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foot exercise4Cory Smith of Phillymag calls the transition of the cold winter months into warmer, sunnier weather injury season. It is a time when all runners vamp up their training methods and are more likely to become injured. Smith has created five tips to help runners avoid injury during training.

Patience is key when it comes to running outside again. If you have not been running consistently, slowly start up your routine again to allow muscles to adapt to the stress again. Understand the differences between running on a treadmill and the higher difficulty of running outside. Forcing fitness before the feet and body are ready is a key way to obtain an injury.

Listen to your body, if you feel you need to take a rest day, then take it. If your shoes are worn or inappropriate for outdoor running get new ones that properly fit and function.

Runners can still be prone to running injuries even with proper precautions. If you are suffering from a running injury see Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew Birch from New York. Our doctors will provide you with quality treatment and assist you with all of your foot and ankle concerns.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber, this will help you gain better flexibility.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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high heel12The Cannes Film Festival  has recently been reported prohibiting women wearing flat shoes from participating in the festivities. Although the festival located in France has been notoriously formal, many women opt out of wearing high heels because medically, their feet cannot handle the discomfort high heels cause. Additionally there is no mention of high heels being a priority anywhere on the dress code located on the festival’s website. Many took to twitter to discuss the news when writer Caitlin Moran stated, “Utterly extraordinary it’s reported that women - including those with disabilities - are being turned away at Cannes for not wearing heels.”

High heels can cause a ton of foot problems and some women just cannot wear them. If you have any concerns about your feet contact Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew Birch of New York. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because they are associated with femininity. Despite their appeal, they can cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

What parts my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – may shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – they decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain. Also, the vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems. Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet. Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising. If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work. Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock; you can buy either full inserts or metatarsal pads.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Brooklyn and Staten Island, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about the effects of high heels.

sprained ankle2Usher, singer of popular songs such as Climax, arrived to the Met Gala in New York earlier this month with a supportive walking stick and a camouflaged foot cast. Although the pop singer looked his best for the influential event, he still limped his way around the red carpet and up the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in NYC. Usher broke his foot during one of his shows in Canada that resulted in an operation and crutches to help him walk.

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment to prevent exacerbation. If you are seeking treatment for a broken foot, visit one of our podiatrists of Birch Podiatry. Our doctors will assess your injury and provide you with quality treatment.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury.

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue (foot)
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Brooklyn and Staten Island, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technologies to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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diabeticsNew research suggests that CHORI-bars, a fruit-based snack bar, are a cheap and easy way to help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. The bar can reportedly cut the risk of diabetes in just eight weeks. Diabetes puts the feet at risk for developing ulcers, as damage to the nerves and blood vessels can create poor circulation in the feet. Around 100 people with diabetes undergo an amputation every week due to poor circulation.

Diabetics with poor circulation in the feet need prompt medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew Birch of New York. Our podiatrists will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. It usually restricts the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development.
It can also cause:

-muscle pain     
-numbness in legs
-cramps                               
-skin discoloration
-weakness         
-slower nail & hair growth
-stiffness            
-erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes and or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, or who are over 50.
If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always see a doctor as they will help try and fit a regime that suits you. A doctor will also prescribe you medication which will help for PAD.   

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Brooklyn and Staten Island, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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footproblemsHaving shoes that correspond with today’s fashion is almost a necessary part of life today; unfortunately when people suffer from hammertoes it feels as though any shoe is too painful to wear. Recently, a new procedure has been set in place where implants would be used to permanently straighten the joints in the foot.

The implant, called TENFUSE, is said to be made out of cortical bone and will not have to be removed since the implant will eventually become a part of the bone. If the implant works as well as expected, this could be great news for the 10 to 20% of Americans suffering from the condition.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. If you are suffering from hammertoes, contact Dr. Gregory and Andrew Birch of New York. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Hammertoe
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

  • Genetics – people who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible
  • Arthritis – because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur
  • Trauma – direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe
  • Ill-fitting shoes – undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

  • Orthotics – custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it
  • Medications – oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used
  • Surgery – in more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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footproblemsFor most women, high heels are often blamed for causing foot pain and foot problems. Many women instead choose to wear flat shoes to try and avoid the health issues that reportedly come with high heels; flats appear to be a much more sensible and practical choice in footwear. According to experts, however, certain types of flats can actually cause a myriad of health problems.

Toe infection, which in its worst case can require surgery, is reportedly an issue that arises from ingrown toenails caused by tight, pointy-toed flats putting pressure on the toes. To remove pressure from the big toe, experts suggest wearing flats with a round or square-shape toe box.

Finding the right pair of shoes to wear is only one facet of everyday foot care. To learn more, consult with one of our podiatrists of Birch Podiatry. Our doctors will provide you with the foot and ankle information you seek.

Every Day Foot Care
Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. After all, without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks. It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before, for example.

For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops.

Also, wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat. Also make sure that the socks fit properly and are not uncomfortably tight.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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runnersnewResearchers from Pennsylvania’s Carnegie Mellon University have developed a device that can improve the walking efficiency of its wearer. The device fits over the leg and is able to do this by storing the energy created when the wearer lifts a foot of the ground. When the foot lands, the device releases the stored energy and therefore adds more power to the wearer’s push-off of the next step. The cable and clutch mechanism operates without any motors or batteries.

The Carnegie Mellon researchers report that their device improves walking efficiency by about 7%. While the researchers claim their device to be a simple improvement on the human body, their creation is one very successful step forward.

 
Walking efficiency involves biomechanics, which incorporates the moving parts that manage the movement of your feet. To learn more about biomechanics, see Dr. Gregory and Andrew Birch of New York. Our doctors can provide you with the foot and ankle information you seek.  

A History of Biomechanics
- Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
- In 1974 biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination to the area.

Modern technology improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes providing a better understanding of podiatry concepts for biomechanics. Computers provide accurate determinations about the forces, moments and patterns of the foot and lower legs with the most important information captured.

Advances in materials and more awareness of biomechanics have developed enhanced corrective methods, offering further options for foot-related injuries. Understanding foot biomechanics can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Brooklyn and Staten Island, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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anklesprains2During a home game against Indiana, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal suffered a sprained ankle in his right foot. The injury occurred during the first period when the guard lost his footing and landed awkwardly before rolling on the ground.

Beal was able to walk off the court of his own accord, and post-game—where the Wizards lost 103-101—Beal walked out with a slight limp. Randy Wittman, coach of the Wizards, shared Beal’s frustrations with the various leg and foot injuries Beal has suffered during his career, which go back to his rookie season: “It’s always frustrating. He’s not trying to get hurt. It’s frustrating and I’m sure it’s frustrating for him.”

Ankle sprains are very painful and need to be treated as soon as possible. If you are suffering from a sprained ankle contact Dr. Gregory and Andrew Birch of New York. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?
Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits can aid in prevention

Treatment of a Sprain
Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Brooklyn and Staten Island, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read More about Ankle Sprains.

springNow that spring has arrived, many people beginning to exercise more and are becoming more active in general. One thing that is important to understand when exercising is that your feet are a vital component of exercising capability.

Each foot has nearly 26 bones filled with joints, ligaments, and other structures. Muscle and structure imbalances in the foot can cause injuries such as plantar fasciitis, foot pain, ankle pain, and heel pain and many other serious conditions. In order to prevent injuries during exercise, it is best to take care of the feet by using methods such as orthotics or stretching. The healthier the feet are, the better your overall performance will be.

Exercising the feet is an important part of everyday health. If you have any questions concerning exercise for the feet contact Dr. Gregory Birch and Dr. Andrew Birch of New York. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.


Exercise for Your Feet
Exercise for your feet can help you to gain strength, mobility and flexibility in your feet. They say that strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body. Your feet are very important and often we forget about them in our daily tasks. But it is because of our feet that are we able to get going and do what we need to. For those of us fortunate not to have any foot problems, it is an important gesture to take care of them to ensure its good health in the long run.

Some foot health exercises can include ankle pumps, tip-toeing, toe rise, lifting off the floor doing reps and sets, also flexing the toes and involving the shins may help too. It is best to speak with your doctor regarding how to do these fitness steps and how often is right for you. Everyone’s needs and bodies are different and it varies from individual to individual to determine what should be done for you to maintain strength in your feet.

Once you get into a routine of doing regular exercise, you may notice a difference in your feet and how strong they may become.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY. We offer. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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diabetic2Over 29 million Americans are living with diabetes today and each individual maintaining their health needs to pay special attention to their feet. Dr. Patrick Bowen of Emory Health Care discusses one of the most commonly treated issues with diabetes: preventing nerve damage or neuropathy. Bowen suggests that patients check their feet every day when at home, to wear well-fitting socks, and to be weary of going barefoot. “The risks of not recognizing or treating neuropathy is an increase in the risk of foot ulcers, foot infections, which can lead to more serious or life threatening infections,” states Dr. Bowen.
Diabetics must pay special attention to their feet to help prevent any complications and should not ignore any pain they are feeling. If you are diabetic and have any concerns, see Dr. Gregory and Andrew Birch of New York. Our doctors will treat your diabetic feet.  

Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetes affects millions of people of all ages each year. Diabetes damages blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. When damage occurs to nerves in the feet, they may be unable to send the proper signals to the peripheral nervous system, resulting in a condition known as neuropathy. Once a diabetic patient develops neuropathy, it is imperative that the feet are well taken care of to avoid possible amputation of the feet.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet
- Regularly check your feet for bruises or sores.
- Wear socks that fit your feet; socks shouldn’t be tight.
- Wear properly fitting shoes that are comfortable.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their Hemoglobin A1C levels as this test lets the physician know how well the blood sugar levels have been controlled during the past 3 months. It is important to keep the blood sugar levels in a normal range. It is advisable to visit a podiatrist if the diabetic patient is experiencing any conditions involving the feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Brooklyn and Staten Island, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.


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