What is My Foot Arch Type?

You may not think about which foot arch type you have, but it can be beneficial in many situations. If you are buying shoes, especially athletic shoes, that you will be active in, it can be helpful to know what kind of support you need. Additionally, if you have any issues related to your ankles, knees, or even your hips and back, it could be related to issues with your arch.

There are 26 bones in your foot that consist of eight different types of bones. You have tarsals, metatarsals, phalanges, cuneiforms, talus, navicular, and cuboid bones that all make up the bones in your feet. With so many bones, there will inevitably be different foot structures.

Determine Your Foot Arch Type

While a podiatrist can easily determine your arch type, you can also try and figure it out at home. This is not a proven scientific method, so you should follow up with a podiatrist, but this method can help you understand more about your foot and the type of arch you have. You’ll need water and cardboard to determine your arch type. Begin by dipping your foot in water and then stepping on a piece of cardboard. Look at what is left, and you will be able to determine which arch type you have. Take a quick photo before it dries so you can get a full analysis after reading the information below.

Foot Arch Types

There are three types of foot arches, including normal, flat, and high. Examine the photo you took from the arch print and determine which arch you have.

Normal Arch:

If the middle part of your arch is about half-filled up, this means you have what is considered a “normal” arch. Your arch can naturally support your body weight, and you likely don’t have issues with your foot rolling in (pronating) as it can hold your body weight well. When you search for footwear, look for shoes with firm midsoles, moderate rear-foot stability, and straight to semi-curved “lasts.” “Lasts” refer to the shape of the sole and footprint around the area where the shoe is built.

Flat Arch:

A flat arch means that it is lower than normal to the ground. If your footprint looks like a complete foot, then you have a flat arch. Unlike normal arches, your foot likely rolls in when you walk or run, which can put extra pressure on your ankles, knees, hips, and back. When you search for footwear, look for shoes with a straight last (again, the shape of the sole and footprint around the area where the shoe is built) and motion control to help keep your feet stable when you move.

High Arch:

A high arch means that it is higher than normal to the ground. If your footprint is minimal and you don’t see much on the print, you likely have high arches. High arches are problematic because they can put excessive strain on your joints and muscles. Your feet are likely unable to absorb shock well, which can place a lot of stress on your body. When you search for footwear, look for cushioning to compensate for the lack of arch.

If you are having issues with your feet, are concerned about your arches, or have no idea where to being when it comes to footwear, it may be time to talk with a podiatrist. A podiatrist is a medical doctor that specializes in issues with your feet and ankles. Instead of relying on the home test above, it is likely worth your time to get a consultation to figure out your foot arch type. This is especially true if you are overweight or participate in a considerable amount of physical activity. Both can put extra pressure on your feet.

Dr. Jamfeet in Los Angeles

If you have concerns about your feet and think it may be an issue with your arches, contact Dr. Jamshidinia at Jamfeet. He is a board-certified podiatrist in Los Angeles, and is trained in all areas of foot and ankle surgery and treatment. Dr. Jamshidnia and his team believe in comprehensive patient care and are focused on getting you back to full health. Contact Jamfeet today for an appointment!

Why Do My Toes Cramp?

Your toes are small, but they share in bearing the weight of the body daily. Toe cramps can be mild or intense, depending on the severity and cause. Various causes can lead your toes to cramp. From the shoes you wear to how hydrated you are, finding the root of the problem can help you stay free from toe cramps.

Common Causes of Toe Cramps

Below you will find the most common causes of toe cramps.

  • Shoes: Shoes that are too tight, too loose, too pointy, or have a high heel can put excess pressure on your toes. This pressure can cause toe cramps, especially if the toes are not in a natural position.
  • Dehydration: Without proper hydration, your toes can cramp up. This is even more likely to occur if you are injured, overworked, or have improperly fitted shoes. Drinking lots of water, but also liquids like sports drinks, can help you stay hydrated.
  • Tight Muscles: If your muscles are tight or even weak, it can cause toe cramps. There are so many muscles in your toes, so any tightness can cause pain in the form of cramps.
  • Injury: Sprains or injuries to the muscles in your feet and toes can cause weakness, pain, and injury, which can lead to toe cramps.
  • Electrolyte Imbalance: Dehydration can cause an electrolyte imbalance, but so can underlying medical issues. Without proper balance, toe cramps can occur.
  • Poor Blood Flow: When there is not enough blood flow to your feet and toes, they can ache and cramp. Things like sitting for long periods, medical conditions like diabetes, and crossing your legs for too long can slow down blood flow and cause toe cramps.
  • Arthritis: The medical condition can cause pain and inflammation in the joints located in your feet and toes. Some people with the condition experience toe cramps and pain.
  • Organ Issues: Problems with your organs, or even organ failure, can impact electrolyte levels. This can cause pain, cramps, and muscle spasms throughout the body, including the toes.

Remedies for Toe Cramps

  1. Shoes: Find shoes that fit! Stay away from high heels and find the right shoes for your feet that is catered to the activity you are doing. For example, if you are hiking, use hiking shoes.
  2. Hydrate: Drink lots of water, sports drinks in moderation, and eat foods that are high in potassium and calcium.
  3. Stretch: Spread your toes, wiggle them, and stretch them out. You can also massage them and use a heating pad to warm up the tense muscles.
  4. Exercise in Moderation: Exercise is great, but you don’t want to overdo it. Excessive workouts and physical activity can cause cramping, so moderation is key.

When to See the Doctor

If you have tried the home remedies above and still have cramps, it’s time to see the doctor. You may have toe cramps that are caused by something harmless, but there could also be underlying medical conditions that could require treatment. It’s better to be safe, so getting proper treatment from a medical professional can help you get back to feeling yourself again. While toe cramps may not be serious, they are painful and can impact your sleep and daily life.

Dr. Jamshidinia in Los Angeles

If you have toe cramps and want a long-term solution, contact Dr. Jamshidinia at Jamfeet. He is a board-certified surgeon trained in all areas of foot and ankle surgery and treatment. Dr. Jamshidnia and his team believe in comprehensive patient care and are focused on getting you back to full health. Contact Jamfeet today for an appointment!

Do Your Feet Shrink When You Lose Weight?

Life can get busy, which can sometimes result in packing on a few extra pounds. This is entirely understandable as the pressures of life, including work, family, and friends, can take up a lot of your time and energy. If you have decided to lose those extra pounds with diet and exercise, you may be surprised to see more than just weight coming off of your hips and thighs. You might wonder, do your feet shrink when you lose weight? In fact, weight loss can also impact the size of your feet, but maybe not for the reasons you think.

Most people plan to purchase a new wardrobe as their pants and shirts may loosen up with weight loss, but new shoes are something you may not have expected. Significant weight loss can result in going down a full shoe size. When you lose weight, you lose it all over your body, including places like your hands and feet.

Extra Pounds and the Impact on Your Feet

While a couple of extra pounds may not be a significant impact on your body, packing on large amounts of excess weight around can impact your feet. For those who are overweight or obese, the impact of the extra weight on your feet can negatively impact their ability to function properly and stay strong. This is because excess weight contributes to several structural problems like heel pain or arthritis. 

The excess weight stretches out the connective tissues in our feet, which puts extra strain on your foot muscles. It can also wear down the natural fat pads which cushion your feet and absorb the shock when you take steps or stand for long periods.

Weight Loss and Your Feet

One of the major benefits of weight loss is the impact it has on your overall health. However, another great bonus is that weight loss can relieve the impact of the excess weight on your feet. If you experienced pain, swelling, or poor circulation in your feet, losing weight can likely alleviate those issues. The pressure that extra weight can have on your feet can cause you pain and impact the strength and health of your feet. 

Depending on how much weight you lose, your shoes may feel looser. The structure of your foot has not shrunk, and the frames of your feet are still the same. However, the weight loss can result in the loss of fat in your feet and reduced inflammation. Excess fat can cause inflammation in your feet, and both contribute to an increase in the size of your feet.

Exercise and Foot Pain

If you experience foot pain and are trying to lose weight, you may find it difficult. Many forms of exercise can exacerbate your foot pain, making it difficult to stay motivated. You can also run the risk of further injury, which can derail your weight loss regimen completely. Below you will find some tips for how to stick to your weight loss plan without injuring your feet. 

Exercise:

Low impact exercises are essential for those with foot pain. Water aerobics, swimming, yoga, and walking are all great places to start. Talk to your podiatrist and medical provider to be sure that this will work for you. 

Steps:

If you can move around and walk without issue, shoot for 10,000 steps a day. Even without rigorous exercise, increasing your movement can burn calories and help you shed the extra weight.

Diet:

Many nutritionists and health experts will tell you that weight loss happens in the kitchen. Now, you don’t need to hop on the most recent diet bandwagon or completely cut out all your favorite foods. Simply monitor what you are eating and be sure you are getting your share of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy carbohydrates. Lower your intake of fats, processed foods, and excess sugar.

Foot or Ankle Pain

If you have foot or ankle pain and cannot get relief, it may be time to see a specialist. When you have gained some extra weight and have foot pain, a specialist can help get you back on track without further injuring yourself. 

If you have lost weight but still have foot pain, you may have a more significant issue on your hands that a specialist will need to diagnose and treat. Below you will find a few symptoms that should alert you that it’s time to make an appointment. If you feel any of the following in your lower leg, ankle, or foot, contact a specialist:

  • Pain that lasts for more than 3-4 days that makes regular movement difficult; 
  • Swelling that does not get better after home treatments like icing, resting, or elevation;
  • Redness, warmth, tenderness or a burning sensation; or
  • Numbness or tingling.

Dr. Jamshidinia in Los Angeles

If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, contact Dr. Jamshidinia at Jamfeet. He is a board-certified foot surgeon trained in all areas of foot and ankle surgery and treatment. Dr. Jamshidinia and his team believe in comprehensive patient care and are focused on getting you back to full health. Contact Jamfeet today for any of your foot or ankle needs!

How to Prevent Blisters While Running

For those who are avid runners or just starting out, nothing can halt your progress like a blister. Dealing with blisters can be painful and extremely uncomfortable. The best thing you can do for your feet is to try and prevent blisters before they cause you any problems. In the case that you can’t, there are ways to treat blisters once you have them.

If you have more questions about your foot health, reach out to top podiatrist in Los Angeles, Dr. Jamshidinia today!

What is a Blister?

Blisters are small, fluid-filled bubbles on the outer layers of your skin. Most blisters occur due to friction. They arise when something continuously rubs up against your skin. Blisters are wounds that take time to heal and properly caring for them is important.

The best thing you can do for your feet is to prevent these painful skin irritations. Below you will find some helpful prevention methods to keep your feet prepped and ready for your next run!

  1. Socks: Blisters are a response to friction. With that, wear socks that are breathable like nylon. Stay away from cotton as it can absorb any moisture and cause more friction between your sock and skin. Some runners will even double up on their socks. The socks then rub against one another versus your foot.
  2. Powders or Creams: There are special creams and powders that address friction and prevent blisters. If you have a spot on your foot that you know is going to cause you issues again, try an over-the-counter treatment. You can use foot powder, cream, or even Vaseline if you are in a pinch.
  3. Footwear: Because blisters are caused by friction, ill-fitting shoes, excessive moisture, or even the wrong socks can sabotage your running goals. Find the right footwear for your running goals. You’ll need something that is breathable to minimize moisture. You will also need shoes that fit well. If your shoes are too tight or too loose, you will run into problems with blisters due to unnecessary friction.
  4. Tapes: Similar to the powder or cream prevention method, tape can also help prevent blisters. For those areas on your feet prone to blisters, use moleskin or a specialized blister tape. There are some products on the market that are even water-resistant so they will protect you no matter how much moisture accumulates while you are running.
  5. Hydration: Keep your feet moisturized. Use lotion after you shower and be sure you don’t have any cracks or excessive dryness. This will worsen the friction and cause painful blisters.

Treating Blisters

If you weren’t able to prevent a blister, you’ll need to care for it safely and properly. Below you will find some helpful tips on how to treat your blister.

  1. Leave It: If possible and practicable, leave your blister alone. Many smaller blisters will heal on their own. If you got the blister from a certain pair of shoes or running, try the prevention methods above next time.
  2. Protect It: Blisters on your feet will likely need protection. You can use a band-aid or cut out a cushioned piece of moleskin. Place the cutout portion where the blister is so that the padding can cushion any pressure that would have directly impacted the blister. Make sure to allow airflow as your blister will need it to heal.
  3. Drain It: If your blister is really painful or filled with a lot of liquid, it’ll likely need to be drained. While this can be done at home, there are risks. When draining a blister there is a major risk for infection as you will be puncturing the skin on your own. If you think you need to drain your blister, contact a professional for advice before doing anything yourself.

Dr. Jamshidinia in Los Angeles

Dr. Jamshidinia at Jamfeet is a board-certified foot surgeon trained in all areas of foot and ankle surgery and treatment. Dr. Jamshidinia and his team believe in comprehensive patient care and are focused on getting you back to full health. Contact Jamfeet for any of your foot or ankle needs!