Blog Archives

Flat feet- Children’s feet | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz



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.


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.

What causes corns and calluses? | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

corns an callus are easily treated by The Podiatrist

Corns and calluses can be quite painful.

The chances are, you will, at some point in your life, experience corns or calluses on your feet. Sometimes a little extra scraping with a pumice stone, or even a careful slicing with a razor blade or similar sharp implement, during a day at the spa may suffice. But are those individuals really knowledgeable about your feet and health and safety issues?

Seeing The Podiatrist to remove painful corns and calluses safely with sterile instruments and medical knowledge is crucial. Under no circumstances should you attempt to cut the corn or callus yourself. You could make it more painful, and it might become infected. You can, occasionally, use a pumice stone or foot file to rub down skin that is getting thick.

Typical symptoms include:

  •  Thickening of the skin
  •  A hardened, raised bump or pit in the skin
  •  Pain with pressure over skin irritations

Corns and calluses are annoying and potentially painful skin thickenings that form in areas of excessive pressure. A callus is often a flattened area of thick skin, while a corn is a thick, localized area that usually has a circular shape.

People of all ages can be affected, but they are particularly common in those over age 65. Corns and calluses have been shown to affect 20 to 65 per cent of people in this age range.

Podiatrists can also measure and fit people with custom-made orthotic devices to redistribute the weight on their feet while they walk so that pressure from the foot bones don’t focus on their corns. Off-the-shelf cushioned insoles are one-size-fits-all and may not be as effective.

Calluses and corns can often be prevented by reducing or eliminating the circumstances that lead to increased pressure at specific points on the feet.

Discuss your options with The Podiatrist, the professional foot care experts.

If you or a family member is experiencing any unusual sensations or symptoms with your feet, perhaps it’s time to seek professional help and book a consultation for a thorough examination, diagnosis and possible treatment.

Choosing the Right Running Shoes | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

selecting the correct runinng shoes is important

While exercising, the way we use our muscles, joints and tendons is key to a successful workout. In order to facilitate proper body mechanics, your shoes need to be appropriate for the type of exercise and your specific feet. Many common injuries, including plantar fasciitis, shin splints or stress fractures, can be prevented and helped with the proper athletic shoes.”
Follow the steps below when selecting athletic shoes:

Know your activity:

The type of shoe will vary depending on the type of activity. Running long distances is best done in a running shoe. The type of shoe, whether neutral, stability or motion control, depends on an athlete’s individual foot type and function. Some runners can use lighter shoes for up-tempo runs and speed work, but not all will benefit from these types of shoes. Court sports, such as tennis and basketball, almost always require shoes specific to the individual sport with added side-to-side support.

Be generous with size:

While sizing down into shoes is never recommended, it is an especially bad idea for athletic shoes. Make sure there is enough space in the toe area when the shoe is tied; about a thumbnail length of extra space is recommended so the toes don’t continually hit the front of the shoe while exercising. In addition, feet shouldn’t be rubbing against the sides and the back of the shoes to prevent blisters, calluses and corns. That being said, shoes should still be tight enough to prevent the feet from sliding around easily within the shoe.

Know your style:

This isn’t referring to fashion style, but rather running style. Determine your motion mechanics or pronation, meaning whether your foot rolls in, out or neither. An over-pronator rolls the foot significantly inward during motion while feet that over supinate roll excessively outward during. The type of pronation will help determine the structure of the shoe and the amount of stability necessary for proper running.

Get fitted:

Whenever possible, get fitted at a specialty store. The salespeople will know the different types of shoes available. Many stores have treadmills with cameras set up to record your stride. This can visibly show you your pronation type and any additional stride specifics that can help determine the best shoe type for your feet.

For any problems, see The Podiatrist.

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.

Foot health: How to care for blisters on feet- The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

blisters can be painful and making walking around uncomfortable

How to care for blisters and other minor foot wounds over the holidays.

The tourist’s nightmare. The walker’s bane. The runner’s curse. The blister. Whether on your palms or soles, this nasty pest is a recipe for pain. As most of us are aware, blisters occur when the skin rubs up against a surface repeatedly over time. The friction causes a small tear in the upper layers of the epidermis which forms into a small gap. The tear allows for the seeping of fluid into the void between layers, and then, folks, you have your blister.

We notice blisters popping up on the soles of our feet, our heels, and sometimes our toes. Blister development generally requires thick and rather motionless skin, and this, not strangely enough, is found on the soles of the feet, the heel, and the toes. Blisters form more easily on moist skin than on dry or soaked skin, and are most apt to occur in warm conditions. Thus, the sole of the foot, damp and warm after a long day’s walk, is the perfect place to harbor a blister.

If you do get a blister you will want to relieve your pain immediately. It is important to keep the blister from growing and to prevent infection. You can treat most blisters yourself. Here is how.

Small, unbroken blisters that don’t cause discomfort generally need no treatment. The best protection against infection is a blister’s own natural skin. It is a good idea to protect this skin, or roof, with a band-aid and to avoid rupturing it. Larger or painful blisters that are intact should be drained without removing the roof. First clean the blister with rubbing alcohol or antibiotic soap and water. Next, heat a needle or a safety pin over a flame until it glows red. Allow it to cool before puncturing a small hole at the edge of the blister. This disinfects the pin. Deplete the liquid with light pressure and apply an antiseptic ointment such as Crystaderm. When the blister is drained cover it with a bandage. Change the bandage daily. If it becomes wet or soiled, change it more frequently.

crystaderm is ideal for treating blisters

Blisters with small tears should be treated the same as those that you have performed needle-work on. More padding may be needed to decrease the friction (and pain) in the course of exercise or activity. Ring-shaped pads made of felt will protect small blisters.

When you are ambushed by blisters the biggest question on your mind is, will this endless bandaging and pestering pain ever go away? It will in time. But, fear not, there are ways of actually preventing blisters. To avert blisters you need to eliminate, or at least minimize, friction. The best way to do this is to wear the correct size shoe. Shoes should fit comfortable with roughly one thumb’s width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Narrow shoes can cause blisters on the little toe and the big toe. A narrow toe box may cause blisters on the tops of the toes as well.

gehwol sports cream ideal for preventing rubbing in shoes

Loose shoes may create blisters on the tips of the toes. It is important to buy shoes for a specific sport or activity as well, as specific shoes are designed to be used for specific motions. Basketball shoes and walking shoes are not, and should not be used, interchangeably. Wear the same socks when you try on your pair that you plan on wearing during your work out. It is best not try on shoes in the morning, as feet tend to swell during the day. It is also a good idea to give the shoes a test run, just to be safe. Walk or jog around the store before purchasing the shoes. Make sure you do not experience any discomfort.

Coupling the right pair of shoes with the perfect pair of socks will aid in your crusade against blisters. Socks can decrease friction between the feet and shoes. Layering of socks or double-layered socks can minimize abrasion. Socks made from new synthetic can absorb moisture from the skin better than wool or cotton, thus creating a less blister-friendly environment. It is a good idea to always carry an extra pair of socks to change into in case your feet get too damp. Foot powders and spray antiperspirants that contain aluminum chlorhydrate or aluminum chloride are other ways to decrease moisture. If you are really concerned about blisters try applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to your feet to decrease friction. Duct tape or cloth tape will provide a similar result.

dr comfort socks

Blisters are minor problems every human must face. Though they are but minor ailments, they must be dealt with. It is important to treat blisters immediately because a small blister can lead into a big infection. If there is puss, excessive redness with streaks leading away from the sore, or if you are experiencing extreme pain you should see a doctor.

For all your foot care needs, contact The Podiatrist. We have a range of foot creams that are ideal for preventing blister, as well as treating them.

Word Diabetes Day- 14 November 2013

world diabetes day

Make sure you get your feet checked regularly if you have Diabetes.