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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

 

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Good children’s foot care makes the pitter-patter of little feet stronger

Strong, healthy feet begin in childhood where early recognition and management of foot problems will prevent medical and structural problems later in life.

Unless a child has an obvious deformity or troublesome foot issue there is a good chance that his or her foot problem will be overlooked. Children’s feet are an important part of an overall developmental process. Any abnormalities within the feet will affect the general posture, causing changes within the skeletal structure. Some common children’s foot conditions are: flat feet, in-toe and out-toe walking and toe walking with the heels not touching the ground.

Sometimes the bone of the upper or lower leg is slightly twisted, a condition that may have a family history. If the leg bone is twisted inwards, the child may walk with toes-in and conversely if the bone is twisted outwards the walk is toes-out. A short or tight Achilles tendon is the most common cause when a child walks on tiptoes only. This condition could also be neurologically based so it is important that the child have a development assessment. Flat feet is a common foot condition characterized by an abnormally low or absent medial longitudinal arch, especially on weight bearing. It is normal for infants and toddlers to have low arches but they should be observed for any abnormal in-toeing, out-toeing or, excessive limping. Kids who over pronate often complain of night cramps, shin splints or heel pain.

For a proper assessment take your child to Kidsnmotion Podiatrists. Treatments usually consist of monitoring, exercises, activity alteration, orthotics, splints, braces, footwear,

Warning signs that your child should have a foot check-up: shoe wear is uneven, lumps or bumps are evident on the feet, pain in the feet, heel or leg, excessive tripping or falling, visible skin or toenail problems.

For more information make an appointment today

www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

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YOUR FOOT- some interesting facts.

 

Did you know that your foot is composed of 24 bones that form two crossing arches of the foot? The ankles of your foot are formed by the interaction of the foot and your lower leg. The bones of your foot are held together with ligaments. The foot muscles along with a tissue known as planter fascia provide secondary support. There are also fat pads in the foot to help with weight-bearing and absorbing impact. When you experience discomfort or pain, that’s an indication that something is wrong. How and when that occurs, can often help in determining the cause and severity of the condition.

WHAT CAUSES FOOT PAIN

Trauma, disease and injuries are the most likely causes of foot pain. Poor biomechanical alignment and the type of footwear can also cause pain or discomfort. Shoes that fit tight or are tied too tightly can cause pain on the top of the foot. High heels can cause pain around the ball of your foot just below your toes.

Pain and tenderness in a specific area for a prolonged period of time is telltale sign of a possible problem. A few insights into when you feel the pain will be helpful in identifying the problem and finding a possible solution. Is the pain affected by weight bearing, or do you feel it when there is movement of the foot? Does it affect the way you walk?

If you are experiencing any pain, see The Podiatrist.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Athletes are more prone to injuries, bumps and bruises than most people are.

One particular injury, known as shin splints, happens more commonly among athletes who engage in running, such as soccer players, football players and runners. Shin splints, however, are not limited to athletes of just these sports.

What are shin splints?

Shin splints is a general term but refers to many types of injuries that occur in the region of the lower leg (where the calf and shin are located). Shin splints can be caused by inflammation or injury to muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones within the lower leg. In some cases, shin splints can be caused by stress fractures in the shin bones.

What are the signs and symptoms of shin splints?

Shin splints are characterized by a great deal of pain to the lower leg, especially so in the lower portion of the shin closer to the foot. The pain usually worsens when physical activity is begun but eases as the activity continues. The pain may return once the physical activity has been discontinued but often returns later, typically the next morning, much more painful than it had been the previous day. The pain typically intensifies when the toes and foot are bent downwards. In some cases, swelling and redness can be observed in the flesh along the shin bone. Sometimes lumps can be felt beneath the skin along
the shin bone. Shin splints may make it difficult and even excruciating to walk or move.

How are shin splints treated?

There is no cure, however, there are many different treatments available that may help ease the pain associated with shin splints. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be taken to help reduce any swelling that may be contributing to the pain. When the pain is especially intense, icing the area may help ease the pain. Shin splints can be the result of the stress of flat feet so wearing special orthopedic footwear, such as shoes with arch support or foot orthoses, may help ease the pain associated with shin splints. Sometimes physical therapy and special range of motion exercises may help ease the pain of shin splints. Strapping the affected area also helps relieve some of the symptoms. Rocktape is a very effect strapping solution for all your sports injuries. When shin splints become especially painful, medical interventions and narcotic pain medications may become necessary. Sometimes a physician may order an X-ray to determine whether or not a stress fracture may be the cause of the pain. Crutches may be needed if the pain is bad enough.

If you feel you have ‘shin splints’ or any other foot related problems, visit The Podiatrist.

Are you pushing too hard?

Recreational athletes can push their bodies a little too much—people are exercising, walking, jogging and going to the gym and the result is that overuse injuries to the lower extremities are skyrocketing.

The flip side of this is that these active lifestyles are helping to control obesity and increase wellness and fitness. Despite many in our society becoming more active and health and nutrition conscious, children and adults are still falling further behind in the battle against obesity. We’ve got to keep pushing to educate
people, especially parents, about this struggle. The costs of health concerns associated with inactivity and obesity are staggering—they’ll break us! So stay
active and pay attention to better nutrition habits. Keep gym classes in schools.

With the huge amounts of walkers, runners and aerobics over the past 10 to 20 years, we’ve seen increases in foot, ankle, shin and knee problems. This is true whether we’re looking at the adult, especially baby boomer recreation athletes, or kids with club, traveling or school team demands. Shoe technology has come a long way in all sports, especially in running and walking. Also, it seems that the specific shoes for all sports have taken a big step up. Better support, shock absorption and conformance to specific weights are examples. Proper fit, as obvious as it sounds, is still important, so always make sure you and your children are measured and fit properly.

Foot mechanics and foot type often are one of the causes of persistent overuse problems. In many screenings and evolutions of athletes with ongoing or persistent lower extremity overuse, we see the flat or overpronating foot type. Flat feet are susceptible to strain to ankles, arches and heels. Over rotation of the lower legs or twisting of the knees can show up as compensating motions related to these foot imbalances. Shin splints or tendonitis can be the result.
Identifying your foot type or your youngster’s can help in prevention of many overuse problems.

How much is too much? If you or the young athletes are consistently sore, if overuse injuries stay with you, then evaluate the schedule. Are you running every day without enough recovery time? Are the kids keeping year-round athletic schedules? Do you need pain medicine or anti-inflammatories just to keep going?

Intelligent rest is one of the favorite terms. Getting athletes to back off isn’t easy. Somehow, the culture of playing hurt, sucking it up or pushing through pain has filtered down even to children 10 to 12 years old.

Sports can really take a toll on young, growing bodies. If your child is constantly complaining of pain or discomfort, pay attention! Check with a sports-related doctor or Podiatrist. Better strengthening, more sensible schedules, proper shoes for foot type or just more intelligent rest might be all that is needed to solve the problem.

Exercise, fitness and sports should be enjoyable and positive. Being injured, constantly tired, sore or fatigued is not.

For expert advice see The Podiatrist- specializing in Children’s foot problems

‘Growing Pains,’ Is There Actually Such A Thing?

Parents frequently hear their children complain of aches and pains that affect their lower extremities. Some parents and even pediatricians attribute that to “growing pains.” But is there such a thing as growing pains? In this article we will take a look at some conditions that affect lower extremities in kids.

Sever’s Apophysitis

Sever’s apophysitis is a condition that affects children of the ages 8-14. Boys are more commonly affected than girls. Typical symptoms include pain in the back of the heel, which is worse with and after activities. The affected foot does not normally look any different than the unaffected foot. There is no noticeable swelling or bruising. X-rays also do not show any visible pathology.

Clinically, the patient will complain of pain when the heel bone is squeezed. Normally there is no history of trauma, however, trauma can also trigger this painful condition. Predisposing factors include high level of athletic involvement (doing more than one sport at a time), body weight, tightness of the calf muscles, flat feet and improper shoes (flip flops or flats).

Although Sever’s apophysitis is self-limiting, meaning that it eventually resolves by itself, it is best to have it evaluated and treated, as it may take a long time (months and, in some cases, years) until the symptoms go away.

Due to the intensity of symptoms, aggressive treatment is recommended and includes modification of activities, rest, ice, massage , anti-inflammatory medications, heel lifts in shoes, custom orthotics (inserts in shoes), calf stretches, and physical therapy. In severe cases, cast immobilization for 2-4 weeks is helpful. Overall, the prognosis for Sever’s apophysitis is excellent.

Iselin’s Disease

Iselin’s disease is inflammation of the growth plate of the fifth metatarsal base. Just like Sever’s apophysitis, Iselin’s affects physically-active children between ages of 8 and 14.

The most common sports leading to this condition include soccer, gymnastics, dance and basketball. Iselin’s apophysitis is an overuse condition of the base
of the fifth metatarsal. Tight calf muscles, high arch and flat foot type are predisposing factors.

Your child will complain of pain along the outer edge of the foot that is worse with activity and improves with rest. He/she may limp or walk on the inside of the foot.

The growth center may be enlarged, red, and painful to the touch as compared to the other side.

Treatments are similar to those of Sever’s apophysitis: modification of activities, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, custom orthotics, calf stretches, and in severe cases- cast immobilization.

Osgood-Schlatter

OSGOOD-SCHLATTER is a common cause of knee pain in children ages 10 to 15. It occurs due to a period of rapid growth, combined with a high level of sporting activity.

Osgood-Schlatter sounds far more frightening than it actually is. It is a common cause of knee pain in children ages 10 to 15. It occurs due to a period of rapid growth, combined with a high level of sporting activity.

These changes result in a pulling force from the patella tendon on the tibial tuberosity (bony protrusion at the top of the shin). This area then becomes inflamed, painful and swollen. Typical presentation includes pain over the tibial tuberosity, which is worse with and after athletic activities.

The area may become visibly inflamed and even larger in size than the unaffected side. Treatments include rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, quadriceps stretching, bracing (knee support knee strap to decrease tension on the patellar tendon) and physical therapy.

If you are at all concerned about your child, make an appointment today.