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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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Posts for tag: stretching

By Clark Podiatry Center
March 12, 2019
Category: Athletic Foot Care

If you’re an athlete, you know from experience that your feet are very important to your performance. Agility and coordination are crucial and making sure your feet continue delivering their best depends on how you treat them. Different activities place different stress on your feet.  Martial arts require quick repetitive movements that strike hard trauma inducing objects, whereas aerobic exercises like gymnastics demand strong cushioning and balance. Team orientated sports like football, baseball, and basketball can strain ankles and knees making stretching very important.

Some of the most common problems athletes experience include:

  • Ankle sprains. With most of a person’s weight placed on each leg, the ankle suffers if it isn’t supported and strengthened.
  • Heel issues. Constant pounding on hard surfaces can cause problems with an athlete’s heel making walking or running very difficult and painful.
  • Stress fractures. Insufficient cushioning can steadily lead to small fissures in a person’s bones.
  • Achilles tendon. The irritation and possible separating of the main tendon at the back of the foot. This is very painful and can end an athletic career.
  • Morton’s neuroma. A hardening of the skin at the ball of an athlete’s foot.

All the above problems can be treated with a little care and attention. First, making sure your feet are well rested and stretched before any performance is important. Stretching will include not just your feet, but other parts of your body as well. Slowly increasing your range of motion is your goal, as is strengthening muscles in and around your feet. Doing so will help absorb the shock and stress often associated with athletic competition keeping you ‘on your toes.’

It is not uncommon to see an athlete bob up and down as he or she pushes his muscles and tendons during a pregame stretch, however this can be very dangerous if they are not careful. Too much bouncing can pull a muscle, just the opposite of what you want. A slow, steady, yet tolerable stretch is best as it extends the muscle but does not strain it.

Stretching is a good habit to get into whether you’re an athlete or not. Doing so when you wake in the morning will get your blood flowing and allow you to start the day more physically and mentally prepared.

If you have any questions about these posts or would like to see the doctor, please make an appointment with us.  Our podiatrist, Dr. Brandon A. Macy, who is associated with New Jersey Children’s Foot Health Institute, will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments to get you back to being active. Call Clark Podiatry at (732) 382-3470.  

By Clark Podiatry Center
September 26, 2018
Category: arthritis

Your feet and ankles each have 33 joints that allow you to move about freely. Curling and pointing your toes, standing on your tip toes, as well as walking or running in different directions are all doable thanks to those joints. But a diagnosis of arthritis can change all that. Once arthritis sets in, your joints can become stiff and painful. You can have days of severe inflammation, where you can barely move around, even in your own home.

That’s why we’ve come up with some tips to make it easier to live with arthritis in the feet:

  • Physical therapy and Foot Exercises: It may seem counterintuitive to exercise the feet, but it’s actually very helpful to perform low-impact exercises. Especially for those with gouty arthritis, exercise can help prevent uric acid buildup, which can cause a painful gout attack. Flexibility and mobility exercises like stretching and swimming can reduce the risk of painful inflammation on tendons and ligaments in the joints.
  • Wear supportive shoes. A lot of cushioning can help reduce the impact on the joints. Additionally, you can use orthotic inserts to add padding to joints that are particularly painful (e.g. big toe joint or back of the heel).
  • Orthotics. During your podiatry assessment, Dr. Macy might recommend custom orthotics for your feet, depending on how arthritis is affecting you.
  • Reduce or eliminate high-impact activities. The more high-impact activities (e.g. basketball, football, running) that you participate in, the more likely you are to experience inflammation around your joints (which absorb that impact). This can worsen symptoms, so look to alternative exercises and activities to stay physically active.
  • Schedule in periods of rest. Sometimes, life seems to be about “go, go, go”. However, schedule in periods of rest so that your joints can recover in between periods of walking or standing to reduce the risk of arthritis flare-ups.
  • Make your home more comfortable. Use cushioned mats around the house, wherever you’ll be standing around. For examples, in front of sinks, the oven, and counters where you might prepare food.
  • Eat nutritiously and maintain a healthy weight. Anti-inflammatory foods are a must and the less weight that your joints have to support, the better for preventing inflammation.
  • Reduce stress. Stress tends to make inflammation worse in your body. Find ways to reduce stress, such as meditation and getting foot massages.

Take good care of your arthritic feet! If you’ve been experiencing joint pain in the feet, come in for an assessment! We can help you determine how you can best treat your condition. Make an appointment to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy at Clark Podiatry Center. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all of Union County! We keep you walking!

By Clark Podiatry Center
August 01, 2018
Tags: Hammertoes   Neuroma   stretching   injury  

Looking for another way to spend family time together? It might sound strange, but how about a night of foot fitness? Yep, you read that right. Specifically, we want to focus on exercising the toes. It’s not a body part you usually think about when working out, such as the biceps or abs, but strengthening the toes are just as important.

Why should we exercise the toes?

  • Stretching out the toes can help prevent certain chronic issues and toe deformities like toe cramping, hammertoes, and Morton’s neuroma.
  • Strong toes help you with balance and stability to improve performance for athletic activities.  
  • Healthy and flexible toes help prevent serious injury.

Toe exercises to do together (in the form of games):

  • Tiptoe competition: How many times can you raise your heels while your toes remain on the ground? This is a great exercise for the calves too!
  • Moving Marbles: Using just the toes, move marbles from one plate to another. Race each other or see who can do it in the quickest time. This can also be done with small towels or other small objects.
  • Big Toes Game: If you’ve played the Thumbs Game as a group icebreaker, you know that it can be a fun prediction game. At each person’s turn, everyone raises 0, 1, or 2 thumbs, as the person whose turn it is calls out a number from 0 to the number of total available thumbs (a group of 4 would have 8 thumbs). In this version, use your big toes instead of your thumbs. It’s a fun way to learn to control your toes.
  • Spelling Game: Use the toes to spell words in the air – the first person to guess what you’re trying to write wins a point!
  • You can choose your own prizes and/or consequences, but one idea is that the winners can get foot massages from the losers!

If you find that you have pain or problems in your feet while you play some of these games, come to see our foot doctor for an assessment. Make an appointment today at Clark Podiatry Center. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy will assess your feet to find the best treatments or solutions for your feet. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all the surrounding Union County towns!

 

By Clark Podiatry Center
April 04, 2018
Category: Plantar fasciitis

One of the most common causes of pain along the bottom of the feet is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue (ligament) that connects the toes to the heel bone. When it is strained or injured, the body responds with inflammation, sending us signals that something is wrong. Painful and/or tingly sensations can be felt after a long period of rest (i.e. sleeping), as well as after intense exercise.

Arch Pain

Those who have high arches, overpronate (walk with arches flat on the ground and ankles rolling inward), wear high heels, or play sports with repetitive impact motions are more likely to experience arch pain with plantar fasciitis. These risk factors cause more strain on the plantar fascia.

Heel Pain

Over time, the ligament can pull on the bone enough to cause a bone spur to develop on the bottom/front of the heel bone. This can cause pain with each step since a bony growth begins to protrude. Like with arch pain due to plantar fasciitis, those who play sports including running, jumping or sudden twisting movements (i.e. golf) can feel heel pain.

If you suspect that you have symptoms of plantar fasciitis, you will want to take measures to prevent it from getting worse. You can try stretching the feet and calves when you wake up in the morning, massaging the plantar fascia ligament with a small ball, enjoying a warm foot soak, as well as using additional orthotic inserts or padding. For those with high arches or fallen arches, orthotics can help support the irregular shape of the foot so that the ligament does not have to strain so much to stabilize.

Have you tried some of these techniques and still found that your plantar fasciitis is getting worse? Come see us for podiatrist-prescribed treatment, such as physical therapy or laser therapy at our office. Make an appointment to see our board-certified podiatrist, Brandon Macy, DPM at Clark Podiatry Center. He can assess your feet and the best treatment options to get you back on track.  Come see him at our Clark, NJ office, which serves the surrounding Union County areas.

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. 



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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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