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A Beginner's Guide to Running

A Beginner’s Guide to Running

By General Podiatry, Running
A Beginner's Guide to Running

Healthcare professionals can’t deny the immense benefits of running. From increasing your lifespan to improving your sleep, your quality of life advances when you prioritize physical activity. Running is also a relatively inexpensive sport that you can do almost anywhere. All you need is a good pair of shoes to lace up and space to move.

The pastime has significantly increased in popularity after the COVID19 pandemic when people looked to get exercise outside the house. That’s why almost 60% of active adults have chosen outdoor activities such as running as their exercise of choice, according to the 2021 Fitness Trends Global Report

If running is something that sparks your interest and has been an approved activity by your doctor, add this exercise into your regimen with a plan! It’s critical to do your research for any new program to understand the safety requirements. Here is a beginner’s running guide to running to tackle this sport effectively from the start and ensure proper foot health!

Find Your Why

Running has a stereotype of not being for the faint-hearted. As your body gets used to the activity and builds up cardio, this exercise will be strenuous. In these beginning stages, you’re going to need to have a ‘why’ to keep you motivated.

Did you take on this sport to increase your heart health? To gain energy to keep up with your kids? To shed a few pounds? To boost your mood? Whatever it may be, keep this why in your back pocket and think about it on the days you want to quit.

It’s also helpful for beginners to have something to train for! Look for 5k’s or other races in your local area to sign up for with your friends. Find a proper running plan and stick to it for motivation. When training, think about how you feel after you complete the race!

Work Up Slowly

It is critical not to jump straight into running miles at a time when your body isn’t used to it. Ramping up too quickly can lead to injuries such as shin splints, stress fractures, Achilles Tendonitis, and more! Both seasoned and novice runners should be wary of rapidly increasing intensity. Beginner runners can start with run-walk running intervals to ease into things.

Runner’s World suggests following the 10-15 rule. Here, athletes will calculate 10-15% of what they want their weekly mileage goal to be. Each week they will not exceed that number as they add more miles to their regimen.

If you are training for a competition, look up beginner training plans for whichever type of race you are looking to participate in, so you can safely work to your goal. There are plenty of free online training sources for 3ks, 5ks, 10ks, and half marathons.  As you start working up to longer distances, be sure to incorporate plenty of walk breaks.

If you are running for exercise, always listen to your body. If something feels off, ensure that you take a break.

Find Specific Running Shoes for Your Foot Type

Everybody’s foot structure is different. Of course, you should always wear shoes specific to your sport, but finding footwear that supports your foot type will help prevent injuries and keep you running longer. Contact your podiatrist, who can give you recommendations on shoes or customized orthotic inserts to support your high or low arches!

Alternatively, you can head to your local running store, where staff can measure your foot and walking patterns. They will make suggestions on shoes according to what they have in stock. It may also be advised for you to select a pair that is half a size larger than usual. Here, your feet have a bit more space for wiggle room as you move.

Remember to replace your shoes after running 300 to 500 miles. In addition, you should also consider replacing footwear when you develop new aches or form new blisters. The soles wear down and give you less support. It is recommended to track your runs on apps like Nike Run Club or your smartwatch to keep motivated and have visibility over your total mileage!

Mix Up Where You Run

One of the best advantages of running is that you can do it almost anywhere! Therefore, mixing up where you run will prepare you to perform on a variety of terrains. At first, runners should take extra care in listening to their bodies to feel out which surfaces feel best in their feet and legs. There are different pro’s and con’s to different terrains, such as:

  • Asphalt and Concrete: These are some of the most common terrains for runners as they exercise through their neighborhoods, cities, and paved parks. While these roads are great for convenience, the repetitive hard impact on these surfaces can cause injuries like stress fractures, shin splints, heel pain, or other foot problems.
  • Grass and Mountain Trails: These soft surfaces are much kinder to your bones and joints and help cushion your feet! However, runners should be wary of slippery mud and uneven surfaces to avoid sprained ankles.
  • Treadmill: Many turn to this device in the cold winter months when running outside seems unbearable. While running in the same spot can be boring after a while, newer treadmills provide cushions and springs on their track that can help with impact.

Try out these different terrains and see what works best for you. Never force your body to endure something that doesn’t feel right!

Warm-up, Cool-down, and Cross-train

Proper running etiquette includes taking time to warm up, cool down, and implement other training! Your body will protest if you jump straight into running without doing anything else. Taking on these extra steps helps prevent injury and will help you with performance.

Warming-up: When you warm up, you help loosen up your muscles and joints before taking on this strenuous activity. Oxygen is more easily distributed throughout the body due to increased blood flow. Therefore, you will be more limber and reduce your risk of injury and side stitches on your run.

When warming up, ensure you are performing dynamic repetitions instead of static drills. Dynamic exercises are active stretches that help develop the joint’s full range of motion and get the heart rate up. Follow along with this five-minute dynamic warm-up video before your next run.

Cooling-down: Stretch after exercising to avoid injury and reduce soreness. You have the opportunity to increase your flexibility since your muscles are looser after a run. Here is the time to incorporate static stretching where you hold a single pose for a period of time (typically 30-60 seconds). Follow along with this post-run stretching video for a better recovery.

Cross-training: To become a better runner, you will need to implement cross-training into your routine. Mixing up your workouts decreases boredom and helps you increase your overall health by working out different areas of your body. Supplement your training with at least 30 minutes of other activities you might want to try. This could include

Cross TrainingNot only does a variety of training keep things interesting, but it helps reduce injury too. Therefore try out different things and find what you enjoy!

You don’t have to participate in marathons to be considered a runner. Begin your journey today by starting small and taking the time to work your way up. All you need to do is put one foot in front of the other!

Are you wondering if you are healthy enough to start running or have any more questions about this process? Contact our office, and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have! What is your motivation to run? Let me know on Twitter!

Tips for Summer Foot Care

Six Tips for Summer Foot Care

By General Podiatry, Health & Wellness

The summer season is coming in hot. Of course, we all want to show off our favorite sandals at the pool or beach, but to do that, we must keep our feet healthy during these hot and humid months! While it’s great that we finally get to let our toes breathe from our sweaty winter boots, we now have to take precautions such as keeping our bare feet away from infection and protecting them from the sun. Before you feel that ocean breeze, let’s put your mind at ease with six tips for summer foot care! 

 

1. Sunscreen is Key 

 

We all know that slathering SPF on our face and bodies protects us from things like cancer and wrinkles, but how often do we tend to our toes when we soak up the sun? The tops of our feet directly face the sun as we walk around in our flip-flops, so applying sunscreen there when we leave the house is essential. You also have a better chance of avoiding those sandal tan lines! 

 

Ensure that you regularly inspect both the tops and bottoms of your feet for abnormal freckles or moles, and call your doctor if something doesn’t look right. Podiatry Today recommends finding a sunscreen that protects you from both UV-A and UV-B rays. UV-B rays are correlated with burning, while UV-A is associated with aging. In addition, repetitive exposure to UV-A rays can link to long-term damage such as cataracts or immune system damage. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen with at least 30 SPF and is classified as “Broad Spectrum.”  

 

2. Keep Your Bare Feet Away From Infections. 

 

Our office sees bacterial, fungal, and viral foot infections in the summer months more often than any other time of year! This is because bare feet are exposed to all of the germs, bacteria, and fungus in public places. These offenders are the culprits of infections such as Athlete’s Foot and Plantar Warts. If you choose to take a dip at the public pool this summer, make sure you wear shoes with thick soles to walk around. If your kids are heading off to summer camp, pack them a pair of protective shoes to wear in shared shower areas and pools. 

 

When you arrive home from your activities, wash your feet with soap and warm water and ensure they are thoroughly dried with a towel. Don’t forget to get in-between the toes! Disinfect your gear with wipes or spray after the gym or any other sweaty location that fungus and bacteria lurk around. Consider disinfecting your feet with anti-fungal spray. It’s worth it to take care to prevent these infections so you can spend your summer days relaxing. If you find yourself with itchy, red, or scaly feet, call our office to treat it early! 

 

3. Break-in Your Sandals to Avoid Blisters 

 

We are all thrilled to lock away our winter boots for the time being. However, if you decide to treat yourself to a new pair of sandals or flip-flops for the new season, look out for blisters! Before wearing them out on a summer adventure, be sure to bend and stretch them around at home first. This way, they will conform to your feet easier. You can also check out these seven remedies for stretching out shoes, such as blow-drying them or even putting them in the freezer! If you are looking for a new pair of summer shoes, look for footwear with good arch support.   

 

4. Keep Your Feet Clean and Cool with Proper Sock Care 

 

Don’t trap your feet in their own sweat during these steamy and humid months! Wearing proper socks to keep your feet cool is fundamental to avoid stinky feet. Feel free to lock away those wool socks with your winter boots and break out your thinner cotton socks. If you are out exercising in the hot sun, consider wearing performance-based socks that are ventilated to avoid swampy feet altogether! 

 

Even if you aren’t an athlete, your feet give off a lot of sweat throughout the day. So be sure that you are washing your socks after each use to keep everything smelling fresh. It’s also a good idea to remove socks and shoes when you get home to let your feet air out properly. Letting your toes fester in the sweat can lead to Athlete’s Foot and other infections. Place a fan by your bed and sleep with your feet out of the covers to cool them down at night! 

 

5. Stay Hydrated. 

 

Drinking water should always be a priority for overall excellent health and to keep yourself glowing. It is easy to dehydrate in the summer, especially if we are spending our days in the hot sun. When you drink more water, you increase blood flow. Since our extremities are the furthest part of our bodies from our heart, blood circulation is vital to flush toxins out. In addition, drinking enough water reduces swelling. When feet are inflamed, they are more prone to injury and chronic pain. By staying hydrated, you reduce your chances of these injuries! 

Pedicure health

6. Pamper Yourself Properly  

 

If a trip to the spa or the nail salon is on your itinerary this season, look for appropriate measures are taken to avoid toenail infections. For example, when getting a pedicure, be sure that nail clippers and files are properly sanitized. The fungus is transferred through these tools, so new or disinfected tools are essential. Also, remove toenail polish frequently to give your nail beds a break. Indulge in at-home remedies for foot care such as an Epsom Salt foot soak or an oatmeal and brown sugar foot mask! 

 

Whether your plans for the summer include vacations or working from home, have peace of mind by taking these measures. Take simple care by applying sunscreen, protecting your feet from infection, wearing proper shoes and socks, and staying hydrated. If you have any questions about summer foot care Contact Us or schedule an appointment here if you notice anything abnormal! 

Covid related foot problems from working at home

COVID Related Foot Problems

By General Podiatry

Quarantine can be very bad for your feet, and COVID related foot problems have certainly increased this past year. Much has been made about the casual comfort and convenience of working from home during the COVID quarantine. People are Zoom ready with a nice shirt or blouse on the top, sweatpants on the bottom, and no need for shoes whatsoever. It’s great to have such a relaxed wardrobe and no dry-cleaning bills. We’ve paid so much attention to protecting ourselves from the virus. But we may be overlooking a very important foundational part of our bodies – our feet.

Nobody’s Wearing Arch Supports

We are spending so much time indoors that we have ditched our shoes for extended periods of time during quarantine. Flimsy slippers, flat flip flops, or walking barefoot all the time provide zero support for our feet or the rest of our body. This can lead to some pretty severe foot problems like tendinitis and plantar fasciitis. Without supportive shoes, ligaments stretch out, arches begin to fall, and even putting on regular shoes can be painful. The evidence is in how much the pandemic has shifted our shoe buying habits. Sales of shoes were down 70 percent from March through May of last year, according to NPD, a national market-research firm.

Going barefoot is the worst thing you can do. It puts increased stress on the ligaments, tendons, and around the ball of the foot, which should always be supported and cushioned from the impact of walking. People with high arches are also more prone to various foot conditions because there’s extra pressure on the ball of the foot that supportive shoes help alleviate. Doctors are also seeing a lot of foot injuries from people going barefoot who can’t even navigate their homes and fracture their toes from stubbing them up against furniture and corners.

Working Out Can Cause Foot Problems

Because fitness centers and recreational sports centers are closed, we must now work out at home. It’s never a good idea to work out without the proper footwear, but experts are seeing this more and more. People are running and walking outside without the correct shoes, and because they have been barefoot or in slippers for long periods of time, when they try to do something rigorous with their feet, it leads to injury and chronic foot conditions.

Flintstone Feet

“Flintstone Feet” is the new term for how coronavirus lockdown is destroying our feet. It refers to the stone-age cartoon about a prehistoric family living before shoes are invented. If you’ve never seen the cartoon, here’s a hint, the characters have flat, huge, wide feet that they even use to power their cars! We don’t recommend that.

Flintstone Feet

What we do recommend is being aware of your feet and how shoes affect them. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t get Flintstone Feet:

  • Be aware of the importance of supporting your feet. If you don’t, gravity can take hold and cause problems
  • Wear a supportive shoe, even at home. Don’t go barefoot or wear flip-flops that do not have arch support.
  • Get the right shoe for whatever exercise you choose – running, walking, tennis. They all have different levels of support.
  • Make sure you change your exercise routine to minimize overuse injuries.
  • Get treatment immediately if you injure yourself. Do not overwork a foot injury.
  • Gaining weight in lockdown is a real issue. If you gain a significant amount of weight, your shoes may not fit properly.

Once we are given the all clear to get back to work, there shouldn’t be any major adjustments to your footwear. It’s important to take your time. Get used to wearing regular shoes by doing it slowly and switching it up throughout the week or even daily. If you have any questions please feel free to Contact Us for more information. You can also Schedule an Appointment to see Dr. Caruso if you are experiencing any of the above COVID related foot problems.

Diabetes and your feet

Diabetes and Your Feet

By General Podiatry, Health & Wellness

According to the CDC, over 100 million Americans currently have diabetes or prediabetes. The most common (and dangerous) type of diabetes, Type 2, occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin. Or, when your pancreas can’t produce enough of it.

The body needs a certain amount of insulin in order to function properly. Insulin allows the cells within your body to absorb glucose, which provides energy. When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, glucose can’t move freely around these cells, causing high glucose levels within the body that can eventually lead to diabetes.

Common Signs of Diabetes

Diabetes affects people differently. Not everyone has the same signs. But, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Constant thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue
  • Very dry skin
  • Sores that heal slowly

Another common sign of diabetes is the feeling of numbness in your hands or feet. If you’ve been a diabetic for a while, you have probably already heard about the importance of taking care of your feet. But, do you know why?

That numbness/tingling sensation in your feet isn’t just annoying. It can create major issues, and some people can develop serious foot problems or may even have to lose a toe or a foot.

That shouldn’t scare you. Instead, it should let you know how important it is to consistently monitor your feet, and how important it is to take proper care of them.

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet?

One of the risks of diabetes is nerve damage. As stated above, that damage is often most notable in the hands and feet. This is a condition known as diabetic neuropathy. This condition can cause you to lose feeling in your feet, which makes it easier to get injured. For example, if you happen to get a cut or scrape on your foot, you may not feel it, so you won’t pay attention to it. As a result, it can become easily infected and lead to even bigger problems.

Your risk of infection is often greater if you have diabetes because it can slow down blood flow to your feet. So, not only is it easier for a sore to get infected, but it’s often harder to treat. An infection that doesn’t heal can lead to gangrene, which is often when a toe or the foot itself needs to be amputated.

How to Check Your Feet Each Day

One of the easiest ways to prevent foot issues when you have diabetes is to check the condition of your feet every day. While even just giving them a quick glance-over is better than nothing, it’s easier if you know what to look for. Pay close attention to things like:

  • Red spots
  • Sores
  • Cuts/scrapes
  • Swelling
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Calluses
  • Warm spots

A warm spot or area somewhere on your foot can sometimes be an indicator of a blister or ulcer that is just starting. Catching it early can make it easier to treat.

If you want more information on how to thoroughly examine your feet, check out the video below from The University of Vermont Medical Center.

How to Take Care of Your Feet

In addition to examining your feet each day, there are regular care activities that you should perform to keep your feet in good shape and to remain healthy. Thankfully, if you put these practices into your normal routine, they won’t take much time, and they can make a big difference in your overall foot health.

Wash Your Feet Each Day

How often do you take the time to actually wash your feet when you’re in the shower or bath? You should be spending a few minutes each day actually washing then with warm (not hot) water, especially between your toes.

Perhaps just as important as washing them is drying them thoroughly. Moisture that gets trapped on your feet or between your toes can lead to fungal infections. Additionally, if your feet tend to get sweaty throughout the day, sprinkling them with a bit of talcum powder can help to keep them dry and reduce the risk of a fungus.

Trim Your Toenails the Right Way

Many people think you’re supposed to trim your toenails in a “curved” shape to match the toes themselves. But, this can put you at a greater risk of experiencing an ingrown toenail, which can lead to different types of infections. You also risk cutting your skin.

Instead, trim your toenails straight across and smooth them out with an emery board. If you choose to get a pedicure somewhere, it’s a smart idea to bring your own tools along, rather than risk using tools that could be contaminated.

Protect Your Feet

When you have diabetes, protecting your feet every day should be a top priority. For starters, make sure you’re wearing shoes and/or socks as often as possible – even in your own home.

When you walk around barefoot, you’re at a greater risk of stepping on something or cutting your skin. As you now know, that can lead to an infection, which could cause even bigger issues. Just make sure you’re wearing shoes that allow your feet to “breathe,” so moisture doesn’t accumulate inside.

In addition to protecting your feet from objects, it’s also important to protect them from extreme temperatures. Put sunscreen on your feet if they’re exposed outside, don’t dip them into extremely hot water, and wear shoes on hot sand or pavement.

Keeping fit and healthy for diabetes preventionBoosting Circulation to Your Feet

Finally, you can take care of your feet by keeping the blood flowing. There are easy ways to do this, including:

  • Propping your feet up when you’re sitting
  • Remaining physically active
  • Moving your ankles and toes throughout the day

If you’re experiencing any diabetic foot problems or pain, the best thing you can do is to see a doctor immediately. If you’re concerned about the general care and health of your feet as a diabetic, feel free to contact Caruso Foot and Ankle to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. We are happy to work with you to ensure your feet stay healthy – so the rest of you remains healthy, too!

Plantar Warts in the Summer

Don’t Let Plantar Warts Spoil Your Fun

By General Podiatry

There is nothing more exciting than the first rush of spring and summer. We clean out the cobwebs of winter, brush ourselves off, and head outside for any number of activities. The last thing we want to think about is plantar warts. But the risk of walking around barefoot, using public showers and pools, and cutting your foot or hand, can be the culprit in many cases of plantars warts.

What are Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts are a viral infection within the skin. The warts are caused by the HPV or human papillomavirus. There are many different strains of the HPV virus, only a few which cause warts on the feet. Other types of HPV are more likely to cause warts on other areas of your skin or on mucous membranes. Typically, plantar warts are non-cancerous and are not harmful.

The infection gains access to the skin through direct contact by means of an open cut or wound or by direct or indirect contact with someone who has a wart. For instance, a child with a wart on their hand may touch a piece of playground equipment and when another child touches that surface, the wart spreads to that child. Another way, as mentioned above is using public showers at pools or waterparks without wearing shoes. Wart

 

What Do They Look Like?

Plantar warts are small and can appear as little black dots first, growing to the size of a pencil eraser and sometimes can grow in clusters; those are called mosaic warts. They are usually flat with a smooth surface and have a gray-yellow or brown color. Plantar warts usually appear on the heel and ball of the foot or other areas of pressure. It’s a good idea to have suspicious growths examined by a doctor because a variety of more serious lesions can appear on the foot and be misidentified as a wart.

Plantar warts on the bottom of the feet

What are the Treatment Options?

There are a variety of ways to treat plantar warts. First and foremost, it’s not fast and easy and can take up to a few weeks to a few months because the warts lie deep within the skin layers. Unlike other types of viruses that the body can recognize and fight, the wart shields itself in the skin so the body can’t detect it. So treatment can be difficult. The recurrence rate can be higher or lower depending on the treatment type, and immunity can be an issue.

Acid treatment is most often used in our office and requires a few applications. If the wart is more stubborn, anesthetizing and cutting out the wart is also an option.

Many people will opt for over-the-counter (OTC) ointments and liquids. However, serious problems can occur with prolonged use of overly aggressive OTC treatments (more than two weeks). Skin irritation, infection, pain and scarring are a few. OTC medications are also not recommended for infants, people with diabetes, or other circulation problems.

Tips to Avoid Plantar Warts

  • Avoid walking barefoot in public showers or at pools or water park bathrooms (beach walking is fine)
  • Change shoes and socks daily and avoid sharing socks, shoes and showering facilities
  • Keep feet clean and dry
  • Check your children’s feet regularly during warm weather months
  • Don’t touch warts on other people
  • Don’t scratch warts or they will spread
  • Warts should be covered with waterproof tape in wet environments and swimming pools to avoid infection and infecting others
  • Do not ignore growths on, or changes in the skin

What to Expect If You Get a Wart

Roughly 60 percent of plantar warts disappear on their own in what is called “spontaneous remission.” This happens because the body’s immune system takes action to kill the virus. But if stubborn warts don’t go away and are left untreated, they can grow up to one inch across and spread into clusters and cause pain, swelling, or bleeding.

Warts can also grow back after treatment and this indicates that the virus is still present. This is not serious, but the warts can spread to other parts of the body, particularly if they are scratched because blood from the wart contains the virus and can cause a new warts to grow. The best advice is to seek treatment and as soon as you notice the signs of a growth or the “black seed” of a wart.

Please feel free to Contact Us with any questions about plantar warts, or you can Make An Appointment to see Dr. Caruso.

COVID-19 Operating Hours and Telemedicine Information

By General Podiatry

Caruso Foot & Ankle is open during the current COVID-19 pandemic. We are working to ensure proper precautions, protocols, and resources are in place to provide safe care to those who need it.

If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, or have symptoms that may indicate exposure, please CONTACT US before seeking care in person.

Our current office hours are:

Monday: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Tuesday: 1:15 PM – 7:30 PM

Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Thursday: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Friday: 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM

All other days are currently for emergencies only. If you have a critical emergency call 911 immediately. For after hours, non-life threatening emergencies please call 732-366-9866 and follow the prompts to be connected to the doctor.

Winter Sports Injuries

Winter Sports Injuries and How to Avoid Them

By Health & Wellness

Whether you exercise in the summer or winter, healthy feet keep you active. Most people associate many foot problems with summer. But foot problems can also arise in the winter if the feet are not properly cared for. Winter sports injuries can include blisters, strains, sprains, calluses, athlete’s foot, frostbite and even fractures.

Hitting The Slopes

One of the most exhilarating winter sports is skiing. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned skier, it’s important to make sure you are in good shape for the sport. This means that you will need to train properly before you hit the slopes. To get in shape, and to prevent winter sports injuries, experts recommend strength training. Focus on your quads, glutes, hip muscles, back, neck, and core. It’s also essential to stretch right before any type of physical activity.  In cold weather, muscles take longer to warm up.

It’s important to wear properly fitted ski boots and adding insoles for support.  The right footwear will also ward off a host of other foot problems such as blisters and calluses. The warm, moist environment of ski boots is the perfect breeding ground for athlete’s foot too. Make sure you invest in a few pairs of thick nylon, acrylic, polyester or even merino wool socks like Smartwool. They will keep your feet at the right temperature. Also, moisturize your skin regularly, because dry, cracked skin, will lead to painful heel cracks and calluses.

Winter Appropriate Gear

If you not a skier, and just enjoy taking long walks in the winter, it’s also important to dress appropriately. Wear properly-fitted footwear that will keep you from falling.  You may want to use ice grips or traction devices that easily attach to the bottoms of shoes or boots to help prevent slipping on icy surfaces. If you go ice skating and are wearing rental ice skates, it’s important to get fitted and wear thick padded socks to prevent rubbing, and to lace the skates up tightly around the ankle to prevent sprains.

Ice Skating Ankle InjuryAlso, the right socks, boots, and shoes will make all the difference in not only your level of enjoyment and your workout, but your safety. Boots and shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause calluses or blisters as your feet are exposed to repeated friction or pressure as you move.  A good way to prevent or avoid foot problems such as blisters is to make sure you wash your feet every day and dry them thoroughly after you exercise. If you have diabetes or peripheral arterial disease you are also at higher risk for frostbite because the circulation to your legs and feet may be compromised.

Ice Skating Clothing and Proper Fitting Ice SkatesKnee and Ankle Injuries

Winter sports can also be hard on your ankles and knees. Your ankles and knees act as both your shock absorbers and your brakes as you ski, skate, or snowboard, and they also help you steer and accelerate when whizzing down the slopes or circling an ice-skating rink, so they must be protected.  It is recommended to use knee braces for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.

To reduce your chance of suffering a knee inquiry, always make sure your ski bindings are property adjusted for your skill level. The higher your ability, the tighter your bindings should be.  And, if possible, work on falling to the side instead of backwards or forwards because this is less traumatic for your knees. Ankle sprains and fractures are more common in snowboarders because they do more twisting. A good way to avoid ankle injuries is to work on your balance proprioception with a wobble board. Wearing sports insoles, and/or ankle tape can also help prevent winter sports injuries as well.

Protect Yourself

We’ve talked about protection and touched on prevention. But one of the one of the most important things you need to do is to wear a helmet. A minor fall can turn into a major injury when your head is involved. And, if you are injured, don’t let it go. Follow up and visit your doctor as soon as possible. Because a minor pain can turn into something bigger if it’s not addressed.

Child Ski Boots and GearPlease feel free to Contact Us with any questions on winter sports injuries of the foot and ankle, or you can Make An Appointment to see Dr. Caruso.

Kinesio Taping on Runners Ankle

Kinesio Taping

By Running

Kinesio Taping is Not Just for Olympic Athletes

In a climate where athletes compete and win or lose within a fraction of a second, it was once believed to be a disadvantage if someone thought that you had an injury. Taping yourself up wasn’t something you wanted anyone to see. It was like telling your competitors that you had physical limitations. Today, all of that has changed.

If you’ve watched the Olympics you’ve likely seen plenty of brightly colored tape on the arms and legs of many top athletes. It is called Kinesio Tape, and it was invented by a Japanese chiropractor named Kenzo Kase in the 1970s. One example of a good brand of kinesio tape is Rocktape. While its main purpose is to decrease discomfort from injuries, Kinesio taping is a workhorse and doesn’t stop there. Kinesio tape supports muscles and joints and stabilizes them without restricting motion. It also decreases inflammation by microscopically lifting the skin, which helps to increase circulation and movement of lymphatic fluid, accelerating healing.

Today, upwards of 85 percent of Kinesio taping applications are used with the general patient population for rehabilitative purposes. Practitioners who routinely use it believe that it helps facilitate the body’s natural healing process. It does this by allowing free movement of lymphatic fluid and reducing friction between the tissues in the skin. Its benefits offer a patient support during an injury and better outcomes for rehabilitation.

Kinesio Taping for Plantar Fasciitis 

If you are feeling foot pain on the underside of your heel, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. As part of your physical therapy plan for plantar fasciitis, there are many different modalities of treatment and Kinesio taping can be part of your successful rehabilitation. The treatments focus on managing the pain and inflammatory process and the underlying causes. Kinesio tape works to stabilize the fascia ligament to promote healing. The main goals of using kinesiology tape for plantar fasciitis include:

  • Decrease pain
  • Take the pressure off of your plantar fascia
  • Support your foot’s natural arch
  • Facilitate muscles surrounding your foot to provide more support

By using kinesiology tape on your foot, you may be able to provide better support to your arch and decrease the pain and pressure on the plantar fascia. This may help you return to normal walking and running sooner.

Kinesio Taping for Tendonitis

Here at Caruso Foot & Ankle, we see a variety of tendonitis conditions including Achilles tendonitis, posterior tibial tendonitis, peroneal tendonitis, and others. All of these conditions occur either on the outer, inner, or back of the ankle, and/or on the top of the foot. Tendonitis is one of the most common causes of foot and ankle pain. It occurs when there is overuse during activities or stress put on the leg, foot or ankle such as during running.

In many cases, an effective option for tendonitis is Kinesio taping. Kinesio taping helps with tendonitis because it is very thin and elastic and can be applied over the injury. It helps to stabilize your foot and prevent any unhealthy movements. Unlike traditional tape, Kinesio tape’s elasticity allows for motion within healthy limits. It can be worn longer than traditional tape and helps to prevent further injury. This may allow you to return earlier to running and everyday activities.

This article is part of our Discussion Series on Running Injuries. If you have questions about kinesio taping and believe it could help you, feel free to Contact Us with questions or you can Make An Appointment to see Dr. Caruso.

Callused feet

Calluses

By General Podiatry, Running

Most of us can remember running around barefoot when we were young. Shoes seemed like such a hindrance! As we get older though, shoes are a necessity for overall health and mobility. And while good fitting shoes are important, many foot maladies are often caused by boney prominences consistent with underlying foot deformities.  These deformities along with thinning skin layers can increase the risk and frequency of calluses. Read More

Proper Footwear and Health

Proper Footwear Is Essential To Overall Health

By Health & Wellness, Running

The average person will walk 150,000 miles in their lifetime. That’s the equivalent of walking around the earth six times. So, an important question becomes: When is the last time you thought about proper footwear and the health of your feet as the key to your overall physical and mental health?

Proper Footwear And Your Health

It may seem like a strange question but think about what your life would be like if you could only walk or stand for short periods of time without pain. Limited mobility would affect your independence by impeding your physical activities and curtailing your social life. Unfortunately, it happens every day. We are constantly bombarded with messages about our blood pressure, cholesterol levels, the importance of a healthy diet and even how to feed our brains to ward off dementia, but we rarely get messages about foot health. The foot is a biomedical marvel with 26 bones and 33 joints, working together to provide balance, stability, and locomotion. Today, start thinking about the shoes that you wear as shock absorbers, much like the shocks on your car.

Footwear is your first line of defense against the wear and tear of an active lifelong lifestyle. Proper footwear provides not only protection, but helps you maintain your balance and posture and prevent falls. They also help prevent conditions such as bunions, plantar fasciitis and calluses. A good pair of shoes or sneakers helps reduce the impact of your step, which is 1.5 times your body weight if you are walking and 7.9 times your body weight if you are running.

What Does Proper Footwear Feel Like?

That depends on what you are doing. Footwear has come a long way over the last twenty years. You can now buy shoes tailored to specific activities such as running, walking or tennis. The rule of thumb is that if you are doing the same kind of exercise three times a week, then buy the shoe for that exercise. A great shoe will fit you properly and be comfortable to wear. It will have good arch support and leave enough room for you to move your toes. The rule of thumb here is to bend the shoe to make sure that it is not too flexible, because that indicates a lack of support. You should also never buy a pair of shoes that feel uncomfortable in the store. The old wives’ tale that you “can break them in” has led to much misery and unworn shoes!

Orthotics And Arch Support

Powersteps arch supports

If you have fallen arches, high arches or plantar fasciitis, you should be fitted for orthotics by a physician. The consensus for orthotics is that if you have constant foot, hip or knee pain, custom orthotics may be necessary. If orthotics are not available to you, try a podiatry approved insert like Powersteps as a good alternative. With or without orthotics, it’s important to replace old shoes every four to five months. Check the midsole of the shoe because it shows damage sooner than the bottom tread.

Even if you’re not an athlete it’s important to make sure that you make proper footwear a part of your wardrobe. Invest in good quality shoes, there are many styles, aside from athletic shoes, on the market today. Form has in fact caught up with function. It used to be rare to be able to find built in arch support in dress or casual shoes. However that is an option now in many brands of shoes. It’s helpful to stick with brands that you know work for you.

This article is part of the Discussion Series on Running Injuries. Please feel free to Contact Us with any questions or you can Make An Appointment to see Dr. Caruso.

Stretching and foot health

The Importance Of Stretching For Healthy Feet

By Health & Wellness, Running

Remember those gym classes in junior high and high school? Back in the day, a gym teacher was always a pumped-up fitness jock who took themselves and exercise very seriously. You, on the other hand, were just there to hang out with friends and hopefully, not be chosen last for any of the teams. Surprisingly, it was probably there that you developed a lifelong flirtation with exercise. One thing we weren’t taught in those classes is the importance of stretching for healthy feet. For athletes and moderate exercisers alike, (even if you just walk a mile a day), the benefits of moving provide a big payoff in the health lottery.  Yet to keep mobility, you must be mindful of how you treat your feet, and prepare them a lifetime of movement.

Stretching For Healthy Feet

One of the most overlooked benefits of stretching is foot health. We demand a lot from our feet and use them extensively every single day. According to the College of Podiatry, “a person will walk an estimated 150,000 miles in their lifetime“, roughly the equivalent of walking around the world six times! All that stress of carrying you around takes its toll and puts your feet at special risk for injuries or inflammation. Thus the importance of stretching for healthy feet.

Some common foot problems are Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, Posterior Tibial Tendonitis and many others. Improper footwear is also a big culprit in foot problems and pain. Most foot exercises are simple and easy to do and increase the range of motion in the feet. They say that “age makes us all equal” and that is nowhere truer than foot health. The feet are a marvel and contain 26 bones, 42 muscles, 33 joints and 50 ligaments and when healthy, work like a well-oiled machine to get you where you are going.

The importance of stretching as we age

Exercise philosophy has come a long way, and we now understand that stretching is an important part of any exercise or rehabilitation program. The “warm up” as stretching is known, keeps the muscles flexible, healthy, and strong and we need that to maintain a range of motion in our joints. If we don’t stretch our muscles shorten and become tight and when that happens, one wrong move can spell trouble. As we age, this flexibility can be the difference between an active or inactive daily lifestyle. Flexible muscles help you bend down to pick up that package, play with your grandchildren, or catch your dog as it runs away from you. Stretching improves circulation and increases blood flow to your muscles. It also improves posture by keeping your muscles loose, and good posture is important in keeping aches and pain away and preventing falls as you get older.

Some tips to successful stretching for healthy feet include:

  • Focusing on major muscles groups such as the feet, calves, hips, back, shoulders and neck
  • Perform exercises such as:
    • Calf and heel stretches
    • Towel stretch
    • Toe curls
    • A yoga pose called Virasana or the “hero’s pose”
    • You can Contact Us for additional guidance and stretching exercises
  • Don’t bounce. Bouncing can tear muscles and cause tight muscles
  • If it hurts, stop. Pain means you are pushing too far
  • Hold stretches for 30 seconds
  • Relax and breathe deeply as you stretch, take your time
  • Make this time a daily meditation and an important part of a healthy lifestyle

This article is part of the Discussion Series on Running Injuries. Please feel free to Contact Us with any questions or you can Make An Appointment to see Dr. Caruso.

 

Shin Splints

Shin Splints

By Running

Many of us remember shin splints from our childhood after a day spent in the park, playing tennis on asphalt courts with thin soled rubber tennis shoes or after running for hours through the neighborhood with our friends. Once we got home, our shins were on fire and we didn’t know why. As we got older, we were more careful before physical activities, taking time to stretch before we exercised. Yet, shin splints still occur and are one of the most common complaints we hear from our patients. Read More

Runner with pain due to a neuroma

Neuroma (Pinched Nerve)

By General Podiatry

What is a Neuroma?

Basically, a neuroma (commonly called a pinched nerve) is a thickening of nerve tissue. A neuroma can form in various areas of the body, but the most common neuroma in the foot is called Morton’s neuroma. This condition is named after the American surgeon Thomas George Morton (1835-1903) who published the first complete description of this particular neuroma. The term intermetatarsal neuroma describes its most common location between the third and fourth toe bones (metatarsals).  Read More

metatarsal joint pain

Metatarsalgia

By General Podiatry

What is Metatarsalgia?

The structure of your feet is very complicated, and it’s an amazing fact that they contain a quarter of the bones in your entire body. Among these bones are the five long metatarsals that run from the arch to your toes. They are very important bones as they act as shock absorbers when the foot is in motion. The metatarsal head refers to the top of each metatarsal. Pain in the ball of the foot can happen when one or more metatarsal heads becomes inflamed. The pain can be caused by a number of different underlying conditions and is known by the general term of metatarsalgia. Read More

ankle posterior tibial tendonitis

Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

By General Podiatry

Sharp pains in your arch or inner ankle? Popping sensations? Sore to the touch? These are all signs you might have posterior tibial tendonitis!

Posterior tibial tendonitis is a common runner’s injury that can stop you in your tracks and make you wonder if you will ever run pain free again. Never fear though we can help you can back on track, literally! Read More

Peroneal Tendonitis Running

Peroneal Tendonitis

By Running

 

Runners expect a certain risk with their sport, such as all athletes do, and they know that there is a chance that they may end up as one of the many injured runners. You expect you might end up with runner’s knee or other common ailment, but sometimes the pain that you are experiencing doesn’t seem to fit any of the usual categories, and a search for similar injuries just doesn’t seem to come up with much. If so, you might have Peroneal Tendonitis. Read More

Frostbite

Frostbite

By Health & Wellness

Frostbite

With the bomb cyclone and severe winter temperatures over the weekend, frostbite is definitely something to worry about. But what exactly is frostbite? Here we discuss frostbite symptoms, prevention measures and how to treat frostbite.

Read More

Achilles Tendonitis on Runner

Achilles Tendonitis

By Running

Achilles Tendonitis

For any of these conditions, Stretching, Arch Support and Supportive Shoes are three factors that help prevent and mitigate these injuries.

As mentioned in my post about Plantar Fasciitis, heel pain is one of the most common conditions I treat in my office on a regular basis. One of the causes of heel pain at the back of the heel and running up the ankle is Achilles Tendonitis. Read More

Runner with Plantar Fasciitis

Heel Pain – Plantar Fasciitis

By Running

 Heel Pain – Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain is one of the most common conditions I treat in my office on a regular basis. The pain can occur at the side, back or bottom of the heel. Runners are especially susceptible to heel pain from overuse. It occurs as a result of pulling or tearing of the ligament that spans from the heel to the forefoot called the plantar fascia. Read More

Blister on a runners heel

Friction – Blisters

By Running

Friction – i.e. Blisters

Some of you runners may be familiar with the picture of running a long distance during a race and then starting to feel sharp stinging sensations in your feet. Sometimes the pain can be so severe, you have to stop for a bit, which can be frustrating because it slows you down.  I have personally volunteered in medical tents during races and had to treat some pretty painful blisters. So why do some runners get bad blisters and others don’t? What causes them, how do you treat them, and how can you prevent them from occurring?

Read More

Ingrown Toenails and Other Nail Related Injuries

By General Podiatry, Running

Ingrown Toenails and Other Nail Related Injuries

As an avid runner, I know all too well that toenail injuries are likely to occur. I have experienced some of this myself, and after a long race, I usually take off my sneakers to assess the damage. Whether it’s ingrown toenails, hematomas, or other nail deformities, these common injuries are a part of many runners’ lives. As part of the Discussion Series on Running Injuries, here we discuss a few very common toenail injuries.  Read More

marathon runners

Discussion Series on Running Injuries

By Health & Wellness, Running

Running Injuries Presentation for the FARC

Running Injuries Freehold, NJRecently Dr. Caruso was invited by the Freehold Area Running Club (FARC) to give a presentation on the prevention and treatment of running related foot injuries. It was held immediately after one of their local running events at the Michael J. Tighe Park in Freehold, NJ. It was a great opportunity for the FARC members to directly interact with Dr. Caruso with questions and to share their personal experiences with running injuries. Dr. Caruso is an avid runner herself. It was easy to both share her knowledge as a doctor, and share her own personal experiences with foot injuries she has sustained during running events. Read More

CoLig-10

CoLig 10 | Foot Pain Remedy As A Natural Alternative

By Health & Wellness

CoLig 10 Supplement To Relieve Foot Pain

Caruso Foot & Ankle now offers a new treatment for patients with foot pain that prefer something natural. Anti-inflammatories, such as Motrin, Advil, or Aleve, can have unpleasant side effects. These can include painful gastrointestinal ulcers or bleeding. Even if patients take these drugs, they usually do not want to be on them long term. Read More

Caruso Foot and Ankle Logo 611-611

Patient Portal Now Available

By General Podiatry

Access our new patient portal

We’ve just launched our new patient portal which is now available on our website. The portal gives all current patients of Caruso Foot & Ankle access to their health records. Simply log in through the Patient Portal link in the navigation bar at the top of the page at carusofootandankle.com. Follow the instructions to create a new account which will require identity verification to ensure your health records remain safe. If you have any trouble creating an account or need help connecting to the patient portal please contact us here.