The Centers for Disease Control report that obesity in children and adolescents has increased by over 100% in the past 30 years. In the last survey, nearly one third of American children under 18 are obese, putting them at risk of chronic health issues later in life, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and bone and joint conditions. Obesity also often negatively impacts mental health, affecting self-esteem and leading to depression, anxiety, and isolation.
Studies have shown that obese children experience more issues related to the development of their bones and muscles than children of lower weights do. Excess weight stresses the bones, tendons and ligaments of their feet, ankles, and lower legs, creating tissue damage and discomfort. Further, the feet of obese children tend to be flatter, longer and wider than those of their non-obese peers. Consequently, they are more likely to experience neck, back, hip, knee, ankle, and foot pain, and they are at increased risk for a wide range of podiatric issues.
Possible problems to be aware of include:
Foot and Ankle Injuries: When children eat poorly and fail to exercise, bones can become brittle. Their bones are likely to be weakened because of the inactivity that causes, and is caused by, obesity. This means that, counter-intuitively, overweight children who are sedentary are more likely to experience a fracture than their more active peers. The constant stress their weight puts on their bones makes it more likely for a sprain or fracture to occur.
Blount’s Disease: Overweight or obese children may present with bowed legs and improper ankle growth as a result of Blount’s Disease. The stress of carrying extra weight can cause these deformities to occur starting from when children are young.
Growth Plate Issues: The heel bone isn’t fully developed until age fourteen. As your child grows, stress and muscle strain from extra weight can cause inflammation of the heel’s growth plate. This condition is called Sever’s disease. It can cause heel pain and walking may become painful. Further, a child with the condition can be susceptible to stress fractures in the heel bone. Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) occurs when there is a weakness of the growth plate at the thigh joint. The bones that join at the hip and thigh slip out of alignment and development can be affected. There is joint pain and in severe cases, inability to bear any weight on the affected leg.
The best way to help your child avoid obesity-related podiatric complications is to guide him or her to a healthier weight through diet and exercise. Until that process is complete, it’s important to see the foot doctor regularly. Jason Grossman, DPM has treated overweight and obese children with sensitivity and care for decades. Call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here to schedule a convenient appointment for your son or daughter in our comfortable and state of the art Old Bridge or Sayreville offices.
It’s not always easy to buy gifts for the older folks on our holiday lists. Maybe your loved one has moved into senior housing or has become unable to participate in certain hobbies or activities any longer, and you find yourself struggling to think of a gift that they’ll love receiving. Shopping for senior citizens doesn’t have to be stressful...they’ll love gifts for their feet! Create a “Foot Basket” for that hard to buy for elder on your list. Here are some great recommendations from Jason Grossman, DPM:
- Shoe Horn: Diminished flexibility can make it tough for older folks to reach their feet to slip on their shoes. Choose an extra-long shoehorn that “shortens the distance” from hand to foot.
- Foot Spa: Many big box retailers sell at-home footbaths. These are easy to use (just add water!) and refreshing for feet of all ages. Add a bag or box of Epsom salts for extra comfort.
- Lotion or Cream: Add some pleasant-smelling moisturizer to your basket, along with a gift certificate for a relaxing foot massage, either from you or at a local spa. Does grandma or grandpa need a ride? Be sure to volunteer to make yourself available on appointment day.
- New Socks or Slippers: Those lotions, creams, and oils can make the feet slippery and set your loved one up for a dangerous fall. Choose a pair of fuzzy socks with treads or new, warm slippers with thick, supportive rubber soles for extra stability.
- Anti-fatigue mats are typically used in places where people stand for extended periods and floors are made of tile or hard wood, lacking the cushioning provided by carpet. These padded mats can make standing and washing dishes at the kitchen sink or shaving in the bathroom infinitely more comfortable.
Of course, the best gift that you can give anyone you love is the gift of health and wellness. If it’s been a while since your favorite senior has been seen by the podiatrist, click here or call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jason Grossman in our comfortable and convenient Old Bridge or Sayreville offices today. Dr. Grossman will comprehensively examine your loved one’s feet, expertly diagnose any active or potential areas of concern, create an individualized treatment plan, and work with the patient to ensure thorough follow up.
It’s the holiday season and for many patients, that means dressing up to make appearances at numerous home and office parties. What will you wear on your feet in the coming weeks? If you’re thinking about taking that pair of high-heeled pumps out of your closet, think twice.
High-heeled shoes have been an integral component of fashion footwear more than 400 years. Although originally intended for men, over the centuries they have become almost exclusively part of the feminine wardrobe. One study reports that in 2017, 72% of women own high heels. 31% wear them to work daily and 50-77% choose them for parties and special occasions.
Those stilettos may look nice, but they’re not very nice to feet, ankles, and lower legs. Dr. Jason Grossman often sees patients with podiatric issues related to high-heeled shoes:
- High heels cause increased stress along the sole of the foot and can contribute to heel pain.
- High-heeled shoes often come with narrow toe boxes, which squeeze the toes together, leading to hammertoes and neuromas.
- Long-time high heel aficionados often suffer from bunions, bony bumps that form at the base of the big toe and Haglund’s deformity, a bony enlargement on the back of the heel that often leads to painful bursitis.
- The unnatural pressure that high heeled shoes put on the feet can lead to corns and calluses, painful accumulations of dead skin cells.
- High heels decrease your base of support, diminishing balance and putting you at increased risk for falls and foot and ankle injuries.
If you’re not yet ready to give up your heels:
- Choose shoes with heels that are 3 inches or less.
- To distribute weight more evenly, choose a newer, modern-looking pair of shoes with a rounded front and a chunky heel over a pointy pair with a spiked heel.
- Look for a new pair of shoes with softer soles or built-in cushioning to reduce impact and stress on your muscles and joints.
- Wear different shoes sometimes to change the stress points on your feet. Remember to mix it up!
Have high-heeled shoes caused you to experience discomfort or any other problem in your feet, ankles, or lower legs? Call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here today to schedule an appointment with Jason Grossman, DPM. Whether you choose our comfortable and convenient Old Bridge or Sayreville office, you can rest assured that you will receive the same thorough examination, accurate diagnosis, state of the art treatment and comprehensive follow up.
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term that refers to excess sweating. It’s a common condition that can happen to anyone. The International Hyperhidrosis Society estimates that 3 percent of Americans live with the condition, frequently producing significantly more sweat than what we would typically associate with triggers such as exercise or nervousness. Hyperhidrosis can manifest anywhere on the body but is most commonly observed in the armpits, the face and head, or the palms of the hands. When it manifests on the feet, it’s known as plantar hyperhidrosis and can be more than simply an embarrassment. Regularly damp and sweaty feet are a contributing factor in other podiatric health issues, including ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot, foot odor, and continually cold feet.
What Causes Sweaty Feet?
Are you at risk of hyperhidrosis? How many of these risk factors apply to you?
- Family history. If your parent or sibling has been diagnosed with hyperhidrosis, your odds are increased.
For those with the condition, many triggers can lead to a hyperhidrosis episode, including nervousness, warm temperatures, illness or fever, and wearing clothing or footwear made of materials that don’t allow the feet to “breathe.”
How Can You Prevent Sweaty Feet?
If you notice that your feet get sweaty often, start with a journal. Making note of how and when sweating episodes occur will help you identify triggers and get some control of the situation. What else can you do to keep your sweaty feet dry and odor-free? Here are some tips from Jason Grossman, DPM to get you started:
- Practice good hygiene.
- Use foot powder or cornstarch to absorb sweat.
- Apply deodorant or antiperspirant to your feet.
- Always wear clean, dry socks.
- When possible, choose open shoes such as sandals.
- Reduce your stress levels.
How Can the Podiatrist Treat Sweaty Feet?
If your hyperhidrosis can’t be managed at home, your podiatrist will have several treatments to try:
- Iontopheresis is a procedure in which a medical device is used to pass a mild electrical current through water and through the skin's surface. It’s effective in 80-90% of patients. Iontopheresis is painless and there are no significant or serious side effects.
- Another dramatic treatment option for heavy sweating is injections of botulinum toxin A. Botox works by preventing the release of a chemical that signals the sweat glands to activate.
- Prescription oral medications are available that stop the activation of the sweat glands, but they are a last resort as they can have unpleasant side-effect.
Are excessively sweaty feet negatively impacting your day-to-day life? You’re not alone. Dr. Jason Grossman has been helping many patients with hyperhidrosis, and he can help you, too. Call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment in our Old Bridge or Sayreville offices.