Benefits of proper walking techniques and posture

Sometimes we are not aware of our posture and style of walking, because we do it so consistently. Did you know that by becoming more aware of certain walking techniques, even the slightest changes can result in large benefits?

Walking provides longevity and other health benefits, such as an improved metabolism and cardiovascular system in the long-term. Overtime our bodies may become misaligned, imbalanced and our joints become stiff; however there are simple changes you can make in your everyday walking routine to minimize these natural developments. These include aligning your posture, engaging your core muscles, becoming physically balanced and leading yourself with your upper body.

Aligning your posture focuses on the spine and making sure it is aligned, not only when you’re walking, but also in your everyday activities. You can engage your core muscles in a standing position by setting your feet hip-width apart, relaxing your feet and your knees. Physical balance means your body weight is centered on your leading foot rather than having your feet and legs pull you along.

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Smith - 11-17-15

Don’t put off foot problems. Early detection of issues is important.

Putting off problems that could potentially be harmful for us in the long-term is irresponsible. This especially applies to issues that become worse over time and can in many cases be prevented by early treatment.

Seeing your podiatrist on a regular basis to check on the status of your feet is recommended. Individuals with diabetes are especially advised to monitor their feet as glucose in your blood from diabetes can cause nerve damage and poor blood flow, which can lead to serious foot problems. Calluses, blisters, ingrown toenails, bunions, plantar warts, hammertoes, dry skin, and fungal infections might lead to severe infections and pain, thus impeding your ability to walk over time.

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Smith - 10-15-15

Athletic footwear

Some enjoy a quiet run along the Mississippi, others prefer team sports. Both kinds of activities require appropriate athletic footwear. But what is appropriate? Can I use my running shoes for an occasional round of basketball? Is it harmful to use my basketball shoes to go for a jog? And what is the purpose of cross training shoes?

The general rule of thumb is if you participate in a sport more than three times a week, you are well-advised to purchase sport-specific shoes like running shoes or soccer shoes. If you are doing one specific sport less regularly and are engaging in a variety of sports instead, using cross training shoes is best.

Most importantly, consider the general state of your feet. Neither running nor cross training shoes can naturally correct over-pronation or shin splints. You might have to purchase a specific brand. Additionally, your podiatrist can recommend additional remedies such as using special soles. Professional and paraprofessional athletes in particular must pay attention to these factors, because an injury can have long-term consequences for both their leisurely activities and professional life.

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Smith blog - 9-16-15

Myths of foot care

Did you know people in some cultures are offended if the soles of your feet ever face them? Because feet are such a vital part of our body, many societies, communities and even families have developed diverse forms of traditions and home remedies surrounding feet. Some are very valid; others are mere myths and misconceptions. One good example is Athlete’s Foot.

Athlete’s Foot creeps up on men and women, athletes and couch potatoes. Cleaning your feet carefully with lots of soap won’t protect you in public spaces, such as swimming pool showers. The only way to protect your feet is to keep them dry and away from any infected areas, including a friend’s used towel or shoes.

The most dangerous misconception is that Athlete’s Foot will simply disappear on its own after a few days or weeks; therefore antifungal creams and pills might be necessary to fight the germs in most cases. Although it may be treated successfully, it can quickly return if you don’t engage in preventative measures like wearing socks made from synthetic materials.

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Foot fashion and foot health

Everyone knows skirts go well with stilettos, but did you know hammertoes, calluses and bunions are frequent companions as well?

Wearing uncomfortable shoes can have serious consequences and may even require surgical treatment; however, anyone who believes “beauty knows no pain” should at least try to prevent potential injuries. Always have a second pair of comfortable shoes around, in case you are confronted with a cobble stone street or are doing daily chores. Consider reducing the heel height to one or two inches and ask your sales associate for chunky and kitten heels.

Fashion lovers should regularly visit a podiatrist to screen for insidious foot and ankle deformities. Check out remedies for pain, such as toe spacers and bunion pads. Don’t let style destroy the natural beauty of your feet. And don’t forget: you won’t need heels at the next pool party anyway.

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Smith - Foot fashion and foot health

How to prevent foot odor

Summer is approaching and temperatures are rising. Who wouldn’t want to cool down by taking off their shoes in the house or garden? Well, family and friends with a sensitive nose might urge you not to do so.

But how does foot odor start, and how can it be prevented? There are two primary causes. The first one is genetic and depends on the number of sweat glands, which produce moisture. The second cause, hygiene, can be controlled – and should be. Bad hygiene causes bacteria that, in combination with moisture, result in common foot odor. Warm temperatures and footwear prevents evaporation and will contribute to foot odor by providing the perfect environment for bacteria to reproduce. Additional causes include could be stress, medication and alcohol/drugs.

Preventing foot odor is feasible though: wash your feet properly on a daily basis, use and alternate moisture-preventing shoes and socks and keep your feet as dry as possible. Alternative measures include the use of specific creams and powders. Ask us for the treatments that will best fit your feet.

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Smith - How to prevent foot odor

Public area foot health

Its summer time and everyone wants to go to the local water park. Everyone is barefoot in the locker room and by the pool. Keeping your feet healthy is important to help prevent the spreading of athlete’s foot in public areas. Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection and can be spread by skin particles left on towels, shoes, or floors. Taking care of your own feet will reduce the possibility of getting Athlete’s foot yourself and spreading it to others in public areas.

Healthy feet start with good hygiene. However, good foot hygiene involves a lot more than simply washing your feet during a shower or bath. The Institute for Preventative Foot Health suggests a three part process involving daily foot care, toenail care, and daily foot inspection. The process can help make your feet happy and healthy. For more information on how to use this process and keeping your feet healthy, visit

Smith - Myths of foot care

How to prevent foot blisters

Are you a frequent runner or simply an active person? If so, chances are you’ve had a blister before and it was not a good experience. Blisters occur when there is friction against the foot. This forms a space between the layers of skin and fluid seeps into the space. They can be caused by anything from poorly fitted running shoes to wet feet caused by non-absorbing socks.

There is more to treating a blister than simply putting a band aid on and ignoring it. Improper care can lead to infection or other severe consequences. Minimizing friction is important when trying to prevent blisters. It is important to have the proper sock
s, shoes, and orthotics to prevent blisters from occurring. Having the right ointment to treat existing blisters is important as well. For more information on how to prevent and care for blisters, visit


Many people try to ignore foot pain. But did you know that foot pain could be causing the pain in your back, knees, and hips too? Our bodies are like a chain and if a link in that chain is out of position then it affects the entire body. When it is painful to walk our normal way, we instinctively change the way we walk. Changing your walking pattern can also affect the whole chain of the lower body – from the ankle, to the knees, to the hip, and then to the lower back.

The way all of those joints move together is changed when foot pain or deformity causes a change in the way you walk. Ligaments and tendons can be stressed beyond their normal range, arthritis can set in, and cartilage in the joints can wear down. Other conditions such as flat feet, bunions, and heel pain can cause problems in your back, knees, and hips as well.

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