Natural Foot Pain Relief!
Ever been sidelined with foot pain? I have! It sucks!
So I am excited to introduce you to Dr. Tea Nguyen (pronounced Win), who is on the cutting edge of the latest in natural and minimally invasive foot care procedures.
Dr. Nguyen is a podiatrist and is the CEO of Pacific Point Podiatry, a nontraditional direct specialty care practice in Santa Cruz, CA.
She is fellowship trained in wound healing and is board certified in foot and ankle surgery.
Dr. Tea helps people stay active and independent throughout their natural foot pain relief journey.
In my career of amateur athletics I’ve had foot pain.
I’ve had my share of foot and ankle issues and they are a real bummer, because if you have a foot problem, it affects everything else in your fitness plan.
It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about doing cardio or whether we’re doing HIIT exercise or weightlifting, it doesn’t matter, foot pain can sideline even the bravest of us.
Dr. Tea: I tend to get people who under-appreciate their feet. It’s something you don’t pay attention to until you have foot pain. Then you start walking funny and then your knees start to go out and your low back starts to wobble around.
I’m trying to promote what proper foot hygiene is so that we can maintain them and have them lasting a long time.
FYI, as part of my personal pain relief management program (years of semi-abuse on my joints, and several surgeries), my go-to supplements are the combo of Mimi’s Miracle Turmeric and an inexpensive Glucosamine (I use the Costco brand, but many others from Amazon will do the same thing).
It’s like “brick and mortar” building blocks for your joints, including inflammation and pain reduction elements. If I run out, the pain sets back in within days!
One study of people with osteoarthritis in their knees showed improved mobility, and a pain reduction of 96% after 60 days on Mimi’s Miracle Turmeric! Learn more about Mimi’s Miracle Turmeric here.
Proper foot hygiene is just like hand hygiene or like dentistry. You go to see the dentist every six months, even if it’s just for a check up, even if you don’t have tooth pain, you want to have it monitored because there are parts in the mouth that you can’t see, only the dentist can see or they can pick up something quickly and deal with it right away.
Feet require the same thing.
I normally recommend people touching base with their podiatrist at least once a year because we can see on the biomechanical level if something is impending, things like a callus or toenail fungus or even an ingrown toenail.
We can kind of predict some issues that are present on the feet that the patient can’t see.
And so it’s nice to have that professional expertise on the other side, especially on the bottom of our feet where we really don’t pay any attention to until it hurts.
And sometimes you may even have a mole that shows up, and that mole can turn into a skin cancer. So best to have your feet checked regularly.
The critical role of biomechanically supportive footwear
Dave: One of the things I learned as a triathlete was the critical importance of footwear.
When you start running 30-50 miles a week all of a sudden you pay much more attention to shoes. I learned things like I wouldn’t wear a shoe for more than 300 to 500 miles, depending on the shoe.
I learned about getting the right shoe for trail versus road and all that was a huge revelation to me and I think helped me to avoid problems that I had before, like plantar fasciitis for example.
Dr. Tea: Shoes do have a wear time.
Shoes that have been sitting in the closet for years at a time, even though you haven’t touched them, the soul wears out kind of the same way a rubber band loses its elasticity if it were to be out in the sun for too long.
So shoes do wear out even if you don’t have your feet in them.
Exactly right about changing out your shoes, especially if you’re going to be an athlete or do running activities routinely, making sure that every 300 to 500 miles you trade them out, that could look like every six months and for higher level athletes, they may not even wear the same pair again if they’re going to do a marathon.
So it really depends on what your activity level is.
But having some kind of process to refresh or renew your shoes every six months is usually a good starting point.
And in this day of getting in 10,000 steps, which has become wildly popular with many, many people, it’s really easy to lose sight of how many miles you put on a pair of shoes.
And so I just point that out to everyone that if you’re doing your to your 10,000 steps and you haven’t got new shoes in two years, you’re you’re likely headed to foot problems.
So pay attention to your shoes:
-They shouldn’t be able to fold in half
-Check that there’s not particles coming loose
-Make sure that they’re wearing through or getting holes.
What do you think about minimal shoes?
Minimal shoes is a really controversial topic. It really depends on the individual athlete.
If you go into minimal shoes without having conditioned for it, you’re gonna set yourself up for injury because those shoes can be extremely flexible and your body and mechanics may not be used to that.
However, there are people who are strong proponents of barefoot walking and minimal shoes.
And so if you have the tolerance to start to build up to that, there really isn’t a lot of issues.
It’s the jump into something different that can be harmful.
So whether you choose to be a minimal shoe enthusiast or not, you just have to be smart and listen to your body to knowing when to pull back, knowing when to not be barefoot or in your minimal shoes and just conditioning yourself until you get to the point that you’re comfortable to do that safely.
What are the most common foot problems that you’re seeing?
The biggest problem I’ve been seeing lately is plantar fasciitis, but really plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia because it hasn’t been stretched out or there’s a tight achilles tendon causing tightness in the feet.
That can be easily remedied with gentle stretching and exercising, strengthening the calf muscles and gradually building up the tolerance.
You don’t want to go from 0 to 25 miles all in a weekend, you want to take your time maybe get a coach to be reconditioned for that.
So a lot of people are just jumping in too hard and too fast. We call them weekend warriors.
You spend five days at work, may be sitting in a chair and then on the weekend you feel really good about starting activities, but you kind of just go all in.
And so the mentality of having to do all or nothing can be very harmful on your body.
How about a Theragun?
I really the Theragun gun because it’s soft tissue. It enhances circulation. That brings awareness to that body part. I really like it for home use.
However, shockwave therapy is a lot more focused energy.
So if we want to hit a particular spot because of a specific pathology like Plantar fasciitis, it penetrates much deeper than the Theragun.
The Shockwave focused energy that we have in the office is a lot more specific and it can increase the circulation on a deeper level.
And so having these two technologies whether you have one at home or you use one in the office in a professional setting.
I think all is a really great benefit to soft tissue disorders in prevention and restore restoration because you’re increasing the metabolism by increasing the circulation.
Now, you you’ve mentioned that you’re doing stuff that’s very cutting edge, very modern. talk to us about that.
So I mentioned shockwave therapy. That’s just a non invasive procedure that we do in the office.
It takes five minutes. It penetrates really deep into the soft tissue.
And I use that for plantar fasciitis, achilles, any of the tendonitis in the lower extremity.
If you’re going to use a Theragun at home, use throughout the muscle belly as well, not just in the tendon because we want to treat the entire unit to increase the circulation.
Also, the bottom of our feet tends to lose fat as we get older.
And if we use our feet a lot, if you’re an athlete, you’re going to start losing that fat pad cushion.
And so I do offer a internal filler or a foot filler in the form of hyaluronic acid or similar treatment, which is a minimally invasive approach to increasing the cushion on your feet.
Is there anything we missed in regards to relief from foot pain, or prevention techniques?
Being aware of what your foot looks like from the bottom and the top and between the toes, making sure there’s no open sores or lesions, things that mysteriously pop up that you had noticed before.
With shoes, make sure they’re comfortable when you’re walking around trying them on and if you’re going to use products from the store to treat, let’s say a callus or wart just make sure you have the correct diagnosis to start with.
If you just want an introduction, maybe you have some questions that you’ve been afraid to ask get on an introductory call and just see what we’re all about.
We are very innovative.
We are on social media, look at our Youtube channel
Learn more about Dr. Tea at her website: https://831feet.com
Or on the Insta: IG @drteapodiatry