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By Dr. Amannda Richline
July 24, 2015
Category: Bunions

The Women’s Club of Belvidere is an organization that provides the opportunity for women to make a difference in our local New Jersey community. They are responsible for various fundraisers throughout the year benefitting such groups as the Domestic Abuse Crisis Center, Meals at Home, and the Belvidere River Rescue. Spending time and helping others is always incredibly rewarding, but sometimes you need to give yourself a little attention as well. If you wish to keep running with a bunion, this is exactly what you have to do.

There is certain degree of debate in the medical community about the role that stylish women’s shoes play in this condition, with some saying that they cause bunions and others saying high heels only exacerbate an existing issue. What we can say definitively is that ill-fitting running shoes certainly do not help the cause! This means your first step as you consider running with a bunion is to find shoes that are not excessively tight in the toe box.

After you have the right pair of running shoes picked out—ones with ample space in front—you may want to consider picking up some padding. This can be as easy as simply using a 1 cm thick piece of foam between your big and second toes.

Running with bunionsNow that you have the proper footwear and are padded, it’s time to look at your choice in socks. This can make a big difference in your comfort while you are running. It might seem obvious that thicker socks would provide extra cushioning, but they actually create an uncomfortable situation. Thin, light socks give you more space, which you want, between the inside of the shoe and the protruding bump.

Shoes, pads, and socks are equipment that can help when you are running with a bunion, but there is also an activity you do to help as well—yoga. The poses in this ancient practice are helpful in strengthening various joints, including those that have come unaligned due to an impacted gait. Your body works in amazing harmony and an issue with your toe joint can become an issue further up the leg.

For additional tips on running with a bunion, or expert treatment for this toe deformity, contact our Belvidere, NJ office by calling (908) 475-8750. You can also use our online form, so schedule your appointment today and find the relief you need.

By Dr. Amannda Richline
July 13, 2015
Category: Bunions

“Do It Yourself” is everywhere these days—do it yourself decorations, do it yourself weddings, do it yourself fitness, and so on. People enjoy finding a way to be creative without spending a lot of money. One area where it’s risky to try doing it yourself, though, is your health care. When you have a real problem, like a bunion, you don’t want to risk making it worse by taking treatment into your own hands. This doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to help alleviate the pain when you’re at home, of course. Bunion home care can actually make a big difference for improving your comfort.

First, a quick review: bunions are the hard bulges on the side of your foot that develop when your first metatarsal and the big toe slide out of alignment and begin tilting away from each other. The joint where they meet bulges out and becomes enlarged. Pressure on the forefoot, and particularly the bump, from footwear and your activities can irritate and inflame it.

Relieving pressure on this bulge and your forefoot can make a big difference for improving any discomfort you may have—and you can do that at home. This won’t “fix” your bunion, but if you’re uncomfortable, try some of these basic home remedies for bunion pain:

  • Pad it – Put a gel pad or moleskin between your footwear and the bump. This reduces two of the most painful culprits: friction and pressure.
  • Ice it – When the bulge is swollen and uncomfortable, apply an ice pack for 10-20 minutes at a time. This decreases swelling and inflammation.
  • Rest it – Take a break from whatever activity is irritating your foot.
  • Change it up – Switch your shoes. Make sure you’re wearing a style with a wide, soft, rounded toe box, plenty of arch support, and a low heel.

Bunion ExamYou may still need additional treatment to help prevent the condition from getting worse, like orthotics or splints. Don’t live with the pain; take care of it! The whole Dr. Amannda Richline team in Belvidere, NJ, is here to help you manage your forefoot pain, from bunion home care to more invasive methods for advanced cases. Just call (908) 475-8750 to make an appointment with us. 

By Dr. Amannda Richline
July 10, 2015
Category: Foot Care

When people think of weight training, they likely picture big biceps, broad shoulders, and powerful pectoral muscles. Others will think about toned, strong legs or a highly-defined midsection. Sure, it’s natural to conjure up images of these larger muscle groups, but exercises to strengthen feet can benefit you as well.

Perhaps the most underappreciated and taken for granted body parts, your feet handle an immense amount of pressure and force throughout the day. Running, walking, and even simply standing places a lot of stress on those valuable appendages, so it is important to keep them strong and limber. With this in mind, there are some strength training exercises for feet that can really help:

  • Toe lifts. Simply raise your big toe while keeping the other four on the ground. This might sound simple, but give it a try once. After you 
    are able to lift it, move onto the next one and continue until you can lift them all, one at a time.
  • Toe Abduction. Standing barefoot, keep your bodyweight on your heels and spread your toes apart from each other, but without lifting them up.
  • Marble Pickups. Keeping your feet bare, sit down and pick up marbles (or any small object) one at a time with your toes and place them into a receptacle of some kind—perhaps a small plastic container. Use your right foot first and then repeat the process with your left.
  • Stretching FootTowel Pulls. Grab a towel and then sit on the ground with your right leg extended in front of you. Loop the towel around your foot, holding one end in each hand. Gently pull back to stretch your foot. Then, keeping some resistance, push your 
  • foot forward and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat the process with your left foot.

Strength training exercise for your feet can certainly decrease the risk of injury, but keep in mind that it is virtually impossible to completely eliminate that risk completely when you are physically active. The good news is that if you are injured, we are able to effectively treat many foot conditions with nonsurgical methods and you can resume normal activities in a reasonable timeframe.

Whether you would like additional information and tips, or you require expert care and treatment for a foot or ankle injury, we are here for you. Simply contact us at our Belvidere, NJ office online or call (908) 475-8750 and schedule your appointment today.

June 30, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Strength training is good for all ages.


There are many forms of self-improvement. Some individuals take classes to learn about new subjects, others become involved with charitable contributions to the community. When it comes to your physical improvement, one particularly beneficial activity is strength training.

Studies are continually showing additional benefits of incorporating muscle strengthening exercises into a workout program. More will surely be found, but ones that we are currently aware of include:

  • Healthy weight loss. There is a common misconception, especially amongst women, that working your muscles will make you bulky. This is simply not true! Your diet plays a more significant role in whether or not you are able to “bulk up,” plus it is not an easy task to accomplish (ask any 150-lb. guy who is striving for bigger muscles!). Strength training actually ramps up your metabolism and contributes to additional calories burned for an extended period after your workout.
  • More energy. You will feel more energetic after spending time building up your strength. The reason is that your stronger body will not get tired as easily.
  • Better mood. Lifting weights a couple of times during the week is scientifically proven to elevate your level of endorphins, which are the chemicals your brain releases naturally that make you feel great. Of course, your improved physique will help boost your confidence and put some spring into your step, too.
  • Disease prevention and management. Building your strength can decrease arthritic pain, increase bone density, reduce the risk of bone fractures, and improve glucose control for diabetic individuals.
  • Ability to open pickle jars. Spending time at the gym may put your husband (or wife!) out of the jar-opening business, thereby giving you some bragging rights at home.

If you are going to begin a strength training workout program, stop by our office first so we can ensure that you do not have any existing conditions and are in good shape to start. We can assist you with planning exercises and routines that are appropriate for your existing fitness level. Additionally, we will provide the care you need if you sustain any foot or ankle injury while exercising.

We may be known for providing exceptional foot and ankle care, but our commitment is also to your overall health. We are here for you, so call us at (908) 475-8750 or use our online form to schedule your appointment at our Belvidere, NJ office today.

By Dr. Amannda Richline
June 24, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

How to eat clean. There’s an old, well-known saying that sums up how food affects your body: “you are what you eat.” A similar phrase takes it a bit farther—“garbage in, garbage out.” The food you put into your body affects how it functions. Your feet are definitely not exempt from this! Eating unhealthy food can have a long-lasting impact on your lower limbs. On the other hand, establishing healthy eating habits now can make a huge difference for living, including healthy feet for the rest of your life.

The food you eat gets processed into energy and tissue building blocks, so it only makes sense that what you eat affects your feet. You see this in problems with inflammation. Certain foods actually increase inflammatory chemicals in your body, making it more likely that your tissues develop problems. Refined grains or sugar, trans fats in junk food, and saturated fats in red meat are among the top culprits for inflammation. Many people have problems with food intolerances, too, that cause a lot of irritation. Gluten intolerance is one of the most prevalent.

All of these foods affect other conditions that can have a huge impact on your feet, like diabetes and peripheral arterial disease. These two problems damage the blood flow to your lower limbs, decreasing your immune response there and potentially causing pain and weakness. Healthy eating and quality food, however, could help prevent these problems and spare your feet from the damage.

One of the best ways to ensure you’re getting quality food for healthy feet is to focus on clean eating. Clean eating means consuming unprocessed and whole foods. You’ll stick to fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats. The key is to avoid artificial additives or preservatives, excess sugar, or unhealthy fats. All of this works in conjunction with exercising to keep your lower limbs as healthy as they can be.

You don’t want to live with foot pain or chronic conditions that affect your overall health. Choosing healthy eating is an easy way to can keep your feet at their best throughout your life. Our team at the office of Dr. Amannda Richline is more than happy to help you as you work for healthy feet. Contact our Belvidere, NJ, office today by calling (908) 475-8750 for more information about how food affects feet, or to deal with pain you already have. 

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