Archive for the ‘Seasonal Foot Care’ Category

TOP 5: Our Favorite Summer Sandals

August 6th, 2018 by Dr.Chang

Summer is the season for everything outdoors. To name a few activities: hiking, amusement parks, shopping, evening strolls, and so much more. All of these things require sandals or shoes of some sort. That’s where we come in. Here are our top 5 picks for your summer sandals.

1. Birkenstocks

Photo courtesy of Birkenstock website

You see these sandals everywhere. People rave about how comfortable they feel on their feet. While they aren’t the easiest to break in, they form to your feet and offer great support. They come in many different styles in their iconic leather. Pictured above is the Arizona, their most popular design. Birkenstocks, or ‘Birks,’ are durable and last for years. They are a good investment if you want a shoe that will keep your feet happy summer after summer. Check out all the styles on their website here!

2. Teva

Photo courtesy of

Slightly less expensive than Chaco, Teva sandals are colorful and supportive. These sandals pack a solid rubber sole in a variety of colors and styles. Built for adventure and fun, a Teva sandal is perfect for the hiker or explorer. Teva is branching out in terms of their styles. With great arch support and secure straps, Teva will keep your feet from aching after a lot of adventures. Look at their variety of sandals here!

3. Keen

Photo courtesy of

KEEN is a great option for those that love to cover their toes. Their styles offer the openness of a sandal while also providing the security of a closed-toe shoe. Their sandals offer a sturdy rubber sole with colorful design options. They’re also structurally supportive, much more so than your average sandal. See your KEEN options on their website here!

4. Vionic

Photo courtesy of Vionic website

Vionic’s wide selection of sandals offers a variety of styles and colors. The company is focused on the aesthetic quality of the shoe while also maintaining the supportive structure your foot needs. They stress “comfort and style” in their designs, keying in on arch support. So, if you’re looking for supportive but fashionable sandals, Vionic may be the sandal for you this summer! Visit their website here!

5. Merrell

Photo courtesy of


Merrell’s sandals are a healthy mixture of adventure and style. With a large selection of neutral colors, you can wear these sandals with anything. From stylish leather to adventuring colors, Merrell offers practically any style you can imagine. With an emphasis on comfort, there’s no doubt your feet will be content with a sandal from Merrell. Visit Merrell’s site here!

Did you like our picks? Do you have any other favorites?

          Visit our Facebook page here , find the link to this blog and let us know your favorite Sandal choices.

Use Caution when Mowing your Lawn to Prevent Injury!

September 19th, 2017 by Lindsay Lopez

Homeowners should always use caution when mowing their lawn. Take time to protect your feet and the feet of those around you, when using a mower with a rotary-blade.

25,000 Americans sustain injuries from power mowers each year according to the US Consumer Products Safety Commission. Did you know that the blade on your mower moves at 3,000 revolutions per minute? It CAN also produce more kinetic energy than a .357handgun!
Children under 14 and adults over 44 are the most likely to get injured from mowers. To prevent injury, please consider the simple precautions listed below:
• Don’t mow your lawn when its wet. You can lose control of the mower if you slip and cause a foot injury.
• Always were heavy shoes or work boots. Do not wear sneakers or sandals.
• Small children should not ride on adults lap while the adult is using a lawn tractor. This can cause serious injury to the child.
• When a mower is running, do not pull it backward.
• Children should avoid the area being mowed.
• To avoid projectile injuries, keep the clip bag attached.
• Make sure your mower has a release mechanism on that handle, so it automatically shuts off when you let go.
If you are injured while mowing, please seek immediate treatment. The wound will need to be flushed and antibiotics will need to be applied to prevent infection. More serious injuries could require surgical intervention.

Mow safely!


Physical Activities In Our Community

June 27th, 2013 by Dr.Chang

Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic enjoys promoting physical activity in our community. We believe physical exercise is the best CHANGkpmCCskiCROPmedicine available. Charlottesville and the Shenandoah Valley are fantastic areas to enjoy the outdoors. Our clinic sponsors the 2013 Virginia Off-Road Series mountain bike races and some of the Devils Playground fun runs at Devils Backbone Brewery in Roseland, VA. We want to encourage you to find local events this summer to participate in. Your participation is a healthy choice and helps promote physical activity to others by being a role model.kindra

amyOur staff participates in many physical activities year round. Dr. Murray and Dr. Chang enjoy activities such as cycling, hiking, skiing, and ice hockey. Kindra Jones, medical assistant, hits the gym regularly. She’s expecting an addition to her family this fall and now exercising for two. Congratulations Kindra! Mary Mead, billing specialist, and her husband walk all over the streets and trails of Charlottesville. Our jack of all trades, Amy Flevarakis, participates with her family in events such as the March of Dimes Walk. Newbie, Teresa Thompson, enjoys hiking and running the trails in and around Staunton and wants to run her first 5k race this year. Welcome to our practice Teresa.TERESA RUN MalloryMallory Snow, Charlottesville receptionist, stays fit by running while her kid participates in dance class. Mallory and Amy are running the Color Me Rad 5K in Virginia Beach this fall. Mark Smith, Waynesboro receptionist, rides his bike daily and competes in local mountain bike and running races. Aside from keeping our offices running smoothly, Mary Ishee – office manager, walks with her daughter and has participated in the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler for the last two years.

We hope you join us this summer in some of the fun activities and events our communities have to offer. Let us know if there is anything we can do for your feet or ankles to option2help you be a role model to you family and friends.mary ishee






Here are some sites to help you find local activities:


Nelson county:






Bike rides and racing:

Comment on this post to share your thoughts or contact Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic. We’d love to hear from you!

Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic
Charlottesville Podiatrist Location: 887 A Rio E Ct., Charlottesville VA, 22911 (434) 979-8116
Waynesboro Podiatrist Location: 417 S. Magnolia Waynesboro,VA 22980 540-949-5150

Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic has been a part of the Waynesboro and Charlottesville communities for over 20 years.
Podiatrists Dr. Kevin Murray and Dr. Stewart Chang offer services in sports podiatry, foot and ankle problems and
diabetic foot care. Our friendly, accommodating team of Certified Podiatric Medical Assistants look forward to welcoming
you to our practice.

     Maintaining healthy feet is essential to training for your favorite activities. While foot injuries and conditions can quickly prevent you from training and performing your best, there are a number of preventative measures that you can take to help you maintain happy and healthy feet. Overall, the key to foot health is awareness; being conscious of questions such as how do your feet look, feel, and change through your training regimen? In what environments are your feet living? When is it time to visit the podiatrist?
     Be aware of the status of your skin an your nails: while providing your feet with proper hygiene, (such as washing and drying between the toes, hydrating the skin to avoid cracking and fissures, and cutting your toenails), regularly inspect your feet to identify any cracking, blistering, dryness, yellowing of the toenails, or swelling.
     Approaches to problems with your skin should be multifaceted. Treat dry skin with lotion, cracking with Vaseline, yellowing of the toenails with anti-fungal cream, blistering with Vaseline, anti-bacterial cream, and blister padding. Cut toenails straight across, as cutting into corners could cause ingrown toenails, and smooth sharp corners by filing them with an emery board. Finally, avoid walking barefoot on surfaces that could cut your feet or those to which your feet are not accustomed.
     Be sure to also identify the cause of skin and nail problems: shoe size and fit can make a big difference in the health of your feet. Wearing shoes that are too loose or too tight can cause blistering, swelling or soreness. Note that when you buy shoes, your size may vary between companies, and certain shoes may stretch with wear. Along with the right size for your feet, making sure that your shoes dry between bouts of activity can make a significant difference in how your feet respond to training. Because your feet have sweat glands, your shoes and socks will absorb the moisture of your feet. Ensuring that your shoes, socks, and feet are dry before each use, and that you dry your feet after each training session, can be key to curing skin maladies. If your athletic shoes get wet after use, you may want to dry them overnight by taking out the insoles, loosening laces, and stuffing them with dry, crumpled up balls of newspaper, and putting them near a fan, or heater that can blow air through them. Change the newspaper as needed.
     Being aware of changes inside your feet is just as important to your training regimen. Although it can be more difficult to figure out the cause of foot pain, instability, or soreness, there are some basics that you should be aware of. First and foremost, do not ignore foot pain. Take precautions to treat any symptoms of pain early by stopping activities that cause foot pain, icing your feet after activity to reduce pain and swelling, and by visiting your podiatrist when pain persists. Wearing shoes that are too tight can lead to pain and even structural problems with your feet, as extreme as bunions. Shoes that are not the right fit or support style for your individual needs can cause you to roll your ankles or to get unnecessary shin splints.
     Foot and ankle strengthening is little publicized in the gym circuits, but is paramount to maintaining strong support for the rest of your body. If your foot does not have structural problems, severe pronation or supination, or other structural problems, try walking barefoot at home where there is no threat to the soles of your feet. If you try to not let your arch drop, walking barefoot in safe environments can strengthen your feet and arch. You can also do exercises that will strengthen your feet, arches, and ankles, increasing the reliability of your body’s base of support. Below is a list of some exercises and stretches that you can try at home to maintain healthy feet and ankles.
Exercises that can build foot strength, arch support, and prevent shin splints:
     –The Towel Pull: Spread a hand towel flat, longwise, in front of your foot. While seated, place the ball of your foot over the edge of the towel closest to you. Use your toes to pull the towel toward your foot while keeping your foot in the same position.
Toe Yoga Exercise:     –Toe Yoga Series: Spread your toes and press all your toes down into the ground. Hold for five to ten seconds. Relax. Then spread your toes again, only pressing your pinky and big toe into the ground. Relax. Finally, spread your toes and press your middle three toes into the ground as best you can.
     –Toe Pumps: While seated, lift your toes while the ball of your foot and the rest of your foot is on the ground. Hold for five to ten seconds and then relax. Next, keep your heel on the ground and lift the rest of your foot up away from the floor. Then try lifting your heel up while the ball of your foot and your toes are pressing into the ground. Finally, lift your heel while only your big toe is pressing into the ground. Hold each for five to ten seconds, and repeat three times.
Exercises that can help ankle stability:
Calf Raises     –Double Leg Exercises: While standing next to a countertop, wall, or bar for support, practice lifting your toes and heel without allowing your arches to collapse inward or outward. After you lift your heel or toes off the ground, be sure to lower back down to the ground slowly in order to make the exercises most effective.
     –The Single Leg Stork: Balance on one leg while standing next to a countertop, wall, or bar in case you loose your balance. Follow the double leg exercise regimen on one leg. If this becomes too easy for you, increase the difficulty by standing on an unstable surface – a folded exercise or yoga mat, a towel, a balance board or Bosu Ball.
     –The Single Leg Star: This one is sure to make your shins burn! While maintaining control of your movement, standing on one leg, imagine points of a star in front of you. Maintain your balance while you reach down to touch straight in front of you, and at 45 degrees to your right and then to your left. Try repeating a full set three times on each leg without losing your balance.
Stretches for your toes, ankles and feet:
     –Calf Stretching: Stretch your calves with your knee both bent and straight, while pushing against a wall or while in a modified “downward dog” position. Be sure to stretch statically, without bouncing, and with your knees straight, then bent, while pointing your foot forward, 45 degrees to the left and 45 degrees to the right.Palm-into-toes
     –Foot Stretching: Gently stretch your toes so that they curl under your foot while you push your ankle forward. Then stretch your foot with your toes on the ground, pushing your ankle forward.
     –Yoga Stretching Series: Interlace your fingers and toes. Do ankle circles, both counterclockwise and clockwise, then extend and flex your ankle, while your fingers are still interlaced with your toes.


In general, listen to your feet as you train. If you are uncertain about the signals they’re giving you, your local Charlottesville and Waynesboro podiatrists, Dr. Chang and Dr. Murray, are around when you need them or have questions.

Comment on this post to share your thoughts or contact Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic. We’d love to hear from you!


Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic
Charlottesville Podiatrist Location: 887 A Rio E Ct., Charlottesville VA, 22911 (434) 979-8116
Waynesboro Podiatrist Location: 417 S. Magnolia Waynesboro,VA 22980 540-949-5150


Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic has been a part of the Waynesboro and Charlottesville communities for over 20 years. Podiatrists Dr. Kevin Murray and Dr. Stewart Chang offer services in sports podiatry, foot and ankle problems and diabetic foot care. Our friendly, accommodating team of Certified Podiatric Medical Assistants look forward to welcoming you to our practice.

  • Posted in Running, Seasonal Foot Care, Shoes
  • Comments Off on Maintaining Healthy Feet While You Train: Includes A Plan of Nine Exercises and Stretches For Your Feet, Arches, and Ankles!

On Saturday (bright & early in the morning!) Dr. Chang  spoke to Charlottesville Women’s 4 Miler Training Program participants about how to maintain healthy feet & ankles while training for the race coming up this Fall. His main piece of advice for them was to be sure they rest.  Their training schedule gives them a ‘day off’ on Fridays and he asked that they stick to that so their body can recover and remain injury free.  After their training run, many of the ladies came to Dr. Chang for advice on foot and ankle issues that they are already experiencing.  We had a great time meeting so many women who are dedicated to getting fit while helping their community at the same time! If you are planning to run the Charlottesville Women’s 4 Miler next year or just want to get started with running, this training program is a great way to do it!

We gave training program participants a flyer with instructions on how to download our free book- A Runner’s Guide To Maintaining Healthy Feet & Ankles.  If you would like a copy, you can download it here:

With summer now in full swing, many of our patients are excited to get in shape and restart their outdoor exercise routine. Exercise can create a great amount of strain on the body’s bones, joints, ligaments and tendons. During a 10-mile run, the feet make 15,000 strikes. Each strike is at a force of three to four times the body’s weight.

Are you feeling pain when you run?  It is important that you are aware of the difference between typical running injuries and possible symptoms of more serious ailments, such as Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.). Many common symptoms of running injuries are the same as those of P.A.D., so we caution you to treat any discomfort seriously. Common symptoms of P.A.D. include:

  • Painful cramping of leg muscles
  • Numbness, weakness or heaviness in the muscles
  • Toe and foot sores that do not heal

Fortunately, there are easy-to-use, non-invasive diagnostic systems that can be utilized in our office to help identify P.A.D. and determine whether medical or surgical treatment is necessary. These tests can be completed in just 15-20 minutes during a regular office visit.

Please contact us if you would like to schedule an evaluation!


Summertime Running & Managing The Heat

July 7th, 2011 by Dr.Chang

Summer heat shouldn’t stop you from regular outside activity, but being aware of how to deal with the heat is key for comfort, safety and enjoyment of staying active in the heat. Here are some tips for summertime running, most of which you can apply to other outdoor activities, regardless of age or ability level.


Preparing for the heat begins before your run starts. Be sure to check the weather and heat index and to modify activity on especially hot days. Running in the morning or evening enables you to avoid the hottest hours of the day (10am-5pm). By running in the shade or woods you can avoid direct sunlight and keep yourself cooler.

Consistent hydrating will help your body deal with heat. Experts recommend drinking 2-3 cups of water during meals, 2 ½ cups of water 2 hours before a run, and 2 cups of water just before running. Alternatively, aiming for 6-8 fluid oz. of water at least every two hours throughout the day can help your body adjust to hot temperatures.

Athletic clothing is designed to help regulate body temperature and stay comfortable. Cotton can impede your body’s thermoregulation because it absorbs your body’s moisture but does not dry easily. When it’s hot outside, the human body cools down by the process of evaporating and cooling through sweating, so it is increasingly difficult to stay cool as the humidity rises because evaporation becomes less efficient. Athletic companies design sweat-wicking and breathable clothing to help your body regulate the temperatures (and to keep you smelling fresh!). Lightweight, loose fitting and light-colored clothes are best to regulate your body’s heat and to reduce chafing.

Consider the material when you reach for a pair of socks. In order to reduce blisters, wear lightweight socks. Acrylic microfiber socks absorb moisture while allowing evaporation. If you’re heading out for a long day of activity, and especially if you’re blister prone, consider packing an extra pair of socks for your upcoming adventure. If you predict moisture problems with your feet or in your shoes, try sprinkling powder like Gold Bond Foot Powder in your shoes before activity. These powders regulate moisture and prevent nuisances like athlete’s foot and fungus. The breathability of your shoes is another important consideration. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of good shoes, replaced every 350-400 miles or as needed for the management of blisters and the support of your feet and ankles.

In addition to clothing protect your skin by applying sweat-resistant sunscreen at least 20 minutes prior to your run. Sunglasses and hats protect your face and keep bugs out of your eyes. Light colored hats or bandanas can be lifesavers for people with dark or thick hair, but remember that your body loses most of its heat through the top of your head, so you don’t want to sport heavy headwear. Some helpful tricks include cooling a cap in the freezer before your run and soaking it in water mid-run.


Warming up sounds ridiculous when it’s blazing hot outside, but starting slowly (even at a walk) and building up to your normal running pace will help your body adjust to the heat. Warming up is especially important when your body is adjusting from inside air-conditioned climates to the outside heat, and to that effect, some running experts even suggest that runners limit their use of the A/C.

DRINK WATER DURING YOUR RUN! Be sure to find the right system of carrying water with you or mapping your run around public water fountains. If you are running for one hour or less, water alone should be sufficient for hydration. For a longer run, be sure to bring sports drinks or carbohydrates for adequate electrolyte and carbohydrate replacement. Studies indicate that your body absorbs chilled fluids faster, and cold water has the added bonus help lower your body temperature.

Pouring water on your face feels great in humidity, and it also helps wash away the sweat if your skin breaks out from sweating. (Note that moisture-wicking material and sunscreen that doesn’t clog your pores is great for preventing breakouts on other parts of your body too). Also try pouring water on the top of your head, the back of your neck, and on the inside of your wrists while running – sure ways to cool you down.

Be conscious of how hard you’re pushing yourself, and listen to your body. Heat stroke and heat disease are serious problems. Primary symptoms can be cramps in your legs, dizziness, excessive breathlessness, intense heat built-up in the head, headaches, nausea, disorientation, loss of muscle control, cessation of sweating, and unusual heart beat or rhythms. After initial symptoms, drinking water with salt in it, or sports drinks, can help. If you pulse is low and your breathing is growing rapid, you might have heat exhaustion. This can be due to dehydration and from overheating. STOP EXERCISING when this happens! Your body has probably sent too much blood to your skin to keep your skin cool and is not pumping enough blood and oxygen to your brain. These symptoms are serious – so slow down, drink lots of room temperature fluids, with a pinch of salt in each glass, or take a cool bath.

Remember that heat illness can be exacerbated if you already have a viral or bacterial infection, are taking medications, are dehydrated or hung over, have a sunburn, are not well acclimatized to the heat, are over exercising, have experienced heat disease in the past, are sleep deprived, and have medical conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, are under stress, have asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, cardiovascular disease or smoke. Using common sense, good judgment and attention to symptoms and preexisting conditions are paramount in keeping yourself healthy and safe.


Staying healthy, blister-free and hydrated continues after exercise too. Try not to leave your feet in sweaty, muddy or wet shoes after exercise. Be sure your feet are sufficiently aired out after your run – this will prevent getting blisters or hot spots in the future and keep your shoes (at least a bit more) odor free. Replenishing the fluids you lost through exercise is essential for both recovery and preparation for your next run. Additionally, a healthy and balanced diet, with attention to healthy levels of sodium (which enables water retention), potassium (promoting proper nerve and muscle firing), and fats (that enable thermoregulation), is as important to staying hydrated as drinking water.

Clubs, such as the Charlottesville Track Club, The Charlottesville Trail Running Club, or the Charlottesville Running Company, are active in the summer and bring the running community together. Joining these clubs can help with motivation, and running in a group can also keep you safe from the heat.

So keep being active, folks, but take care of your body by exercising right! If you have any other tips, tricks and suggestions, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to post a comment on this blog.



Tips for Winter Runners

February 15th, 2010 by Dr.Murray

Keeping up with an exercise schedule during the winter can be difficult, as there are many obstacles faced by runners during the winter months. It is important to first and foremost dress appropriately for the weather wearing light layers of polypropylene or lycra under a wind/water repellent track suit. Hats that cover the ears are also extremely important as a lot of the body’s warmth is lost through the head, therefore it is crucial to conserve this heat. Gloves and thick absorbent socks are also imperative to prevent frostbite or poor circulation in the runner which can lead to a cascade of otherwise preventable problems. Proper winter running sneakers are essential to assist in the prevention of many slip and falls that occur on the ice or snow resulting in injured muscles or even broken bones. These shoes ought to be water proofed and one should also take into account the shoe size of their winter shoe, perhaps an increase in a half size to ensure the fit with the extra thick socks. For those who wear custom orthotics, one should consult his/her local podiatrist to customize an orthotic that would best fit their specific foot in the winter sneaker. Prevention of blisters and other shoe irritations should also be taken into consideration to ensure a comfortable workout experience. With the appropriate winter attire in place, the runner is almost prepared for his/her workout. But it is of high importance to properly warm up before facing the cold temperatures and even more important to warm down by stretching upon completion of the run. This protects the muscles from entering a sudden shock during the run and assists them in relaxing thereafter. One should be sure to keep his/her skin thoroughly moisturized and body well hydrated during these winter months while taking heed in the other precautions discussed, ensuring a safe and productive winter workout.

Don’t Let The ‘Frost Bite’!

February 15th, 2010 by Dr.Chang

Frostbite can be superficial or deep resulting in temporary or permanent damage to the skin respectively. This is typically caused by exposure to temperatures below 32°F where the skin freezes causing damage to underlying vasculature. Those with already impaired circulation due to peripheral vascular disease, diabetes mellitus and those on drugs such as beta blockers are at aneven higher risk to this condition.


Progressive Numbness
Loss of Sensitivity to touch
Tingling/ Burning sensations
Disappearance of pain as condition progresses
Color changes from red to white/purple as blood flow is lost
Severe frostbites become infected or develop gangrene resulting in the death of tissues.


Remove yourself from the extreme low temperature atmosphere
If there is an internal drop in body temperature, treat the hypothermia first
Re-warm the area where the frost bite occurred (typically fingers, toes, ears, nose)
Immerse body part in a bath with a constant temperature of 104-105°F for approximately one hour
The key is to vasodilate the blood vessels to allow a return of blood to the affected area.
It is important to avoid smoking as nicotine causes vasoconstriction which is a contraindication in an attempt to treat frost bite.
Once the affected area is re-warmed, it is important to contact your doctor in an effort to seek vascular consult. Once the area is “thawed”, swelling may occur, the skin may develop dark blisters and the area becomes painful.
In cases where the frost bite is extremely severe and develops gangrene, surgery is almost automatic.


Be sure to moisturize all areas that may be exposed in the extremely low temperatures.
Proper attire – including warm, dry clothes, thick absorbent socks, gloves/mittens, hats that cover the ears or earmuffs
Monitor children playing outside to ensure they do not lose their thermal accessories
When exercising, be sure to dress appropriately to ensure insulation as discussed in last week’s blog.
Go inside when feeling to cold. Do not ignore your body’s warning signs.
Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption when venturing out in extreme temperatures as, we said before, nicotine causes vasoconstriction, which decreases the blood flow to the periphery, and alcohol hinders the body’s tempe



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