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

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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

 

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

 

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

Flip Flops 101: Potential Danger of Summer Footwear | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

vasyli orthotic sandals for sore and tired feet

By now, most of us have heard that wearing stiletto heels are not great for our feet, legs or back. Think it’s safer to go with flats? Perhaps a nice, natural-feeling flip-flop? Sadly, think again.
Podiatrists’ offices are seeing women with foot pain caused by a summer season spent in slides, and flip-flops.
So, look down at your own feet. If you can see your nice, summer nail polish peeking up at you in a pair of flip-flops, you may want to read on.
High-Heels-for-Girls Trend Raises Concerns
Wearing flip-flops for excessive amounts of time could cause temporary or even long-term damage to the musculoskeletal system.
For one thing, flip-flops lack proper arch support, causing your full body weight to exert pressure on the plantar surface of the foot. With time, this may cause widening of the foot and arch collapse.
When the toes crunch up in an effort to grip the front sole of the shoe, this can disrupt the dynamics of the stride, resulting in a shortened stride, with consequences going up the body from the knees, to the hips, to the lower back.
Plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis are also possible.
So what does this mean for your summer foot wardrobe? Don’t despair! You can still wear this summer fashion staple – but there are a few recommendations.
Firstly, limit time spent in flip-flops by wearing a variety of different types of shoes.
Secondly, try to avoid walking long distances in flip-flops.
Lastly, choose a flip-flop with good arch support and good cushioning for your sole.
Realize that anything done to excess has the potential to cause problems to your body and, unfortunately, wearing these cool summer shoes are no exception. They represent the extreme of flatness just as stilettos represent the extreme of heights. Both can land you in the podiatrist’s office!
Remember that even pain in your low back can be a sign that your footwear needs a change.
See The Podiatrist for any foot problems.
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

SOS guide to Happy Feet | The Podiatrist and your feetnz

 

 

When the weather gets hot, the shoes come off. Walking around in flip-flops, sandals or even barefoot can feel great, but it can also hurt the skin on your feet.

As we get ready for the summer , prepare to bare your soles with our SOS guide to putting your best foot forward.

Killer Heels
High heels force the weight of the body onto the ball of the foot, which can cause a build up of callus and bunions and an increased incidence of corns under the metatarsal. ‘Posture is affected as the body is thrown forward and the spine can become mis-aligned which can lead to a painful back, hip and knees. Repeated high heel wearers are also prone to shortening of the Achilles tendon making walking on flat surfaces without heels painful.

Top tip: Heels are fine if worn in moderation, but it should be remembered that pain is an indicator that something is wrong! Vary the style of shoe from day to day (platforms or wedges are better than stilettos despite the height of the heel). Gel insoles are also good for reducing pressure on the ball of the foot.

Flat Out
Flat shoes can pose as many risks as high heels. Wearing completely flat pumps puts the feet at risk from pain as there is no shock absorbency and little support. Another problem can be corms and calluses as pumps are often worn a size too small in order to keep them on the foot. Flip-flops don’t fare much better either. Research has shown that flip-flop wearers take shorter steps resulting in a higher risk of joint and muscle pain. Added to this, wearing flat shoes can stretch the calf muscles and Achilles tendon especially if used to wearing heels.

Lumps and bumps

Calluses: A callus is an area of toughened skin developed in response to repeated contact or pressure and is one of the most common foot problems. Generally pain-free (although they can produce a burning sensation), they can lead to more serious problems such as underlying tissue damage if left unchecked. Prevention is the best cure and wearing shoes that fit properly is the first port of call.

Corns: A corn is essentially the same thing as a callous only it is a more localized thickening of the skin which appears as a cone-shaped mass and is most commonly found on the toes. Seeking professional assessment from The Podiatrist is highly recommended.

Cracked Heels: More of a cosmetic problem than a serious concern, cracked heels often affect people who have naturally dry skin and is exacerbated by lifestyle factors such as standing for long periods of time.

Bunions: Tight fitting shoes are thought to be the cause of bunions in about 90 per cent of patients although they can be inherited. Most people experience them as a bump on the base of the big toe but as they develop the big toe begins to angle in towards the other toes. The solution? Be careful with shoe styles if you know that you are developing one but once developed surgery to realign the metatarsal is usually required.

Ingrowing Toenails: This is a painful condition that occurs when the nail starts to press into the fleshy art of the adjacent skin. It can easily become infected and needs professional podiatry treatment. Badly cut toenails and ill-fitting shoes are the most common causes.

See The Podiatrist for any foot care problems or advice.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Heel Pain: Skin Treatment Options for Cracked Heels | The Podiatrist and YourFeetNZ

cracked heels can be very painful

Has the summer left you with dry and cracked skin on your heels?
Dry and cracked skin on your heels can lead straight to severe heel pain if you don’t do something about it. If your heels are so badly cracked that they are bleeding, talk to your doctor to make sure you don’t have other underlying problems. For run-of-the-mill dry skin, you can try taming the problem yourself.

Showers and Baths

Use only warm water for showers and baths. Hot water may feel great while you’re in it, but it dries out your skin even more. You should also avoid harsh soaps and body washes. Instead, use unfragranced gentle soaps that can help clean your skin without stripping away essential oils and moisture.

Moisturize Your Skin

Immediately after your shower or bath, pat your skin dry and apply a moisturizer. Moisturizers with urea are much better for severely dry skin because they keep the moisture from evaporating before it can sink into your skin. Apply moisturizer to your skin regularly, especially when your skin is repairing itself.

Severely Dry or Cracked Heels

If your heel pain is caused by severely dry or cracked heels, moisturizer alone may not be enough. Keep up with your regular after-shower routine, but at night slather your feet with petroleum jelly. Add a pair of socks to keep the jelly from rubbing off your feet and leave them on overnight. In the morning you should notice a big difference. I’ve found that doing this for a few nights a week, especially in winter, keeps heels from cracking.
We have an extensive range of Gehwol foot creams for all foot types.
See The Podiatrist for any foot problems.
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Cracked Heels

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Summer around the corner, cracked heels are a common foot problem that involves very dry skin on the heels of the feet that can, at times, look very much like calluses. If not properly cared for the skin might eventually become dry enough to crack, creating fissures. While cracked heels are uncomfortable and unattractive fissures can be downright unhealthy as they can lead to development of infection, particularly since the feet are in almost constant contact with the ground. This condition can become quite painful, especially when standing or moving around, and if the fissures are deep enough they may even begin to bleed.

While some people have diabetes or very dry skin—both of which make skin prone to flaking and cracking—other cases of cracked heels are caused by external factors. There are several factors that increase the odds of developing this condition: walking barefoot or in flip-flops for extended periods of time, cold and dry winter weather, dehydration/insufficient water intake, routinely taking very hot showers or baths, using harsh soaps, and excessive pressure on the heels of the feet, which causes increased friction between the heel and ground surfaces. It’s important to note that being excessively overweight or obese will increase your chances of developing cracked heels or making the condition worse.

Fortunately, this condition can usually be treated at home with a little bit of time, patience, and care. Giving your feet a little extra TLC is best done right before bed so that they have time to absorb the moisturizing elements as much as possible.
Start by soaking your feet in warm water for 10-15 minutes or until the skin has softened, then gently slough the dead, dry skin from your heels with a pumice stone. Take special care around any cracks or fissure. Take your time with this step; you want to remove as much dry skin as possible without causing yourself pain or damaging tissues. Once you have finished both feet gently dry off with a towel and apply a thick moisturizer, and remember, you can use this moisturizer in the morning as well even though you won’t be performing the whole routine. It’s best to buy a very thick, unscented cream with glycerin and/or aloe as a main ingredient. Put on a comfortable pair of socks and go to bed. Be sure to repeat this routing nightly until your condition heals.

If your cracked heels DON’T improve with this treatment however, and you know you are not diabetic or dehydrated, then you will need to make an appointment with The Podiatrist to have the condition treated. Because cracked heels can lead to fissures and infection they need to be addressed as soon as possible. The Podiatrist will like treat the condition the same way you did, but with more potent tools. The Podiatrist will also probably give you very practical types for self-care such as performing regular maintenance on your feet, upgrading your footwear, using heel cups to protect the skin from friction and/or purchasing insoles to cushion your feet as you walk.

While cracked heels should not be considered a medical emergency they should be treated before more serious complications arise.

We have a great range of foot care products which can help keep your feet looking great for the summer.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Health Tip: Protect Your Feet from the summer sun

Your feet can take a beating during the summer, notably from the high heat and sun exposure.

The Podiatrist recommends how to protect your tootsies during the hotter months:

  • Always wear shoes or sandals, even at the beach or pool. Avoid going barefoot.
  • Spread sunscreen over the tops of your feet, your heels and your toes. Reapply after getting out of the water.
  • To help reduce swelling in the feet, drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Frequently stretch, wiggle and flex your legs, toes and feet to help promote circulation.

See The Podiatrist for all your footcare needs

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz