The pros and cons of barefoot running

running-barefootAs a child, you probably spent a fair amount of time running barefoot through the grass or down the sidewalk. You ran barefoot on the playground, the beach, and in the street. Gradually though, whether due to simply growing up or concerns for the health and safety of your feet, you began to spend less and less time barefoot, and more and more time wearing shoes.

Let’s face it, shoes are required at work, at school, and pretty much everywhere you shop. However, barefoot running and running in minimalist shoes has become a popular trend over the last several years. If you are a runner, or considering taking up the sport, how do you know if barefoot or minimalist running is for you?

A very brief history of barefoot and minimalist running

Modern barefoot and minimalist running aren’t new concepts. In fact, in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, several runners won many races after training barefoot. Many of these runners were from Africa and rose to prominence in the running word seemingly with ease. Eventually other elite athletes began to notice, and in an effort to gain an edge and improve their performance, several elite runners began to add barefoot running and training in minimalist shoes to their routines. In the last few years these practices have exploded in popularity with athletic companies and shoe manufacturers creating shoes and other training aids specifically with this type of training in mind.

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Relieving bunion pain

relieving-bunion-painThat painful bump at the base of your large toe just seems to keep getting larger and more painful. Left untreated, it will continue to do so, and the big toe may eventually begin to point toward the other toes rather than straight ahead. Without treatment, bunions can become so painful that they become debilitating, impairing the ability to walk or wear shoes comfortably. However, with early intervention and the help of a podiatrist, you may be able to find relief from your bunion with easy, at home-home remedies.

What is a bunion and why do they occur?

A bunion, that painful bump on the side of the forefoot at the base of the big toe, forms when the joint at the base of the large toe moves out of its normal alignment. Left untreated, the joint becomes stiff and painful, and the bump grows larger and larger. Eventually, without early intervention, the bunion may require surgical intervention.

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Foot pain: When surgery is the answer

undergoing-foot-surgeryFor many Americans, particularly as they get older, foot pain becomes a common concern. Some patients suffer from foot pain for years before seeking help, and many experience such severe foot pain that it impacts their ability to live a fulfilling life. However, for many of these patients, suffering is unnecessary. In most cases, foot pain can be easily treated with surgery, sometimes with minor procedures, resulting in a significant improvement in the pain level and ability to return to normal activities.

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Heel pain: Causes, prevention, and treatment [Infographic]

causes of heel pain

Heel pain often begins mildly but can become worse over time. Left untreated, it may become disabling. If you experience pain with redness, swelling, or heat, or pain that is limiting your activity, consult our experts in podiatric medicine. Kansas City Foot Specialists treat all aspects of heel pain, and we specialize in shockwave therapy, a technologically advanced treatment option.

Prior to your appointment, it may be helpful to have an understanding of heel pain prevention, causes, common heel ailments, diagnosis, and treatment options. We’ve summarized them all for you in this fun infographic.

When you’re ready to take the next step, call Kansas City Foot Specialists at 913-338-4440 or visit us at to make an appointment.

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Foot and ankle injuries in martial arts

martial-arts-foot-injuriesAiyah! You hear it over and over in martial arts, but what happens when your battle cry of “aiyah!” turns into a whimper of “ow!?” Those who learn and practice martial arts may be physically fit and well trained, but even the best may suffer an injury, and for many, those injuries involve the feet and ankles.

Martial arts training can be broken down into two categories: traditional and modern.

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