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Summer and your feet | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

foot-soak-bowl

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.

Get started on resolving your foot problem today.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

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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

 

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

 

How to avoid common running injuries | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

buying running shoes

Running is a great way to get in shape, but it can also lead to injuries. Knowing about common injuries and how to prevent them can keep you on track toward achieving your fitness goals.

Running right
Experts recommend the following strategies to prevent injuries:
Identify your running goals.

You may choose to begin running to improve your physique, lose weight, increase cardiovascular fitness, or socialize with friends. Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to identify this goal when creating your exercise program. If you want to improve cardiovascular fitness, for instance, you should run at a quick pace to maximize your heart rate. If you’re running to lose weight or reduce body fat, it’s better to run at a slower rate for a longer period of time. Depending on your goal, your doctor or personal trainer may decide that a modest walking or jogging program is appropriate. Setting goals helps you follow a safe pace and keeps you from overexertion, which can result in injury.

Have a physical evaluation.
Certain health problems may hamper your running performance and increase your risk for injury. Specifically, osteoporosis, arthritis, and other degenerative joint diseases can increase your injury risk. If you have any significant health issues, you should discuss these with your doctor before you start to run.

Warm up before your run and stretch after you run.
Doing so can prevent some of the most common injuries. It’s most important to stretch muscles that move joints. These include the calf muscle, which moves the knee and ankle, and the hamstring, which moves the knee and hip. Walk or gently jog for five minutes; cool down at the same pace for another five minutes at the end of your run.
Wear the correct shoes.
Buying shoes at an athletic store, where a salesclerk can help you choose a shoe that fits your foot type, can help prevent injuries.

Common injuries

The following injuries are common among runners:

Achilles tendonitis.
This injury is marked by dull or sharp pain along the back of the Achilles tendon, calf tightness, and early morning stiffness. Stretching can help prevent this injury. To treat it, rest, and stretch until the pain is gone.

Plantar fasciitis.
This injury is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick, fibrous band of tissue in the bottom of the foot. Proper stretching can help prevent such an injury. Anti-inflammatory medication, stretching, and ice compresses help relieve pain.

Shin splints.
This injury, also called medial tibial stress syndrome, is caused by overuse or poor conditioning and worsened by running on hard surfaces. This injury causes pain on the inside of the shinbone. Shin splints are treated by complete rest and stretching until the pain is gone. You can relieve symptoms by stretching and using ice and anti-inflammatories. Once your symptoms have eased, you should make changes in the distance you run and your speed.

For expert advice- see The Podiatrist
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Preventing child injuries | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

worn down shoes may be a sign of a problem

In many cases, there is a predisposition for injuries that occur in adolescent athletes. The following list are some tell-tale signs that may help to prevent future injuries to a child.
1. The child tends to stumble or even trip while walking or running.
2. One shoulder is lower than the other.
3. The hips are asymmetrical when walking or running.
4. The knees point inward or outward rather than straight ahead.
5. The feet turn in or out while walking or running.
6. There is an early heel-off with all the weight going to the ball of the feet.
7. When the child stands, the arches are very high or extremely flat.
8. The child complains of night cramps that wake him or her in the night or muscle spasms in the feet and legs.
9. The child has noticeable hammertoes, bunions, or bony enlargements in the forefoot or rearfoot.
10. The wear pattern on the child’s shoes appears to be worn down on the outside or inside.

If some, or even a few, of these signs are present, the child should be professionally evaluated as prevention is the best form of treatment. It is the group of pre-teens and teens who play two or more sports that I am most concerned with as there is a greater chance of overuse injuries. There is also a greater chance of injury to the epiphysis, or growth center of bone. Injury to the epiphysis of the heel, knee, or hip can cause a disturbance in the bone formation.
The growing pains of children are at times due to the pain of the apophyseal (heel growth plate) injury. Many of the gait abnormalities can be helped by stretching and strengthening exercises, conditioning programs, ice therapy, cross training, and biomechanical orthotic shoe inserts which should control the problem and allow the child to continue with his or her respective sport.
If you are concerned about the way your child/ren walk or run, or if they have any problems, call The Podiatrist.
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz
http://www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

There are right and wrong ways to use ice for injuries | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

ice or injuries

Ice treatment is most commonly used for acute injuries. If you have a recent injury (within the last 48 hours) where swelling is a problem, you should be using ice treatment. Ice packs can help minimize swelling around the injury.
Ice packs are often used after injuries such as an ankle sprain have occurred. Applying an ice pack early and often for the first 48 hours will help minimize swelling. Decreasing swelling around an injury will help to control the pain.
Ice treatments may also be used for chronic conditions, such as overuse injuries in athletes. In this case, ice the injured area after activity to help control inflammation. Never ice a chronic injury before activity. An athlete who has chronic hip or knee pain that increases after running may want to ice the injured area after each run to reduce or prevent inflammation.
Ice is a vaso-constrictor (it causes the blood vessels to narrow) and it limits internal bleeding at the injury site. There is controversy as to whether continued application of ice results in a sudden vasodilatation of the blood vessels and if so, at what time this response begins and how often a cycle of constriction and dilation occurs.
To ice an injury, wrap ice in a thin towel and place it on the affected area for 10 minutes at a time. Allow the skin temperature to return to normal before icing a second or third time. You can ice an acute injury several times a day for up to three days.
Ice for no more than 20 minutes at a time, as too much ice can cause frostbite. More ice does not mean more relief.
Heat treatment
Heat treatments should be used for chronic conditions to help relax and loosen tissues, and to stimulate blood flow to the area. Use heat treatments for chronic conditions, such as overuse injuries, before participating in activities.
Do not use heat treatments after activity, and do not use heat after an acute injury. Heating tissues can be accomplished using a heating pad, or even a hot, wet towel. When using heat treatments, be very careful to use a moderate heat for a limited time to avoid burns. Never leave heating pads or towels on for extended periods of time, or while sleeping.
Moist heat is best, so you could try using a hot, wet towel. You can buy special athletic hot packs or heating pads if you use heat often. Never leave heating pads on for more than 20 minutes at a time or while sleeping.
More about ice
• Sometimes ice may not be ideal for certain injuries, but there are still times when it can help an athlete out.
• Drinking ice water can lower your core temperature enough during training or racing on hot days to boost endurance. And putting ice on highly vascular areas during a race can be very beneficial too.
• Cryotherapy in the form of ice baths isn’t recommended for recovery and icing an area of soreness has not been linked to reducing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), but cold baths may be beneficial. Cold baths or showers can help speed recovery, but this does not mean to sit in a bucket of ice: the idea is not to try to numb your body. If you have an area of your body that is tight or sore, say your calves, then you may help the healing and recovery by standing in a cold bucket of water. Make it cold enough so the ice slowly melts in the water.
See The Podiatrist if you have any injuries.
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

How to Prevent Foot Issues Caused by Running.4 Common Foot Ailments Runners Can Prevent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running is one of the best ways to tone the lower body and lose weight, but it can happen at the expense of your poor feet. Aside from sore feet, here are four common foot issues runners often experience.

Black Toenails

What it is: When sneakers don’t fit well, feet may slide forward with each step. This constant tapping injures the toenail, making it bleed underneath, also known as subungual hematoma. It can cause pain and eventually loss of the nail.

How to prevent it: Ensure that your sneakers fit properly — not too snug and not too loose. There should be about a thumbs-width distance between your big toe and the end of the shoe, without the heels sliding up and down. Keeping your toenails trimmed can also prevent this issue, so there’s an excuse to treat yourself to a visit to The Podiatrist!

 

Plantar Fasciitis

What it is: One of the most common causes of heel pain, this frequent issue for newbie runners affects women more than men. The plantar fascia is the flat ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. If it gets stretched too far and tears, it causes inflammation making every footstep, or even just standing, painful.

How to prevent it: Pronation (when feet roll inward), high arches, and flat feet are prone to this condition, so find a pair of sneakers that supports your specific type of foot. Don’t try to save money by wearing shoes longer than recommended, as this can lead to heel pain as well. Running extremely long distances on hard surfaces like pavement can also cause plantar fasciitis, so when training for a big race, up your mileage .

Keep reading to learn how to prevent two other foot issues that plague runners.

 

Blisters

What they are: The skin on your feet may be thick and tough, but when exposed to constant friction, moisture, and heat, fluid collects between the top and bottom layers of the skin. The fluid in a blister actually acts as a cushion, but can be very painful if it breaks open, and possibly lead to an infection.

How to prevent it: Make sure your sneakers fit well and although wearing new sneaks almost always means dealing with a blister, it can be prevented by breaking in your sneakers gradually over a few weeks. Walk around in them first, and when you start running with them, keep it to shorter distances. Always wear good quality wicking socks to absorb sweat and prevent getting your feet wet by avoiding puddles. If you notice a blister starting to form, apply a band-aid or piece of tape on the area to prevent further irritation. We also have a fantastic sports cream from Gehwol that prevents blisters from forming. I used it while doing the NYC Marathon last year and did not get 1 single blister.

 

Heel Fissures

What it is: When the skin on feet becomes extremely dry, the constant pounding of running can cause it to crack — also known as a heel fissure. If the crack is deep enough, it can bleed and put you at risk for an infection.

How to prevent it: If feet are dry, use a pumice stone in the shower to gently slough off dead skin cells, and then follow up with a thick moisturizer. When not running, avoid wearing shoes that expose your skin (like sandals), as this can dry the skin out even more.

Make a visit to The Podiatrist for expert care for your feet and see our range of foot care products.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

High-heeled shoes a danger

One of the first pieces of advice I give any new runner is in regards to shoes. I tell anyone who’s just starting out to go to a running specific store and to get fitted for a proper running shoe.

Many assume the name brand they got off the shelf at a major sports store is sufficient, but they are not. A properly fitted shoe can make or break a running career. One of the leading causes of running injury is due to improper footwear. Most runners accept this truth about shoes early on. However, one thing we don’t do is focus on the proper footwear when we’re not running.

Most runners fall into the category of wearing expensive shoes while they run, yet walk around in flimsy jandals the rest of the day. Many office professionals spend the majority of their day in dress shoes. They look great, but may be the root cause of your next running injury- especially high heels. Of all the flawed footwear, high heels may be the most risky choice for a runner. Research points to the fact that runners who wear high heels may be at greater risk for foot, knee, or back injury.

High heels are honestly not a great shoe for anyone. They are the number on cause of ingrown toenails, they can lead to lower back pain, hip soreness, osteoarthritis, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, dislocated toes, calluses, joint pain, bunions, and sprained ankles.

When a runner puts on their heels, she’s more likely to experience these problems and then some, as her feet are going through additional strain.
“If you wear heels all day and then I go running you can sometimes feel the bones in your foot stretching out afterwards because they’ve been compressed all day. It often hurts around the balls of my feet and you can notice the changes of the feet and toes from wearing pointy-toed heels.

While running brings its own soreness and possible ailments, the heels just add insult to injury. As running will cause tightness in the legs and calves, wearing heels will cause even more tightness on top of that, potentially leading to injury. Heels can squeeze the toes and cause a neuroma, or pinched nerve, especially in people with flat feet. Running can aggravate a neuroma. Sensing a theme here? Heels hurt the body, running on these hurts will only make it worse.

Many women have just decided to ditch the heels all together. For runners not willing to give up their pretty shoes, just limit your exposure.

Simply put, runners need to be more cautious than the average heel wearer about how often they slip on their high-heeled shoes.

For expert advice on any foot problems, visit The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz