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Milind Soman is a marathon runner who was forced to experiment with barefoot running in 2011 when he developed a blister on his foot. In regards to his experience, Soman states “My feet felt refreshed and energized. There were minute changes in my form, balance and posture that made my running movement feel more effortless. I even found that it encouraged me to run from the core.” He mentions that it took him over a year for his muscles to adjust to barefoot running, and that he had to gradually increase his running distance to a half-marathon. Many people are following the barefoot running trend, as they believe it strengthens the feet and is more natural compared to wearing highly-cushioned shoes. However, if you are considering transitioning to barefoot running, it is advised that you start out with shorter distances before working your way up to long distances.

Barefoot running has its own share of benefits and disadvantages. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. John Branwell from Kearny, New Jersey. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Barefoot Running

The Impact of Barefoot Running
- Running without shoes changes the motion of your running, as most running is done by landing on the heel of the feet.
- Running barefoot requires a different way of running; the landing is done on the front part of the feet.

The Advantages of Barefoot Running
- When running and landing on the front feet, the impact on the feet and ankle is reduced; this can reduce stress injuries.
- It strengthens muscles in the feet, ankles and lower legs.
- Balance of the body is improved, and there is a greater sensory input from the feet to the rest of the body.

The Drawbacks of Barefoot Running
- No protection while running, makes it likely that runners will land on sharp objects and scrapes, bruises and cuts on the feet will result.
- Blisters may form.
- Possibility of plantar fascia problems.
- Risk of getting Achilles tendonitis.

So what can runners do to make barefoot running safe? It’s best to make a slow transition from running shoes to barefoot running. Once the feet begin to adjust, try walking, then jogging and gradually increasing the distance. Minimalist running shoes may also be an option.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our office located in Kearny, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 21 May 2018 00:00

Causes of Athlete’s Foot

If you experience redness, itchiness, or blisters on the soles of the feet, you may have what is referred to as tinea pedis, or more commonly, athlete’s foot. It is caused by a fungal infection, and is can be extremely contagious. This type of fungus lives and thrives in moist places, and is commonly found in public showers, pools, and surrounding areas. It may affect the area between the toes in addition to the soles of the feet. There are several symptoms of athlete's foot that may be observed, including a rash that may appear, peeling skin on the soles of the feet, or an uncomfortable burning sensation. To prevent this condition from occurring it's suggested to wear appropriate shoes in public places, and to change your socks daily to avoid excessive perspiration between the toes. If you are experiencing chronic or severe athlete’s foot please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. John Branwell from Kearny, New Jersey.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Kearny, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 14 May 2018 00:00

How Yoga can Help Strengthen the Feet

Stretching the feet not only feels good, but it will benefit the entire body. The feet are considered to be the foundation of the body, and research has indicated the muscles, tendons and ligaments become stronger when proper stretching techniques are performed. Implementing a yoga practice into your daily routine, which generally incorporates foot stretches, will aid in strengthening the ankles and toes. When the feet feel strong, proper alignment in the body will become attainable, which could allow daily activities to become more manageable. Correct foot stretches may also aid in the prevention of medical conditions including bunions and heel pain, which may typically be referred to as plantar fasciitis. An effective stretch is referred to as a towel stretch, and this involves putting a towel underneath your foot. At this point, moving the toes to grab pieces of the towel will aid strengthening the arch and the toes. Pointing and flexing the toes is a popular stretch of the entire foot, and it’s relatively simple to perform.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. John Branwell  from Kearny, New Jersey. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Kearny, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 07 May 2018 00:00

How to Treat a Bunion

Bunions are typically the result of a bone deformity that affects the toes. The big toe typically leans toward the second toe, and this may cause a bump to form on the bottom of the big toe. Fluid may develop in the surrounding joint, in addition to the skin becoming thickened. This is often a painful condition, and as a result other ailments such as arthritis may develop. Research has shown that it’s beneficial to wear proper shoes that can accommodate the bunion and possibly diminish the pain and discomfort. Relief options may include using adequate padding over the bunion for protection, and wearing shoes that can adjust to the width of your foot. For bunions that have become extremely painful and unmanageable, surgery may be an option to consider. It’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist to learn about the best treatment options for you.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. John Branwell of Kearny, New Jersey. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Kearny, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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