Podiatrist in San Leandro, CA
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Posts for: November, 2014

By Dr. Michael Stein
November 28, 2014
Category: Footwear

Protect children's feet with proper bootsHere in the Bay Area we’re blessed with extremely mild temperatures year round. That said, if you want to protect your little one’s feet on chilly, rainy days, you’ll need to invest in a good pair of boots. Now that the winter sports season has officially begun, if you’re looking to make a day or weekend trip with the family out to Bear Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood, or Squaw Valley, you’ll need to invest in a good pair of winter boots. Keep some things in mind when fitting boots on your child.

First, sizing. Boot sizes usually don’t precisely match sizes on your everyday sneakers—particularly winter boots, which feature a thick liner and often have to fit over heavy socks (or an extra pair). When fitting boots in the store, make sure your child is wearing the same kind of socks she might wear up in the mountains on a frigid day. It can also be helpful to remove the liner first and make sure that fits. Once the liner is on, put the boot back on over it (with your little one’s feet still inside) and have your child walk around. The fit should be comfortable, but firm enough that the boot doesn’t slide around. Often, the right fit will be around a size larger than your child’s regular shoes.

You want the entire boot to be fully waterproof and weatherproof to shut out snow, rain, moisture, and cold temperatures. Rubber soles and a tall upper made of a fully weatherproof material is a must. Make sure the soles have plenty of grooves, too—especially for little ones still unsure of their gait. Plenty of traction is mandatory for slippery conditions.

Boots are heavier and bulkier to get on and off than regular shoes, so if your child is still having trouble putting on shoes by himself, or need you to do it for him, you want to pick a style that gets on and off easily. Boots that can open wide and then close via Velcro strap, flap, or zipper will be much easier to pull onto a small, squirmy foot.

If you have any questions or concerns about your little one’s foot health or footwear, call (510) 483-3390 and have the experts at Foot Doctor of the East Bay take a look at your child’s feet. We want you and your whole family looking and feeling great this winter—wherever that winter takes you.

Photo Credit: Clare Bloomfield via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The production on John Simm’s new TV thriller PREY was put on hold after the actor sustained a leg injury during a strenuous scene. According to the Star, the demanding shot involved Simm’s character pulling himself out of a river.

"We were on about the third take of me clambering up this wet verge,” the actor said. “As I launched myself forward my foot slipped and I felt my calf muscle tear." The show’s producers called for shooting to stop so that he could have the injury treated. Simms stated that he never experienced problems before, and he did proper stretching exercises and prepared correctly.

Stretching the feet properly is often key to avoiding injuries. For help learning how to do appropriate stretches, see a podiatrist Dr. Michael Stein of Foot Doctor of the East Bay. Dr. Stein can show you a wide range of techniques you can do to keep your feet flexible and strong.

Stretching Your Feet

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

Good ways to stretch your feet are:

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

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices in San Leandro, Pleasanton, and Los Gatos, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stretching Your Feet

Gait Problems in ChildrenThe San Francisco Bay is famous for the Golden Gate: its deep and powerful currents, its rugged surrounding terrain, and of course, the world’s most famous bridge rising from the fog. It’s an awe-inspiring view, and perhaps the defining symbol of San Francisco (if not California) for almost 80 years. There’s another type of gait that sometimes defines you—like being pigeon toed or knock-kneed. These gait problems can be a source of real concern to parents.

If you’re a new parent, you may have spent a lot of time thinking about the way your toddler ambles about. Learning to walk is a slow process that requires a lot of practice and patience, and kids usually don’t get it quite right the first time. A mild rotation in the upper or lower leg (femoral or tibial torsion) often cause toes to point at an angle, either inward (in-toeing) or outward (out-toeing). Other conditions common in toddlers that can affect walking gait include flat feet, bow legs, knock knees, and walking on toes.

It’s still unclear why some children develop these gait problems and others don’t—heredity or fetal position in the womb may be partly responsible—but the good news is that these conditions rarely require medical treatment. In most cases your child will not experience any pain, will still be able to engage in normal activities, and will grow out of the abnormality by age 4 or 5 as they learn to control their muscles. You will have to keep a close eye on your child. Taking occasional pictures or video of your child walking can help you find out whether the rotation is getting better, staying the same, or worsening over time.

Again, these gait problems are usually nothing to worry about. However, if you do notice that the abnormality is getting worse rather than better, it affects one leg more than the other, your child is experiencing pain, or you haven’t noticed any improvement after your child has been walking for a couple of years, give Foot Doctor of the East Bay a call at (510) 483-3390. Our experts will carefully evaluate your little one’s condition to determine whether a more serious issue requiring treatment is present, or whether your child only needs a little more time and practice to develop that “golden gait.” Visit us in San Leandro, Pleasanton, or Los Gatos, CA.

By Dr. Michael Stein
November 19, 2014
Category: Flat Feet
Tags: Flat Feet   flat arches   arch pain  

There are ways to test yourself for overpronationRunners know the value of a good running specialty store—the staff are specially trained to answer your questions and make solid footwear recommendations based on the needs of your feet, even if you suffer from something like overpronation. Runner’s Factory in Los Gatos, just a few miles from our office, is a great one, though there are others as well.

To put it in simple terms, when you overpronate you excessively roll your feet inward when you transfer weight from your heel to your forefoot, flattening out your arch. In fact, it’s especially common among those with naturally flat feet.

While this is not really an “injury” per se; it throws your whole body out of alignment as you walk or run. Legs, knees, and thighs have to rotate internally in order to compensate, and your muscles and ligaments take on extra stress. As a result, you can develop chronic pain in your feet, ankles, shins, knees, thighs, hips, and even your lower back.

Overpronation also makes you much more susceptible to overuse injuries or other painful foot conditions, especially if you’re a runner or engage regularly in other sports. Some of the most common include shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, bunions, and tarsal tunnel syndrome.

You can test to see if you have flat feet by using the “wet test”: Get your feet wet and stand on a piece of paper; if you can see the impression of the whole footprint, you have low arches and very likely overpronate. Another method is checking the tread wear on your shoes: If you’re grinding down the inside first, it’s a good indication that you’re pronating excessively.

If you notice either of these signs, or are struggling with chronic pain in your feet and ankles, the next step is to call the experts at Foot Doctor of the East Bay for a full evaluation and diagnosis. Fortunately, overpronation is usually treated conservatively via a combination of better shoes and, if necessary, custom-fit orthotics to support the arch and realign your foot. Dial (510) 483-3390 today to set up an appointment at one of our three convenient offices in the East Bay and Silicon Valley.

Photo Credit: lusi via rgbstock.com

By Dr. Michael Stein
November 18, 2014
Category: Flat Feet

Make sure your footwear supports your arch and heelSan Francisco is iconic for its hilly terrain—the crooked bends of Lombard Street, the cable cars running down California Street, buildings that seem to “lean” if you tilt your head to align with the road. These roads have been used in establishing shots in TV and film and have also terrified tourists attempting to navigate them. Of course, those hills might terrify you, too, if the steepness of the grade is in complete contrast to the utter flatness of your arches.

Flat feet don’t always cause problems—many people live healthy and active lives with little pain despite their shallow arches—but sometimes it causes strain on the muscles and ligaments in your feet and legs due to overpronation (that’s when the feet roll too far inward when you walk or run) and uneven weight distribution. Faulty mechanics in your walking gait can throw your whole body out of whack and ultimately result in chronic issues with your ankles, knees, hips, and back, so if you have any pain from flat feet, it’s best to deal with it early.

First, make sure you’re wearing comfortable, supportive shoes in good repair that stabilize your arch and heel. If pain persists, or if you find that the soles of your shoes are wearing quickly or unevenly—overpronaters are especially prone to blowing out their treads at record speed—you may benefit from a pair of custom orthotics. We’ll take precise measurements of your feet and build you a shoe insert that can provide addition support to your arch and ankles and even correct your gait by preventing your feet from rolling too far inward.

Stretching and physical therapy can also help with pain from flat feet, especially if a tight Achilles tendon is contributing to overpronation issues. Leg and calf stretches can be helpful here—with both feet pointed ahead, step forward with one leg, bending at the knee. Keep both feet flat on the ground and the trailing leg straight. Hold the stretch and repeat.

If you have pain from flat feet, don’t trudge through it—you don’t have to feel like you’re climbing Filbert Street all by yourself. Call Foot Doctor of the East Bay at (510) 483-3390 for an evaluation and treatment at one of our three convenient offices—San Leandro, Pleasanton, or Los Gatos, CA.

Photo Credit: artur84 via FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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