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

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Posts for: February, 2018

All Orthotics Are NOT Created Equal!

Patients come in all the time asking about or carrying in some form of orthotics that they received from another office, bought in a drug store, supermarket, sporting goods store, shoe store or even a Dr. Scholl’s display—and sometimes from a television infomercial.  What they all have in common is foot pain that hasn’t been resolved and they wonder why their orthotic hasn’t fixed their problem as advertised.

While orthotics are not the answer to every foot problem, more commonly what has gone wrong is in the construction of the orthotic.  Let me show you what I mean:

The goal of most orthotics is to do one of two things:

  1. In an unstable foot—one that flattens out or pronates too much—we’re trying to stabilize/support or control the foot so that you can walk or run more efficiently. This results in less fatigue, less stress and strain on joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
  2. In a more rigid foot, we’re trying to increase the surface area of contact and improve shock absorption.

Most inexpensive OTC orthotics look good in the package but are too flimsy in their construction.  Being way too flexible, they can’t support much of anything and the cushioning is too cheap to improve shock absorption to any significant degree.

For some problems, using an off the shelf orthotic can be very good.  We dispense a ‘one-style fits all’ type which works well in many cases.  Patients are individuals, however, and we tend to categorize feet into one of 6 basic foot ‘types’ and we have specialized off the shelf orthotics based on your foot type.

For a number of reasons, we’ll often recommend custom orthotics.  How are these different?  For starters, they are custom made for your particular feet, important for the very common situation where one foot flattens out more than the other.  Your particular needs regarding your foot conditions, activities, shoe styles and structural abnormalities can often best be addressed by customization instead of an off the shelf  product.  There are many different materials and modifications to orthotics that are used based on your specific needs.

At Clark Podiatry, we make custom orthotics from 3-dimensional digital images of your feet, the most accurate method available.  Foam impressions often don’t capture the foot in the proper position; plaster impressions can be excellent but can be inconsistent depending on who is taking the casts.  Digital images are very accurate and are transmitted to the lab in minutes after scanning, allowing for a faster turnaround time, meaning that they’re available for you to use and get relief from your foot pain so much faster.

For more information about orthotics, any other foot problem or an appointment, contact us at 732-382-3470 or visit our website at www.clarkpodiatry.com

#ClarkPodiatryCenter #NJCFHI #footorthotics

At Clark Podiatry Center, we want to keep you walking!


By Clark Podiatry Center
February 21, 2018
Category: Foot Pain
Tags: diabetes   Orthotics   Shoes   stretching   work   athletes   nutritious meals  

You can’t quite put a finger (or toe) on when you get them or what’s causing you get them, but you know that they come and go, here and there. Sometimes it’s in the middle of walking down the street, while other times, it’s while climbing stairs or working out at the gym. Why do these foot cramps keep happening?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a specific known cause of foot cramps (which is probably why you get them at different times of the day). However, there are some characteristics and conditions that seem to make them more likely to be triggered, such as:

Irregular levels of minerals in the body and/or dehydration – Your body needs certain minerals and plenty of water to function properly, especially in the muscles.

  • If you haven’t had much water to drink, make sure you hydrate before and after a workout or other physical activity. Avoid drinking dehydrating drinks such as caffeinated drinks and
  • Got low levels of electrolytes? You can get them in coconut water or electrolyte-enhanced water, as well as in nutritious meals with potassium-rich foods like bananas.

Overexertion and under-stretchingAthletes and non-athletes alike can suffer from foot cramps if muscles are tired from long workouts or standing all day. A sudden movement requiring just a bit more force from the exhausted foot muscles can cause feet to cramp.

  • Stretching before a workout (or several times while you are standing all day) can help the muscles warm up or stay warm.
  • Be sure to use supportive shoes when you’ll be using your feet for exercise or work, and ease into different workouts. Listen to your body when it feels exhausted to prevent cramping.

Poor circulation or a pinched nerve – Foot pain or cramping that increases with walking could indicate problems like diabetes or neuropathy, which can cause poor circulation. Tired muscles may not get the necessary nutrients due to poor circulation, causing foot cramps. In some cases, it can also be a pinched nerve, whether from posture issues or from unsupportive shoes or uncomfortable shoes and irritate the nerves in the feet.

  • Change the types of shoes you wear to see if you experience fewer foot cramps.
  • You may need supportive orthotics to find relief. We can help!

If you suspect that you may have a condition causing your foot cramps or if it’s a side effect of medication, speak to your doctor or our podiatrist for more information. Make an appointment to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy at Clark Podiatry Center. He can assess your feet and give them the treatment and care that they need. Come see him at our Clark, NJ office, which serves the surrounding Union County areas. 


By Clark Podiatry Center
February 14, 2018
Category: Foot Care

It can be hard to remember about your feet in the middle of winter.  They have usually been covered in thick socks and boots and we adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality.  However, take some time to include some TLC (tender loving care) for your feet.

Here are some ways to love your feet:

  • Draw yourself a foot bath. It can be in the tub or in a large bucket. If you have a massaging foot spa from a gadget store, this is the time to use it!  Use essential oils like lavender, add Epsom salts, and throw in some rose petals. This will be such a great treat if you’ve worked on your feet all day!
  • Give yourself a nice foot rub. Grab some lotion and use your thumbs in a circular motion on the top or bottom of the feet. Increase pressure as you like, making sure to include points of tightness, such as: along the plantar fascia (especially if you suffer from plantar fasciitis), and under the big toe joint. If you’re really in the mood for pampering, why not schedule a foot massage?
  • Treat your feet to a wonderful gift like a foot-warming blanket, memory foam cushioned slippers, massaging foot spa/bath, cozy socks, a gift certificate to a foot massage, or a luxurious foot massager.
  • Unless you have diabetes and have lost sensation in the feet, you could cozy up by the fireplace, and warm up your feet.
  • Finally, do yourself a favor and stay away from the fancy dress shoes, as those are rarely comfortable. Your feet will thank you!

One of the best things you can do to love your feet is to make an annual podiatry appointment to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy at Clark Podiatry Center. He can assess your feet and give them the treatment and care that they need. Come see him at our Clark, NJ office.


By Clark Podiatry Center
February 07, 2018
Tags: corns   calluses   hammertoe  

Can’t you just get out the root?” is a regular question patients ask when they return for a 2nd, 3rd, 4 visit (or more) over time to relieve their painful corns and calluses. Unfortunately, corns and calluses don’t work that way and there’s a reason for that.  Let’s get to the “root” of the matter.

First, there is no difference between a corn and a callus.  They are more descriptive terms for thickening of the outer layer of the skin in spots due to an excessive amount of pressure and friction on a given spot.  Corns are typically on the toes, calluses elsewhere on the foot. They often become painful due to their bulk, much like if you had a pebble stuck in your shoe.

The underlying cause is a bony deformity—a hammertoe deformity for corns or an imbalance of the metatarsals in the ball of the foot for calluses.  These issues are largely determined by how your feet were built by your parents and how they developed as a result.  The corns and calluses are the results of these deformities, not independent growths, as would be the case if there was a wart present. Occasionally, the corn or callus will have a deep spot in the center which some people think is a root, but is actually just the focus point of the pressure and is thicker than the rest of the lesion.

Initial symptomatic treatment involves carefully paring down the corn or callus, which relieves pain and that is enough for many people. Padding or cushioning help even more. Wearing well-fitting comfortable shoes is also advisable.  Although shoes don’t really cause corns and calluses--they will make the best (or worst) out of the given situation.

Often we’ll recommend orthotics to go in your shoes with accommodations to relieve pressure from calluses. In the more severe cases, symptomatic treatment just isn’t enough and the only way to deal with it is to address the underlying foot deformity by correcting it surgically.

The takeaway point is this:  corns and calluses are symptoms of foot deformities. Treating the symptoms alone will get you temporary relief, which can be OK.  But if you want to prevent them from returning, you need to address the deformity. That is the only way to get at the REAL root of the problem.

For more information or an appointment, contact us at 732-382-3470 or visit our website at www.clarkpodiatry.com.  At Clark Podiatry Center, we want to keep you walking!

#ClarkPodiatryCenter #Calluses #Corns #Footpain


By Clark Podiatry Center
February 07, 2018

Ask friends who are parents and they’ll tell you, raising a child is no walk in the park. It seems like the work is never ending and there are so many things to keep track of to make sure that they grow up happy and healthy. At Clark Podiatry Center, we want to help make that process a bit easier. Here’s a little cheat sheet with general foot care tips for your children:

DO:

  1. Pay attention to the way your children’s feet are growing. In many cases, your child can outgrow foot problems, but foot pain usually indicates a more serious issue, such as Sever’s Disease.
  2. Check out these tips for purchasing shoes for children. Their feet grow quickly, so make sure you have them measured often.
  3. Have them engage in physical activity several times a week to keep them strong and fit. They will also be less likely to be holding a phone or tablet if they are engaged in martial arts, dance, or rock climbing instead.
  4. Consult with our podiatrist about custom orthotics for children who have developmental problems.

DO NOT:

  1. Ignore complaints about foot pain. Growing pains are not normal in the feet, so they should be tended to before symptoms worsen.
  2. Use hand me downs for children’s shoes, since they will not have the correct support for your children’s feet. Depending on how long the first child has worn the shoes, they can be molded to that particular child’s feet and the younger child’s feet will not fit that well.
  3. Use shoes indoors when your child is first learning to walk. Being barefoot when indoors will help them develop strength, balance, and coordination in the feet. However, use shoes when they will be outside, to protect from sharp objects or disease.

Do your children complain of foot pain during or after physical activity? Make an appointment at The New Jersey Children’s Foot Health Institute at Clark Podiatry Center to have your child see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy. He can assess your children’s feet and give them the treatment or orthotic support they need. Come see him at our Clark, NJ office.




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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