Dr. Mark J Mendeszoon

Dr. Mark J Mendeszoon

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Year New You

The holiday season is winding down and the new year will be a time of resolutions for many individuals. With 2016 being an Olympic year, everyone should shoot for the gold medal when it comes to their health, well being, and quality of life.

One of the most common New Year's resolutions is to lose weight.  Certainly this is a realistic goal, but a more logical first step to a successful New Year's resolution would be to become more active and thus more physically fit.  Depending on your state of health and fitness,your exercise program should begin with a discussion of your goals and desires with your medical doctor.  Once you feel ready and confident, beginners should meet with or obtain information from a reputable trainer, coach, or personal website in order to avoid overdoing it.   For those individuals that understand training, reviewing your past training if possible and making adjustments is a good way to reach your goals. 

 Regardless of your level of fitness, cross training is recommended to to improve your performance.   Mixing in swimming, cycling of some kind, and weight training with your running program can make for a more satisfying, interesting, and well-balanced approach to your overall fitness. Another way to make training more enjoyable would be to have a training partner or partners to help get you through the initial training period and then to keep you motivated. In addition, to maximize your health benefits, weight loss and training, keeping a journal of your training and diet is recommended, along with weekly weigh-ins. 

 For beginning runners, proper running gear is an important part of getting started. Your local independent  running stores possess a wealth of knowledge to help you get going, provide the proper gear, and give you advice on interesting running events, activities or educational opportunities. Achilles Running Shop's staff of runners, coaches, and doctors is always available to provide any information to get you moving in the right direction. 

To kick off 2016, Achilles has partnered up with Great Lakes Race Timing to bring fun, family events to our community. A virtual training competition starting in January, as well as an open indoor track meet at Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio on January 8, 2016 will be the first events for the Olympic year. These are unique events and will be enjoyable for the entire family. For  those interested in breaking up the winter doldrums of training, information is available on our website at Achillesrunning.us or greatlakestiming.com

It will be an exciting year and we at Achilles are excited to help all of you achieve good health and happiness for 2016. Happy New Year.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Winter Running

Although we have been lucky in Northeast Ohio with the weather, winter will be upon us in no time. Many people take to running indoors on a treadmill and some people still enjoy running outside in the elements .

Running on a treadmill does take time to get used to. It is recommended that once you learn how to run on a treadmill , the following steps or recommended to prevent injury and illness. As many people use the treadmill and a public gym or venue the first important step is to always wipe down the machine especially the display unit with a cleaning agent. This should be done before and after your run as this will reduce the amount of bacteria and viruses that can be placed on your hands and eventually your body.  It is also important to make sure that the belt is running smoothly and does not catch as this can cause tremendous damage once up and running.  Also, inspect that the incline works smoothly and is not jerky which can also cause injuries running at a normal pace.

Most people tend to run more quickly on a treadmill due to the fact  that the running belt is on a continuous motion and there are less ground react to force us to overcome such as running outside.  Running inside also negates headwind and thus it is recommended to keep the incline at at least 1.5°. This will simulate minor headwind such as running outside but more importantly, prevent injuries of the foot and ankle by reducing foot slap when the incline is at 0°. When running outside, it is important that your shoelaces a double tied for if they come loose on the treadmill they can get caught in the belt and cause severe injury.  Treadmill running can be monotonous and  less enjoyable than running outside and therefore some people watch TV or  listen to music.  If this is the case, it is important that you still remain aware of your surroundings and a function of the machine.  Those coming back from injury may benefit from running initially on a treadmill as it impact is less due to their softer surfaces.

Running outside in the winter time can be a very enjoyable experience but also more difficult for a runner.  Regardless of the cold temperatures it is very important to still keep hydrated before, during and after your runs. By keeping properly hydrated will regulate your body temperature and reduce the chances of frostbite.   The general rule of thumb of staying hydrated is to drink as much water and noncarbonated reduced sugar drinks so that your urine remains clear . During your runs it is very important to keep a water bottle handy so that you can remain hydrated in the adverse conditions.
 Other ways of preventing frostbite is to reduce the amount of exposed skin while running outside. The technology in  winter running clothing is incredible and the days of running and multiple layers is gone.  Due to the fact that over 60% of your bodies heat is released from the head and neck it is important to keep these body parts covered.  Also utilizing proper gloves, mittens and socks can reduce the fingers and toes from being exposed to the winter elements.

Running in the wintertime also poses problems as the ground can remain slick or icy.  As a person loses traction with running it can cause increased stress on the lower extremity causing for more muscle  and tendon aches and pains.  A recommendation to counter this is to use an appropriate trail shoe or a  type of "shoe tracks". These will allow for better grip in the slippery conditions and can prevent slipping and falling which can cause for bad sprains, strains and fractures.

Our professionally trained staff at Achilles Running Shop  can educate you and place you into the proper equipment to have a safe winter running season.  We would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season and happy new year for 2016.  We also would like to invite all of you to our inaugural Achilles Running Shop Winter Track Carnival on  January 8, 2016 at Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio.  This will be a family event for all age groups who enjoy running. Come and enjoy the opportunity to run on one of the worlds best indoor track facilities. Hope to see you all then. Please check out our website for more information.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Importance of a Running Shoe

Running shoes are the most important piece of equipment for any type of runner. Since 1972,  Nike changed the running shoe industry dramatically.  Prior to this, most running shoes were a flat sole shoe with a rubber bottom.  Most athletic shoes were used for all type of events. PF Flyers, Converse All-Stars and Pro Keds were the go to shoes for all athletes in America,  while adidas was big in Europe and Tiger (ASICS) dominated in the Orient.

In the last five decades there have been several dozen brand of running shoes and the predominant running shoes are now the following:  Asics, Adidas, Brooks, Mizuno, Nike, New Balance and Saucony.

With all the brands of shoes that are out in the market, there is no one perfect shoe.  A major reason I opened up Achilles Running Shop 10 years ago was due to the service and knowledge of big box stores not appreciating the patient or athlete needs or concerns.

Running shoes are a multi-billion dollar industry and shoes come and go and change very rapidly. The technology in designing and creating running shoes is incredible and the engineers are always pushing the limits to find the next best shoe.  Most running specialty shops have made the process easier for customers to be placed in the right shoe.  This process can really help runners avoid injuries, continue training and most importantly achieve their goals.

Placing a customer in the right running shoe is an art form as well as a science.   Being placed in the proper running shoe can take approximately 10 to 20 minutes.  Gathering information such as an individual's goals, past medical history or surgical history related to the lower musculoskeletal system  is imperative.  Understanding the individuals body type and then performing a biomechanics evaluation is paramount. Watching the patient walk and run is crucial to finding the right shoe for that individual. Proper sizing is extremely important. Over 90% of Americans are in the wrong size shoe. Not only should feet be measured in length but also in widths.

When shoes are too small or too narrow they can aggravate or cause for ingrown toenails, hammertoes  or bunions  due to the fact that the toes are crunched up and do not have room to move adequately. Other conditions can be aggravated by improper shoes such as neuromas, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and temporary numbness of the feet.  If shoes are too large they can aggravate the skin and cause for blisters, corns and calluses. If customers have orthotics or over-the-counter insoles it can also change the shoe selection for them. Many times customers come to a store and are informed they need a certain type of shoe but do not take in consideration of their orthotic. Orthotics definitely change shoe selection due to their function of either supporting or stabilizing the foot.

Once a proper shoe is selected for the individual it should feel comfortable immediately.  It is very important to lace and unlace shoes every time they are put on or off your feet.  This will ensure that the shoe fits properly and gives you the best comfort and function. Shoes are usually good for approximately 300-500 miles of running. I typically advise patient to write the date of purchase inside the shoe. This can be done with a permanent marker.  Also, it is important not only to keep a journal of how your training but a log of how many miles were placed on the shoes.

 In order to care for your shoes it is recommended that you wear proper non-cotton socks. Place your shoes in an area of air currents so that ventilation will allow the shoes to minimize moisture. Moisture attracts bacteria, viruses and fungi. Powder your shoes to also help minimize moisture. Any type of  powder will achieve this very nicely.  If your shoes would get wet or dirty take out the insole and let the shoes dry properly. If you're concerned about the appearance or dirt accumulation on your shoes you may wash your shoes either through a hand wash or light cycle machine wash. Always take out the insoles out when washing your shoes.  Additionally, let the shoes air dry.

Lastly, if you find a pair shoes that you really like it may be beneficial to buy several pairs of that particular model as she was change anywhere from 1 to 2 years.  If you take care of your shoes then issues will take care of you.

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine is a physician that specializes in the treatment of  the foot, ankle and  lower leg.  Podiatric medical school is a four-year degree and typically most students have received a bachelors degree and some even a masters degree. After medical school, residency training takes three years and those who want extra training will do a fellowship for 1 to 2 years.  Most doctors of podiatric medicine will be certified in the areas of specialty such as foot surgery , advanced foot and ankle suregey,podiatric orthopedics and medicine and even wound care.

Many podiatrist are surgically trained and are able to perform surgery of the lower leg, ankle and foot. Many common procedures include  surgical correction of bunions, hammertoes, tendon injuries, removal of soft tissue masses, treatment of fractures, toenail procedures and treatment of soft tissue muscle and tendon injuries. Podiatric surgeons who have advanced training  perform procedures that treat patients with complicated fractures, deformity's birth defects and limb salvage surgery for patients with complications from diabetes.  Podiatric surgeons are not orthopedic surgeons but many of the lower extremity surgical procedures are performed by both professions.

In addition to surgical procedures, Podiatrists treat many common in office condition such as fungal toenails, ingrown toenail's, plantar warts, corns and calluses, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis,  sprains and strains  and diabetic foot ulcers bone and joint deformities  to mention a few conditions.

 A large part of a podiatrist training is in biomechanics of the  lower extremity and this is what separates podiatrists from our other colleagues that work with lower extremity conditions. Biomechanics is the study of how the Body works  and with a solid understanding many overuse injuries that we see can be corrected by understanding  this science.  Exercises, physical therapy, rehabilitation, custom orthotic devices and shoe gear are ways to treat overuse injuries that many athletes will endure in their career.

Podiatrists are able to write prescriptions for medications,  order diagnostic testing such as x-rays, CAT scans and MRIs. All in all,  doctors of podiatric medicine  are a team member of the medical community to help any individual with lower extremity  conditions.

 Personally, I have been A podiatrist for over two decades and truly enjoy my job. I enjoy working with all types of people ranging from little babies to seniors and my areas of specialty are sports medicine,  trauma  and reconstructive foot and ankle and leg surgery, pediatrics and diabetic limb salvage. I have been fortunate to have worked with many athletes and Runners throughout my career and have been able to take my knowledge as a Podiatric physician and surgeon and continue to be involved with the sport I love: Track and field and running. Both of these passions of mine have allowed me to meet great people throughout the world and allow me to see the world. I have been fortunate in this regard.

In addition, I have been blessed to co-own with my wife, Kristen, Achilles Running Shop. I am proud to say that I have had the privilege  to work with a tremendous and knowledgeable staff that will provide our customers and Runners the best experience. As the only Physician Owned Running Speciality store in the region and perhaps the country, I am confident that the Achilles Experience and Fit Process will be second to none.