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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

 

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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

 

Cracked Heels: Remedies For Men (and women) | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

cracked heesl can be very painful

Fissures, commonly referred to as cracked heels, are not only troublesome and painful, they tend to cause a lot of embarrassment. People often regard cracked heels as a sign of inadequate foot care and hygiene. However, there may be several different factors that could affect your feet and lead to the development of fissures or lesions on the heels. At times heel cracks could indicate certain nutritional deficiencies.
For many, the appearance of cracks on the heels is more of an embarrassment or an inconvenience. At times these fissures could cause immense amount of pain. This could make it difficult for standing, walking or to wear certain kinds of footwear. Most men don’t bother about the health of their feet, but it’s an important part of one’s daily hygiene. So keep reading to know the remedies for treating cracked heels.

Follow These Tips For Foot Care:
It is better to take good care of your feet and avoid risks of having cracked heels than push the matter till you endure pain and then cure the fissures. If you are way past the prevention stage and are already enduring pain and wounds, there are lots of home remedies you can follow to treat cracked feet. Once you cure cracked heels, it is time you take precautions to prevent occurrence of fissures. Your heels are hard skin designed to carry your weight.

File or pumice stone.
Soak your feet in some warm water for about 15 to 20 minutes, to soften the skin. With the help of a file or a pumice stone get rid of the dead skin by rubbing on your cracked heel gently. Apply a good foot moisturising cream and leave it for about 20 minutes till the moisturiser is absorbed by the heels.
Wear a pair of socks overnight or through the day to help keep it moist. Do the same once every day for about a week to see noticeable difference.
See The Podiatrist for your cracked heels
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

Sever’s Disease: heel pain in children

Calcaneal-Apophysitis- heel pain in growing children

If you notice your child limping or changing their style of running, ask if their foot hurts. Your child may be suffering from a common condition called Sever’s Disease that affects growing adolescents.
Children are participating in sports and competing at higher levels at younger ages, therefore, the incidence of Sever’s disease continues to rise. Common symptoms of Sever’s Disease include heel pain with limping, especially after running, difficulty walking, discomfort or stiffness in the feet upon awaking and or swelling and redness in the heel.
Sever’s disease is the most common cause of foot pain in young, active children. Children who play basketball, soccer, baseball or gymnastics are commonly affected. Sometimes the initial symptoms are so mild that they can go unnoticed for weeks,especially if your child does not complain.
Sever’s disease often occurs in boys ages 9-15 and girls ages 8-13. Sever’s disease has a gradual onset and is typically triggered by a sudden and large growth spurt. During the growth spurt, the heel bone grows faster than the muscles in the calf and the Achilles tendon have the ability to lengthen. Therefore, the calf muscles and tendon become tighter. The pulling on the heel bone causes irritation that leads to an inflammatory response and Sever’s disease. Common symptoms are heel pain while walking or playing sports and tenderness along the back of the heel.
Sever’s disease is typically diagnosed based on information collected verbally and through a thorough examination by The Podiatrist.
Activities that require a lot of running and jumping increase forces through the heel bone and typically cause increase pain for children with Sever’s disease. Running and jumping on hard surfaces or in cleats may increase irritation levels. Standing on hard surfaces in cleats or participating in sports with poorly fitted or worn shoes also cause more severe symptoms. For example, a child that stands on the sidelines for extended periods of time during rugby or soccer games may complain of pain. It is important to protect children’s feet with proper fitting athletic shoes that should be replaced when the padding or heel starts to wear down.
Another risk factor for Sever’s disease is the position of the child’s foot when they walk or run. Pronation is a normal position of the foot that occurs when weight is transferred when walking and running. Excessive pronation can be a factor because it creates abnormal forces through the heel, which can lead to increase tightness of the Achilles tendon and create higher strain to the heel bone. Excessive pronation can occur when the arch of a child’s foot is excessively flat or high.
Childhood obesity is another risk factor for Sever’s disease because the excessive weight puts increased pressure on the heel bone. Sever’s disease rarely occurs in older adolescents because the growth plate of the heel bone stops growing around the age of 15. When the heel bone growth plate hardens, the bone becomes stronger which decreases a child’s risk for Sever’s disease.
The best way to treat Sever’s disease is to calm down the inflammation and correct the cause. Children must rest from the activity or sport causing the pain. They should not resume the activity causing pain until it can be performed pain-free. Other treatments include icing the painful area one to two times a day, gentle stretching of the muscles in the calf, and wearing properly fitted sneakers or shoes.
If your child complains of heel pain without a specific traumatic event try rest, ice, stretches and new shoes. The length of time for healing depends on the severity of the inflammation and treatment. If the pain persists, schedule an appointment with The Podiatrist. The Podiatrist will do an assessment to rule out other issues such as soft tissue tightness and trunk and leg weakness that can contribute to prolonged symptoms or recurrence of Sever’s disease.
If you feel you child may be suffering from Sever’s disease, book an appointment today
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz
http://www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

Children and Orthotics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children and Orthotics

Children with foot problems are brought in to the office by their parents to see Kidsnmotion Podiatrists. Many times their complaints include their children are not running or participating in activities. Sometimes children complain of aches and pains, even after taking a couple steps of walking. The Podiatrist is able to evaluate children and see how they are walking. In most instances we can see what the problem is through an evaluation, but there are times when he will need to perform x-rays, and other testing, to get to the root of the issue.

Sometimes with the proper shoes, or the proper orthotic inserts, exercises, issues with walking can improve tremendously. Orthotics can help correct your child’s abnormal foot position and eliminate pain that comes with walking.

Conditions Treated with Pediatric Orthotics Include:

  • Flatfoot – can cause awkward gait, cramping and pain in your child’s foot.
  • Sever’s Disease – can cause your child’s heel to become inflamed, swelling, pain and stiffness.
  • Metatarsus Adductus – happens when the front of your child’s foot points inward while the heel remains in its natural position. It often happens in infants from their feet being bent while in the womb.

How Orthotics Can Help Children

Orthotics for children can help with the treatment of foot deformities. It’s important for a child’s feet to be checked as soon as an issue arises. If there is a need for orthotics then they should be fitted for your child after they start waking. Having orthotics will help stabilize your child’s foot. An orthotic for children can be inserted into your child’s shoe, and will more than likely need to be replaced as the foot grows. As for how long a child will need to wear an orthotic depends on the seriousness of the condition.

Other ways orthotics can help children, they include:

  • Helps reduce pain and cramping in your child’s knees, feet or legs.
  • Can eliminate the need for bracing or corrective surgery.
  • Helps reduce heel pain and prevent limping.
  • Helps improve your child’s gait or stride.
  • Sports activity will be easier for your child as they won’t have to deal with pain or cramps.

Next Steps

If your child is complaining of foot pain, or pain while performing activities, set-up an appointment with The Podiatrist at Kidsnmotion. We will give your child a thorough examination and will help identify the cause of the pain.

For more advice and footcare tips visit us today.

www.kidsnmotion.co,nz

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

http://www.scooters.net.nz

 

 

Pediatric Heel Pain- Heel pain in Children

Children are resilient, but when your child begins to complain about heel pain, this must be taken seriously. Heel pain in a child is not normal. There are different causes of heel pain in a child and an adequate physical exam can help determine which type of heel pain is affecting your child.

 

What Is Calcaneal Apophysitis?

The most common cause of pediatric heel pain is calcaneal apophysitis (an injury or irritation to the growth plate of the heel). Typically, this occurs in boys (and girs) between the ages of 8 and 13 who are fairly active children. This is most likely to occur with a rapid increase in activity after a period of rest – such as starting rugby, soccer, netball and any in fact and sport practice after being off for a peiod of time.

Are There Other Causes of Pediatric Heel Pain?

Yes. Calcaneal apophysitis is the most common cause of pediatric heel pain. However, there are other things that can cause the heels to hurt such as stress fractures, growth plate fractures and hematagenous osteomyelitis, an infection of the heel bone.

Causes of Calcaneal Apophysitis

Causes of pediatric heel pain include:

  • Rapid increase in physical activity (sports)
  • Changes in training surfaces
  • Changes in training techniques
  • Changes in shoe gear (or going barefoot) while being physically active
  • A rapid increase in growth over a short period of time

During periods of rapid growth, the bones of the leg grow faster than the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) and the stress they place across the growth plate can cause pain and inflammation.

Symptoms of Calcaneal Apophysitis

Calcaneal apophysitis typically affects active boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 13; however, this condition can affect any active child. Early signs and symptoms include:

  • Limping
  • Inability to participate in athletic activities
  • Walking on the toes to keep the heel from touching the ground
  • Pain in the heel that is worse after activity and relieved by resting

Diagnosis

The Podiatrist will start your exam with a thorough history. This will be followed by a physical exam. During your physical exam, The Podiatrist:

  • Pain and tenderness to the area of the inflamed growth plate
  • A tight heel cord (Achilles tendon)
  • Overall foot structure
  • Abnormalities in gait

X-rays may be ordered to detect any underlying bone abnormalities.

Treatment

Calcaneal apophysitis can be easily treated with changes in shoe gear, resting, icing, stretching and anti-inflammatory medications. Sometimes, physical therapy may be necessary, but this is rare.

Many times these types of injuries are unavoidable, but proper athletic shoes, stretching exercises and avoidance of obesity are some of the ways one can prevent an injury to the growth plate.

See The Podiatrist for expert care.

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

www.kidsnmotion.co.nz

 

 

How do I know when it’s time to get new shoes?