Blog Archives

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

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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

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

WISHING YOU ALL A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.

cartoon-santa

FROM

The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

 

Beyond the backpack: Back-to-school shoe-shopping tips to keep kids healthy and parents happy | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

The importance of looking after your child's feet

For parents faced with kids’ changing tastes and opinions, navigating shoe shopping can be a harrowing process. Buy him the wrong backpack and he’ll be the uncool kid at school. Pick out the wrong jeans for her and she’ll be shamed by society. While neither scenario will cause kids any real harm, there is one area of shopping where a wrong move could have health ramifications for kids – shoe shopping.

Foot health is directly related to overall health, no matter your age. Proper footwear is essential to foot health, so it’s important for parents to ensure kids are provided with a good foundation on their feet. Shoes are one of the most important purchases parents will make.

Children’s feet change and grow with them, and parents may find they need to update their kids’ shoes and socks every few months to accommodate this growth. Shoes that don’t fit properly can irritate the feet and affect how well a child walks, runs and plays. The Podiatrist offers parents some advice for finding shoes that are good for kids’ feet and also live up to their exacting tastes:

* Always buy new, never used, and never hand down footwear. Sharing shoes can spread fungi like athlete’s foot. What’s more, children’s feet are as unique as they are. A shoe that fits one child comfortably may not fit another child as well. Plus, shoes that have been worn will tend to conform to the foot of the wearer, and may be uncomfortable for anyone else to put on.

* Test the shoe before allowing a child to try it on. Check for a stiff heel by pressing on both sides of the heel counter; it shouldn’t collapse under the pressure. Bend the shoe with your hands to ensure it will bend with your child’s toes; it shouldn’t be too stiff. Try twisting the shoe; it should be rigid in the middle and never twist in that area.

* Go shopping together. Shopping with your child ensures you can have his foot professionally measured, that he can test the shoe for a proper fit, give you his opinion of it and learn from you the finer points of buying a good shoe. Kids who learn how to select a comfortable, supportive shoe may be less likely to make wrong footwear choices as adults – which could save them a lot of discomfort.

* Remember to shop for shoes later in the day when feet are at their largest, and always buy for the larger foot. Having your child’s feet measured will help identify which foot is larger. Additionally, remember to have the child wear the type of socks or tights he or she will most likely wear with the shoe.

* Avoid buying shoes that need a “break-in” period. Optimal footwear should be comfortable right away. Once the school year is underway, keep an eye on your child’s shoes – active kids may wear out footwear faster than adults. Be vigilant for signs of irritation, such as your child always wanting to remove one or both shoes. The footwear may no longer fit properly, especially if it’s been a few months since you bought the shoes.

Finally, be sure children wear shoes that are appropriate for their activities. If your daughter plays sports, she should wear a good athletic shoe designed for that sport. If your son is a runner, he’ll need a good running shoe. For daily wear when kids do a lot of walking, choose a good, supportive shoe. Keep sandals, flip-flops and heels for occasional wear only.

Get started on Footcare today

Call The Podiatrist and make an appointment today.

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

Summer Foot Care Basics and Tips

Image

Ok so now that summer is officially in full swing (well kind of) it may be time to actually take some time to pamper those little puppies walking around in flip-flops and going bare in the sand.  Not only are your feet much more visible than they are in other seasons during the hot summer months, but they can also suffer more from increased walking and from less than supportive shoes.

This being the case, it might be a good time to think about giving your feet a little R and R.

Basic foot care involves some, well, basic tips. 

First of all it is important to wash your feet every day in order to insure that bacteria and fungus don’t get a chance to grow.  Even when you are not showering, you should take the time therefore to wash your feet.  This is even more important when walking around in flip flops or sporting bare feet on the beach because your feet will be exposed to a great deal more of these unpleasant germs. 

Always be sure to wash between the toes as well as over the foot itself. You also should avoid trimming or shaving off calluses no matter how tempting that little shaver at the pedicurists might be.  While your feet may be smoother than ever for a few days, thick layers of dry skin will grow back and you may be exposing yourself to a risk of infection.

Consult The Podiatrist if you are having trouble with stubborn corns and calluses.
Always wear shoes that fit properly. Walking around in tight fighting shoes will leave you at least hobbling. Because your feet swell and sweat in the heat, shoes without socks can become especially uncomfortable as your feet slip and rub against the shoe.  Make sure you have broken in your shoes before taking a long walk and make sure that they fit before buying them.  No matter how cute that little pair of ballet flats might be, if they don’t have your size then do let them go.

Tips on how to take care of our feet during these hot and sticky summer months.

It’s easy to forget that feet can get sunburned. Be sure to apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 50 when barefoot or if feet are exposed through open sandals, and don’t forget to apply to both the tops and bottoms of your feet. 

With sandals and open shoe styles, feet are exposed to the elements. Dry, cracked heels are common during the summer months so make an effort to moisturize daily. The Gehwol Fussfraft foot care range have a balm for every skin type.

Keep Feet Clean: Foot perspiration is typical in the summer and can lead to fungal infection and unwanted odor. Wash feet daily, and let them dry thoroughly before putting shoes on. Also, consider using a foot powder to minimize odour. Why not try the Gehwol Herb Bath Salts, and use the Gehwol Fussfraft Mint balm- ideal for cooling the feet.

Add Cushion: When wearing high heels, your feet are feeling the pressure. Cushion the impact with an insole like Podsoft Foot Angles.

Sandals and jandals: with warmer weather, people tend to be more active and on their feet. To relieve tired, achy feet add extra support in your shoes. The Vasyli range of medical sandals are ideal for the summer.

Having perfectly manicured toes can make for a nice beach time public display but if you forget to follow these basic guidelines your feet will be more disaster than delight.  Remember always that your feet are important so to treat your them to a little basic pampering every day.

If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us.

 

The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Get started on resolving your foot problem today.

Foot Pain Treatment: Podiatrist Talks Bunion Causes, Pain & Treatment The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

Bunions may progress in size and severity

Bunions are such an eye-sore! They can turn back the dial on even the hottest heels. But just what the heck are these things anyway?

Contrary to common belief, bunions are not a bone growth. Instead, a bunion is a progressive change of position of bones in the foot. Specifically, the bone commonly known as the bunion, is the 1st metatarsal. The first metatarsal moves away from the foot and is it changes, it pushes out the side of the foot where it appears as the “bunion bump”

As the 1st metatarsal moves one direction, the big toe moves in the other direction and leans towards the 2nd toe. These two bone changing position causes the 1st toe joint to be out of alignment and destabilizes the area leading to more progressive change and pain the joint.
Just how do bunions form?
The great majority of bunions are 90% genetic. The remaining 10% are caused by conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and similar disorders. The mechanics that are genetically inherited allow the bones to change position over time as described above.

Women are more genetically prone than men to get bunions 10:1. If one has genetic predisposition to get bunions, outside influences such as tight shoes and high heels may speed the progression. However, if one does not have genetic predisposition, tight and high heeled shoes will not cause a bunion.
Are there any potential treatments?

There are some effective preventive treatment for bunions. Bracing or splinting the toe, different shoe gear or arch supports/custom orthotics have shown to be beneficial in preventing the formation or progression of bunion deformity.

When bunions become painful, getting into wider and/or deeper shoes may provide symptomatic relief. Devices to protect the area may also provide relief but often make the shoe fit tighter, leading to more discomfort. When those alternatives are not effective, surgery is a consideration.

If you have any concerns, call The Podiatrist.

Get started on resolving your foot problem today.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Steps to Easy Summer Footcare at Home | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

gehwol

We are nearly into the summer months. That means your feet are (and have been) on constant hibernation in shoes and socks. It’s almost time for backyard barbecues, tubing trips, stoopside soirees and every other sandal you can imagine. If the thought of open sandals makes your toes curl (in a “hide me now” kind of way), it’s time to crank up the TLC on those sore, tired puppies and give them some much-deserved love. They are, after all, the hardest-working two feet you’ll ever run around town on.

To get the lowdown on best at-home foot care practices, we recommend seeing The Podiatrist for regular professional care. A regular at-home regimen should keep your feet clean, smooth and, above all, healthy.

Soak.
Do this in warm water for at least 10 minutes before you use any tools on your feet. It softens the skin and gives you an excuse to catch up on that stack of magazines you’ve been meaning to read. To kill off any bacteria and fungus lurking on your feet, Le recommends using an antiseptic product like Gehwol Herb Bath.

Exfoliate.
Slough off dead skin with a pumice stone, or Gehwol foot scrubbing stone.

Clip.
Trim and file your nails weekly to avoid dirt build-up. Be sure to routinely soak your clippers in rubbing alcohol before and after use to avoid spreading bacteria.

Moisturize. Slather on the foot cream which has a rich, creamy formula with emollients to lock in moisture for at least a couple of hours. If you’re doing this before bed, throw on a pair of socks to keep the moisturizer in its place. This is also an opportune time to dab a drop of tea tree oil on each nail to protect from fungus.

We have an extensive range of foot care products to keep your feet looking good for the summer

Get started on resolving your foot problem today.

Call The Podiatrist for any foot care needs.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

How To Warm Feet and Avoid Foot Pain : The Podiatrist | YourFeetNZ

foot-soak-bowl

If you suffer from chronic cold feet, then it’s important to know how to avoid foot pain during winter weather or when feet get wet and are exposed to the elements. There are many medical reasons for having cold feet and a variety of methods to choose from to keep your feet warm and comfortable. Sometimes feet can feel as if they are frozen, presenting with symptoms similar to frost bite. This can occur from an action as simple as sitting in front of an air conditioning vent in the middle of summer. Resulting foot pain can become incapacitating for some, and threaten a life long debility. Following are some suggestions for keeping your feet warm, healthy and pain free.

Check for medical reasons for foot pain

Visit your health care practitioner

If you suffer from continual bouts of icy cold feet, find out if the cause is related to a medical condition.

Ask the doctor if medicines you might be taking for unrelated illnesses might have side effects including reduced blood flow to limbs. Certain beta blockers for high blood pressure cause this symptom as do many other medications. Ask to try a different medication or natural remedy to avoid side effects.

Keep feet covered

Wear socks and closed shoes! Although it seems obvious, walking around barefoot or in open toed shoes and sandals can aggravate existing symptoms and cause unnecessary discomfort. Even in summer, if you spend a great deal of time in places that are heavily cooled with air conditioning, wearing light weight socks and closed shoes can help avoid foot pain and slow the progression of any medical conditions.

Keep your feet dry

Damp or wet feet are much more prone to becoming cold. If feet become wet, remove shoes and socks, and replace with dry socks and another pair of shoes if necessary.
Stimulate foot circulation

Get up and walk around for a few minutes. While working at a desk, circulation often slows from sitting for long periods of time. Moving around for a few minutes every hour or so will help to increase circulation, protecting feet from pain.

Keep feet warm throughout the year

Wear socks made from natural fibres and if possible, wear 2 layers- this provides insulation and keeps the feet warm. Socks made from natural fibres not only provide warmth, but have strong wicking action that absorbs sweat easily, directing moisture away from feet, keeping them dry. Silk sock liners are thin enough to wear under another pair of socks or in snug fitting shoes and boots.

Wear down booties or sheepskin lined slippers and boots while sitting at the desk to hold warmth in around the feet during cold weather or exposure to drafts from air conditioning vents.

Wear leg warmers to keep lower limbs warm. When ankles and calves get cold, often the feet follow suit and wearing leg warmers helps to avoid foot pain by keeping blood flow more active in the lower legs.

Place a small electric space heater at your desk or by your TV chair. Turn it on and off as needed and direct it toward your feet-BUT not directly on your feet. Using a space heater helps avoid foot pain and also higher heating bills from having to heat an entire room or area of your house. Again, use caution to avoid burning yourself.

Lifestyle changes

Eat warming foods to increase circulation. Spices such as cumin, cayenne pepper and ginger help to open tiny capillaries in the skin and increase circulation, warming feet and reducing painful episodes.

Stop smoking and drinking caffeinated beverages. These products cause the capillaries in the body to constrict, reducing blood flow and causing cold hands and feet.

If your feet get icy cold and won’t warm up in a few minutes by using some or all of the above suggestions, try soaking them in tepid water in the bathtub. Water should not be any warmer than lukewarm and no higher than body temperature. Place feet in water slowly and if it feels too hot, cool water down a bit. Add some Epsom salts and apple cider vinegar to stimulate circulation and soothe aching, painful feet.

For more information on any foot conditions, visit the website: http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz to make an appointment