Springtime Tips when caring for your Feet


Springtime Feet

Spring is fun, but can be tough on your feet. Before you trade your boots for strappy sandals and bare feet, make sure you follow these simple tips, courtesy of Kory Miskin, DPM. No matter the time of year, good foot health contributes to your overall health.

Below, podiatrist Kory Miskin, DPM, shares a few tips on how you and your feet can enjoy the sunshine.

  1. Going barefoot increases the risk of injury to your feet. Walking without the proper footwear in a public area can expose you to infections like plantar warts, athlete’s foot and ringworm.
  1. Remember the sunscreen. Sunburn is very common as we approach the warmer temperatures in the spring. To prevent getting sunburns, make sure to apply sunscreen all over your feet. It’s especially important across the top and front of your ankles and don’t forget to reapply after you’ve been in the water. Aloe Vera or Silvadene cream are great options to use in case you do get sunburn on your feet. They help to relieve those painful sunburns that you may accrue.
  1. Increases in activity can increase foot injury. Everyone is itching to get out and enjoy the warmer temperatures, which leads to increased activity overall. This can lead to blisters forming on your feet when walking/running/biking. To reduce the risk of developing blisters over time, try to wear moisture-wicking socks. Also, the use of moleskin can help prevent rubbing in those areas.
  1. Remember to warm up before you get moving. As you become more active, stress fractures, planter’s fasciitis and other generalized foot pain can develop. To limit this from happening, allow yourself to work into a routine that will allow you to stretch your feet and other muscles.
  1. Shoe gear is important. Make sure to get your feet measured regularly, as they can change size. Measuring them at the end of the day is the best time. Having an appropriate fitting shoe can help limit injury to your feet.

Good foot health contributes to your overall well-being and spring is a fantastic time to start enjoying the outdoors again! Remember to start slowly, gradually increasing your activity. Regular stretching, and warming up is very important. If a foot/ankle injury does occur, don’t hesitate to see a Podiatrist for help!

Miskin

Dr. Kory Miskin joined the OCH Health System in December. He is available to see patients Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic and every other Wednesday at the OCH Southwest City Community Clinic in Southwest City, Missouri. Dr. Miskin can provide medical diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems. He received his education from Brigham Young University – Provo and from Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine. He is currently is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. To contact the OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic, or schedule an appointment, call the office at 479-344-6870 or fax 479-344-6865.

Treat Your Feet Well this Winter

treat-your-feet

Winter can be just as tough on your toes as it is on cars and houses. Don’t neglect ‘em just because they are hidden away! Good foot health contributes to your overall health, no matter the season.

Below, podiatrist Kory Miskin, DPM, shares a few tips on how to be sweet to your feet during the cold weather:

  • DON’T IMPROVISE WINTER SPORT SHOES: If you snowboard or ski, it’s important to only wear boots specifically designed for that purpose. Make sure they fit properly. This means that you should be able to wiggle your toes and the boots should immobilize the heel, instep, and ball of your foot. You can use orthotics (support devices that go inside shoes) to help control the foot’s movement inside ski boots or ice skates.

 

  • BE “SIZE-SMART” WHEN BUYING NEW: It may be tempting to buy pricey specialty footwear (like winter boots or ski boots) for kids in a slightly larger size in hope that they’ll be able to get two seasons of wear out of them. Unlike coats that kids can grow into, footwear needs to fit properly right away. Properly fitted skates and boots can help prevent blisters, chafing, and ankle or foot injuries. Likewise, if socks are too small, they can force toes to bunch together, and that friction can cause painful blisters or corns.

 

  • KEEP YOUR TOES COZY, BUT NOT TOO COZY: Boots are must-have footwear in winter climates, especially when dealing with winter precipitation. Between the waterproof material of the boots themselves and the warm socks you wear to keep toes toasty, you may find your feet sweat a lot. Damp sweaty feet can chill more easily and are more prone to bacterial infections. To keep feet clean and dry, consider using foot powder inside socks and incorporating extra foot baths into your foot care regimen this winter.

 

  • IT’S OKAY TO RUN IN THE COLD: If you’re a runner, you don’t need to let the cold stop you! A variety of warm, light-weight, moisture-wicking active wear available at most running or sporting goods stores helps ensure runners stay warm and dry in bitter temperatures. Try and shorten your stride to help maintain stability during icy conditions instead of altering the way your foot strikes the ground. Always remember to stretch during the cold!

 

  • KEEP YOUR FEET HYDRATED: Remember to keep your feet moisturized on a daily basis, but do not moisturize in between your toes. After bathing and/or showering, make sure to dry your feet in between your toes to avoid cracking/fissuring which can lead to bacterial infections.

As a final winter safety-reminder, remember not to tip-toe through winter snow, ice, and temperatures in summer footwear.  Choose winter footwear that will keep your feet warm, dry, and well-supported to avoid exposing your feet to frostbite or injury.  The good news is, there are plenty of options out there that meet THE criteria (and are fashionable as well).

Dr. Kory Miskin joined the OCH Health System in December. He is available to see patients Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the OCH of Gravette facility. Dr. Miskin can provide medical diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems. He received his education from Brigham Young University – Provo and from Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine. He is currently is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. To contact the OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic, or schedule an appointment, call the office at 479-344-6870 or fax 479-344-6865.

The good and bad of cholesterol

Cholesterol is often negatively portrayed in eyes of the public, but it’s not all bad! Everyone needs cholesterol to live; and it is both good and necessary, in the right quantity, much like everything else in our bodies.

Cholesterol is important for brain and nerve function and is the building block of all our hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen. However, cholesterol does have a downside. Because it is a waxy substance, it can build up in blood vessels and cause lots of problems with heart, brain and arteries. This can lead to high blood pressure and even erectile dysfunction.

Here’s what you need to know about testing and risk factors to help maintain a healthy level cholesterol:

Although healthcare providers test for cholesterol levels if patients have high blood pressure or issues with their heart, it is recommended that individuals start testing cholesterol levels between the ages of 25 to 35 years (for men) and ages 35 to 45 years (for females).

Testing is usually done first thing in the morning, prior to an 8 hour period without eating, or “fasting lipid panel.” Tests measure total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipids and high-density lipids. Here are a few ideal measurements:

  • Total cholesterol should be below 200.
  • Triglycerides should be less than 150.
  • Low density lipids (LDL) are known as “lousy” lipids and should be low. High density lipids (HDL) are “happy” lipids and are beneficial when they are up. Note: HDL’s help clean up when there is excess cholesterol in the blood, which is why the ratio of HDL to LDL is a predictor of good health.

Testing is recommended if an individual has a family member with high cholesterol or heart problems. Also, men and women who smoke and/or have diabetes have an increased likelihood of having high lipids and should be routinely tested. Each individual is different and may require additional testing every 3, 5 or 10 years.

Although individuals may not be able to eat their way to a perfect cholesterol score; there are select cholesterol lowering foods that can help! These include walnuts and almonds (raw and unsalted), strawberries, apples, bananas, grapefruit, carrots, dried beans, garlic, cold-water fish, salmon and olive oil. Foods to keep to a minimum include: coffee, meats, dairy, fried foods and fast-food. Exercise also helps keep the body and cholesterol levels under control.

As always, talk to your individual healthcare provider about risk factors and testing.

EimanJ.D. Eiman, PA-C is a physician assistant at the OCH of Gravette Clinic. J.D. sees patients of all ages for primary care needs and is also certified to perform DOT physicals. She received her education and training from Texas A&M University and Harding University and is currently a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Arkansas Association of Physician Assistants, Christian Medical and Dental Association/Fellowship of Christian Physician Assistants and the California Association of Physician Assistants. To contact J.D. at the clinic, call (479) 787-5221.

 

How to talk with your children about tragedy

The Springfield community has come together to cope with the recent tragedy and loss of 10-year-old Hailey Owens. If you have children, you may be wondering the best way to discuss this situation with them (and/or tragedy and death in general). Chances are, your child has already been exposed to some details at school and may have brought up the topic. If you have yet to address it, here are a few tips for discussing the recent event with your children, courtesy of OCH psychologist Dr. Erin Golden:

  • Find out what your child knows & doesn’t know about the situation. As this situation has been widely publicized, there is a large chance that your child has already heard about it. If you are apprehensive about bringing up the topic, allow your child to mention it first; or casually bring it up if it is apparent the child has been exposed to the information such as watching the news with the family.  Make sure to address the facts and correct their misconceptions.
  •  Make sure what you share is age appropriate. Until kids are about 5 or 6 years old, their view of the world is very literal. So explain the death in basic and concrete terms.  Also remember that kids’ questions may sound much deeper than they actually are. For example, a 5-year-old who asks where someone who died is now probably isn’t asking whether there’s an afterlife. Rather, kids might be satisfied hearing that someone who died is now in the cemetery. Kids from the ages of about 6 to 10 start to grasp the finality of death, even if they don’t understand that it will happen to every living thing one day.  Often, kids this age personify death and think of it as the “boogeyman” or a ghost or a skeleton. They deal best with death when given accurate, simple, clear, and honest explanations about what happened.  As kids mature into teens, they start to understand that every human being eventually dies, regardless of grades, behavior, wishes, or anything they try to do.  As your teen’s understanding about death evolves, questions may naturally come up about mortality and vulnerability. A teen who asks why someone had to die probably isn’t looking for literal answers, but starting to explore the idea of the meaning of life. Teens also tend to experience some guilt, particularly if one of their peers died.
  •  Don’t use euphemisms: Although you want to keep your conversation age appropriate, using terms such as “she went to sleep,” or “she is visiting someone,”  or even that she is “lost” to describe what happened can do more harm than good. Because young children think so literally such euphemisms can make them more fearful, as they may then become afraid to “sleep,” or be afraid that mom and dad may “go to sleep” and never wake up; or that if a person leaves they make never return.
  •  Be honest with kids and encourage questions. This can be hard because you may not have all of the answers. But it’s important to create an atmosphere of comfort and openness, and send the message that there’s no one right or wrong way to feel. You might also share any spiritual beliefs you have about death.
  •  Validate your child’s feelings. Are your kids feeling scared? That’s okay. This is a normal reaction. Are they nervous? Worried? Ensure them that it’s okay for them to feel this way, don’t downgrade their emotions.
  • Watch their media exposure. There has been a lot of coverage on about this incident over the past few days, and it’s going to continue. Overexposure to the incident can do more harm than good as your child copes.
  •  Review basic safety reminders with your children. Now is a good time to remind your kids not to walk up to vehicles, wander off alone, or talk to strangers. If you feel as if your child should be exposed to more education on self-defense, there are local martial arts locations are offering free child self defense classes for parents who feel this is necessary.
  •  Maintain your routine. Amidst a tragedy, it’s best to keep up with your child’s usual activities (school, extracurricular activities & social events) to help the child maintain a sense of normality. This is the healthiest thing for kids.
  • Know when to seek additional help. Counselors are on staff at local school to talk with children on a temporary basis. After a few weeks, if your child is still have nightmares and/or is having difficulty coping with their normal routine (hiding behind parents, afraid to go to school or hang out with friends, afraid to play outside), it may be time to seek additional counseling help.  

OCH joins the Springfield community in mourning the loss of Hailey Owens. Below is a list of opportunities to show your support:

  •  Saturday, February 22, there is an all you can eat pancake breakfast at Applebee’s on E. Primrose.  The cost is $5 and all proceeds go to the Owens family.
  • There is also a candlelight march in memory of Hailey this Saturday, February 22, at 8:00 pm at Commercial Street and Campbell in Springfield.  
  • Hailey Owens Benefit Poker Tournamen11am Sunday, February 23, at Dennis’ Place, 921 W. Sunshine in Springfield  Sign up starts at 11:00 a.m with the first deal promptly at noon. 
  • FUND FOR OWENS FAMILY: Empire Bank has set up a memorial account in Hailey’s name to help the family with expenses. Donations can be made at any branch.  You can also mail contributions to:

Empire Bank
C/O Hailey Owens Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 3397
Springfield, MO 65808

  •  And the Missouri Department of Health is asking everyone to wear pink and purple on Friday, February 21, for Hailey.

goldenErin Golden, PsyD is a psychologist at OCH Christian County Clinic in Nixa. She offers evaluation and counseling for adult and pediatric patients. Dr. Golden worked as a psychologist in Arkansas since 2011. She received her education from the University of Michigan and the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology. Dr. Golden is currently a member of the Missouri Association of Play Therapists and the American Psychological Association.

No Excuse Rainy Day Workout

Rainy weather makes us all want to forgo the gym and pop in a movie complete with pop corn, soda and leftover candy from the holidays (you couldn’t throw it out, could you?). But that’s no excuse! 

We all know that fitness is good for us physically; it reduces stress and keeps us at a healthy weight. But sometimes it can be hard to know where to start and how to progress your fitness level. Fitness includes many areas: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speech, agility, balance, coordination and accuracy. We have the ability to increase any of those areas!

But, who has time? Here are a few short workouts at home that require little to no equipment. Everything can be modified so that all fitness levels can increase in just minutes a day.

Note: Before starting any of these listed below, check with your doctor to make sure that your heart is healthy enough for exercise. If you have knee pain, check with your physician before completing this exercise.

Exercise #1 Box Squats

Background: I love box squats because the nature of the exercise makes your body perform the squat correctly. I believe the most important exercise to do regularly is the squat. This variation of the squat can be performed at home and all you need is a stable chair. This is also an exercise that beginners and athletes can perform to strengthen knee stabilizing muscles and control at the bottom of the squat.

To perform: Start with feet close to chair or surface you are sitting on to. The chair should rest about the height of your knees.

  • Pull your arms parallel to the floor.
  • Lower your hips and sit them as far back as possible.
  • Keep your back straight and weight on the heels.
  • Look straight in front of you and keep your arms up and parallel to the floor.
  • Once fully seated, stand up while keeping the knees pointed outward with arms fully extended in front of you.
  • Do not use your arms to push off you knees – make your legs do the work!

Option # 1: Complete as many box squats in 5 minutes as possible. This one is easy to do during commercials or while watching the news.

Option # 2: Complete 30 box squats, take a 2 minute break, then complete 20 box squats. After taking a final 2 minute break, complete 20 box squats. Done!

Option # 3: If you want to progress the exercise, stop just before touching the seat and hover for a few seconds. Or, complete the exercise with dumbbells resting on the shoulders or a barbell on the back. Another way to increase the difficulty is to try 10 minutes of reps or 2 rounds of 5 minute reps with a short break in between.

Four Reasons Squats Rock:

  1. Squats work not only the legs; but the hips, back, abdominal muscles, and calves. It’s a while body workout with one easy movement.
  2. Keeping your arms raised maintains correct positioning of your back while also working the shoulder and arm muscles.
  3. Building muscle will burn more calories throughout the day, even when you are not being active.
  4. Toning the muscles that support the joins will help decrease pain in the knees, hips, back and help prevent injuries down the road.