Replacing Running Shoes

Is it time for new running shoes for the upcoming Chicago Marathon?

Experienced runners know their running shoes have to be replaced regularly, but the question is: how often?

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the EVA in running shoes starts to show structural damage as early as 120 miles, and by the time a runner completes 500 miles in the same pair of shoes, around 45% of the initial shock absorption has been lost.

But the weight of a runner affects the deterioration rate as well. A man’s size 10 shoe for example, might be worn by a 130 pound high school athlete, or 220 pound middle aged adult. It makes sense that the heavier athlete is going to wear down the sole and other structures long before the lighter one. To do this, divide 75,000 by your weight, and that number represents the upper limit in miles for a pair of running shoes. For example, if you weigh 185lbs, 75,000 divided by 185 equals 405 miles for that pair of shoes.

If you have any questions, please call Dr. Bennett at 312 266-7404.

Orthotics vs. Inserts

Custom orthotics vs. Over the Counter Shoe Inserts. Which is the best for you?

If you are experiencing heel, arch or toe pain, then you may have heard shoe inserts might be a solution. Your current shoes may not be offering the support that your body needs. Since your feet support your entire body, it is important to recognize that having the extra support can provide comfort and even alleviate symptoms from a variety of foot conditions and even leg and back pain.

However, before you make the final decision, it’s best to understand the difference between custom orthotics and over the counter inserts (OTC). You will want to talk with Dr. Bennett about which options are best for you, and why. You want to make the best decision about your foot health.

Custom Orthotics These type of devices are made from a mold of your foot, not generalized population data about foot size and shape, as OTC devices are. A visit is required to examine your foot and the specific complaints, and a decision about what type of orthotic would be best for your daily life. Then a wet plaster mold is taken of both feet, and removed when dry. This takes about twenty minutes. In my office, the dried plaster impressions are mailed out to a laboratory that manufactures the prescribed devices. They are fabricated and returned to the office, ready to be dispensed within a month. I have had many patients say their orthotics last 3 years and longer.

OTC Inserts These are commercially available and can be obtained in a store, pharmacy, or online. Since there is no exam or fitting of the devices, it is difficult to match the best material and shell to the patient’s condition. They are also difficult if not impossible to properly modify, but this is the least expensive option, and they are easily replaced if they wear out or become lost. They typically need to be replaced every six to twelve months.

While heel pain (plantar fasciitis) is the most common reason I prescribe custom orthotics, other conditions included neuroma, tendonitis, and quite often after a stress fracture or bunionectomy.


Frostbite is a cold-related injury characterized by freezing of tissue. Most cases of frostbite are encountered in soldiers, in persons who work outdoors in the cold, in homeless people, in athletes engaging in sports with seasons extending into the cold months of the year, and in winter outdoor enthusiasts, such as Nordic skiers.

Other risk factors include chronic medical conditions (eg, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud phenomena), African American race, vibration-induced white finger (VIWF), previous history of frostbite, and use of certain medications (eg, beta-blockers, sedatives). Mountain frostbite is a variation observed among mountain climbers and others exposed to extremely cold temperatures and strong winds at high altitude. It combines tissue freezing with hypoxia and general body dehydration.

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What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS is a chronic pain condition that affects the limbs (arms, legs, hands or feet) usually after an injury or trauma to that area. It is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system involves nerve signaling from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. CRPS is characterized by prolonged or excessive pain and mild or dramatic changes in skin color, temperature, and/or swelling in the affected areas.

There are two similar forms, called CRPS-I and CRPS-II, with generally the same symptoms and treatments. CRPS-II (previously referred to as causalgia) is the term used for patients with confirmed nerve injuries. Individuals without confirmed nerve injuries are classified as having CRPS-I (previously called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome). Some research has identified evidence of nerve injury in CRPS-I, so the validity of the two different forms is being investigated.

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