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

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Posts for: October, 2013

By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
October 23, 2013
Category: Running

Last Saturday was the weekend of the Runners World Half Marathon Festival weekend in Bethlehem, PA. Kids runs on Friday and a Half Marathon on SUnday sandwiched a day for 5K and 10K races--and a 1 mile dog run, sponsored by Eukanuba.

A beautiful, brisk October morning it was, with a rising sun in the east and a setting full moon in the west. The area of the Steel Stacks, the site of the former Bethelhem Steel company was all set up for approximately 1700 runners for the 5K. With several months of training and one other 5K under my belt, I was ready to run with my daughter, Brianne.

 Running through the streets of Bethlehem, crossing the Lehigh River and skirting the campus of Moravian College, it was a treat to run thre course with my daughter.  We managed to finish together in a very respectable 33:50.  I say respectable because Brianne had returned from visiting her lifelong friend Amanda in Malaysia less than 36 hours earlier and it was a wonder she knew what day and time zone she was in.  For me, it was a culmination of 5 months of training for the day.  When I started, I couldn't run  more than about 6 minutes on a traeadmill @ 12:00 miles.   Gradually increasing the distance and pace allowed me to stay injury-free and while I likely could have pushed harder in the training, I'll leave the faster paces for future races

 

A few hours later, it was time for the dog run. My dog Moose, a Havanese, has been in training himself for the big day. Endless 25 yard sprint intervals to chase a tennis ball with 25 yard recovery jogs to return the ball to me, mixed in with his daily 1/4 and 2/3 mile walks.  There were approsimately 100 dogs there of all shapes and sizes.  Young pups and old dogs, Chihuahuas and dogs which could be saddled.  A football family with a pair of "wide retrievers" and a "rufferee".  All were well behaved and the race itself was a hoot.

  We started out at the finish line for the human races, running the course backwards, in a manner of speaking, 1/4 mile out and back, then a second loop.  There were some experienced dogs and owners, one who apparently finished the entire mile in no more than 7 minutes.

They say that dogs and their owners tend to look alike.  Well, they apparently run alike too as we were devoted back-of-the-packers.  We enthusiastically trotted on our way out, made the first turn at the 1/4 mile mark and then Moose felt the call of nature, as dogs often do.  Humans line up at the portapotties before racing, not so for dogs.  Fortunately, I carried bags with me and even more fortunately, there was a nearby trash can.

Returning to the start/finish area to complete the first lap, we were greeted by cheering and laughing throngs behind the barriers.  Of course we were still at an easy pace with no evidence that the 25 yard sprint training would be utilized.

Then we made the 2nd turn just before the finish line.  The best I can figure, Moose, who we sometimes refer to as "The Most Interesting Dog in the World" may be able to read signs, including the one that said "FINISH".  20 yards after the turn, he must have thought the race was over between the cheering crowds and the clearly marked "Finish Line".  He sat down. The look on his face in the photo says "Can't you read? The sign says  'FINISH' and I'm finished!"  

It took a little bit of coaxing, but I convinced him that we needed to complete one more lap. He reluctantly agreed and we ran the rest of the way without incident. We then enjoyed a brief talk by the Senior Nutritionist for P&G Pet Care.  Moose slept very well on the ride home.

Training tips:

1. Increase your mileage and pace gradually to prevent injury.

2. Proper warmups, especially on chilly days.  We saw one runner pull up lame (human, not dog) with an apparent calf/achilles tendon injury less than a mile into the race.

3. Running, walking, or a combination thereof: Go try a race some time if you haven't.  It's a lot of fun, a bit of a test of your training, and you get free food and drink after you run. [Note to RW: the post race snacks were good, but nowhere near the quality and variety of those provided at the Paul Jackson Fund 5K in Clark, NJ last month].  A big race like this, we received finisher's medals.  Moose received some swag from the folks at Eukanuba.

4. Get out and exercise with your dog.  I always tell people that if you have a fat dog, it means that you aren't getting enough exercise.  It's good for both of you.

 

 


By Brandon Macy, D.P.M
October 15, 2013
Category: Toenail problems

Toenail FungusPreventing & Eliminating Fungal Toenails

Also known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus can be painful, irritating and embarrassing. When there is trauma to the nail, the nail bed is lifted allowing fungus to penetrate and invade the nail bed. Without treatment, the fungus can grow and spread in dark, warm, moist environments, such as socks and shoes.

Common signs and symptoms of toenail fungus include:

  • Discoloring or yellowing of the nail
  • Thickening or crumbling of the nail
  • Swelling around the nail
  • Disfigured nails
  • Streaks or spots down the side of the nail
  • Foul-smelling debris under the nail
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Complete nail loss

Prevention is key

Fungal infections can affect the fingernails as well as the toenails, but toenail fungus is more difficult to treat because toenails grow more slowly. Because removal of the fungus is challenging, prevention plays an important role in treatment.

  • Keep nails neatly trimmed
  • Practice good foot hygiene, including daily washing with soap and water; drying feet and toes carefully; and changing shoes regularly
  • Always wear shoes in public areas, such as showers, locker rooms and pools
  • Wear comfortable shoes that aren't too tight
  • Avoid wearing polish 365 days per year to prevent sealing in fungus.  We have polish available in the office which contains antifungal properties.

Treatment of toenail fungus

If you do develop toenail fungus, especially if the infection becomes painful, visit Brandon Macy, D.P.M.. People with a chronic illness like diabetes should always see a podiatrist if they notice changes in their nails as it may be an indication of more serious problems.

To eliminate the fungus, a podiatrist may remove as much of the infected nail as possible by trimming, filing or dissolving it. Oral or topical antifungal medications may also be prescribed to help treat the infection. Only for severe, chronic infections will surgical removal of the nail be recommended. Laser Therapy for ugly fungal nails is available too. Our Clark Office can help diagnose the cause of your toenail problems and make the best recommendation for treatment.


By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
October 14, 2013
Category: Pregnancy

This topic has a great deal of personal interest to me.  No, I'm not pregnant--that would be a medical miracle. But my oldest daughter Jennifer is pregnant with my first grandchild--no secret, its a girl!  The anticipated arrival of the little lady is in mid-December and we're all very excited about the new addition to the family, including (and especially) my son-in-law Ben.

Jennifer has been feeling good all along and looks fantastic too, as you can plainly see! (No paternal bias here, I assure you).  We'll check on the baby's feet once she arrives, but for now we'll mention issues that many expectant mothers have with their own feet.

Pregnancy does a couple of things to the feet: swelling/water retention and lowering of the arch.  This makes for challenges in shoe fit, along with varying kinds of foot pain.  

Swollen feet are mostly caused by pressure of the baby on the veins, resulting in a back pressurein the legs and water retention.  Support stockings, elevating the feet and legs as often as possible and watching dietary sources of salt are the best ways to minimize the swelling.

There's a ligament under the arch--the spring ligament--which is made up of a special kind of fibers, similar to those in the pelvic area, that responds to the hormones of pregnancy.  It stretches more to accommodate the extra weight being carried, resulting in a lowering of the arch (pronation).  This can have some negative consequences as well.  Feet whcih flatten out too much can cause fatigue in the feet and legs, arch pain and heel pain among other things.  Plantar fasciitis is very common in pregnancy.

What to do?  Wear comfortable shoes--Jennifer has opted for comfortable shoes which don't lace--in the 8th month, it is a challenge to bend down far enough to tie shoelaces!  For heel pain, arch pain and more generalized fatigue, an orthotics will also be recommended and they can be a godsend.  Oh yes, and keep walking!  The muscle action of the legs will help support the veins and lessen water retention.

In younger women and with first pregnancies, the spring ligament will usually snap back into shape after delivery.  However, in older women, multiple pregnancies and heavier women, often we'll see that the changes don't reverse.  In these cases, many will note a change in their shoe size during and after pregnancy, sometimes by as much as two full sizes!  Women have to watch for this not only during pregnancy, but after the baby has arrived. By all means contact us for an appointment or if you have any questions.

Pregnant and having foot pain?  Know somebody who is pregnant?  We'll be happy to evaluate and make recommendations to make the pregnancy as comfortable as possible. There will be enough sleepless nights after the baby arrives, so let's do what we can to make the last few months of pregnancy easier. 

Updates on Jennifer and my granddaughter-to-be will follow. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
October 13, 2013
Category: Running

It seems like a long time since I was recruited to run in the Runner's World Half Marathon weekend--or at least the 5K---ummm, bring my dog Moose to the event to participate in the 1 mile dog run.  You see, my middle daughter, Brianne, work for a media company thathandles the account for the dog run sponsor, Eukanuba dog food.

Well, we're supporting her cause.Moose has been in training, playing fetch in our back yard, along with his daily walks.  We've also been connected with a new IPhone app: WalkJogRun. This is an app which can keep track of your workouts, your distances, pace, etc.; can find or map a trail (including dog trails). You can document your workout types: walking, running on treadmills, dog walks, dog runs, speed work.

 I did a track workout yesterday (without Moose) and it tracked my lap times/pace, with a pleasant voice popping up on me Iphone to tell me how things were going after the completion of each lap.  Actually, that feasture was imperfect, as  there must have been a GPS signal weak spot at one corner.  The visual map seemed to cut off the football field inside the track and the voice frequently popped up 10-15 years farther than the end of the lap.  Technology and satellites aren't foolproof yet.  Fortunately, I completed 4 miles, with the last half being a mixture of walking and  90% all out effort on the running.  For me, 1-2 more workouts before the Saturday 5K.  My legs definitely need a rest the day after a hard workout.   Moose is younger and doesn't need the rest.  In fact, he's woofing at me to head out to the backyard to toos that tennis ball again.  

How about that for a lesson?  Running/working out as fun and play. 

 




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