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

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

 

Stretch and Stretching | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

holding each stretch for 30 secs

Stretching properly is a little more technical than just swinging your leg over a park bench. There are methods and techniques that will maximize the benefits and minimize the risk of injury.

Which muscles should be stretch?

As a general rule; if it’s not tight and it’s not causing you any problems, you don’t need to stretch it. There are a few exceptions to this (such as athletes that require increased flexibility for their chosen sport), but for most people this is a wise rule to follow. So if you perform a stretch and you don’t feel any tension in the target muscle group, this would indicate that you’re not tight in that area.
As you start to notice which muscles are tight and which muscles aren’t, aim to create a balance of flexibility between the front of your body and the back of your body, and the left side of your body and the right side of your body.
For example, if you notice that your right hamstring muscles are tighter than your left hamstrings muscles, work on the right hamstring muscles until you have even flexibility in both

When to Stretch?

Most people understand the importance of stretching as part of a warm-up or cool-down, but when else should you stretch? Stretch periodically throughout the entire day. It is a great way to stay loose and to help ease the stress of everyday life. One of the most productive ways to utilize time is to stretch while watching television. Start with five minutes of marching or jogging on the spot then take a seat on the floor in front of the television and start stretching.

Should I Stretch Every Day?

Firstly, we need to make a distinction between doing a few gentle stretches and doing a more intense flexibility training session. Take regular “Stretch Breaks” throughout the day to keep loose and limber. However, a more intense flexibility training session is another thing altogether.

Hold, Count, Repeat

For Static and Passive stretching, some text will say that holding a stretch for as little as ten seconds is enough. This is a bare minimum. Ten seconds is only just enough time for the muscles to relax and start to lengthen. For any real improvement to flexibility, each stretch should be held for at least twenty to thirty seconds, and repeated at least two or three times.

For all your foot problems, contact The Podiatrist
http://www.thepodiatrist.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

Tips For Relieving The Pain Of Sore Feet: The Podiatrist and YourFeet

there are many reasons for sore feet

Sore feet are not only uncomfortable; they can put a big dent in your productivity and turn even the simplest task into a burdensome chore. Causes for sore feet can range from ill-fitting shoes to physical deformities, but luckily there are as many different solutions as there are problems; the trick is finding what works best for you. Many common foot problems like heel spurs, flat feet and torn ligaments can be solved best by using bio-mechanical intervention that can range from drug store variety inserts to custom-made orthotic devices.
Determining the Problem
To find the source of sore feet, start with the obvious culprit, ill-fitting shoes that do not provide the proper support for your body frame. So called “sensible shoes” with low profiles, sturdy arches and ankle support often provide instant relief from minor foot issues caused by inappropriate footwear. Under some conditions, like standing on hard or uneven surfaces all day, additional relief can be provided by drug store inserts that create a layer of cushioning for your feet to reduce the impact of each step. If these simple tactics do not yield favorable results, it is wise to consult with The Podiatrist to examine your feet to determine if you are suffering from treatable foot maladies that would benefit from custom-made orthotic devices.
Orthotic Solutions
The Podiatrist can examine your foot to determine if your problem results from an injury to or is the result of the way your foot functions in relation to the rest of your body. Injuries from sports and recreational activities can often be cured by providing proper support during the recuperation process so that the injury is not irritated and can heal properly. These types of inserts, pads and braces are temporary and will eventually become unnecessary.
If the problem lies in the basic structure of your foot, however, a more permanent orthotic will be recommended that is strategically designed to make your foot function correctly when you take a step. A cast of your foot is made and The Podiatrist uses this model to create the proper orthotic out of plastic, wood or rigid rubber. This kind of treatment can not only provide relief for sore feet, it can also have a direct impact on your legs and torso because it subtly changes your posture and corrects muscular issues that stemmed from improper balance.
See The Podiatrist for any foot problems.
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Heel Pain: It may not be Plantar Fasciitis

structure if the heel- calcaneus

Heel pain affects a large portion of the population, often resulting in visits to The Podiatrist. Plantar fasciitis is typically the diagnosis the patient receives during the visit; however, plantar fasciitis is only one potential cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a strong, dense strip of tissue that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot. Its sole job is to support the arch of the foot. .
It is easy to see how the plantar fascia may be causing all this pain as the foot impacts the ground when you think about how often the full weight of the body is concentrated on the plantar fascia. This forces it to stretch as the arch of the foot flattens from the full weight of the body, possibly leading to stress where the plantar fascia attaches at the heel bone. If this keeps up, the result can be pain caused by small tears of the fascia.
If it is not the plantar fascia then what else could be causing my heel pain?
Calf muscle weakness (muscles on the back of the lower leg) can result in referred pain directly to the heel.This is seen after someone has changed/added a workout program or modified the type of shoes they wear. This adds additional stress to the calf muscles that they may not have been ready for and lead small areas of irritation in the muscles.>
Calf muscle tightness – this causes the connective tissue surrounding the muscle to pull harder on the Achilles tendon leading to tightness at the heel, possibly resulting in the pain you’re feeling.
Sciatic nerve irritation – the nerve that runs from the low back through the hip and down the leg to the foot can get tight or pinched not allowing the nerve to move easily as you walk. This can lead to irritation of the nerve causing pain that is located at the heel. This is very common for anyone with any history of low back pain or hip pain.
Poor Posture – if you sit slumped forward most of the day the muscles and structures from the back of your neck, upper back, lower back, and hips can get tight and shortened, consequently pulling on the heel.>
Weakness of the muscles around the hip can cause muscles in the leg to shorten to help stabilize, consequently pulling on the heel.>
Why is this so confusing?
It may be hard for you to pinpoint the cause of heel pain yourself because the symptoms are the same for all of the above listed causes. No matter what the cause, you will experience pain on or around the heel when weight is placed on the foot. This is usually worse in the morning, especially with the first few steps after getting out of bed. In most cases, there is no pain at night, but this is not a rule as many of our patients report increased pain at night. Pain of typical plantar fasciitis is typically believed to decrease over the course of the day as the tissue warms up; however, patients have also reported increased discomfort as the day progresses, leading on to investigate other areas as the source or cause. Additionally, prolonged standing, walking, or getting up after long periods of sitting are commonly reported with all of the above causes. Again, the reports can be as varied as the potential causes.
Activities that make the pain worse:
Excessive running or jumping
Changing physical activity (especially for athletes)
High arches, flat feet, abnormal gait
Wearing improper shoes while walking or running
The Steps to Relieve Heel Pain
In most cases, heel pain does not require surgery and can be treated conservatively, but the first step is to obtain an evaluation by The Podiatrist who can help pin point the actual cause of the pain that’s specific to you. It is important to not treat the symptom of heel pain, but to isolate and treat the cause.
The Podiatrist may then recommend treatment , depending on the needs of your particular condition. In extremely painful conditions, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, and in severe cases give you a cortisone shot to address excessive inflammation.
Most people with heel pain get better with the help of The Podiatrist, but don’t wait. The longer you “live” with the pain the longer it may take to get rid of it as your body adapts. Most acute cases (less than 30 days) can get better within 6-8 weeks. Additionally, treatment should include activities that directly address the cause of your heel pain and are designed to include you in the healing process, so your participation is critical.
The Podiatrist specializes in the treatment and management of all foot related problems and will assess what is the cause of your foot/heel pain, not the symptom.
For more information or to find out if you are a good candidate for our services contact The Podiatrist
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

A parent’s guide to foot health for athletic kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the Olympics approaching in July, you can expect to witness some amazing feats of athleticism this summer. But Olympic athletes won’t be the only ones competing hard in sports – so will your kids.

Millions of children worldwide will participate in sports this year, from softball to soccer and swimming to cycling. No matter what their sport or whether they play competitively or just for fun, they will have one important thing in common: They’ll need their feet to be pain-free if they’re going to play their best and prevent injuries.

Sports play a significant role in the lives of millions of young athletes. Parents need to be aware that sports, which require a substantial amount of running, turning, and contact, can translate to injuries. Protecting children’s feet from injuries, and bringing them to a podiatrist when problems occur, can help keep kids in the game and make the sport more enjoyable.

Some tips for helping protect children’s feet while playing sports:

* Protective taping of the ankles is often necessary to help prevent sprains or fractures.

* Buying a shoe designed for the specific sport your child plays not only improves your child’s performance in the sport, it also can help protect him or her from serious foot and ankle injuries.

* Without the right sock, even the best athletic shoe won’t score points-on the field or off. Athletic socks should consist of a natural/synthetic blend, which is best at wicking away moisture and minimizing foot odour. Socks should not have large seams that might cause blisters or irritation.

Commonly played sports and the risks associated with them include:

* Netball and Basketball – Children playing basketball may be at risk for ankle sprains, tendinitis and plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the thick band of tissue on the sole of the foot). To minimize the risk of foot injury, choose a shoe with a thick, stiff sole, high ankle support and shock absorption.

* Tennis – The rapid, repetitive lateral movements and shifting of weight required of tennis players can lead to injuries such as ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis and corns or calluses. Tennis players will do best with a flexible-soled shoe that supports both sides of the foot.

* Running – Movements required of runners include leg extension and hitting the balls of the feet with a great deal of force. Running can lead to shin splints, heel pain and blisters. A good running shoe should offer good support and shock absorption. In some cases, custom orthotics may be necessary to provide additional support and control of foot motion.

* Rugby and Soccer – The running, jumping and lateral movements required of rugby and soccer players can lead to many foot injuries, with heel pain and shin splints being among the most common. Rugby and soccer boots should provide multiple cleats in the heel area and enough room for thick .

Sports-related foot and ankle injuries are on the rise as more children participate actively in sports. Parents need to be vigilant to ensure children’s feet remain healthy and safe. And remember – lack of complaint by a child is not a reliable sign that everything is fine. The bones of growing feet are so flexible that they can be twisted and distorted without the child being aware of it.

Ensuring your child’s feet stay healthy could go a long way – your young athlete could one day be the next superstar athlete. If your child participates in strenuous sports, monitor his or her foot health closely. If you suspect a problem, take your child to The Podiatrist for evaluation and treatment

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

Are your feet making you fat?

 

 

 

 

The shoes you wear can make you feel slim, sexy, and stylish—or they can leave you wincing in pain.

Ever wonder how much damage you are doing when you walk to work in sky-high heels or scuff through errands in flip-flops?

How High Heels Cause You Pain

There’s a reason most women willingly forgo comfort to squeeze their feet into stilettos: Adding inches makes you look slimmer, accentuates calf muscles, and even lifts your backside.

But you may be doing lasting damage if you live your life in heels. A 2011 Danish study found that walking in heels can increase the risk of osteoarthritis six-fold.

Tighter quads.
Imagine standing on the edge of a ski slope with your toes pointing downhill. To compensate for this tipped-forward position, it’s natural to bend your knees slightly and arch your back. As a result, your quads are forced to work overtime, which makes them tight and prone to injury. Walking with your knees slightly bent also puts 200 percent more stress on your kneecaps, which can wear away at the cartilage and increase your risk of developing arthrits.

Screaming shins.
The added height of heels puts extra strain on the shin muscles, which control the forefoot. This repetitive strain can eventually lead to painful shin splints.

Knotty calves.
Heels put your calf muscles in a shortened position. Over time, this can become permanent: One study in the Journal of Experimental Biology found regular heel wearers had calf muscles that were an average of 13 percent shorter than those of nonheel wearers, making it uncomfortable for them to walk without heels because their natural stride was thrown off.

High Heels Help

Stretch it out.
Give your calves a good daily stretch like this one from Bowman: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place a rolled-up towel under the ball of your right foot. Lower your right heel to the floor. Once you’re comfortable here, take a small step forward with your left foot, keeping your hips square. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and work up to 60 seconds.

Massage your shins.
Relieve shin pain with a gentle self-rubdown, applying long vertical finger strokes down the front of your lower leg. Then focus on kneading the muscles horizontally, says Bowman.

Embrace the commuter shoe.
Switch to low-heeled options for getting places, and save those skyscrapers for when you’re mostly sitting pretty.

Shop smarter
Feet swell over the day, so if a shoe feels slightly tight at 7 a.m., it’ll be a vise by nightfall. Only buy shoes that are roomy enough, and consider going lower. Research shows that 2-inch heels create impact forces 4 percent greater than flats, while 3-inch heels boost stress by 33 percent

How Flats Cause Foot Pain

Flats sound like the healthier alternative to heels, but the truth is that even a basic ballet flat or canvas casual can be just as problematic.

Many flats lack internal support (like the kind you find in a sneaker). Without it, the ligaments and tendons along the bottom of your foot can overstretch and the arch can collapse. This in turn can lead to the painful foot condition plantar fasciitis—a notoriously hard-to-treat burning or aching along the bottom of the foot. Poor internal support is especially problematic if you’re naturally flat-footed.

Strained soles.
Many casual flats have even less interior cushioning than heels or sandals. This lack of padding can trigger pain in the heel or ball of your foot when you’re walking, especially if you have high arches.

Fixes for Flat Shoes

Give your feet a workout.
To wear shoes with no built-in support, you need to strengthen the tiny foot muscles that support your arch. Try doing toe lifts: Raise your big toe without moving the rest of the gang. Until you get the knack, wiggle your toes and rub your feet vigorously, which will stimulate your nerve endings and help wake up your feet. Do 20 toe lifts per foot.

Stretch it out.
Just as the abductor/adductor machine at the gym strengthens your outer and inner thighs, you can work your toe abductors and adductors to make the muscles of your foot stronger and more supportive. Start by interlacing your fingers with your toes to help press them apart, then spread and relax them without assistance from your hands. Hold the stretch long enough to sing the alphabet. Do this once a day (or up to three times if you have bunions).

Bump it up.
Help strengthen the small muscles in your feet and lower legs by striding barefoot across an uneven surface such as cobblestones. This also helps stimulate the nerves in your feet. Buy a pre-made cobblestone mat with smooth stones already glued to it, or find (or make) a bumpy space to walk back and forth on in your backyard.

Add OTC insoles.
If you have flat feet (your wet footprint shows the entire foot), foam or rubber insoles can help prevent your arches from collapsing. If you have high arches (you see only the heel and ball of your foot in your footprint), look for an insole with more rigid arch support.

Shop smarter
Look for flats with an insole that curves along the same lines as your foot and arch. Then try to fold the shoe in half—it should bend only at the ball (the same place your foot naturally bends as you walk). Also avoid pairs that fold right in the middle or roll up easily.

How Toning Shoes Cause Foot Pain

Shoes with rounded or “rocker” soles that purportedly increase muscle activity and boost calorie burn are big business—after all, who doesn’t want to get a workout without really working out? But despite their medical provenance (rocker-bottom shoes were originally engineered to help patients with pain in the balls of the feet, says Leahy), consider the following before you get a pair as a fitness tool.

Stress case.
The rigid soles prevent arches from naturally flexing. Eventually, this can cause your arches to flatten and lead to overpronation (when the feet excessively roll in while walking). The result: Your feet absorb less shock, causing your knees and back to take on extra stress.

Relief from Rocker Shoes

Be inspired (but don’t skip your strength workout).
If these shoes help you feel more conscious of the benefits of every step you take and make you want to walk more, go for it! But don’t skip proven strengtheners. The best way to tone your lower body is with strength moves such as squats and lunges, not just walking around in toning shoes.

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

Training for the Auckland Marathon? Are Your Feet Marathon Ready?

Your feet need to be in tip-top shape if you expect to run 138,336 feet to actually finish a marathon.

Being that your feet are the connection to the ground, they have to primed and steps should be taken to avoid injury that can slow you down or knock you out of the race. So whether you are training to win or simply running to run, it is important to know what foot problems can occur, and hopefully treat them before they become a marathon-breaker.

Specific Marathon Foot Issues: No matter how experienced a runner, the foot is always susceptible to running injuries, and this risk amplified during marathon training. On marathon day, however, there is specific injury risk because runners tend to me more committed to “running though” a problem (new
or old).

A method to remember marathon-related foot problems is the mnemonic “ABCD“:

Abrasions & Blisters

Bone Breaks

Cramping & Tendon Problems

Disorders of the Toenail

Provided below are explanations of marathon-related foot injuries as well as preventative measures. Should you, the reader (or runner), have any additional preventive solutions or tips for any of the running ABCD’s, please share them.

Abrasions & Blisters: Pressure points and repetitive irritation set the stage for abrasions and blisters. Common runner pressure spots are on the top of the toes, big toe joint area and the back part of the heel. Runners with bunions and hammer toes are more likely to have skin irritation. An abrasion is a simple break in the skin, whereas a blister is lifting of the skin with a fluid collection beneath it.

  • Preventive Solutions:
    Prevention is best form of treatment. Keep skin thoroughly moisturized, as dry
    skin is more prone to tearing. Callused areas should be targeted, and urea
    creams are specifically useful in breaking down excessive skin build-up.
    Callus/corn removers should be used cautiously as they contain salicylic acid
    and can excessively deteriorate tissue, leading to open sores.
  • Socks are important in the battle
    against skin irritation when running long distances. Specialty socks have
    specific protective cushioned areas dedicated to pressure spots.
  • Ill-fitting footwear is one of the
    main reason for friction, so it’s important to have sneakers that best fit your
    foot type. Also, carefully inspect the stitching at the front of the sneaker
    where the toes bend to be sure that it does not rub when fully extended. Newer
    sneakers are more likely to be problematic.

Bone Breaks: Fractures (aka bone breaks) are the most serious problem that a runner could develop. They typically start as a microscopic fracture (stress fracture) and can progress onto a through and through break. Most common are metatarsal stress fractures involving the second toe region. Heel strike runners may be more susceptible to stress fractures of the heel bone.

An acute stress fracture is often present with varying degrees of pain, swelling, and sometimes redness, though stress fractures may occur without you even knowing it. Running with a stress fracture is not medically advised, and most health care professionals would recommend calling off the race. Runners who don’t heed such advice may fully fracture through the bone which could lead to bone displacement (malalignment) — a potentially serious problem. Some people may have brittle bones making them more likely to develop a bone injury. Certain foot types seem to be more prone to stress fractures — very flat feet or very high arched feet.

  • Preventive Solutions:
    Over stressing the foot is what often leads to fractures. Pain may also be an
    indicator that you are training beyond the current capability of your foot, so
    it may be necessary to scale back. Pain should not be ignored, and any could be
    a sign of a fracture, so seeking professional medical care is recommended.
  • More cushioned sneakers do not
    necessarily offer more protection from developing an injury, and running form
    may be more important. Nonetheless, properly fitting running sneakers are
    important to help you become more in tune with your running technique.
    Depending of foot structure, orthotics may help balance the foot and take
    pressure off those spots prone to stress fractures.
  • Proper nutrition is important in
    maintaining strong bones. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen formation, a
    precursor to bone. Calcium is needed for proper bone health and Vitamin D helps
    promote Calcium absorption. Eating a balanced meal should be a part of your
    overall health plan.

Cramping & Tendonitis: Biomechanical and structural problems within the foot tend to manifest as shin splints, arch cramping, plantar fasciitis and/or tendinitis. Less experienced runners tend to develop these problems and is commonly the result of training past the capabilities of your foot. Tight  musculature may also be at the root of cramping and shin splints. These problems tend to be self-limited and resolve with targeted treatment programs, but can set you back in terms of being marathon ready.

  • Preventive Solutions: Building
    strength and stamina slowly is the best method to avoid injury. Be sure to
    incorporate a thorough stretching program to keep muscles and tendons stretched
    and warmed up. Weak muscles within the foot can be strengthened with specific
    foot training programs. Ease cramping in the foot with post-run Epsom salt
    baths. Deep tissue massage is also a helpful measure.
  • Arch supports (orthotics) can help
    manage arch pain by providing support and perhaps better alignment of the foot
    in certain people. Of course, foot type plays a big role in selecting the
    proper amount of support. Running in the wrong-type of sneaker for your foot
    may be responsible for discomfort, so changing sneakers may be beneficial. A
    break from running may be necessary to resolve the problem. Runners with
    persistent problems should seek the advice of a health care professional.

Disorders of the Toenail: A black toenail is a problem that every marathon runner has experienced, and is the result of bleeding beneath the nail plate. Pressure and friction from repetitive running seem to be the culprit. The damaged nail can be painful and often results in the toenail falling off.
Fortunately, a black toenail doesn’t typically interfere with training and common is self-limiting.

  • Preventive Solutions:
    Prevention is difficult, as the black toenail is often the result of prolonged
    toenail irritation from the intense mileage of training. Again, properly
    fitting shoes with enough room for the toenails are helpful. Keep toenails well
    trimmed to not create a fulcrum for the nail to become lifted. It is unclear if
    moisturizing the toenails offers any protective benefit but a soft nail may,
    theoretically, be less prone to damage. Should you develop an acute painful
    black toenail, then medical attention may be needed to alleviate the active
    collection of blood. An irritated loose nail may become infected and this can
    be serious.

By the time marathon day rolls around, and if you have avoided or overcome injury during your training and your feet are pain free, then you likely have feet that are ready to start a marathon.

 

For any advice on footwear or if you have any problems, make an appointment with The Podiatrist.

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.