John Hollander, DPM

Raynaud’s Disease and Cold Weather

Men's feet in winter bootsKeeping your hands and feet warm in the cold fall and winter months is very important. Raynaud’s Disease is a condition of decreased blood flow, affecting your hands and feet.

You will notice that your fingers and toes may turn white, blue or purple when they are exposed to cold temperatures. You may experience a numb, stinging or painful sensation as you begin to warm up.

“Cold temperatures are most likely to trigger an attack. Exposure to cold, such as putting your hands in cold water, taking something from a freezer or encountering cold air, is the most likely trigger. For some people, emotional stress can cause an episode of Raynaud’s.”

If you think you have this condition call our office at 707-578-1222, as this is a condition that a podiatrist can help you with.

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Children Should Have Happy Feet!

Dollarphotoclub_55701064A child is never too young or too old to have their feet checked. If your child is complaining about pain or discomfort while doing a sport activity, or any activity for that matter, listen to them. Make sure they have the appropriate shoe wear and the appropriate size since children’s feet are constantly growing.

“A sports medicine podiatrist can offer a thorough examination of the entire lower extremity, and identify a leg length imbalance, weakness, or biomechanical imbalances that may need to be addressed to prevent injuries on the athletic field.”

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7 Tips for Healthy and Happy Feet.

Photo Credit:  Amberle Van Den Broeke

Photo Credit: Amberle Van Den Broeke

Our feet are the foundation of our bodies. They allow us to walk, work and do fun activities. Follow these simple tips to keep your feet in the best shape possible:

  1. Use closed toe shoes. Avoid injuring your toes or foot if you happen to bump them.
  2. Clean and dry your feet often to prevent buildup of skin and bacteria growth.
  3. Stinky feet need attention, and smells should not be ignored. Bad odor can be the indicator of a fungal infection. See your physician for the best course of treatment.
  4. Make sure to purchase supportive shoes from a specialized shoe store. The sales people should be properly trained about shoes and feet, they will ensure a proper fitting shoe.
  5. Address pain that lasts more than a day. Foot pain is our body’s alert that something is wrong.
  6. Rotate your shoes and change your socks daily.
  7. Replace your flat sandals for a sandal with a supportive bed. Visit your local specialized shoe store.

Healthier feet are only a few steps away!

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Biofreeze Pain Reliever helps you stay active.

Biofreeze_NewFormula_GelsIf you’re looking for a topical pain reliever, we have a great product for you. It’s BioFreeze! It’s strong, over the counter and has no scent.

Visit our office to pick up a free sample of BioFreeze. It’s great for arthritis, sore muscles and joints, and back pain.

Training for the Big Race with Shin Splint Prevention

Stretch you legs to prevent shin splintsBig races deserve plenty of training; the Santa Rosa Marathon is a big race. This year’s event is set for August 24. Whether you plan to run the full or half marathon, or even the 5K, you should already be boosting your training so you can race well. An important aspect of preparation that many runners don’t consider is shin splint prevention.

Shin splints are a common overuse problem that affects many athletes. Stress in the tissues along your shin bones causes burning and aching pain in the front of your legs when you are active. This can set back your training quite a bit and make it harder to achieve your goals before a big race. Investing in shin splint prevention can help you avoid the issue altogether, allowing you to continue running strong. Here are a few basic factors to consider that can help prevent this injury:

Shoes – Your footwear supports your feet as you stride and helps you absorb impacts on the ground. Use models that fit your feet correctly and replace any worn out pairs.

Orthotics – Sometimes shoes are not enough to support your lower limbs. If you have very flat or very high arches, you may need an insert to stabilize your midfoot.

Conditioning – Your feet and lower legs need to be built up over time to handle your activities. Stretch and strengthen your calves and shins regularly to help condition them for the strain of running.

Cross-training – Your limbs do need breaks from hard impacts to recover. To continue working other muscles, cross-train with low-impact activities like biking or swimming.

Pay attention to your body during your activities. Shin splint prevention helps, but your feet will tell you if it actually works. If you are struggling with painful shins or are not sure how to condition your lower limbs, let us know here at John D. Hollander, DPM in Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa, CA. We can help. Call (707) 578-1222 or submit a request through the website to reach us.

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Pronation Injuries: Too Much or Too Little of a Good Thing

Pronation injuries are prevented with orthoticsRunning can be a solitary or group activity. Many 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, though, you should be on the watch for pronation injuries. They 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 or under-pronate as well, which can 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. You don’t push off the ground evenly, either, 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, then, is understanding your pronation style and taking steps to accommodate it in your footwear and orthotics.

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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Building Up Better Bone Health

Exercise helps build bone strengthSummer is a great time to get fit. The weather is nice and you’re able to spend time outdoors. If you have trouble with weak bones from osteoporosis, however, you may wonder if traditional exercising is safe for your feet. The good news is that it can actually help you improve your bone health.

Osteoporosis takes a significant toll on your bones. The slow breakdown of your skeleton puts you at a much higher risk for developing fractures from otherwise small injuries, like tripping. You don’t have to tiptoe around gingerly and avoid all activity, though. In fact, adding resistance and weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone health and growth.

Resistance exercise means basic weight lifting, or otherwise engaging your muscles to work against the weight and force of something else. Weight-bearing activities mean exercises that require you to support your body weight. Typically this means walking and stair climbing regularly. These activities help build up and maintain the thickness and strength of your bones. They also strengthen your muscles, which can help you prevent potentially disastrous falls.

If you plan to begin a new exercise program, especially if you have osteoporosis, make sure you start slowly and build your way up. You have to condition your body to handle the strain of these activities. Otherwise you risk injuring yourself.

Don’t just sit and watch your bones deteriorate with time. With a little exercise and lifestyle changes, you can stimulate your body to improve your bone health. If you need any help establishing a foot-safe program, or you’re concerned about your feet in any way, contact John D. Hollander, DPM in Santa Rosa, CA. You can call (707) 578-1222 or use the online request form to make an appointment.

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Work Your Way to Better Balance

Balancing exercises help prevent falls

From July 11 to July 20, the Redwood Empire Ice Arena here in Santa Rosa is hosting their 39th Annual Senior World Hockey Tournament. It’s a chance 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, so 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 that have traction as well. 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 biomechanical 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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Summer Cookout Foods to Avoid with Gout

Eating healthy food prevents goutFourth 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 truly 100% juice to drink as well.

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. Changing your diet now is better than waking up at night with a painful gout attack. Pay attention to what you consume and watch for the foods to avoid with gout. If you do flare up, contact John D. Hollander, DPM, in Santa Rosa, CA. Call (707) 578-1222 or use our online request form to reach us.

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Stay Running with Stretches for Bunion Pain


Although it is still several months away, wise runners are already training for the Santa Rosa Full and Half Marathon, which is set for this August. It can be difficult to run and train well when you’re suffering from bunion pain. These bulges bump and rub against your footwear, as well as change the way you push off your feet when you run. The good news is that you can perform the following stretches for bunion pain to alleviate your symptoms:

  • Big toe stretch – Sitting with your foot in front of you and your heel touching the ground, pull your big toe out to the side, away from its neighbors. Hold it for a few seconds, then relax. Repeat ten times.
  • Toe spreads – With your feet flat on the ground, spread your toes apart as wide as you can and hold them there for a second. Then relax and repeat ten times.
  • Object pick-ups – Try to pick up marbles or other small objects from the ground and put them in a cup using just your toes.
  • Big toe towel stretch – Loop a towel around your big toe and pull it back toward yourself. At the same time, push against the towel with your toe.

Stretches for bunion pain keep you runningYou may still need to make other accommodations for your feet. Taping your digit so it stays correctly aligned, or using toe separators, can help keep your foot in the right biomechanical position and prevent pain. You’ll still need shoes that have sufficient support and a wide enough toe box for your feet as well.

Don’t let discomfort keep you from training for the big race or enjoying your daily routine. Try some stretches for bunion pain before and after you run. If the pain is still too much to maintain your normal activities, contact John D. Hollander, DPM in Santa Rosa, CA, for more information or an appointment. Call (707) 578-1222 or use our online request form to reach us.

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