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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

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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

 

Did you know that June 1 was National Running Day?

Whether you take a leisurely jog or sprint to the finish line in a marathon, running is great exercise. In fact, running is one of the easiest and most popular sports among non-professional athletes.

Running offers many benefits, including improved cardiovascular and respiratory function, weight loss, reduced cholesterol and increased muscle and bone strength, as well as a healthier mental outlook. But with any sport or activity comes the risk of injury.

Runners of all levels are at risk for significant injuries to their hips, knees, legs, ankles and feet. One of the best ways to prevent injury is to avoid injury. By taking simple precautions and watching for signs of potential problems, individuals can prevent or minimize many injuries.

The majority of injuries are caused by excess — running too far, too fast or too often. In addition to strains and sprains, blisters and cramps, some of the more common injuries include:

· Hip and thigh injuries — Bursitis, stress fractures, and hamstring pulls or tears are typically caused by inflammation and strain from overexertion or
improper running techniques.

· Knee injuries — Patello-femoral syndrome, more commonly called “runner’s knee” is characterized by a dull ache or sharp pain under or around the  kneecap and is often accompanied by a grinding sensation when the knee is bent then straightened. Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome can also produce inflammation and pain in and around the knee.

· Leg injuries — Shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome is a cumulative but painful condition resulting from too much force being placed on
the shinbone (tibia) and surrounding tissues.

· Ankle injuries – Sprains vary in severity but typically result in pain, swelling and bruising. Achilles tendonitis is a painful inflammation in the back of the ankle, which if left untreated, can lead to a ruptured tendon.

· Foot injuries — Plantar fasciitis, which can cause sharp pain or a dull ache in the bottom of the foot near the heel or in the arch, is typically caused by poor foot structure, inadequate running shoes or a sudden increase in the distance run. Improper shoes and downhill running can also cause painful Runner’s toe.

The good news is that these injuries are treatable, but more importantly can be prevented or minimized by following some basic training guidelines and  running techniques.

Some tips to help you

Invest in a good pair of running shoes. Running in worn out shoes is a prime cause of many injuries. Make sure to replace them when you’ve logged about 600 kms.
Stretch regularly before and after you run to avoid tightening of muscles. Be sure to include stretches for the hips, thigh, hamstring, calf and ankle, as well as the back.

Perform warm up exercises such as light jogging or sprinting prior to engaging in a full run.

Include cross training in your overall exercise regimen to help strengthen a wide range of muscles. Consider activities such as weight-training, swimming,
calisthenics or those exercises that use muscles in slightly different ways.

Avoid overtraining – and overexertion. Doing too much, too soon and too quickly can lead to injuries. A good approach for beginners may be to start with a
run/walk technique, alternating thirty seconds of running with thirty seconds of walking for about twenty to thirty minutes, three times a week. Gradually,
increase the length of running segments while keeping them at a manageable pace.

· Stay hydrated especially in warmer weather. Drink at least 1 ½ cups of water 10-15 minutes before running and every 20 minutes during.
· Run on smooth, even and softer surfaces whenever possible. For example, asphalt roads are a better choice than concrete sidewalks.

· Watch for the warning signs of injury. If you begin to experience pain or swelling, stop running and seek medical attention. Depending on the type and extent of injury, treatment may include RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation; taking anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin or ibuprofen); and taking time off from running.

– Seek professional advice from a Podiatrist if you are injured or have any concerns

Are your flip-flops harming your foot health?

 

The wrong footwear is often the chief cause of foot pain, and many types of flip-flops can cause foot problems due to lack of support and other factors.

The wrong flip-flops can leave you vulnerable to sprained ankles, ligament injuries, and a higher incidence of cuts, scrapes, and stubbed toes.

During the warmer months of the year, many podiatrists treat a greater number of foot problems that can be traced back to wearing flip-flops. However, people don’t have to give up wearing this type of footwear altogether. There are certain types of flip-flops that offer a superior amount of stability and support than others.”

Enhanced Biomechanical Function.

Vasyli Jandals help restore natural foot function. Our feet were designed to walk on soft, natural surfaces like soil and sand. Today we walk on hard, unnatural “man made” surfaces. The loss of our “Footprint” causes our feet to compensate unnaturally by rolling in (over pronation).

Over pronation can lead to a number of common lower limb biomechanical conditions. Vasyli’s clinically tested and patented Orthotic technology – now available in the Vasyli Medical sandal – is designed to control over-pronation. This allows our feet, lower limbs and overall posture to function as nature intended.

The 1ST MPJ drop zone has been incorporated into the plantar outsole. This allows the softer density midsole to depress under load from the 1ST MPJ. The drop zone is undetectable from the dorsal surface eliminating any look or feel of a modified foot bed.

The Vasyli Medical sandal is both stylish and functional with patented foot bed technology designed to enhance foot function. The contoured foot bed helps control over pronation– rolling in of the foot – maintaining control and alignment which in turn helps improve overall posture, and treat common lower limb complaints. The unique 1ST ray plantarflexor technology enhances gait function by improving the mobility of the great toe, an essential element in human mobility.

5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts to avoid a flip-flop fiasco.

5 Flip-flop Do’s:

  1. Do gently bend the flip-flop from end to end, ensuring it bends at the ball of the foot. Shoes of any kind should never fold in half.
  2. Do wear a sturdy pair of flip-flops when walking around a public pool, at the beach, in hotel rooms and in locker room areas. Walking barefoot can expose foot soles to plantar warts and athlete’s foot.
  3. Do ensure that your foot doesn’t hang off of the edge of the flip-flop.
  4. Do shop for a flip-flop made of high-quality, soft leather. Leather minimizes the potential for blisters and other types of irritation.
  5. Do look for flip-flops that hold a seal of Acceptance. Evaluated by a team of  podiatrists, these products are shown to allow for the most normal foot function and promote quality health.

5 Flip-flop Don’ts:

  1. Don’t re-wear flip-flops year after year. Inspect older pairs for wear. If they show signs of severe wear, discard them.
  2. Don’t ignore irritation between toes, where the toe thong fits. This can lead to blisters and possible infections.
  3. Don’t wear flip-flops while walking long distances. Even the sturdiest flip-flops offer little in terms of shock absorption and arch support.
  4. Don’t do yard work while wearing flip-flops. Always wear a shoe that fully protects feet when doing outside activities such as mowing the lawn or using a weed-eater.
  5. Don’t play sports in flip-flops. This practice can lead to twisting of the foot or ankle, as well as sprains and breaks.

Your feet – Corns and Callus

Definition

You ask a lot of feet. You cram your feet into shoes and walk around all day. These actions subject your skin to friction and pressure. Your skin often protects itself by building up corns and calluses — thick, hardened layers of skin.

Although corns and calluses can be unsightly, you need treatment only if they cause discomfort. For most people, eliminating the source of friction or pressure makes corns and calluses disappear. If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation to your feet, you’re at greater risk of complications.

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.

Your feet – Achilles tendonitis

Definition

Achilles tendonitis is present when your Achilles tendon becomes inflamed or irritated.

Often, Achilles tendonitis results from sports that place a lot of stress on your calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis also is often associated with a sudden increase in the intensity or frequency of exercise.

When treated promptly, Achilles tendonitis is often short-lived. Left untreated, Achilles tendonitis could cause persistent pain or cause your tendon to tear (rupture). If so, you may need surgery to correct the damage.

Fortunately, rest and over-the-counter medications to reduce your pain and inflammation may be all the treatment you need for Achilles tendonitis.