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Removing your Shoes 

Take them off…..

People pick up dirt, germs, bacteria and other microbes on the soles of their shoes throughout the day, yet in a recent survey, only 30% of respondents stated they always took their shoes off in the house.  In 2015, Bissell Homecare conducted a study which showed three in five (62 percent) of people don’t always wipe their shoes off after coming inside, 52 percent would eat food that had dropped on carpet or a rug, and around 49 percent wouldn’t think to clean a baby pacifier or bottle after dropping it on carpet.

It seems it would be a good general practice to remove shoes in the house and ask guests to do the same.  Perhaps more so now given the findings of a study conducted in Wuhan, China during the current coronavirus pandemic and published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.  Researchers found in some cases at least 50% of healthcare workers carried coronavirus on the soles of their shoes.  Whether you are a healthcare worker or not, If you are not going to sanitize your shoes, consider leaving them at the door.  Footwear News has some great tips on sanitizing your shoes HERE  as well as some shoe brands which lend themselves well to being sanitized HERE.



3 Easy Steps to Great Fitting Shoes


  • Time your visit.
    • The best time to measure your feet is at the end of the day. Your feet swell as the day progresses.


  • Target your purchase.
    • Select Shoes which have a shape similar to your foot.
    • Uppers should be made of a soft, flexible material to match the shape of your foot.
    • Soles should not be slippery. They need to provide solid footing.
    • Low heeled shoes provide greater comfort, more safety and do less damage to your feet.
  • Achieve the best fit.
    • Always, have your foot measured before buying shoes. Don’t rely on the size you have “always” been. As you age, your shoe size will change.
    • Select shoes based on best fit, not the size marked on the inside of the shoe.
    • Most people have one foot larger than the other. Fit your shoes to your larger foot.
    • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest part of the shoe.
    • Ensure there is 3/8″ to 1/2″ of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
    • Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slipping – the shoes should not ride up and down on your heel when you walk.
    • Do not expect shoes to stretch. If they are tight, find a pair which fits properly.


New Cases of Diabetes Down by 200,000

graph-249937_1280According to the American Diabetes Association, 29.1 million US adults and children have diabetes.  There is some cause for cautious celebration, in a “good news, bad news” sort of way.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported in December that Diabetes rates are decreasing.  The CDC notes that from 1980 to 2014, the number of adults in the United States aged 18–79 with newly diagnosed diabetes more than tripled from 493,000 in 1980 to more than 1.4 million in 2014. The period from 1991 to 2009 saw a sharp increase with new cases increasing from 573,000 new cases diagnosed in 1991 to 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2009.  The rate of new cases held steady in 2010, and began to fall.  Since 2011, cases have fallen to 1.4 million new cases diagnosed per year.

The CDC report notes, “Our findings suggest that after decades of continued growth in the prevalence and incidence of diagnosed diabetes, the diabetes epidemic may be beginning to slow for the first time.” Epidemiologists urge caution.

While there is certainly cause for excitement, diabetes continues to pose a threat to public health.  According to the CDC data, even with the current decrease in new cases, the number of new diabetes cases in 2014 was 2.5 times the number of new cases diagnosed in 1991 (573,000 vs 1,437,000).  According to other CDC data, since 1980, the rate of diabetes has increased by more than 100% among all age groups.  Additionally, the current data potentially masks the picture for high risk groups like Blacks or Hispanics and elderly populations.

Some possible reasons for the decrease are increasing levels of activity and a stabilizing obesity rate.  Other government data shows that Americans are increasing their level exercise.  Other data shows that obesity rates have peaked and plateaued.

What are the golden nuggets dug from these findings?  Rates are declining. That is a good thing. However, continued vigilance is needed.  If you are at risk for diabetes, make the healthier choices doctors have been asking for:

  • Get more physical activity. At least 30 minutes 5 days per week.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Eat foods high in fiber. Reach for the veggies
  • Choose whole grains- make them at least half of your grains.
  • Avoid excess sugar

If we all do this, the new diabetes diagnoses will continue to fall.

Blizzard of ’16: Keep Those Feet Safe


The Northeast is experiencing a truly epic storm.  In 130-plus years of weather tracking in the Philadelphia, the Blizzard of ’16 will be a top ten or even a top 3 storm for snowfall amounts.  There are number of foot or ankle injuries that can occur in such weather.  2014 saw 3.8 million people endure winter injuries in the United States. The most common winter, non-sports-related injury is an ankle sprain (an inversion sprain). This occurs when the ankle rolls over onto the outside of your foot. Thankfully, most folks are staying inside until the snow abates.  Be careful once you do go outside.

 It is difficult to think of your home as a dangerous place, but many, many people are injured in the apparent safety of their own home each year.  In 2010 alone, 666,000 had a fall in their home requiring attention.  After you have binge watched all those shows you have missed, taken and uploaded yet another picture of the depth of the snow in your yard, or any number of other activities, cabin fever may set in.  Perhaps you are looking around the house for some things to do. What could go wrong?  Let’s take a look to the world of sports for some insights into foot-related injuries in the home.

 When Furniture Attacks #1

  • Blizzard of ‘16 indoor activity: Maybe you are excited to see the snow totals on TV and rush to get in front of the TV to see how your area ranks.
  • What could possibly go wrong?
    • Player: George Brett
    • Date: 1983
    • Team: Kansas City Royals
    • Injury: Broken toe
    • Cause: Mad sprint to the TV
    • Details: Hall of famer George Brett didn’t want to miss a thing.  Especially, not a Bill Buckner at-bat.  Mr. Brett was sprinting like Usain Bolt to the TV and didn’t take notice of the chair in his way.  That is until the chair broke his toe.
  • What’s the big deal? It takes 4-6 weeks for a toe fracture to completely heal.
  • Feet First’s Advice: Slow down and take your time.  Today we have technology so that we don’t miss anything.  Use the DVR.

Recycling 911

  • Blizzard of ‘16 indoor activity: Those boxes have been laying around FOREVER.  The missus points out that with nothing else to do, why doesn’t her lovable husband see them to the basement?
  • What could possibly go wrong?
    • Player: David Robertson
    • Date: 2012
    • Team: Yankees
    • Injury: Mid foot sprain
    • Cause: Empty boxes
    • Details: Pitcher David Robertson was being a good citizen and member of planet Earth.  He picked up two empty boxes, one inside the other, and walked down the stairs to leave them for recycling.  That is when it went all wrong.  He stumbled and fell down the stairs causing him to sprain his foot.
  • What’s the big deal? It takes 4-6 weeks for a mid-foot sprain to completely heal.
  • Feet First’s Advice: Slips, trips and falls account for more than 9 million hospital visits each year. Don’t underestimate ANY load and its impact on your ability to be aware of where you are stepping.  Consider a hardy pair of slippers or slip-ons- even shoes for certain activities.

I Will Have a Salad

  • Blizzard of ‘16 indoor activity: You are bored.  Really bored.  You’re tired of the milk, eggs, and bread you bought at the supermarket.  You decide on a salad.  Can’t have a salad without salad dressing, right?
  • What could possibly go wrong?
    • Player: Dave Beasant
    • Date: 1993
    • Team: Chelsea F.C.
    • Injury: Severed toe tendon
    • Cause: Bottle of Salad Dressing
    • Details: Dave Beasant, a veteran, starting goalkeeper for a premier English soccer team, went to the refrigerator for salad dressing.  His sure hands that made his living failed him.  The glass dressing bottle slipped.  Ever the goalie, when the hands had failed, he went to the foot.  Instincts made him extend his foot to keep the bottle from hitting the floor.  Instead, the jar smashed into his foot severing the tendon of his big toe.
  • What’s the big deal? This injury hurts really, really badly.  Moreover, surgery is required to fix.  It takes 8-12 weeks following surgery for this injury to completely heal.
  • Feet First’s Advice: It’s hard to override instinct, but sometimes necessary.   Don’t think you can override instinct?  There are a lot of benefits to wearing a pair hardy slippers about the house. A number of companies, like Vionic, produce slippers with great arch support and sturdy uppers.

Bathroom Surgery

  • Blizzard of ‘16 indoor activity: You are bored.  Really bored.  Staring at your bare feet, you decide you have had it with that blister.  You eye up that power drill you got for Christmas.  Time to pop that sucker.
  • What could possibly go wrong?
    • Player: Darius Vassell
    • Date: 2002
    • Team: Aston Villa F.C.
    • Injury: Toe infection
    • Cause: Bathroom Surgery
    • Details: Blisters are a rather common ailment among active people.  A common treatment to provide relief is to lance or pop the blister.  Darius Vassell’s blister was under the nail of his big toe. He determined the best course of action was to drill through his nail to drain the fluid and end his agony.  He caused infection which required the removal of his entire nail.
  • What’s the big deal? Toe nails take 12-18 months to grow back.  Constant attention is required in the weeks following surgery to ensure success.  It is never, ever a good idea to perform bathroom surgery.  Serious complications can and do ensue.
  • Feet First’s Advice: It isn’t uncommon for a Podiatrist to use a Dremel for certain applications in the office, but 4 years of medical school and 3 years of surgical residency and Board Certifications requirements make them well positioned to handle the task expertly.   Put down the drill and pick up the phone to call your Podiatrist

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

  • Blizzard of ‘16 indoor activity:  Following the Blizzard of 1996, some hospitals claimed “Blizzard Babies” 9 months later.  Is this for real? Who knows, but perhaps you have decided on some amorous activities to wait out the storm.  Maybe you have decided to put on some cologne to set the mood.
  • What could possibly go wrong?
    • Player Santiago Canizares
    • Date: 2002
    • Team: Spanish Men’s National Team
    • Injury: Lacerated toe tendon
    • Cause: One Bottle of Cologne
    • Details: Prior to the 2002 World Cup, starting goalie Santiago Canizares, accidentally broke a bottle of Cologne on a sink in his hotel room.  Shards of glass pierced his skin, severing the tendon in his big toe.  Perhaps the most fantastic smelling injury in sports, but it cost him the opportunity to start for his home country in the World Cup.
  • What’s the big deal? This injury hurts really, really badly.  Moreover, surgery is required to fix.  It takes 8-12 weeks following surgery for this injury to completely heal.
  • Feet First’s Advice: There are a lot of benefits to shoe-free policy in the house due to the germs carried on our shoes.  However, there are a lot of benefits to wearing a pair hardy slippers about the house. As noted, a number of companies, like Vionic, produce slippers with great arch support and strong uppers.

Motivational Madness

  • Blizzard of ‘16 indoor activity: You hardly ever use that wood-burning fireplace.  Why not have a fire while you watch the snow fall?  Perhaps you need to chop wood for that fire with your trusty axe.
  • What could possibly go wrong?          
    • Player: Chris Hanson
    • Date: 2003
    • Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
    • Injury: Lacerated leg
    • Cause: Motivational Axe
    • Details: Head coaches are looking to create the right environment in the locker room to achieve success.  Jack Del Rio placed a stump of wood and an axe in the locker room to reinforce his “keep chopping wood” mindset following an 0-3 start. Each day, players would take little hunks out of the stump with a swing of the axe.  One day it was Pro Bowl Punter Christ Hanson’s turn to take a swing….and miss.  He hacked into his non-kicking leg just above the ankle (N.B. Mr. Hanson 16 months prior had been burned in a freak fondue accident at another player’s home).
  • What’s the big deal? Painful and perhaps life altering injury.
  • Feet First’s Advice: Axe injuries are uncommon in football, but loggers have an injury rate 25% higher and a fatality rate 19 times higher than other professions.  Swinging an axe is inherently dangerous.  Buy your wood split, if you can.  Use proper technique and safety equipment (e.g. steel-toed shoes).  Seek immediate attention for a laceration.

When Furniture Attacks #2

  • Blizzard of ‘16 indoor activity: The furniture has been in the same place for a while, why not rearrange it?
  • What could possibly go wrong?     
    • Player: Pervis Ellison
    • Date: 1996
    • Team: Boston Celtics
    • Injury: Broken big toe
    • Cause: Coffee Table
    • Details: Pervis Ellison was injury prone to the point he earned the nickname “”Out of Service Pervis.”  He had a number of injuries.  The most embarrassing of which was likely the broken toe he incurred while moving a coffee table.  It dropped and fell onto his foot, breaking his toe.
  • What’s the big deal? It takes 4-6 weeks for a toe fracture to completely heal.
  • Feet First’s Advice: Slowing down and taking your time never hurts.  As we have noted, there are a lot of benefits to wearing a pair hardy slippers about the house.  Sometimes shoes are called for certain activities.

Finally, whether you are outside in this weather or inside, take stock of what you are doing and how best to do it. Don’t neglect your feet.  It is easy to do, but never advisable.

Stay warm and safe!