The legs and feet are the lifeline to a healthy, active lifestyle. Leg and foot pain is noticed with every step you take and can be serious if it is impacting work or play.

Please Note: All definitions are from the Mayo Clinic website (www.mayoclinic.com).

While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
 
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the Achilles (uh-KIL-eez) tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone.

    Achilles tendonitis is often a running injury or other sport-related injury resulting from overuse, intense exercise, jumping, or other activities that strain the tendon and calf muscles.

    Most cases of Achilles tendonitis can be treated with persistent, relatively simple, at-home care under your doctor's supervision. Self-care strategies are usually necessary to prevent recurring episodes.

    More serious cases of Achilles tendonitis can lead to tendon tears (ruptures) and may require surgery to repair damaged tissues. 

    SYMPTOMS

    The most common sign of Achilles tendonitis is pain that develops gradually and worsens over time. Signs and symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include:
    • Mild ache or pain at the back of the leg and above the heel after running or other sports activity
    • Episodes of more severe pain associated with prolonged running, stair climbing or intense exercise, such as sprinting
    • Tenderness or stiffness, especially in the morning, that usually improves with mild activity
    • Mild swelling or a "bump" on your Achilles tendon
    • A crackling or creaking sound when you touch or move your Achilles tendon
    • Weakness or sluggishness in your lower leg

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    This condition affects the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches. Sometimes it will be present with a bursa or a large bump, which will be irritated by a heel counter rubbing on it. 

    An open back clog type shoe will offer some relief. Some examples include:
    • New Balance 811SO
    • Haflinger
    • Finn Comfort
    • Merrell
    • Dansko

    Insoles can help by re-aligning the calcaneus in relation to the ground and a Birkenstock insole or Prothotic Motion Control insole have proven results. Sometimes a heel lift can relieve symptoms immediately, but should not be depended on for long-term relief. 

    Icing and very mild stretching, in accordance to doctor’s prescribed treatment can be very beneficial.

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that develops in the moist areas between your toes and sometimes on other parts of your foot. Athlete's foot usually causes itching, stinging and burning.

    Athlete's foot, also called Tinea Pedis, is the most common type of fungal infection. It's closely related to other fungal infections such as ringworm and jock itch. Although contagious, athlete's foot often can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal medications. 

    SYMPTOMS

    The signs and symptoms of athlete's foot can be numerous, although you probably won't have all of them. They include:
    • Itching, stinging and burning between your toes
    • Itching, stinging and burning on the soles of your feet
    • Itchy blisters
    • Cracking and peeling skin, especially between your toes and on the soles of your feet
    • Excessive dryness of the skin on the bottoms or sides of the feet
    • Toenails that are thick, crumbly, ragged, discolored or pulling away from the nail bed

    Onychomycosis — a fungal infection of the nail — may develop with or without other signs and symptoms of athlete's foot.

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    Treatment for fungal infections include applying emollients such as tea tree oil. This condition is a result of bacteria and is more likely to occur in a shoe with poor wicking quality or allow for excess moisture. Generally a wider fitting shoe with a moisture wicking sock will help immensely. Avoid going barefoot in public facilities or even barefoot outside as the ground harbors a multitude of bacteria. Getting the toes and fungal nails in the sun for even a few minutes a day will help as the body absorbs vitamin D, which helps to prevent infections. Keeping the feet warm and dry, especially drying between the toes is crucial to preventing these types of conditions. 

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    A bunion is an abnormal, bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. Bunions form when your big toe pushes up against your other toes, forcing your big toe joint in the opposite direction, away from normal profile of your foot. Over time, the abnormal position enlarges your big toe joint, further crowding your other toes and causing pain.

    Bunions can occur for a number of reasons, but a common cause is wearing shoes that fit too tightly. Bunions can also develop as a result of an inherited structural defect, stress on your foot or a medical condition, such as arthritis.

    Smaller bunions — bunionettes — can also develop on the joint of your little toes. 

    SYMPTOMS

    The signs and symptoms of a bunion include:
    • A bulging bump on the outside of the base of your big toe
    • Swelling, redness or soreness around your big toe joint
    • Thickening of the skin at the base of your big toe
    • Corns or calluses — these develop where the first and second toes overlap
    • Persistent or intermittent pain
    • Restricted movement of your big toe

    Pain from a bunion can range from mild to severe, often making it difficult to walk in normal shoes. The skin and deeper tissue around the bunion also may become swollen or inflamed.

    By pushing your big toe inward, a bunion can squeeze your other toes into abnormal positions. Over time, this crowding molds the four toes into the bent or claw-like shape known as hammer toe. 

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    Typically these types of foot conditions are a result of a hereditary predisposition or a biomechanical fault or a combination of both. 

    A shoe with a deeper, broader toe box will help prevent rubbing and binding the toes. Shoes that offer this sort of feature include the following:
    • SAS
    • New Balance
    • Kumfs
    • PW Minor
    • Dansko
    • Keen
    • Haflinger

    A firmer insole with a deep heel cup will help to keep the foot properly aligned. A metatarsal pad can aid in relieving the symptoms as well as helping to improve the biomechanical function of the foot. A Birkenstock, Prothotic, or Vasalli insole can greatly improve these conditions as well as slow the degenerative process.

    Avoid going barefoot on hard, flat surfaces. Practice toe and foot stretching and exercises to help reduce the advancement of these conditions.

    A consultation with a certified specialist is recommended in order to come up with and implement a plan that is best suited to the individual. 

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    Corns and calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop when your skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure. Corns and calluses can be unsightly.

    Common warts are different from moles, and they aren't cancerous. In fact, they're usually harmless and often disappear on their own. But you may find common warts bothersome or embarrassing, and you may want treatment to remove them.

    If you're healthy, you only need treatment for corns and calluses if they cause discomfort. For most people, simply eliminating the source of friction or pressure makes corns and calluses disappear. However, if you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation in your feet, you're at greater risk of complications from corns and calluses. Seek your doctor's advice on proper care for corns and calluses if you have one of these conditions.

    SYMPTOMS

    You may have a corn or callus if you notice:
    • A thick, rough area of skin
    • A hardened, raised bump
    • Tenderness or pain under your skin
    • Flaky, dry or waxy skin

    Corns and calluses are often confused, but they're not the same thing:

    Corns are smaller than calluses and have a hard center surrounded by inflamed skin. Corns tend to develop on parts of your feet that don't bear weight, such as the tops and sides of your toes, though they can also be found in weight-bearing areas. Corns can even develop between your toes. Corns can be painful when pushed.

    Calluses usually develop on the soles of your feet, especially under the heels or balls, on your palms, or on your knees. Calluses are rarely painful and vary in size and shape, though they're often larger than corns.

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    Corns can be either a soft or hard corn. Soft corns usually occur between the toes and are moist and red. They are aggravated by shoes or socks that are too tight, moisture, and toes rubbing together. Normally a wider toe box that allows for free toe movement and stockings that wick moisture away from the foot will usually offer positive results. Hard corns are the result of toes bunching together. They are dry and occur when bones are pressing against bones. Calluses form when something is rubbing or pressing against the skin and causing irritation. The skin thickens to protect the underlying tissue, but often adds to the problem as the callus is thick and adds more pressure to the area it is attempting to protect. Calluses most often form under the ball of the foot or on the top or the edges of the toes where they rub against the top, bottom or inner sides of the shoes.

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar can injure nerve fibers throughout your body, but diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet.

    Depending on the affected nerves, symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can range from pain and numbness in your extremities to problems with your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and heart. For some people, these symptoms are mild; for others, diabetic neuropathy can be painful, disabling and even fatal.

    Diabetic neuropathy is a common serious complication of diabetes. Yet you can often prevent diabetic neuropathy or slow its progress with tight blood sugar control and a healthy lifestyle. 

    SYMPTOMS

    There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy. You may have just one type or symptoms of several types. Most develop gradually, and you may not notice problems until considerable damage has occurred. For some people with type 2 diabetes, symptoms of neuropathy develop before diabetes is ever diagnosed.

    The signs and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy vary, depending on the type of neuropathy and which nerves are affected.

    Peripheral neuropathy

    Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. It affects the very ends of nerves first, starting with the longest nerves. That means your feet and legs are often affected first, followed by your hands and arms. Possible signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:
    • Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or changes in temperature, especially in your feet and toes
    • A tingling or burning feeling
    • Sharp, jabbing pain that may be worse at night
    • Pain when walking
    • Extreme sensitivity to the lightest touch — for some people, even the weight of a sheet can be agonizing
    • Muscle weakness and difficulty walking
    • Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, deformities, and bone and joint pain

    Autonomic neuropathy

    The autonomic nervous system controls your heart, bladder, lungs, stomach, intestines, sex organs and eyes. Diabetes can affect the nerves in any of these areas, possibly causing:
    • A lack of awareness that blood sugar levels are low (hypoglycemia unawareness)
    • Bladder problems, including frequent urinary tract infections or urinary incontinence
    • Constipation, uncontrolled diarrhea or a combination of the two
    • Slow stomach emptying (gastroparesis), leading to nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite
    • Erectile dysfunction in men
    • Vaginal dryness and other sexual difficulties in women
    • Increased or decreased sweating
    • Inability of your body to adjust blood pressure and heart rate, leading to sharp drops in blood pressure when you rise from sitting or lying down (orthostatic hypotension) that may cause you to feel lightheaded or even faint
    • Problems regulating your body temperature
    • Changes in the way your eyes adjust from light to dark
    • Difficulty exercising
    • Increased heart rate when you're at rest

    Radiculoplexus neuropathy (diabetic amyothrophy)

    Instead of affecting the ends of nerves, like peripheral neuropathy, radiculoplexus neuropathy affects nerves closer to your hips or shoulders. Also called diabetic amyotrophy, femoral neuropathy, or proximal neuropathy, this condition is more common in people with type 2 diabetes and older adults. Though the legs are affected more often, this type of neuropathy may affect nerves in the arms or even the abdomen. Symptoms are usually on one side of the body, though in some cases symptoms may spread to the other side too. Most people improve at least partially over time, though symptoms may worsen before they get better. This condition is often marked by:
    • Sudden, severe pain in your hip and thigh or buttock
    • Eventual weak and atrophied thigh muscles
    • Difficulty rising from a sitting position
    • Unintentional weight loss
    • Abdominal swelling, if the abdomen is affected

    Mononeuropathy

    The term mononeuropathy means damage to just one nerve. The nerve may be in the arm, leg or face. Mononeuropathy, which may also be called focal neuropathy, often comes on suddenly. It's most common in older adults. Although mononeuropathy can cause severe pain, it usually doesn't cause any long-term problems. Symptoms usually diminish and disappear on their own over a few weeks or months. Signs and symptoms depend on which nerve is involved and may include:
    • Difficulty focusing your eyes, double vision or aching behind one eye
    • Paralysis on one side of your face (Bell's palsy)
    • Pain in your shin or foot
    • Pain in the front of your thigh
    • Chest or abdominal pain

    Sometimes mononeuropathy occurs when a nerve is compressed. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common type of compression neuropathy in people with diabetes.

    Signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
    • Numbness or tingling in your fingers or hand, especially in your thumb, index finger, middle finger and ring finger
    • A sense of weakness in your hand and a tendency to drop things
    • Worsening of symptoms upon awakening or while gripping something

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    Anyone with diabetes should be under the care of a physician who is monitoring the advancement of the disease. In most cases, a special custom orthotic to accommodate the foot and protect from ulceration is recommended and prescribed.

    Determining the treatment protocol depends greatly on the stage or advancement. A thorough patient history and documented stage of advancement combined with a closely monitored regiment of treatment is paramount to the patient. Foot ulceration is a major concern and can lead to amputation in as little as 48 hours from onset. This type of patient will normally have a daily routine that must be implemented in addition to any footwear or insole selection.

    Typically, a SAS or PW Minor shoe or in some cases a special order shoe will offer the most comfort and protection for this type of foot condition. 

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    Edema is swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in your body's tissues. Although edema can affect any part of your body, it's most commonly noticed in your hands, arms, feet, ankles and legs.

    Edema can be the result of underlying medical conditions, certain medications or pregnancy.

    Identifying and treating the underlying cause of edema is key to effectively controlling it. Self-care measures coupled with medication that removes excess fluid usually can effectively treat edema. 

    SYMPTOMS

    Signs and syptoms of edema include:
    • Swelling or puffiness of the tissue under your skin (subcutaneous tissue)
    • Stretchy or shiny skin
    • Skin that retains a dimple after being pressed for several seconds
    • Increased abdominal size

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    There are several reasons why a foot or lower leg might swell beyond normal. This can be caused by several reasons, such as:
    • Arthritis
    • Shoes or socks that are too tight
    • Fluid retention
    • Diabetes
    • Shoes that are too loose and unsupportive
    • PADs / Pulmonary Artery Disorders

    Swelling is not normal and should be properly diagnosed and treated to prevent an escalation of the condition.

    Edema is related more to the retention of fluids in the foot and lower leg due to poor venous circulation.

    When valves in the blood veins don’t close all the way, the blood pools in the feet and swelling occurs. This can result in blood veins bursting, i.e. spider veins, or enlarging into varicose veins. This can become a more serious issue the longer it is ignored. When there is fluid retention it means there are toxins and stale blood pooling in the lower leg. Rapid weight gain will usually preclude this condition and it may come and go depending on diet, amount of exercise or in the case of pregnancy in women.

    A more stable and supportive shoe or insole can limit excess motion, which cause strain on the lower leg muscles. Additionally, the lower leg muscles are considered to be the heart of the lower body, and the action of walking and exercising causes the muscles to contract. This action squeezes or pumps the blood up towards the heart and then on to the kidneys and liver, where the blood and fluids are filtered and detoxified. Compression socks can also help as they flex and contract with walking and aid the pumping action. 

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    An infection of nail fungus occurs when fungi infect one or more of your nails. A nail fungal infection may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the nail fungus spreads deeper into your nail, it may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and develop crumbling edges — an unsightly and potentially painful problem.

    An infection with nail fungus may be difficult to treat, and infections may recur. But medications are available to help clear up nail fungus. 

    SYMPTOMS

    You may have a nail fungal infection — also called onychomycosis (on-i-ko-mi-KO-sis) — if one or more of your nails are:
    • Thickened
    • Brittle, crumbly or ragged
    • Distorted in shape
    • Dull, with no luster or shine
    • A dark color, caused by debris building up under your nail

    Infected nails also may separate from the nail bed, a condition called onycholysis. You may feel pain in your toes or fingertips and detect a slightly foul odor. 

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    Treatment for fungal infections may include applying emollients such as tea tree oil. This condition is a result of bacteria and is more likely to occur in a shoe with poor wicking quality, moisture and dark, confined spaces. Generally a wider fitting shoe with a moisture wicking sock will help immensely. Avoid going barefoot in public facilities or even barefoot outside as the ground harbors a multitude of bacteria. Getting the toes and fungal nails in the sun for even a few minutes a day will help as the body absorbs vitamin D, which helps to prevent infections. Keeping the feet warm and dry, especially drying between the toes is crucial to preventing these types of conditions. 

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    A hammertoe is a toe that's curled due to a bend in the middle joint of a toe.

    Both Hammertoe and Mallet Toe are commonly caused by shoes that are too short or heels that are too high. Under these conditions, your toe may be forced against the front of your shoe, resulting in an unnatural bending of your toe and a hammer-like or claw-like appearance.

    Relieving the pain and pressure of Hammertoe and Mallet Toe may involve changing your footwear and wearing shoe inserts. If you have a more severe case of Hammertoe or Mallet Toe, you may need surgery to experience relief. 

    SYMPTOMS

    Signs and symptoms of Hammertoe and Mallet Toe may include:
    • A hammer-like or claw-like appearance of a toe
    • In mallet toe, a deformity at the end of the toe, giving the toe a mallet-like appearance
    • Pain and difficulty moving the toe
    • Corns and calluses resulting from the toe rubbing against the inside of your footwear

    Both Hammertoe and Mallet Toe can cause pain with walking and other foot movements. 

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    Typically these types of foot conditions are a result of a hereditary predisposition or a biomechanical fault or a combination of both.

    A shoe with a deeper, broader toe box will help prevent rubbing and binding the toes. Shoes that offer this sort of feature include the following:
    • SAS
    • New Balance
    • Kumfs
    • PW Minor
    • Dansko
    • Keen
    • Haflinger

    A firmer insole with a deep heel cup will help to keep the foot properly aligned. A metatarsal pad can aid in relieving the symptoms as well as helping to improve the biomechanical function of the foot. A Birkenstock, Prothotic, or Vasalli insole can greatly improve these conditions as well as slow the degenerative process.

    Avoid going barefoot on hard flat surfaces. Practice toe and foot stretching and exercises to help reduce the advancement of these conditions.

    A consultation with a certified specialist is recommended in order to design and implement a plan that is best suited to the individual. 

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs. Although lymphedema tends to affect just one arm or leg, sometimes both arms or both legs may be swollen.

    Lymphedema is caused by a blockage in your lymphatic system, an important part of your immune and circulatory systems. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and as the fluid builds up, the swelling continues.

    There's no cure for lymphedema, but it can be controlled. Controlling lymphedema involves diligent care of your affected limb. 

    SYMPTOMS

    Lymphedema symptoms include:
    • Swelling of part of your arm or leg or your entire arm or leg, including your fingers or toes
    • A feeling of heaviness or tightness in your arm or leg
    • Restricted range of motion in your arm or leg
    • Aching or discomfort in your arm or leg
    • Recurring infections in your affected limb
    • Hardening and thickening of the skin on your arm or leg

    The swelling caused by lymphedema ranges from mild, hardly noticeable changes in the size of your arm or leg to extreme swelling that can make it impossible to use the affected limb. 

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    There are several reasons why a foot or lower leg might swell beyond normal. This can be caused by several reasons, such as:
    • Arthritis
    • Shoes or socks that are too tight
    • Fluid retention
    • Diabetes
    • Shoes that are too loose and unsupportive
    • PADs / Pulmonary Artery Disorders

    Swelling is not normal and should be properly diagnosed and treated to prevent an escalation of the condition.
    Lymphedema is a disorder involving the lymph system. Both the lymph and venous systems are designed to clean the body of toxins and to provide fresh oxygenated blood to the body.
    When valves in the blood veins don’t close all the way the blood pools in the feet and swelling occurs. This can result in blood veins bursting, i.e. spider veins, or enlarging into varicose veins. This can become a more serious issue the longer it is ignored. When there is fluid retention it means there are toxins and stale blood pooling in the lower leg. Rapid weight gain will usually preclude this condition and it may come and go depending on diet, amount of exercise or in the case of pregnancy in women.

    A more stable and supportive shoe or insole can limit excess motion, which cause strain on the lower leg muscles. Additionally, the lower leg muscles are considered to be the heart of the lower body and the action of walking and exercising causes the muscles to contract. This action squeezes or pumps the blood up towards the heart and then on to the kidneys and liver, where the blood and fluids are filtered and detoxified. Compression socks can also help as they flex and contract with walking and aid the pumping action. 

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    Metatarsalgia is a condition marked by pain and inflammation in the ball of your foot.

    You may experience metatarsalgia if you're physically active and your feet are impacted by running and jumping. You may also develop metatarsalgia by wearing ill-fitting shoes. There are other causes as well.

    Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can sideline you. Fortunately, conservative treatments, such as ice and rest, can often relieve metatarsalgia symptoms. And proper footwear, along with shock-absorbing insoles or arch supports, may be all you need to prevent or minimize future problems with metatarsalgia. 

    SYMPTOMS

    Symptoms of metatarsalgia may include:
    • Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot — the part of the sole just behind your toes
    • Pain in the area around your second, third or fourth toes — or, only near your big toe
    • Pain that gets worse when you stand, walk or run and improves when you rest
    • Sharp or shooting pain in your toes
    • Numbness or tingling in your toes
    • Pain that worsens when you flex your feet
    • A feeling in your feet as if you're walking with a pebble in your shoe
    • Increased pain when you're walking barefoot, especially on a hard surface

    Sometimes these symptoms develop suddenly — especially if you've recently increased your usual amount of running, jumping or other high-impact exercise — but problems usually develop over time. 

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    Also referred to as forefoot pain. This ball of foot condition will require an insole that will do one of two things:
    • Off load the metatarsal heads and re-establish a normal transverse arch
    • Provide a softer interface between the sore metatarsals and the ground

    Typically a rocker motion shoe will bring relief as it decreases the amount of time one spends on the ball of the foot. Also a wider, moccasin style toe box or an oblique toe box will aid tremendously as this type of pain can be caused by lateral forces squeezing the toes together.

    Dress shoes, high heels, pointed toes, and soft, extremely flexible shoes will only intensify the pain and should be avoided. Also, going barefoot on a hard flat surface will aggravate the condition.

    These conditions can be difficult to properly identify and one should typically have a proper diagnosis prior to treatment. In most cases a better shoe and insole will not cause further damage and can certainly slow the degenerative process. 

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    Peripheral neuropathy often causes numbness and pain in your hands and feet. People typically describe the pain of peripheral neuropathy as tingling or burning, while they may compare the loss of sensation to the feeling of wearing a thin stocking or glove.

    Peripheral neuropathy is caused by nerve damage. It can result from such problems as traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes.

    In many cases, peripheral neuropathy symptoms improve with time — especially if it's caused by an underlying condition that can be treated. A number of medications are often used to reduce the painful symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. 

    SYMPTOMS

    Your nervous system is divided into two broad categories. Your central nervous system consists of your brain and spinal cord. All the other nerves in your body are part of your peripheral nervous system. Peripheral neuropathy affects those nerves, which include:
    • Sensory nerves to receive feelings such as heat, pain or touch
    • Motor nerves that control how your muscles move
    • Autonomic nerves that control such automatic functions as blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and bladder function

    Most commonly, peripheral neuropathy may start in the longest nerves — the ones that reach to your toes. Specific symptoms vary, depending on which types of nerves are affected. Signs and symptoms may include:
    • Gradual onset of numbness and tingling in your feet or hands, which may spread upward into your legs and arms
    • Burning pain
    • Sharp, jabbing or electric-like pain
    • Extreme sensitivity to touch, even light touch
    • Lack of coordination
    • Muscle weakness or paralysis if motor nerves are affected
    • Bowel or bladder problems if autonomic nerves are affected

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    There are differing levels and types of neuropathy and some can be either hypersensitive or completely insensate.

    Depending on the type of neuropathy and the stage it is at is critical in determining the treatment protocol. A thorough patient history and documented stage of advancement, combined with a closely monitored regiment of treatment is paramount to the patient. Foot ulceration is a major concern, as it can lead to amputation in as little as 48 hours from onset. This type of patient will normally have a daily routine that must be implemented in addition to any footwear or insole selection.

    Typically, a SAS or PW Minor shoe or in some cases a special order shoe will offer the most comfort and protection for this type of foot condition. 

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    CAUSES

    Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, which runs across the bottom of your foot — connecting your heel bone to your toes. 

    Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position. Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners. People who are overweight, women who are pregnant and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at a higher risk of plantar fasciitis. 

    SYMPTOMS
    • Develops gradually
    • Affects just one foot, although it can occur in both feet simultaneously
    • Is worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it also can be triggered by long periods of standing or getting up from a seated position
    • Feels like a sharp pain in the heel of your foot

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    This condition causes severe pain to the heel. Plantar Faciitis typically responds well to a good supportive insole. Some insoles work better with certain types of foot structure. As a starting point, a Tacco brand insert will normally offer a noticeable degree of relief, however, there are several over-the-counter brands available and each has its own merit based on the type of foot, planned activity and type of shoe the person requires. 

    There are a number of shoes that would be best suited to this condition, such as:
    • New Balance 846 or 927 has been a proven “go to” shoe in hundreds of incidents.
    • The Haflinger house slipper has proven its worth repeatedly.
    • In a more casual line, the Finn Comfort and Wolky Brands have proven invaluable.
    • Generally a stiffer sole with rocker motion will offer the greatest relief.

    This condition normally will require a significant amount of additional stretching and range of motion exercises in order to obtain lasting results, thus one cannot rely on the shoe or insert alone. 

    If this is a long-term issue or is chronic and not responding to stretching, this may not be an isolated foot issue and it is recommended to have the problem evaluated by a medical professional.

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    As you heal from foot surgery and slowly transition from recovery boot or half shoe into regular footwear, keep a few things in mind when making shoe choices. Below are some suggestions for when you start walking down the road to post-surgery recovery, during which finding appropriate footwear for your feet is essential.
    • Make sure to have both feet measured when you start looking for shoes, as your feet very likely changed in some way.
    • Discuss the following items with your footwear consultant or Board Certified Pedorthist
    • Location(s) you are experiencing pain, discomfort or swelling
    • Placement of pins or bone fusions, if any (a stiff rocker bottom shoe might be appropriate in these cases)
    • Be open to footwear styles you may have never considered or pictured as a high level of comfort is key to complete healing
    • Shoes with few internal seams will keep friction between your feet and the shoe to a minimum (SAS shoes are an ideal brand for this)
    • Deeper and wider-fitting shoes will allow for swelling and bandages (New Balance)
    • Shoes with mesh are very forgiving around tender spots (New Balance)

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    Sometimes referred to as a relaxed or acquired flatfoot. Dysfunction in this tendon can lead to structural changes in the foot.

    A laxity of this muscle/tendon may cause a lowering of the arch resulting in pain and swelling around the inside of the ankle and medial side of the foot. As the condition progresses and the arch flattens, bones in the foot may become displaced and an internal rotation of the bones in the leg can lead to stress on the ankle and knee joints.

    Conservative treatment with a wide based rocker toe shoe and functional arch support is recommended. An orthotic to reduce symptoms and help maintain structural integrity may be used in early intervention. 

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    Varicose veins are gnarled, enlarged veins. Any vein may become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet. That's because standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the veins of your lower body.

    For many people, varicose veins and spider veins — a common, mild variation of varicose veins — are simply a cosmetic concern. For other people, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort. Sometimes varicose veins lead to more-serious problems. Varicose veins may also signal a higher risk of other circulatory problems. Treatment may involve self-care measures or procedures by your doctor to close or remove veins. 

    SYMPTOMS

    Varicose veins usually don't cause any pain. Signs you may have varicose veins include:
    • Veins that are dark purple or blue in color
    • Veins that appear twisted and bulging; often like cords on your legs

    When painful signs and symptoms occur, they may include:
    • An achy or heavy feeling in your legs
    • Burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs
    • Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time
    • Itching around one or more of your veins
    • Skin ulcers near your ankle, which can mean you have a serious form of vascular disease that requires medical attention

    Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they're smaller. Spider veins are found closer to the skin's surface and are often red or blue. They occur on the legs, but can also be found on the face. Spider veins vary in size and often look like a spider's web. 

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    When valves in the blood veins don’t close all the way the blood pools in the feet and swelling occurs. This can result in blood veins bursting, i.e. spider veins, or enlarging into varicose veins. This can become a more serious issue the longer it is ignored. When there is fluid retention it means there are toxins and stale blood pooling in the lower leg. Rapid weight gain will usually preclude this condition and it may come and go depending on diet, amount of exercise or in the case of pregnancy in women.

    A more stable and supportive shoe or insole can limit excess motion, which cause strain on the lower leg muscles. Additionally, the lower leg muscles are considered to be the heart of the lower body and the action of walking and exercising causes the muscles to contract. This action squeezes or pumps the blood up towards the heart and then on to the kidneys and liver, where the blood and fluids are filtered and detoxified. Compression socks can also help as they flex and contract with walking and aid the pumping action. 

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.
  • (as defined from www.mayoclinic.com)

    Common warts are skin growths caused by a virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus causes a rapid growth of cells on the outer layer of your skin.

    Common warts are different from moles, and they aren't cancerous. In fact, they're usually harmless and often disappear on their own. But you may find common warts bothersome or embarrassing, and you may want treatment to remove them.

    Common warts usually grow on your hands or fingers. Treatment helps prevent common warts from spreading to other parts of your body or to other people. But common warts may recur after treatment, and they may be a persistent problem. 

    SYMPTOMS

    Common warts are:
    • Small, fleshy, grainy bumps
    • Flesh-colored, white, pink or tan
    • Rough to the touch

    Common warts usually occur on your hands. They may occur singly or in multiples. Warts may bleed if picked or cut and often contain one or more tiny black dots, which are sometimes called wart "seeds" but are actually small, clotted blood vessels.

    Plantar warts usually occur on the plantar surfaces, or soles, of your feet. They usually look like flesh-colored or light brown lumps with tiny black dots in them. These dots are small, clotted blood vessels.

    Other types of HPV tend to cause warts in other places on the body. 

    INSIGHT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
    from Schuler Shoes' Board Certified Pedorthist
    (Note: This is not a medical diagnosis but a footwear recommendation to offer symptom relief.) 

    Treatment for warts and fungal infections include applying emollients such as tea tree oil or burning or freezing the wart. These conditions are a result of bacteria and are more likely to occur in a shoe with poor wicking quality, moisture and dark, confined spaces. Generally a wider fitting shoe with a moisture wicking sock will help immensely. Avoid going barefoot in public facilities or even barefoot outside as the ground harbors a multitude of bacteria. Getting the toes and fungal nails in the sun for even a few minutes a day will help as the body absorbs vitamin D, which helps to prevent infections. Keeping the feet warm and dry, especially drying between the toes is crucial to preventing these types of conditions. 

    *All definitions from www.mayoclinic.com

    **While self-diagnosis using online tools may help you to better identify your issue, it is strongly recommended that you seek an evaluation from a medical professional if pain continues or worsens. Board Certified Pedorthists are an extension of the medical professionals and will not diagnose.

    ***For best results and to ensure a proper fit for footwear and over-the-counter orthotics, it is recommended that you visit a Schuler Shoes store location in person. Please click here for a Board Certified Pedorthist evaluation schedule and list of locations.