Blog Archives

Shoes for Kids | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

when is it a good time for children to start wearing shoes

I spend a lot of time talking to adults about feet and shoes, and the conversation naturally drifts onto their children’s shoes.

For years, we have been given advice from shoe manufacturers and retailers, coaches, friends, parents and grannies about the ‘right’ shoe for children.

Invariably, especially if you are of a certain age, you would have been told that solid, supportive shoes are best. However, that advice needs to be reviewed.

The human foot contains three arches, 26 bones, 33 joints, over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments and thousands of nerve endings, and can tolerate impacts more than three times greater than your body weight. When you walk and run, it is your foot that absorbs the impact, stops you from collapsing, and pushes you forwards. As Leonardo da Vinci said ‘the human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art’.

What are the differences between a young child’s foot and leg against your own? The next time you see a toddler, have a look at the shape of her feet. You’ll notice that they are almost triangular: narrow at the heel, and widest at the toes. Compare that to your own. I bet they are more diamond shaped, with the widest part across the base of your toes, narrowing in to the tips. Now think about the shape of your shoes, most shoes are widest at the base of the toes, narrowing to a point at the front.

Also, watch the way small children can squat, with their bum almost resting on their heels, and stay there for as long as they like. Try to do that yourself without lifting your heels, and chances are you’ll only make it halfway down, or fall backwards. What is the significance of this?

Well, most shoes these days have a heel, even kids shoes. In fact the heel in children’s shoes is, relatively speaking, much bigger than a heel in adults’ shoes. Think about it. A 2cm heel in a shoe that is only 15cm long creates a much bigger angle than in one that is 25cm. Just as if you were to wear high heels all day your calf muscles would get tight, so too will a child’s. Over-tight calf muscles stop you from being able to squat fully by reducing your ankle movement.

When you have a raised heel in your shoe, it pushes your toes hard into the toe-box. If that toe-box is narrow, the toes will get squashed together. What happens to women who wear high heels all the time? Bunions.

Now, did you know that the bones in your child’s feet don’t fully harden until their late teens? This means that over-tight shoes in childhood have the effect of deforming the shape of the foot from the outset.

Research has shown that shoes also affect the gait of children. With shoes, children walk faster by taking longer steps with greater ankle and knee movement, and less foot movement. When running, shoes encourage children to land on their heels and spend more time on the ground on each stride. Whilst not showing a definite cause, Harvard University research has shown that runners who land on their heels have twice the injury rate of runners who land on their forefoot.

A review of children’s shoes and gait, published in the journal Pediatrics outlined the following factors: optimum foot development happens while barefoot; stiff and compressive footwear may cause deformity, weakness and loss of mobility in the foot; the term ‘corrective shoes’ is a misnomer, and; shoe selection for children should be based on a barefoot model.

What does all this mean for parents when looking for shoes? Well, the roomier, flatter and more flexible, the better. Essentially, the closer the shoe is to not wearing shoes at all, the less it will affect your child’s foot development. Better still, around the house and when the weather is good enough, let them go barefoot: their feet will get stronger and they’ll love it!

For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

HAPPY 4th JULY | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

happy 4 of july

WE HAVE MOVED | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

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NEW ADDRESS

Come and visit us

347 Remuera Road

Remuera

Auckland

Tel: 09 550 6324

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

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

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