shower shoes when you walk through changing rooms, use public showers, and when you stand on the pool deck.  This helps protect you from direct contact with potentially contaminated surfaces. Wash your feet thoroughly with soap every day, and pat them dry with a clean towel. Keep your nails trimmed and scrubbed as well.

Try to avoid wearing the same pair of shoes every day so each set can air out. Definitely change your socks daily, and avoid sharing them with others. You may want to pre-treat your nails with an anti-fungal spray or powder after cleaning them, and before putting on any type of footwear as well.

You do not want to contract a nail fungus infection, but you also do not have to give up activities like going to the pool to avoid it. Taking a few preventative measures can make a significant difference for the comfort and health of your feet. If you would like any help this summertime preventing fungal nails, or treating an existing infection, contact our expert team here at John D. Hollander, DPM in Santa Rosa, CA. Call (707) 578-1222 or use our online request form to reach us for questions or an appointment.

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8 Tips and Tricks to Fabulous Feet (Summer Edition)

The warm weather season is upon us and that means it’s time to put on sandals and flip flops.  But before you head outside, you’ll want to make sure you have beautiful and healthy feet- not dry, rough or uncomfortable feet! Getting your feet into fabulous shape and keeping it that way is easy to do.  Just follow these simple ideas on a regular basis to maintain your feet all summer long.

TIPS

Tip #1:  Keep your foot file in the shower.  Giving your heels a quick file just before you finish your shower is a great way to keep the calluses at bay and your feet looking smooth.

Tip #2: Hydrate. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps to keep your calluses at bay and keeps your skin from drying out.

Tip #3: Trim your nails after a foot soak or shower. This makes trimming thicker nails much easier. Remember, trim across, not around the nail.

Tip #4: SPF- it- up! We tend to show favoritism to our bodies when it comes to applying SPF. Often it is our feet that get the short end of the stick! Keep the skin on your feet healthy and free of flakes by applying an SPF to them too!

Tip #5: Enrich your nails. Don’t just apply any nail polish to your toes, use one that provides your nails with enrichment! Try a polish like Dr.’s REMEDY* which has ingredients like garlic bulb, lavender and tea tree oil.

TRICKS

Trick #1: Avoid blisters in your new shoes by wearing them around the house at first. This will help you figure out where you will have rubs. You can then prevent discomfort before it starts by applying a cushy bandage or using an anti-rub stick.

Trick #2: You don’t have someone to massage your achy tired feet? Take an iced water bottle or a tennis ball and rub the bottom of your feet on them.

Trick #3: Love the beach but hate the sand aftermath? Sprinkle baby powder or flour on your feet. It will help absorb any left-over moisture to help the sand come off easier.

 

If you find that your feet could use a little extra care, we offer Medical Pedicures in office, that range from a no-fuss soak and trim, up to a luxurious full hour service. If you would like to schedule a medical pedicure or have concerns about your feet, please call our office today at (707) 578-1222.

*You can purchase a wide selection of Dr.’s REMEDY nail polish at our Santa Rosa Office.

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Homemade Summer Margaritas

Nothing feels better on a hot summer day, than the taste of an ice cold beverage.  And what could be better than a freshly made margarita?!  Sit back and relax, or impress your pals, with these simple to make frozen margarita recipes.

Simple syrup is needed for all our recipes. To make a batch, add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a pot. Whisk mixture over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Once sugar is dissolved set it aside to cool.

Peach Margarita (Serves 2)

Ingredients

½ cup frozen peaches

¼ cup simple syrup

1 ½ ounces tequila (white)

½ ounce orange liqueur

1 cup ice

Lime for garnishing glass

Sugar or salt to rim the glass

Directions

In a blender combine: peaches, syrup, tequila and orange liqueur with your ice.

*Add fruit to thicken up mixture. Or add water if mixture is too thick.

Pour your Peach Margaritas into 2 glasses.

Rub the rim of each glass with a lime and dip the glass rim into sugar or salt.

Garnish glass with your lime wedge.

Enjoy!

 

Mixed Berry Margarita (Serves 4)

Ingredients

1 cup frozen mixed berries

½ cup simple syrup

3 ounces tequila (white)

1 ounce orange liqueur

2 cups ice

Lime for garnishing glass

Sugar to rim the glass

Directions

Blend the mixed berries in a blender until there are no longer large chunks. Pour the mixture through a large sift to remove the seeds (if you like seeds, skip this process).

Pour strained berry mixture back into blender. Add remaining ingredients: simple syrup, tequila, orange liqueur and ice into the blender and blend to your desired consistency.

Pour your Mixed Berry Margarita into 4 glasses.

Rub the rim of each glass with a lime and dip the glass rim into sugar.

Garnish with your lime wedge or a few left-over berries.

 

Fresh Lime Margarita (Serves 2)

Ingredients

½ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup simple syrup (or agave syrup)

1 ½ ounces tequila (white)

½ ounce orange liqueur

2 cups of ice

Lime for garnishing glass

Salt to rim the glass

Directions

Blend all the ingredients in a blender (except your garnishing lime and salt) until desired consistency.

Serve your Fresh Lime Margarita in 2 of your favorite glasses.

Rub the rim of each glass with a wedge of lime and then dip the glass rim into salt.

Clink glasses and take a sip!

 

If you are concerned about processed sugar, you can substitute the simple syrup for agave syrup.  And if you don’t want to squeeze your own lime juice, you can pick up a wonderful bottle of organic lime juice in your juice isle.

Don’t forget to utilize your local farmers market by buying local and fresh fruits. Pop your freshly washed and cut fruit into the freezer until you are ready to make your drinks. Because fresh ripe fruit tends to be sweeter, you may want to experiment with your simple syrup quantities.

Use these recipes as an excellent excuse to have your friends or neighbors over. They’ll be glad you did! Cheers to you!

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Have You Had Your Daily Does of Foot Care?

 Father’s Day is just around the corner and what better gift could there be than foot care?  Knowledge of how to correctly care for your feet is a wonderful gift, but Dad might also appreciate a day at the spa having his feet spruced up.  Most of us don’t take care of our feet very well on a daily basis.  We sometimes take them for granted, but they do so much for us that we should give back to them too.

Keeping your feet looking nice and feeling great shouldn’t be a chore.  It should be a daily routine you look forward to performing.  Start by soaking your feet in warm water for a few minutes.  Try adding some essential oils or black tea to the water.  After you’ve relaxed for a bit, use a pumice stone or emery board on your calluses.  Moisturize your feet if they’re very dry or cracked, but don’t put any lotion between your toes, as they might stay too moist, which could increase the risk of fungal infection.  Trim your nails, but not too short.

Taking care of your feet doesn’t end with just washing and grooming them.  Your footwear is also a crucial element of having healthy feet.  Choose shoes that offer support for your heels and arches.  Wear ones that are appropriate for the activity you are doing.  If you’ll be standing for a long time, you might consider adding a gel insert that will offer more cushioning.  When you do wear sandals, make sure you apply sunscreen to the exposed parts of your feet consistently throughout the day to prevent skin damage or melanoma!

Foot care is a rewarding experience; after all, they do take you everywhere you want to go.  Call Dr. John Hollander at 707-578-1222 to schedule an appointment in our Santa Rosa, CA office.  We will answer your questions and give you more tips on taking care of your feet.

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