Research Shows, Common Foot Disorders Can Be Inherited

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A new study confirms that two common and often painful foot disorders can be inherited.
As part of the Framingham Foot Study, which examined common foot disorders among more than 2,000 participants between 2002 and 2005, researchers studied 675 people with a bunion deformity in which the big toe angles towards the smaller toes (known as hallux valgus), and 154 people with high-arched feet that don’t flatten when bearing weight (known as pes cavus). Their average age was 66, and 57 percent of the participants were female.
Using statistical genetics software, the researchers determined that the bunion deformity was hereditary in about 39 percent of women and 38 percent of men. They also found that the condition was inherited in 89 percent of people under age 60.

The disorder involving high-arched feet was inherited in 68 percent of women and 20 percent of men. Among those younger than 60, the condition was inherited in 99 percent of women and 63 percent of men.



Plantar Fasciitis And Stretching Therapy

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According to a new study from the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), patients with acute plantar fasciitis who perform manual plantar fasciitis stretching exercises, as opposed to shockwave therapy, had superior results and higher patient satisfaction.

Study details and findings
A total of 102 patients who had acute plantar fasciitis pain, were randomly assigned to two groups. Acute is defined as any patient that experiences pain for less than six weeks. 54 people performed an eight-week stretching program, while 48 people received repetitive low-energy radial shock-wave therapy once a week for three weeks. Each group was asked to refrain from any other forms of physical therapy.
Patients in the stretching group, were told to perform stretching exercises three times a day, for eight weeks. All patients were contacted by phone every two weeks to check on training compliance.Read more at

Shopping for New Shoes

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Wearing shoes that don’t fit can contribute to a long list of foot problems.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests how to choose the right footwear and keep your feet happy:
  • Always measure both feet each time you go shoe shopping.
  • Try on shoes late in the day, when the feet tend to be a bit larger.
  • Women should opt for heels that are no higher than 2 1/4 inches.
  • Make sure the shoes fit properly in the heels and the toes, with 1/2 inch of space between the shoe and your longest toe.
  • Try on both shoes to be sure that they fit comfortably on both feet. Opt for the size that is most comfortable on your largest foot.
  • Walk around the store with both shoes on to make sure the fit is comfortable. Don’t count on “breaking them in.”



Six Steps To Prevent Running Injuries On Your Way To Marathon Finish Lines

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Runner’s knee, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis — these are the last words any runner wants to hear. Whether running a marathon or a five-mile loop in the park, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center physicians Dr. William Levine and Dr. Christopher Visco offer six important steps to prevent painful and debilitating injuries.
1. Don’t go beyond your fitness level. Gradual training is essential. If you aren’t ready to run 26.2 miles, don’t try a marathon. The same goes for half marathons and other distances.
2. Have a training schedule. There are many schedules available to gradually increase your mileage. Slowly and progressively increase mileage.
3. Listen to you body. If you feel sore, fatigued or have pain, you may need to rest. If the pain persists, see a medical professional. Most injuries occur when fatigued, and at the end of a run. Running with an injury may worsen it or lead to a secondary injury.




Prevent Gymnastics Injuries

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Gymnastics can lead to injury without some preparation. In 2007, more than 69,000 kids under age 14 were treated for gymnastics-related medical problems, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says.
The academy suggests how to help gymnasts ward off injury:
  • Always stretch and warm up the muscles before a workout.
  • The gym should have a padded floor and equipment that is well maintained.
  • Gymnasts should always wear routine-appropriate footwear.
  • Use protective gear, such as braces for the joints and special belts to protect the joints and torso.
  • Always have a spotter while practicing.



Kings-Tyreke Evans has plantar fasciitis

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Tyreke Evans admitted that he is suffering from plantar fasciitis on the bottom of his foot.
Evans insists that it’s a minor case of plantar fasciitis, and we certainly believe him after he logged 40 minutes in a preseason game Tuesday night. The concern is that this injury almost never heals completely without rest and can cost players significant time when it becomes severe. Joakim Noah missed 18 games due to plantar fasciitis last season. Still, the Kings are surely on top of it and we would not downgrade Evans on draft boards. Tons of NBA players play through minor cases of this injury every season.Read more at

What is plantar fasciitis? What can I do for plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis (plan * tar _ fash * ee * i * tis) is tearing and inflammation of a ligament on the bottom of the foot. “Plantar” refers to the bottom of the foot, the “fascia” is a long ligament-type structure and “itis” means inflammation. Plantar fasciitis is the result of excess stress through the plantar fascia, which causes tearing, inflammation and pain. Plantar fasciitis is also called heel spur syndrome, but a heel spur will rarely causes any pain. The most common symptom is a sharp pain in the heel when first stepping down in the morning. The pain may also extend into the arch and start after stepping out of a car or standing up after finishing a lunch break. Other individuals experience heel pain at the end of their work day or after activities like running, soccer or tennis.
There are many treatments for plantar fasciitis…..
The first step is to identify the cause of the plantar fasciitisRead more at

Buying New Running Shoes

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Today’s Patient Money column takes a look at the many upgrades shoe makers are adding to athletic shoes.
Shoe manufacturers keep adding bells and whistles to shoes in the form of cushioning gel pods, microprocessors and so-called thrust enhancers, but these upgrades don’t seem to make runners safer. A review of current studies on running shoes published in 2009 found that there were no evidence-based studies that show running shoes actually help prevent injury. Indeed, injury rates have not gone down.
Fancy running shoes may even lead to injury, experts say. Some studies show that when runners don expensive running shoes that promise superior cushioning, they incur more injuries than runners using cheaper shoes.
To learn more about how to shop for running shoes, read the full column, “For Running Shoes, It’s Fit First and Price Last” and then please join the discussion below.



Do You Need Insoles?

Superfeet Green Insoles are quality, prefabricated inserts designed for maximum arch support. Superfeet insoles have a unique two component design which provides long lasting support & comfort. Superfeet insoles decrease the key cause of foot, ankle, knee, back and neck pain, maximize comfort and improve shock absorption. Superfeet Green insoles provide maximum shock absorption arch support. They are designed for footwear with a removable insole. Superfeet have an Agion® antimicrobial top cover treatment. Agion® helps to reduce bacteria and prevent foot odor.
Ideal for feet with medium or high arches. Superfeet are available in 5 sizes.
Recommended footwear for Superfeet Green: Running, walking, hiking, alpine and industrial footwear.
Superfeet GREEN have an extra deep heel cup that provides added shock absorption. The anatomical arch shape allows for comfortable support and the compressed foam, full length top cover helps to control friction. Read more at

Foot Fracture an Early Sign of Osteoporosis?

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Unexplained foot fractures may be the first sign of osteoporosis, a bone thinning disease which affects over 28 million Americans and accounts for 1.5 million bone fractures a year.
Osteoporosis is frequently referred to as the “silent crippler” since it often progresses without any symptoms or isn’t diagnosed until a person experiences pain from a bone fracture. Georgeanne Botek, DPM, FACFAS, a Cleveland foot and ankle surgeon, explains that the porous nature of bones in people with osteoporosis makes them more susceptible to bone fractures, especially in the feet. “Because the bones are in a weakened state, normal weight-bearing actions like walking can cause the bones in the foot to break,” says Dr. Botek. “In fact, many patients visit their foot and ankle surgeon suffering from foot pain only to find out they actually have a stress fracture, without having experienced an injury.”
While osteoporosis is most commonly seen in women over age 50, younger people and men are also affected.Read more at

Alert a Podiatrist About Foot Problems

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Problems with your feet shouldn’t be ignored. They can get worse over time, and can signal trouble elsewhere.
The American Podiatric Medical Association mentions these issues that should be discussed with a podiatrist:

  • An open sore or ulcer on the feet, as they can indicate problems such as high blood pressure, sickle cell disease or a blood vessel condition.
  • Swelling of the feet, which can indicate problems with the heart, circulatory system or kidneys.
  • A burning sensation in the feet, which may indicate poor circulation.

These underlying medical issues also should be discussed with a podiatrist:

  • Cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure, which could lead to insufficient blood flow to the feet.
  • Rheumatic heart disease, as medications used to treat it may interfere with some medications used to treat foot problems.
  • Diabetes, as it may affect sensation and circulation in the feet.



Orthopedic Surgery Patients Low on Vitamin D

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Nearly half of patients undergoing orthopedic surgery have vitamin D deficiency, which can impair their recovery, researchers say.
In these cases, patients’ vitamin D levels need to be brought up to normal levels before they undergo surgery, according to researchers at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Vitamin D is essential for bone healing and muscle function.

“In the perfect world, test levels, fix and then operate,” study leader Dr. Joseph Lane, a professor of orthopedic surgery and chief of the hospital’s Metabolic Bone Disease Service, said in a hospital news release.

According to Lane, an important part of the healing process — bone tissue formation — occurs around two to four weeks after surgery and is the critical period that the body needs vitamin D.



Keep Feet Healthy

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Your feet have a weighty responsibility, so treat them right to help keep them healthy.
The American Podiatric Medical Association offers these suggestions for taking care of your tootsies:

  • Make sure your shoes fit correctly and comfortably; those that have a soft upper area and a sturdy sole are best.
  • Go shoe shopping later in the day, when feet are more swollen than in the morning.
  • Walking is a great form of exercise for your feet.
  • Make sure stockings and pantyhose fit correctly, and choose those without seams.
  • Don’t try to cut off corns or calluses on your own; see a podiatrist for treatment.
  • Keep toenails trimmed in a straight line.
  • Scrub your feet each day in warm water and gentle soap, and give them a careful once-over to look for foot problems.



I want to buy some inserts. What do you recommend?

Insert: An insert is any device which will fit into a shoe. This can be a soft, cushioned insole you find at the drug store for $10, or it can be a custom made orthotic costing a couple hundred dollars at your doctor’s office. Soft insoles are flexible and add comfort and cushion to a shoe. When you purchase a soft, flexible insole, you should know that they will not be providing support, only extra cushion.

An insole is actually the innersole or lining of the shoe. All shoes come with some type of insole. The insole may be thin and stitched into the shoe or thicker, cushioned and removeable. Insole has become a general term to describe inserts or arch supports.
Arch support is a general term to describe any device which slips into the shoe and supports the arch. Placing something under the arch may add comfort or support and sometimes simple arch supports or pads from the drug store will do the trick. Read more at

The Causes Of Corns

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Corns are painful calluses that form on the toes from friction, making walking or wearing shoes uncomfortable.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons mentions these common causes of corns:

  • Wearing shoes that are too tight or too loose.
  • Having an abnormality of the toe, such as a claw toe or hammer toe.
  • Wearing high-heeled shoes.
  • Having a seam or stitch on the inside of a shoe that rub against a toe.
  • Wearing poorly fitting socks.




Foot-Friendly Tips to Prevent Running Injuries

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Bethesda, MD – Making running part of a workout routine leads to better physical stamina and a more positive state of mind—but a detrimental foot injury can quickly stop runners in their tracks. Keeping feet healthy and pain-free can go a long way toward ensuring that every run is enjoyable, for both experienced runners and those just starting out. Following a few simple steps provided by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), before hitting the trail or treadmill, can keep foot and ankle injuries at bay.

“Some of the most common running-related foot injuries that today’s podiatrists treat are arch pain, tendonitis, and blisters,” said APMA president Kathleen Stone, DPM. “However, if runners can take just a few minutes to stretch properly pre-workout, select appropriate footwear, and see a podiatrist immediately when foot pain occurs, many of these ailments can be avoided entirely.”



What is plantar fasciitis?

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The most common cause for heel pain is plantar fasciitis (plan –TAR   fash – ee – I – tis). This condition is classically known for causing pain in the heel at the first step in the morning. The pain can be so severe that many will limp, or grab onto a wall in order to make their way to the bathroom. After thirty minutes or so, the pain tends to work itself out. More discussion on morning heel pain.
Although this is the classic description of plantar fasciitis, it is not the only presentation of this condition. Some individuals will only experience pain in their heel when they run, walk or hike. Others will only experience pain in the arch after long periods of standing. Many people will complain only of pain in their heels at the end of a long workday. Classic descriptive terms for plantar fasciitis include stone bruise, sharp dagger, deep throbbing and dull ache. These all represent plantar fasciitis type pain. Another name for this condition is “heel spur syndrome.”   Read more at

Foot Problems in Runners

Millions of runners take to the streets, tracks and trails everyday. People run for health, for fitness, for stress relief and for fun. There are casual joggers, trail runners, sprinters, marathon runners and elite competitors. Despite these differences, all runners are susceptible to foot problems. Common foot and ankle conditions in runners include blisters, foot fungus, ankle sprains, stress fractures, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. Fortunately, most of these conditions can be prevented and many are easily treated. But, when foot and ankle conditions are ignored they can become difficult to treat and can even become resistant to therapy.
Heel Pain – Plantar Fasciitis
One million runners will develop heel pain every year. The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which is the result of excess stress through a long ligament type structure (the plantar fascia) in the bottom of the foot.Read more at

Easing Hammertoe Pain

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A hammertoe is an abnormal bending of a toe at the joint, which often causes pain when footwear touches the top of the bent toe. Women are affected more often than men.
The American Podiatric Medical Association suggests how to help alleviate the pain of a hammertoe:

  • Protect the toe with a non-medicated pad designed for hammertoes.
  • Choose shoes that offer plenty of room in the toe area.
  • Place an ice pack over the area that’s painful or swollen.
  • Wear shoes with a heel no higher than two inches.
  • Wear shoes that fit loosely and aren’t too narrow.



New Drug Helping Treatment-Resistant Arthritis

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An experimental rheumatoid arthritis treatment helps two-thirds of patients getting too little relief from methotrexate.
The drug, from a company called Rigel, is R788 or fostamatinib disodium. The oral drug targets an enzyme called Syk. Nobody is exactly sure of the role Syk plays in rheumatoid arthritis. But there’s an overabundance of Syk in the fluid of arthritic joints, and the enzyme is part of the runaway immune machinery that increases joint inflammation.

Experimental Drug Fights RA

In a pilot study, the drug appeared to reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Now Harvard researcher Michael E. Weinblatt, MD, reports results from a phase II clinical trial in which 457 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis despite methotrexate treatment received R788 or placebo for six months.
For patients treated with the more active twice-daily dose of 100 milligrams of R788:
  • 67% had at least 20% fewer arthritis symptoms, compared to 35% of patients getting a placebo.
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    Lower Extremity Changes Experienced During Pregnancy

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    The anatomic and physiologic changes occurring with pregnancy result in a variety of symptoms affecting the lower extremity. The purpose of this investigation is to provide a comprehensive look at the lower extremity changes experienced during pregnancy and correlate symptoms with underlying etiology in a literature review. In this retrospective study, 100 postpartum women were interviewed regarding the lower extremity changes experienced in pregnancy. The interview included dermatologic, vascular, neurologic, and musculoskeletal portions. Results demonstrate more than 50% of women reported faster toenail growth, roughened toenail texture, increased dryness of the skin, swelling of the foot, ankle, and leg, unsteady gait, increased foot width, and hip pain. Though a majority of patients did not experience the remaining symptoms represented in the interview, all results are pertinent and deserve understanding to provide better insight and care for the pregnant woman. Read more at

    Triggers For Restless Leg Syndrome

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    Restless leg syndrome is characterized by uncomfortable feelings in the legs and feeling the urgent need to move them.

    The U.S. National Library of Medicine says possible triggers of restless leg syndrome include:

    • Having a family history of the condition.

    • Being pregnant.

    • Having an iron deficiency.

    • Having side effects from certain medications.

    • Having Parkinson’s disease.

    • Having chronic kidney disease.

    • Having peripheral neuropathy.



    Health Factors That Increase Risk of Rickets

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    Rickets, a Victorian-era disease marked by weak, deformed bones and caused by a deficiency in calcium, phosphorus or vitamin D, has made a comeback in recent years.

    The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons cites these risk factors for rickets in children:

    • Insufficient calcium in the diet.

    • Insufficient exposure to sunlight.

    • Dark skin.

    • A poor diet.

    • Lactose intolerance.



    Diabetes risk may fall with magnesium intake

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    Getting enough magnesium in your diet could help prevent diabetes, a new study suggests.

    People who consumed the most magnesium in foods and from vitamin supplements were about half as likely to develop diabetes over the next 20 years as people who took in the least magnesium, Dr. Ka He of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and colleagues found.

    The results may explain in part why consuming whole grains, which are high in magnesium, is also associated with lower diabetes risk. However, large clinical trials testing the effects of magnesium on diabetes risk are needed to determine whether a causal relationship truly exists, the researchers note in Diabetes Care.

    It’s plausible that magnesium could influence diabetes risk because the mineral is needed for the proper functioning of several enzymes that help the body process glucose, the researchers point out. Studies of magnesium and diabetes risk have had conflicting results, though.



    Injured Bones Replaced By Titanium Foams

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    Flexible yet rigid like a human bone, and immediately capable of bearing loads: A new kind of implant, made of titanium foam, resembles the inside of a bone in terms of its structural configuration. Not only does this make it less stiff than conventional massive implants. It also promotes ingrowth into surrounding bones.
    The greater one’s responsibilities, the more a person grows. The same principle applies to the human bone: The greater the forces it bears, the thicker the tissue it develops. Those parts of the human skeleton subject to lesser strains tend to have lesser bone density. The force of stress stimulates the growth of the matrix. Medical professionals will soon be able to utilize this effect more efficiently, so that implants bond to their patients’ bones on more sustained and stable basis.Read more at