The wrong school shoes could cause bunions, corns, calluses, blisters, clawed toes, heel pain or change the shape and function of a foot.
School shoes would be one of those things that one should consider spending a bit more money on as children spend up to 40 hours a week in them.
More expensive shoes are likely to last a lot longer than the cheaper ones.
Parents of children with flat feet should be particularly careful.
Runners could also provide support, as long as they were fitted properly, Ms Biedak said.
Ballet flats and skater shoes for everyday wear at school is not recommended.
GET IT RIGHT
You would be better off taking your child with you to get school shoes. Shoes need to fit properly. It is not a guessing game, and all makes fit differently. A size and fit in one make is not necessary the same size and fit in another.
TIPS FOR BUYING SCHOOL SHOES
– Measure BOTH feet, as most people will have one foot longer or wider than the other
– Look for soles made from rubber and double-stitching around the toe area, which will give shoes a longer life
– Avoid slip-on shoes
– Avoid second-hand shoes as the worn shoe will have moulded to the shape of the previous wearer and could cause problems for your child’s feet
– It’s best to buy shoes in the late afternoon as children’s feet often swell by the end of the day
– There should be a child’s thumb-width between the end of the shoe and the end of the longest toe
– The widest part of the foot should correspond with the widest part of the shoe
– The fastening mechanism should hold the heel firmly in the back of the shoe
– The sole should not twist
– The heel should be snug but comfortable and the back part of the shoe strong and stable
– Your child should be able to move their toes freely, the shoes shouldn’t hurt and there should be no bulges from the toes on either side of the shoe
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
– Children complaining of pain in the feet, heel, knee or legs
– Regular, unexplained tripping or falling
– Uneven shoe wear or one shoe that wears down before the other
– Skin or toenail irritation
Heel and arch pain are the most common foot complaints of individuals over the age of 40. The group that most commonly experiences heel and arch pain consist of middle-aged women. In addition, active athletes and people working on hard surfaces or walking great distances are susceptible to plantar fascitis and developing heel spurs or sore arches. The pain can progressively get worse so that activities of daily living are adversely affected.
Plantar Fascia Defined
The plantar fascia connects to the calcaneus or heel bone on the undersurface of the foot to the bones of the toes. Its purpose is to support the large arch of the foot. When the fascia becomes injured or inflamed, it’s called plantar fascitis.
What Can Cause Plantar Fascitis?
Plantar fascitis begins with injury to the ligaments and fascia. The fascia helps to maintain the large arch on the inside of the foot. It may affect one or both feet. In most cases, it begins gradually and may be made worse by the following:
- Poorly Fitting Shoes – Shoes lacking firm shanks and counters allow the foot to override the shoe so it appears like the foot has slid off the sole of the shoe. This is commonly called “running over the shoe”.
- Pronation and Pes Planus – “Flat feet” is a rolling inward of the arch.
- Prolonged Standing on Hard Surfaces Such as Concrete
- Walking, Dancing or Running Great Distances – These result in repetitive strain on the bottom of the foot.
- Being Overweight – Extra weight on the arches is stressful.
- Sex – Females over age 40 are more susceptible.
Symptoms of Plantar Fascitis
The presentation of complaints to the doctor includes heel pain upon arising first thing in the morning. The first dozen steps or so are very painful until the fascia loosens up and becomes more flexible. The pain seems to subside only to get worse as the day progresses.
Diagnosis of Plantar Fascitis
The diagnosis of plantar fascitis is arrived at from a combination of
history and physical examination of the foot and lower leg. A classic complaint is heel pain when getting out of bed and beginning to walk. Compression of the calcaneus or heel bone on the sides of the heel is painful. X-rays may be necessary if the doctor suspects a stress fracture to one of the small bones of the foot. Many of the causes of plantar fascitis may contribute to a stress fracture in the foot.
Pain and numbness in the foot at night may also be attributed to a condition called tarsal tunnel sydrome. This is a nerve entrapment in the ankle that may produce similar symptoms as those found with plantar fascitis. Both conditions can bother at night when trying to sleep. Other conditions including arthritis, gout and other systemic problems can also contribute to foot pain.
The immediate treatment goal is to reduce the swelling and inflammation to the soft tissue in the foot. Ice treatment to the foot is initially prescribed. Wearing shoes with a firm counter and shank to prevent bowing of the shoe as well as “running over the side of the shoe” is recommended. Discontinuing running and sports activities reduces stress on the foot. The use of orthotics can be very helpful in restoring the arch (flat foot) and correcting pronation (turning in of the foot). Restoring the arch reduces the stress on the knee, hip and spine. Specific exercises will be given for the foot.
It’s difficult for any one treatment protocol to resolve or control plantar fascitis. The combination of proper footwear, treatment, exercise and modification of activity can be successful. Patient compliance is essential to help in the care and treatment. It may take from a few weeks to several months to resolve the problem. Re-injury and aggravation play a large role in the recovery process. The importance of compliance cannot be stressed enough.
If plantar fascitis is ignored and not treated, it may complicate or contribute to ankle, knee, hip and spinal complaints. The biomechanics of gait may be altered.
The Podiatrist has experience in the care and treatment of plantar fascitis and heel spurs. Call today to make an appointment.
Flatfoot often becomes a serious problem if neglected in the initial stages. Here’s how to identify the symptoms and apply the right corrective measures
Flatfoot or “fallen arches” is a medical condition that affects the arches of the human feet, causing them to fall flat. It occurs in about 20 per cent of the world’s population. “Flatfoot, or pes planus, as it is medically called, refers to the loss of the normal arch in either or both feet. In infants it is common for the baby fat between the foot bones to cause the foot arches to fall flat. At first, all babies’ feet look flat, because the arch hasn’t formed yet. Arches should form by the time your child is 3 years of age and develop by the time he or she is 7 or 10 years old.
Wear and tear
In a lot of cases flatfoot develops due to ill-treatment of the feet. Muscles wear out due to ageing, sports injuries, standing or walking for prolonged periods of time on high heels or in shoes without proper support.
Weight and age are big factors. There are multiple causes of flatfoot, including trauma or injury, inflammatory arthritis and chronic wear and tear, often augmented by an increase in weight and age. The main injury occurs to a tendon on the inside of the ankle called the ‘posterior tibial’ tendon that supports the arch. As this tendon tears or weakens, the arch collapses, the heel tilts and the foot turns out.
One of the signs of flat feet in children is when they begin to complain of pain in their calf muscles or feet. If parents notice their child walking oddly, on the outer edges of the feet, or limping during long walks with pain around the area of the foot, they should get it checked.
In severe cases of childhood flatfoot, a ‘knock knee’ deformity may develop. If the child complains of foot, heel or ankle pain, you should visit the specialist who will take foot X-rays in a standing position to check joints and feet bones.
Pain on the inside of the ankle or the arch or a decreased ability to walk or run due to aching feet is often the first sign of a flatfoot developing
It is not just the feet that hurt. Flatfoot affects other parts of the body too. Flat feet can affect the knees, hips and back. The arch collapsing inwards places stress on the knee, which may rotate the hip and cause back pain. Avoid high heels and flat shoes with no support, such as ballet flats and jandals.
Experts recommend that children run or walk barefoot on rugged terrain such as sand or rocks.
If the child has flatfoot symptoms, an arch support can be placed inside the shoe to correct it.
In case of severe collapse, additional arch support with an orthotic insert may be required.
If you have any questions, or feel that you need some expert advice, contact The Podiatrist.
Whether you take a leisurely jog or sprint to the finish line in a marathon, running is great exercise. In fact, running is one of the easiest and most popular sports among non-professional athletes.
Running offers many benefits, including improved cardiovascular and respiratory function, weight loss, reduced cholesterol and increased muscle and bone strength, as well as a healthier mental outlook. But with any sport or activity comes the risk of injury.
Runners of all levels are at risk for significant injuries to their hips, knees, legs, ankles and feet. One of the best ways to prevent injury is to avoid injury. By taking simple precautions and watching for signs of potential problems, individuals can prevent or minimize many injuries.
The majority of injuries are caused by excess — running too far, too fast or too often. In addition to strains and sprains, blisters and cramps, some of the more common injuries include:
· Hip and thigh injuries — Bursitis, stress fractures, and hamstring pulls or tears are typically caused by inflammation and strain from overexertion or
improper running techniques.
· Knee injuries — Patello-femoral syndrome, more commonly called “runner’s knee” is characterized by a dull ache or sharp pain under or around the kneecap and is often accompanied by a grinding sensation when the knee is bent then straightened. Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome can also produce inflammation and pain in and around the knee.
· Leg injuries — Shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome is a cumulative but painful condition resulting from too much force being placed on
the shinbone (tibia) and surrounding tissues.
· Ankle injuries – Sprains vary in severity but typically result in pain, swelling and bruising. Achilles tendonitis is a painful inflammation in the back of the ankle, which if left untreated, can lead to a ruptured tendon.
· Foot injuries — Plantar fasciitis, which can cause sharp pain or a dull ache in the bottom of the foot near the heel or in the arch, is typically caused by poor foot structure, inadequate running shoes or a sudden increase in the distance run. Improper shoes and downhill running can also cause painful Runner’s toe.
The good news is that these injuries are treatable, but more importantly can be prevented or minimized by following some basic training guidelines and running techniques.
Some tips to help you
Invest in a good pair of running shoes. Running in worn out shoes is a prime cause of many injuries. Make sure to replace them when you’ve logged about 600 kms.
Stretch regularly before and after you run to avoid tightening of muscles. Be sure to include stretches for the hips, thigh, hamstring, calf and ankle, as well as the back.
Perform warm up exercises such as light jogging or sprinting prior to engaging in a full run.
Include cross training in your overall exercise regimen to help strengthen a wide range of muscles. Consider activities such as weight-training, swimming,
calisthenics or those exercises that use muscles in slightly different ways.
Avoid overtraining – and overexertion. Doing too much, too soon and too quickly can lead to injuries. A good approach for beginners may be to start with a
run/walk technique, alternating thirty seconds of running with thirty seconds of walking for about twenty to thirty minutes, three times a week. Gradually,
increase the length of running segments while keeping them at a manageable pace.
· Stay hydrated especially in warmer weather. Drink at least 1 ½ cups of water 10-15 minutes before running and every 20 minutes during.
· Run on smooth, even and softer surfaces whenever possible. For example, asphalt roads are a better choice than concrete sidewalks.
· Watch for the warning signs of injury. If you begin to experience pain or swelling, stop running and seek medical attention. Depending on the type and extent of injury, treatment may include RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation; taking anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin or ibuprofen); and taking time off from running.
– Seek professional advice from a Podiatrist if you are injured or have any concerns