Study finds that Vitamin D could prevent stress fractures in older women

If you are a woman looking to keep your bones healthy to prevent pain in the feet, you may want to look into the positive effects of Vitamin D, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. One of their studies determined that women over the age of 65 had a significant drop in nonvertebral fractures.

High dosage is recommended
Although most people with foot pain already know that calcium found in many dairy products can be effective in promoting strong bones, past studies on the side effects of Vitamin D for postmenopausal women were found inconclusive with small amounts. However, when researchers doubled the amounts previously administered, fractures were reduced by 30 percent. All of the participants in the study were over 65, and 91 percent were women. So take note ladies, taking steps to include more of this nutrient could be a good way to keep your feet strong.

How to get more Vitamin D
Important for your overall health as well, Vitamin D is created when the body is exposed to sunlight. However, it is also found in fish with high fat content like salmon, eggs and even some mushrooms, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. There are also some foods that are fortified with Vitamin D like milk and bread. However, to get the amount of nutrients that elderly women need to prevent foot problems from occurring, a supplement is recommended. Anna Lasak, MD, told the Inquirer that most people have a Vitamin D deficiency, so even if you are in your 30s or 40s it would be wise to take 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams a day.

What other studies have shown
Frailty is not the only ailment that can be treated from Vitamin D. According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, not getting enough of the nutrient could also increase your risk of death. No, really. The study found that adults over 60 that were already frail tripled their risk of death without taking Vitamin D. Ellen Smit, PhD, and author of the study said "this is an important finding because we already know there is a biological basis for this. Vitamin D impacts muscle function and bones, so it makes sense that it plays a big role in frailty."

So what are these doctors are trying to tell us? Get outside. Sunshine is not only good for your bones, but it can help you live longer.

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Shoe repair is healthier for your feet

Owning the same pair of shoes for the rest of your life might sound like an anecdote from days gone by. It's what grandma and grandpa did, right? We all remember hearing our elderly relatives and friends talk about owning only three pairs of shoes when they were young and wearing them over and over until the soles were practically falling out. Like so many things in life, people from past generations had it right the first time, especially with regards to foot pain. To avoid many common foot problems, it is better to repair old shoes rather than throw them away.

The expensive cost of cheap shoes
Breaking into a new pair of cheaply made shoes seems to be a painful annoyance that modern men and women do over and over again for the sake of staying fashionable, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. Purchasing a well-made pair of shoes can actually save you quite a bit of money in the long run. According to Glamour, the average woman spends $25,000 on shoes in the course of a lifetime with an average of 469 pairs of shoes. For most of us, that is the price of a new car, or several fabulous trips overseas.

Better for your feet
We've all had those pairs of well-made shoes that we can't let go of. You might have spent extra money on that pair of nude pumps when you got a promotion; those black flats that go with everything – totally worth the extra bucks. Over time, these shoes become comfortable, both literally and figuratively. For most, the ball of the foot and toes bear the brunt of cheap, horribly made shoes.

According to the Wall Street Journal, men tend to have foot pain in their upper toes, and women complain more about their heels, but both need proper arch support that you simply cannot find in most cheaply made shoes.  Like a well-made pair of jeans, good shoes will take some time to break into, but over time they will mold to fit your feet and will last if properly cared for.

Better for your wallet
Like any other product that you truly love – car, computer, hair, etc. – your shoes need maintenance. According to Esquire, the average cost of basic shoe repair is $100. A good refurbisher will typically replace the soles, heels, welting and foot beds and laces, if necessary. With a little love, those favorite shoes can look brand new and last much longer. Trust us, your feet will thank you for it.

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NBA’s #1 draft pick spotted in brand new Nikes several weeks before scheduled release

Watch out NBA, there's a new shoe in town.

Nike, the global athletic shoe giant whose brand family has included star athletes Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Lance Armstrong has an exciting new shoe launch coming soon. Known the world over for innovative sneaker design and great arch support, Nike got the shoe world chattering up a storm when 2012 NCAA champion, NBA No. 1 draft pick and new sponsor Anthony Davis rocked a pair of red and silver Foamposite Pros at the World Basketball Festival, according to the International Business Times.

Nike showing its new face
The shoes were not supposed to hit the shelves until September 1, 2012, so Davis was enjoying his new kicks a bit earlier than most expected. The star center was teamed up with rapper Wale who was sporting a new Nike Air shoe as well. Perhaps a social media PR tactic, athletic shoe enthusiasts were tweeting with excitement at seeing a first glimpse of what the NBA and NCAA stars will be sporting on the court for the 2013 season.

USA, USA, USA
As a young NBA rookie (he's 19) and current member of the USA Olympic team, Davis stayed true to his roots when he told Sneaker News, "I wear a lot of Air Jordan Retros." He might need to stick with some high tops for the London Games, since it has been reported by Sports Illustrated that he is already having foot problems. Putting a damper on Team USA's chances of winning the gold, it was widely reported that Davis would not be representing his country due to a sprained ankle. With three dunks in his last preliminary meeting, it is safe to say he has been taking care of those feet.

High-impact fitness requires extra care
According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, professional basketball players take a great deal of time picking out the shoe that is best for their performance and overall foot health. One bad slip or fall during a game, and an athlete's season or career could be over in seconds. According to the source, with the amount of time players spend pounding their feet into the ground at every game, and working out an estimated 72 hours per month, many athletes will change out their shoes every seven to 10 days just to ensure that they will not go through any unnecessary foot pain.

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Recession-proof foot fashion: Women in UK take DIY approach to replicate Louboutins

Women in the United States aren't the only ladies looking to take a cost-effective approach in showing off high fashion footwear (even if it may be a knock-off). Sales of red paint samples in the United Kingdom are soaring as many young women are replicating the now famous Christian Louboutin red sole on their pumps themselves, according to The Daily Mail.

The new Jimmy Choo?
It's common knowledge that women will always have a love affair with shoes, even if it may cost them many foot problems in the future, and this is usually done by celebrity endorsement. Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker put the uncomfortable, but beautiful Manolo Blahniks on the map in the 90s, and Jimmy Choos became a household name by celebrities like Rihanna and Kate Middleton in the 2000s. Now it seems Christian Louboutins have taken the footwear fashion scene by storm, becoming the favorite of fashion icons Misha Barton, Blake Lively and Victoria Beckham, who has now become famous for her bunion treatment. Beckham is still being criticized for her obsession with high heels because of her intrusive bunion surgery several years ago. Apparently the British beauty has not learned her lesson, seeing as she was recently seen in The Daily Mail sporting a pair of Louboutin soles.

England is seeing red
For those of you who cannot afford the steep price of nearly $1000 for these coveted shoes, there are not many options except taking the matter into your own hands by painting the red soles on yourself. United Kingdom housewares chain Homebase has reported that sales for scarlet paint have jumped 40 percent, according to the source. With many designer Louboutins standing at a minimum of 4 inches high, these type of shoes will not only cost you in terms of dollars, but can also attribute to foot pain.

French shoe designers duke it out
Apparently, commoners in Britain aren't the only ones looking to duplicate this red hot look. The Bunion Blog has mentioned the battle of the red sole between Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent in previous posts. Louboutin filed a measure against the legendary fashion house in 2011 accusing it of copying his red soles and, apparently, the lawsuit might still be unsettled going into the fall fashion season, according to Vogue. Until then, the fashion world awaits to see just how high and red those heels will go.

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Being a woman doesn’t come cheap

 

Dolly Parton once said, "It costs a lot of money to look this cheap." Well, it turns out that simply being born female can be pretty expensive – not even factoring in the cost of breast implants and patent leather stilettos favored by the country star.

In fact, a large portion of the lifetime cost of being a woman stems from healthcare costs – ranging from everyday procedures like bunion surgery and preventive screenings, to major expenditures like long-term care. An article in AOL's Daily Finance section broke down the factors that contribute to a higher cost of living for females.

Longer lives, more healthcare

It's pretty well known that women live longer than men, and while the fact is a minor victory for the ladies, it also contributes to much higher healthcare costs during retirement. AOL estimates that women will need about $200,000 more than men in old age to cover the costs of living.

Moreover, health insurance for females is significantly higher than it is for men. According to the news source, the average woman spends about 30 percent more on healthcare coverage than her male counterpart, amounting to a whopping $44,000 during the time between college and Medicare eligibility.

The National Women's Law Center (NWLC) recently released a report titled Turning to Fairness: Insurance Discrimination Against Women Today and the Affordable Care Act. In it, the organization calls the disparity between insurance pricing in men and women "unfair" and "discriminatory." The NWLC stated that 92 percent of the most commonly used insurance companies in the U.S. practice gender rating, in which sex is a determinant in cost, usually resulting in higher expenditures for women.

Fight back with prevention

The report from the women's advocacy group went on to say that certain inequities may be alleviated once the Affordable Care Act goes into full effect in 2014.

In the meantime, ladies may be able to lower their healthcare bills through preventive medicine. Obtaining recommended screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer, high blood pressure and sexually transmitted diseases – among other conditions – may result in more efficient treatment of certain illnesses, as those that are caught early on are typically easier to cure or get under control.

Take bunion correction, for example: Using a simple bunion splint in the evening and orthotics during the day may help keep the bony deformity in check, potentially preventing bunion surgery, which costs in the ballpark of $4,000, according to Healthcare Blue Book.

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Yoga an effective and safe choice of recreation for those with foot pain

Staying fit and keeping your feet healthy can be done with some stretching.

As the summer continues to provide us with sunny days, many of us are finding reasons to get active so our bodies are healthy and, of course, beach-ready. For those of you suffering from osteoarthritic joints and pain in the feet, yoga, a form of holistic prevention, is a great way to combat inflammatory bone joints so that you can work out without taking a toll on your feet.

Staying fit is good for your bones

According to a recent article in the New York Times, the easiest way to combat arthritis in the beginning stages is to drop those pounds. Even a loss of 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference when it comes to your joints, and you will also have more confidence knowing that you look your best. "I can't stress enough how important body weight is," Glen Johnson, M.D. told the New York Times, "with our national crisis of obesity, we will see more and more arthritis."

However, some who are already suffering from foot problems find it very painful to perform high-impact exercises such as running or kick-boxing to lose weight. Running a 5K could feel more like torture device than a workout for those with aching toes. For many people suffering from a bunion or arthritis, yoga is a great way to stay in shape and keep your joints healthy without the pain.

The positive effects of yoga for your feet

According to the Yoga Journal, yoga "is a great way to move, stretch and awaken the feet and toes." By doing exercises moving the ball of foot, joints in the toes are relaxed and more flexible. This source also recommends exercises called adduction and abduction. It sounds complicated, but all you are really doing is moving your toe muscles and joints back and forth according to the natural alignment in your feet.

Yoga instructors instruct students in this exercise by drawing a line down the sole of the foot to the heel. Moving the toes back and forth from this line gives your toes more strength and agility. After doing these exercises over an extended period of time, your toes can stretch back into their natural state.

Yoga is great for long and short term bone health

Taking preventative steps with your feet by doing yoga exercises and losing weight can have a great impact on your overall physical health, and can strengthen your bones and tissues so that you won't need any may avoid invasive bunion correction steps to be taken. Ashwin Mehta, M.D. told ABC News that "yoga is a type of exercise that focuses on the nuts and bolts that hold everything else together, like the tendons and ligaments, and it's designed for preventative joint health."

So next time your toes are killing you and you are dreading putting on that two-piece, try your best downward dog and your body will thank you later.

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Pregnant Snooki wears sky-high heels then complains of foot problems

Although she already took a tumble in a pair of platforms last month, according to the Hollywood News Daily, it isn't stopping a pregnant Snooki from wearing what appears to be four-inch heeled strappy sandals. With a picture of her properly seated and legs crossed, she tweeted "I can only rock these heels when I sit. So sitting fabulous with shoes is better than nothin!" Unfortunately for Snooki, there is something amiss with her footwear philosophy regarding her own health, especially as a pregnant woman. Just days later, and presumably regretting slipping on those towering heels, Snooki again tweeted, "My back and feet hurt waaa!" A lesson was
learned, hopefully, but she isn't alone. Women the world over identify with foot pain while pregnant, but if they don't take proper care of those tootsies, a more complicated foot problem can occur.

Bunions:  a common foot problem while pregnant

Most people know that wearing heels can exacerbate the growth of bunions, but few people know that pregnant women are even more susceptible to this pesky foot malady than the average gal. According to What to Expect, when a woman is fertilized, her body begins to emit growth hormones, which is a good thing because it provides the proper nutrients and space for a growing baby. However, your belly isn't the only body part getting bigger.

Feet grow the most during the second trimester

Around the 22nd week{,} which is right smack dab in the middle of the second trimester, most women notice a rapid change in the growth of their feet. Relaxin is a pregnancy hormone that relaxes and loosens ligaments, causing the sensitive bones in your feet to move and swell. If Snooki is already genetically disposed to bunion growth, she may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Go shopping

Another side effect of relaxin is that your feet literally grow and stretch. Many pregnant women can go up one or even two shoe sizes during their second trimester, and this can mean having to shell out some dough for new kicks. Just make sure they are wide and you can comfortably walk in them. Cramming your toes into an ill-fitting pair is not only painful, but it can also spur on those bunions. Fortunately for Snooki, she has her own line of slippers, so she should be all set. Let's just hope she puts those heels away for the time being.

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Ladies footwear: A common culprit in many foot problems

Your favorite pair of heels or flip-flops could be your worst enemy if worn too often. Podiatrists and foot surgeons agree that although the cause of bunions and other related pain in the feet is hereditary, your choice in shoes can either slow down or speed up the development of these ailments.

Although high-heels and flip-flop sandals may offer the perfect look for work and play, respectively, they can serve as catalysts for foot problems, especially if you wear them too often. Harvard Medical School states that bunions and problems with arch support are much more common among women than men, mostly because the already sensitive bones in the feet that are inherited from parents who have bunions are often wedged into narrow, ill-fitting and impractical footwear.

Seasonal Trends for Foot Pain

According to North Carolina news source The News & Observer, your foot pain in relation to shoes actually depends on the time of year. Dr. Kevin Logel says that "In summer, we see a lot of problems with arches, pains in the forefoot with stress fractures." This is mostly due to overuse of flip-flops and can result in flat feet. And in the winter? "…with closed-toe shoes we see a lot of bunions." Yes, this means your favorite closed-toe pumps could come back to haunt you.

When in doubt, go with your flats

Dr. George Holmes, a podiatrist interviewed by Illinois news source the Naperville Sun, suggested that practicality is the best way to go. If only worn three to fours hours sporadically, high heels shouldn't present a long term problem with bunions. However, experts advise to stick to your Mary Janes for a simple stroll down the street. It is always best to just use your common sense. If worn every day, high heels, especially the pointy-toed ones, can really trigger the growth of this common toe ailment.

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Bunion surgery gone wrong

 

Sometimes, bunion deformities get so bad that individuals consider surgery to remove the bump from the big toe joint. While the thought of getting a quick operation to be able to fit into pretty shoes again may sound tempting, people considering bunion surgery may want to first think about the risks that come along with going under the knife.

Recently, foot-obsessed UK news source the Daily Mail reported on some horror stories of men and women who went in for a simple foot operation, and came out with infections, amputated toes or impaired mobility.

Aerobics instructor no longer gets physical

Fitness enthusiast Beth Day was reportedly taken out of commission by a botched bunion surgery, as it resulted in a broken toe and subsequent nerve damage, arthritis, pain and disfigurement, according to the Daily Mail.

"I am often in much more pain than before I had the operation, and am very restricted in terms of footwear," Day told the news source.

The Mail also tracked down a 66-year-old man who received a six-figure settlement after a foot surgery left him unable to continue his career due to immobility. Additionally, the reporters spoke to an individual who developed gangrene following a hammer toe operation. Apparently, the man had a plaster boot put on after the surgery, and when it was removed, an "awful sight" was revealed, according to the news source.

Don't let bunion surgery get the best of you

Fortunately, some foot operations can be avoided. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, most bunion deformities will respond to conservative bunion correction methods.  

This can include something as simple as changing your footwear. Choosing shoes that have good arch support and a sturdy, roomy toe box is typically the best for people with bunions or hammer toe. Also, icing the feet when they're sore and inflamed may reduce swelling, as can taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

Many people have found relief in bunion splints and orthotics. By using inserts during the day for added support and cushion, and a splint at night to encourage a straightening of the big toe joint, some individuals see and feel results that are significant enough that they can avoid going under the knife. 

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