Blog Archives

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

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  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

 

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

Feet welcome multitude of fungi | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

Fungal-nail-infection_r7_onychomycosis

A genetic analysis of fungi on the human body finds that our feet have the most – more than 100 types, many of which ward off the unhealthy fungi that cause infections like athlete’s foot.

At least 80 types of fungi reside on a typical person’s heel, along with 60 between the toes and 40 on the toenail. Altogether, the feet are home to more than 100 types of fungus, more than any other area of the human body.

It may sound icky, but many of the fungi on our skin serve a very useful purpose. One of the major functions of healthy fungi is to prevent pathogenic fungi from adhering to our skin where they can cause athlete’s foot, plantar warts and stubborn toenail infections. There is something about toenails that fungi just love.

Our feet are like a bustling fungi hotel, with different types moving in and out at a fast clip. For starters, while skin temperature on our core remains a pretty stable, the temperature of our feet fluctuates wildly. Cold feet may be hospitable to some strains of fungi, while hot feet may be more attractive to others.

Since they’re so close to the ground, our feet are probably also exposed to more fungal diversity than other parts of our body.
And there’s one more thing: People are fastidious about washing everything off their hands, but people don’t really specifically wash their feet. For many people, standing in the shower seems good enough.

Fungal foot diseases are often treated with antifungal medications that attack all fungi indiscriminately, both good and bad.

Really, wear flip-flops in the gym locker room and around Public swimming pools.

Please contact The Podiatrist for any foot care advice.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Which Shoes Are The Worst For Your Feet? | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

table of suitable footwear
We all know the pain of high heels after a long day or the soreness of walking several miles in flats. But what are our shoes actually doing to our feet — and which shoes are the ones we really should be wearing?

STILETTOS
Wearing heels shifts your weight to the balls of your feet, which puts pressure on your foot. This also creates a balance problem: It forces your knees and hips forward, hurting your back and legs. Wearing these shoes can cause: hyperextension, ankle sprains, midfoot fractures, neuromas,pinched nerves, bunions and hammertoes.
PLATFORM WEDGES
Wedges also have heels, which puts pressure on your foot and juts your body forward. But the heels tend to have more cushioning, plus they often have platforms which protect the ball of your foot and reduce the incline. This helps with balancing. Wearing these shoes can cause: Hyperextension, ankle sprains, midfoot fractures, neuromas, pinched nerves, bunions and hammertoes.

HIGH-HEEL BOOTIES
Depending on the heel height, these can cause similar issues to stilettos. Keeping heels to two inches or below is best. There’s a rule of thumb: 25% of your body weight gets increased for every inch that you go, in terms of your body weight on the front of the foot. But in booties, the material around the ankle helps hold the foot steady, putting you at less risk for injuries. When you incorporate the ankle into the shoe, you add stability. Wearing these shoes can cause: hyperextension, bunions and hammertoes.

THIGH-HIGH BOOTS
If the heels are high, you’re going to have the same issues as with stilettos — hyperextension of the back, pressure on the balls of your feet and lack of balance. But the casing around the leg creates more awareness of the leg in general, which can help with stability. Wearing these shoes can cause: hyperextension, midfoot fractures, neuromas, pinched nerves, bunions and hammertoes.

BALLET FLATS
There is such a thing as too flat. Shoes that are too flat don’t provide adequate arch support, cushioning or shock absorption, which those with flat feet need. However, flats are flexible and cause the muscles to work harder, making them stronger — that’s a good thing. Another problem: There’s a higher risk of the sole being pierced by a foreign object. Wearing these shoes can cause: inflammation, tendonitis, heel pain, strains, stress fractures and external injuries (e.g. stepping on a nail).

CONVERSE-STYLE SNEAKERS
These sneakers have a thicker sole than flats, so they do provide a bit of shock absorption and cushioning. For those who do need extra cushioning or arch support, Converse-style sneakers allow you to add extra support internally (to a certain degree). They’re also very flexible — the soft canvas exterior can be more comfortable for those suffering from bunions and hammertoes. The material also protects your foot from the environment. Wearing these shoes can cause: inflammation, tendonitis, heel pain, strains and stress fractures.

RUNNING SNEAKERS
Too much cushion is not the best thing, either. When you have a lot of cushion, you’re not getting the foot-brain feedback that allows you to sense the ground. These shoes are ideal for forward motion, i.e. running, walking, jogging (not hiking, dancing, cycling, etc). Wearing these shoes can cause: chronic stress injuries, particularly to the heel.

JANDALS
Most jandals are too flat, too thin and too open. This exposes the foot to the environment and doesn’t provide arch support or cushioning. The thong that sits between your toes is also dangerous as it forces your toe muscles to over-grip. Plus, when your big toe hangs off the flip-flop, you increase your risk for toe fractures. Wearing these shoes can cause: inflammation, tendonitis, heel pain, strains, fractures and external injuries (e.g. stepping on a nail).

GUMBOOTS
Rain can cause a moist environment, plus gumboots tend to be made of Latex or other thick, non-breathable materials. You sort of walk more like a Stormtrooper, so you just might get more fatigue from walking in them. The top of the boot can also rub uncomfortably against your calf. Wearing these shoes can cause: mould, fungus, bacteria, wart viruses and blisters.

For more information or advice on footwear and your feet, see The Podiatrist
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Scrub up for summer: getting your feet fabulous | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

summer

Summer is just round the corner and whilst a lot of us have become preoccupied with toning our tummies, banishing the bingo wings and perfecting those pins, there’s one aspect of our bodies that might have been a little overlooked… our feet.
They’ve been covered up for almost 6 months, living under tights, socks and slippers, being crammed into boots, pumps and trainers so it’s probably safe to say your tootsies aren’t looking all that fresh. If you want to get your feet prepped in time for summer, sandals and sand then read on for some handy pampering tips:
First things first, before you begin the beauty regime it’s time to talk foot-health. If you’ve been experiencing pain or discomfort over the winter months that won’t go away despite frequently changing your footwear then it’s time you spoke to The Podiatrist to help suss out what’s wrong and advise on the best footwear to help correct your feet.
Next, take an evening to soak both your feet in warm water. You can add salts or herbal oils to relieve stress – lavender is a good option here. Take some Epsom bath salts and add this to your foot spa. After your feet have been soaking for ten minutes, rub the salts clockwise on the skin of your feet to help remove any dead skin that might have built up over the winter months.
After twenty minutes of soaking, take a pumice to remove any excess dry skin, rinsing your feet afterwards.
Once your feet have dried, take a nail file and clippers and get to work on those unruly nails! Cut and file away until each nail is looking equal/

Apply a moisturising lotion. Use lots, and take this time to sit and chill – moisturising your feet works best when you don’t immediately have to put socks and shoes on straight away as you need to give your feet time to soak in the moisture.
Ta-da! Your feet are prepped and ready to step into summer.

For all your foot care needs- see The Podiatrist
http://www.thepodiatrist.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

Simple guide to care for your feet | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

foot-soak-bowl

Your feet need just a little bit of tender loving care
Your feet take the brunt of your weight for hours everyday. And unfortunately they are, at times, also the most ignored part of your body. Don’t wait for aching feet to get your attention. Your feet take the impact of your entire body weight and help you balance. And any injury on your muscles, tendons and ligaments can be very debilitating. Your feet face a number of problems. From foot odour, cracked heels, corns bunions, ingrown nails and fungal infections can cause a lot of discomfort. While some problems can’t be avoided, some can be avoided by paying a little extra attention to your feet. A simple daily regimen keeps your feet functioning well…
Choose the right footwear
If you wear shoes that are ill-fitting, painful or loose, you’re inviting foot problems. Your shoes have to fit just right — neither too tight nor too loose. Shoes that are tight are known to cause corns, ingrown toenails and aches. On the other hand, shoes that are loose, don’t allow your your heels from settling in properly, increasing your chances of blisters, calluses and sore heels. Always buy footwear at the latter part of the day because your feet expand towards the end of the day. Avoid wearing heels regularly — they can damage the bones of your feet. Instead, opt for a comfortable pair of flats or one inch heels from daily wear. Shoes made out of synthetics don’t breathe well because they trap moisture and heat; go in for natural materials like leather and cotton which keep feet cool. Try and alternate your shoes, so that both pairs have a chance to dry out before being worn again.
Go for regular walks
While we tend to be on our feet all day long, regular exercise for your feet is also important. Your foot muscles need exercise to remain strong, and keep tendons and ligaments flexible.
You can use arch support inserts if you like. These keep your feet in the correct position and support your weight when you walk.
Wash your feet
While washing your feet daily in the shower is a must, make it a habit to wash them at the end of the day as well. Especially if you wear closed shoes, the moisture and sweat makes it easy for bacteria and fungi to flourish between your toes causing bad odour and even fungal infections. Washing your feet will ensure that nothing dirty accumulates. Dry your feet well and use a foot powder if you want.
Moisturise well
If you moisturise your body, why skip your feet? While the skin on your feet is rougher (because of the daily wear and tear), it is also more prone to being drier and cracked. Use a lotion, which is rich in cocoa butter, which is a natural emollient and excellent for feet. Apply it when you go to bed at night and wear socks so that the lotion can stay on yout feet instead of getting rubbed off on the sheets. Even if you’re at home, make it a habit to wear socks — whether you’ve moisturised your feet or no. Socks protect your feet from blisters and absorb moisture.
Have regular appointments with The Podiatrist
Treat yourself to an appointment once a month at least. Soaking your feet and exfoliating your soles makes them softer and healthier. Use only Gewhol foot care products (which are available at The Podiatrist)

Contact The Podiatrist if you have any problems.
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz