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5 quick and easy tips to healthy feet and legs | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

one pair has to last a lifetime

There are many causes of leg pain right from muscle cramps and inflammation of tendons to arthritis, varicose veins and nerve damage. Leg pain due to muscle strain following an injury or wearing tight shoes for a long time can be prevented by following few simple tips:

  1. Stretch the leg muscle: One of the most effective ways to prevent leg pain due to a sudden muscle twist or cramp is to stretch the muscle. This not only improves blood flow to the injured muscle but it also helps in reducing muscle tension thereby relieving muscle soreness.
  2. Take a warm shower: If you suffer from leg pain, then take a warm shower to relax the muscles. If taking a bath is not feasible, then placing a heating pad on the affected areas can also help. A heat pack works best if the pain is due to a previous injury as it not only relaxes blood vessels but also improves blood circulation, alleviating leg pain.
  3. Wear a proper fitting athletic shoe: Most people fail to choose the right fitting shoe, which is one of the common causes of leg and heel pain. To get the right fit, determine the shape of your foot using the ‘wet test’. For this, step out of the shower onto a surface that will show your footprint, like a brown paper bag. If you have a flat foot, you will see an impression of your whole foot on the paper. If you have a high arch, you will only see the ball and heel of your foot. When shopping, look for athletic shoes that match your particular foot pattern.
  4. Choose the right sports shoe: Not many people are aware that different types of shoes are specially designed to meet your sports requirement. Did you know running long distances in court-style sneakers can contribute to shin splints? It is important to choose the shoes according to your sport or fitness routine.
  5. Go slow if you are a beginner at the gym: One of the common mistakes that most people commit is to overexert on the first day of the gym, which not only exerts pressure on the knee but also causes muscle soreness and leg pain. The key to preventing leg pain and sticking to your workout routine is to build your fitness level slowly. You can start off with less strenuous workouts and then gradually increase the duration, intensity, and frequency of your exercise regimen.

For any foot problems, contact The Podiatrist.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

 

Your foot size may change during pregnancy

 

When was the last time you had your feet measured? If you can’t quite remember, your so-called tried-and-true shoes may have your feet crying out for a different size.

That’s right, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 40 percent of male and female respondents couldn’t remember the last time their feet were measured. Additionally, 65 percent of American women between the ages of 18 and 49 haven’t had their feet measured within the last five years — meaning they are probably trekking around in shoes that don’t fit.

And since the survey also reports that 84 percent of both male and female respondents chose comfort over style when buying non-athletic shoes, its surprising that foot measurements have gone by the wayside.

Many people don’t realize that shoe size can change with age, from manufacturer to manufacturer and for many women during pregnancy. Not to mention, an ill-fitting shoe can wreak havoc on your feet. With the possibility of painful blisters and unsightly corns to unnerving neuromas and irritating bunions, there’s nothing like finding a shoe with the perfect fit.

Here are a few tips that will help you put your best foot forward:

* It’s important to remember that when you’re getting fitted for a new shoe, you should wait until later in the day because your feet swell throughout the afternoon. And be sure to stand when your feet are being measured or fitted.

* Don’t be surprised if your feet aren’t the same size. If you have this problem, try to buy for the larger foot.

* You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, so the same rule should apply to your shoes. Always try on both shoes, and walk around the store, preferably on a hard surface.

* Stay away from shoes that require a “break-in” period. Properly fitting shoes should be comfortable immediately.

* Conduct a “dress rehearsal.” Try on shoes while you are wearing the same type of socks or stockings you expect to wear with the shoes.

For more information and guidelines on caring for your feet see The Podiatrist.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Preventing common foot problems: expert tips for improved podiatric health and overall wellness

These days, the vast majority of people are working to improve some aspect of their overall health. Popular resolutions can range from increased exercise and healthier eating habits to quitting smoking or simply taking a daily multivitamin; but amidst all these other goals, proper foot care often falls by the wayside. Common foot problems, such as foot pain, ingrown nails, athlete’s foot or bunions, are all too often neglected at the outset – and subsequently permitted to progress to the point where professional treatment is required to reverse the problem. In most cases, improved preventative care is all it takes to keep these conditions at bay. However, some conditions may require professional treatment or even surgery: and before attempting to self-diagnose or self-treat any foot injury, pain or infection, it is important to consult an experienced professional podiatrist to ensure proper diagnosis and a safe solution for lasting health.

The following guidelines can help individuals keep their feet healthy and happy all year long – and make it easier for them to detect early symptoms and warning signs in order to seek prompt and effective podiatric treatment:

  • Ingrown Nails –  Ingrown toenails can develop easily and without warning if nails are trimmed incorrectly or constricted in ill-fitting shoes. Left untreated, they can result in painful infections. Prevent ingrown toenails by cutting nails straight across and rounding the edges with a clean file — and take care to prioritize proper trimming and sanitation techniques when frequenting nail salons to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Nail Fungus – Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a common ailment that is particularly likely to affect athletes, elderly individuals and anyone with a genetic history of the disease. Fungus can start in a tiny portion of the nail and spread over time to the full nail, so frequent inspections (after bathing or while grooming, for example) are an essential preventative step. Take steps to avoid toenail fungus by keeping feet dry and clean, changing socks regularly and wearing shoes in public areas. For those already      battling nail fungus, consider advanced laser therapy for drug-free, long-lasting eradication of fungus and unsightly symptoms.
  • Bunions –as high heels, flats and flip-flops), most bunions are in fact the result of inherited structural defects and have little relation to one’s footwear. That being said, shoes that lack the proper support may well exacerbate the pain and swelling symptomatic of bunions. Individuals suffering from continuous foot pain, visible swelling on the big toe joint or restricted motion of the foot should consult The Podiatrist.

Professional guidance and preventative care with The Podiatrist.

Don’t wait to begin taking better care of your feet: commit to a better preventative care routine today, and consider visiting The Podiatrist for a check-up or consultation with our team of highly trained Podiatrists. As Podiatrists, we ensure top-quality care for all our patients and recommend the latest in healthcare solutions to help you look and feel your best.

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

Preventing common foot problems: expert tips for improved podiatric health and overall wellness

These days, the vast majority of people are working to improve some aspect of their overall health. Popular resolutions can range from increased exercise and healthier eating habits to quitting smoking or simply taking a daily multivitamin; but amidst all these other goals, proper foot care often falls by the wayside. Common foor problems such as foot pain, ingrown nails, athlete’s foot or bunions, are all too often neglected at the outset – and subsequently permitted to progress to the point where professional treatment is required to reverse the problem. In most cases, improved preventative care is all it takes to keep these conditions at bay. However, some conditions may require professional treatment or even surgery: and before attempting to self-diagnose or self-treat any foot injury, pain or infection, it is important to consult The Podiatrist to ensure proper diagnosis and a safe solution for lasting health.

The following guidelines can help individuals keep their feet healthy and happy all year long – and make it easier for them to detect early symptoms and warning signs in order to seek prompt and effective podiatric treatment:

  • Ingrown Nails – Ingrown toenails can develop easily and without warning if nails are trimmed incorrectly or constricted in ill-fitting shoes. Left untreated, they can result in painful infections. Prevent ingrown toenails by cutting nails straight across and rounding the edges with a clean file — and take care to prioritize proper  trimming and sanitation techniques when frequenting nail salons to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Nail Fungus – Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a common ailment that is particularly likely to affect athletes, elderly individuals and anyone with a genetic history of the disease. Fungus can start in a tiny portion of the nail and spread over time to the full nail, so frequent inspections (after bathing or while grooming, for example) are an essential preventative step. Take steps to avoid toenail fungus by keeping feet dry and clean, changing socks regularly and wearing shoes in public areas. For those already with nail fungus, consider advanced laser therapy for drug-free, long-lasting eradication of fungus and unsightly symptoms.
  • Bunions – Despite popular belief correlating bunions and badly-fitting shoes (such as high heels, flats and flip-flops), most bunions are in fact the result of inherited structural defects and have little relation to one’s footwear. That being said, shoes that lack the proper support may well exacerbate the pain and swelling symptomatic of bunions. Individuals suffering from continous foot painvisible swelling on the big toe joint or restricted motion of the foot should consult a podiatrist and consider the benefits of bunion surgery: because bunions are a progressive disorder, only surgery will reverse painful symptoms and allow patients to return to their normal activities in comfort.

Don’t wait to begin taking better care of your feet: commit to a better preventative care routine today, and consider visiting The Podiatrist for a consultation.

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Bunions: When Do They Become Something To Worry About?

Look down at your feet — would you know if you have a bunion?

Many people know the term ‘bunion’ and that it occurs on a foot, but don’t know exactly what a bunion is.

Most people think a bunion is an abnormal growth of bone at the base of the big toe. This is incorrect (at least in most cases). A bunion is actually a structural problem where the big toe joint becomes subluxed and drifts towards the smaller toes. A displaced bone, called a metatarsal, becomes prominent on the inside of the foot. The bunion simply refers to the enlarged prominent ‘knobby’ area

Bunions may progress in size and severity. A bunion may start of as minor issue and, over time, may develop into a severe disfiguring foot deformity. See below:

So if you have bunion, here are 10 important things you should know, as you consider treatment:

  1. Not all bunions are painful.
  2. The medical term is hallux abducto valgus.
  3. They come in different sizes: small, medium, large or severe.
  4. Genetics. You may have inherited your grandmothers feet.
  5. They occur more often in women than men.
  6. Pointy-toed shoes and high heels may result in bunions.
  7. Bunions may get bigger over time, or not.
  8. The bunion may cause problems with the lesser toes.
  9. Non-operative treatments are mostly aimed at treating the symptoms.
  10. Surgical treatment goals are to realign the natural position of the toe.

When to seek treatment?

There is not a specific pointwhen bunion sufferers ‘must’ start treatment despite the bunion severity. Some people begin treatment with the smallest bunion while others neglect the condition until severe. Reasons to seek medical treatment are:

  • Presence of Pain?
    Pain and discomfort is the most common reason to seek treatment. Pain directly on the bunion is a symptom of direct shoe pressure. Joint pain suggests
    arthritic degeneration. Pain on the ball of the foot is concerning for altered foot biomechanics and a sign of a bigger problem. Pain should not be ignored.
  • Interference with Activity?
    Some people wait until a bunion interferes with activities before seeking medical treatment and I think this is a mistake. Impact activities (such as
    running, tennis) may be more challenging to perform. If left ignored, simple everyday walking may become problematic. You should take measures that keep you  active and healthy.
  • Inability to Wear Certain Shoes? In this subset of patients, it’s the sheer size of the bunion preventing fashionable shoes that motivates treatment — not pain. These patients have learned to live with discomfort but chose fashion over foot health. Clearly, inability to wear shoes is a valid reason for intervention.
  • An Unsightly Bunion?
    Foot care experts are less concerned with cosmetic appearance as they are about pain, activity restrictions and overall foot function. Often insurance
    companies only cover medical bunion treatments if pain is present, regardless of size.
  • Overlapping toes?
    When the second toe has overlapped the big toe, it’s an obvious indicator of a global foot problem, and is often associated with collapse of the foot.
    Interestingly, these problems are not always painful as the condition develops overtime and the pain may be muted, or patients have accepted a certain amount of foot discomfort. The driving force for treatment becomes secondary problems such as metatarsal stress fractures or inability to fit shoes.

How to limit progression of a bunion?

It is important to understand that not all bunions become worse (or bigger). Some bunions never change in size. Others may progress onto a major foot deformity. Genetics play a big role and you may be ‘destined’ to develop a ‘bad’ bunion. Below are non-surgical measures to mitigate pain as well as limit the progression.

  • Smart Shoe Selection: Avoiding shoes that are bad for your foot health may be the best preventive measure you can take. Pointy toes shoes directly pushes on the big toe inappropriately, and in my opinion are ‘bunion formers.’ If the bunion becomes irritated, then spot stretching the shoe limits symptoms. High heels may also contribute to bunions due to altered foot mechanics — so limit time in them. Flip flops are considered a “poor footwear” choice by most health care professionals. Minimalist shoes seem to be a better lightweight alternative.
  • Counteract Muscle Spasms: Muscle spasms within the foot are often due to a muscular imbalance, and an important warning sign that muscles are trying to stabilize bone structure. Strained muscles are less effective at stabilizing the foot and a bunion may progress. Deep massage and mineral foot soaks ease tension in the foot.
  • Foot Strengthening:  It’s important to keep your foot muscles strong to counteract the muscular imbalance. Perform simple toe exercises daily — such as picking up  marbles (or a handkerchief) with your toes. Commercially available toe exercising devices may have therapeutic benefits but studies do not exist demonstrating efficacy.
  • Arch Supports: Bunions and foot deformities tend to occur in people with flat feet and/or ligamentous laxity. Arch supports provide extrinsic structure and promote a more ‘proper’ alignment and may limit bunions from getting bigger. Over the counter inserts are a good first start. Doctor-prescribed molded orthotics have the benefit of being custom to your foot and therapeutically tweaked.
  • Bunion Padding: A pad limits direct pressure and may prevent the pain cascade altogether. Chronic bunion inflammation can result in deeper bone problems, so prevention is beneficial. More importantly, a properly placed pad may provide a physical blockade that prevents the bunion from pushing out. Pads may be composed of felt, moleskin or gel.
  • Toe Spacers & Bunion Splints: The purpose of this intervention is to physically place the big toe in a more normal position. A toe spacer (often made of silicone) is worn while walking. A bunion splint is a useful device (worn while sleeping) to physically realign the big toe.

If you have a bunion, vist The Podiatrist, do what it takes to take care of your feet and prevent progression. If the above measures don’t help, then surgery may be inevitable.

Your feet – Bunions

Definition

A bunion is an abnormal, bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. Your big toe joint becomes enlarged, forcing the toe to crowd against your other toes. This puts pressure on your big toe joint, pushing it outward beyond the normal profile of your foot, and resulting in pain. Bunions can also occur on the joint of your little toe (bunionette).

Bunions can occur for a number of reasons, but a common cause is wearing shoes that fit too tightly. They can also develop as a result of inherited structural defect, injury, stress on your foot or another medical condition.

Often, treatment involves conservative steps that may include changing your shoes, padding your bunion and wearing shoe inserts. Severe cases of bunions may require surgery to relieve the pain.