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Summer and your feet | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

foot-soak-bowl

Ok so now that summer is officially in full swing (well kind of) it may be time to actually take some time to pamper those little puppies walking around in flip-flops and going bare in the sand.  Not only are your feet much more visible than they are in other seasons during the hot summer months, but they can also suffer more from increased walking and from less than supportive shoes.

This being the case, it might be a good time to think about giving your feet a little R and R.

Basic foot care involves some, well, basic tips.

First of all it is important to wash your feet every day in order to insure that bacteria and fungus don’t get a chance to grow.  Even when you are not showering, you should take the time therefore to wash your feet.  This is even more important when walking around in flip flops or sporting bare feet on the beach because your feet will be exposed to a great deal more of these unpleasant germs.

Always be sure to wash between the toes as well as over the foot itself. You also should avoid trimming or shaving off calluses no matter how tempting that little shaver at the pedicurists might be.  While your feet may be smoother than ever for a few days, thick layers of dry skin will grow back and you may be exposing yourself to a risk of infection.

Consult The Podiatrist if you are having trouble with stubborn corns and calluses.
Always wear shoes that fit properly. Walking around in tight fighting shoes will leave you at least hobbling. Because your feet swell and sweat in the heat, shoes without socks can become especially uncomfortable as your feet slip and rub against the shoe.  Make sure you have broken in your shoes before taking a long walk and make sure that they fit before buying them.  No matter how cute that little pair of ballet flats might be, if they don’t have your size then do let them go.
Tips on how to take care of our feet during these hot and sticky summer months.

It’s easy to forget that feet can get sunburned. Be sure to apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 50 when barefoot or if feet are exposed through open sandals, and don’t forget to apply to both the tops and bottoms of your feet.

With sandals and open shoe styles, feet are exposed to the elements. Dry, cracked heels are common during the summer months so make an effort to moisturize daily. The Gehwol Fussfraft foot care range have a balm for every skin type.

Keep Feet Clean: Foot perspiration is typical in the summer and can lead to fungal infection and unwanted odor. Wash feet daily, and let them dry thoroughly before putting shoes on. Also, consider using a foot powder to minimize odour. Why not try the Gehwol Herb Bath Salts, and use the Gehwol Fussfraft Mint balm- ideal for cooling the feet.

Add Cushion: When wearing high heels, your feet are feeling the pressure. Cushion the impact with an insole like Podsoft Foot Angles.

Sandals and jandals: with warmer weather, people tend to be more active and on their feet. To relieve tired, achy feet add extra support in your shoes. The Vasyli range of medical sandals are ideal for the summer.

Having perfectly manicured toes can make for a nice beach time public display but if you forget to follow these basic guidelines your feet will be more disaster than delight.  Remember always that your feet are important so to treat your them to a little basic pampering every day.If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Get started on resolving your foot problem today.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

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Do you suffer from overuse injuries? | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

overuse injuries in sports

Overuse injuries are distinct from such commonplace trauma injuries as sprains, strains, broken bones and concussions. They are specific to the parts of the body most used during the athletic endeavour. These body areas can include the knees of athletes in sports that require running and jumping, such as basketball and soccer.

The overuse injury is caused by repetitive micro-trauma caused by chronic use of a specific body part, coupled with an inadequate time for rest and healing. But overuse injuries can be prevented if athletes and parents take precautions and familiarize themselves with the symptoms.

Don’t push through the pain. Young athletes should never be encouraged to “tough it out” and ignore pain. While pain may just be the sign of a sore, tired muscle, it can also be the first clue to an overuse injury. Players should stop and rest and gradually return to the activity, if the pain subsides. If it persists, see The Podiatrist.

Remember to rest. It’s under-rated, but rest is key to injury prevention and on-field success. The multi-tasking athlete who runs from school to practice to individualized training sessions, while still trying to keep up in school, needs to find time for eight hours of sleep and the occasional day off from the activity to stay injury-free.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Water is best for hydration during athletic activities under an hour. Consider electrolyte-enhanced sports drinks for longer bouts of activity – more than an hour – and for repeated activity in the same day.

Encourage your children to engage in multiple sports and athletic activities. Not only do the kids learn different skills, but they also develop and work complementary muscle groups while resting others. It is suggested to forgo specialization in sports until adolescence or puberty.

While prevention techniques like stopping play and getting rest are keys to avoiding overuse injuries, ice is helpful when applied to the affected area 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Injuries occur in many patients early in the new season, when kids may try and do too much too soon. Be sure to increase practice and playing time gradually.

If you are suffering from an overuse injury, please give us a call at The Podiatrist
We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz
http://www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

Ouch, my feet hurt | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

men do not tend to rush off and have their feet checked

Plantar Fasciitis is a tightening of these muscles that run from your toes to your heel, where they attach by a tendon.

Often when you wake in the morning you have to walk gingerly because there is so much pain in your feet. As you move around, the muscles warm up and the symptoms decrease. As you become less active or wake the next day the muscle will have cooled and retightened.

Over time, due to stress, the body deposits calcium in the tendon to strengthen this region, where it attaches to your heel, and can create heel spurs. You need to break this cycle now.

What are some causes of Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Muscle tightness in the Achilles tendon and/or the plantar muscles.
  • Bad shoes.
  • Wearing the wrong shoes for the task at “foot.”
  • Improper foot alignment
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Poor arch support or Flat Feet

Things to do to help avoid this problem:

  • Invest in new shoes. Shoes wear down visibly but physically, before you see the signs. Especially if you exercise a lot in them. Bottom line is you want good support.
  • Switch shoes each day or every other. That will force your feet to adapt to different soles.
  • Have the right footwear for the activity. Don’t play basketball in work boots or run in boat shoes because you forgot the appropriate foot gear.
  • Pick decent shoes not just fashionable ones. I treated the lead singer of a band and he told me he was feeling spasms and pain in his calf. I looked at his feet and he had those non-supportive, Converse sneakers on. I hate those.
  • Runners can try to run on various surfaces to change it up. Rubberized tracks, the woods, treadmill or the opposite direction on the road to change the effect of the crowned road on your body.
  • Try massage. Relax your foot muscles with massage or work the bottom of your feet with the knuckles of your hand or your thumb. Manual pressure to remove these is called trigger point therapy, which increases circulation and helps break up these knots.
  • Try Chiropractic. The approach is to work on the muscles of your feet to break up adhesions in the muscles but also adjust the bones they are attached to. If you have a muscular problem you HAVE to address the bones the muscles are connected to or you will keep having the same issue.
  • Chiropractic and physical therapy could also use an ultrasound machine to provide deep heat to relax the muscles and possibly breakup calcium deposits in the heel spur.
  • Roll your plantar muscles on a golf ball in a tub of warm water.
  • Freeze water in a small plastic bottle and roll on that
  • Get orthotics to help better support your feet in your shoes. Just supporting it will not remove years of abuse on your feet. They need some attention.

Working on this area isn’t super comfortable but sometimes you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet. The longer you let plantar fasciitis go, the worse it will get. So start now.

To stretch the Achilles tendon you could stand with the balls of your feet on a step. Allow your heel to lower. That should stretch the back of your lower leg. To stretch the plantar muscle out your toes against the base of the wall and place the rest of your foot on the floor. The wall will push your toes back and stretch the underside muscles of the plantar region.

Something you could try to strengthen your plantar muscles is to squeeze marbles or a pencil with your toes and try to bring it toward you. You can even pull your toes in while you have shoes on. Just curl your toes and that will help recreate the arch of the foot.

For all your foot problems, see The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

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