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The Best Toenail Fungus Treatment for the Money

When looking for the best toenail fungus treatment, various solutions are often recommended. There are tons of home remedies, over-the-counter creams prescribed by doctors, and plenty of items that can be bought and used from a store. That's great that plenty of people are offering to help, but how many of these actually work?

Topical Creams

One of the most common ways prescribed to get rid of toenail fungus is by using over-the-counter creams or ointments. These typically are known to not work very well and also take much longer to see results compared to other alternatives. It normally takes over a year to see noticeable results and even then the toenail may not be completely back to normal. This is also normally the cheapest option for treatment.

Surgery for Treatment

While most people's toenail conditions are never this severe, at times your doctor may have to recommend surgery to completely remove the toenail. During surgery, the toenail will be removed so a new one can grow in its place. A typical toenail should take around a year to fully grow back. While successful, many people don't like to get surgery for their toenail problems because the feelings afterward can be extremely painful. If you've ever ripped off a fingernail or toenail before in your lifetime, then you know this feeling all too well.

Oral Medications for Treatment

The best way to treat toe nail fungus seems to be by oral medication. I know what you're thinking: "Medication? Really? I'm not even going to put anything on my toenail?" That is correct. Medications have been known to treat fungus at a faster rate than topical creams and are completely painless. The only negatives, as with any medication, are the side effects associated with them. People can get anything from hepatitis to Steven-Johnsons Syndrome. Along with having to worry about taking the medication every day, the other downside is the cost. Without insurance, these medications could make quite the dent in your wallet. Since it may take around a year to see any major progress, this might be quite a costly endeavor.

Between all of the various options you hear about for toenail fungus treatment, it can be hard to choose which option to pursue. Your mother may tell you about an old home remedy that has been passed down for generations and your friend might tell you to just get surgery. Are these really the smartest options though? Most sources would say no. For the best treatment, it is recommended to get an over-the-counter oral prescription. While it may be costly, there is zero pain involved as there would be with surgery and most actually work, unlike foot creams and home remedies.

The Best Nail Fungus Treatment for the Money

Trying to find the right nail fungus treatment to help with your condition can be exhausting. If you don't find one that works well, you'll be wasting both time and money, which is never fun. What if instead of spending your hard earned money on medication and costly procedures, you could actually utilize items found in your own home? You actually can! Here are some of the best remedies you can create with items you most likely already have.

Tea Tree Oil as an Antiseptic

Whether or not you have tea tree oil in your home, it is extremely cheap to pick up and works as a natural fungicide and antiseptic. Want to know how to use it? First off, add undiluted tea tree oil together with a slight amount of olive oil on to your affected nail. Wait around for about 10-15 minutes and then lightly take off the mixture from your nail with an old toothbrush. By using this toothbrush, the top layer of your nail is being taken off, which is where a large portion of the fungus is located. Do this a few times a week for optimal results.

Vick's Vapor Rub

While this treatment may sound very strange to some, Vick's Vapor rub has actually been known for years to remove many people's nail fungus. Within a few days after first applying, many people noticed large amounts of improvement that they never got from store bought creams. To use Vick's Vapor Rub as a treatment, simply rub a copious amount over each affected nail and leave it overnight. Do this every night before you go to sleep and wash it off the next morning. You should see noticeable improvement.

Vinegar or Mouthwash

I know what you're thinking. Vinegar? How could that possibly help me? Well, it has actually been known to work quite well. All you have to do is simply soak your infected nails into a bowl of vinegar. Truth is, there is actually some scientific reasoning behind this method. Fungus on your nails needs a certain pH level in order to continue to grow and function. By soaking your nails in vinegar, which is highly acidic, additional growth of fungi is halted because the pH level changes. If a bowl of vinegar doesn't sound like the most favorable option for you, you could also simply take a cotton ball, dab a little bit of vinegar on it, and leave it on the nail for around 20 minutes. By doing this, the rest of the skin surrounding your nail won't lose any moisture like it would if it was soaked in a bowl of vinegar. If you don't have vinegar available on hand, mouthwash also works quite well.

As you can see, each one of these is a fantastic nail fungus treatment for the money. Each treatment hardly costs anything, is less expensive than prescription creams or medication, and should provide you with noticeable results within days!

Health and Fitness: Foot Health Article Category

I remember when I was on a trip in the Mediterranean with my family about 10 years ago. We were on a boat in a secluded bay. To get to the beach of this bay our family had to swim from the boat to shore. When my little sister got to the beach she was complaining about burning and itching on her leg.

She was stung by a jellyfish and the entire side of her leg was red and irritated. My parents, both in the medical field, immediately said, "Get someone to pee on it." Three of us siblings all looked at each other and laughed....my sister with the sting not so much.

In the end (because we were literally in the middle of nowhere and had nothing else to use) I watched my little brother humiliate my sister as she lied on the beach that day. He let loose his "miracle drug" all over her leg...and other places not even near the affected area. He definitely made good use of that once in a lifetime opportunity. Ah family memories!

Naturally my disdained little sister checked the validity online because it did nothing to ease her discomfort till we got to the boat where she took an antihistamine. When she came back with the results the humor ensued. My parents knew full well that it was a myth and chose to keep it to themselves as I'm sure I will with my children if the opportunity strikes....muahahaha.

If you think it's ridiculous....IT IS. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. As it is with pee and Athlete's Foot. I don't understand why we are so hung up on thinking that pee is the be all end all cure to everything. Maybe it was some genius comedian that started it a very very long time ago!

It makes for hilarious stories so I'm not entirely sure if we should go on a mission to tell everyone the truth but for those few reading, it's not true. At least it's not scientifically true which is what I kind of like to operate on.

When you have itchy burning feet and think it's Athlete's Foot, go buy yourself a treatment that works and is backed by some science.

Here are the Top Ten Athlete's Foot Cure Myths:

  1. Peeing on it cures it- No

  2. Apple Cider Vinegar- Maybe....just because it kills fungus, it does not mean that it is healthy or safe. You are essentially burning the fungus away with acidity. If you can stomach the potential skin burn then go for it. Many people say it hurts or burns....not to mention the smell.

  3. Bleach- Maybe...same as above. There are many other toxic chemicals that kill fungus and mold that shouldn't have anything to do with the human body.

  4. Mouthwash- The theory is great because it is antibacterial but it is not antifungal. At least there are no claims as such and a mouthwash company would have no reason to make a product that you put in your mouth antifungal.

  5. Garlic- Yes it has been shown to have antifungal properties. If you can brave the smell go for it. Maybe soak them in beef broth too.

  6. People will put their feet in just about anything to stop an itch- Yes, when your feet are driving you insane with itch people will do about anything to get rid of it. These "things" might include stinking like garlic and withstanding the pain of soaking feet in acid.

  7. If you wear flip-flops or sandals at the pool or gym you won't get it- No, there are no guarantees about this. It will lessen the odds of contracting it but think about it this way...are flip flops going to keep your feet dry at a pool? No. The reality is that some people are just more prone to getting it than others and your best bet is to find a product that works best for you.

  8. Baking soda or powder in shoes- No, the theory here is that it will keep your feet dry and prevent getting Athlete's Foot and also create a dry environment that makes it difficult for Athlete's Foot to grow in. For most people any kind of powder in your shoes just turns into grossness when you do sweat. Even then, drying an area where Athlete's Foot is already present just delays the inevitable time when it does grow. You need to kill the fungal spores not just take away the environment they grow in.

  9. Hope- No amount of hoping will make it go away. Praying maybe. If left untreated it may spread to your nails and that is an even more difficult problem to deal with. You will be wishing you had sorted out your Athlete's Foot before it transferred to your nails.

  10. Buy an over the counter product- Maybe. The problem in this is that most companies don't advertise their research or make it available to potential customers nor explain how it works. Big pharmaceutical companies spend millions in advertising dollars marketing products that can work but also may not work very effectively. Many common creams have a 40-70% cure rate. That means 30-60% of people who buy these products are not being helped.

Plantar Fasciitis - It's A Real Pain In The Heel

Plantar fasciitis is not your common topic of conversation at a party, but when you are faced with the heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis, there is little else you can think about.

But what happens if you have had the plantar fasciitis, including the heel spur that is sometimes associated with it, and you have no more pain? Wouldn't you then think that there might be someone at the gathering that might benefit from your experience?

Ice Breakers For Starting Conversations About Plantar Fasciitis

Here are some statements that you might think about using to start an interesting dialog about plantar fasciitis heel pain.

  • Did you hear the one about the guy who went to the podiatrist because he didn't have any heel pain?
  • I'm becoming increasingly worried that there is not enough pain in my life.
  • Hey, did you hear that my heel pain took a hike?
  • Do you know what a pain plantar fasciitis is? Fortunately, mine ain't heel no more.

Heel Spurs Are Not The Same As The San Antonio Spurs

Are you familiar with the Spurs basketball team? Heel spurs are different.

But what does this have to do with beginning a conversation about your feet?

Good question. Basketball and other exercises can cause problems with ones lower extremities. One of the more common problems is spurs, not the San Antonio kind.

This can happen when you have poor foot mechanics. Excessive running or walking can cause plantar fasciitis if you don't have good shoes to correct the way your foot turns as it strikes the ground. Then, if you don't take steps (pun intended) to correct the problem that is causing the discomfort, it can lead to spurs.

Heel spurs are extremely painful.

If you have these bony outgrowths, you will be boring the other guests at the party with your whining and complaining about your pain. That is if you can even get yourself to the party because your hurt so badly.

Hope For Your Hurting Tootsies

Now, this is where the rubber meets the road. It is possible to get relief so that your conversations don't have to center around the negative suffering you are going through.

Get your feet set solidly on the ground with excellent shoes. The kind of shoes you will want are ones that have the proper support for your arches. This can be done with inserts, or great footwear, or both.

You will need to go to a specialty store, one that carries shoes for folks with your problem. Take your wallet. If you are accustomed to buying shoes at a cut rate outlet or department store, be prepared to part with a little (or a lot) more money.

Just do it! It will pay off in the end, and you will have some really pleasant things to talk about.

What Are Plantar Warts and How Do You Treat Them?

Plantar warts make themselves known when you experience foot pain when standing or walking. Upon examination of the area you will see a small lesion that looks like a small cauliflower with tiny black spots that are actually hemorrhages under the skin.

Plantar warts are caused by the highly contagious human papilloma virus. The virus causes a benign tumor. This virus can survive months without a host and you can pick it up on the soles of your feet when walking barefoot in moist public areas, such as showers or pools.

Plantar warts are actually an infection of the skin where the virus entered the outer most layer through a small crack or scrape. Some public pools, showers and walkways have chlorine sprayed on the surfaces to reduce bacteria, however if you are barefoot and walk immediately behind an infected person, you can pick up the virus.

The growth of the lesion caused by the virus often is pushed inward by your weight when walking or standing. The skins reaction is to build up more layers and harden around the lesion. This cycle of building and being pushed inward can create clusters of warts and destruction of the adjacent healthy skin. Most people report the pain when walking or standing on a plantar wart as being a 5 or 6 on a scale of 10 with 10 being the most painful.

Because the warts can start to bleed a few drops externally, can spread to both feet, and can actually make you bed-ridden if not removed, most people look for treatment as soon as possible. The treatments range from surgery to simple home remedies. These are three primary treatments and comments on how you may use them:

1. Surgical removal of warts. Having surgery should be a last resort treatment because it does not cure but only removes the calloused skin and sometimes parts of the cauliflower wart. The virus is still present in your body and an outbreak can re-occur.

Often surgery is preformed using liquid nitrogen - this is called cryosurgery and can be very painful if there are a lot of warts. The liquid nitrogen actuarial burns off the wart and adjacent healthy skin and causes the body to heal over the infected area.

2. Duct tape application. The principle of the duct tape application is to cushion the skin, keep the skin moist so eventually the wart will peel off when the sticky tape is removed. This is similar to quickly removing cotton gauze when waxing to remove unwanted hair.

Duct tape can be very bad for healthy skiing near the wart. It can cause cracks and breaks in healthy foot skin when tearing the tape off the wart. As the wart goes inward and more layers of hard skin form to protect your foot, the surface of the wart is all that is treatable with this tape-and-wait-and-rip method.

3 Salicylic acid application. It is compound that is chemically similar to the active ingredient in aspirin although it is not identical. Salicylic acid is a homeopathic anti-inflammatory solution. It works on warts by exfoliation of the skin.

Some reports indicate that the latent virus in the body become activated by the papilloma virus. This makes timeliness of treatment critical and cleanliness of feet more diligently needed. Because salicylic acid must be applied to each wart to remove the outbreak, it becomes necessary to consider grabbing a friend to help, using rubber gloves when handling the feet, and all precautions to prevent spreading the warts to others.

Bathing the feet in warm, soapy water first, then towel-drying the feet completely is necessary twice a day. Once the feet are dry, apply salicylic acid with a cotton ball or with a small brush which will dry the wart and exfoliation of the skin attacked by the virus.

The method of exfoliation works well because the dead skin associated with the virus will be attacked and the healthy adjacent skin will glow from the effort.

10 Tips to Help Prevent Athlete's Foot

Top Ten Ways to Help Prevent Athlete's Foot
(We say "help" because the only way to truly prevent it is to live in a plastic bubble.... most people are impartial to that idea.)

  1. Wear something on your feet in any public area that involves people walking in bare feet. Flip-flops, sandals, shoes, water socks, etc.

  2. Wash your feet well with soap and water after being in said areas.

  3. Don't let your feet sit wet for long periods ie. towel dry your feet over air drying them after the shower or pool.

  4. Wear clean cotton socks every day. Don't put your old socks on from the day before!

  5. If your feet sweat a lot, keep an extra pair of socks on hand to swap out mid day or as often as you need to keep your feet dry.

  6. Wash your cotton socks in HOT water.

  7. Buy shoes that "breath". Open-toed foot wear is great. Running shoes with mesh all over are good too.

  8. Place small amounts of powder in shoes specifically made to keep shoes dry and prevent Athlete's Foot.

  9. Leave shoes by a heater vent or in a sunny window. Do anything to make sure they are dry the next time you wear them.

  10. Don't share shoes with your friends!

Athlete's Foot is one of the most common foot infections in North America. Many of us have had it or will get it at some point. It's almost like catching the common cold. It's prevalent everywhere and some people are just more susceptible to it than others. Although these steps will help, they are not guaranteed. Fungal spores are small and can lay dormant for so long that it's hard to know sometimes where we even contracted the infection.

It spreads from foot to foot easily because these spores can lay dormant on the skin or the ground for a very long time. All it takes is for someone to get a splash of infected water or step on the right puddle. The spore gets caught between your toes and may stay there for days and even weeks. Once that spore is in a warm moist environment ie. your shoe, it will grow. When the spores grow your skin gets irritated and that's when you know for sure that you have Athlete's Foot.

If you are plagued with this irritating infection there are many over the counter products that should help. Find one that works for you and keep a supply on hand. Following the steps above will help speed recovery.

Cures For Toenail Fungus - Where To Begin?

Do you look at your toenails and wish you could do something about them? Could you be suffering from toenail fungus? Nail fungus affects one or more of your toenails. They manifest as yellow or white spots under the nails and make the nails lose color, become thick, and disfigured at the edge. Toenail fungus cures do not have to be a tiring and expensive venture. This is particularly so because toe nail treatment is often difficult and they sometimes recur after treatment. You need to consult your physician so as to discuss which medicine to apply since some medication is very harmful to your body and can cause liver problems.

Toenail fungus cures can either be treated by prescribed medication or by applying at home techniques that cost little or no money. When using the recommended medicine referred by your doctor it requires patience since it can take as long as six months! There is also a need to have your liver functions tested before undertaking the treatment so as to reduce chances of liver damage.

Doctors can also advise the use of antifungal polish like Penlac which is applied on the affected area once everyday. After several days the area is wiped using cotton soaked in alcohol. Nail fungus can also be treated by application of antifungal ointments to the affected areas. The cream is applied together with oral medications to increase effectiveness. The doctor can decide to prescribe to someone oral antifungal drugs to reduce the toenail fungus if they have diabetes related complications or if the person is experiencing a lot of pain in the toe nail area. This medicine allows for the growth of the new toe nail in between six to twelve weeks. The new toenail replaces the infected toenails.

People resort to use at home cures since they are easily available and affordable. The liver damage risks associated with medication has also made a lot of people resort to natural cures for example:

Vicks VaporRub: Vicks contains components like jelly and oils that soften the nails and cause penetration of ethanol in the nail to fight the fungus.

Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has been mostly used to kill or stop the fungus that causes nail infection. It is very effective when used as a whole component without adding water to it.

The Listerine feet soak: Listerine has eucalyptus, benzoic acid, ethanol and thymol. People soak their feet in the Listerine solution for around ten minutes to kill the bacteria causing toenail fungus.

The vinegar therapy: Vinegar contains acetic acid that helps to kill the fungal bacteria. The vinegar is mixed with water and the feet soak for around twenty minutes. There is a need to eliminate or avoid the conditions that lead to nail fungus. People should exercise and eat healthy to avoid diabetes related conditions that may cause toenail fungus. Also personal hygiene should be taken seriously and avoid exposure to a lot of water.

Is Nail Salon Hygiene a Concern?

Walk into any suburban shopping centre these days and you are bound to find a very busy nail salon. It looks like such a relaxing and pampering experience. The girls are all having a great time, chatting and laughing with their friends. The "Mani-Pedi" has become the perfect gift certificate to give someone you love...or more appropriately, to your worst enemy.

Nail salons have been cropping up everywhere. They cater to our desires for beauty - a perfect manicured hand and summer sandal worthy feet. However, for many people they are becoming a nightmare, due to the increasing risks of infections & diseases that are readily passed on by untrained, unlicensed and unscrupulous nail technicians. The health risks can range from minor irritations to serious problems that require proper medical attention. The costs of these health risks are not only physical, but can be emotionally and financially detrimental to repair.

The most common health risk to be aware of is the development of a fungal infection in the nail. Known as Onychomycosis, the fungus that affects nails can range from dermatophytes, yeasts (eg.Candida) and moulds, with the most common pathogen being the dermatophyte species Trichophyton (T.Rubrum and T.interdigitale).

When nail acrylics are applied, the natural nail is typically filed very thin, with little barrier to the underlying nail bed. When the acrylic is applied, there is the possibility that an improper seal allows air pockets to form. Moisture may become trapped between the acrylic and the natural nail and will form the perfect environment for a fungal infection to take hold. A dark, warm, moist environment is the perfect breeding ground for those "Fun Guys" to host a party on your fingernails and toenails. You may not even be aware that a fungal infection exists until you remove the coloured nail polish weeks or months later.

The fungal nail comes in an assortment of colours. The nail may appear to have a superficial, white, flaky discolouration, or it can be a rainbow spectrum of golden yellow, orange, green, blue, brown or black streaks. The nail may appear to have infection along one side of the nail, or it may spread to cover the entire nail and extend under the skin fold to the very base of where the nail forms. The nail may also typically become brittle, powdery, thick and crumbly or deformed in appearance. It may start in one nail and end up spreading into all of them. The more severe the infection, the harder it can be to treat and the longer it will take to resolve.

Fungal nail treatment can be difficult and should best be done under the advice of a Podiatrist or suitably qualified health care professional. My next article will focus on the treatment of fungal nails.

Is Bunion Foot Surgery in Your Future?

Bunion foot surgery is a common procedure, but even so, nobody wants to have surgery of any kind if they can help it. As with any surgery, you have some serious issues to face if bunion foot surgery is in your future. Going to the hospital for surgery even if it's on an outpatient basis, takes a big bite out of your important schedule. Plus, there's always the concern of how much your insurance will pay. Another major consideration is recovery time, which unfortunately is not always what your doctor leads you to expect.

Surgery on your feet has it's own particular implications, in that you have to stay off your feet for what might be an extended period of time afterward. This is never a good situation, unless you are content to spend lots of time - perhaps weeks or longer - in bed with your laptop or a pile of books. Of course, this situation means that someone trustworthy has to be around all the time to wait on you to bring you lunch, help you to the bathroom, etc.

These are good reasons to avoid surgery on your feet it at all possible.

The most common type of foot surgery is surgery for bunion removal. Bunion foot surgery, also called a bunionectomy, is usually performed on an out-patient basis, but nevertheless all the concerns mentioned above are the same. Keeping the swelling down is of paramount importance after bunion surgery, and this requires ice packs and keeping your feet elevated. If you don't take care of your feet properly and keep the swelling down, then your bunion surgery recovery can last for months. No one is happy in this situation, but it is one many people have to deal with one way or another.

Of course, avoiding getting bunions on your feet in the first place is a guaranteed way to avoid surgery for bunions. Many doctors in the field of podiatry believe that the tendency to get bunions is inherited, but the whether or not a person actually develops bunions is due primarily to the kinds of shoes she wears.

Notice that I wrote "she" in the last sentence above. This is because over 90% of the people who get bunions are women. And women are the ones who wear shoes with high heels and pointed toes. So...whereas bunions have a genetic component which relates to abnormal bone structure, many if not most women could go their whole lives without even knowing they have something different about the bones in their foot (around the big toe joint) or by ever being bothered by bunions.

Avoiding surgery is a goal for any reasonable person, but unfortunately, most surgeries are unavoidable. Illnesses, diseases, and accidents place thousands of people everyday on the operating table. We are blessed to have such advances in the medical profession that allow for life-saving medical procedures.

Bunions are by no means life-threatening, but they can certainly put a major dent in your life-style when they become severe. The experience of debilitating bunion pain whenever you put on a pair of shoes will definitely curtail your activities and diminish your enjoyment of life. Bunion splints and other bunion aids help a lot of people, but if you are not among those who are significantly helped by non-surgical bunion treatment, you will most likely end up having bunion surgery.

Certainly, shoes with high heels and pointed toes have a certain sexy appeal... why else would women subject themselves to wearing these shoes that are murder on their feet? Of course, wearing sexy shoes occasionally will not cause any lasting harm, but if you wear them on a regular basis, you are issuing an invitation for bunions to make their ugly appearance.

All of this leads to one question for the reader: Is bunion foot surgery in your future?

Ethical Considerations Surrounding IVF Treatments

Couples around the world seeking infertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) are often concerned regarding medical ethics, guidelines and mandates in regard to procedures. For example, some of the most common questions that couples investigating IVF procedures ask include:

  • Are donors screened? What types of guidelines are followed to make sure donors are healthy?

  • Are donors as well as recipients anonymous? How do I, as a donor, guarantee confidentiality of my identity?

  • Does an egg donor or surrogate have the right to take away a baby if she changes her mind?

  • Do prospective parents have rights in regard to donors who don't take medications or follow medical guidelines during the in vitro process and a resulting pregnancy?

  • What happens if donors or surrogates don't pass genetic, psychological or medical evaluations?

  • What happens if my child develops a medical problem and I need to contact my egg donor in the future regarding family medical history?

These are just the tip of the iceberg. The legalities involved in a donation and surrogacy vary from state to state and from country to country. What's allowed in Argentina may not be allowed in the United States and vice versa.

Couples considering IVF or other fertility procedures should take the time to research everything about such treatments and legalities in their region, as well as region where IVF treatments are offered. Do this before signing on the dotted line. Ask questions of your doctor or fertility specialists.

Dealing With Legalities

In many states throughout the United States, the legal rights of a donor (in regard to the child produced) are not recognized. For example, in California, donors are not allowed to claim legal rights of parenthood unless the recipient mother and father don't claim their parenting rights.

However, in Great Britain, Australia and other countries around the world, laws are changing, and future egg donors may no longer be protected by anonymity. The rules, guidelines and legalities of becoming an egg donor or surrogate in the state of New York may differ from the rules, guidelines and legalities of doing so in India, South Africa, or South America.

It's important for prospective parents as well as potential egg donors or surrogates to be aware of legal, ethical and moral considerations and obligations regarding in vitro fertilization treatments and procedures.

For example, is age a consideration in regard to donors? Depending on culture, location and upbringing, the moral and ethical considerations of egg donations and surrogacy also differ. Today, cryopreservation and storage of eggs and ovarian tissues has brought such topics to the forefront of debates seeking to establish universal guidelines and considerations in this field. Sometimes, there are no black-and-white answers to such questions.

In most fertility clinics around the world, a woman's ethnicity, medical background, health and physical features are offered in a profile for prospective parents to look through. In many cases, and through third parties (which may include the fertility clinic), it's possible to determine the donor's educational background and family history. However, prospective parents should understand that screening processes are not perfect and there can be no guarantees.

Most prospective egg donors are given psychological, physical and medical evaluations to ensure a safe egg donation process. Women are also screened for hereditary conditions that may adversely affect a developing fetus. If such conditions are found, the donor or surrogate is (or should be) rejected.

The ramifications of an egg donor or surrogate who refuses to follow guidelines regarding medication, health care and a healthy pregnancy are enormous. Such situations are handled on a case-by-case basis, depending on facility policy and legalities.

Sof Sole Airr Benefits: Common Foot Injuries That Can Be Prevented

Sof Sole Airr is the revolutionary shoe accessory that integrates encapsulated air into the insole portion of your shoes, so that adequate support is provided to the feet during any physical activity. This footwear was designed to relieve stress on the joints, and afford extra heel and forefoot cushioning to lessen accidents or injury. In addition, it also enables the surface of your foot to breathe and feel comfortable during prolonged shoe use. Sof Sole shoe inserts come in different sizes to match men and women's needs, and are compatible with any dress option, whether formal, casual or athletic.

The foot is composed of 24 bones that form two crossing arches - the transverse and longitudinal arch. They are connected together by fibrous tissue known as ligaments, and these muscles provide secondary support structure. Along with fat pads, the foot is able to withstand weight, pressure, and impact, without breaking or straining. But, there are times when the body is too tired or unprepared to receive the burden, in which case, certain conditions arise that impair the physical mobility of a person.

One of these is known as Plantar Fasciitis, which is caused by extensive running, which precipitates the tearing and inflammation of the plantar fascia - the main adhering muscle of the foot that runs along the length of the bottom. It is characterized by pain in the sole area, which can directly affect comfort and one's lifestyle. It usually is more magnified in the morning and reduced by movement. However, it does not enable the foot to regain the same function.

Another common injury is Achilles Tendonitis, which is caused by the overuse of the Achilles tendon, which is the muscle that runs along the posterior area of the leg. This injury is usually caused by repetitive and excessively stressful lower extremity exercise, which leads to the tightening of the calf muscles, pain, and inflammation.

And then of course, there are ankle sprains, which are brought about by the twisting of the muscles surrounding the ankle joints. Like the previous two conditions, they can also be chalked up to the extensive stretching and twisting of the foot. An intense basketball game or a simple exercise routine can allow these to happen, even without warning, and they can cause severe pain and permanent muscle damage if not treated immediately.

Lastly, one might also experience stress fractures during physical activity, and get their metatarsal bones cracked, due to excessive weight-bearing exercises. Again, there will be pain, but swelling may not be evident. Treatment for this injury is usually external fixation. Activity may be have to be halted for at least a month, to give the bone time to heal.

All of these ailments can happen abruptly, and since they are hardly life-threatening, there's really no need to worry. But, the given circumstances should not discourage you from trying to prevent them through the use of Sof Sole Airr insoles. Although they may not pose an injury-free guarantee during any physical activity, Sof Sole Airr shoe inserts will, at least, help you minimize the damage, if injuries do develop.

Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

A stress fracture can occur in the ankle or foot, as well as a multitude of other places. Usually caused from overuse, the injury causes a small crack in the bone that generates from significant amount of stress over time to the area.

Many patients report an increase in activities, such as exercise, which brought on the symptoms associated with a stress fracture. These activities can be as mild as walking or as intense as running or lifting weights.

Excess stress can be put on the region, such as the foot or ankle, which results in a crack in the bone. The foot and ankle are among the most common places on the body for these fractures to show up.

Stress Fracture Causes

While the most often seen causes of these fractures to the ankle and foot are from an increase in physical activity, other causes are prominent. These causes may include osteoporosis, which is a condition that causes weak bones through decalcification. A person with osteoporosis may become highly susceptible to breaking a bone even with a small amount of activity.

Athletes who perform high impact sports and repetitive movements may also be afflicted with a stress fracture because of the continued stress over time of the body part.

Long distance runners, basketball players, gymnasts and soccer players are among the most common athletes who develop these fractures in their feet or ankles.

How to Determine if You Have a Stress Fracture?

Pain is the most common symptom seen. If you have recently increased your activities and as a result are experiencing pain in your ankle or foot, you may have developed a stress fracture. The pain typically worsens as activity is initiated but may feel better with rest.

Isolated pain may also occur in the specific area of the fracture. You may notice that if you push on the affected area that significant pain occurs.

It is important to immediately stop the activities that are causing pain. If the symptoms carry on for several days, even after rest, it is important to see your podiatrist for a thorough examination and diagnosis.

An x-ray will reveal the fracture most of the time. In some cases an MRI or bone scan may be ordered to provide further insight into the fracture and the depth of the issue. Often an MRI will reveal more detail than an x-ray; however, x-rays are a great way to provide an initial diagnosis. At times the x-ray is negative and the fracture is only seen on the MRI.

Treatment is typically nonoperative, and may involve a brace, rest, ice, or a bone growth stimulator for healing of the fracture.

Make Your Feet Feel Better With Arch Supports

Plantar fasciitis is regarded as a health issue where the foot has been affected by the overuse of the tendons within the feet and from around the heel. This condition can occur because of the extreme pressure placed on the tendons during intense physical activity, and in many cases as a consequence of physical inactivity. Whether you are physically lazy, or an extremely dynamic athlete, this problem can affect either of these two extremes equally. This is the reason why plantar fasciitis is the most common problem out of all the various foot problems. The wrong use of arch supports may aggravate this problem.

The majority of athletic footwear manufacturers put extreme focus on the heel and the arch of their shoes. There is a valid reason for this focused attention, as both of these two areas of the feet are overly stressed, and therefore, do need to get the most attention. The role of arch supports is to protect and preserve the arch, and at the same time disperse the pressure on the arch equally across the foot's entire base. This is achieved by making use of cleverly engineered soles in shoes. Due to this equal distribution of stress and pressure, the odds of you experiencing an ailment such as plantar fasciitis could be significantly reduced. This can end up being crucial to the career of athletes or sportsmen who might otherwise be temporarily sidelined as a result of foot pain.

You can reduce the likelihood of over-stressing the tissues in your feet by choosing shoes that come equipped with arch supports. These supports are nothing more than springy padding to ensure that your entire foot is pressed up against the wall of your footwear allowing the shoe to apply tension all over the foot equally. By reducing the pressure on any one place on the foot, the wearer should have the opportunity to have maximum use of their feet at the best safety level possible.

It is commonly thought that when your feet feel better, it will directly affect the well- being of your whole body. Because of this, it is crucial for you to take proper care of your feet. If you do, you might very well find that both your operating capability as well as your productivity level will grow, and this will permit you to become a much more efficient employee on the job. Athletes have already discovered the importance of utilizing arch supports in the hopes of making their feet feel better.

Arch supports permit you the luxury of obtaining a greater degree of comfort and at the same time, substantially enhance your walking experience. These supports are usually made of a durable plastic material that is molded from the cast of a human foot. As a result, they are well customized to fit the individual's sole, as well as provide additional comfort.

Health and Fitness: Foot Health Article Category

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the connective tissue that travels on the bottom of your foot from your heel to your forefoot. It can also be known as a heel spur although they're not necessarily the same. You may experience pain in your heel or in your arch, usually worse first thing in the morning, that gets better once you take a few steps. The pain may come and go throughout the day. So what's causing this?

Our tendency is to locate the source of pain and then - rub it, poke it, heat it up, cool it down, inject it, or cut it out. While any of these may be effective, they are treating the end result, and not the source of the problem. This is akin to replacing your right front tire of your car every 3 months because it keeps wearing down. The problem is that your front end is misaligned and the worn out tire is the outward symptom.

The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is a subluxation (mis-alignment) of the joints in the lower half of your body. Now I know that the first thing you thought of was "the bones of my foot are misaligned?". Ah, ah, ah...We need to go further up the chain. Although the source of the misalignment may be in your foot, it is significantly more common for this to be occurring in the low back or pelvis. When your low back or pelvis become subluxated, it alters your gait (walking or running pattern). This causes 2 things: leg-length differences leading to muscle-length differences. This leads to excessive pull on the plantar fascia due to the altered mechanics. One leg becomes longer, there is reduced dorsiflexion (bringing foot up towards shin) in the leg, the achilles tendon becomes tight, the arch of the foot begins flattening, this creates increased distance between the forefoot and heel and increased tension on the plantar fascia. If this added tension on the fascia is not lessened, the body begins to change the soft tissue of the fascia into stronger tissue - bone. Voila! A heel spur develops on the front of the heel bone because this is where the fascia inserts and is its weakest link. A heel spur can not be removed except by surgery, so it is imperative to receive proper treatment at the onset of symptoms to prevent spur formation.

The major medical treatments are surgery and cortisone injections. I don't need to tell you the complications associated with surgery. Cortisone, on the other hand is a steroid. As with any steroid, continued use can lead to high blood sugar, diabetes, osteoporosis, personality changes such as anxiety or depression, and increased chance of illness or infection. Cortisone is also used to suppress the immune system. In fact, it works so well that it is often used following an organ transplant to prevent rejection of the organ. It works by beating down the immune system to the point where it can form an attack against the foreign organ.

Here's what to do if you start to feel the symptoms of plantar fasciitis:

  1. Get adjusted - if your pelvis or low back is out of alignment, you're putting increased stress on the foot, you may not have proper nerve supply to the muscles of the foot and leg, and your walking/running biomechanics can be off. This step is critical because it gets to the cause of the problem and doesn't just mask the symptoms.

  2. Fill a small water bottle (the standard 16.9 oz. size) with water and freeze it. Then, take it out and roll it under the bottom of your foot, front to back. This does 3 things: it breaks up the scar tissue which has formed and the ice reduces inflammation & and decreases the pain.

  3. Take omega-3 oils - Fish or krill oil are nature's greatest natural anti-inflammatory.

  4. Get a gel heel cup - This gives your heel some cushion and raises your heel slightly which takes tension of the plantar fascia. If you know you already have a heel spur (from a previous x-ray), get a U-shaped heel pad which puts a small gap between the center of the heel and your shoe.

  5. Try a natural topical analgesic - 4X/day. Something with menthol works great, like Sombra or Biofreeze.

  6. Stretch the plantar fascia - Do this by bending your toes back towards your shin. First, while sitting, second while standing, if symptoms persist you made need a brace that will do this while you sleep.

  7. Stretch the achilles tendon. Do this by putting your foot in a toes up position against a wall or cabinet then leaning forward until you feel a stretch in your calf. Alternate with your leg straight and with your knee bent - this works both muscles in the calf.

Cure Toenail Fungus - How to Avoid and Treat It

Many people suffer from some type of nail fungus. It is normally caused by the damp, dark area in your shoes believe it or not. Most people's feet sweat or are exposed to too much moisture throughout the whole day. This gives an environment for fungus to grow and thus makes it necessary to look for a way to cure toenail fungus.

Avoiding Toenail Fungus

Some people are more susceptible to contract this fungus than others. This can be due to a high pH level in the skin, some sort of injury to the nail, not keeping the feet clean, and decreased immunity which makes a person more susceptible. The fungus will find an environment to grow in damp places like public areas attached to swimming pools and spas. This is the reason why many swimming pools used by the public have wade through pools that a person is expected to go through. This does keep the fungi in check. It is always best to wash and dry feet thoroughly after visiting any type of public pool. Damp socks are also best avoided to prevent the growth of toe fungus. Socks that are worn must be able to absorb moisture and provide ventilation. Shoes that you wear must also allow exchange of air and moisture. Sprinkling feet with anti-bacterial products can also help to avoid the fungi. Fungus is also promoted by the use of nail polish. Avoiding the fungus is all about constant attention to foot hygiene. It is best to wash your feet and dry them completely after every trip outside. Vigorous rubbing of the feet also removes dead skin, improves circulation, and thus inhibits the growth of fungus.

Medication to Cure Toenail Fungus

Fungal nail infection may sometimes require extended treatment that can go on for months. The normal treatment prescribed by doctors is oral medications and some applications to be put on the nails. Severe infections may even require the removal of the toenails, though such drastic measures are very rare. Some medicines taken internally can affect the liver and your doctor will need to know all your medical history to properly prescribe the right medication.

A herbal remedy in wide use for curing toenail fungus is tea tree oil. It is rarely used by itself, but in addition to other creams. Home remedies like soaking nails in vinegar or strong tea are also known to cure this fungus. Vitamin E oil has been known to help. Oil of oregano, lemon grass essential oil, hydrogen peroxide, Listerine and iodine are also commonly available home remedies that have been used to cure toenail fungus.

The most effective method of tackling the fungus is to go in for a combination of topical treatment, oral medication, and attending to the nails. Japanese doctors have succeeded in using laser treatment to rid the fungus.Most nail disorders are directly linked to nail fungus. This is a disorder that is normally harmless, but is more of a cosmetic problem that people, especially ladies, find disturbing. It affects more than ten percent of the people which makes it a fairly popular problem that people are looking to remedy.

Know What's The Right Shoes for You

If you are experiencing discomfort and foot aches whenever you use your running shoes, then you might just consider replacing them. But in replacing, you should determine what type of shoes is appropriate for the shape of your feet. You see, the reason why you are experiencing a lot of problems with your shoes right now is perhaps the result of not knowing what the right shoes to use.

You can simply approach an expert on running shoes, a salesperson perhaps, to help you find the right pair of shoes to buy, or you can figure it out yourself. The easiest way to do this is to simply examine your own feet and there's a more accurate method to do this. You can either wet your feet and walk in the sand or apply a water color on your feet and step on a piece of paper.

According to physicians there are only 3 different types of feet. You either have a flat foot, high-arch foot, or normal foot. Knowing the characteristics of each type will make it a lot easier to figure out what type of feet you have.

Flat Footed

This type of feet is pretty obvious from the first look at your feet. If your foot does not have any curve or arch, then you are flat footed. This means that from your toes to your heels, and the bottom of your feet is flat. You can confirm this by doing the footprint test I have suggested above. If you don't see an inward curve and your footprint looks exactly like a foot-shape blob, then you definitely have a flat foot.
If you have this type of feet, you need to buy a pair of running shoes that provides stability and motion control support. Because when running your feet rolls inwards and that it requires stability and support. In some cases, if you are an athlete, you might want to use arc support or foot care products.

High-Arched Type of Feet

If a flat footed person does not have any arch on his or her foot, the opposite goes with a person that has a high-arched foot. You can also confirm this using the footprint test. If you see that the middle section of your footprint is almost like there's no print at all, that means that you have a high-arched foot.

People with this type of feet runs with their foot rolling outwards. If you have this condition, you should know that your foot size increases especially if you use your feet that often. That is why you need to look for flexible running shoes that can absorb shock. In buying shoes, check the box for terms like cushion support or flexible running shoes.

Normal or Neutral Type of Feet

If your foot is not like anything I have mentioned above, then you have what is called a normal type of foot. Basically when you do the footprint test you will see that you have print with an inward curve that is not more than an inch.

When Your Aching Feet Strike, Know How to Counter

Whether it's from a long day of walking or from playing, we all have experienced foot pains at one point in time. That is why it is important to know the many factors that may have caused this pain. Here are some of the commonly known factors of sore foot:

Obesity

Your feet cannot carry anymore than the weight you should have. That is why if you are obese, the distance which you can walk without experiencing foot pain is short.

Flat footed or high-curved foot

If you have either of the two conditions, you might as well use shoe inserts or arch support to lessen the tension of your foot. Also, shoes depending on your situation, you might consider using flexible running shoes if you have high-arched foot and use stability and control type of running shoes if you are flat footed.

Poorly Fitted Shoes

In choosing the right shoes, see to it that it fits well to your feet. Try the shoes that you are about to buy and feel if you are comfortable enough. Shoes that do not fit quite well with your foot will cause problems in the long run. See to it that you the shoes you buy have the right insole thickness and the right level of support.

Overusing the Feet

Too much running, walking or standing may result to sore feet. No matter how healthy your feet are they will still reach their limitations. This is quite troublesome for those who use to stand or walk all day during their work. Standing too long in a concrete or hard surface can also lead to sore feet.

Resting is a quick swing back if your foot reaches its limit. But what about instances where resting is not possible? Here are some tips and remedies that you apply to help your foot relax and keep the sore from getting any worse:

Stretching To Counteract

Muscles that are over stressed will tend to spasm. Simply stretch the muscles to avoid this. To make it more effective warm the muscles first before stretching or you can sit and stretch the toe joints and ankles with your hands.

Heat Soak

In most cases, sore feet results from over worked muscles. Over stressed muscles needs to be relaxed and the best way to do this is taking a foot bath. Try to soak your feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes. But if your foot is hot, tired, swollen use cold water instead and elevate your feet after soaking it for 5-10 minutes.

Furthermore, you can improve your condition by checking the arch support of your shoes and also determine what type of shoes is right for you. If your flat footed or high-arched footed, know what type of shoes will best fit your condition. Also, use orthotic inserts when your doctor recommends because it may not get you any better.

A sore foot is a problem that people of all ages experience from a certain point in time. Learning the basic remedies above should make your problem a little less troublesome. But if in cases when you have applied such remedies and the problem still persist, you should see your doctor right away.

Health and Fitness: Foot Health Article Category

The growing interest of the buying public on shoe inserts has drawn the attention of many retailers and store chains and started to offer such products on the market. However, there are only a few of this merchants who have staffs, employees, salespersons and managers who knows how shoe inserts works and how they affect the function of the foot. The worst part of it is that many marketers claim how their brand is far more effective than any other brands available.

One of the misleading claims about inserts is the effectively of treating hammertoe deformity. That is why in this article we are going to discuss what this condition is and how can shoe insert cure it.

What Is Hammertoe Deformity?

It is one of the common foot problems where there is imbalance of the muscles controlling the movements of the toes. It is said by researchers that there are a number of reasons why you can get this condition, but the most common cause is the structure of your feet since the day you were born. If you are flat footed or high-arched footed then you are more prone to this condition.

There are some cases that a child will rapidly develop hammertoe but it usually takes decades to reach the full extent of the deformity. It is barely noticeable from early stages and dramatic changes occur during adulthood or old age. Remember, once hammertoe has reached its full potential there is no such medication, therapy or even shoe insert that can cure this deformity.

Now when it comes to retailers claiming that shoe inserts can alter hammertoe is totally untrue. No matter what stage your hammertoe is, no shoe inserts can cure it. In fact when used poorly, shoe inserts can even add to the damage and can make the problem even worse. The only way to cure hammertoe deformity is through surgical procedure. But a device called functional orthotic can reduce the pressure on the skin. This device is made especially to mold ones foot that is positioned in a neutral manner.

But Can Functional Orthotics Cure Hammertoe?

As mentioned above, no such device can cure this deformity but functional orthotic can prevent the condition from worsening simply by properly accommodating the foot. What it does is that it corrects imbalance tissues from those that are flat footed. This benefit can never be attained or offered by shoe inserts that retailers are selling. Although it may be costly, those that are experiencing pain with their hammertoe deformities will surely find it worth the money.

By now you should have a clear picture whether or not retailers know more than what your doctors have to say. Although a functional orthotic that is designed specifically for your foot will only provide you comfort, it is still a step ahead when compared to commercial products offered by merchants.

An Overview of the Most Common Sports Injury - Ankle Sprains and Strains

Ankle sprains and strains are among the most common sports related injuries in both children and adults. If you have played sports at one time or another, chances are that you have experienced a twisted ankle, or a sprain.

A sprain is when the twisting causes an injury to ankle ligaments, and a strain involves injury to one of the muscles surrounding the joint. Athletes, however, are not the only ones who are susceptible to ankle strains and sprains.

An ankle sprain may even occur when walking, traveling upstairs, stepping off a curb or moving awkwardly. A sprain may occur in everyday acts of life which turns into an awkward story to have to tell friends and coworkers.

Common Ankle Sprain Symptoms

Nearly all sprains, no matter what degree of severity, cause pain. When the sprain is mild, the pain is typically less than if it is severe. There are 3 grades to sprains of the ankle, and a Grade 1 sprain involves mild pain.

The most common symptoms of an ankle sprain, aside from pain, include swelling and bruising. Bruising is common when the injury was a result of a twisting sprain, and involves bleeding into the area.

It is not uncommon for a sprain to result in foot pain and radiating pain up the lower leg. The body is dealing with the pain and it can be felt in surrounding regions. Taking ibuprofen for pain and inflammation can be helpful while you are waiting to have your ankle examined by a trained specialist along with utilizing RICE - rest, ice compression, and elevation of the ankle.

Ankle Sprain Treatment

Treatment for a sprain is contingent on the severity of the injury. Minor sprains require minimal treatment, while severe sprains may require emergent medical care. In unusual circumstances, such as athletes with severe Grade 3 sprain injuries (tears of the ligament), surgical solutions may be the only alternative to repair the damaged ligaments that have torn and will not heal, creating instability.

Since ligaments can deteriorate over time, it is important to seek medical care for even a minor ankle sprain. A trained specialist may be able to assist with preventative measures so that further injury is avoided. This may require a splint for pain control and to allow the ligaments to "scar down" for proper healing.

Common treatment for minor and mid-level sprains involves elevating the foot and applying ice immediately in order to reduce swelling and inflammation. Patients are advised to eliminate as much weight on the foot as possible to reduce pressure and allow the ankle to heal. This may involve crutches. Compression bandages may be applied to keep the ankle and foot immobile while the healing process takes place.

If you believe you have sprained your ankle and are experiencing symptoms of pain and swelling, it is important to have the injury checked by a specialist. Lower leg conditions can lead to problems over time if left untreated.

Foot Pain and The Active Lifestyle

Everyone, at some point, experiences foot pain that can keep them from engaging in the activities they love. For people with a regular, highly active lifestyle, persistent pain in the feet is both a reality and a frustrating disruption to your recreation time. There are, of course, a ton of different causes of pain in the foot--from stress injuries to long term foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, but the purpose of this post is to get past that pain and back to activity.

Usually the best way to approach foot pain is to approach it like any other kind of pain: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If you injured your foot running or playing basketball this all around treatment can typically alleviate a lot of the swelling and get you moving again within a day or two. This treatment is a good first step, but by no means a comprehensive solution if you've seriously injured yourself. If the injury and the pain is noticeably worse after a couple days or you can't even get off the couch, it might be time for a trip to the doctor. Lesson number one is to always listen to your body. This goes for training as well, since a lot of foot pain can be attributed to repetitive stress injuries. The feet are pretty resilient and that is why it often takes a long time before signs of stress appear. Between walking and standing around all day and then going on a hike or hitting the tennis courts, the feet are on call all of the time. This a reason why foot pain can be such a problem.

Stretching well before any activity is always essential for optimal performance. Tearing muscles while exercising is common even after stretching well. This can also apply to the feet--especially if you experience regular pain. Stretching the plantar fascia tendon running along the bottom of the foot by wrapping a towel around the toes and slowly pulling the towel towards your body is a good way to flex the tendon before exercise. Doing some heel raises is also beneficial to getting the achilles tendon and calf muscles loosened up before you launch into any activity. The more versatile your stretching routine, the better. For comprehensive, dynamic athletic performance, you need comprehensive preparation. This is where the second and final lesson comes in: wear quality shoes.

I won't go into too much detail as to what kinds of shoes you should wear because every activity has specialized footwear, but there are a couple qualities in shoes that will make your athletic experience more robust. For starters, always wear shoes that are well supported in the arch and heel. Having this support with effectively cushion your foot as you're bounding up and down the court or trudging up rugged trails. Secondly, if you have pain in the bottom of the foot, there are a lot of great shoes for plantar fasciitis that have features to treat that pain and still allow you to perform well. The point is, when you lead an active life, foot pain is an inconvenience that can be easily resolved with a little patience and some extra physical care.

Health and Fitness: Foot Health Article Category

#EANF#

Heel Spurs or Plantar Fasciitis? A Heel Pain By Any Other Name

Suffering from heel pain is bad enough but not knowing what's causing it or how to make it stop just makes it worse! Terms like heel spurs and Plantar Fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) get used interchangeably but how do you determine what's causing your heel pain?

Define your pain

While nothing replaces a diagnosis from a physician, a few simple questions can help you narrow down your plan of action.

Do you have...

  • An incredible pain in your heel when you take your first steps in the morning or after getting up from being seated for a while?
  • A sharp, stabbing heel pain?
  • A feeling like you are stepping on a small stone?
  • Heel pain that feels like it's also in your arch?
  • Pain that subsides after you have walked around for a while?

Any one or even all of these symptoms could indicate plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs don't always cause pain. In fact, they often show up unexpectedly on X-rays taken for some other problem.

So, what's the difference?

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the forefoot. This band connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia which happens when the plantar fascia is overstretched or overused.

With this condition, the pain is felt in the base of the heel and can make even everyday walking difficult.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "about 90 percent of the people who have plantar fasciitis recover with conservative treatments in just a few months. "

The two most important steps you can take to treat plantar fasciitis is to use a quality heel cup in your shoes and to perform targeted stretching exercises designed to maintain good flexibility throughout the interconnective chain of the lower leg. In addition to these treatments, it is recommended that you reduce your activity level when experiencing severe pain and apply ice to the affected area regularly.

What is a Heel Spur?

A heel spur is a sharp bony growth at the front side of the heel bone (Calcaneus). It usually begins on the front of your heel bone and points toward the arch of your foot - without your realizing it.

Heel spurs can cause pain in the back of the foot especially while standing or walking. However, it should be noted that the spur itself is actually not causing any pain. It is the inflamed tissue around the spur that causes pain and discomfort.

Many people who suffer from heel pain are quick to conclude that they have heel spurs but general heel pain as described earlier is much more likely to be Plantar fasciitis. Only an x-ray of the heel bone will prove whether a person has a true heel spur.

Treating a True Heel Spur

In the past, doctors often performed surgery to remove heel spurs, believing them to be the cause of the pain. Most of that pain is now determined to be associated with plantar fasciitis. In treating plantar fasciitis now, doctors rely more on ice, heel cups, arch supports, physical therapy, and pain medications.

Sufferers from heel spurs can find relief by using a quality heel cup or arch support in their shoes. A heel cup will provide extra cushion to the heel and reduce the amount of pressure and shock that your foot experiences. Treating heel spurs can take some time but sufferers who use heel cups, choose sensible shoes, and include stretching and strengthening exercises for the plantar fascia and other surrounding structures such as the Achilles tendon can expect significant pain relief.

5 Easy Steps to Treat Your Tired and Aching Feet

Traveling, work, and even your daily routine can take their toll on your body, especially your feet. In fact, the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. That's more than four times the circumference of the globe. All that walking and standing in line can result in tired, aching feet. But it doesn't have to be that way. Your feet are designed to bear weight and absorb shock, but the one thing your feet are not supposed to do is hurt.

Here are 5 easy steps you can take to prevent and relieve foot pain.

Choose Your Shoes Wisely

Technology has come a long way since the invention of sandals and high heels, but we still insist on wearing them regardless of their effect on our feet. As we age, the natural padding on our feet starts to wear away. The right shoes can compensate for this. But the lack of arch support, heel and ball of foot cushioning in dress shoes, high heels, and sandals don't offer this type of support. That's why women suffer from four times as many foot problems as men; lifelong patterns of wearing high heels and standing on their feet all day are often the culprit. So if you want to stop the pain, buy shoes with a low to moderate heel, good arch support, and shock absorbency.

Shopping for shoes is best done in the afternoon as our feet swell a little during the day, and it's best to buy shoes to fit them then. Have your feet measured every time you purchase shoes and do it while you're standing. When you try on shoes, try them on both feet; many people have one foot larger than the other, and it's best to fit the larger one.

Cushion for Comfort

While your choice of shoes is important, sometimes adding some extra cushion, heel and arch support can make all the difference. Depending on the type of shoe you are wearing and where the pain is, you can choose from a variety of heel cups, ball of foot cushions, arch supports and insoles that will ease the pain from standing on your feet all day. There are a number of products designed to fit into everything from a sandal, to a high heel pump to a running shoe so that you can customize the cushion you need for each pair of shoes you own.

Take the Pressure Off

An average day of walking brings a force equal to over 3000 kg to your feet, so taking the pressure off only makes sense. One very simple thing to do to take care of your feet is to take a warm footbath for 10-15 minutes two or three times a week. This will go a long way in keeping the feet relaxed and helping to prevent mild foot pain caused by fatigue. Adding 115 grams of Epsom salts will also help to increase circulation. Taking the time to take regular foot-baths instead of waiting until your feet are aching will give you the most benefit.

Massage Away the Stress

Massaging your feet will help increase blood circulation and decrease stress. Not to mention that it just feels really good. There are many different massage tools out on the market specifically designed for feet. Can't wait to ease the pain? You can simply place a tennis ball on the floor and roll your foot back and forth on it. Remember a massage should not hurt your foot, therefore, be gentle, but apply enough pressure to help decrease any foot pain you may be experiencing.

Our final tip is something that's extremely important but most people simply never think of it...

Stretch Yourself

Your body is made up of an interconnective chain of muscles, tendons and ligaments that all impact each other. This is especially evident when it comes to performance and pain. When everything is in balance movement is painless, almost effortless. But when a link of that chain is weakened or injured, the "domino effect" of that weak link may be greater than you realize.

Have you ever sprained an ankle only to find a week later that you're suffering from lower back pain? Then you've experienced first-hand how weak links put undue stress on stronger ones. Weak muscles cause tighter (stronger) muscles to be recruited by the central nervous system in order to perform the same movement. So your foot pain of today, could end up being a real pain in your back next week.

You can ensure that your feet can go the distance by regularly stretching your hamstrings, calves, plantar fascia and toes. Keeping your calves, hamstrings, and foot muscles flexible and strong will go a long way in helping to avoid aching feet.

Following these simple guidelines should keep everyone from the busiest of world travelers to weekend warriors and all family members from missing a step. Take care of your feet and they will take you wherever you need to go in life.

Health and Fitness: Foot Health Article Category

JOINTS OF THE FOOT AND ANKLE:

The purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of the major joints of the foot and ankle, describing their structure and function. There are 28 bones and 33 joints in the foot and ankle. Some function to support the weight of our bodies, while others are designed to disperse that weight and move us forward. The foot is relatively stable because there is little free movement between the bones of the foot. The foot must absorb the shock of the body weight every time we take a step.

Because there are so many small bones in the foot, and many of them articulate with more than one bone, the names of these joints can get quite confusing. To add to the confusion, different books will call the joints different names. I have tried to include as many of the different names as possible. I recommend reading this article with an open anatomy book, a picture is worth a thousand words.

TALOCRURAL JOINT:

This joint is made by the articulation between the talus and the distal tibia and fibula. It's also called the mortise joint, due to its strong resemblance to a mortise joint in woodworking. This joint is responsible for most of the plantarflexion/dorsiflexion of the foot, and bears 100% of the weight of the body before dispersing it into the remainder of the foot.

SUBTALOR JOINT:

Also called the talocalcaneal joint, this joint is formed by the articulation between talus and calcaneus. The talus sits on the anterior two-thirds of the calcaneus. Through a combination of movements, the subtalor joint provides inversion/eversion of the ankle joint. When standing, the ground restricts the movement of the calcaneus, so subtalor joint motion is critical when weight bearing.

TRANSVERSE TARSAL JOINTS:

Also called the midtarsal joints, there are a lot of different joints in this category. Basically, the midtarsal joints are the transitional link between the hindfoot and the forefoot. This area adds to the motion of the calcaneus (inversion/eversion), and helps the foot transition from weight-bearing to walking. The tarsal joint is very important in the early stance phase of gait. It is the talus and calcaneus articulating with the navicular and cuboid bones, so there are many different names for the joints in this area.

NAVICULAR JOINT:

The bones that articulate with the navicular form many joints. It is easier to look at the function of these joints as a whole, rather than specify each individual joint. The navicular bone is at the top of the arch of your foot. This area participates in both hindfoot motion and in midfoot motion. It's two faced - it articulates the talus and calcaneus so on that side it helps inversion/eversion, and articulates with the mid foot which adds to dorsi/plantar flexion.

TARSOMETATARSAL JOINTS:

Tarsometatarsal joint function is a continuation of the transverse tarsal joint - they regulate position of the metatarsals and phalanges (toes) relative to the ground.

METATARSOPHALANGEAL JOINTS:

These joints make up the balls of your feet. It is where the long bones of your feet (metatarsals) and your toes (phalanges) meet. These joints allow flexion/extension of the toes. When the heel leaves the ground, these joints distribute your weight evenly across the ball of the foot, providing a smooth transition of weight onto the toes.

INTERPHALANGEAL JOINTS:

The toes function to smooth the weight shift to the opposite foot in gait and help maintain stability by pressing against the ground both when standing and walking.

The foot and ankle are very complex structures, working as a unit to support the weight of our bodies, while providing an amazing amount of movement and stability. The more we understand about the bones and joints of the foot, the more we can appreciate what they do.

What Causes Stinky Feet and How to Get Relief

Having stinky feet can be very embarrassing, especially during warm weather. While everyone else is wearing sandals or flip-flops, a person with foot odor is stuck in socks and closed-toe shoes. People whose feet smell dread trips to the pool or beach, where they will have no choice but to reveal their stinky little secret. Why do some people have foot odor while others do not? Is there a way to address the odor that does not cost much money or require a huge investment of time?

Body sweat is a fact of life and is not an issue in itself because sweat is odorless. Dead skin cells are also a natural occurrence and are usually not an issue. It is the bacteria naturally occurring on the body that is the problem. This bacteria mixes with sweat and dead skin cells to create a very ripe-smelling situation. The odor is caused by an isovaleric acid and on the feet, it carries the medical term of bromhidrosis. None of this sounds very pleasant but fortunately, the situation can be addressed.

The first thing a person suffering from foot odor should realize is that many other people have the same condition. In fact, as many as half of us experience foot odor during our lifetime. Even people who focus on hygiene may find that their feet smell. Normal bathing may not be enough to address the issue. Scrubs, creams, powders, and lotions are available to address foot odor but these are expensive, especially when used for a prolonged period. In addition, many products simply mask the smell, doing nothing to address the cause of the problem.

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the outermost layer of skin. Facials, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion use exfoliation to maintain the skin. Far from being a new technique, exfoliation has been used since ancient Egyptian times. A wide assortment of chemicals and equipment can be used to exfoliate skin. In the Middle Ages, people used wine to chemically exfoliate, with tartaric acid serving as the active ingredient.

The practice of exfoliation removes the outer layer of skin, called the epidermis. This cleans the skin by unclogging pores and ridding the surface of bacteria. In the process, newer skin is revealed, creating a younger appearance. When exfoliation is performed on the feet, dead skin cells are removed, eliminating one component of the foot odor formula.

By using a foot exfoliating tool combined with soap and water, a person naturally gets rid of existing foot odor and prevents the condition from reoccurring. Exfoliation targets the cause of the problem, creating long-lasting results. Regular foot exfoliation keeps feet smelling and looking great. The skin is rejuvenated and blood flow increases.

When people learn how foot odor develops, they realize it is not their fault. When they learn how to address the issue naturally with exfoliation, they realize they need not be victims of the situation. With regular exfoliation, people who previously had stinky feet can enjoy wearing open-toed shoes and flip-flops.

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