There are so many cute baby shoes out there. You can find designs from Star Wars, Disney's Frozen, tiny ballet slippers and even mini-cowboy boots. But if your infant isn't walking yet, keep them barefoot!
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends covering a baby's feet only for warmth and protection - a good pair of comfortable socks will do. The Academy advises that babies need shoes only when they begin to walk outdoors. In fact, wearing baby shoes that are inflexible or have slippery soles can make it even harder to learn how to walk.
A baby's foot is flexible because the bones begin as soft cartilage and harden into bone as they grow. You don't want to force baby's foot into an inflexible shoe while this process is happening. Walking barefoot is really healthy for the child's ligaments and muscles as they develop and as the foot's arch gets stronger. Besides, babies love the feeling of the floor as they walk! Walking barefoot also helps with good posture.
Cover your baby's feet with warm socks of cotton or a cotton and wool mix. Keep an eye on the size of the socks so they don't get too tight.
Choosing the First Pair of Shoes
Don't go for "trendy" when buying your baby's first pair of shoes - invest in sturdy shoes made of high-quality materials for good protection. Advanced Feet and Ankle Care offers the following shoe-buying tips when your baby begins to walk:
- Remember that you're investing in your child's foot health - shop at a reputable shoe store that has a wide selection of children's shoes and knowledgeable salespeople.
- Have both feet measured each time your shop. A toddler's feet grow very fast - on average, 2 shoe sizes each year until age 4 - so measure the feet every 6-8 weeks.
- Check that the shoes allow plenty of "wiggle room" for the toes. Your pinkie finger should be able to fit between the end of the toes and the shoe's tip. The toes must lay flat and not be crowded together.
- Shoe styles that come in whole and half-sizes with varying widths will help you get a better fit.
- Look for lightweight and flexible materials like leather. Make sure that the fastenings are secure and will prevent the baby's heel from slipping.
- Non-slip soles give better traction and padded ankles help provide extra support.
We discourage using pre-worn shoes that have been handed down to your child. After some wear, shoes will mold to fit the feet of the owner and so will never fit your child correctly.
We Can Help with Any Pediatric Foot Concerns
Dr. Jason M. Grossman, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience with foot and ankle care for patients of all ages. If you have any foot or ankle pain, please come in to our Old Bridge or Sayreville office for an examination. You can reach us at (732) 679-4330 for an appointment at either location or book an appointment online. Take the first step - call us today!
Do you have weakness, numbness or pain in your feet? Does it feel like a tingling or even a burning sensation?
If you do, you may have a condition called peripheral neuropathy, or damage to your peripheral nerves. These nerves transmit information from your brain and spinal cord to your extremities like legs, feet, arms and hands. Symptoms of neuropathy often appear in your feet first.
As neuropathy progresses, you may be susceptible to falls or experience a lack of coordination. If you have any of these symptoms, it's very important to come in to Advanced Feet and Ankle Care for evaluation and treatment before permanent damage sets in.
Diabetes Is a Common Cause of Neuropathy
Those whose diabetes is not well controlled - with high blood sugar levels - often have neuropathy. A combination of high blood sugar and reduced circulation to the extremities can damage the nerve fibers. Other causes of neuropathy include trauma to the nerve, alcoholism and certain autoimmune diseases.
If you have reduced sensation in your feet, you may not notice a small injury like a puncture, cut or bruise. Left untreated, these types of injuries can worsen and lead to a serious foot ulcer. Also, because both the motor nerves and sensory nerves are affected by neuropathy, numbness in the feet and loss of coordination can cause serious injuries due to frequent falling.
How We Treat Peripheral Neuropathy
To diagnose your condition, we'll give your feet a thorough examination and observe your gait. We'll check the status of the nerves in your feet with a non-invasive nerve conduction study.
We offer a state-of-the-art treatment for neuropathy called Neurogenx. This technology is non-surgical and non-narcotic. Neurogenx treatments relieve neuropathy symptoms like pain and numbness using high-frequency electronic waves that penetrate down through your muscle and tissue.
Treatments successfully reduce swelling and increase cellular metabolism to relieve pain and help with healing. Neurogenx therapy is effective regardless of the cause of your neuropathy.
When the symptoms of neuropathy subside, your pain and numbness will be relieved and you will gain better balance.
Keep in mind that it's very important to manage the underlying condition that caused the neuropathy. If you have diabetes, work with your doctors to control blood sugar levels. With your doctor's approval, continue your exercise program to get your circulation going. The gentle movements and stretching of tai chi and yoga can help improve your balance. Stop smoking as this impairs your circulation.
Contact Us if You Experience Signs of Neuropathy
Dr. Jason M. Grossman, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to diagnose and treat foot problems related to neuropathy and diabetic wounds. If you have any foot or ankle pain, please come in to our Old Bridge or Sayreville office for an examination. You can reach us at (732) 679-4330 for an appointment at either location or book an appointment online. Don't ignore the pain or numbness of neuropathy - give us a call today!
Does one of your toes look different? Is it bending in the middle and feeling rigid? Are your shoes becoming painful because the top of the curled toe is rubbing against the inside of your shoes?
If the answer is "yes" you may have hammertoe, a fairly common deformity caused by a tendon and muscle imbalance. Often this condition is hereditary but it can also be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight or an earlier injury. When the toes are bent and held in a position for too long a period, the muscles will tighten and be unable to straighten out.
Diagnosing and Treating Hammertoes
Once the muscles have contracted, a hammertoe condition usually gets worse, so we recommend coming in to our office for an evaluation.
At Advanced Feet and Ankle Care, we will first give your feet a thorough examination and talk about your health history. A gentle manipulation of your toes will show us the extent of the muscle contracture. We will also take x-rays right in our office to look at the deformity of the bones.
We'll discuss a treatment plan with you including non-surgical options like:
- Adding padding to relieve chafing and ease any calluses that have developed on the toe.
- Changing your shoes to those with a roomy and deep toe box and lower heels.
- Custom-fitted orthotics can adjust the muscle and tendon imbalance.
- Injections that can relieve pain and inflammation.
- Toe exercises will help strengthen the muscles.
- Splints or straps to help realign the toe.
If the hammertoe becomes excessively painful or rigid, or if any resulting sore won't heal, we'll discuss surgery with you. Hammertoe surgery can usually be done under local anesthetic on an outpatient basis.
How To Prevent Hammertoe
Many foot problems can be prevented with smart shoe shopping:
- Visit reputable shoe shops with a wide variety of brands and sizes.
- Shop later in the day when feet are largest.
- Always have both feet measured each time - our feet grow as we age. Buy for the largest size.
- Bring along your own socks for trying on shoes to get an accurate fit.
- Shoes should feel comfortable right away - there shouldn't have to be a "breaking in" period. Shoes won't stretch as you wear them.
- Look for sturdy shoes that only bend at the ball of the foot area.
- Leave at least 1/2" of room between the front of the shoe and the tip of your longest toe.
- If you have a hammertoe or bunion, stay away from shoes with buckles or stitching over the deformity.
- Stick with low heels and a toebox with ample room for your toes.
Don't Endure the Discomfort of Hammertoes
Dr. Jason M. Grossman, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience with foot deformities including hammertoes as well as all foot and ankle problems. If you have any foot or ankle pain, please come in to our Old Bridge or Sayreville office for an examination. You can reach us at (732) 679-4330 for an appointment at either location or book an appointment online. Hammertoes will not go away by themselves - we can help!