At Patrick Fettinger, DPM we hope all of our Fairfield County patients are staying safe and healthy. We know that COVID 19 has created a fair amount of stress for families. Working from home and distance learning, combined with fears connected to the virus, and an abundance of together time can be a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, there are ways to ease the strain and yes, actually have some good come out of this challenging time. Below are 4 suggestions to consider trying with your family.
- Stick to your routine as much as possible. Getting up at your usual time, performing basic hygiene daily, eating meals at regular times, doing chores—anything that is familiar will provide touchpoints of normalcy that will offer comfort and a sense of security. For parents and children to get necessary school/office work accomplished, create a schedule of work hours (with breaks).
- Create space to express feelings. All family members need to be able to share their fears and worries, as well as the positive things they’re experiencing during this time. Don’t try to sugarcoat or dismiss negative feelings. Make time to talk to each of your children individually and listen to what they’re saying before offering feedback.
- Stay/get physically active. Regular exercise is essential for good health (and not just during the time of the coronavirus!) If your family doesn’t already, now is a good time to start being physically active together. Walks or bike rides around the neighborhood, an indoor fitness circuit, video exercise routines or just working in the yard are all viable options at this time. Exercise elevates mood, helps maintain an appropriate weight, and improves sleep quality.
- Make time for fun. One positive outcome of the stay home orders can be a chance to reconnect and enjoy family time. Plan specific activities like cooking together, watching a new or favorite movie, playing board games, organizing family photos, and making cards to send to friends and family.
If you experience any foot or ankle discomfort while exercising, contact our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357) office to discuss your condition with our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick J. Fettinger.
We will get through this challenging time!
At Patrick Fettinger, DPM we hope that our Fairfield county patients are taking all necessary precautions to stay safe during the coronavirus outbreak. We also want to offer families who are stuck home an educational and fun opportunity by sharing some suggestions for observing National Foot Health Month.
Some Fun Facts
Your feet are amazing structures! Here are some facts about feet that children (and many adults) may not know:
- A pair of feet contain 52 bones—that’s 25% of the total number of bones in your entire body! In addition, they have 66 joints, 214 ligaments, and 38 muscles.
- No wonder feet are ticklish—there are more sensory nerve endings per square centimeter on the bottom of your feet than anywhere else in your body!
- Feet contain 250,000 sweat glands that are capable of producing up to ½ pint of sweat a day.
- The average person walks approximately 115,000 miles in their lifetime. That’s like circling the globe over four times!
Keeping Feet Healthy
There are lots of simple steps that every family member can take to protect the health of their feet. Brainstorm together as a family and develop your list of healthy feet tips. Here are some of our favorites:
- Keep feet clean and dry. This means washing at least once a day. Change socks and shoes if they get wet and do not allow feet to stay in sweaty socks.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Did you know that smoking harms your feet? It decreases circulation which is important for getting oxygen-rich blood to your legs, feet, and toes. Exercising regularly and eating a nutritious diet that helps you maintain an appropriate weight are other lifestyle choices that keep your feet healthy too.
- Take care of toenails. Jagged nails should be trimmed or filed. Don’t peel nails off. This can lead to injury or infection. Don’t cut nails too short or they can become ingrown.
- Keep your shoes on, especially when you are out in public places like the gym locker room or gymnastics studio. Fungal infections like athlete’s foot are picked up by direct contact.
- Not sharing is caring—when it comes to your feet! Don’t borrow other people’s shoes or socks or use the same towel on your feet that someone else does. This will prevent the spread of infection.
- Contact our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick J. Fettinger, in our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357) office too if you experience any foot or ankle pain or notice any unusual changes in your feet like rashes, bumps, swelling or skin or nail discoloration.
March is National Nutrition Month and we at Patrick Fettinger, DPM know that your diet can have a big impact on your feet. You may not make the connection between what you put in your mouth and your feet but there are several important ways that your food habits can positively or negatively influence your podiatric health.
Your feet carry the weight of your entire body. It makes sense that the more you weigh, the more strain you put on your lower extremities. There are many podiatric disorders in which carrying excess weight is a risk factor. These include flat feet, sesamoiditis and plantar fasciitis, to name just a few. But the effect is even greater than you may think. For every pound that you gain, you increase the load on your lower extremities (knees, ankles, and feet) by three pounds when you walk and up to seven pounds when you run. The good news is that every pound you lose decreases the stress by the same amount. If you are very overweight, you may want to consider consulting a nutritionist to get a meal plan that can help you reach a healthy weight.
Research has shown important connections between diet and inflammation. If you suffer from gout, for example, you are probably already aware that certain foods—shellfish, red meat, organ meats, brandy, beer, and red wine—can trigger an attack of this painful arthritic condition. Also, some foods, like olive oil, fish rich in Omega 3’s, nuts and certain fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and strawberries) have all be shown to reduce inflammation.
Diet also plays a key role in preventing certain diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, all of which can have detrimental effects on your feet. Choosing foods that help you control your blood sugar levels and decrease cholesterol and plaque buildup in your arteries greatly lowers your risk for these and other diseases.
If you are experiencing foot pain and want to know if your diet may be a factor contact our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357) office to get your condition evaluated by our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick J. Fettinger.
Toe deformities are a common problem that we treat at Patrick Fettinger, DPM. We notice, however, that our Fairfield County patients often have misconceptions about these conditions which can lead to not seeking treatment for them promptly.
Toe deformities do have a few things in common:
They are progressive conditions, meaning they will only get worse, not better without some kind of treatment.
Left untreated they often lead to secondary foot pain problems like corns and calluses.
Your choice of footwear can reduce or exacerbate the level of discomfort if you have a toe deformity.
But each type of deformity has its unique characteristics as well.
Here are three well-known toe deformities and what you need to know about them:
Bunion—nearly everyone can recognize a bunion by its characteristic bump on the outside of the big toe. For many patients, this appears ugly and they simply try to hide it from sight by not going barefoot and avoiding sandals and other open-toe shoe styles. A bunion, however, is caused by a bone enlargement that forces the toe out of place and causes it to start to move toward the second toe. As the bunion gets bigger, every step becomes more painful as you flex your toe. It becomes increasingly difficult to wear shoes due to the friction against the enlargement and corns and calluses will form. In some cases, the big toe will also become a sight for arthritis or bursitis.
Claw Toe—different from a bunion, claw toe is caused by muscle weakness, usually brought about by nerve damage from a disease such as diabetes or alcoholism. Lack of muscle strength results in toes bending upward from the joints at the ball of the foot and down at the middle joints toward the sole. Corns are likely to develop on the top of the toe or under the ball of the foot due to the pressure exerted by wearing shoes.
Hammertoes—in the case of a hammertoe, the bend in the toe can be caused by a muscle imbalance or by wearing shoes that do not fit properly. Toes that are too short in the toe box force the toe into a bent condition. Initially, a hammertoe will be flexible and able to be bent back into its correct position. Left, untreated, however, it can become rigidly fixed in the deformed position.
The good news is that patients seek treatment for toe deformities early on our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick J. Fettinger, has multiple options, both conservative and surgical with which to treat the deformity. Don’t delay, contact our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357) office as soon as possible for an appointment if you believe you have a toe deformity.
At Patrick Fettinger, DPM we know many of our patients will be ringing in the New Year with a host of resolutions to improve themselves. One area we want to be sure does not get overlooked is the health and care of your feet. Did you know that many common podiatric conditions can be prevented or at least the risk for developing them greatly reduced with some proactive care on the part of the patient? Below are some resolutions we hope you’ll make to ensure good podiatric health in the New Year.
- Commit to a good hygiene routine. Your regimen doesn’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming but aim to do the basics daily. Wash your feet with soap and water (drying them completely afterward). Apply a foot powder in the morning to help keep feet dry throughout the day. At night, protect and moisturize skin with a good emollient cream massaged into the entire foot. Get in the habit of inspecting your feet for changes or unusual symptoms such as bruising, swelling, deformity and discoloration.
- Keep up with toenail care. Don’t let nails get too long or have jagged edges—these can get caught on socks or blankets and tear. Always trim nails straight across and not too short and never file with curved edges to help prevent ingrown toenails from forming.
- Cover your feet in public places. Use shower shoes or flip flops at the gym, nail salon and indoor pools. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot and fungal toenails are spread by direct contact. Be vigilant in areas that are moist and see lots of bare-foot traffic.
- Get rid of worn-out shoes. Shoes that are stretched out, damaged or have flattened arch and heel support can cause injury and harm to your feet. Wearing well-made shoes that fit properly is one of the best ways of improving the health of your feet. Get your feet professionally measured and buy shoes that are comfortable and give your foot the support they need.
Don’t delay getting foot pain evaluated. If your feet or ankles hurt or you are experiencing discomfort, make an appointment at our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357) office as soon as possible so that our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick Fettinger, can examine your feet and determine if treatment is necessary.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.