John Hollander, DPM

10 Tips for Happy Feet This Summer

With the summer season upon us, our feet will probably become exposed to the traditional summer conditions of sunshine, sandy beaches, flip flops, and hot weather.  Follow these tried and true tips to keep your feet looking fabulous all summer long.

#1. Prevent and treat dry cracked heels. Use a pumice stone or exfoliant once a week to keep your calluses from building up and getting rough.

#2. Protect your skin.  Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet- they too can get sunburned.

#3. Keep your nails trimmed. Trim your nails straight across-not too short and not too long; you don’t want to cause an ingrown toenail.

#4. Don’t go barefoot. Keep sandals on while walking around the beach, pool, or ocean to prevent contamination of foot fungus or plantar warts, and to protect your feet from cuts and scrapes.

#5. Use a 5-Free or 8-Free nail polish.  Keep the harmful chemicals out while nourishing your nails and preventing fungal infections with a Podiatrist approved polish such as Dr.’s REMEDY.

#6. Travel with a first aid kit.  Keep essential tools nearby for possible cuts and burns including bandages, an emery board, antibiotic cream, and aloe vera.

#7. Give your feet an ice bath.  After a long warm day, feet can swell up.  Soak your feet for 15 minutes in cold water to reduce swelling.

#8. Moisturize.  Apply lotion to your feet at the end of your day and try to use one that is designated for the feet, as the skin on our feet absorbs lotions differently.

#9. Prevent Blisters.  Save strappy sandals for cooler summer days and wear your roomier sandals or flats on days that are warmer.

#10 Stay hydrated.  Drinking plenty of water keeps our skin happy and healthy and reduces dryness and swelling.

We hope that you find these ten summer tips helpful and that you have a wonderful summer season, where ever you may be!

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How to Care for Swollen and Sore Feet While Pregnant

Many women experience general fatigue and soreness throughout their entire body while pregnant but a large complaint is sore feet and swelling.  Swelling in the feet is often caused by extra fluid in the body and pressure caused by the growing uterus.  Although sudden swelling in the face or hands may be a sign of a condition known as preeclampsia, mild swelling of the ankles and feet is usually no cause for concern.  Because pregnant women are susceptible to achy and swelling feet, it is very important to watch for symptoms and address them.

In women who experience swollen feet during pregnancy, the swelling typically:

  • appears gradually
  • is equal in both feet
  • appears worse by the end of the day
  • lessens when they lie down or raise the feet
  • is worse in hot weather

Achy feet are a common condition in pregnant women as well.  What tends to happen as the pregnancy progresses, more weight and pressure are put on their feet.  This extra pressure can cause arches to stretch and feet to widen.  These changes can cause pain.

Here are a few tips to help reduce swelling and pain and for general foot care while pregnant:

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot. Wear a supportive sandal, house shoe or slipper as an alternative
  • Wear shoes with good arch support – no flimsy shoes that are easily rolled up like a burrito
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate your feet if you experience swelling. Sleeping with a pillow under your legs is helpful.
  • Get foot massages
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking which will promote blood circulation to the feet

If you or a pregnant woman that you know are having foot pains call Dr. Hollander today, 707-578-1222, as he can give you a proper treatment algorithm that will help heal your symptoms and give you relief.

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Fun With Foot Anatomy

We thought it would be fun to compile a list of resources focused on educating others about feet.  Here you will find coloring pages, crafts, quizzes and more.  There is something for everyone to do and learn from.

 

Lower Leg & Foot Anatomy Coloring Page

Lower Leg & Foot Anatomy Quiz

Muscles of the Lower Leg & Foot Coloring Page

Q-Tip X-Rays Hand & Foot Activity

Games with Feet

21 Other Super Fun Human Anatomy Activities for all ages

 

Enjoy!

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Custom Orthotics vs. Shoe Inserts (OTC “orthotics”)

When you experience foot pain, it interrupts your day.  In order to find relief you may find yourself looking into shoe inserts available at your local store or visiting your podiatrist.  But how do you know whether you should use a custom orthotic or a shoe insert?  While they may appear to solve the same problems, custom orthotics and shoe inserts are quite different and serve different needs.

First and foremost, it is always best to consult a podiatrist when you are experiencing any kind of foot pain.  Attempting to self diagnose and treat your foot pain could actually lead to more damage.

When you visit your podiatrist to discuss your foot pain they will look at several things: your overall health, lifestyle and activity level, location of discomfort, evaluate the biomechanics of your lower extremities and assess your gait (how you walk).

Once all of these details have been reviewed your podiatrist can determine whether or not an orthotic device is going to resolve your discomfort.  If an orthotic device is what you need, they will present you with either a custom orthotic or a shoe insert.  Let’s look into each type of device for a better understanding of their functionality, purpose, and cost.

Custom Orthotics

Custom orthotics are prescription orthotics fabricated off the specific structure of your feet using either a plaster mold, foam mold or 3D scan.  The details of your gait, problematic area of your foot and the method of treatment all go into determining how your custom orthotics will be made.  There are two main categories of orthotics:

Functional – these are meant to control range of motion by holding the foot in place. They are used to treat such things as tendinitis or shin splints.  Functional orthotics are usually crafted of a semi-rigid material such as plastic or graphite.

Accommodative – they provide extra cushioning and support and can be useful in treating calluses or diabetic foot ulcers.

Custom orthotics typically last 3-5 years and can be refurbished a few times before needing a new pair. They are made from a more durable material designed not to collapse under your weight (meaning they can withstand higher weight ranges), can hold up to increased activity and, can be designed to handle unique shoe situations, all making them superior to OTC retail devices.  Their cost can range in the low to mid hundred dollars and may or may not be covered by your insurance provider.

Shoe Inserts

Shoe inserts are any type of non-prescription foot support that is inserted into your shoe.  They are mass-produced and can be found in many retail stores.  They can be beneficial when you need arch support, additional cushioning, or addressing leg pain.  They cannot treat biomechanical issues, should you have them.  Shoe inserts, specifically medical-grade shoe inserts, can be a wonderful option when custom orthotics are out of reach.  There are a few different types of shoe inserts which include:

Arch supports – for people with either high arches or flat feet. They offer support for the arches and ease discomfort.

Insoles – they offer support on the inside of your shoe. They are typically made out of soft material such as gel or foam.

Heel liners – often used in patients with thinner skin or fat pads, they provide extra cushioning in the heel area.

Foot cushions – used to protect your feet from rubbing against your shoes. They are good for the treatment of calluses or blisters.

Shoe inserts (over- the- counter “orthotics”) typically last up to 6 months at a time.  They are better served for average weighing individuals (up to 120lbs).  Shoe inserts are budget friendly, most can be found for under a hundred dollars and from a variety of suppliers.  Keep in mind that not all inserts will fit all people or shoes and most insurance companies will not cover the cost for them.  They can be a great option when also incorporating a stretch routine to address the pain.

With all of this being said, it is best to see a podiatrist instead of attempting to self diagnose your pain.  At Dr. John D. Hollander, DPM, we will discuss your concerns, determine a plan of action, and if needed, provide you with custom orthotics or shoe inserts that work best for your needs and budget.   Call today to schedule an appointment in our Santa Rosa, CA office (707) 578-1222.

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Why do my feet fall asleep?

After sitting on the floor, or crossing your legs, you go to stand up and you are instantly hit with that terrible sensation of pins and needles.  Your leg has fallen asleep. But why does this happen and is it something you should be concerned about?  The answers may surprise you.

Why do my feet fall asleep?

You’ve probably heard that the reason your foot falls asleep is due to loss of blood flow.  But it is actually caused by your nerves being compressed.  Nerves are wires that carry messages from your body to your brain, and when the nerve is compressed it can’t get the message to your brain, which temporarily seizes sensation to your limb. This sensation caused by compression is called Paresthesia.

Should I be concerned?

Generally speaking, no.  Everyone has experienced a sleepy foot at some point.  It’s rare for it to mean that there is something wrong.  If you feel Paresthesia, change your position, and you should feel relief in about 30 minutes.

What if I don’t find relief or it happens often?

“If your foot or arm remains tingling or difficult to move after an hour, it may be time to check in with your doctor. If the cause of your paresthesia is due to an acute central nervous system condition, like a stroke, then time is of the essence. Getting the right diagnosis and medical care immediately is necessary.

Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

If you have paresthesia that comes on gradually, and if you have a medical condition like diabetes, you may not be too concerned when your pins and needles or numbness worsens. It may just be due to high blood sugar. But, a worsening case of paresthesia should still be monitored by your doctor. Peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes usually starts with a feeling of paresthesia in your foot or feet and it needs to be managed appropriately by your doctor.”[1]

Prevent episodes of paresthesia by sitting in different ways, if you can, and should you get that tingly sensation again, shake your leg a bit.

If you ever have any questions or concerns about your feet, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Hollander.  He is happy to answer your questions at any time.  Schedule your next appointment by calling (707) 578-1222.

 

 

[1] Sears, Brett. Very Well Health. November, 2019. https://www.verywellhealth.com/paresthesia-why-body-parts-fall-asleep-4153984

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Foot Pain in Children and Seasonal Sports

Foot pain in children can be very common, especially when they are active in sports. Soccer and baseball season is starting up and that means an increase in pediatric office visits. Some sports injuries can be avoided with a little extra care and knowledge, while other conditions that arise just seem to be a part of growing up.

One of the most commonly seen causes of foot pain in young people is Sever’s disease. This is when the growth plate in the heel becomes inflamed and swells, which results in pain and discomfort. The most common time for this problem to occur is during their growth spurt at the beginning of adolescence. Most children, by the age of 15, will have grown out of this condition because their feet will have reached their adult size. When the growth plate grows faster than the leg muscles, along with the stress and pressure put on the feet during physical activity, this can cause Sever’s disease.

Turf toe is another condition that can affect children that are active in sports.  Turf toe is an injury sprain in the big toe joint.  This type of injury is due to constant pressure that is put on the big toe joint from actions like jumping, running, pushing off hard surfaces and jamming the toe.  Turf toe can be prevented by wearing the appropriate footwear and in some cases, a special sole insert provided by your podiatrist.

Another common cause for pain in the feet is growing pains. This type of discomfort is typically felt more so at night than in the morning. This pain usually comes and goes and may last for weeks or months, but they will grow out of it. To ease growing pains you could try massaging your child’s legs and feet or help them to stretch the muscles themselves. Heating pads are also a good source of pain relief for your child’s sore muscles.  A doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory, but always make sure the correct dosage is giving and that your child does not have allergies.

For more information about foot pain in children call Dr. John Hollander at 707-578-1222 to schedule an appointment in our Santa Rosa, CA office. We want your children’s feet to be pain-free so that they can enjoy being young and staying active.

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10 Simple Ways to Practice Wellness

January 19th through the 25th is Healthy Weight Week. The idea behind Healthy Weight Week is to not focus on dieting or what the number on the scale says, but rather to practice mindful eating, moving your body in ways that make you feel good during and after the movements and practicing true self-care.  These are all things that we can do for ourselves on a regular basis. Here are just a few ways that you can celebrate Healthy Weight Week and continue throughout the year.

Talk to loved ones.  Having someone that you can talk to about your daily ups and downs has shown to reduce stress levels.  It is also helpful in keeping you accountable in your goals when you have a support group ready to cheer you on.  In addition, face to face or talking on the phone is much more beneficial than sending an email or a few text messages. So, when you have the option to meet in person, video chat or telephone- take it!

Snacking is OK! There is nothing wrong with snacking, but the nutritious values of what you are snacking on is what counts. Ask yourself, before you snack, “does this provide any nutritional value to me?” If no, opt for something else.

Moving your body! Explore a new trail, try a new sport, tidy up the house.  The CDC is recommending at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week! That’s nothing! 30 minutes a day of actively moving your body is easy to do. Think you don’t have time- read our blog post on how to incorporate more walking into your day.

Be thankful. Before you let negative talk get the best of you, practice saying what you are thankful for. Positive talk leads to lower stress levels, higher self-esteem and can produce better productivity in yourself.

Take a breath! Stress can prevent you from maintaining or losing weight. Take a few moments to practice mindful breathing.

Drink more water. Water helps the body remove excess waste and helps provide one with a clearer mind.

Sign up for a race! Signing up for a race automatically provides you with a goal and a timeline to reach it. Run, ski, bike, row, chop wood-any kind of race will do.

Cook a nutritious balanced meal. The tip that says having a colorful plate is a balanced plate, is quite helpful.  A plate full of beige food is likely to be low in nutrients and higher in carbohydrates.

Make time for sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.  Turn off your electronics a minimum of 30 minutes before you close your eyes. Rather than watching a YouTube video, opt for reading a book or magazine instead.  And avoid alcohol before bed- while it may help you fall asleep faster, it has been shown to cause restless sleeping patterns.

Make one small change. Rather than grabbing a soda, drink a glass of water instead. Instead of an entire pint of B&J ice cream, only eat half. You don’t have to drop everything you love to eat, cold turkey (no pun intended). One swap here and another swap there, all add up over time and can lead to positive habits and a healthier self.

Cheers to a happier, healthier, more mindful YOU!

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Start a new walking or running routine without injury

Many times I hear about patients starting a new walking or running routine, only to then see them in my office for a related injury.  Let me start off by saying I applaud anyone for deciding to start an exercise routine to better their health.  But before you jump right into something new, whether it is for the first time ever, or it has been a while, follow these easy tips for injury prevention.

Talk to your doctor.  It is always a good idea to tell your doctor about your new exercise plans before you start them.  Your doctor will have a better idea of your current health, offer additional suggestions to help you succeed, as well as, preventative measures to take.

Build up your lower body strength.  If you have been inactive for quite some time, I suggest you start working on building up the muscles in your feet, calves, and quads.  By building up your muscle ahead of time, or in correlation with your new routine, you are reducing the possibility of lower leg aches and pains, such as Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, muscle strains and stress fractures.  A few lower body exercises you can do include: Calf raises, toe curls, hip flexors, and hip abductors.

Take is slow.  Never dive full force into a new exercise routine or physical activity, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a while.  Start with shorter times and speeds. For example, if you want to start a new walking routine, walk every day for only 10 minutes, and then increase your walking time by 5 minutes each week for the month.  If you are already walking but want to start running, try one of these beginners running plans that help ease you into the program.

Rest.  Yes, I want you to rest after each session of your new routine- at first.  Until you have built up stamina, muscle strength and muscle memory, you need to rest your legs.  Elevate your legs when you are done walking or running.  If your knees, shins or arches feel a little sore, ice them for 10 minutes.

Taking the time to prepare for a new physical activity is the best method to injury prevention.  It also can help you stay on track by avoiding pauses in your newly established routine, which for some, can put an end to that activity rather quickly.

Additional resources for walking and running routines:

12 Week Walking Schedule

 Exercise: Starting a Walking Program– tips for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced walkers

Beginners Guide to Running– Couch to 5K, 5K to marathon

Should you find yourself in sudden discomfort that will not resolve on its own, causes you to favor one side of your body over the other or, causes a change in your stride, call Dr. Hollander and make an appointment to be seen.  (707) 578-1222.

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Hot Cocoas to Warm You Up

There’s nothing quite like a hot cup of cocoa to warm you up when the weather is cold.  The hot cup helps warm your hands, the drink helps warm your heart.  It is such an easy drink to make with all types of milks (2%, whole, almond, soy, etc.).  In celebration of National Cocoa Day, we decided to help you make the best hot cocoa today with a list of tips and recipes.  Enjoy!

Tips for amazing hot cocoa:

-Use a chocolate bar or brand that you like; it’s a sure way to know you’ll like your creation

-65-70% chocolate is a good fat to cocoa ratio

-Instead of adding sugar, swap dark chocolate for a milk chocolate to get a sweeter taste

– Powdered chocolate is great.  Just make sure it’s a high-quality cocoa being used.

-Heat the milk, don’t boil- it will scald

-Milk choice is a personal preference.  If you have a high cocoa ratio,  using higher fat milk is best.  If you are using milk chocolate, 2% milk is just fine.

 Traditional Hot Cocoa

4 cups milk

1 cup quality chocolate (chips or bar finely cut up)

White Peppermint Hot Cocoa

4 cups of milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/8 tsp peppermint extract

1 cup high-quality white chocolate

VEGAN Hot Cocoa

4 cups of Soy or Almond Milk (if using vanilla soy milk, you may want to omit additional sweetener first)

1 cup of Dutch cocoa

2 Tbsp of sweetener of choice (raw sugar, stevia, agave)

Pinch of salt

2 tsp of pure vanilla extract

Directions for All Hot Cocoas:

Warm milk in a saucepan until tiny bubbles begin to form on the sides. Do NOT allow your milk to boil, it will ruin the flavor.

Stir in all ingredients except for chocolates.

Pour liquid mixture over the chocolate pieces and whisk until smooth.

Share with your friends and enjoy!

 

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Fun and Useful Stocking Stuffers for Adults

Stocking stuffers should be: Fun, delicious and useful. To help you find a gift for that “hard to shop for” person, take a look at our stocking stuffer list!

For your avid runner or athlete give them a gift that relieves sore muscles and inflammation. Here are a few of the wonderful options that we carry in our office:

Medterra- HEMP Rapid Cooling cream. Medterra’s Rapid Cooling Cream is a powerhouse combination of Hemp and organic ingredients, including menthol and arnica. This topical cream provides a rapid cooling effect, perfect for joint and muscle support.

 

 

Arnica Gel. If you are sensitive to smells, Arnica Gel is unscented and applies easily without any sticky or greasy residue. It temporarily relieves muscle pain and stiffness due to minor injuries, overexertion, and falls; reduces pain, swelling, and discoloration from bruises.

 

Do you have a loved one that is prone to dry skin? Take a look at these amazing products!

Amerigel Care Lotion. Rehydrate and soothe dry, irritated skin with AMERIGEL Care Lotion’s advanced deep penetrating formula.    The Care Lotion’s quick-absorbing blend of ingredients works to soften and exfoliate corns and calluses while moisturizing to promote healthy skin.  This product is a great addition to a Diabetic’s foot care regimen.

 

KERA-42 Cream. Perfect for those prone to calluses, this cream is a urea-based daily moisturizer that supports the appearance of healthy skin.  It also contains tea tree oil, aloe vera, and antioxidants that provide additional hydration to damaged, rough, and dry skin.

 

Do you know someone that just loves to have beautiful colors on their nails?

Dr’s REMEDY nail polish is not only enriched with ingredients that promote happy and healthy nails, but it also contains organic ingredients, anti-fungal properties, is cruelty-free and was developed by doctors- Podiatrists to be specific.  We carry a wide variety of colors from Cozy Café to Wonderful Wine- so there’s sure to be a color for everyone!

 

To compliment your nail polish, we also carry Dr.’s REMEDY’s acetone-free polish remover.  Traditional polish removers contain acetone which can dry out the nail bed.  With Dr.’s REMEDY, you don’t have to worry about your nails drying out because it also contains garlic bulb and wheat protein which is great for our nails.

 

Not sure which of these items to get for your gift recipient? Not to worry! We also offer gift cards for medical pedicures.

Medical pedicures are just as enjoyable as your traditional nail spa treatment, but better, because our pedicurists are certified medical assistants and have training in recognizing common foot conditions, use sterile tools and have a podiatrist on hand for any of your questions or concerns.

Surprise your gift recipient this year by thinking outside the box with gifts that take care of their wellbeing.

If you have any questions about our recommended products or our medical pedicures, please call our office at 707-578-1222. All of our items* are available for purchase without an appointment or prescription.

*Medical pedicures must be scheduled in advance.  Thank you.

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