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Keep those feet happy | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

foot-care

The importance of our feet has been understood for centuries. Even the Greek philosopher Socrates is reputed to have said, “To him whose feet hurt, everything hurts.” So, what comprises foot care that promotes comfort at any age?

  • Wear shoes and socks that fit and are comfortable.
  • Be sure your toes are not cramped.
  • Change socks daily and if possible have two pairs of shoes in everyday use so that you can alternate the pairs daily.
  • Elastic laces are handy if your feet swell.

Shoes should be worn that cover, protect, provide stability for the foot and minimize the chance of falls.

Whatever your age – student or grandparent – foot care is important.

  • Remember to cut or file your nails straight across and never shorter than the end of your toe.
  • If you are older, and particularly if you are diabetic, it is helpful to get The Podiatrist to do your foot care.
  • It is best to wash feet daily and always test the water’s temperature beforehand. Pat, do not rub, your feet dry and remember to dry between and under the toes. If your feet are bothering you you’ll find that short soaks of even ten minutes are soothing.
  • Use a lanolin (ointment base) moisturizing cream for dry and cracked skin. If your feet perspire, dust lightly with talcum powder. Remember to remove excess cream of powder from between your toes to avoid skin problems. If you are diabetic it is wise to examine your feet daily.
  • Exercise each day if possible. Walking is always good but there are also special foot exercises that can be done like rolling your feet over a rolling pin several times daily or picking up a crumpled towel with your toes.

Despite reasonable care throughout life, however, the older foot is subject to problems. Heredity is a factor as are the stresses over the years and complications from systemic diseases. It has been estimated that at least 80 percent of people over 50 have at least one foot problem.

The most common are corns and calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, hammertoes, strained arches, heel pain and arthritis including gout.

In many cases there can be improvements jus by switching shoes to the type with wider, box-type toes. Also. shoe size can actually change with added years.

Feet carry our body’s weight, help hold us erect, co-ordinate and maintain balance in walking. We need to give them tender, loving and skilled care.

The returns are high, including the joy of a walk.

Make an appointment with The Podiatrist today.

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

 

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Diabetes and your feet | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

You don't need to suffer from sore feet

People who have just been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes might not know that diabetes could affect every body part, even a their feet.

Some are asking the question, “How can diabetes affect my feet?” Diabetes can affect a person’s feet by causing nerve damage and poor blood flow if a person’s blood sugar gets too high. This can lead to serious foot problems.

Nerve damage can cause loss of feeling in the feet. You may not feel pain, heat, or cold in your legs and feet. You may not feel a pebble inside your sock that is causing a sore that could become infected. You may not feel a blister caused by poorly fitting shoes. Damaged nerves may stop sending signals, or they may send signals too slowly or at the wrong times. Nerve damage can also cause pain and lead to foot deformities, or changes in the muscles, bones, and shape of your feet.

There are some common foot problems that diabetics should watch out for.

These things include corns, calluses, blisters, ingrown toenails, bunions, plantar warts, hammertoes, dry and cracked skin, athlete’s foot, fungal infection, or Charcot’s foot, a problem in which the joints and soft tissue in your foot are destroyed.

In order to take care of your feet, diabetics should see The Podiatrist at least once a year for a foot exam, or more often if they have foot problems. They should also keep their blood glucose numbers as close to their target as possible. Feet should be checked every day for cuts, sores, blisters, redness, calluses, infected toenails, or other problems. A person could have serious foot problems, even though they feel no pain.

Make a booking with The Podiatrist if you have any concerns.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

The Ageing Foot | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

 

rheumatoid arthritis and your feet

One of the few things that does not shrink when people get older is their foot. The tendons and ligaments lose their elasticity and they no longer hold the bones and joints together as they used to, which leads to fallen arches and a wider forefoot. It has been estimated that some people over the age of 40 can gain up to half a shoe size every 10 years.

The fact that all our weight is placed on our feet exacerbates the problems associated with them.

As feet age, the fatty pad underneath the ball of the foot can wear thin so that there is no longer a cushion, and it feels a lot like you are walking on the bones. This can lead to great discomfort, corns and calluses.

Gravity can overwhelm the older body. When standing, the circulation is less efficient, so fluid is squeezed from leaky veins into the lower legs, causing them to swell and effectively making them bigger. The skin loses its elasticity, becoming dry and thin, so it can easily be damaged and takes a longer time to heal.

Conditions such as diabetes, osteoarthritis and peripheral arterial disease aren’t strictly age-related, but the risk of having these conditions increases with age. Certain surgeries like hip and knee operations also become more prevalent.

However, painful, sore feet are not a natural part of the ageing process. A lot can be done to prevent problems, relieve pain and improve mobility.

Check your feet for changes. Get into a routine of inspecting your feet daily; using a mirror might help. If you experience sudden pain, changes in colour, swelling, or infection, see The Podiatrist.

It is very important to nourish your skin on a daily basis. Use a thick lotion or cream on your legs and feet, taking care that you don’t slip when it is applied to the soles of your feet. Nails become thicker and more brittle as we get older. This combined with a less efficient blood supply can make toenail cutting more difficult and less safe. Have The Podiatrist cut them correctly for you.

Ensure you are wearing the correct style of footwear. Purchase shoes in the afternoon or evening. This is when your feet tend to be most swollen. Purchase shoes with a lace or velcro strap so they are held securely to your feet. Leather is the best material for the upper of your shoes. Avoid plastic shoes as they won’t stretch to accommodate your feet. A cushioning insole can be an added comfort, but be sure that there is enough space in the shoe to accommodate it. Remember, when you buy a pair of shoes, you should not have to “break them in”. They need to be comfortable at the point of purchase or you may end up with blisters and sores.

Ageing feet need regular exercise to tone muscles, strengthen the arches and stimulate the circulation. Try to exercise every day.

If you are young or able and have an elderly relative or friend who is infirm, check their feet and assist them where possible, as many a neglected foot is hidden within shoes.

For all your foot care needs- See The Podiatrist

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Healthy resolutions for our feet in 2015- The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

cracked heesl can be very painful

 

Healthy resolutions for our feet in 2015

 

On New Year’s Eve, we all start out with a clean slate. It’s a time when most of us make a resolution to either stop doing something, or to start something new. The most common resolutions (like getting more exercise and losing weight, dropping bad habits and saving cash) are super, but I would like to add a new one to the mix and encourage everyone to get healthier feet in 2015 — especially women! On a whole, women are more susceptible to foot problems than men. This is due to improper footwear and physical differences such as the structure of the foot, strength and laxity of the muscles and ligaments, shape and length of the arch, width of the forefoot, size of toes and hormones that allow muscles in the feet to relax and expand. Pregnancy is also not kind to a woman’s feet. Consequently, women are far more susceptible to ankle sprains, bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendon pain. Unfortunately, if problems are not addressed appropriately, conservative treatments become less effective, quality of life declines and surgery becomes the only option. Here are some simple resolutions to help women achieve healthier feet and a better quality of life.

Resolution 1: Start moving, but start smart!

Physical activity contributes to your health and can provide benefits to your feet. Select activities that you enjoy and get your feet moving. Don’t rush into fitness. Start smart to avoid injuries like shin splints and plantar fasciitis (heel pain). A steady, gradual program is more beneficial in the long run than an intense program that puts undue stress on your feet. Avoid running on uneven surfaces and terrain, and incorporate cross training into your fitness program to reduce stress on your feet.

Resolution 2: Wear the proper footwear!

Choose the right footwear for all occasions this year. Pitch the old sneakers or athletic shoes that have been lying around in your closet or gym locker. Ask your podiatrist for some tips to select a shoe that is designed for your fitness activity and foot type. Whenever possible, leave the stilettos in the closet. At least try to wear them less or scale down the heel height. There is nothing beautiful about painful feet and shoe wear that leads to ankle sprains, bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, or neuromas that may lead to surgery. Make a healthier choice of shoes this year.

Resolution 3: Say goodbye to ugly toenails!

If you are tired of having to deal with the embarrassment of toenail fungus now is the time to have these treated.

Resolution 4: Support your feet with custom orthotics!

Custom orthotics are made from cast impressions of your feet and fabricated into inserts for your shoes. Orthotics provides support for your arches and distributes weight bearing loads more uniformly. They are especially helpful for people with foot deformities, athletes, pregnant moms and seniors who are experiencing greater changes in their feet.

Resolution 5: Get rid of all those ugly cracks around your heel.

Have you developed large cracks in your heels from wearing jandals or summer sandals? Are they starting to cause pain, or are they bleeding? Come in and The Podiatrist will get those heels looking and feel smooth once again.

Resolution 6: Healthy feet in 2015!

Your feet deserve the very best in 2015! If you are interested in seeking advice, contact The Podiatrist for all your foot care needs.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Foot Pain and Diabetic Neuropathy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foot pain is one of the most common symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathy.  People who suffer from foot and leg pain as a result of neuropathy often compensate for the pain by adjusting their daily activities. Daily living must be modified in order to avoid pain and further damage to the nerves.

The diabetic population suffers from neuropathy and associated foot pain more than any other population. The pain can be reduced through self-care, which should be good and consistent. There are a lot of effective things that can be done at home to prevent further nerve damage and relieve the pain caused by diabetic neuropathy.

Causes of Diabetic Nerve Pain

Diabetic nerve pain, also known as diabetic neuropathy, is caused by nerve damage. Most of the time the damage occurs because of the toxic effects of high blood sugar and poor circulation in the hands, feet, legs and arms. Over time and long-term exposure to high blood sugar levels, the nerves lose their integrity and ability to transmit sensation to pain or heat.

Prevention Tools

The most effective home treatment for neuropathy and the relief from symptoms associated with this condition is to control the blood sugar levels. When there is balance in the blood, further nerve damage can be prevented. Most of the time when the blood sugar levels are controlled, over time, the nerve damage decreases. This is the most effective and important thing to do when you suffer from diabetic nerve pain.

It is nerve pain that typically forces a person to see a doctor. However, it is the other symptoms such as numbness that land people in the hospital. Poorly healed ulcers and repetitive infections can cause major problems if left untreated or not recognized in time. These symptoms can lead a person in the hospital for prolonged periods of time. If the feet and legs are not cared for properly and infection spreads, amputation may be the end result.

Proper Foot Care

Due to the number of problems that can occur because of numbness and desensitization to pain in the feet, preventative home care is often needed. Treatment such as cleaning and inspecting your feet daily is critical. Remember, it is that tiny cut or abrasion that goes unnoticed that could get you into trouble.

Wearing comfortably and roomy shoes, such as Dr Comfort shoes can also help. This means that you should avoid tight fitting shoes that rub against any part of your foot. The rubbing sensation could cause sores or even deformation, and when they are desensitized you may not even be aware of the pain.

Please see The Podiatrist if you are experiencing  any problems.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

 

Foot care tips for diabetics can save a limb

 

 

 

 

 

Complications due to diabetes are the No. 1 cause of lower-leg amputations and account for nearly 86,000 amputations per year. Doctors estimate almost 50 percent of these amputations could have been prevented if the person had taken better care of their feet.

One cannot emphasize enough how important it is for a person with diabetes to pay rigorous attention to their feet. Foot infections are the most common issue for a person with diabetes and are more severe and take longer to heal than in a person without diabetes.

Proper foot care is simple and includes things like using an antifungal daily, not only to heal, but also to prevent fungal infections, and using a moisturizer daily to heal and prevent dry, cracked skin.

Are you being thorough enough in your foot care? Read on to find out:

* Whether indoors on plush rugs or outdoors on white sand, never walk barefoot.  The Podiatrist recommends wide, closed-toed shoes with socks that fit very well. Shoes should not require “breaking in.” Why not come and see the Dr Comfort range of shoes designed for those with Diabetes.

* Clean feet daily with warm water and mild soap, but don’t soak them for more than three or four minutes. Skin submerged for too long will become macerated and more vulnerable to bacteria.

* Cracks in dry skin provide ideal openings for bacteria. Look for moisturizing creams which have natural ingredients such as the Gehwol foot care range available from The Podiatrist.

* Under no circumstances should you shave or attempt to remove calluses or corns. Instead, show them to The Podiatrist and ask about specially prescribed shoes. Even before your appointment, buy a cream made especially for people with diabetes that specifies it helps soften calluses, and apply it every day.

* Meticulously inspect feet, toes and toenails for swelling, cuts, blisters, redness, fungal build up or any type of irritation on a daily basis. If you have thickened toenails, have The Podiatrist see to your problematic nails.

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Looking after your feet as the cold weather approaches.

As the cold weather approaches, I thought it a good idea to give you some tips on keeping your feet healthy.

SWEATY FEET

It is important to keep your feet clean and as dry as you can. However, the sole of the foot contains thousands of sweat glands so feet which have been kept hidden away in winter shoes and boots during cold and rainy days are prone to problems because warm, dark moist places encourage such as
athlete’s foot, fungal nail infections and verrucas. On top of this, bacteria that cause smelly feet flourish on warm, moist skin.Make sure your shoes and
socks are made from natural fibres and try and let your feet ‘breathe’ as much as possible.

The simplest way to deal with sweaty feet is to use a foot powder or antiperspirant. However, this may be insufficient in some people who have truly
sweaty feet and have a condition called hyperhidrosis.

ATHLETE’S FOOT

Scaly, itchy feet can be due to athlete’s foot and it is actually quite common for this to be resistant to treatment with the standard
over-the-counter preparations. If this is the case you should see you GP as oral medications may be required. Make sure that you treat your socks and shoes with powder as well as these can harbour the fungus and cause re-infection.

Staying on your feet and keeping them warm go a long way toward enjoying outdoor winter activities. Over-layering your feet will cause them to sweat, which can lead to cold toes. For cardiovascular-based sports, a single pair of warm, wicking socks will normally do. In very cold conditions or for gravity-based sports, use a double layer of socks.

Avoiding frost bite and hypothermia is the most important consideration when preparing for cold weather activities. Make sure all of your skin is covered and carry an extra layer in case the conditions change during your workout.

Keep in mind also, that your legs and trunk tend to stay warmer than your hands and head. A pair of gloves, mittens, or socks over your hands can make a big difference in your comfort level, as can a headband, stocking hat or hooded sweatshirt. Usually, a single pair of athletic socks is sufficient, as your feet benefit from frictional heat during walking and running. The choice between tights and sweatpants is largely a matter of personal preference. As temperatures decrease, I recommend the following progression of upper body attire.

Dr Comfort Socks

The Dr Comfort range of socks are designed and manufactured with your foot health in mind. They’re perfect for people living with diabetes, arthritis, edema, neuropathy and circulation issues. They’re available in a range of men’s and women’s sizes. And the dye in our colored socks doesn’t bleed out of the fabric, reducing your risk of foot infection.

Why Nano Bamboo Charcoal Fibers?

Nano Bamboo Charcoal Fibers release Far Infrared Rays that may promote blood circulation and anion production, which has health benefits. Nano Bamboo Charcoal is also a natural deodorizer. It’s a sustainable, chemical-free way to take care of your feet.

Why not come in and try on a pair for yourself?

Keep warm and stay healthy.

Caron