Blog Archives

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

 

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

 

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

 

Do you suffer from overuse injuries? | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

overuse injuries in sports

Overuse injuries are distinct from such commonplace trauma injuries as sprains, strains, broken bones and concussions. They are specific to the parts of the body most used during the athletic endeavour. These body areas can include the knees of athletes in sports that require running and jumping, such as basketball and soccer.

The overuse injury is caused by repetitive micro-trauma caused by chronic use of a specific body part, coupled with an inadequate time for rest and healing. But overuse injuries can be prevented if athletes and parents take precautions and familiarize themselves with the symptoms.

Don’t push through the pain. Young athletes should never be encouraged to “tough it out” and ignore pain. While pain may just be the sign of a sore, tired muscle, it can also be the first clue to an overuse injury. Players should stop and rest and gradually return to the activity, if the pain subsides. If it persists, see The Podiatrist.

Remember to rest. It’s under-rated, but rest is key to injury prevention and on-field success. The multi-tasking athlete who runs from school to practice to individualized training sessions, while still trying to keep up in school, needs to find time for eight hours of sleep and the occasional day off from the activity to stay injury-free.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Water is best for hydration during athletic activities under an hour. Consider electrolyte-enhanced sports drinks for longer bouts of activity – more than an hour – and for repeated activity in the same day.

Encourage your children to engage in multiple sports and athletic activities. Not only do the kids learn different skills, but they also develop and work complementary muscle groups while resting others. It is suggested to forgo specialization in sports until adolescence or puberty.

While prevention techniques like stopping play and getting rest are keys to avoiding overuse injuries, ice is helpful when applied to the affected area 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Injuries occur in many patients early in the new season, when kids may try and do too much too soon. Be sure to increase practice and playing time gradually.

If you are suffering from an overuse injury, please give us a call at The Podiatrist
We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz
http://www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

Children and Orthotics |The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

childrens orthoses are not like adults

From a Podiatry perspective children cannot be treated like smaller versions of their parents, and neither can their feet. Foot orthotics for children present a unique opportunity to control the growth and development of the foot.

You may be familiar with orthotic therapy because you may have a diagnosis or problem related to your feet. Many common foot problems are thought to have a genetic component and your child’s feet play a crucial role in their development. This is especially true when considering the growing number of children increasing their activity levels and entering organized sports at a young age.

The possibility of improved outcomes when your child is skeletally mature, and the prevention of future problems are great reasons to consider having your child evaluated for custom foot orthotics.
Research has shown that the early use of foot orthotics in children can have beneficial results that can be seen clinically and on an X-ray. Problems with foot development and biomechanics can eventually lead to problems higher up in the ankles, knees and hips.

Some common problems that can be addressed with a foot orthotic include flatfoot, the overpronated foot (Ankles turning in), torsional deformities of the lower leg, juvenile bunions and other biomechanical inefficiencies of the foot.

In all likelihood your child will adapt wonderfully to his or her new orthotics. As we know, the ligaments and bone structures of a child have a unique ability to adapt to new or corrected positions, and their feet are no different. A custom foot orthotic is different than other off-the- shelf orthotics in that it is precisely calibrated to your child’s foot. This means that the orthotic is designed based on your child’s foot type and weight to provide just the right amount of flexibility. Tolerance issues in children are extremely rare.
When your child is undergoing rapid growth, his or her orthotics will need to be replaced approximately every two shoe sizes, or every one to two years.

Re-evaluation of your child as he or she develops will often lead to changes in the orthotic prescription .Just as your child experiences unique clinical situations, his or her orthotic is a unique and custom device. Some problems can be prevented without life-long wear, some developmental problems may require longer-term use, and some children would simply benefit from prevention their whole lives.

Consider the use of eyeglasses in children. The concern that a child will become dependent on the prescription eyewear is not a valid reason to dismiss the correction needed to improve visual function. In addition The Podiatrist may prescribe exercises for the foot to give your child every opportunity to develop a muscularly sound foot.

If your child does not complain about any foot pain but obvious problems are observed by the parent, chances are the child will not just outgrow it. To treat the child with the proper tools to lead a future normal, pain-free life is an individual decision that every parent has to make with the assistance of their health care provider.
Considerations in this decision should include the preventative payoffs for instituting such therapy weighed against any potential down-side, which is often primarily financial.

Get started on resolving your child’s foot problem today.

Call The Podiatrist.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz
http://www.kidnmotion.co.nz

Foot Health: Rheumatoid arthritis affects the feet in up to 90 percent of sufferers | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

rheumatoid arthritis and your feet

Have you been suffering lately from joint and pain swelling, fatigue or stiffness, especially in the morning or after sitting for long periods?

You may have rheumatoid arthritis. You’re not alone.

What does rheumatoid arthritis do?

Rheumatoid arthritis is most commonly found in the small joints of the hands, wrists and feet but can also attack organs, with symptoms like dry eyes and mouth, chest pain and shortness of breath, low red and white blood cell counts and carpal tunnel syndrome.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, up to 90 percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis will develop problems with their feet or ankles, impacting the toes and front of the feet first and then progressing into the back of the feet and then the ankles.

How can I avoid rheumatoid arthritis?

Although doctors have not yet found the cause of rheumatoid arthritis, they have long suspected that there’s a hereditary link that may cause some patients to be predisposed to it. Unfortunately for women, it is more likely to develop in females than in males.

There are, however, certain lifestyle traits that can help prevent this painful disease. Smoking, for instance, is said to be a cause of rheumatoid arthritis because the habit is common in patients who are diagnosed. A new study in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases reports that one-third of the most severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis are linked to smoking.

Another prevention tip is to try to lower your anxiety levels. According to many doctors, worry and anxiety not only increase your risk of flare-ups, but may even be a contributing factor to the disease’s development in the first place.

Treating rheumatoid arthritis

It’s important to know that there isn’t just one simple test to diagnose it. Instead, doctors look at a series of factors overall including symptoms, history, blood work and sometimes diagnose via x-rays.

The most important thing to do if you think you might have rheumatoid arthritis is to see a doctor as soon as possible. By diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis and creating a treatment plan early on, a huge difference can be made in the long-term progression of the disease.

Make an appointment with The Podiatrist today for some advice on Footcare
http://www.thepdiatrist.co.nz

The school shoe checklist- Back 2 School |The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

fitting school shoes
It is almost that time of the year when we have to get the kids ready for school, and that includes buying school shoes.

School kids are extremely active – they spend lots of time running around with friends and taking part in energetic sports lessons. By the time kids start school all the bones in their feet are fully developed and they have good control over the speed at which they move. They are able to make complex movements and are generally a lot more stable on their legs than they were at preschool.
For this reason, finding a pair of school shoes that are robust enough to withstand all of this activity, whilst also allowing kids’ feet to grow and move naturally is important, particularly because kids’ feet can continue growing until they are about 18 years old.

The school shoe checklist

When choosing school shoes it is important to look out for the following features:
• The sole of the shoe should be straight and should not twist.
• The shoe should not bend in the middle, but it should bend at the ball of the foot.
• Back parts of the shoe should be firm and supportive and the front parts of the shoe should be more flexible.
• All fastenings should be fully adjustable – laces, Velcro or buckles are recommended. Slip-ons generally do not give enough support.
• The fastening mechanism should hold the foot firmly in the heel of the shoe.
• Shoe materials should be robust and durable.
• The upper parts of the shoe should be made from leather or other breathable fabrics.
• The shoe should be lined with breathable materials, so that any moisture is drawn away from the foot.
• Brands that offer whole and half-sizes and a variety of widths will ensure the best fit possible.

Remember:
Good quality school shoes can be expensive. Whilst it may be tempting to put your kids in a pair of hand-me-downs, using second-hand school shoes is not recommended. In all likelihood they will not fit your child properly, be worn down and have very little support. When it comes to school shoes, brand new is always best.

Contact The Podiatrist for all your foot care needs.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz
http://www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

These Are Healthy…But They May Be Damaging Your Feet | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

it is important to change your shoes regularly
This time of the year is when people decide to get back to the gym to loose weight or get fit. We tend to forget that our sports shoes need to be checked before embarking on any physical activity.

Have you ever felt aching knees or back pain during or after running or an aerobic workout? In step class do you find that your knees are feeling under pressure? It very well could be that your fitness shoes are causing the pain. Used trainers might still look nice, but they may have lost their support and ability to absorb shock.

Sports shoes should be changed after 150 hours of cross training. If you work out three days a week and remove your sneakers after each workout (not using them for everyday running around), your sneakers should last about one year.

Are Your Running Shoes Causing You Pain?
Maintaining a physically active life takes effort and determination. Whether your fitness program is just beginning or you’ve been at it for years, the last thing you need is to be sidelined by pain or injury. Selecting the right shoe can go a long way toward helping you stay in the game.

Wear and Tear
Another way to determine the best shoe type is to examine your old shoes. If they’re worn out around the outside edges, you’re probably under-pronating. Shoes that sag inward indicate excessive pronation. An even pattern of wear points toward normal pronation.
Even if our shoes still look great on the outside, running and walking shoes should be replaced about every 600 kms, or every 3-5 months, if you’re averaging 40 kms a week. If you’re heavy-set or have a higher weekly mileage, replace your shoes at the shorter end of that range. Wearing shoes that no longer offer the right amount of support and cushioning puts you at risk for pain and injury.

Matching Shoes to Sports
It isn’t a good idea to wear your running shoes for activities such as playing tennis, or even in a step class, because running shoes don’t offer much lateral support. For activities that involve a lot of side-to-side movement, opt for cross-trainers or sport-specific athletic shoes like court shoes.

Expert Advice
For persistent pain that doesn’t resolve with a change of shoe style, talk to The Podiatrist, because your shoes may or may not be the problem.
The right care and the right shoes will help you get back on your feet and back out there, working up a healthy sweat.

Contact The Podiatrist for all your foot care needs.
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

A Holiday Survival Guide For Strappy Sandals Lovers- Foot care solutions to get you through the season in style

Dr Scholls toe protectors are great to wear

It has been reported that 87% of women have foot problems from wearing painfully ill-fitting shoes, it is time for some serious thinking about foot care and what can you do to preserve those tender tootsies while still partying like its 1999 in strappy sandals this holiday season.

Foot care is extremely important, and it often gets forgotten. Going to the salon to get a pedicure isn’t enough—regular maintenance is key, and should be part of your routine. Keep foot care products such as the Gehwol Creams and a pumice in the shower year-round so that it’s not a huge undertaking. Spend 30 seconds on each foot at least twice a week.

This is a program to help relax the foot muscles, prevent ugly blisters, and lessen the likelihood of bunions.
For starters, a good ‘ole foot soak with Gehwol Herbal Bath Salts relieves weary foot pain and swelling, and moisturizes as you soak the feet. Peppermint is often regarded as ‘the world’s oldest medicine, known for its relaxing, cooling effects on the body and mind. The Gehwol Mint cream is ideal for aching feet.

For daytime moisturizing, I use the Gehwol Blue or Green, or even the Balm creams. To prevent blisters, corns and burning pains over the balls of your feet, try some Dr Scholl’s toe protectors, or Foot Angel pads.

For an overnight emollient, you need a slightly thicker, lusher cream. The Gewhol Hydrolipid or Cracked Skin Salve.
Within days of caring for your feet, you will be strutting around with no pains at all.

gehwol

For any problems, see The Podiatrist- for all your foot care needs.
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz