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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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Children and adults alike are at a higher risk of injuring their feet or ankles if they do not take preventative measures. Especially when taking part in intense activity like sports, dancing, or playing on the playground, children with weak feet or ankles can incur an injury. 

Even if your children won’t necessarily take part in these types of activities, it’s better safe than sorry, especially because you never know when they may trip or fall from uneven grounds. Because they are still growing and their bones and tissues are still developing, an injury can cause issues with proper development. Injuries to the growth plate can result in complex procedures to fix the problem. 

The following are some flexibility exercises that you and your children can do to lower risk of injury:

  • First and foremost, conditioning is important to ensure that your children are able to safely participate. Cardio and strength training are helpful in activities where they are required to use strength and/or run. 
  • Many Achilles issues can cause ankle issues. The best way to strengthen and stretch the tendon is to do calf stretches. Put your foot up against a stable object (like a wall or couch) with the heel on the ground. Then lean forward to feel the stretch. Do a few reps to get a good stretch.
  • Make circles with your feet at the ankle to increase flexibility in all directions of the ankles. This can be done as a game or while watching TV. 
  • To protect toes, do some exercises with them. Straighten and curl the toes. You can add some challenge to the exercise by picking up and moving a marble or towel from one side to the other. 
  • Some other stretching exercises like yoga and ballet can help children learn proper ways to become more flexible and light on their feet. 

Don’t forget to use proper foot and ankle wear and protective gear. Wearing shoes that are appropriate for activities can help prevent injury. For example, cleats are important to prevent slipping in grass or turf, while hiking shoes help stabilize and protect on uneven hiking trail terrain. Furthermore, your child should stretch and warm up before sports and other vigorous activity. 

Did your child experience an injury while playing sports? Need more information about increasing flexibility? Come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy. Make an appointment today to have their feet assessed and treated with care. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all of Union County! We keep you walking! 

 
By Clark Podiatry Center
August 09, 2017
Tags: Bunions   Orthotics   senior footwear  

For those of you taking care of older loved ones, you probably find yourself doing many things on their behalf: making doctor’s appointments, taking them to the supermarket or buying their groceries, as well as buying their clothing and shoes. All these tasks are not always easy, so we first want to encourage you and acknowledge the great job you’re doing!

Now we want to focus on what to look for when purchasing footwear for older adults. Footwear requirements can change as people age. Bone structures change, and the body, including the feet, can shrink. Because of these possible changes, it’s important to follow these top tips when buying supportive footwear for seniors:

Do your best to take them with you. The best way to buy footwear is to have the older loved one try on shoes (with socks) and walk around in them before buying them.

  • The shoes should be comfortable and fit well. Toes should be able to wiggle, but feet should not slip around inside the shoes. Also, avoid any that feel like they are causing friction.

  • If you cannot take them with you due to time or mobility restrictions, try to find ones that seem to have supportive features. It may help to buy more than one pair so that they can choose at home. Then, you can return the other pair(s).

Buy the shoes according to their needs.

  • Are they going to wear the shoes indoors or outdoors? If they will primarily wear the shoes inside, consider the floor material. If you have carpet, smooth outer soles will prevent tripping, while hardwood floors will require some grip to prevent slips.

  • Do they need shoes with wide toe boxes due to bunions? Some foot deformities make the feet wider, but not longer. It may be tempting to buy a size up, but that can cause tripping. Instead, look for the wide sizes, indicated with a W next to the numerical size.

  • Got flattened arches? Look for shoes that have arch support and heel cupping so that they have increased support and stability.

  • Do they have arthritic pain? Ample cushioning is helpful for preventing painful impact on the joints when walking.

Your older loved one may need custom orthotic shoes or inserts if they cannot find the right shoes for their needs. Make sure they go for a podiatric checkup to assess for developing problems, especially since foot pain can affect mobility and stability. Come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy. Make an appointment today to have their feet assessed and treated with care. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all the surrounding Union County towns! We keep you walking!

 

By Clark Podiatry Center
August 01, 2017
Tags: sprains   stretch   weak ankles  

Some people naturally have weak ankles, which makes them more prone to getting an injury. From strains and sprains to broken bones, an ankle injury can be immobilizing, and worse, it can be recurring. An injured ankle tends to get re-injured more easily.

The best way to care for and prevent ankle problems is to be proactive. Strengthen your ankles and condition them to be flexible and resilient. Listed below are some exercises you can do to strengthen your ankles – whether they are weak or not! (Remember to stretch before you workout)

  • Flexing and Pointing the toes: You can do this while you’re watching TV! While sitting, raise your feet off the ground and flex and hold, then point and hold your feet. Try holding for at least 3-5 seconds for each rep, and do at least 10 reps.  
    +1: Use an elastic exercise band to increase resistance during your points.
  • Floating Foot Circles: This is also something you can do while watching TV! Lift your feet from the ground and make circles with them, rotating at the ankle joint. Go slow and steady, feeling the struggle and stretch.
  • Circle Sways: Standing with your feet together, try to lean forward, side, back, and other side, making a circle. It should take your feet, ankles, knees, and quadriceps muscles to balance you.
  • One-legged squats: This is not easy, so try holding a pole or ballet barre. Bend one leg and to allow you to squat with one leg, as low as you can without falling over. Do about 10 reps and repeat with the other leg.
  • Heel-Toe Walking: Try walking across the room on your tiptoes. Then walk back while balancing on your heels only.
    +1: Try standing with feet hip distance apart. Rock your feet so that you go from tip to standing on heels, while maintaining balance and steadiness in the rest of your body.

Worried about unstable, weak ankles? Do you twist or sprain your ankles often? Come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy. Make an appointment today at The New Jersey Children's Foot Heath Institute at Clark Podiatry Center to have your feet assessed and treated with care. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all the surrounding Union County towns! We keep you walking!

By Clark Podiatry Center
July 25, 2017
Tags: blisters   Orthotics   arch supports  

Not all shoes are created equal. The structure, material quality, and features of comfort and support vary from one shoe to the other. With all the heat and humidity lately, it’s tempting for you and your children to wear the most open-toed shoes (or even go barefoot) to keep cool. While sandals are usually better than flip-flops, not all are supportive for your children’s growing feet. Wearing sandals that do not have proper foot support can cause developmental problems as their bones and tissues continue to grow.

The following are some tips for caring for your children’s feet, and what shoes they should wear instead of flip-flops:

  • Beware of going barefoot outside – Going barefoot is good for children when walking around indoors. It encourages strong muscle development and you can more easily notice problems if any exist. However, children should wear shoes whenever they are outside as there is an increased risk of injury and contracting disease.
  • Stay away from flip-flops – Flip-flops in general are not very supportive or even necessarily safe to be walking around so much. The lack of support can leave you unstable and more prone to injury. Additionally, walking around in them for more than a distance of home to pool or pool to locker room can make your feet work harder and leave you with pain. Because children’s feet are still developing they need all the proper support before the bones fully set.
  • Look for these properties in sandals – Key components of supportive shoes for children are: arch supports, heel cupping, and shock absorption. As they continue to grow, arch and heel support will help their feet to grow normally, especially if they are flatfooted or pronating. Also, since children like to run around, shock absorption will help reduce risk of repetitive injury pain (or even stress fracture). Sandals that do no fit well can cause them blisters and make them trip, so make sure that they try the sandals on in store.
  • Sneakers are best – In most cases, supportive sneakers are the best shoes to wear. Find ones that have good support, but have breathable materials like mesh and cotton canvas. Don’t forget to have them wear socks with their sneakers – if sweating is an issue, you can carry around a spare pair of socks. Plus, the closed-toed nature of sneakers makes them less prone to sunburn! (The same goes for water shoes at the water park!)

Have a question about appropriate shoes for your children’s foot development? Or maybe they need some orthoses. Whatever the case, come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy. Make an appointment today at The New Jersey Children's Foot Heath Institute at Clark Podiatry Center to have your children’s feet assessed and treated with care. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all the surrounding Union County towns! We keep you walking!

 

A common concern that parents have when they come in to see us at The New Jersey Children's Foot Heath Institute, is Pigeon Toeing or Intoeing. This means that when they walk or run, the one or both feet point inward, toward the other, rather than straight ahead. 

However, you don’t need to be alarmed just yet! When children first begin to walk, their muscles and bones are not yet fully developed, so it can be normal for toddlers to have a pigeon-toe gait and appear bow-legged. However, if the problem is severe, or if it doesn’t correct itself after the age of 2, some intervention may be necessary. 

What causes it?

Intoeing can develop during pregnancy, as a birth defect, or due to hereditary factors (children who have a parent that had a pigeon-toed gait are more likely to have this problem). There’s not much that can be done to prevent it, but treating non-correcting intoeing earlier can make for better results. The main causes include: 

  • metatarsus adductus (foot deformity where it turns inward), 
  • tibial torsion (shin bone turns inward), or 
  • femoral anteversion (inwardly rotated upper leg bone). 

When to see a Podiatrist

Most cases of pigeon toeing can resolve on their own when the children are about 8 or 9, especially metatarsus adductus and femoral anteversion. Because there is no easy way to tell if a child will grow out of it, consulting our podiatrist is a good idea. Additionally, if your child seems to fall or trip often, orthotics may be necessary to help stabilize him or her in her everyday walking. For severe cases, surgery may be required to correctly align the position of the bones.

If your child complains about pain in the feet, ankles, knees, or hips, or has problems walking, come see us. For the best treatment options, come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy. Make an appointment today at The New Jersey Children's Foot Heath Institute at Clark Podiatry Center to have your child’s intoe-ing assessed and treated with care. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all the surrounding Union County towns! We keep you walking!

 




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Call Today 732-382-3470

1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470