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Foot Health Blog

Find expert articles from physical therapists and podiatrists to help understand, diagnose, and treat different foot health issues such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, flat feet, and more.
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Benefits of Orthotics for Basketball Players
OrthoticsBenefits of Orthotics for Basketball PlayersBasketball is an extremely high-impact sport that puts a lot of pressure and stress on the legs and feet. Although, playing basketball has many benefits, such as improving the endurance, strength, flexibility, agility, and coordination of the player. Promoting the cardiorespiratory system's function and amplifying overall health positively affects body weight along with physical and mental fitness. However, with the benefits comes the risk, and just like many other high-impact sports, there is always a risk of injuries involved, especially that of the lower body. Do NBA Players Wear Orthotics? Many athletes often opt for orthotics since the high impact of professional sport may lead to injuries, and this is especially true for basketball. If you don’t wear proper footwear in basketball, it can commonly cause issues such as compromised stability. In turn, this can create several additional risks, such as: Ankle and foot injuries This can be anything from ankle sprains, ligament tears, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and more.Knee injuries Common knee-related basketball issues include a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), meniscus, or broken patella.Deep thigh injuries and bruisesHead and face injuries Less stability can cause players to run the risk of slipping and falling, which could result in painful impact injuries. This can lead to bruising and even concussions.  Good stability is vital as it will reduce the risk of all the above injuries, thus instilling confidence in the basketball players and improving the quality of their game. Proper basketball shoes don't necessarily make you jump higher on their own, but they might provide the confidence required to try. How Can Orthotics Help Basketball Players? Custom basketball insoles have several substantial benefits, such as: Shock absorption from jumping and hard braking.Support and comfort. Reduced pressure and stress applied to the feet and legs.Reduced risk of injuries to the lower body.Enhanced performance and confidenceImprovements in generating good foot stability, thus preventing slipping on the glossy floor.Eased symptoms of foot and leg conditions.Prevention from any future injuries of the feet, ankles, knees, and hips.Reduced chances of basketball heel or foot pain after playing basketball. What Orthotics Should Basketball Players Use? Custom orthotics for basketball players should be made of materials like a high-quality CNC made up of copolymer EVAs and polypropylene, both of which offer the ultimate comfort without compromising support and protection. On the other hand, softer materials such as neoprene are also used. The best orthotic for you depends mainly on your current situation and what you need the orthotics for (support, stability, comfort, etc.). For instance, basketball insoles for flat feet will not necessarily be the same as those for plantar fasciitis. However, over-the-counter (OTC) insoles are generally not alright for basketball players as they do not fit the unique foot shape of each player and may not give the required protection, comfort, support, and stability. Therefore, the best option is to buy custom-made orthotics. It is recommended to buy Upstep's Basketball Orthotics as they are designed to be lightweight and minimize energy return by using your unique foot shape and specific designs for basketball. They are made to work with your foot by combining design expertise and material excellence in order to reduce the extreme impact forces on the feet associated with basketball while still maintaining durability and a moisture-absorbent top layer. Are Basketball Orthotics Necessary? The risk of injury without basketball orthotics doubles due to the nature of the game and its high demand placed on the athlete's body. While this might not necessarily be true for all sports, basketball places unusually high impact stress on the lower body. As such, using orthotics is a necessity in the prevention of future injuries that may put the player off the floor for a long time. If your feet hurt after playing basketball, it's a major red flag and you should consider purchasing a pair of custom orthotics immediately. It is best to play the game and enjoy it with the utmost comfort, confidence, and protection rather than risking the health and wellbeing of your body.
What Causes Middle Foot Pain and How to Get Rid of It
Foot painWhat Causes Middle Foot Pain and How to Get Rid of ItBefore knowing the causes of middle foot pain, let's first understand what is considered to be the midfoot. The midfoot is a pyramid-like combination of bones (metatarsals), tendons, and ligaments that form the middle part and arch of your foot. Causes of Middle Foot Pain Pain in the middle of the right or left foot is less likely due to a direct impact on the center of the foot, but more so due to the structures - more specifically, the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and nerves - composing the middle foot extension to the front part of the toes and the back portion of the heel and ankle.  Causes of Pain in the Arches Foot arch pain can commonly be a result of a few conditions, such as: Plantar fasciitis Inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thin band of tissue that runs under your foot and connects the heel bone to the toes.Tendonitis Inflammation of surrounding tendons.Fallen arches (flat feet) The entirety of the sole touches the floor. The reasons for these conditions, and others, are usually the result of any of the following occurrences: Ligament sprainsImproper footwearStress fractures Staying on your feet for long hours without any rest breakMuscle tightness or weakness Could Your Weight Be Causing Foot Pain? Being overweight can certainly cause foot pain as it places more stress on your bones, joints, and muscles, altering their biomechanics. This could be directly related to discomfort and pain in the middle and bottom of the foot. What Diseases Cause Foot Pain? Foot pain can either be directly caused by underlying diseases of the foot or a secondary result of diseases of the knee and back. All three of these bodily regions function in one chain and are interrelated in their biomechanics. Some of the conditions causing foot pain are: Osteoarthritis of the knees Wear and tear of the natural cushioning between joints.Plantar fasciitisMetatarsalgia Painful inflammation in the balls of your feet.Posterior Tibial Tendonitis Inflammation or damage to the posterior tibial tendon, resulting in pain on the inner side of the foot.Altered knee and foot posture How Do You Get Rid of Midfoot Pain? The first step in treating midfoot pain is getting yourself diagnosed by a physiotherapist or podiatrist. They can provide a conservative treatment plan that might involve taking care of your posture, regular exercising, using the correct footwear with a pair of custom-made orthotics. Some of the prescribed remedies could be: Icing the area three times a day for 7-10mins using a frozen water bottle and simply rolling under your feet. Wearing a custom-made orthotic.Insoles for added support that makes your footwear fit properly.Taking frequent breaks if you are on your feet for long hours, especially if you suffer from plantar fasciitis.Stretching and strengthening exercises.Balancing rest and activity.Stabilizing the arches with proper footwear or insoles. How to Stretch the Inside of Your Foot For some immediate relief from midfoot pain, you can stretch the insides of your feet by carrying out the following steps: Sit comfortably on a bed with your legs straightPull your foot towards you with a towel wrapped around the first half of your feet. Hold the pull for 30 seconds Repeat the procedure for 3 sets, 3 times a day. How to Know if Your Foot Pain Is Serious? Look for the following signs and symptoms: Excessive swellingInability to put any pressure on your feetInability to do any movementsExtreme temperature variations in your feet Unbearable painLoss of sensation in the feet All of the above point towards serious foot conditions that may need immediate treatment. It is suggested that you see a professional like a podiatrist or a physiotherapist sooner than later, as that will decide your prognosis and the speed of recovery. You need only visit the ER in the event of severe emergencies, such as broken bones, extreme lacerations and bleeding, or other acts of violent trauma to your body. Otherwise, regular painkillers should be able to keep you functioning until you can visit a podiatrist, physiotherapist, or general practitioner.
Benefits of Orthotics for Golfers
OrthoticsBenefits of Orthotics for GolfersOrthotics have several benefits for golfers as the game of golf causes foot fatigue. The primary reason for this is that major impact points for stress during golf include the feet, knees, and lower back, meaning that they all need to function as a unit for optimum performance. Table of Contents The Dangers of Incorrect FootwearCan Poor Foot Posture Impact the Golf Swing?How Can Orthotics Help Golfers?Should Golfers Get Custom Insoles? i. How to Choose the Right Golf Shoe InsertsIs It Worth Getting Orthotics for Golf? The Dangers of Incorrect Footwear Golf shoes with proper insoles do not cause foot pain if designed to your specifications. Thus, where there are preexisting conditions, you can purchase orthopedic golf shoes under the advice of a podiatrist. The podiatrist can help you find the best golf shoes for flat feet and other conditions. However, wearing incorrect shoes while performing any kind of physical activity, including golfing, can potentially hurt your feet. Wearing the incorrect footwear during golf can cause: BlistersFoot injuriesExcessive strain on the feet and legsFatigueNeuromas (benign growth of nerve tissue between the toes that can cause pain, burning, and numbness throughout the foot)Sore feetAnkle pain Can Poor Foot Posture Impact the Golf Swing? Greatly! Good golf shoes alone aren't enough to deal with the challenges that golfing poses to the body. Posture is another aspect that must be paid attention to. Generally, poor posture will affect your golfing. More specifically, poor foot posture can affect your swing during a golf game. For example, in the case of flat feet, there is usually an uneven distribution of body weight. This places more stress on the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. It will often take an insole to correct this poor foot posture. How Custom Orthotics Can Help Golfers Beyond the limits of golf shoes and good foot posture, orthotics are custom-made to meet the demand of a specific activity and fit the need of an individual's body and foot shape, thereby preventing several different conditions. There are numerous ways that orthotics can benefit golfers, such as: Reduced foot fatigue The most important benefit of golf orthotics is the reduction in fatigue. They do this by properly and comfortably anchoring the foot. Improved overall gait Several studies show that wearing golf shoe insoles does improve gait in golfers as the orthotic is designed to compensate for specific muscle deficiencies. Reduced foot and ankle pain Golfers using custom orthotics can experience a reduction in general foot and ankle pain as the excess load is taken off of weaker areas. Reduced overuse injuries Golfers often suffer from overuse injuries like hallux limitus, inflammation of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot and causing stiffness and soreness. Using custom orthotics can significantly reduce the risk of this and other conditions. Should Golfers Get Custom Insoles? The primary purposes of golf shoe insoles are to: Improve your balance by distributing and transmitting your weight appropriately.Increase your stability, allowing you to enjoy long drives.Make your feet more comfortable while golfing.Limit pronation, reducing your need to expend energy to stand well. Going by the characteristics discussed above, it is clear that over-the-counter insoles cannot serve a golfer nearly as well as custom-made orthotics. They are often made of lesser quality materials that do not provide as much firmness, stability, or support and are too generic to match the unique shape of your feet. As such, they may do more harm than good due to not considering the intricacies of varying foot shapes. How to Choose the Right Golf Shoe Inserts Golf shoe insoles vary from one to the other, and so you must ensure that you pick the right one. The best insoles for golf shoes will be: Firm It is imperative that you use insoles that are firm enough to provide stability. While other materials like memory foam might feel good, they can actually cause more harm than good. Made of good materials Poorer quality materials will either wear out quicker and become unusable or be heavier than they should and contribute to fatigue. Customized to your feet It is essential that your insoles match the unique shape of your feet. Failing this, you run the risk of damaging your ankles by your feet shifting in your shoes or forcing your feet to operate in awkward and uncomfortable ways. Upstep's orthotics are some of the best orthotics for golfers available online. This is because they are individually designed for each foot to stabilize your swing and soften side-specific pressures. Our golf orthotics are also specialized for left and right-handed golfers, as golf places unique stresses on each foot. Upstep's arch supports for golf are made of EVA materials that help in preventing pain, improving posture, and giving the player the energy boost needed. They reduce fatigue and discomfort caused by standing or walking for a prolonged period and provide midfoot support to help hit the ball farther than ever before. We have the perfect blend of support and cushioning in one orthotic design. Is It Worth Getting Orthotics for Golf? Golf orthotic insoles are surely worth it due to their design of anchoring the foot. Anchoring prevents the foot from moving inside the shoes, which permits the golfer to increase the power and distance in their swing, thus preventing any related injuries. They are known to reduce the chances of foot pain and discomfort, making a golfer's game time comfortable and enjoyable without deviating their attention and focus from the game.
Why Different Athletes Experience Different Benefits From Orthotics
OrthoticsWhy Different Athletes Experience Different Benefits From OrthoticsEven though each human body's anatomy and physiology are the same, they are all intricately different in physicality, functionality, and other aspects. Every sport differs in the type of stress they put on the feet, which is why every athlete is different and will receive various benefits from the use of orthotics. Different Benefits That Athletes Experience From Custom-Made Orthotics Benefits of Insoles for Golfers Gives added support to the feet.Helps in correcting altered foot biomechanics that affect the swing technique, which often happens due to over-pronated or supinated feet.Helps achieve a good posture in your spine, feet, ankle, and lower body.Golfers experience a lot of foot fatigue due to the high demand of the game, and insoles help relieve the pressure on the soles and reduce pain during the progression of the game. They assist in giving optimum comfort. Benefits of Insoles for Runners Provides shock absorption during heel contact and prepares the body for the next phase of push-off. Helps in athletic conditioning.Prevents any blisters that form from the friction of the shoes against the sole and the feet. All these factors may prevent and reduce the risk of running-related injuries and the pain of existing conditions. Benefits of Insoles for Football Players Helps in channeling more power and energy into each kick.Assists in dealing with and preventing any football injuries to the ankle and foot.Shock absorption during impact on the feet. All of these factors can lead to improved performance on the field. Benefits of Insoles for Basketball players Reduces the high impact on the feet due to the extra cushioning and shock absorption.Reduces and prevents strain on the feet.Promotes balance by improving stability and comfort.Reduces muscle fatigue. Benefits of Insoles for Tennis Players Maximizes the athletic performance by providing great comfort for the foot posture of each foot. Reduces pressure on the ball of the foot. Provides added support due to the cushioning. Aids in giving great shock absorption to play freely without the high impact on the feet. Benefits of Insoles for Power-Walkers Helps in prolonged stress from extensive daily walking and standing. The great arch support helps to force the foot to operate correctly. Balances pressure between the heel and the ball of the foot. Benefits of Insoles for Weightlifters Helps in providing a solid base to maintain a good posture. Since foot function is a crucial aspect of weight lifting, maintenance and improvement of this aspect through custom orthotics is likewise important. Helps weight lifters that suffer from collapsed arches or flat feet. These factors reduce the risk of strain on the other parts of your body like knees, back, and hips, thus preventing and reducing aches and pains. Benefits of Insoles for Multi-Sport Improves and supports foot function by combining the unique shape of your feet with layers of cushioning material to reduce injuries from excessive impact.Helps in combatting the various stresses placed on the body.Protects your feet due to the combined technology of custom-made designs with sport-specific materials. Benefits of Insoles for Cyclists Improves stability. Helps improve power transfer and comfort while pedaling.Increases efficiency due to the optimal support and cushioning at the required places. Do Different Athletes Need Different Orthotics? Different athletes do need different orthotics according to the sport they play, the altered foot mechanic they may have, and the history of previous injuries with the susceptibility to more future injuries. Considering all of the above, orthotics are completely individualized to a particular athlete playing a particular sport. For instance, high-impact activities need orthotics with excellent cushioning and shock absorption, whereas low impact and prolonged strain activities need orthotics with good arch support. When Should You Purchase Orthotics for Exercise? To end this article, I would highly suggest that you go ahead and purchase a custom-made orthotic before starting any form of sport and exercise. Athletes who are starting out a new sport for the first time, and can afford the cost, should definitely purchase orthotics to prevent injuries and discomfort that may happen. Individuals going through foot pain, knee pain, and lower back pain may need foot support to deal with pressure on joints and muscles. They should purchase orthotics as they will aid in recovery along with other conservative treatments. Additionally, it also depends upon the frequency of the sport and exercise. Hence, I would urge individuals who are highly and frequently involved in physical activities to go for an orthotic as a curative and preventative measure.
Best Exercises for Collapsed Arches & Flat Feet according to Podiatrists
Foot exercisesBest Exercises for Collapsed Arches & Flat Feet according to PodiatristsFlat feet are a rather common foot condition in which the foot arch collapses either temporarily or permanently. It occurs when the middle part of your foot - between the heel and toes - doesn't get enough support. Flat feet can be either flexible or rigid. With flexible flat feet, the fallen arch is only noticeable on standing. However, with rigid flat feet, the fallen arch is noticeable in all positions. They can make your feet tired, painful, achy, or swollen and even impact your back and legs. Exercises for Flat feet and Collapsed Arches Flat feet must be managed properly or it can result in avoidable complications. Thankfully, there are different effective treatment options for flat feet. One of them is the use of exercises. Evidence shows that exercises are effective in preventing flat feet from worsening. Here are some that you can do to strengthen your muscles and help them resist collapse. 1. Foot twists You can perform both inner and outer foot twists. To perform outer foot twists, lie on your back. Bring your forefeet up and in (big toes towards each other). Bring your forefeet up and out (big toes away from each other). Return your feet to the middle. To perform inner foot twists, while sitting in a chair, move your foot towards the midline of the body. Then return to its position. You can perform three sets of 10 reps each daily. 2. Toe lifts Toe lifts aim to strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the feet and improve foot stability and balance. You can start in either standing or sitting position. While sitting barefoot, Lift the big toe with one foot and push the other four toes into the ground. Push your big toe down and lift and splay the other four toes off the ground. Hold the position for five secondsRepeat on each side between six to eight times. While standing, Lift the inside of the foot off the ground. Lift the forefoot as high as you can while keeping your weight on your heel. Lower the foot and repeat between six and eight times also. Aim for three to five reps weekly. 3. Towel Scrunch The towel crunch is another crucial exercise for strengthening the arches. It begins in the seated position and requires you to have a towel. To perform the exercise; Seat on a chair with a towel laid at your feetWithin the minimal movement of your leg, use your toe muscles to grab at the towel until it is impossible to pull the towel under your foot anymore.Repeat with other foot.Aim to start with at least one set a day and continue to increase the number of sets as you become more comfortable with the exercise. 4. Toe Extension Toe extension exercise is a stretching exercise focusing on the foot muscles responsible for controlling the movement of your toes. To perform this exercise, Gently push down on the toe until the knuckles are noticeable. Hold position for up to twenty seconds for maximum stretchRepeat 3-4 times per set. 5. Arch Lift Arch lifts strengthen the muscles that help supinate and lift the arches. Follow these steps to perform the exercise; Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. While keeping your toes in contact with the floor, roll your weight on the outer edge of the feet, lifting your arches as far as possible.Hold the position for up to five seconds before releasing the feet back down. Carry out 2–3 sets of 10–15 repetitions in a day. 6. Calf raise From a standing position, Lift your heels as high as possible. The end position should not be too uncomfortable. You may hold on to the wall or grab a chair for additional support.Hold the end position for about five seconds and lower the heel back to the floor. Complete 2–3 sets of 15–20 repetitions daily. 7. Short foot The short foot exercise aims to work the inner foot muscles which support the arch. To perform the exercise; Sit upright in a chair with the foot firmly on the floor and the toes pointing forward.Without lifting any part of the foot off the ground, slide the forefoot back along the floor toward the heel.Hold the short foot position for 5-10 seconds.Alternate between each foot, repeating exercise up to 10managedtimes on each foot. Just Exercise Flat feet can lead to debilitating consequences if not managaed early. Since many of these exercises can easily be performed without supervision, start as early as possible and stay consistent with the exercses for maximal results.
Improve Your Golf Game From the Ground Up!
Foot painImprove Your Golf Game From the Ground Up!It’s a fact that your feet are essential, not only for golf but for everyday life. If your feet hurt, then it disrupts every part of your life and can lead to pain and discomfort with every step you take. A quick check on the internet usually gives you a practical solution for your plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and Achilles tendinitis, but what about day-to-day foot care? Treat your feet with a bit of respect, and you'll notice the difference! Skin Care The largest organ structure by surface area is the skin. It’s responsible for keeping the good stuff inside the body and the bad stuff outside. This is especially true of the skin on the foot, as it also is thickened in key areas to help protect the body from injury. To keep your skin working correctly, it needs to be kept soft and supple to ensure that the friction created between the shoe and its top layer, the epidermis, is minimized. This is best done using foot creams containing urea as it is proven to penetrate any dry skin and promote healthy skin growth. The only exception to this rule is the skin between the toes. Always keep creams away from this area; otherwise, the skin becomes macerated (too moist), and fungal infections, such as athlete's foot, or bacterial infections can take hold. Nail Care Ingrowing toenails are often caused by poor nail trimming and are easily avoided by cutting the nail straight across and resisting the temptation to cut down the edges of the nail. If you do get an ingrown toenail, make sure to seek medical advice straight away from a podiatrist because, if you leave it untreated, it will get worse. Final Tip Get professional advice. Go and see a podiatrist if you are having any problems with your feet and let them sort you out - you won’t believe the difference.
What’s the Best Way to Recover from a Sporting Injury?
Foot painWhat’s the Best Way to Recover from a Sporting Injury?The experience of many clinicians is that too much rest can make it far more challenging to get back to sport quickly due to the associated weakness that also occurs. For example, a tear to one of the foot's small muscles needs rest due to the pain. However, as well as resting the damaged muscle, the other parts of the foot are also inactive, leading to an overall deconditioning of the body. The pain goes away, and off we go back to our favorite sport at the same intensity as we did before. The result is usually an injury to another part of the body, leading to more rest, more deconditioning, etc. So, What Should We Be Doing? The 1st thing is to get an accurate diagnosis of precisely what you have damaged. The treatment approach for a fracture will often necessitate rest, but more and more total immobilization is not prescribed as the repair process for the bone requires a degree of loading to make sure it heals strong enough to function back to normal. The same approach is now being used with ligament, muscle, and tendon injuries. The research demonstrates that the correct loading of the damaged structure early in the rehabilitation process is essential for a full recovery. The problem is that this loading so early after an injury is often excruciating and therefore counterintuitive – the last thing you want to do is cause more damage, right? So back to the take-home message, an accurate diagnosis is essential! Just being told you have pulled a muscle is not good enough, especially with the advances in medical technology, and a good clinician should be able to explain what they believe is damaged. Sometimes a working diagnosis is needed due to the complexity of the human body, but a treatment plan should be built around it to ensure a successful recovery.

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