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

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

 

Morton’s Neuroma: Treatment options for foot pain | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

morton's neuroma

Did you know you have 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles in your foot? With such a complex structure, it’s no wonder foot pain is so common.

Morton’s Neuroma is caused by a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves that leads out to your toes. It usually happens between the third and fourth toes, and can sometimes feel like a pebble stuck in your sock.
Risk factors for the condition include:

• Having foot abnormalities like bunions, hammertoes or arch problems
• Wearing high heels, which can put extra pressure on your toes
• Participating in high-impact sports like running, which can cause repetitive trauma to your feet

Treatment options for Morton’s Neuroma depend on the severity of your symptoms, but here are some options your doctor may suggest:
• Wearing shoes with wider toe boxes
• Physical therapy
• custom-made orthotics
• Anti-inflammatory medications taken orally or injected into the area
• Nerve-blocking injections
• Decompression surgery that relieves pressure by cutting nearby strictures
• Surgery to remove the nerve causing pain

Talk to The Podiatrist to decide on the best treatment option for you.

Do you have a health question for The Podiatrist? Please send it to caron@thepodiatrist.co.nz

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Tips For Relieving The Pain Of Sore Feet: The Podiatrist and YourFeet

there are many reasons for sore feet

Sore feet are not only uncomfortable; they can put a big dent in your productivity and turn even the simplest task into a burdensome chore. Causes for sore feet can range from ill-fitting shoes to physical deformities, but luckily there are as many different solutions as there are problems; the trick is finding what works best for you. Many common foot problems like heel spurs, flat feet and torn ligaments can be solved best by using bio-mechanical intervention that can range from drug store variety inserts to custom-made orthotic devices.
Determining the Problem
To find the source of sore feet, start with the obvious culprit, ill-fitting shoes that do not provide the proper support for your body frame. So called “sensible shoes” with low profiles, sturdy arches and ankle support often provide instant relief from minor foot issues caused by inappropriate footwear. Under some conditions, like standing on hard or uneven surfaces all day, additional relief can be provided by drug store inserts that create a layer of cushioning for your feet to reduce the impact of each step. If these simple tactics do not yield favorable results, it is wise to consult with The Podiatrist to examine your feet to determine if you are suffering from treatable foot maladies that would benefit from custom-made orthotic devices.
Orthotic Solutions
The Podiatrist can examine your foot to determine if your problem results from an injury to or is the result of the way your foot functions in relation to the rest of your body. Injuries from sports and recreational activities can often be cured by providing proper support during the recuperation process so that the injury is not irritated and can heal properly. These types of inserts, pads and braces are temporary and will eventually become unnecessary.
If the problem lies in the basic structure of your foot, however, a more permanent orthotic will be recommended that is strategically designed to make your foot function correctly when you take a step. A cast of your foot is made and The Podiatrist uses this model to create the proper orthotic out of plastic, wood or rigid rubber. This kind of treatment can not only provide relief for sore feet, it can also have a direct impact on your legs and torso because it subtly changes your posture and corrects muscular issues that stemmed from improper balance.
See The Podiatrist for any foot problems.
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

How to prevent corns on your feet

Corns are extremely painful. A corn is a toughened area of skin, quite small, which rubs against the bone and causes pain when we walk. A corn is a callus with a hardened centre, common to those who stand or walk all day. This continual pressure on one point of your skin initiates this hardened growth. There are remedies for corns, such as the many products marketed by the Dr Scholls company. One treatment is the corn pad, which reduces the pressure on your corn. Another is the corn remover, which typically uses the same salicylic acid that is used to remove warts. The best method is prevention of corns. Even if you can remove a corn and it does not return, you are likely to experience pain for weeks while you are treating the corn with acid. Corns sometime return, because the skin treatment does not get to the heart of the problem. So here are ways to prevent corns in the first place.

• Wear clean, dry socks. The continued application of moisture to your skin has an eroding effect. Once the skin has lost its natural toughness, corns and bunions will form. This is a good idea on general principle. Moisture in your sock leads to athlete’s foot. It also contributes to foot odor. But you should avoid dirty, moist socks to avoid more painful foot injuries.

• Don’t wear shoes indoors. When you are at your house alone, go with bare feet. This is the most natural, healthiest way to treat your foot. Even the most comfortable shoe is not as forgiving as going bare. Of course, if your feet have orthopedic problems that are corrected by special foot ware, you are exempted from this advice.

• When perusing the shoe rack at a shoe store, avoid the shoes that don’t have a natural shape to them. Shoes need to have the shape of a foot. If the shoe is straight and thin, it is likely to cause corns and bunions. Shoes which appear flat-footed are also likely to cause you problem.

• Do not wear shoes which are tight around your toes. If your toes rub against the inside of your shoe all day, they are likely to develop a painful corn. Once you have it, continued use of the shoe will make walking unbearable. Tight shoes cause your toes to rub together. This results in “soft” corns between your toes. Shoes too small for your feet are a common cause of corns. When you try on a new pair of shoes, look for those which are wide on the toe end.

• When you try on new shoes, pay special attention to where the inside seams are. If they rub constantly along the edge of the foot, this can cause a corn. This is especially true if the seam is placed close to a bone, such as on your big toe or the ball of your foot at the base of your big toe. The same is true of the ball of the foot, where the bone might rub against a seam. Look for shoes without protruding seams. If they are smooth on the inside, you are much less likely to develop corns.

• Look for shoes that have extra padding. This padding creates a buffer. Your foot will settle into this buffer, maintaining its normal position as it would if you had on no shoes. Make certain a shoe has padding on the ball of the foot and on the back heel. These are the places most likely to develop corns.

• If your corns reoccur despite taking the above precautions, talk to a podiatrist. These doctors provide sufferers with foot inserts and wedges specifically meant to prevent corns. When no shoe can help you, there are modifications which can help. You don’t have to suffer with corns all your life.

See The Podiatrist for your foot care.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Foot Pain Arch – Everything You Need To Know

It is a fact that we misuse our feet every day. We rarely notice their importance until we develop pain or complications. The complications that are related to the feet are due to prolonged standing and waking. Cramming them into shoes that do not properly fit is a major issue associated with foot pain.

It is a fact that most of the pains we experience on our feet are due to overworking of the hind limbs. The movement of feet is controlled by a group of four muscles. These muscles are not only active when we are walking but even when we are standing still. Just like any other muscle except the heart muscles, they often become fatigued. After getting fatigued, they become unable to properly support the feet thus resulting in discomfort. As a result of prolonged standing, blood circulation might be more towards the feet thus increasing the chances of feet swelling.

The term arch pain is generally used to point at the symptoms which occur under the foot’s arch. If you are suffering from foot pain arch, you will probably experience excess inflammation of tissues that are within the mid foot area. You might be wondering what really this foot arch is. Yes, the foot arch is a result of the connection between the heel bone and the toes through a tight band tissue.

The band of tissue is particularly important in the event of transferring body weight from the heel onto the toes. In situations where the arch tissues become too inflamed and irritated, even simple movements can be very painful.

Plantar fasciitis is the major cause of foot pain. It refers to the inflammation of the tissues which help connect the heel to the toes. Some of the most pronounced symptoms of this condition are morning pains on the joints. Even when you walk long distances, you tend to experience much pains.

The pain is usually worse in the mornings when you first get out of bed and is mainly as a result of the contraction of the plantar fascia during sleep. When you wake up in the morning, the tissues in the fascia are still tight and thus much prone to irritations resulting from touch. With prolonged standing and activity the affected area becomes painful and inflamed.

The treatment of this condition is accomplished through the use of stretches and inserts placed inside the shoes that you wear. In case you are suffering from a painful arch, it might be important to avoid the whole high-heel business. Flat or moderately heeled shoes would really work well for you.

The most ideal way to cure the pain is prevention of the condition. Through wearing appropriate shoes, involving yourself in strengthening workouts, and stretching among others are most ideal in protecting yourself against any cases of discomfort. The relief techniques for foot arch pain are abbreviated as RICE i.e., Rest, Ice, compression, and elevation.

Resting the affected area allows the tissues to recover as well as preventing any much strain to the arch muscles. Icing helps to reduce the chances of swelling after a tedious activity. On the other hand, compression helps to avert any chances of swelling while also ensuring that the affected area is stabilized. Lastly, the aspect of elevation can control the swelling even further.

The arch, which is the mid-foot is used for shifting weight to the heels. Therefore in the event that this strap is infected it becomes almost impossible to carry on the daily tasks. The plantar is the major culprit when it comes to the pain of the arch. Why this? This is because the plantar and fascia is the muscle which helps the arch perform its function properly. It is what links the arch to the knee and hence the toes. No matter the degree of pains, the main cause of arch pains is as a result of prolonged activity such as walking or standing.

Please see The Podiatrist if you are experiencing any problems. This information is merely a guide and should not replace expert attention.

Your feet – Bunions

Definition

A bunion is an abnormal, bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. Your big toe joint becomes enlarged, forcing the toe to crowd against your other toes. This puts pressure on your big toe joint, pushing it outward beyond the normal profile of your foot, and resulting in pain. Bunions can also occur on the joint of your little toe (bunionette).

Bunions can occur for a number of reasons, but a common cause is wearing shoes that fit too tightly. They can also develop as a result of inherited structural defect, injury, stress on your foot or another medical condition.

Often, treatment involves conservative steps that may include changing your shoes, padding your bunion and wearing shoe inserts. Severe cases of bunions may require surgery to relieve the pain.