Posts by Dennis Rehbock

To wash or not to wash, is the question.

To wash or not to wash, is the question.

A common question I get asked time and time again, is should running shoes be washed, and if so how?     My answer is simply YES they should be washed. They should be washed, but care must be taken to not damage them in the process, as you have invested in an expensive pair of the state of the art running shoes and you want to get the most value out of them. You also want them to look good and to not smell. This is how to wash and look after your running shoes. General: Undo your laces before you take your shoes off or before you put them on. Alternate shoes from run to run. This will prolong the life of the shoe, which are only designed for 800 to 1200km of wear. If your shoes are showing signs of excessive wear and tear it is time to replace them with a new pair. Stick to the same brand and model of running shoe if it has worked well for you. Cleaning: Wipe your shoes regularly with a damp cloth to remove dust and mud. Washing: Submerse your shoes in tepid water and gently scrub them with a soft brush using a mild soap. Shoe shampoo products are available for this or a dash of Handy Andy will also work. Rinse them well and then place them up side down in a cool place to dry. This may take up to 48 hours. This is a good reason is to have 2 or more pairs of shoes to alternate wearing and washing them. Also wash the innersole in this manner. DO NOT: Do not wash them in a washing machine (even on a cold cycle). The prolonged immersion in the water may damage the materials and glue used in the shoe. The rolling around in the machine will also damage the shoe. Do not use and strong detergents or cleaning chemicals such as bleach or ammonia in the washing process. Do not place then in the direct sun or a hot place to dry. This can cause the materials to shrink. Do not dry them in a tumble dryer or in the warming drawer of a stove.   This topic of running shoe washing has been hotly debated by runners in general, and it is clear that everyone has their own system of washing their running...

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Running shoe video on YouTube

See my new running shoe video on YouTube. It was filmed at the Two Oceans Marathon Expo in Cape Town April 2012. Title : NIKE foot doc_Dennis Rehbock Click on this link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdZVocvl7Dw&list=UUIofl8nKqUI8s195Ppz7OIg&index=2&feature=plcp Or click on this link...

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Arch and heel pain

Arch and heel pain

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common running injuries seen in podiatric practice, and anyone who is on his or her feet a lot may also get this injury, such as nurses, teachers, hairdressers and shopkeepers.What happens is, for various reasons, the ligament under the foot (in the arch) called the plantar fascia gets strained or traumatised and becomes inflamed. This hurts under the heel or in the arch area of the foot. The repetitive nature of long distance running, long standing, and excessive foot pronation (rolling in) may be major causes of this injury. There are also other causes that need identifying and managing. Long term a heel spur, which is a bony outgrowth under the heel, may develop in response to the excessive pull on the plantar fascia. This bony growth is of no major clinical significance in terms of treatment.   Your self-treatment is very important. Rest for a while to let the inflammation reduce. This is something runner’s do not like doing but it is important to help the injury get better by reducing the stress on the feet. While resting do some cross training to keep the fitness levels up and to keep you from getting depressed. Ice the area for 10 mins a few times a day. Rub some gel such as arnica into the area after you shower or bath. Get some physiotherapy done to the area. The usual anti-inflammatory tabs may make the pain feel better but doesn’t really cure the injury. Make sure your running shoes are in good shape and not old and collapsed. Also make sure that they are the correct biomechanical type for you. I find adding some arch support or an orthotic into the shoe will help reduce the tensile stress on the fascial band, which helps healing. This would also control the excessive pronation that could be a cause of the tension. Sleeping with a night splint that keeps your foot in a stretched position may also help. A similar and related injury, called bruised heel syndrome, can also occur and feel like plantar fasciitis. The treatment of bruised heel syndrome is essentially the same as for plantar fasciitis. This information and / advice is the opinion of the author in his capacity as a qualified and registered podiatrist. The information and advice is meant as a guide only and is intended to be...

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Foot Fungus

Foot Fungus

Athlete’s foot. (Dermatomycosis, Tinea Pedis) Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin on the feet and especially in-between the toes. Not only athletes or sportsmen get it, but they are more prone to it because of their sweaty feet while exercising. A fungus is microscopic organisms similar to bacteria and viruses that invade our bodies. This is why feet and in between the toes are commonly infected with it. Also if you scratch the area you may spread the infection to other areas of your body or to other people around you. It is very contagious especially when walking barefoot in wet environments like at the gym or in communal change rooms and showers. An incorrect fact about fungus is that you only get it in summer. Well no you don’t, as you can get it in winter too as your feet are nice and warm and sweaty in your shoes even though the external temperature may be cold. Prevention. Prevention is better than cure with fungal infections. Do not walk barefoot in these wet areas of the gym or communal showers. Wash and dry your feet carefully and make sure that in between your toes are kept dry. Use a prophylactic foot powder in your shoes, socks and in between your toes daily, as part of your cleanliness routine. Use clean socks daily. Socks with a higher wool or cotton content will help contain the sweat better.  (See sock guide) Go barefoot and aerate your feet when you get the chance. Wash your running shoes regularly, but take care with the washing of your shoes as not to damage them. Treatment. If you do have a fungus, use an antifungal cream or ointment twice a day after washing your feet. Lamisil cream is one the best although there are many others available. Also use a medicated foot powder in your shoes and socks. The antifungal cream will take the itch away and that will stop the need to scratch, which reduces cross infection. Any associated smell will also go away with time and treatment. This information and / advice is the opinion of the author in his capacity as a qualified and registered podiatrist. The information and advice is meant as a guide only and is intended to be easily understandable to the lay person. Anyone seeking health and/or medical advice is strongly advised to consult...

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Ingrown toe nails

Ingrown toe nails

Ingrown nailsIngrown nails are a common nail condition. They are not specifically a running injury but are fairly common in sportsmen and sportswomen and in teenagers.There are a few possible causes. Shoe pressure on the nail may be the common one in runners. Incorrect cutting of the nail is what some people do and that also can cause it. I feel that some people also inherit ingrown nails. They don’t actually inherit the ingrown nail, they inherit the wider or more curled nail that is more likely to grow in. A simple procedure, called a nail wedge resection,  will sort them out once and for all. You do not have to go through life with this totally curable problem. The first part of treatment is to keep the area clean with some type of antiseptic cream and a dressing. Do not try to go in there and cut the nail out. This would be painful and probably not make it any better. Secondly get to see your podiatrist to treat the nail. At first conservative treatment will be tried. If that does not help then a nail wedge resection may be performed. What we do is inject some local anaesthetic around the base of the toe to numb it. We then remove the offending piece of nail and chemically destroy the base of it, so that it does not grow back. When this heals up the ingrown will be gone forever. It is a very simple procedure, exceptionally simple and successful. Also the nail does not have to be pulled out. If this is done the nail will reoccur and grow back and in again in a few months. If the nail is pulled out permanently then it cures the ingrown BUT leaves the toe without a nail for protection. This is not a good idea as it creates an ongoing problem. Prevention is a good idea. Make sure the toe box of your shoe or running shoe is wide and deep enough to fit your forefoot and toes. Cut your toenails straight across and not down the sides. This cutting down the sides can be a cause for ingrown nails. The fact you have one ingrown nail will also make you more likely to get more on your other toes. Look after your feet. You only get one pair for life. This information and / advice is the...

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