Thursday, October 29, 2009


You can have a great Halloween party by making these SCARY PODIATRIC TREATS!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Biscuit dough
Green food coloring
Cocktail franks
Honey mustard
Black olives

1. If you make your own biscuit dough, add 5 drops of green food coloring to your batter before you kneed it and roll it out.
2. If you buy ready made, brush the dough with green food coloring after the toes are made.
3. Roll out your dough.
4. Spread mustard on the dough.
5. Cut pieces big enough to cover one cocktail frank.
6. Roll it and seal shut.
7. Cut a black olive in half.
8. Push one half into the dough on the edge of the cocktail frank. This is the toenail.
9. Place all of the toes on a cookie sheet.
10. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty minutes.

Children and Sports

Children and Sports
All parents know that children take to sports like ducks to water. Almost as soon as they start to walk, they're chasing balls, swinging sticks, and running races against nobody in particular.
Children's sports used to mean baseball, basketball, or football. That's changed. Soccer has leapt onto the youth sports scene, as have wrestling, tennis, and lacrosse with older children. The starting age for training in individual sports such as swimming, skating, track, and gymnastics grows younger every year.

Parents should encourage their children to participate in sports, but never forget that competition should be fun. Too much emphasis on winning can alienate a child from athletic competition.

Children active in sports programs will improve their cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, coordination, and state of mind. Participation in sports develops a sense of self discipline, teamwork, and recognition of the importance of a healthy body -- good habits that last a lifetime.

Training Emphasis
Every child physically matures at his or her own rate, and has a different degree of athletic ability. No amount of training can improve a child's natural athletic ability, but training helps improve coordination, and therefore performance.
Early training should emphasize proper technique and basic movement skills in all sports, especially in children younger than 10. Podiatric physicians, specialists in treating the lower extremities, say children who concentrate on a single sport at too young an age are more likely to develop injuries of the foot and ankle. Save specialization in sports for the late teens, they advise.

Warming up before participating in sports is more important for adults than children, but it helps loosen the muscles and prevent injuries in athletes of all ages. Light jogging and smooth stretching exercises (be sure not to bounce when stretching) are all that's necessary for young athletes. Learning to stretch at an early age will set a good pattern for sports activities as the body develops.

Whether parents like it or not, part of a child's image revolves around footwear. Expensive sneakers have become fashion statements as much as athletic equipment. But for good foot health, the condition of the shoe is more important than the price tag or brand name.
Podiatric physicians agree it's often better to buy a child two $50 pairs of shoes than a single $100 pair, so the shoes can be rotated, to avoid rapid wear deterioration. Excessive wearing of the outsole, loss of shoe counter support, or wearing out in the midsole indicate it's time to replace the shoes.

Because a child's feet are constantly growing, it is important to allow at least one finger's width from the end of the longest toe when buying shoes. Remember, proper fit is very important. You can have the best shoe in the world, but if it doesn't fit right, it doesn't do its job.
In the shoe store, children should put on both shoes, with their athletic socks and the laces tied tight, for several minutes to properly check the shoes' fit. Shop for shoes in the afternoon, when the feet are naturally slightly swollen.

In young children, an "all purpose" sports shoe works well for most sports. A running-specific shoe is not suitable as an all purpose shoe; moving laterally in a running shoe is more difficult and presents greater risk of injury for children. After the age of 10, sport-specific shoes can help improve performance and protect the feet. With the exception of the running shoe, a degree of crossover between sporting shoes is usually not harmful to the feet of a child athlete.
Rubber cleats are not usually necessary for children under 10, though they pose little potential harm for them. They are most useful on a soft-field sport such as soccer. Podiatric physicians recommend molded shoe rubber cleats rather than the screw-on variety. Metal baseball spikes can be dangerous and should not be used until the teenage years.

Growing Bones and Ligaments
The immature bones of children are different from those of adults. The "growth plates" in children's bones do not finish closing until age 15-17 in boys and 13-15 in girls. When stressed, these plates are more susceptible to injury than the tendons and ligaments that support the joints. Ligaments tend to "give" before bones in adults.

Podiatric physicians warn repetitive overuse can cause inflammation of the growth plates. They advise parents to promote diverse physical activities for their children rather than one sport. This is especially important with individual sports such as running, gymnastics, and tennis, which require long hours of practice.

Statistics show children who concentrate on just one sport for long hours at a time are setting themselves up for injuries. Because of the susceptibility of bones with open growth centers to overuse injuries, sponsors of the Boston Marathon recently increased the minimum age to participate from 16 to 18.

A sports medicine podiatrist can offer a thorough examination of the entire lower extremity, and identify a leg length imbalance, weakness, or biomechanical imbalances that may need to be addressed to prevent injuries on the athletic field.

Injuries and Treatments
Many children suffer from mild "torsional" imbalances, commonly known as in-toeing and out-toeing. Most children outgrow these imbalances without medical treatment. However, if a child has obvious torsional imbalances, he or she may be more susceptible to injury. If that is the case, keep a close eye out for foot and ankle injuries associated with sports activity. Foot injuries commonly seen in very active children include:

Ankle Sprains. In older children, stretched or torn ligaments in the ankle, known as sprains, are more common than fractures. A sprain may cause extensive swelling around the ankle just like a fracture. Immediate treatment is crucial to quick healing. A podiatric physician can provide treatment as well as recommend balancing and strengthening exercises to restore coordination quickly.

Fractures. Fractures from overuse in child-athletes are commonly seen in podiatric medical offices. Growth plates are particularly susceptible to injuries, but mid-shaft fractures of the bone also occur. If a fracture is not severe, rest and immobilization may be the best treatment. More complicated injuries may require casting or surgical correction. If swelling and pain persist, see a podiatric physician.

Sever's Disease. An inflammation of a growth plate, Sever's Disease is often felt as pain behind the heel caused by inflammation of the apophysis, a growth center where a tendon is attached to the bone. Rest, ice, and heel lifts are usually prescribed.
Shin splints and stress fractures. Shin splints are microtears or inflammation of the anterior leg muscles, as are Achilles tendon pulls in the posterior region of the leg. Again, rest is most important in healing these injuries. If pain is persistent, see a podiatrist, who can recommend strengthening exercises, certain shoes, or, if indicated, prescribe custom-made shoe inserts known as orthoses.

A Word to Parents
All parents want to see their children do well in sports. But putting too much pressure on a child to become a star athlete may result in both physical and emotional injury to the child. A child should enjoy playing a sport, but if forced, could be turned away from all sports for a lifetime.
Especially with individual sports such as swimming, figure skating, and gymnastics that require long hours of practice every day, be certain the child's heart is in the endeavor, not just yours. When it comes to sports, overzealous parents can potentially do their children more harm than good.

Based on a document produced in cooperation with the: American Podiatric Medical Association.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Don't Become A Statistic

Here is a study completed by Kelton Research for The American Podiatric Association of America in February 2008. The report details how parents view podiatric treatment for their children:

If ever there was a health issue that can stop you in your tracks, it’s foot problems. Even more minor issues such as ingrown toenails can become a crippling condition if not treated properly. Unfortunately, when it comes to their children, many parents don’t seem to be keeping these issues top-of-mind—and aren’t seeking the most appropriate care when problems arise.

Not Seeking Professional Help. While there are some podiatric problems that would send parents running to the doctor, other issues simply aren’t on their radar. Just one in two (50%)* would bother to take their child to the doctor for warts, and only 49 percent would bring them in for ingrown toenails. Parents give athlete’s foot (39%) and flat feet (34%) even less priority.

A Lack Of Experience. Perhaps one of the reasons parents aren’t attentive enough to their children’s foot care is their lack of experience with many key foot ailments. For example, just two in ten (20%) moms and dads have dealt with sports injuries affecting their children’s feet, and even fewer (10%) have had to address warts.

General Practitioners Are Default Docs. When parents do choose to bring their child to a professional for their foot issues, most choose their family doctor or a pediatrician over a specialist such as a podiatrist or orthopedist.

Nearly half (48%) of parents whose children have received professional medical care for their feet have sought treatment from their family doctor. Another 41 percent have taken their child to a pediatrician.

Not So Special. Just one in four (25%) parents have taken their children to an actual foot specialist for their problems, and less than one in five (15%) have visited an orthopedist.

Father Knows Best? Not So Much. When it comes to getting a jump on potential foot problems, moms have a leg up on dads. They’re more likely to bring their children to a medical professional for everything from a foot injury to athlete’s foot.

Remember that it is imperative that you keep your child's footcare a top priority. If you suspect any prblems occurring with your child's feet, please call Dr. Vail for an appointment. He is more than happy to help your child grow up with strong and healthy feet!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Children's Soccer Linked To Ingrown Toenails

Snug Cleats, Repeated Kicking Can Contribute To A Painful Problem

Although soccer season is nearing its end, it is important to take note of the following important information.

Toes and feet can take a beating, especially from sports. Dr. Vail treats many soccer-playing children for ingrown toenails. He blames improper toenail trimming, snug soccer cleats and repetitive kicking for creating this painful problem.

“Many kids wear hand-me-down cleats that don’t fit,” says Dr. Vail. “Older children like tighter cleats. They believe it gives them a better feel for the ball and the field.”

Dr. Vail says there are steps parents can take to prevent their children from suffering a painful ingrown toenail. First, teach children how to trim their toenails properly. Trim toenails in a fairly straight line, and don’t cut them too short. Second, make sure cleats fit properly. A child’s shoe size can change within a single soccer season.

If a child develops a painful ingrown toenail, soaking their foot in room-temperature water and gently massaging the side of the nail fold can reduce the inflammation. But Dr. Vail warns parents against home treatments, which can be dangerous. If your son’s or daughter’s ingrown toenails show signs of infection, it’s definitely time to seek medical care.

A foot and ankle surgeon can remove a child’s ingrown toenail, and prevent it from returning, with a simple, 10-minute surgical procedure. During the short procedure, the doctor numbs the toe and removes the ingrown portion of the nail. Various techniques can permanently remove part of a nail’s root too, preventing it from growing back. Most children experience very little pain afterwards and can resume normal activity the next day.

For more information on ingrown toenails and other pediatric foot problems please refer to our website,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Medication and Mercury Collection Day

Saturday, October 24
Findlay Municipal Building Parking Lot (off Crawford Street)


Do you have any unwanted, expired, or un-needed medicine or mercury around your home? Help protect your family, community, and the environment by properly disposing of them.

It's EASY!
Bring your un-wanted, un-needed or expired medication and mercury to the drive thru drop-off location. Keep medication in their original containers if possible. No need to leave your car.

Prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, medication samples, medications for pets, vitamins, medicated ointments and lotions, inhalers, liquid medication in glass or leak-proof containers, mercury, narcotics or other controlled substances

IV bags, bloody or infectious waste, personal care products, business waste, empty containers, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans, used syringes

Questions? Contact the Community Partnership at 419-424-1985 or


This event is sponsored and supported by:
Hancock County Community Partnership
Findlay Health Department
City of Findlay Water Pollution Control
Findlay City Police Department
The University of Findlay College of Pharmacy
Rader Environmental Services, Inc.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sport Foot Health Awareness

This article is from the American Podiatric Medical Association:

After several exciting weeks in the 2009 football season, one of the most talked-about storylines is not the amount of game-changing interceptions or which player to watch for MVP—but who is latest star to succumb to a foot injury. In the National Football League, several players have been forced to the sidelines with lower limb injuries. New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has been diagnosed with severe plantar fasciitis, an irritation of the foot’s connective tissue. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl champion running back Willie Parker continues to battle a case of turf toe that has left him absent from the playing field.

With foot injuries abounding in the sports headlines, athletes are reminded once again by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), in partnership with the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM), of the importance of both preventing and caring for foot and ankle injuries. Professional and amateur athletes alike in fall sports, such as football and lacrosse, are considered at very high risk for injuring lower limbs during play. This is due to the extreme amounts of stress placed on the ligaments and joints of the feet.

"Many fall sports athletes look to compete their hardest on the field—even after being diagnosed with a foot or ankle injury by a podiatrist or other medical professional," said Dr. Bruce Williams, Past President of AAPSM. "However, not taking foot injuries such as plantar fasciitis, sprains and turf toe seriously—and continuing to play a sport on an injured foot or ankle—can aggravate and worsen these ailments, and delay or significantly worsen the healing process."
Athletes can avoid being tackled by foot ailments by educating themselves on how to prevent putting themselves at risk. The following are some of the most common foot and ankle injuries that occur in fall sports, as well as treatments and preventative tips recommended by the APMA:

Plantar Fasciitis – A common injury in sports that include running and jumping, plantar fasciitis is caused by an irritation of the band of connective tissue on the bottom of the foot.
Treatment – Resting the injured fascia is paramount to quick recovery. Applied cold therapy, gentle stretching, night splints and custom foot orthotics may all be prescribed by a podiatrist.
Tips – Spending time stretching before and after all practices and games may help prevent this condition.

Turf Toe – Named for the artificial playing field on which it is common, turf toe is a painful hyperextension of the big toe joint. Competing on artificial turf is the leading cause of this condition, but it can also occur on natural surfaces such as grass.
Treatment – Treatment usually includes the “RICE” regimen—which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation—as well as taping and initially limiting the range of motion utilizing graphite toe plates. Tips – Wearing a stiffer shoe can prevent aggravating turf toe further. Customized foot orthotics prescribed by a podiatrist may also be worn during play to protect the toes and foot.

Sprains/Strains – Hard sprinting in practices and games often leads to stretched or torn ligaments (known as sprains) or muscles and tendons (strains). Severe sprains may also cause significant swelling and bruising.
Treatment – Sprains that don’t show improvement in three days should be seen by a podiatrist immediately. Possible casting, immobilization and a rehabilitation regimen may all be prescribed. Tips – Take part in proper warm-up exercises before and after home workouts, practice and games. Spend five to 10 minutes stretching, holding and relaxing muscles. Seek input from a podiatrist for chronic ankle sprains. Orthotics may also be prescribed.

Please call our office to schedule an appointment if your child is has an sport related injury!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Foot Health TV

Click on the link below for a collection of news segments about foot health.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Even The Pros Need A Podiatrist!


Well, just what is plantar fasciitis and what can Eli do to get back in the game?

Plantar Fasciitis, also known as heel spurs and a common cause of heel pain, is a bony growth on the underside of the heel bone. If there is no evidence of bone enlargement the condition is sometimes referred to as "heel spur syndrome." Heel spurs are caused by strain on the muscles and ligaments of the foot and result in the tearing away of the lining of the membrane that covers the heel bone. Wearing improperly fit shoes, excessively worn shoes, or failing to stretch before exercise can contribute to plantar fasciitis.

So...did Eli wear worn out shoes or not stretch before practice? Maybe so. Eli can also be treated with conservative measures, such as the use of anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, and physical therapy. In persistent cases, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT) may be used to treat the heel pain.

Do you have something in common with Eli? Hopefully you are taking good care of your feet and are using preventative measures to keep yourself from having plantar fasciitis. However, if you are experiencing pain, call Dr. Vail for an appointment! He is here to help you have the healthiest feet possible!

Monday, October 5, 2009

When To Call A Podiatrist

Podiatrists are the experts on feet and ankles and should be the first doctor you call when your child is experiencing pain or discomfort.

Podiatrists treat foot and ankle problems for patients of all ages, especially children. If you notice any change to your child's nails or skin on the feet or ankles, that is when you know your child should be evaluated by a podiatrist.

If your child has diabetes or poor circulation or develops abnormal symptoms, call Dr. Vail immediately. A diabetic patient is at much greater risk for serious complications. A diabetic patient should see a podiatrist at least once a year where on not symptoms are present. Regular check ups are a great way to keep your feet and ankles healthy.

Most importantly, call Dr. Vail first when you have pain or any issue that affects your child's feet and ankles.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sand Removal

Although summer has past, here is a great video-tip about how to remove pesky beach sand from your child's feet and hands. Keep this tip handy for summer 2010!!!

Keep in mind: If your child has an injury to their foot, do not delay in getting it treated. Call the office for an appointment 419-423-1888.

Happy Feet...

Happy Feet...

= Happy Kids...

= Happy Kids...

= Happy Family!

= Happy Family!