Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Morton's Foot - Easy Detection

Morton’s Foot vs Morton’s Neuroma

Two conditions originating in the feet, but very different. Also, they were named after different doctors, yes, with the same last name. Both born in the 1800’s. Morton’s foot was named after an American orthopedic surgeon Dudley Joy Morton (1884-1960) while Morton’s Neuroma was named after US surgeon Thomas George Morton (1835-1903). 
This article explains Morton’s Foot and how to detect it.

What is Morton’s Foot?

The condition where a major supporting bone in the foot is shorter than it should be. There is a tripod structure in feet that provides even balance. The tripod consists of the top of a bone that lines up with the big toe, the top of a bone that lines up with the little toe, and the heel.  In the picture, these bones are yellow. They are called the metatarsals. The foot skeleton labeled with a number 1 has Morton’s Foot and the tripod is anchored off balance by shifting the support to the metatarsal head below the second toe. The number 2 skeleton has a balanced tripod. Morton’s Foot is a condition that one out of every four people are born with. 

Detecting Morton’s Foot

Morton’s Foot is easy to detect.  First, support the ball of your foot with your hand or another object the size of your fist that you can use to press the ball of your foot up and against your metatarsal heads (tops of the metatarsal bones). Second, curl your toes down. The metatarsal heals will show like your knuckles do when you make a fist.    
Now, look at the bones and see if they are in line with each other or if the metatarsal bone below the big toe is short. If it is, you have Morton’s Foot.

Correcting Morton’s Foot

Morton’s Foot is easy to correct.  The way to correct it is by slightly lifting the head of the short metatarsal bone underneath the big toe. One DIY method is to purchase Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Padding and cut out a quarter to a half dollar (depending on the size of the head of the metarsal) size piece of moleskin. Purchase Dr. Scholl’s Work Insoles or something similar and attach the moleskin to the underside of the insert right where the metatarsal head presses down. Be careful to not overlap the metatarsal head next to it. Don’t forget to use inserts with your sandals (Target has some inserts that are clear) and slippers, too.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure is one area of heart health that needs to be regularly checked and regulated. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can be affected by your overall weight, especially once you reach a body mass index score of 30 or higher. This score is classified as obese. Excess fat increases the work your heart has to perform to pump blood throughout your body. The harder your heart works, the more pressure is placed on the walls of your arteries, which can increase your risk for blood vessel damage. Lowering your body weight by even as little as 5 to 10 percent can lower your blood pressure and increase your heart health.

Cholesterol Levels

Controlling your cholesterol also plays an important role in heart health; it decreases your risks for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. The two main kinds of cholesterol are low-density lipoprotein -- LDL or the "bad" cholesterol -- and high-density lipoprotein -- HDL or the "good" cholesterol. The LDL cholesterol is found in foods high in saturated fat, especially animal proteins. When consumed in high levels, LDL cholesterol can build up in the bloodstream and calcify into hard plaque. This plaque makes it difficult for blood to circulate through the affected arteries, increasing your risk for cardiovascular damage.


Taking care of your heart also affects your circulation. Good circulation is needed to transport oxygen and nutrients to the many different cells in your body. Without proper circulation, tissues begin to die, which can result in amputations or even death, depending on what tissues are not getting enough oxygen. High blood pressure, cholesterol plaque and other heart diseases can all affect your body's ability to transport blood efficiently throughout your body.

Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy

To keep your heart healthy, your body needs adequate amounts of exercise accompanied by a heart-healthy diet. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. A heart-healthy diet consists of the majority of your calories coming from vegetables, fruits and high-fiber foods like legumes and whole grains. These foods are accompanied in moderation by lean proteins, especially fish, as well as low-fat dairy products, nuts and seeds.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Fitness Benefits of the BOSU Ball

Balance training
When the BOSU ball is positioned with the domed side facing the floor, it becomes an unstable surface, perfect for balance training. Using gym equipment during workouts usually means that you are constantly pushing or pulling on handles. Using the BOSU ball however will force you to stabilize your muscles as you go through the routine. This will improve balance while working the core muscles throughout the entire routine. This is a great way to make workouts more challenging.
Many people find it hard to stand up while balancing on the ball. This is one of the reasons why the BOSU ball is also used during rehabilitation treatment. The ball is a great piece of rehab equipment to help those with ankle injuries, post-op hip surgery, and back pain.
Flexibility training
When used dome side up, the BOSU ball can help improve flexibility. It’s a great way to perform stretching exercises. Laying face-up or face-down on the dome will allow the user to relax and stretch at the same time. Turn the ball dome-side down and use this slanting position to stretch your calves. Using the ball while kneeling or standing will provide a more challenging routine along with enabling a range of motion to standard stretching exercises.
Strength training
Because the BOSU ball is unstable when it is used dome-side down, users are forced to use more muscles, thereby improving overall strength. The use of this unstable platform works muscles that are usually unused during typical workouts. Routine exercises such as lunges, squats, lifts, and push ups can also be more intense when the ball is used. This result is more challenging workouts. along with more effective strength training.
The challenges and added intensity to workouts while using the BOSU ball will make your body adapt to new stimuli and keep workouts from being repetitive. So, if you are looking to strengthen your muscles while adding a little variety to your workout, give the BOSU ball a try today, or contact us to learn more about how we use it in our classes.