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

Advertisements

5 quick and easy tips to healthy feet and legs | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

one pair has to last a lifetime

There are many causes of leg pain right from muscle cramps and inflammation of tendons to arthritis, varicose veins and nerve damage. Leg pain due to muscle strain following an injury or wearing tight shoes for a long time can be prevented by following few simple tips:

  1. Stretch the leg muscle: One of the most effective ways to prevent leg pain due to a sudden muscle twist or cramp is to stretch the muscle. This not only improves blood flow to the injured muscle but it also helps in reducing muscle tension thereby relieving muscle soreness.
  2. Take a warm shower: If you suffer from leg pain, then take a warm shower to relax the muscles. If taking a bath is not feasible, then placing a heating pad on the affected areas can also help. A heat pack works best if the pain is due to a previous injury as it not only relaxes blood vessels but also improves blood circulation, alleviating leg pain.
  3. Wear a proper fitting athletic shoe: Most people fail to choose the right fitting shoe, which is one of the common causes of leg and heel pain. To get the right fit, determine the shape of your foot using the ‘wet test’. For this, step out of the shower onto a surface that will show your footprint, like a brown paper bag. If you have a flat foot, you will see an impression of your whole foot on the paper. If you have a high arch, you will only see the ball and heel of your foot. When shopping, look for athletic shoes that match your particular foot pattern.
  4. Choose the right sports shoe: Not many people are aware that different types of shoes are specially designed to meet your sports requirement. Did you know running long distances in court-style sneakers can contribute to shin splints? It is important to choose the shoes according to your sport or fitness routine.
  5. Go slow if you are a beginner at the gym: One of the common mistakes that most people commit is to overexert on the first day of the gym, which not only exerts pressure on the knee but also causes muscle soreness and leg pain. The key to preventing leg pain and sticking to your workout routine is to build your fitness level slowly. You can start off with less strenuous workouts and then gradually increase the duration, intensity, and frequency of your exercise regimen.

For any foot problems, contact The Podiatrist.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

 

Shopping for School Shoes | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

7787012-foot-measurement-device-that-using-for-checking-the-correct-size-of-your-shoe

 

  1. To avoid in-store arguments, parents and children should discuss in advance the style and brand of shoes they want to look for.
  1. Remember that a good fit is more important than the size of the footwear. A good fit allows for a 1/2” of space between the end of the toes and the end of shoe. Shop at retailers who provide a fit specialist for extra assistance.
  1. Avoid hand-me-down shoes; improperly fitted shoes can support feet in unhealthy positions.

4. Avoid shopping online or estimating a child’s shoe size.

  1. Remember that not all shoes of the same size fit alike. While foot measurement is a starting point, how the shoes fit is more important.
  1. Match the shape of the shoe to the shape of the foot.
  1. Remember that while a low arch is normal in young children, in children older than age seven, the lower the arch the more important it is to have shoes with good support. Look for a firm heel counter and stiffness when trying to twist shoes lengthwise.
  2. If a child wears orthotics, select shoes with removable foot beds and try the shoes on with the orthotics in place.
  1. Remember that price is not necessarily commensurate with quality. If price is a consideration, last year’s models can offer all the features needed at a discounted price.
  1. Check the fit on your child’s shoes on a regular basis as children’s feet grow at irregular rates.

For more information, or if you have any questions, contact The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Keep those feet happy | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

foot-care

The importance of our feet has been understood for centuries. Even the Greek philosopher Socrates is reputed to have said, “To him whose feet hurt, everything hurts.” So, what comprises foot care that promotes comfort at any age?

  • Wear shoes and socks that fit and are comfortable.
  • Be sure your toes are not cramped.
  • Change socks daily and if possible have two pairs of shoes in everyday use so that you can alternate the pairs daily.
  • Elastic laces are handy if your feet swell.

Shoes should be worn that cover, protect, provide stability for the foot and minimize the chance of falls.

Whatever your age – student or grandparent – foot care is important.

  • Remember to cut or file your nails straight across and never shorter than the end of your toe.
  • If you are older, and particularly if you are diabetic, it is helpful to get The Podiatrist to do your foot care.
  • It is best to wash feet daily and always test the water’s temperature beforehand. Pat, do not rub, your feet dry and remember to dry between and under the toes. If your feet are bothering you you’ll find that short soaks of even ten minutes are soothing.
  • Use a lanolin (ointment base) moisturizing cream for dry and cracked skin. If your feet perspire, dust lightly with talcum powder. Remember to remove excess cream of powder from between your toes to avoid skin problems. If you are diabetic it is wise to examine your feet daily.
  • Exercise each day if possible. Walking is always good but there are also special foot exercises that can be done like rolling your feet over a rolling pin several times daily or picking up a crumpled towel with your toes.

Despite reasonable care throughout life, however, the older foot is subject to problems. Heredity is a factor as are the stresses over the years and complications from systemic diseases. It has been estimated that at least 80 percent of people over 50 have at least one foot problem.

The most common are corns and calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, hammertoes, strained arches, heel pain and arthritis including gout.

In many cases there can be improvements jus by switching shoes to the type with wider, box-type toes. Also. shoe size can actually change with added years.

Feet carry our body’s weight, help hold us erect, co-ordinate and maintain balance in walking. We need to give them tender, loving and skilled care.

The returns are high, including the joy of a walk.

Make an appointment with The Podiatrist today.

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

 

Is Running Healthy? | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

selecting the correct runinng shoes is important

The most common running injuries are due to overuse, over training, improper training shoes or a flaw in running form. The important thing is that most running injuries can be prevented.

Here are some of the most common injuries:

Runner’s knee: Runner’s knee is also called patella femoral syndrome and is a common ailment among run. This term is used to refer to a number of medical conditions that cause pain around the front of the knee.

Achilles tendinitis:   Achilles tendinitis is an injury that is the result of overuse and degeneration of the Achilles tendon. The  Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendinitis often happens when runners suddenly increase the distance or intensity of their runs.

Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. Plantar fascia is the band of tissue that connects your heel bone to toes. Inflammation of this tissue can be very painful resulting in stabbing pain in the heel especially in the morning.

Shin splints: Shin splints, clinically called medial tibial stress syndrome, is a common injury to runners or people who participate in activities with sudden stops and starts. Pain along the inner edge of the shinbone is an indication of shin splints.

Stress fracture: A stress fracture is an overuse injury. It occurs when muscles become fatigued and are unable to absorb added shock. Eventually, the fatigued muscle transfers the overload of stress to the bone causing a tiny crack called a stress fracture.

For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Strong Core | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

core_stability

Our core is much more than just our abdominals. It includes the thoracic and lumbar spine, abdominal muscles, back muscles, pelvic and hip girdle muscles (especially the gluteals) and the thigh muscles.

Core exercises should be a key component of any training program – especially a distance running program. A correctly functioning core will yield proper biomechanics and force production, providing stability (including lumbar, pelvic, and lower limb stability), power and endurance.

When your core is weak, it can lead to increased strain in other parts of your body and could contribute to compensation and overuse movement patterns, over-striding or under-striding with running and increased frontal plane movements (side to side movements) of the lumbar spine, pelvis and hips.

These compensatory movement patterns will lead to overuse injuries and have been linked to various disorders common to runners, including:

Iliotibial band (IT Band) syndrome — The iliotibial band is a thick band of fascia (a thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ) that crosses the hip joint and extends distally to insert on the patella, tibia, and biceps femoris tendon. Repetitive movements and overuse can cause irritation and inflammation in the knee or lead to snapping hip or hip bursitis.

Patellofemoral pain and dysfunction — The patella, your knee cap, floats within the trochlear groove on top of the femur. If the mechanics of your running is not ideal, then the kneecap may be pushed to one side of the groove when the knee is bent causing pain.

Low back and Sacroiliac (SI joint) disorders — SI joint is responsible for transferring the weight of the upper body to the lower body. It is located in the pelvis connecting the iliac bone (pelvis) to the sacrum (the lowest part of the spine). With a lot of repetitive movements you can cause hypermobility of the joint.

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (shin splints) — This refers to the pain in the front of leg that develops when you increase your mileage too fast. Most of the time this is caused by a training error due to fatigue.

Achilles tendinopathy — The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Tendinitis (inflammation) and Tendinosis (microtears in the tissue around the tendon) are common problems.

Plantar fasciitis – This band of tissue runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain.

A core strengthening program can help prevent these types of injuries and should progress initially from “open-chain” (i.e. non-weight bearing) exercises toward “closed-chain” (weight bearing) exercises. The goal is to stimulate and train the muscles to function in a manner and position that they would normally when under stress.

In running, our bodies are erect, with weight bearing and landing on our legs, so the strengthening exercises should reproduce these positions and movement patterns. The exercises should also incorporate all planes of movement of the body to allow ideal muscle stimulation and development.

For all your foot problems visit The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Things To Know About Podiatrists | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

one pair has to last a lifetime

1. When Should I See a Podiatrist?

We all experience foot pain at some time in our lives. But when does foot pain require a trip to the podiatrist’s office?

Today we explore podiatrists’ medical training, the common conditions they treat, and when patients should make an appointment to visit one.

Podiatrists specialize in a wide variety of fields such as sports medicine, pediatrics, wound care, and diabetic care.

Some foot or ankle pain resolves quickly with basic at-home remedies like rest, icing, elevation, or over-the-counter medication. When these options fail to relieve the pain in a day or two, it’s time to consult The Podiatrist.

Patients who participate in high-impact activities such as ballet dancing, running, walking, and sports such a soccer, tennis will benefit from The Podiatrist’s expertise in the prevention and treatment of lower extremity athletic injuries including sprains, fractures, tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis.

Anyone who notices redness, swelling, increased warmth, or a change in the shape or appearance of the feet, skin, or toenails should make a podiatrist appointment right away.

In addition, The Podiatrist should check any unusual bumps, lumps, moles, cysts, or tumours on the feet or ankles. Often these growths are harmless, but sometimes they’re a sign of life-threatening cancer.

Diabetics who experience numbness in their legs may not realize when they injure their feet due to loss of feeling. If undetected and untreated, these injuries can lead to serious complications. All diabetics (or anyone with decreased sensation in their legs) should have a podiatrist check any ankle or foot problem immediately.

In any patient, foot wounds may become serious very quickly. Diabetics are especially at high risk. It is common for diabetics who don’t seek care promptly to develop severe infections or gangrene, leading to amputation of a toe, a portion of the foot, or even the whole leg.

2. What conditions do podiatrists treat?

Consult a podiatrist if you experience any of the following symptoms.

Pain may be the result of:

• Arthritis
• Blisters
• Bunions
• Broken bones
• Heel spurs
• Ingrown toenails
• Plantar fasciitis
• Shin splints
• Swelling
• Wounds or sores that will not heal

Unusual growths may be:

• Blisters
• Bunions
• Corns or calluses
• Heel spurs
• Neuromas (benign tumours)
• Warts

Colour changes such as redness, a blue/purple colour, or paleness could indicate:

• Decreased blood flow
• Infection
• Vein problems

Skin irritation could indicate:

• Athlete’s foot
• Diabetic ulcers
• Gout

Numbness, burning, or tingling might mean:

• Diabetes
• Neuropathy (reduced sensation)

Changes in the shape of your foot or ankle may point to:

• Flat feet
• Hammertoe
• Muscle or joint problems

Final Thoughts
Patients often regret waiting longer than they should have to visit The Podiatrist’s office. Delaying treatment can result in unnecessary discomfort.
Calling The Podiatrist’s office promptly for an appointment is the best way to avoid unnecessary pain and complications.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Shin Splints | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

shin splints is painful

Runners often attend the clinic looking for a solution to shin pain. This pain can be caused by a number of factors but most commonly it is due to shin splints (often referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome). To help you decide if you have this condition and need to come in to see us for treatment and advice I have outlined some of the main points to consider:

• You are more at risk of shin splints if you are new to running or have been running for less than 5 years.
• Running on hard surfaces and wearing worn-out, poorly fitting trainers are also thought to contribute to the problem.
• Weakness and tightness in the muscles around the ankle, excessive weight and rolling in (pronation) of the feet are also important risk factors.
• The pain is normally felt in both shins. It often occurs during or after activity and is located along the inside of your shin.
• It is also made worse by sports that involve a lot of stopping and starting.

The strategies we use to treat this condition provide a permanent solution because they try to deal with the root cause of the problem. The tissues that cover the shin bone becomes inflamed when excessive rolling in of the foot (pronation) occurs this places abnormal forces upon the structures of the lower leg.
Our treatment regimen concentrates on reducing pronation and improving strength and flexibility thus preventing recurrence. This is done by providing increased support for the foot via improved footwear and/or foot orthoses.
By following our management plan closely you can get back to training as soon as possible.

Contact The Podiatrist for an appointment today.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Good children’s foot care makes the pitter-patter of little feet stronger

Strong, healthy feet begin in childhood where early recognition and management of foot problems will prevent medical and structural problems later in life.

Unless a child has an obvious deformity or troublesome foot issue there is a good chance that his or her foot problem will be overlooked. Children’s feet are an important part of an overall developmental process. Any abnormalities within the feet will affect the general posture, causing changes within the skeletal structure. Some common children’s foot conditions are: flat feet, in-toe and out-toe walking and toe walking with the heels not touching the ground.

Sometimes the bone of the upper or lower leg is slightly twisted, a condition that may have a family history. If the leg bone is twisted inwards, the child may walk with toes-in and conversely if the bone is twisted outwards the walk is toes-out. A short or tight Achilles tendon is the most common cause when a child walks on tiptoes only. This condition could also be neurologically based so it is important that the child have a development assessment. Flat feet is a common foot condition characterized by an abnormally low or absent medial longitudinal arch, especially on weight bearing. It is normal for infants and toddlers to have low arches but they should be observed for any abnormal in-toeing, out-toeing or, excessive limping. Kids who over pronate often complain of night cramps, shin splints or heel pain.

For a proper assessment take your child to Kidsnmotion Podiatrists. Treatments usually consist of monitoring, exercises, activity alteration, orthotics, splints, braces, footwear,

Warning signs that your child should have a foot check-up: shoe wear is uneven, lumps or bumps are evident on the feet, pain in the feet, heel or leg, excessive tripping or falling, visible skin or toenail problems.

For more information make an appointment today

www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

http://www.scooters.net.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