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

 

podiatrist-podiatry-feet-auckland-caron-orelowitz1.jpg

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

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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

 

Shopping for School Shoes | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

7787012-foot-measurement-device-that-using-for-checking-the-correct-size-of-your-shoe

 

  1. To avoid in-store arguments, parents and children should discuss in advance the style and brand of shoes they want to look for.
  1. Remember that a good fit is more important than the size of the footwear. A good fit allows for a 1/2” of space between the end of the toes and the end of shoe. Shop at retailers who provide a fit specialist for extra assistance.
  1. Avoid hand-me-down shoes; improperly fitted shoes can support feet in unhealthy positions.

4. Avoid shopping online or estimating a child’s shoe size.

  1. Remember that not all shoes of the same size fit alike. While foot measurement is a starting point, how the shoes fit is more important.
  1. Match the shape of the shoe to the shape of the foot.
  1. Remember that while a low arch is normal in young children, in children older than age seven, the lower the arch the more important it is to have shoes with good support. Look for a firm heel counter and stiffness when trying to twist shoes lengthwise.
  2. If a child wears orthotics, select shoes with removable foot beds and try the shoes on with the orthotics in place.
  1. Remember that price is not necessarily commensurate with quality. If price is a consideration, last year’s models can offer all the features needed at a discounted price.
  1. Check the fit on your child’s shoes on a regular basis as children’s feet grow at irregular rates.

For more information, or if you have any questions, contact The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

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

 

Foot problems in children may become serious if untreated | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

The importance of looking after your child's feet

 

Issues with feet can affect anyone at any age. Parents shouldn’t assume that signs of foot problems in children are merely “growing pains.

Managing children’s health is complicated enough, especially for first-time parents. It can be a struggle to truly know and even understand which signs and symptoms are temporary and which point to more serious concerns.

In truth, the professionals a The Podiatrist and Kidsnmotion agree that there are some pediatric foot problems that resolve themselves with growth and time. However, there are clear signs when children need medical help.

Common foot problems can range from pediatric flat foot, toe walking, in-toeing and flat or high arches to tarsal coalitions (an abnormal bridge of tissue that connects two normally separate tarsal bones plus extra bone growth — quite simply, when the bones of the feet fail to separate during fetal development).

While these conditions of the feet and their treatments are different, they share some common signs that show parents there is a problem that needs to be addressed:

  •  Pain, swelling and redness that does not subside
  •  Development of thick calluses in one area of the foot
  •  Problems with the way your child walks
  •  Shins or thighbones that appear to turn inward
  •  Ankles that are weak or easily give out

As much as your child’s general health and well-being is important, do not ignore symptoms; foot health is just as important as any other medical examination.

There are several treatment options for these conditions. Whether a less invasive approach — such as shoe modifications, orthotic devices and physical therapy — or a more intensive intervention — such as bracing, steroid injections or even surgery — is needed, The Podiatrist can advise parents on which treatment offers the best long-term prognosis.

If you believe that a family member is experiencing any of the above symptoms, perhaps it’s time to seek professional help and book a consultation for a thorough examination, diagnosis and possible treatment with The Podiatrist.

 

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

 

Some tips to help prevent your child from getting painful foot problem | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

An ingrown toenail can very very painful

Many kids hide their ingrown toenails from their parents, even though the condition can cause significant pain. An ingrown nail can break the skin and lead to dangerous infections.

The Podiatrist says that tight shoes, tight socks and incorrect nail trimming are the most common causes. In others, the children may inherit the tendency for nails to curve.
Teach children how to trim their toenails properly. Trim toenails in a fairly straight line, and don’t cut them too short.

Make sure children’s shoes fit. Shoe width is more important than length. Make sure the widest part of the shoe matches the widest part of your child’s foot.

If a child develops a painful ingrown toenail, reduce the inflammation by soaking the child’s foot in room-temperature water and gently massaging the side of the nail fold.

The only proper way to treat a child’s ingrown toenail is with a visit to The Podiatrist.
Parents should not try to dig the nail out or cut it off. These dangerous “bathroom surgeries” carry a high risk of infection.

For all your child’s foot care needs, visit The Podiatrist.

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

Are your shoes hurting your feet? | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

high heeled shoes are bad for runners

A recent study from the Institute for Preventive Foot Health found that 78 percent of adults have experienced foot trouble at one time or another, according to Consumer Reports.

Often the source of the problem is improperly fitting shoes. The biggest shoe mistakes: too tight, too high-heeled or too floppy. The good news, of course, is that those are easy problems to fix.
By far, Consumer Reports notes, the most common problem is simply choosing the wrong size of shoe. One study that actually measured people’s feet revealed shoes that were either a half size too large or small; 12 percent were off by 1½ sizes or more.

How does that happen? Your shoe size can change with age. As we get older, the soles of our feet lose padding, and ligaments and tendons lose elasticity and lengthen. Weight gain or pregnancy can also cause feet to widen. Experts have estimated that people older than 40 can actually gain half a shoe size every 10 years.

A study on footwear choices among older people found that 8 out of 10 wore shoes that were narrower than their feet, and more than four out of 10 wore shoes with a smaller total area than their foot.
Shoes that fit too loosely can also be problematic. They can create friction when feet slide around as you walk and put you at an increased risk of tripping on carpets or stairs. Shoes with no backs at all, like flip-flops and mules, can force you to take shorter, more irregular strides.

Even if the shoe fits, it can still hurt you. These styles are especially likely to cause foot pain:

• Shoes with small or pointy toe boxes. They force your big toe inward and don’t leave enough room for your other toes. The most common consequence is a painful lump of bone on the inside of the foot called hallux valgus, better known as a bunion. The condition affects almost 1 in 4 adults and, if painful enough, can require corrective surgery. Jammed against a tight toe box, the other four toes can develop a condition called hammer toes, a shortening of the first joint that causes each toe to curl up instead of lying flat – even when you’re barefoot.

• High heels. They can cause the Achilles tendon in the ankle to contract and shorten, which can trigger plantar fasciitis (an inflammation of the soles) and cause neuromas, painful nerve growths on the ball of the foot.

• Thin soles. Ballet flats and other shoes with little padding can also cause plantar fasciitis because the lack of proper cushioning can inflame the balls of your feet.

To avoid shoe-induced foot problems, Consumer Reports recommends getting the right fit in the first place. Measure your feet regularly. The best time is at the end of the day when they have expanded to the max. Other tips to consider:

• Try shoes on both of your feet. Most of us have one foot that is larger than the other. Your shoes should fit the larger foot.

• Stay away from shoes with narrow toe boxes. That’s especially true if you have already started to develop bunions or hammer toes.

• Be careful when buying shoes online. If in doubt, order shoes in more than one size. Many companies offer free returns, so your only investment is the time it takes to drop your rejects into the mail.

• Go low with heels. Stick to heels that are 2ø inches or lower. If you like to wear higher heels for special occasions, bring them to the event in a bag, put them on at the door and remove them the minute you leave.

Make an appointment with The Podiatrist today for all your foot care need.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Stretch and Stretching | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

holding each stretch for 30 secs

Stretching properly is a little more technical than just swinging your leg over a park bench. There are methods and techniques that will maximize the benefits and minimize the risk of injury.

Which muscles should be stretch?

As a general rule; if it’s not tight and it’s not causing you any problems, you don’t need to stretch it. There are a few exceptions to this (such as athletes that require increased flexibility for their chosen sport), but for most people this is a wise rule to follow. So if you perform a stretch and you don’t feel any tension in the target muscle group, this would indicate that you’re not tight in that area.
As you start to notice which muscles are tight and which muscles aren’t, aim to create a balance of flexibility between the front of your body and the back of your body, and the left side of your body and the right side of your body.
For example, if you notice that your right hamstring muscles are tighter than your left hamstrings muscles, work on the right hamstring muscles until you have even flexibility in both

When to Stretch?

Most people understand the importance of stretching as part of a warm-up or cool-down, but when else should you stretch? Stretch periodically throughout the entire day. It is a great way to stay loose and to help ease the stress of everyday life. One of the most productive ways to utilize time is to stretch while watching television. Start with five minutes of marching or jogging on the spot then take a seat on the floor in front of the television and start stretching.

Should I Stretch Every Day?

Firstly, we need to make a distinction between doing a few gentle stretches and doing a more intense flexibility training session. Take regular “Stretch Breaks” throughout the day to keep loose and limber. However, a more intense flexibility training session is another thing altogether.

Hold, Count, Repeat

For Static and Passive stretching, some text will say that holding a stretch for as little as ten seconds is enough. This is a bare minimum. Ten seconds is only just enough time for the muscles to relax and start to lengthen. For any real improvement to flexibility, each stretch should be held for at least twenty to thirty seconds, and repeated at least two or three times.

For all your foot problems, contact The Podiatrist
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Why changing your running shoes won’t guarantee injury-free training | The Podiatist and yourfeetnz

To avoid foot pain adn injuries, it is wise to change your running shoes often

Choosing the right running shoe has never been easy.

Besides such usual variables as style, price, make, model, comfort and fit, runners also spend time considering more technical features such as cushioning and stability.

In recent years, however, the debate about what runners put on their feet has heated up. From the au naturel crowd who think shoes are unnecessary altogether, to the more conservative wave of runners who believe in shoes but not their technology, there’s a distinct shift away from the old rules of choosing shoes.

Cushioning, once considered the primary measure of a shoe’s worth, has dropped down the list of a shoe’s must-haves. So, too, have stability features, which are designed to correct biomechanical flaws. Today runners are told to rely on perfect mechanics instead of the perfect pair of shoes if they want to reduce their risk of injury.

Those mechanics include shifting from striking the ground heel first to landing mid- to forefoot first. In fact, say those who support a forefoot landing, switching from landing on your heel to landing on the front of your foot reduces so much of the impact stress that running shoes no longer need their customary well cushioned heel to reduce the risk of injury.

That shift in philosophy has caused considerable confusion among those who have spent most of their running lives pounding the pavement in cushioned shoes laden with technology. Add to the fact that there’s no proof changing your shoes or how your foot makes contact with the ground will keep runners injury free, and the confusion among average runners is justified.

The barefoot fad has died down, leaving most runners to choose a shoe that lands somewhere between the technology-laden model of old and the minimalist style that features little more than a thin sole and upper. This stripped down version of running shoe has a lower profile heel with decidedly less cushioning and minimal stability features.
Does that mean runners need to abandon shoes that have served them well for decades and buy into this new fad of running shoes?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Are growing pains real? | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

growing pains in children

It would start with a mild ache and gradually worsen to a deep throb, forcing me to rub my shin with my other foot, doing what I could to stop the pain. I remember this pain like it was yesterday. When I was younger I used to frequently wake up, howling in pain and clutching my shins. My mom would cuddle me, place warm cloths on my legs and rub them in attempt to comfort me. I remember trips to several doctors; my mother constantly searching for new opinions, but without fail was always told that I suffered from “growing pains.” Does this sound familiar?

Growing pains are essentially pains in the leg muscles (not the joints), experienced frequently or infrequently, in children aged two to 12 years of age. Pain generally occurs at night. Nobody fully understands why they happen, but one thing is clear: they have nothing to do with growth. The term “growing pains” first came to into being in the 1800s, but since then medical professionals have realized that the pain doesn’t correspond to a period of rapid growth. Unfortunately, the name stuck. I’d prefer to call it “non-inflammatory prepubescent nocturnal leg pain syndrome,” but I guess “growing pains” is faster and easier to say.
The most accepted cause of growing pains is muscle fatigue from over-activity. This theory meshes with parental observations that growing pains are often worse on nights after sports practices or long periods spent walking or running. In my profession we also correlate growing pains with feet that aren’t aligned and supported properly. Poor foot alignment and function cause instability of the feet during weight bearing activities and can be a significant cause of growing pains in children, particularly in children who have very flat feet, ankles which roll inward and are very flexible. This causes uneven weight bearing through the foot as well as misalignment of joints further up the body, causing muscle strain.

Growing pains are characterized by aching or throbbing pain in one or both legs at night. There is no swelling, not visible sign of injury, no pain when touched and does not cause your child to limp. If your child wakes up complaining of aching, throbbing legs, try the following to soothe his or her discomfort:

• Apply warm cloths or a heating pad to the aching area. Remove once your child has fallen asleep.
• Have your child get up and walk.
• Rub your child’s legs with a soothing cream.
• Have your child stretch the muscles in his or her leg.
• If all else fails, try giving your child a pain reliever.

To prevent growing pains, have your child wear supportive shoes, especially with increased activity.
If your child experiences growing pains, make an appointment with The Podiatrist who will determine if your child has a foot problem which may be causing his or her night time pain, and will discuss appropriate and effective treatment options. No more sleepless nights for either of you!

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