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

 

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

 

YourFeetNZ- The Podiatrist |Tips for Caring for Children’s Feet

The saying it take a village to raise a child may be true. We are here to help you care for your child’s feet and set a good example. Prevention is very important when it come to the health of your child, and this includes feet! Check out these ten tips for caring for feet

  1. Look carefully at your newborn’s feet. Lookout for abnormalities and make sure they get checked out and treated before they become a serious problem.

2.       Lightly cover your baby’s feet- Allowing your baby to kick and move around encourage muscle development in the feet. Tight covers could slow                development.

3.       Let your toddler go shoeless- Going barefoot indoors is healthy especially as a child begins to walk

4.       Watch for lingering toe-walking. Walking solely on the toes after age 2 could be a sign of more serious problems.

5.       Cut toenails straight across. This helps avoid ingrown toenails.

6.       Keep feet clean and dry. Clean, dry feet will help prevent infections.

7.       Buy shoes that fit well. Kids feet should be every time shoes are purchased because they grow so quickly.

8.       Prevention- Don’t allow your child to walk barefoot outdoors or in areas where sharp objects may be on the floor. This will prevent foreign objects from entering your child’s foot and causing pain and injury.

9.       Cover Cuts- Wash and cover cuts until they have healed.

10.     Set a Good Example- Take good care of your feet and your child should learn by example.

If you notice any abnormalities in your child’s feet, be sure to schedule an appointment with The Podiatrist.

 

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

http://www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

 

 

 

 

Preventing common foot problems: expert tips for improved podiatric health and overall wellness

These days, the vast majority of people are working to improve some aspect of their overall health. Popular resolutions can range from increased exercise and healthier eating habits to quitting smoking or simply taking a daily multivitamin; but amidst all these other goals, proper foot care often falls by the wayside. Common foot problems, such as foot pain, ingrown nails, athlete’s foot or bunions, are all too often neglected at the outset – and subsequently permitted to progress to the point where professional treatment is required to reverse the problem. In most cases, improved preventative care is all it takes to keep these conditions at bay. However, some conditions may require professional treatment or even surgery: and before attempting to self-diagnose or self-treat any foot injury, pain or infection, it is important to consult an experienced professional podiatrist to ensure proper diagnosis and a safe solution for lasting health.

The following guidelines can help individuals keep their feet healthy and happy all year long – and make it easier for them to detect early symptoms and warning signs in order to seek prompt and effective podiatric treatment:

  • Ingrown Nails –  Ingrown toenails can develop easily and without warning if nails are trimmed incorrectly or constricted in ill-fitting shoes. Left untreated, they can result in painful infections. Prevent ingrown toenails by cutting nails straight across and rounding the edges with a clean file — and take care to prioritize proper trimming and sanitation techniques when frequenting nail salons to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Nail Fungus – Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a common ailment that is particularly likely to affect athletes, elderly individuals and anyone with a genetic history of the disease. Fungus can start in a tiny portion of the nail and spread over time to the full nail, so frequent inspections (after bathing or while grooming, for example) are an essential preventative step. Take steps to avoid toenail fungus by keeping feet dry and clean, changing socks regularly and wearing shoes in public areas. For those already      battling nail fungus, consider advanced laser therapy for drug-free, long-lasting eradication of fungus and unsightly symptoms.
  • Bunions –as high heels, flats and flip-flops), most bunions are in fact the result of inherited structural defects and have little relation to one’s footwear. That being said, shoes that lack the proper support may well exacerbate the pain and swelling symptomatic of bunions. Individuals suffering from continuous foot pain, visible swelling on the big toe joint or restricted motion of the foot should consult The Podiatrist.

Professional guidance and preventative care with The Podiatrist.

Don’t wait to begin taking better care of your feet: commit to a better preventative care routine today, and consider visiting The Podiatrist for a check-up or consultation with our team of highly trained Podiatrists. As Podiatrists, we ensure top-quality care for all our patients and recommend the latest in healthcare solutions to help you look and feel your best.

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

Preventing common foot problems: expert tips for improved podiatric health and overall wellness

These days, the vast majority of people are working to improve some aspect of their overall health. Popular resolutions can range from increased exercise and healthier eating habits to quitting smoking or simply taking a daily multivitamin; but amidst all these other goals, proper foot care often falls by the wayside. Common foor problems such as foot pain, ingrown nails, athlete’s foot or bunions, are all too often neglected at the outset – and subsequently permitted to progress to the point where professional treatment is required to reverse the problem. In most cases, improved preventative care is all it takes to keep these conditions at bay. However, some conditions may require professional treatment or even surgery: and before attempting to self-diagnose or self-treat any foot injury, pain or infection, it is important to consult The Podiatrist to ensure proper diagnosis and a safe solution for lasting health.

The following guidelines can help individuals keep their feet healthy and happy all year long – and make it easier for them to detect early symptoms and warning signs in order to seek prompt and effective podiatric treatment:

  • Ingrown Nails – Ingrown toenails can develop easily and without warning if nails are trimmed incorrectly or constricted in ill-fitting shoes. Left untreated, they can result in painful infections. Prevent ingrown toenails by cutting nails straight across and rounding the edges with a clean file — and take care to prioritize proper  trimming and sanitation techniques when frequenting nail salons to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Nail Fungus – Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a common ailment that is particularly likely to affect athletes, elderly individuals and anyone with a genetic history of the disease. Fungus can start in a tiny portion of the nail and spread over time to the full nail, so frequent inspections (after bathing or while grooming, for example) are an essential preventative step. Take steps to avoid toenail fungus by keeping feet dry and clean, changing socks regularly and wearing shoes in public areas. For those already with nail fungus, consider advanced laser therapy for drug-free, long-lasting eradication of fungus and unsightly symptoms.
  • Bunions – Despite popular belief correlating bunions and badly-fitting shoes (such as high heels, flats and flip-flops), most bunions are in fact the result of inherited structural defects and have little relation to one’s footwear. That being said, shoes that lack the proper support may well exacerbate the pain and swelling symptomatic of bunions. Individuals suffering from continous foot painvisible swelling on the big toe joint or restricted motion of the foot should consult a podiatrist and consider the benefits of bunion surgery: because bunions are a progressive disorder, only surgery will reverse painful symptoms and allow patients to return to their normal activities in comfort.

Don’t wait to begin taking better care of your feet: commit to a better preventative care routine today, and consider visiting The Podiatrist for a consultation.

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Ingrown toenails

 

 

 

 

Not the most glamorous injury, but ingrown toenails are easily one of the more common and painful foot problems around.

Also known as onychocryptosis, there are a variety of ways an athlete could suffer from the problem.

Excessive pressure on the outside of the great toe, stubbing or having a toe stepped on, tight socks and shoes, even improper trimming of your nails can cause ingrown toenails.

The pain isn’t easy to deal with, as a soccer player is usually always on their feet.

With rugby, soccer, netball and tennis being a dynamic sport of rapid acceleration and changes in direction, kicking a ball, or landing on the toes with an ingrown toenail can be incredibly painful.

Along with soreness and sensitivity along the margins of the toenails, bacteria and fungi can easily infect the skin.

The foot’s warm and moist environment is a great breeding ground for a variety of infections.

The Podiatrist can treat an infected ingrown toenail immediately. Signs include a discoloured toe with discharge (watery, blood, pus). Any attempts at “home surgery” should not be attempted.

To prevent ingrown toenails, you want to protect the feet from trauma, avoid poorly fitting socks and shoes (too tight or too loose), and always make sure to trim your nails straight across with clippers to a comfortable length on a regular basis.

If uninfected, treat the feet by soaking them in either salt or warm soapy water. Drying them thoroughly, applying a mild antiseptic solution, and bandaging the toe will make a difference.

 

Visit The Podiatrist (www.thepodiatrist.co.nz)

Having healthy-looking feet means more than just painting your nail

Having healthy-looking feet means more than just painting
some pretty nail varnish on your toes.

SWEATY FEET

It is important to keep your feet clean and as dry as you can. However, the sole of the foot contains thousands of sweat glands so feet which have been kept hidden away in winter shoes and boots during cold and rainy days are prone to problems because warm, dark moist places encourage  such as athlete’s foot, fungal nail infections and verrucas. On top of this, bacteria that cause smelly feet flourish on warm, moist skin.

Make sure your shoes and socks are made from natural fibres and try and let your feet ‘breathe’ as much as possible.

The simplest way to deal with sweaty feet is to use a foot powder or antiperspirant. However, this may be insufficient in some people who have truly sweaty feet and have a condition called hyperhidrosis.

PAINFUL CONDITIONS

The most important thing is to vary the type of shoe and heel that you wear in order to reduce the repetitive strain on any one particular area of the foot. A low-heeled shoe will help with Achilles tendon problems and also plantar fasciitis.

Heel pain (called plantar fasciitis) can be caused by summery shoes such as flip-flops or ballet pumps. If you suffer from any of these see your Podiatrist.

If you have bunions (an enlargement of tissue around the big toe) or hammer toes (when your second, third or fourth toes are permanently bent) winter shoes can be very unforgiving. If you are having regular problems seek advice from a Podiatrist who will be able to give you different treatment options, and recommend a surgeon if needed.

 

CRACKED HEELS

Thick cracked skin on the heels is very common and the best way to deal with this is to start off with a visit to your Podiatrist who will remove the hard skin, and then advise on a home maintenance regime, which will involve the use of a foot cream (Gehwol foot care products).

Home maintenance will also include regular use of pumice to keep the skin smooth. Make sure the foot is nice and dry and gradually file the skin. If you are diabetic the skin loses its ability to sweat which is very important in naturally moisturising your feet and preventing cracking. If you have also lost skin sensation, these cracks may not be noticed or healed and this can lead on to significant problems. In this situation it is essential that you see a Podiatrist (chiropodist) regularly for your foot care rather than taking it on yourself. This is also true if you have circulatory problems in your feet.

TOENAILS

Make sure you cut your toenails properly as painful conditions can occur without care.

Keep your nails trimmed. Undercutting the end of the nail in this way increases the risk of the nail edge growing forward into the nail – a so-called ‘in-growing toe nail’. Cutting them too short also encourages this to occur.

Thickened, yellow, brittle nails are a sign of a fungal nail infection. Treating this infection can be very difficult and it is best to make sure that you get nail clippings sent off to the lab before starting any anti-fungals.

Identification of the exact cause and targeted anti-fungal treatment increases the chance of success but beware as this can take several months. Sweaty feet make this more difficult.

GENERAL CARE

It’s a good idea to have a regular foot care routine to keep you feet healthy.

If you are diabetic, make sure you inspect them regularly, especially if you have lost the feeling in them.

Firstly wash your feet in warm water, preferably with an anti-bacterial soap. Make sure you dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes as the skin here is prone to a fungal infection called athlete’s foot. When dried, moisturise your feet.

Hard skin can be rubbed with a pumice stone when you are washing your feet. Severe hard skin on the sole is usually down to excessive pressure and you really ought to see a Podiatrist (chiropodist) to have this removed or protected with insoles.”

A verruca on the other hand has a dark centre and is more discrete. It is caused by the human papilloma virus.

ATHLETE’S FOOT

Scaly, itchy feet can be due to athlete’s foot and it is actually quite common for this to be resistant to treatment with the standard over-the-counter preparations.

If this is the case you should see you GP as oral medications may be required.

Make sure that you treat your socks and shoes with powder as well as these can harbour the fungus and cause re-infection.

Please seek professional advice if you are diabetic, have circulatory problems, or want more information.

Your feet – Ingrown toenails

Definition

An ingrown toenail is a common condition in which the corner or side of one of your toenails grows into the soft flesh of that toe. The result is pain, redness, swelling and, sometimes, an infection.

Often, you can take care of ingrown toenails on your own. If the pain is severe or spreading, however, your Podiatrist can take steps to relieve your discomfort and help you avoid complications of an ingrown toenail.

If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation to your feet, you’re at greater risk of complications from an ingrown toenail.