Blog Archives

Which shoes? | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

World Running day June 1. Helpful tips to help stay injury free

What Shoe Should I Wear for What Sport?

  • Basketball, tennis, and volleyball: Thick, stiff sole that gives support. Also, for basketball, look for high-top sneakers to support the ankle during quick changes in direction. For volleyball, consider a lighter shoe with less midsole support.
  • Football and lacrosse: With frequent sideways movements, good high ankle support is important. Also, traction on both wet and dry fields is important. Proper traction on shoes can help prevent injury.
  • Soccer: Shoes with good quality footbed to provide proper arch support are recommended. Also, consider using molded rubber cleats instead of the screw-on options.
  • Baseball/softball: Shoes with arch support are important for baseball. Consider using inserts called orthotics to help with arch pain. There should be no more than a half-inch of space between the big toe and the end of the shoe.
  • Running: A good shoe will give you maximum shock absorption. Don’t forget to match your shoe to your foot’s arch type and replace shoes after 300-500 miles!

Always remember, hand-me-down shoes and ill-fitting footwear can increase the danger of ankle injuries. Applying these tips to daily life will help insure you maintain the ability to walk comfortably for a long time!

For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Kids- their feet and shoes | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

childrens orthoses are not like adults

If you have active kids, making sure they’re wearing the right shoes for what they’re doing, and for their own unique physique, can be as important and wearing their retainers or washing their faces.

  • One in three children who plays a team sport is injured seriously enough to miss practice or games.
  • Children’s bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are still growing, making them more susceptible to injury.

When it comes to issues of our kids’ we need to know to keep them safe, and help them understand how to do things right.

A few things we can do, and remind them to do, include:

  • Kids should have at least one or two days off from any particular sport each week to avoid overuse injuries.
  • If you experience a foot or ankle injury while playing sports, early attention is key to preventing further damage. Always ice the injury, never use heat.
  • Choose footwear specific to your activity. Sneakers made for tennis players will provide different support and traction than cleats made for football players.
  • If you participate in a certain sport at least two to three times a week, you should wear a sport-specific shoe.
  • Go to a store that specializes in athletic shoes, or The Podiatrist for suggestions.
  • Be sure to have their feet measured every time you purchase new shoes, as feet size and shape can change (especially in kids) as we age.

For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Achilles- a pain in the heel | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

achilles tendonitis can be painful

Wanting to get out there and do some exercise?

Hitting the courts and trails, eager to get moving.

Too many people, however, are failing to warm up first, and that is sending them to emergency rooms and The Podiatrist with painful, slow-to-heal Achilles tendon ruptures.

Located behind the ankle, the Achilles tendon connects the heel of the foot to the calf muscles and is responsible for the powerful push-off essential to running and many sports.

It is the largest and strongest tendon in the body.

A rupture occurs when the tendon tears, and that can happen because of repetitive damage, a sudden jump, or planting of the foot.

Symptoms can include a popping sensation in the heel or major heel pain.

Ruptures can take many months to heal.

Who’s most at risk? Not hotshot kids or professional athletes.

People in their middle ages are most susceptible, particularly men, around 45, who are weekend warriors.

In the winter, people are much less active, so the tendons tend to tighten. Like warming up your car in the morning, it is harder to get your body going. People tend to head out without stretching enough.

The most common sports associated with Achilles tendon ruptures were basketball, tennis, football, volleyball, and soccer. Most of the injuries happened at the amateur level, and 83 percent happened in men.

The Podiatrists’ prescription? Make stretching an all-day thing.

Many people mistakenly think they can just stretch right before heading out for a game or a run, but you need to do it three to four times a day, for about five to six minutes.

Here are two easy stretches:

Runner’s stretch against a wall: Step forward with your right foot and lower into a lunge. Place your hands against the wall, leaning forward. Switch sides.

Achilles stretch: Stand with one leg firmly on a step while the leg you are stretching hangs halfway off the step. Slowly lean back (without bouncing) onto your stretching leg, pushing the heel downward. Once you obtain a good stretch, maintain this position for 10 to 20 seconds. Stretch each leg independently.

For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

The Child’s foot | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

baby walking

When people have babies, they’re always warned about the “soft spot” on the head – that the skull bones haven’t fused enough to adequately cover the brain.

It’s such a well-known fact, most people don’t give it a second thought. But in reality, babies are born with nearly 100 bones that need to close and grow to create bones and joints.

Some of those bones are in the feet, and they make up your foot arch. Most people don’t realize it, but arches don’t develop until around the age of 6, after walking, standing and other activities have strengthened the bones and cartilage.

Before that, babies and toddlers have a stage of development called flexible flat feet. This is characterized by the presence of arches when children are sitting or standing on their toes, but the arch disappears when they put weight on their feet.

Flexible flat feet are normal, and for 80-90 percent of children, they’re temporary. However, for a smaller portion of the population, arches never develop, which is a condition called pediatric flat feet.

Quality of life

Some children with flat feet are able to accommodate their condition quite well. These cases – called asymptomatic flat feet – will likely never require treatment.

However, if children develop pain, tenderness or cramping in the feet, legs and knees, or if they find difficulty walking, wearing shoes or participating in activities, they likely have symptomatic flat feet. In these cases, medical advice and treatment should be sought.

Getting help

The Podiatrist is well-versed in the bones and structure of children’s feet, and knows best how arches should develop and function.

When you first have an appointment, The Podiatrist will conduct a physical examination of the foot and will observe children standing, sitting and walking.

After diagnosis, treatment options can vary. Children with asymptomatic flat feet – when there’s no pain or difficulty walking – typically only need periodic checkups. Children with symptomatic flat feet, however, typically need intervention and additional care.

Treatment options

For most cases, non-surgical approaches are best, often starting with activity modification. This could mean cutting down on time playing sports or avoiding prolonged periods of standing.

To help children with their daily activities, a wide range of orthotic accessories – such as shoe inserts – are available.

The Podiatrist can also recommend styles and brands of shoes that can help ease flat feet. In some cases, custom orthotic devices can be created that support the structure of the foot and improve function.

Ongoing support measures can include physiotherapy, where children can work with a therapist on stretching exercises that provide relief for flat feet. Certain medications, ranging from ibuprofen to prescriptions, can also reduce pain and inflammation.

In general, pediatric flat feet are a relatively normal, treatable condition. If you have additional questions, or think your child may have flat feet, talk to The Podiatrist today.

For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Is Running Healthy? | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

selecting the correct runinng shoes is important

The most common running injuries are due to overuse, over training, improper training shoes or a flaw in running form. The important thing is that most running injuries can be prevented.

Here are some of the most common injuries:

Runner’s knee: Runner’s knee is also called patella femoral syndrome and is a common ailment among run. This term is used to refer to a number of medical conditions that cause pain around the front of the knee.

Achilles tendinitis:   Achilles tendinitis is an injury that is the result of overuse and degeneration of the Achilles tendon. The  Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendinitis often happens when runners suddenly increase the distance or intensity of their runs.

Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. Plantar fascia is the band of tissue that connects your heel bone to toes. Inflammation of this tissue can be very painful resulting in stabbing pain in the heel especially in the morning.

Shin splints: Shin splints, clinically called medial tibial stress syndrome, is a common injury to runners or people who participate in activities with sudden stops and starts. Pain along the inner edge of the shinbone is an indication of shin splints.

Stress fracture: A stress fracture is an overuse injury. It occurs when muscles become fatigued and are unable to absorb added shock. Eventually, the fatigued muscle transfers the overload of stress to the bone causing a tiny crack called a stress fracture.

For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Does the shoe fit? | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

To avoid foot pain and injuries, it is wise to change your running shoes often

Make sure your shoes fit.

 

Wearing comfortable shoes that fit can prevent many foot problems. Consider these tips for proper foot care:

Shoe size may change as you age. Always have your feet measured before buying shoes. The best time to measure your feet is at the end of the day when your feet are largest.

  • Most individuals have one foot that is larger than the other. Buy shoes to fit the larger foot.
  • Always try on shoes before purchasing. Shoe sizes can vary between brands and styles.
  • Walk in shoes before purchasing. The shoe heel should not slide when you walk.
  • Select shoes that are shaped like your foot. High heels and pointed toes can hurt your feet.
  • Leave about a half inch between your longest toe and the end of the shoe when standing.
  • Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe.
  • Don’t buy shoes that feel too tight and hope they will stretch.
  • The upper part of the shoes should be made of a soft, flexible material.
  • Soles should give solid footing with no slip.

Good foot care and regular foot checks are an important part of health care.

The Podiatrist should look at your feet often. If you have foot problems, make an appointment today.

For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Ten ways to keep your feet healthy | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

there are many reasons for sore feet

Ten Easy Ways to Keep Your Feet Healthy:

  • Inspect your feet daily – Look for any changes in the general appearance of the foot, like the color and the texture, unusual swelling and changes in the toenails.
  • Practice good foot hygiene – Wash your feet well, and dry them thoroughly afterwards to help prevent issues with bacteria and fungi.
  • Moisturize your feet – It is important to hydrate the skin in your feet to replenish all the lost moisture, otherwise fissures can develop.
  • Wear appropriate footwear – Make sure to purchase the right size of footwear to avoid bruising or tearing the skin surrounding the pressure points of the feet. Furthermore, buy appropriate shoes for your activities.
  • Trim your toenails – Do not create deep curves at the edges and trim to just above the skin. Nails should not extend over the tip of the toe. Cutting nails straight across helps to avoid ingrown nails.
  • Change shoes often – It is important to avoid wearing the same shoes every day. Your feet have a lot of sweat glands, and wearing shoes will only absorb the moisture released from these glands. Make it a point to dry your shoes after each and every use.
  • Exercise regularly – Exercising is good for your feet. However, make sure you wear the appropriate shoe for the activity. Simple exercises can be done at home, such as walking on a treadmill. Foot exercises improve good pedal circulation, preventing many disorders of the heart and blood vessels
  • Do not walk barefoot – Even when at home, always wear the appropriate footwear. There are a lot of harmful microorganisms that can easily enter the bloodstream through the feet
  • Apply sunscreen – Applying sunscreen with a considerable amount of SPF will help prevent painful sunburns and blisters.
  • See The Podiatrist regularly – If you notice or feel anything unusual in your feet, do not hesitate to call.

For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Running shoes- when to replace them | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

To avoid foot pain adn injuries, it is wise to change your running shoes often

Knowing the lifespan of running shoes can be tricky. Many athletes are tempted to push their shoes beyond their due date (Hey, shoes are pricey!), but making sure they aren’t worn out can prevent running injuries like shin splints, runner’s knee and plantar fasciitis.

A general rule of thumb says to replace running shoes every 600 to 800 km. That’s a big range though and there are several things that can cause the running shoe an early death.

Consider the surface you run on

Pavement is tough on shoes (so is nasty weather), so if you’re in a city and most of your routes feature long stretches of asphalt, your shoes are going to wear out faster than if you’re running fields. An athlete’s body size and weight also factor in. A larger athlete is going to put more stress on shoes than the one who is petite. Buying shoes with extra cushioning and appropriate support will help.

Less is less, more is more

Think about the type of shoe you want to be running in. If you’re using a lightweight trainer or racing flat for long distances, it’s not going to last because these types of shoes sacrifice durability for performance. Stability shoes with extra mid-sole cushioning will, of course, be more durable. Also, the material of the outsole matters. EVA foam wears out much quicker than blown rubber. Many lightweight shoes will use minimal amounts of rubber outsole material in order to cut back on weight, but that means that the less resilient EVA will begin to wear more quickly.

Inspect your shoes

Take one of your pairs and look at it from the side. It’s normal to see a few wrinkles from compression. Are the wrinkles close together? Several close together wrinkles indicate a worn out mid-sole. Look at the bottom. If the cushioning feels brittle or the outsole material has worn away, it’s time to get a new pair.

And one of the easiest ways to tell if the shoe is past its due: think about how you’re feeling. If you’re constantly achy when you get back from even an easy run, that can be a sign your shoes are cooked.

Keep track of your mileage

If you don’t already, track your mileage in each pair. Keep a running journal and make sure to note how many kilometres you’ve logged with that pair. If you have more than one pair of the same model of shoe in your rotation, number them with a permanent marker. If you run more or less the same distance on each run, you can also mark the inside of the midsole each time your finish.

A new season means new shoes

If you typically compete in a spring or fall goal race, retire that season’s shoes after your big accomplishment. If they feel like they still have some pop in them (and don’t stink) retire them to your line-up of walking shoes. Buying a shiny new pair of trainers is also a great way to motivate yourself to get back into the swing of things – after you’ve recovered from your goal race, of course.

Running shoes are only for running

To prolong the sneaker’s lifespan, resist the urge to wear them when not running. Make your running shoes special. Only take them out when you’re ready to run.

For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Foot Health | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

Summer-feet-1

Foot and ankle concerns are too often overlooked by the general public. Our feet are the foundation of our body.

Examining our feet can help us identify early symptoms of other serious disorders such as vascular disease and diabetes.

Foot issues can also cause other problems throughout our body.

Normal changes to the foot as we age include:

  • The foot becomes wider and longer
  • There is mild settling of the arch which is seen as flattening of the foot
  • The fat pad on the bottom of the heel thins out, causing loss of natural padding and spring in the step
  • The foot and ankle lose some of their normal range of motion and become stiffer
  • There can be some loss of balance while walking

As these physical changes occur, shoe sizes and support needs also change and must be addressed.

Some foot changes can occur that are abnormal or pathological. These problems do not happen naturally and many can be prevented, or their progress halted, by addressing ill-fitting shoes, adding supportive orthotics, surgery, or other modifications.

Abnormal changes to the foot include:

  • Bunions (the formation of a large bump on the big toe, which starts to point toward the little toes)
  • Hammering of the toes (curling of the toes)
  • Clawing of the toes (more severe curling of the toes)
  • Tailor’s bunion (the formation of a large bump on the smallest toe, which starts to point toward the large toe)
  • Calluses or corns, which occur on the toes or foot due to high pressure over bony areas
  • Morton’s neuromas (“pinched nerve” between the toes)
  • Arthritis of the joints

Early detection and treatment of problems help keep individuals on their feet and active.

For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Strong Core | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

core_stability

Our core is much more than just our abdominals. It includes the thoracic and lumbar spine, abdominal muscles, back muscles, pelvic and hip girdle muscles (especially the gluteals) and the thigh muscles.

Core exercises should be a key component of any training program – especially a distance running program. A correctly functioning core will yield proper biomechanics and force production, providing stability (including lumbar, pelvic, and lower limb stability), power and endurance.

When your core is weak, it can lead to increased strain in other parts of your body and could contribute to compensation and overuse movement patterns, over-striding or under-striding with running and increased frontal plane movements (side to side movements) of the lumbar spine, pelvis and hips.

These compensatory movement patterns will lead to overuse injuries and have been linked to various disorders common to runners, including:

Iliotibial band (IT Band) syndrome — The iliotibial band is a thick band of fascia (a thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ) that crosses the hip joint and extends distally to insert on the patella, tibia, and biceps femoris tendon. Repetitive movements and overuse can cause irritation and inflammation in the knee or lead to snapping hip or hip bursitis.

Patellofemoral pain and dysfunction — The patella, your knee cap, floats within the trochlear groove on top of the femur. If the mechanics of your running is not ideal, then the kneecap may be pushed to one side of the groove when the knee is bent causing pain.

Low back and Sacroiliac (SI joint) disorders — SI joint is responsible for transferring the weight of the upper body to the lower body. It is located in the pelvis connecting the iliac bone (pelvis) to the sacrum (the lowest part of the spine). With a lot of repetitive movements you can cause hypermobility of the joint.

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (shin splints) — This refers to the pain in the front of leg that develops when you increase your mileage too fast. Most of the time this is caused by a training error due to fatigue.

Achilles tendinopathy — The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Tendinitis (inflammation) and Tendinosis (microtears in the tissue around the tendon) are common problems.

Plantar fasciitis – This band of tissue runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain.

A core strengthening program can help prevent these types of injuries and should progress initially from “open-chain” (i.e. non-weight bearing) exercises toward “closed-chain” (weight bearing) exercises. The goal is to stimulate and train the muscles to function in a manner and position that they would normally when under stress.

In running, our bodies are erect, with weight bearing and landing on our legs, so the strengthening exercises should reproduce these positions and movement patterns. The exercises should also incorporate all planes of movement of the body to allow ideal muscle stimulation and development.

For all your foot problems visit The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,980 other followers