November 27

Shin Splints Vs. Stress Fractures

As a brief introduction, shin splints is the name of a condition that causes pain associated with the shin bone, also known as tibia. It is the thicker and the inner one of the two bones that lie between the knee and the ankle in human beings. This problem is typical of runners, and commonly bothers people who are regularly involved in activities that cause them to perform sudden stop and start movements. That is why, players of basketball, soccer or tennis, are known to stay more vulnerable to develop this condition. Stress fractures, on the other hand, can be associated with any type of bones in the body. These fractures refer to tiny cracks in the bones. Activities such as running and jumping increase the risk of developing this condition. Track and field athletes are known to be more susceptible to contract this condition

Differentiating Between Shin Splints and Stress Fractures

Shin Splints

As mentioned, this condition causes pain in the tibia. And the pain occurs when this bone endures too much force, or the tissues that connect the muscles to the tibia is subjected to repeated stress. Some activities which commonly cause this problem may include running downhill, running on slanted or uneven surfaces, using worn-out footwear, wearing improper fitting shoes, and activities which cause the person to suddenly start and stop frequently. Also, when someone runs or walks on a different surface from what he/she has been using or is used to, shin splints may occur. Increasing the level of training too fast without doing it gradually, may also be a cause.

The main symptom is the pain that occurs in the front portion of the lower leg. However, this may be worsened by swelling, soreness, and tenderness in the same area. Initially, the pain may subside when the activity is ceased, but it may become continuous with time.

More often than not, shin splints may be dealt with some simple self-care measures at home, and these include rest, ice therapy, and elevation. It is needless to say that avoiding activities such as the ones mentioned above, and those that may increase the pain, helps in the recovery. However, that does not mean that the patient must go completely sedentary. While recovering from the condition, low key exercises such as swimming, or bicycling, may be good enough keep the person physically active.

Ice has long been used for reducing pain and swelling in different parts of the body, the same goes even with treating shin splints. Applying ice on the aching area for 15-20 minutes helps. For best results, it should be four to eight times a day, and must be continued for several days, until the pain begins to subside. It is recommended to use ice packs, or if ice cubes are used, then they should be wrapped in a thin towel.

Another way to minimize swelling is to use the elevation method. It is nothing but keeping the affected leg at a position that is the same or higher than that of the heart. For this, one can make use of soft pillows, while sitting or lying down.

Besides following the above measures, it is also important to wear shoes that provide maximum support to the arch, and proper cushioning, as well. Some patients may be recommended to wear shoe types that may suit the foot type of the patient, and the sport or any particular activity that he/she frequently indulges in. Some people may also benefit from using orthotics (shoe inserts).

Stress Fractures

These are tiny cracks in a bone which could be anywhere in the body, but most commonly, the bones in the lower leg and foot get affected; the tibia being a common example. These cracks indicate that the affected bones were subjected to repetitive application of force that was greater than what the bones were built to withstand. Activities like pitching or rowing may cause the same problem in bones in other parts of the body. People who are vulnerable to this condition are ones who have just started a new exercise, or who intensify the intensity level of their exercise in an abrupt fashion. This condition tends to be more common in women with irregular periods, and those osteoporosis.

Swelling and pain in the area of the bone that has suffered the fractures, are common. However, they may subside or reduce with rest, but intensify with activity. The affected area may be tender to touch. With time, and without treatment, the pain may continue even while resting.

Stress fractures can be a source of great pain, but the condition is self-resolving if the person takes proper rest for a few months. Patients may use over-the-counter pain relievers to manage the pain. However, one must be careful about what drug is being used, as some studies have shown that certain pain killers may keep bones from healing. Until the damaged bone starts its healing process, attempts are made to keep it from bearing as much load as possible. For this, walking boot or brace, or crutches may be recommended to be used. In some cases, the doctor may feel the need to immobilize the affected bone with the help of a splint or cast. This happens in extreme cases. Surgery, may also be an option in the treatment, but is a rare requirement.

To conclude, the shin splints can be prevented by wearing proper shoes, using arch supports, choosing a gradual route to higher levels in exercise, and including strengthening maneuvers in exercise. All these measures are applicable for the prevention of stress fractures as well, except that, a diet rich in calcium and other nutrients is especially required for it.

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November 27

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Does your heel pain as soon as you take the first step in the morning or after a long period of bearing weight? More than 70% of people with such classical signs are probably suffering from plantar fasciitis. Pain and inflammation at the bottom of the foot are the main symptoms.

Plantar fascia is the fibrous ligament below the heel bone that gets inflamed causing heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is often known as a heel spur only because of the easier pronunciation of the word ‘spur’. Heel spur is the bony growth on the calcaneal bone. Due to the similarity in the site of pain, these conditions may be misdiagnosed.

Causes and Risk Factors

  • Repeated trauma
  • Being overweight
  • Occupations which demand standing for long periods of time
  • Sports activities
  • People with flat feet or high arches
  • Loss of tone in calf muscles
  • Shoes without proper cushioning


Heel pain and mild swelling in the area are the major symptoms. Distinguishing features of the pain in this condition are:

  • Stone bruise pain
  • Stabbing pain
  • Burning sensation
  • Change in site of pain
  • Pain in the early morning
  • Pain after exercise (not during exercise)
  • Pain after a period of bearing weight
  • Pain reduces after warm up
  • Pain decreases with activity but increases throughout the day as the movements increase

Other Medical Ailments With Similar Symptoms

  • Heel bruise
  • Calcaneal stress fracture
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendonitis
  • Plantar fascia rupture


Any pain should be treated promptly. Over a period of time, more problems are likely to emerge. Fortunately, there are many cures. These include natural remedies and professional therapies. Some of these are:

  • Proper height to weight ratio is to be maintained
  • Rest is a must to reduce inflammation
  • Appropriate analgesics
  • Application of ice on the affected area
  • Exercises for stretching the Achilles tendon, calf muscles, and arch of the foot
  • Arch supports or shoes with proper cushioning
  • Night splints to exert a mild stretch on the plantar fascia
  • Corticosteroid injections are used only in severe cases


Some easy ways to avoid this condition are:

  • Reduce weight-bearing activities
  • Shoe inserts and proper support to the arch of the foot
  • Foot exercises to maintain proper tone of the muscles

Like any other body part, your feet are important too. Taking adequate measures will help in living an easier and better life.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.

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November 27

Makeover for Guys

First impressions count a lot. Whether you are appearing for an interview or asking a girl out on a date, it is your confidence that will determine your success. Given below are some makeover suggestions that guys can implement for the same.

Exercise and Eat Healthy
Start with following a regimen which will get you to be healthy, fit, and in shape. Exercise everyday and eat a balanced diet. Preferably join a gym and undertake some weight training. It does not necessarily mean that you pump up your muscles, but working out everyday will definitely keep you energetic.

Get a New Hairstyle
Many people go to the same ‘small salon on the corner’ for years, and their hairstyle too becomes more or less consistent. Such situations call for a hair makeover. You can start by looking at some celebrity hairstyles and see which ones best describe your personality. This will better equip you to explain to your stylist the kind of haircut you want. Preferably go to a reputed salon. Another method is Virtual Makeover. It is a software application which allows you to upload your photo on the Internet and then see how different hairstyles look on your face. These days, many good salons offer this facility. It is also available on the net. You can try different haircuts with the virtual makeover tool before finalizing on your look.

Be Well-groomed
The easiest way to attract the attention of a woman is to appear well-groomed and polished. Take a shower everyday and follow it up by using a good quality moisturizer to hydrate your skin. Put on a good smelling cologne. Wear polished shoes. If you have a beard, trim it regularly. If the skin on your hands and feet is dry, go for manicures and pedicures. Wear a herbal lip balm on your lips to keep them shining.

Re-do your Wardrobe and Accessorize
Discard all clothing items that you feel are out of fashion. If you have no clue of the latest fashion trends, consult a friend who does and ask him to help you out. Buy some t-shirts for casual wear, shirts for formal wear, and good pairs of pants. Always buy something that suits you and which you can carry well. Never buy something you will not be comfortable wearing. For a trendy look, accessorize yourself with fashionable ties, classy shoes, a branded watch, and some cool eye glasses.

For guys, a makeover would be incomplete if they do not have the required attitude and confidence to carry themselves well. As the saying goes–‘It is our attitude that determines our altitude’.

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November 27

Tips to Prevent Concussions in Sports

Concussions can be termed as an injury to the head, which may cause a brief period of unconsciousness, and the return to consciousness is accompanied by dizziness, blurred vision and disorientation. Concussions are categorized into mild, moderate and severe, depending on the intensity of the impact. A severe concussion may also lead to coma. Even mild concussions can have severe post traumatic effects. Cam Cleeland, who played many seasons in the NFL, is a well-known victim of post concussion trauma.

The prime reason in the aggravation of post concussion consequences is, the lack of recovery time. The players who sustain concussions do not realize its severity, and continue to play even in their disoriented state. A concussion may sometimes not result in unconsciousness or blackouts, this makes it difficult for an athlete to identify that he has sustained a concussion. Repeated concussions may lead to irrecoverable repercussions.

How to Prevent Concussions in Sports

Sometimes you may suffer concussions even when it is not your fault. When a player is subjected to the rash and aggressive methods on the field, he is bound to sustain blows to his head. Concussions are not completely avoidable in sports, but you should try to prevent them. You may use the following tips to preclude concussions or mitigate them.

Wear a Helmet
Now this is one thing that has become a cliche, but you cannot underestimate the importance of a helmet in preventing concussions. A helmet can turn out to be a life saver. Wear a helmet that is right for your sport, and see that it follows all the quality standards. Make sure that your helmet has sufficient padding.

No Head First Tackling
The head first tackling in football is a major cause of concussions. The cumulative effect of repeated concussions, due to head first tackling and blocking may turn out to be fatal. Learn different ways of tackling and blocking, to avoid concussions.

Dive Right, Dive Safe
Diving in a shallow pool may lead to concussions, so gauge the depth of the pool before diving. Regulate your diving height depending on the dimensions of the pool. Try innovative techniques of diving only if they are safe.

Avoid Cheerleading Risks
Cheerleaders have a great chance of suffering from concussions, due to their risky stunts. Do NOT perform a stunt unless you are really sure about it. A strict pre-cheerleading exam should be made mandatory.

Wear the Right Shoes
The right shoes are very important while participating in a sport. Slipping and taking a blow to the head, is very common in sports, so proper footwear will ensure that you minimize your chances of slipping.

Avoid Head First Slides
The head first slides in baseball also have the potential to cause a concussion. The slides might be an act of desperation, but they might cause serious damage to your head. Try using different techniques of sliding, this will help in preventing the concussions.

In addition to the above, I recommend the athletes performing pole vault to wear helmet, and to check the padding of the landing area before taking a jump. Be careful of the pushing and the checking from behind in ice hockey. The use of helmets is not confined to collision sports, incorporate a helmet in your sport, if possible.

You might not experience the consequences of a concussion immediately, but they will surely come to haunt you in the future. Most of the athletes make a mistake of, not recuperating completely after a concussion. This can be attributed to the fact that they do not know the post effects of repeated concussions, so they should be educated. Rest and regain your health completely, before you march on to the field. So, recover first, play later!

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November 27

Getting Organized at Home

We are so used to hanging on to the smallest things that they all end up in a mountain of clutter in the house. Apart from that, somehow we’re always in a hurry. This means our things are never in the right place, and can never be easily found at the right time. Organization is not a difficult task if you do your bit everyday. Initially it may seem difficult, given you’re not used to it. However, you are going to have to accustom yourself to it as a way of life, so that you can see the difference it makes. The feeling of being able to locate something immediately when you need it is something you should experience at least once in your lifetime! Not only that, getting organized has a therapeutic effect on the mind. Try it out and see for yourself.

Helpful Tips

Start your housekeeping process by tackling different areas in your house one at a time. Taking on the entire task and hoping to complete it over a weekend is unrealistic, and is definitely going to demoralize you. Do a little everyday. This will even give you time to get into the habit. Presented here are tips that will help you to conveniently organize different areas of your home.

Entrance Foyer

  1. Accommodate a wall mounted key stand where you hang your keys, everyday, after you return form work. This makes it easier to find them when you leave. If you have the space to keep a foyer table, you can keep a tray where you toss all your keys so that they are easily accessible. These can also be placed on an enclosed shoe rack.
  2. Keep a well-ventilated shoe cabinet with louvered shutters, or an open shoe rack in the foyer. Next to it, place a basket where you can keep all the socks. If possible, place a small cushion on the enclosed shoe rack, so you can comfortably sit and wear your shoes. If not, keep a small stool or chair for this purpose.
  3. If possible, at the entrance of your house or apartment, have a place where you can toss the mail. That doesn’t mean just let it messily lie atop a counter. Have a drawer where you can place the mail. Also, make it a point to open the mail either daily or weekly. Initially, you will have to remind yourself to do this regularly, else you are going to face a huge mountain of mail which you are bound to dodge all the time.
  4. As far as possible, try to sign up for an e-billing service where bills are sent right to your e-mail inbox. This minimizes a little bit of the clutter, and you’re even doing your bit for the environment by saving paper!

Living Room

  1. Use minimal cushions on your couch. The more you use, the more likely you are to lose things, such as the remote or a pen or any other thing, under them. Get a center table with a shelf underneath, where you can keep the remote and the newspaper of the particular day.
  2. You may have newspapers and magazines lying everywhere. Get a rack or designate an area where you keep them all after reading.
  3. Some of you may have kept a study desk in the living room. Keep your desktop clear by keeping everything in your drawers, so that it is clear for you to open mail, write checks, and perform other necessary activities. Your drawers may become cluttered because it is easy to hide what you don’t need in a drawer. But you need to make it a point to ensure that even your drawers are organized to a certain extent. It may take a while, but you will get used to it.
  4. It is ideal to have drawers with partitions in them, so that you can easily organize things as per their type and your requirement. If you don’t have a drawer with a partition, create one yourself by using some cardboard, or just visual partition by dividing things according to their size/color or any other parameter.

Dining Area

  1. At the center of the dining table, keep a small tray with condiments that you may require while dining. This includes salt and pepper, a few herbs, perhaps some olive oil or some hot sauce, and some paper napkins.
  2. If possible, accommodate a cabinet for your fancy crockery that can be placed in the dining area. This need not be a full height cabinet. It can be a lower one too, with the top being used as a sideboard to place elaborately prepared dishes, in case you have a large gathering.
  3. If you use the dining table for things other than eating, such as sorting bills/mail, doing homework, or working, ensure you clear up once you are done. Don’t leave the mess around to accumulate.


  1. In your kitchen, create an area where you keep your phone, your cell phone charger and a notepad with a pen at hand. Use a tray to keep all these things so that you don’t keep misplacing them. Have a drawer or a wall bracket where you can store take out menus.
  2. Keep items that you use on a daily basis together. For instance, the chopping board and knives should be easily accessible from one area. On a shelf, place cooking oil and regularly used herbs and spices. Keep vegetables such as onions, garlic and potatoes at hand, in a basket. Ensure that the countertops are kept clear for the purpose of preparation. A small storage unit specifically used for the utensils you use regularly is a great way to get organized in the kitchen.
  3. Use the kitchen cabinets to store dry goods according to type. For instance, coffee beans/ground coffee, breakfast cereal, oats, crackers, should be stored in one area. Use another cabinet to store rice, beans, sugar, flour, etc. Ideally, these should be stored in plastic see-through containers so that they may be spotted quickly and accessed easily. Place canned goods, jams and sauces in another cabinet. Further, canned beans should be kept separate from canned goods. The whole purpose of organizing your kitchen in this manner is not only good organization and easy accessibility, but also a great way to plan your next shopping trip.
  4. For spices, use a tiered spice jar holder, or a spice carousel that can be placed in an empty but easily accessible space on your countertop. These occupy unnecessary space in the cabinet, especially when you require them on a daily basis.
  5. Keep a cabinet for dishes. Place dishes used regularly on a lower level, and ones used less often at a higher level. Keep mugs and glasses in a row on an easily accessible shelf. Ideally, this cabinet should be close to the dining area within the kitchen.
  6. Keep pots and pans within one another so that you can save on space. Keep the lids in another tray, so that you can reach them easily. Again, the ones that you use more often should be kept closer at hand.
  7. Use wall mounted shelves to keep recipe books, and if the space permits, a few decorative items. This provides a good focal point along with accommodating the necessary storage requirements.


  1. Get a nightstand that can accommodate a lamp, a book, an alarm clock, your reading glasses, and has a drawer where you can keep medicines, if necessary. Also ensure that it has a shelf where you can keep magazines and the like. Other things that are not used when you are in bed should not be kept on the nightstand.
  2. Use the space under your bed wisely. First measure the space you have between the underside of your bed and the floor. Then, use it keep all the extra linen, comforters, and other items which you don’t use on a daily basis. Ideally, you can place them in a basket with wheels and a cover so that it doesn’t get dirty. Use a skirt to conceal the space under the bed. With this method you are likely to go overboard, and again, clutter up the area under your bed simply because it is concealed. You are going to have to make a conscious effort to avoid this and keep the clutter minimal.
  3. Keep cosmetics and perfumes neatly on the dresser top. Cosmetics are best placed in a decorative tray so that they don’t wander here and there. In your dresser, use the drawers to keep small accessories you use daily, such as your jewelry and watches. You can also use these drawers to keep your wallet after you return from work instead of tossing it here and there and frantically looking for it when in a hurry.
  4. If you have extra drawers, use them to place your undergarments, by creating compartments for men and women’s underwear separately. You can use small, long plastic containers to divide spaces. When folded neatly, these occupy minimal space so you can accommodate your undergarments easily in these drawers.

Kids’ Bedroom

  1. Whether your child is an infant, a toddler, or a teenager, organizing her/his bedroom can be a herculean task. For your infant, keep a bag where you can store all his/her toys. It is easy to carry this bag wherever you go, without having to separately transport each and every toy all the time.
  2. For toddlers, keep the toys in a basket, or in a bench toy box, or in drawers in her/his room. These should preferably be without lids, so your toddler can easily remove and place back toys without your help.
  3. For your school-going kid’s closet, create compartments that serve the purpose of organizers. These can be used to keep the clothes for the next day, assignments, stuffed toys, bags, and other such necessary items. Have sufficient hanging space in the closet with a hanger rod, as well as hooks for scarves, caps, etc.
  4. As soon as your child becomes a teenager, her/his room is going to transform magically. This means you can finally give away all those toys and actually let her/him renovate the room. A space for music and musical instruments, such as a hook for a guitar, works well to keep these items safe. A gaming console should have a unit where it is stored, with all the batteries, CD’s, cords, etc.


  1. Keep shampoos and soaps together near the bathing area by using specialized racks for this purpose. You can install corner shelves or simply use a rack that hangs from the shower head, to place all your necessary essentials. Remember to install these storage items as per your requirements. For instance, if you use a loofah, there should be a hook to hang it from. If you use a bar soap, there should be a holder for the same. Ensure these items are sturdy and don’t topple over when you are trying to reach out for any particular item.
  2. If your bathroom has the space, place a laundry basket in a dry area, where all clothes to be washed can be collected. If possible, keep two separate baskets; one for dark clothes and the other for light clothes, so that it is easier to just quickly toss them in the washing machine. Also, for the little ones, accommodate a toy basket with holes so that the toys can dry up there after they have been used. These baskets also help in preventing the formation of any kind of odor that may emanate due to the toys being wet.
  3. All ointments, lotions, oils, mouthwash, antiseptics, shaving cream, razors, and other pills should find their place in a medicine cabinet. This is particularly useful for those of you who do not have a basin countertop in the bathroom.
  4. Many of you may be in the habit of taking something to read while in the bathroom. Keep a rack there (preferably at a height so it doesn’t get wet), so you can easily access and store reading material, and keep a clutter-free bathroom.

Finally, you must get rid of or organize all the clutter in your house. Things that you haven’t used in 5 years, you will definitely not use now. Keep a basket where you toss all the things you haven’t used in while. If you find yourself using them in the next 6 months, you can keep them. If you don’t, you must get rid of them. You already have a lot to deal with and unnecessary clutter is definitely not going to help your purpose of getting organized at home. Keep it simple, keep it clean, and stay organized. Good luck!

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November 27

Knee Pain While Running

The knee joint is a hinge joint that comprises the femur (thighbone), tibia (shinbone), and patella (kneecap). Quadriceps and hamstrings are the two opposing muscle groups that are located in the front and the back of the thigh respectively. While these bones provide structure to this joint, quadriceps and hamstring muscles help to flex, extend, and rotate the knee. Two types of cartilage are found in the knee. While the surface of the bones is covered by the hyaline cartilage, menisci are two disk-shaped pads of cartilaginous tissue that are present on the inner and outer edges of the shinbone. The menisci not only help to distribute the weight of the body, but also prevent friction between the femur and the tibia. The anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, medial (tibial) collateral ligament, lateral (fibular) collateral ligament), and the tendons that are located in the knee provide stability to the knee joint.

Since running puts repeated stress on the knee joint, runners are often in the high-risk group for knee injuries. The range of motion of the knee joint would be impacted in an adverse manner in the event of damage to any of the anatomical structures of the knee. Under such circumstances, the affected individual would experience pain during any activity that involves the knee joint.

Knee Pain in Runners
Since the knee joint is a weight-bearing joint of the body, a knee injury is likely to affect one’s ability to walk or run. It is therefore essential to identify the underlying cause of knee pain at the earliest. Here are some of the medical conditions that could cause knee pain.

Runner’s Knee
Runner’s knee, which is medically referred to as patellofemoral pain syndrome or chondromalacia patellae, is a common condition affecting runners, as well as others involved in high-speed sports which involve bending of the knees or actions that put stress on the knees. The kneecap is a triangular-shaped bone that glides within the V-shaped groove at the end of the thigh bone. If the kneecap is misaligned, the cartilage lining the underside of the kneecap could get damaged. This could give rise to knee pain.

Injuries can occur if a runner trains too hard to improve his/her performance, not giving the body sufficient time to recover. This condition is referred to as overtraining syndrome. Other factors that may be associated with runner’s knee include:

? Muscle imbalance between the quadriceps and the hamstrings
? Tight hamstrings or quadriceps
? Over-pronation (excessive inward rolling of the foot after landing)

A person affected by this condition is likely to experience symptoms such as:

? Knee pain that worsens with exercise, and resolves with rest
? Pain around the kneecap
? Pain while going downhill or climbing down the stairs
? Frequent crackling noises from the knee
? Swelling and inflammation around the kneecap

Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Iliotibial band syndrome is a condition that is characterized by the inflammation of the iliotibial band, which is a thick band of fibrous tissue that starts at the iliac crest and runs down the outer part of the thigh and knee, before it attaches to the shinbone. This condition is more likely to affect runners who don’t follow proper techniques while training. For instance, downhill running or running on one side of a crowned road could make a person susceptible to this condition. Besides overuse injuries, wearing worn-out shoes while running could also be a contributing factor. Stress on the knee could also be due to muscle imbalance or over-pronation.

Outer knee pain is one of the most characteristic symptoms of iliotibial band syndrome. The other associated symptoms include:

? Swelling and tenderness
? Pain while walking
? Pain while climbing the stairs
? Clicking sensation on the outer side of the knee

Meniscus Tears
The knee contains two crescent-shaped cartilaginous structures that are placed on top of the shinbone. These act as shock absorbers for the kneecap. The cartilage helps the thighbone to glide smoothly while the knee joint moves. Activities that involve bending and twisting of the knees are likely to cause a meniscus injury. Meniscal tears may also be attributed to an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament. Wear and tear of cartilage may also be associated with aging. Some of the common symptoms that are associated with meniscal tears include:

? Pain
? Swelling
? Difficulty in straightening or bending the leg
? Locking sensation in the knee

Patellar Tendinitis
Patellar tendinitis refers to the inflammation of the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone. This condition often affects those who participate in sports that involve jumping, which is why it is called jumper’s knee. However, this injury could also affect runners. Inflammation of this tendon occurs due to repeated stress. The symptoms associated with this condition include:

? Anterior knee pain that worsens with movement
? Swelling around the kneecap
? Crepitus (crackling sounds that might be heard while moving the knee)

The RICE approach (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) may prove beneficial in case of mild injuries, but medical help must be sought if the pain persists.
Precautionary Measures
While medical help must be sought by those who are affected by biomechanical problems or structural foot abnormalities, following certain measures can help to lower the risk of knee injuries while running. Here are a few self-care measures that can be followed to prevent knee pain.

? A warm-up session is extremely important as it prepares the body for any strenuous physical activity that you are planning to take part in.

? Refrain from running on surfaces that are hard or uneven.

? Training errors must be avoided. The intensity of the workout or any physical activity must be gradually increased.

? It is important to check that your foot is not imbalanced while you run. Foot imbalance will lead to knee imbalance, which in turn may cause knee pain while running.

? Muscle conditioning exercises should also be incorporated in the training.

? Wear the right kind of running shoes, keeping in mind the shape of your feet.
Though some people may experience knee pain while running due to poor biomechanics, pain in the knee could even be a self-inflicted problem in case of people who train too hard in order to improve their performance. While running is an activity that helps you burn calories, problems can arise if the right running techniques are not followed. So, do follow the aforementioned precautionary measures, and seek medical help if pain in the knee doesn’t resolve soon.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.

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November 26

How to Teach Your Child to Tie Shoe Laces

Children as toddlers, are solely dependent on their parents for routine activities but as they grow up, they become more and more independent and learn to perform the activities like brushing their teeth, eating, wearing clothes on their own. Tying shoe laces is one of the activities that hints you and tells you that your child has mastered all the basic skills. To tie laces is difficult for children, so when that is achieved, the child is supposed to be ready to move into kindergarten. However, to teach a child to tie her shoes is a difficult task for the parents. It requires lots of patience and efforts. You will have to invent some creative ideas to make the task likable to your child. There is a high possibility of children getting frustrated looking at the difficult method and they might leave it in between and run away. To avoid this follow the tips suggested in the following part of the article.

Tips to Teach Your Child to Tie Laces

  • As it is already said, the child might just find the activity very difficult, boring and so does not want to do it. You should be patient and wait till your child is mentally and physically ready for the task. When we compare the learning rate among girls and boys, girls learn faster than boys and they are pretty enthusiastic throughout the activity.
  • Child’s fingers and muscles are small and not yet developed completely. To make the grip easier for the child it is always better to give her bigger things to practice on. In this activity as well, you can tie the shoelace on the child’s thigh. Since, we cannot change the size of the lace, tying it on the thigh will give her a proper surface to practice and also a comfortable position. Once the child is done with tying the knots you can make her tie the lace on the shoe.
  • Using rhythm is the best idea to get your child involved in the activity. There are many nursery rhymes on shoe tying like, the Bunny Hole rhyme. You can play the song or you can also recite it for the child while practicing the steps according to the instructions in the song. Children will enjoy the rhyme and also learn to tie the shoe laces.
  • Other method would be teaching the steps one by one and repeating it until the child gets a hang of it.
  • Remember when you are adopting this method the child should be familiar with the concept of right and left and must know the alphabets well.
  • The first knot is easier to tie. Teach your child the first knot and let her repeat it. Do this till you are sure that she has grasped it well. Children tend to remember what they are taught only for a while and forget when they do it the next time.
  • When the first knot is practiced well teach the child to make two loops at a time. Initially she will struggle to hold the loop and they will also be unequal. Let the loops be as they are because, if you keep correcting her often, there are possibilities of the child getting irritated and losing concentration.
  • When the child learns to make loops, guide her in making the “X” alphabet by placing one loop across the other and inserting one into the other forming two bunny ears.
  • Then teach the child to pull the ears to fix them tight and tell her that if you don’t fix them, they will fall off.

Points to Remember

  • Select one method of tying shoes and be consistent in the practice session to have better results.
  • Give rewards or just praise the child for achieving success as it will motivate her to learn more.
  • Do not ever hit or yell at your child if she is not able to do it. It will only scare the child and demotivate her.
  • While practicing, you and the child should be side by side and not opposite to each other. It will be easier for the child to follow the steps than trying to grasp the mirror images.
  • Once the child learns to tie shoe laces, you can teach her to lace shoes in various styles as well.

Although, there is a huge variety of children shoes in the market like the zip-ups, velcro shoes, etc., people still want their children to learn to tie shoe laces and at least for the childhood years they buy the shoes with laces. If you also want your child to learn to tie shoe laces faster and properly, follow the above-listed guidelines and make the activity enjoyable for the child.

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November 26

Toe Pain Causes

Foot pain is a very common type of pain, as most people may experience it at least once during their lifetime. It can occur in any part of the foot including the toes, the ball of the foot, the arch of the foot, sole, heel, the ankle or the instep. Its occurrence increases with age. Some of the important toe pain causes are given below so that you get a general idea of what this pain is and how it can be treated.


To find the reasons behind this pain, you need to undergo some steps. The first step is to check if you can see any signs of injury on the toe, this will help in finding the most obvious cause. You may want to try walking barefoot or with well-fitting shoes. This will help to find out if the pain is caused due to ill-fitting footwear.


One of the most prominent reasons is the presence of corn. Corn is nothing but a type of toe callus, which develops because of repetitive friction. The corns have a core, which often exert pressure on the nerves, which causes intense pain. This pressure is due to ill-fitting shoes or socks, which are too tight for comfort. To prevent this, it is recommended that you wear proper fitting shoes and wear small pads that will absorb friction.

Ingrown Nail

You may want to check the toe for change in skin or toenail color. The small and middle toe pain can be related to an ingrown nail. You will also have to check for redness, swelling, or soreness on one or both sides of the nail. Damage to a nerve in the foot can also be a reason.


Quite a few times, the pain may be related to bone fracture or broken bone. You will have to check its alignment and notice if there are any changes. Trauma caused due to dropping a heavy object on the toes or due to repeated pressure or stress is a possible reason. It is recommended that a physician be consulted for the misalignment. In case the bone is broken, it is imperative that the bone is set in its place, else it can impede the bone’s ability to heal properly.


One of the big reasons of this condition can be hallux rigidus, which is a degenerative form of arthritis. This can be caused due to a history of repeated sports injuries. This can cause a significant amount of discomfort and may also have an impact on the ability to walk. It can also be accompanied by pain in the lower back.

Apart from the mentioned reasons, gout, a form of arthritis can also be a major reason. This arthritis is caused due to formation of uric acid crystals , which form on connective tissue or in the synovial fluid. This is the fluid that is responsible for cushioning the joints. These crystals are very sharp and may often cause acute inflammatory process, which causes pain. An attack of gout often starts with severe and sudden pain in the big toe.


The treatment depends on the causes. Normally, anti-inflammatory medicines may be used. If the pain is severe, pain killers can also be used. However, it is better to seek medical help and evaluate the condition to avoid any further complications.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.

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November 26

What to Wear with Women’s Oxford Shoes

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”

― Marilyn MonroeOxford shoes have taken awhile to be a part of a woman’s wardrobe. These inherently men’s shoes, have evolved over a period of time to suit the fairer sex too. These distinctly-toed shoes were first seen in Ireland and Scotland, then they were called Balmorals, after the Queen’s castle. In due time, as fashion traveled across waters, these were rechristened as Oxfords after Oxford University.

Over the years, Oxfords evolved from being plain formal shoes to patterned, multicolored, and high-heeled, especially for women. In today’s time and age, Oxfords have become a wardrobe staple for the charming, geeky, chic, and androgynous style they offer.

If you are still not sure how to make a style statement with these shoes, here are few ideas put together for you.

Look # 1
Formal white shirt and jacket with Oxford shoes
The classic pair of black and white Oxfords with rivet detailing are a must-have. Interestingly, these can be worn with formal and casual attire. Wear these to your office with a pair of black formal slim-fit trousers, a regular white shirt, and half-sleeved black jacket. You can also wear them with your pair of rolled up boyfriend jeans, a loose sweater with leather patches, and the much-needed leather sling bag. The trick is to make one aspect of your body look more feminine if the other has a hint of masculinity.

Look # 2
Crop sweater with jeans and Oxford shoes
The masculinity of Oxfords are definitely worth cashing in on. Pair them up with your old, faded-out denims that end just at your ankles, a cropped sweater which bares your toned midriff, a scarf that adds an interesting accent, and a bag that will carry your essentials for the day. Lastly, do not forget the pair of sunglasses to shield your eyes from the harsh sun.

Look # 3
Jeans and t-shirt with pink Oxford shoes
The same old jeans can be used to create a more effeminate look with a pair of pastel-colored Oxfords. For your next look, pick a shoe pair which is light in color and is made of soft fabric. Team it with your denims, a T-shirt that matches your Oxfords, a cute scarf, a geometrically-patterned bag, and sunglasses. This is the perfect look for a picnic day with friends and family.

Look # 4
Jumpsuit with blue Oxford shoes
A little retro can sometimes create a great style statement. Pair your bold-colored Oxfords with a floral print jumpsuit, a dashing sling bag, some accessories, and the big framed sunglasses. Let your jumpsuit draw attention to your great shoulders, while the slightly heeled shoes add to your height.

Look # 5
Peach dress with heeled Oxford shoes
We’ve only seen pants until now. But Oxfords can very well be worn with a cute dress too. As seen above, an A-line dress with a bold leather belt will bring out curves, adding a great touch of femininity. Wrap a scarf around your neck for the sexy celebrity look, and a bag to take on the day with needed enthusiasm. A casual dress will balance the masculinity of your shoes and the femininity of the rest of your attire.

The trick to make Oxfords a fashion hit is to buy the ones that end just at your ankles. Show off your thin toned legs in case of a short dress or your ankle just above it. Always pick lighter or neutral tones so that the colors do not clash. Keeping the look subdued and color-coordinated is the key to pulling off Oxfords with any outfit!

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November 26

Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs

Plantar fasciitis and bone spurs in feet are both painful foot conditions. Pain is not the only thing that is common between these two foot conditions, one must know that both of these conditions can be caused due to wearing ill-fitting footwear. It is therefore, extremely important that we stop looking at shoes as a fashion accessory and buy shoes that provide proper arch support, instead of donning fashionable shoes that put a lot of stress on the heel bone. In this article, we will find out why one may suffer from plantar fasciitis or bone spurs in heel due to wearing ill-fitting footwear along with tips on buying the right type of shoes that may help to prevent plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.

Can Poorly-fitted Shoes Cause Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is associated with the inflammation of plantar fascia. Plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that stretches along the sole of the foot. Plantar fascia not only provides support to the arch, it also facilitates shock absorption. Usually, over-stretching of this ligament occurs as a result of indulging in strenuous physical activities that involve the feet. One of the most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis is heel pain. The pain is felt the most when one lands the foot on the ground in the morning. Since plantar fascia gets tightened while one is asleep, the sudden movement causes stretching of the ligament as one takes the first few steps.

While structural foot abnormalities such as high arches or fallen arches can make one more susceptible to plantar fasciitis, wearing old worn-out shoes can also cause stress to the plantar fascia. Wearing high-heeled shoes can also stretch the ligament beyond the tolerable limits and cause inflammation. Those suffering from plantar fasciitis are also at an increased risk of developing heel spurs. Heel spurs, also known as osteophytes, are abnormal bony outgrowths that may develop along the edges of the heel bone. Heel spurs form when the plantar fascia starts pulling at the heel bone or gets torn due to excessive stress. The formation of a bony protrusion is the body’s way of adjusting to the pulling forces. If the heel spurs start impinging on any of the surrounding nerves or the tissues, one is likely to suffer from pain. Since wearing ill-fitting footwear may cause both of these painful foot conditions, it is extremely important that one buys the best quality plantar fasciitis shoes that would prevent any further inflammation.

Shoes for Providing Relief from Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs

Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs surely affect one’s ability to move about freely. So, make sure that the heel bone or other structures in the feet are not subject to excessive stress. A person who has been diagnosed with these conditions must always wear shoes that are specifically designed for providing relief from plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. This is the best way to support the arch of the foot. These days, various footwear manufacturers have come up with shoes that not only provide support to the arch, but also have cushioned padding so as to facilitate proper shock absorption. New Balance, Earth, Chaco, Birkenstock, Mephisto and Dansko are some of the brands that offer such supportive shoes for people suffering from plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. Nowadays, one can easily get hold of walking shoes, running shoes or even dress shoes that are specially designed for people diagnosed with plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.

While buying shoes for yourself, make sure that you don’t make the decision on the visual appeal of the shoes. Buy shoes that not only fit you well, but also have other added features enabling improved arch support. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, you could even buy good quality orthotic shoe inserts. It is also essential that any structural foot abnormality one may be suffering from is considered while one goes shopping for footwear. One can check out custom-made orthopedic shoes that are specifically designed as per one’s size. Features such as removable heel pads, cushioning and wide toe boxes can also help to prevent other foot problems such as corns, calluses or bunions. There is a great need to provide support to all parts of the foot. The best footwear is the one that not only provides support to the arch, but also supports the heel and ball of the foot.

While donning supportive shoes for plantar fasciitis and heel spur relief would definitely make you feel better, it’s essential that your feet don’t reel under your body’s weight. Feet carry our entire weight throughout the day, so, make sure that you keep a tab on your body weight as well.

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