Blog Archives

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

 

Ten ways to keep your feet healthy | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

there are many reasons for sore feet

Ten Easy Ways to Keep Your Feet Healthy:

  • Inspect your feet daily – Look for any changes in the general appearance of the foot, like the color and the texture, unusual swelling and changes in the toenails.
  • Practice good foot hygiene – Wash your feet well, and dry them thoroughly afterwards to help prevent issues with bacteria and fungi.
  • Moisturize your feet – It is important to hydrate the skin in your feet to replenish all the lost moisture, otherwise fissures can develop.
  • Wear appropriate footwear – Make sure to purchase the right size of footwear to avoid bruising or tearing the skin surrounding the pressure points of the feet. Furthermore, buy appropriate shoes for your activities.
  • Trim your toenails – Do not create deep curves at the edges and trim to just above the skin. Nails should not extend over the tip of the toe. Cutting nails straight across helps to avoid ingrown nails.
  • Change shoes often – It is important to avoid wearing the same shoes every day. Your feet have a lot of sweat glands, and wearing shoes will only absorb the moisture released from these glands. Make it a point to dry your shoes after each and every use.
  • Exercise regularly – Exercising is good for your feet. However, make sure you wear the appropriate shoe for the activity. Simple exercises can be done at home, such as walking on a treadmill. Foot exercises improve good pedal circulation, preventing many disorders of the heart and blood vessels
  • Do not walk barefoot – Even when at home, always wear the appropriate footwear. There are a lot of harmful microorganisms that can easily enter the bloodstream through the feet
  • Apply sunscreen – Applying sunscreen with a considerable amount of SPF will help prevent painful sunburns and blisters.
  • See The Podiatrist regularly – If you notice or feel anything unusual in your feet, do not hesitate to call.

For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Home Remedies for Foot Odour: What Works, What Doesn’t. The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

odorex

Smelly feet, technically known as “bromhidrosis,” are a fact of life, especially in winter when you have been in socks and shoes all day. Simply washing and drying your feet, while helpful, won’t necessarily take care of the problem. That’s because foot odour is caused by bacteria that breed in wet or moist environments on and around the feet; once your feet start to sweat again, the odour may reappear–especially if you slip them back into the same footwear that contributed to the smell to start with.

Can home remedies get rid of the foul odour?

There’s very little scientific evidence to support the use of home remedies for foot odour or for any other foot condition. Some strategies might work for some people, even if those strategies aren’t proven. However, certain remedies require caution because they involve potentially caustic substances, such as bleach. And in all cases, it’s important to focus not only on the feet, but the environment. This means shoes, socks and surfaces with which the feet come into contact.

Here’s a look at some popular home remedies for foot odour:
Antiperspirant deodorant: The ingredients work the same way on the soles of the feet as they do when applied under the arms, so although no studies support its use, some people do find applying underarm deodorant to the feet reduces odour.

Baking soda/corn starch: Both do reduce foot odour for many people, although again, there is no research to support their efficacy. Remember to change your socks and shoes after applying it. Adding either to your shoes may help absorb additional moisture where germs can breed.

Disinfecting shoes: Using a household cleaning/disinfecting agent in your shoes could help because the bacteria responsible for foot odour often live in shoes.

Salt soak: No clinical research suggests this soak is effective in preventing foot odour; however, salt has a drying effect on the skin and, by reducing moisture, it may have some benefit. People who use this approach say kosher salt is made of larger crystals than regular table salt, and tends to dissolve better in water.

Lemon juice mixed with water: Several studies show that lemon juice has antibacterial properties. It is also an astringent that can help to remove dead skin from the feet. No studies specifically show this approach prevents foot odour, but many people find it helpful.

Talcum powder: Like baking soda, talcum powder helps absorb excess moisture that can be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. Scented powder can also disguise odours in shoes and on the feet. Again, there are no studies confirming this, but no harm in trying.

Tea soak: The tannic acid in tea acts as an astringent, meaning it cleans and dries the skin and contracts the pores. However, if you put clean feet back into dirty socks and shoes, the odour is likely to recur.

Many articles on the Internet give specific formulas for using these approaches. But since there is no clinical evidence that they are effective, keep in mind that what works for one person might not work for another.

The best year-round strategy for preventing foot odour and other foot conditions is to keep your feet and footwear clean; change socks daily or more often if you are active; rotate shoes every few days; and inspect your feet daily for signs of sores, cuts, cracks and itchiness between the toes, which could indicate athlete’s foot.

If foot conditions persist or if you have diabetes or another condition that affects blood flow to the feet, see The Podiatrist. We have an extensive range of products that can help you with foot odour.

Get started on resolving your foot problem today.
Call The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Children and Orthotics |The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

childrens orthoses are not like adults

From a Podiatry perspective children cannot be treated like smaller versions of their parents, and neither can their feet. Foot orthotics for children present a unique opportunity to control the growth and development of the foot.

You may be familiar with orthotic therapy because you may have a diagnosis or problem related to your feet. Many common foot problems are thought to have a genetic component and your child’s feet play a crucial role in their development. This is especially true when considering the growing number of children increasing their activity levels and entering organized sports at a young age.

The possibility of improved outcomes when your child is skeletally mature, and the prevention of future problems are great reasons to consider having your child evaluated for custom foot orthotics.
Research has shown that the early use of foot orthotics in children can have beneficial results that can be seen clinically and on an X-ray. Problems with foot development and biomechanics can eventually lead to problems higher up in the ankles, knees and hips.

Some common problems that can be addressed with a foot orthotic include flatfoot, the overpronated foot (Ankles turning in), torsional deformities of the lower leg, juvenile bunions and other biomechanical inefficiencies of the foot.

In all likelihood your child will adapt wonderfully to his or her new orthotics. As we know, the ligaments and bone structures of a child have a unique ability to adapt to new or corrected positions, and their feet are no different. A custom foot orthotic is different than other off-the- shelf orthotics in that it is precisely calibrated to your child’s foot. This means that the orthotic is designed based on your child’s foot type and weight to provide just the right amount of flexibility. Tolerance issues in children are extremely rare.
When your child is undergoing rapid growth, his or her orthotics will need to be replaced approximately every two shoe sizes, or every one to two years.

Re-evaluation of your child as he or she develops will often lead to changes in the orthotic prescription .Just as your child experiences unique clinical situations, his or her orthotic is a unique and custom device. Some problems can be prevented without life-long wear, some developmental problems may require longer-term use, and some children would simply benefit from prevention their whole lives.

Consider the use of eyeglasses in children. The concern that a child will become dependent on the prescription eyewear is not a valid reason to dismiss the correction needed to improve visual function. In addition The Podiatrist may prescribe exercises for the foot to give your child every opportunity to develop a muscularly sound foot.

If your child does not complain about any foot pain but obvious problems are observed by the parent, chances are the child will not just outgrow it. To treat the child with the proper tools to lead a future normal, pain-free life is an individual decision that every parent has to make with the assistance of their health care provider.
Considerations in this decision should include the preventative payoffs for instituting such therapy weighed against any potential down-side, which is often primarily financial.

Get started on resolving your child’s foot problem today.

Call The Podiatrist.

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

Tips For Patients With Toenail Fungus | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

fungal nail infections need not ruin your summer

Now that summer is here, many people begin to lose sight of the appearance of their toes. While people will begin to bring out their open- toed shoes and sandals, it is important to continue to maintain healthy, happy toes during the summer.
Toenail fungus is a fungal condition that develops when fungus enters and grows beneath the toenail. Although it can also affect fingernails, toenail fungus is more likely to occur in feet rather than hands. Patients can develop toenail fungus from an array of different sources. In many cases, it can be hard to diagnose the exact cause of toenail fungus, which makes it harder to prevent reoccurrence. The fungus that is responsible for the infection tends to thrive best in warm and wet environments, such as the shower or locker room.
By following basic foot care guidelines patients can head off most common foot fungus problems. Toenail fungus thrives in warm, damp places. For this reason, The Podiatrist urges patients to take extra precautions in pools and locker rooms. Patients should also wear dry cotton socks-changing them two or three times a day if needed.
It is also important to remember not to share shoes or socks with anyone, as this fungus can easily spread through sharing of shoes or socks. This is the same for nail clippers or nail files-don’t share. By taking extra precautions you can ensure the health of your toes and fee.
For all your foot problems, see The Podiatrist
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Buying Children’s Shoes – Visit Scooters in Remuera

About Scooters

Did you know about a bright and colourful children’s shoe shop in Remuera? Well, Scooters is the name and they have a wonderful selection of shoes for us kids (and even for mum).

You do everything to ensure that children grow healthy and strong and you are very aware of how important it is to care for their teeth and eyes, yet you often don’t look at their feet. Their little feet are one of the most complex parts of their bodies. Children’s feet are made up of twenty six bones and numerous joints held together by ligaments, all laced with muscles, nerves and blood vessels. As we get older, our foot problems grow with us. Poorly fitted shoes can restrict our feet and then cause foot problems and deformities. Our shoes need to be the proper width, length, depth and shape. It is very important to find a shop that specializes in children’s shoes, with trained staff who have the skill and experience to keep an eye on the development of our feet.

Scooters is a convenient shop and is a friendly place. The team have all been trained in how to correctly measure and fit the shoes. and there is even a special lady who sorts out foot problems. She is there on Saturdays. They have a loyalty card programme- purchase 6 pairs of shoes, you get 40% off the 7th pair. What a saving for our growing feet (and your pocket)!! There is an incentive to local schools and Plunket. If we mention the school that we go to, they will donate some money towards the school’s fundraising. They also support Heart Children and for families with multiples.

There are ranges of shoes for school ,sports shoes, beach and funky casual shoes. They even have Velcro sports shoes for Pete (so he doesn’t have to tie the laces). The All Blacks range for smaller guys is cool. They are also large choices of colourful socks and stockings for all ages.

Scooters is located in the Remuera mall, Shop 11A. You can also call them on 529 7930. There is under cover parking (off Norana Avenue) which is free.

www.scooters.net.nz