Running is a good and popular method of exercise that helps the runner lose weight and have better cardiovascular health. Running can also be very relaxing to some people since it can be therapeutic, and the additional health benefits make people choose running over many other types of exercise. Running also transports you from place to place, and it can be done with minimal equipment and whatever amount of time you have available. Running on different surfaces, such as pavement, sand and grass, all have a different impact to your feet.

Running on Different Surfaces

Running on Pavement

Running on pavement puts added stress on the foot and leg. (MorgueFiles.com)
Running on pavement puts added stress on the foot and leg. (MorgueFiles.com)

Running on pavement means you can run faster, because the surface is smooth and even. However, the consequence is that the surface is harder and has a bigger impact on the body due to the fact each stride can hit the same spot and cause the same impact stresses on the foot and leg. For those who already have issues with your feet, this may not be something you want to hear and maybe it’s time to change your scenery.

Beach Running

Running on the beach and sand is less stressful to the legs and hips because the impact of each stride is absorbed by the sand. It also requires more muscles to engage because of the lesser rebound effect, compared to pavement. The hip flexors, quads and glutes are all involved more when participating in beach running. For some, the intention of more muscle involvement makes beach running more attractive than other surfaces. For those with foot issues, this is a better alternative than pavement for your runs (and you can’t beat the views!).

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About 20 percent of the population suffers from brittle nail syndrome, a condition that causes toenails to become extremely brittle and ultimately break.

Your toenails are made up of layers of protein that are responsible for making the nail strong and thick. In people suffering from brittle nail syndrome, these protein layers separate or break down.

Get help for brittle toenails at Delray Beach Podiatry. [Image via MorgueFile.com]
Get help for brittle toenails at Delray Beach Podiatry. [Image via MorgueFile.com]
It’s important to remember that like our skin, nails can also dry out, which causes them to break and become more vulnerable to toenail infections. This condition most often occurs with repeated exposure to moisture and can be exacerbated by low atmospheric humidity. This is because your nails expand when they come into contact with water, and then contract when they dry out. Unfortunately, this constant back and forth between expansion and contract eventually takes a toll on your nails and makes them brittle.

Medically known as onychorrhexis, brittle toenails are visually unappealing as it causes the nails become rigid and split.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Nails that break or peel easily
  • Flaking at the base of the nail
  • Your nails have a series of longitudinal ridges
  • The protein layers of your nails break down or separate

There is often not one single cause for brittle toenail syndrome, but rather a number of factors working together.

At Delray Beach Podiatry, Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, has found that there are several possible causes of of brittle toenail syndrome that include, but are not limited to the following:

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Your feet and ankles are further from the heart than any other points on your body, so it’s important to know how to improve circulation in your legs.

(Jirka Lejska / Wikimedia Commons)
(Jirka Lejska / Wikimedia Commons)

For this reason, it is especially important that blood is able return from your lower extremities up to the heart without any difficulty. When you recognize that your circulatory system isn’t working properly, it’s likely time to make some changes to your lifestyle and contact your physician in order to work out a plan to get your blood properly flowing throughout your body again.

If you are diabetic, this issue becomes even more serious as poor circulation can often lead to a myriad of problems, including the formation of ulcers and potential amputation.

Luckily, there are several simple steps that can be taken to improve your circulation, such has:

How to Improve Circulation in Your Legs

1) Exercise Regularly

The transition from inactive to active can often be overwhelming for those looking to improve their health. The task doesn’t have to be daunting, however, if it is approached with the intent of gradually improving your levels of intensity and exercise duration rather than attempting to become a tri-athlete overnight. A good place to start is with some simple walking and then work your way up from there. If you begin to feel pain, take breaks as needed, but the goal should be to walk for 20-30 minutes a day, three to five days a week. From there, the sky’s the limit!

2) Maintain a Proper Diet

You are what you eat, and dietary choices often have a direct affect on your physical conditioning. Choosing to consume meals that are based on low-fat, minimally-processed foods are a great way to promote healthy blood flow and improve your overall physical health. Specific foods to include in your heart-healthy diet include oranges, sunflower seeds, salmon, avocados, watermelon, garlic and ginger.

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There are few podiatric ailments more cosmetically unpleasant than toenail fungal infections, also known as onychomycosis, which spread over time and can eventually destroy the nail if left untreated.

Nail fungal infections are typically caused by a dermatophyte fungus, which requires keratin for growth and spreads by direct contact, but can also manifest from yeasts and molds.

Although nail fungus can attack both the hands and the feet, the condition occurs far more often in toenails due to the fact that your feet spend the majority of the day confined to your shoes. The dark, moist environment inside your shoes makes it easy for fungi to not only grow, but thrive.

It’s often hard to detect a fungal infection before the problem becomes a visible nuisance as these infections tend to be painless and remain out of sight for the majority of your day.

A toenail fungal infection isn’t pleasant and can lead to a variety of issues including toenail discoloration, foul odor, discharges, lifting toenail or the complete loss of a toenail.

If you fail to take the preventative methods and become infected, toenail fungus can sometimes take months to remove as the infection can often be resistant to numerous treatments.

At Delray Beach Podiatry, we’d like to help you avoid this ordeal entirely with these helpful tips to keep your toes free of fungus:

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It’s important that everyone knows how to care for a sprained ankle.

Whether you are an athlete or not, a few missteps or a freak accident can easily result in a painful ankle sprain. And although you might research a few different ways to ease that pain, it’s important to remember that some methods are actually better than others when it comes to treating a mild ankle sprain.

Want to learn how to care for a sprained ankle? Keep reading!
Want to learn how to care for a sprained ankle? Keep reading!

A mild ankle sprain occurs your ligaments are stretched, resulting in joint stiffness, muscle weakness or tightness with reduced balance and joint awareness. Luckily, with proper and proven treatment methods, this type of sprain is very easy to treat, which means you will be back on your feet in no time!

First, after you have sprained your ankle, make sure to rest immediately and put as little weight on it as possible.  Lay down on a couch or a bed, and use crutches to move yourself around your home.  You can also use an ankle brace to control the swelling and allow the ligaments to heal faster.

Next, you should use practice de-swelling methods as much as possible.  This means applying ice in a piece of cloth over the affected area for approximately twenty minutes, using compression to control the swelling, and elevating your foot above your waist.  Under these methods, the swelling should not last for more than a few days.

Besides what you can do at home, a podiatrist can provide you the proper treatment plans as well, such as a splint for your ankle.  Sometimes a cast or a walking boot may be required for a few weeks. Depending on the severity of the sprain, surgery might be recommended. People who are in sports or otherwise are physically active are the most recommended for undergoing ankle surgery.

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