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Flat feet- Children’s feet | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

 

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Children with flat feet, also called pes planus, have a flattening of the arch during standing and walking.

Flat foot is normal in infants and young children. At this age, in the absence of any associated symptoms, treatment is highly debatable.

Flat foot usually naturally corrects itself as muscles strengthen and soft tissues stiffen. The height of the arch in the foot increases with age until about 9 years. The problem is when flat foot persists, spontaneously occurs in older children or later in life, or is associated with pain and disability.

Flat feet can be flexible or rigid, painful or painless and associated with a tightness of the calf muscles (Achilles tendon). The majority of flat feet are painless, but when pain is present it is usually during weight-bearing activities such as walking and running. The pain can be in the sole of the foot, the ankle, or non-specific pain all around the foot area.

 

What causes flat feet?

A complex and sophisticated interaction of bones, ligaments, muscles and nerves within and above the foot defines its anatomy and function. Anything that interrupts the integrity of these structures leading to a collapsed arch can cause symptomatic flat feet.

Examination of the foot begins with an examination of the entire child, because the flat foot may have an underlying cause.

Flat foot can also originate from unusual anatomy such as a tarsal coalition (bones joined together), ligament or muscle damage, restricted ankle movement, outward rotated lower legs, and knock knees (where the legs bow inwards at the knee). Obesity can result in collapse of the arches by the increased load on the foot. If knock knees also develop, the middle of the foot will tend to turn out (abduct). The foot will point outwards when walking, instead of straight ahead, which is inefficient and can cause early fatigue.

Footwear in early childhood has been thought to cause flat foot. It is likely that children who wear shoes, are not physically active and have flat feet will have decreased muscle activation in their feet and thus impaired foot function and weakness.

Some older children and adolescents develop flat feet in the absence of any disorder or associated factors.

 

Does flat foot need to be treated?

Flat feet require treatment only if clearly associated with pain or decreased function. Managing the underlying cause or disease is of highest priority; just treating the symptoms should be secondary.

If flat foot is observed in a child who is overweight and has knock knees, or in a child with excess joint flexibility and poor footwear, each of these factors could be contributing to the symptoms, and each should be addressed.

If a child’s quality of life is affected by how their feet look, feel or function, then the associated issues should be addressed.

For any foot problems, contact The Podiatrist.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

http://www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

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

 

Tips For Relieving The Pain Of Sore Feet: The Podiatrist and YourFeet

there are many reasons for sore feet

Sore feet are not only uncomfortable; they can put a big dent in your productivity and turn even the simplest task into a burdensome chore. Causes for sore feet can range from ill-fitting shoes to physical deformities, but luckily there are as many different solutions as there are problems; the trick is finding what works best for you. Many common foot problems like heel spurs, flat feet and torn ligaments can be solved best by using bio-mechanical intervention that can range from drug store variety inserts to custom-made orthotic devices.
Determining the Problem
To find the source of sore feet, start with the obvious culprit, ill-fitting shoes that do not provide the proper support for your body frame. So called “sensible shoes” with low profiles, sturdy arches and ankle support often provide instant relief from minor foot issues caused by inappropriate footwear. Under some conditions, like standing on hard or uneven surfaces all day, additional relief can be provided by drug store inserts that create a layer of cushioning for your feet to reduce the impact of each step. If these simple tactics do not yield favorable results, it is wise to consult with The Podiatrist to examine your feet to determine if you are suffering from treatable foot maladies that would benefit from custom-made orthotic devices.
Orthotic Solutions
The Podiatrist can examine your foot to determine if your problem results from an injury to or is the result of the way your foot functions in relation to the rest of your body. Injuries from sports and recreational activities can often be cured by providing proper support during the recuperation process so that the injury is not irritated and can heal properly. These types of inserts, pads and braces are temporary and will eventually become unnecessary.
If the problem lies in the basic structure of your foot, however, a more permanent orthotic will be recommended that is strategically designed to make your foot function correctly when you take a step. A cast of your foot is made and The Podiatrist uses this model to create the proper orthotic out of plastic, wood or rigid rubber. This kind of treatment can not only provide relief for sore feet, it can also have a direct impact on your legs and torso because it subtly changes your posture and corrects muscular issues that stemmed from improper balance.
See The Podiatrist for any foot problems.
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Your feet have to last a lifetime- so be on your toes

 

 

 

 

You are only given 1 pair and they have to last a lifetime.

Whether you’re taking a sightseeing trip, walking the dog, or traipsing along in your favorite pair of heels, your feet can get a lot of wear and tear during this time of year — as well as year-round.

But unless there’s pain, most people in general don’t really pay a lot of attention to their foot health.

Here are 13 mistakes to watch out for:

• Wrong footwear: The biggest problem that I see when patients come to see me with foot problems is they’re wearing the wrong shoe, such as jandals, or the wrong size of shoe.

The right shoe varies from person to person and depends on such factors as whether the individual has flat feet or high arches, or a disease, such as diabetes, that can affect foot health.

For diabetics, The Podiatrist can prescribe special shoes which  tend to be seamless and deeper than regular shoes.

Diabetics need to be careful with their feet because people with the disease often have circulation problems and a difficult time feeling pain in their feet. That makes them susceptible to ulcers and open wounds that can lead to infections and amputations. A lot of diabetics, they would like to get in their sandals and shoes and not wear their diabetic shoes, but that’s where they get into trouble.

• Failing to try on new shoes: A lot of times you will see a pretty shoe and you just grab it and you go. Make sure you try the shoe on. Make sure you walk around in the store. Make sure that you get it properly fitted and have the right cushion or insole in the shoe and that you seek medical attention when you experience foot problems, instead of letting any problems linger.

• Not taking good care of shoes: Especially if you’re a runner, don’t let your shoes get too old, and mind the weather. Leaving shoes in a hot car is enough to make the rubber materials not function properly.

• Wearing jandals: With a jandal type of shoe, people have to grasp with their toes, and their foot can come out of the shoe. The grasping process can cause pain all the way up into the leg.

• Going barefoot: This is generally a bad idea because the feet need support and padding. There’s also the danger of stepping on a sharp object or breaking a toe, People with neuropathy (nerve damage) in their feet could get injured without even knowing it. Also, despite the introduction of minimalist running shoes that are supposed to be similar to going barefoot, not a lot of people can tolerate such lack of cushioning.

• Wearing sky-high shoes: When you wear a very high heel, there’s a lot of pressure on the base of the toes which can lead to pain and calluses.

The Podiatrist recommends not wearing high heels for any extended amount of walking. Any time you go much higher than 2 ½ inches, it’s very unnatural on the ankle and the foot and throws the weight forward so much that it’s easier to fall and turn your ankle.

• Wearing shoes that are too flat: Ballet flats tend to be too low, and most people feel better in a shoe with at least a little bit of a heel and some cushioning. The sole of the shoe needs to be firm. If the sole of the shoe is too soft, your foot is going to bend a lot and there will be a lot of weight on the ball of the foot.

• Not examining the feet: The Podiatrist recommends every six months for diabetics to have their (feet) examined. When they do come in, we do a thorough circulation exam. We do a thorough neurological exam and examine their feet and examine their shoes … and if we identify any complications or any problems, then we let them know how to manage it.

Checking your own feet is a good idea, too. Briefly each day, examine the bottom of your feet to make sure there’s nothing going on, especially if you’re diabetic, Ahmed said. You can use a makeup mirror or a long-handled mirror.

• Failing to address medical conditions: With diabetics, if you don’t have your sugars under control, you are not going to heal an ulcer no matter what you do to it.

Heart disease and weight problems also can affect foot health.

• Being obese: Obesity can contribute to foot deformities, with extra pressure on the ankle joints, there’s more pressure on the smaller joints of the foot, which are fragile. People will get more flat feet. People will tend to get more bunion pain, more hammer toes. They also can develop plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the ligament on the bottom of the feet, he said. If people lose at least 5 to 10 percent of their body weight, their symptoms usually resolve on their own.

Obesity also is affecting the size of people’s feet. A lot of shoe companies do not make wide varieties, and with the increasing rate of obesity in our country, people are getting wider feet.

• Standing too much: Plantar fasciitis is really worsened by standing a lot in one place. If you have to do that, you should try to shift your weight from side to side and consider purchasing over-the-counter arch support, a plastic piece that goes under the arch.

• Being a weekend warrior: Many people who are sedentary during the week will get involved in physical activity, such as golfing and running, on weekends and wind up with ankle sprains and pain. They’ll try to do all of these things that they’re not used to doing, so their ankle will get sprained. Stretching before and after exercise and having a regular regimen of working out so that you’re not just going from zero to 60.

• Allowing moisture to hang around: Beware of fungal infections. Fungus loves moisture and fungus is everywhere; the spores are in the air. If your feet are kept moist enough, fungus will start growing, so change your socks more often, keep them dry and don’t put wet shoes on. Try to rotate shoes so you don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row.

For more any problems, visit The Podiatrist

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

 

Choose the right shoes

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing the right running shoe is an important part of your overall running comfort. It can be the difference between enjoying your run and sustaining long term injury. But how do you choose a shoe?

Surely a running shoe is just a shoe? Not so. Here are a few pointers on what you should consider before you go out and spend money on running shoes.

It’s not for nothing that runners are incredibly loyal about their shoes.

Once you find something, stay with it. Look at what worked in the past.

Comfort is important

Comfort and cushioning are important features to consider when buying a shoe. This might sound obvious to you, but, if the shoe feels rigid, too flexible or narrow, too soft or hard, then rather don’t get it. Your first experience doesn’t guarantee later experience, but if it’s not good then, it’s unlikely that it’ll get better over time.

If you’re a first-time buyer, it’s obviously different. You’ll need to try the shoe on and remember that if it’s not perfectly comfortable when you lace it up, then it probably won’t be comfortable after an hour of running.

Flexibility of the shoe, and even its shape, make just any old cross trainers unsuitable. They also tend not to give much support to the arches.

Many of us are lured by the look of shoe, and by the gadgets and marketing. People want the ‘air’ or the ‘gel’ or any of the array of marketing claims, because they’ve either read about it, or a famous athlete uses the shoe, or they have friends who recommend it. But there are other factors you need to consider too, such as whether or not you tend to pronate.

Do you pronate?

This involves the rotation of the foot outwards during the landing period.

That means that those who pronate land on the outside of the foot (usually at the heel) and then roll in, over towards the big toe. When this happens too much or too fast, there is believed to be a risk of injury because of the weight that joints have to support.

Many people do find that a stability shoe helps them because it does change the movement of the foot. These are the shoes that have a built up inner portion, so that when the foot lands, it is “blocked” from rotating inwards.

If you do this excessively, then you might be better off in these shoes, whereas people who roll in normally are better off in cushioned shoes.

You must be careful not to choose a heavy shoe that restricts movement of the foot.

If you find you are in some pain in your feet after running, rather see The Podiatrist for expert opinion.

How long will your shoes last?

Generally with shoes, one talks about the mileage of the shoe, and not about the time the shoe lasts, for the obvious reason that some people will run once a week, whereas others run six times a week, and so over six months, the shoe is used completely differently!

Even for mileage, it can be difficult, because it depends so much on the runner. Mass is obviously a key factor – 100kg running 8km is going to wear a shoe differently compared to 65kg running 8km.

Mechanics also affect the shoe, because it wears a shoe in different places. Generally, shoes will last 600km as a minimum, more in some people.

The only way to really gauge is when the midsole starts to get so compacted that it loses all its softness. Or, it gets compacted one side, but not the other, so the shoe starts to “lean”. Or the black rubber outsole wears away.

The Podiatrist

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

www.scooters.net.nz

 

Training for the Auckland Marathon? Are Your Feet Marathon Ready?

Your feet need to be in tip-top shape if you expect to run 138,336 feet to actually finish a marathon.

Being that your feet are the connection to the ground, they have to primed and steps should be taken to avoid injury that can slow you down or knock you out of the race. So whether you are training to win or simply running to run, it is important to know what foot problems can occur, and hopefully treat them before they become a marathon-breaker.

Specific Marathon Foot Issues: No matter how experienced a runner, the foot is always susceptible to running injuries, and this risk amplified during marathon training. On marathon day, however, there is specific injury risk because runners tend to me more committed to “running though” a problem (new
or old).

A method to remember marathon-related foot problems is the mnemonic “ABCD“:

Abrasions & Blisters

Bone Breaks

Cramping & Tendon Problems

Disorders of the Toenail

Provided below are explanations of marathon-related foot injuries as well as preventative measures. Should you, the reader (or runner), have any additional preventive solutions or tips for any of the running ABCD’s, please share them.

Abrasions & Blisters: Pressure points and repetitive irritation set the stage for abrasions and blisters. Common runner pressure spots are on the top of the toes, big toe joint area and the back part of the heel. Runners with bunions and hammer toes are more likely to have skin irritation. An abrasion is a simple break in the skin, whereas a blister is lifting of the skin with a fluid collection beneath it.

  • Preventive Solutions:
    Prevention is best form of treatment. Keep skin thoroughly moisturized, as dry
    skin is more prone to tearing. Callused areas should be targeted, and urea
    creams are specifically useful in breaking down excessive skin build-up.
    Callus/corn removers should be used cautiously as they contain salicylic acid
    and can excessively deteriorate tissue, leading to open sores.
  • Socks are important in the battle
    against skin irritation when running long distances. Specialty socks have
    specific protective cushioned areas dedicated to pressure spots.
  • Ill-fitting footwear is one of the
    main reason for friction, so it’s important to have sneakers that best fit your
    foot type. Also, carefully inspect the stitching at the front of the sneaker
    where the toes bend to be sure that it does not rub when fully extended. Newer
    sneakers are more likely to be problematic.

Bone Breaks: Fractures (aka bone breaks) are the most serious problem that a runner could develop. They typically start as a microscopic fracture (stress fracture) and can progress onto a through and through break. Most common are metatarsal stress fractures involving the second toe region. Heel strike runners may be more susceptible to stress fractures of the heel bone.

An acute stress fracture is often present with varying degrees of pain, swelling, and sometimes redness, though stress fractures may occur without you even knowing it. Running with a stress fracture is not medically advised, and most health care professionals would recommend calling off the race. Runners who don’t heed such advice may fully fracture through the bone which could lead to bone displacement (malalignment) — a potentially serious problem. Some people may have brittle bones making them more likely to develop a bone injury. Certain foot types seem to be more prone to stress fractures — very flat feet or very high arched feet.

  • Preventive Solutions:
    Over stressing the foot is what often leads to fractures. Pain may also be an
    indicator that you are training beyond the current capability of your foot, so
    it may be necessary to scale back. Pain should not be ignored, and any could be
    a sign of a fracture, so seeking professional medical care is recommended.
  • More cushioned sneakers do not
    necessarily offer more protection from developing an injury, and running form
    may be more important. Nonetheless, properly fitting running sneakers are
    important to help you become more in tune with your running technique.
    Depending of foot structure, orthotics may help balance the foot and take
    pressure off those spots prone to stress fractures.
  • Proper nutrition is important in
    maintaining strong bones. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen formation, a
    precursor to bone. Calcium is needed for proper bone health and Vitamin D helps
    promote Calcium absorption. Eating a balanced meal should be a part of your
    overall health plan.

Cramping & Tendonitis: Biomechanical and structural problems within the foot tend to manifest as shin splints, arch cramping, plantar fasciitis and/or tendinitis. Less experienced runners tend to develop these problems and is commonly the result of training past the capabilities of your foot. Tight  musculature may also be at the root of cramping and shin splints. These problems tend to be self-limited and resolve with targeted treatment programs, but can set you back in terms of being marathon ready.

  • Preventive Solutions: Building
    strength and stamina slowly is the best method to avoid injury. Be sure to
    incorporate a thorough stretching program to keep muscles and tendons stretched
    and warmed up. Weak muscles within the foot can be strengthened with specific
    foot training programs. Ease cramping in the foot with post-run Epsom salt
    baths. Deep tissue massage is also a helpful measure.
  • Arch supports (orthotics) can help
    manage arch pain by providing support and perhaps better alignment of the foot
    in certain people. Of course, foot type plays a big role in selecting the
    proper amount of support. Running in the wrong-type of sneaker for your foot
    may be responsible for discomfort, so changing sneakers may be beneficial. A
    break from running may be necessary to resolve the problem. Runners with
    persistent problems should seek the advice of a health care professional.

Disorders of the Toenail: A black toenail is a problem that every marathon runner has experienced, and is the result of bleeding beneath the nail plate. Pressure and friction from repetitive running seem to be the culprit. The damaged nail can be painful and often results in the toenail falling off.
Fortunately, a black toenail doesn’t typically interfere with training and common is self-limiting.

  • Preventive Solutions:
    Prevention is difficult, as the black toenail is often the result of prolonged
    toenail irritation from the intense mileage of training. Again, properly
    fitting shoes with enough room for the toenails are helpful. Keep toenails well
    trimmed to not create a fulcrum for the nail to become lifted. It is unclear if
    moisturizing the toenails offers any protective benefit but a soft nail may,
    theoretically, be less prone to damage. Should you develop an acute painful
    black toenail, then medical attention may be needed to alleviate the active
    collection of blood. An irritated loose nail may become infected and this can
    be serious.

By the time marathon day rolls around, and if you have avoided or overcome injury during your training and your feet are pain free, then you likely have feet that are ready to start a marathon.

 

For any advice on footwear or if you have any problems, make an appointment with The Podiatrist.

How do I know when it’s time to get new shoes?