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

 

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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

 

YourFeetNZ- The Podiatrist |Tips for purchasing footwear for school

You remember preparing for your first day of school; the shopping, in particular shoe shopping, and the wonder of a pair of brand new sneakers, shoes or even sandals.  Somehow, the experience is very different when, as a parent, you have to be concerned about size and budget, instead of style and colour as your child!

Since parents tend to take advantage of back to school sales, health experts advise that you have to be careful about which shoes and school bags are bought. Shopping for new school shoes is a chore that parents everywhere share, as they prepare their children for school for the first time, or on their return from holidays

Children spend around 30-45 hours a week in their school shoes, or more than 15,000 hours during their school years, so it’s vital that they’re fitted properly. In the first 11 years of a child’s life, feet may grow through approximately 17 shoe sizes, up until they’re 18 years of age. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to problems in adulthood, such as ingrown toenails, corns and bunions, which may even require surgery later in life.

Important Purchasing Advice

• Always have your child’s feet measured before you buy shoes. Children’s feet grow quickly, so you shouldn’t rely on a previous measurement.

• Opt for new shoes, once financially possible, instead of accepting hand-me-downs. That will help ensure a better fit and avoid spreading germs, such as the fungus that causes athlete’s foot.

• Inspect the heels of your child’s shoes for uneven wear, which may indicate a foot problem.

• Don’t buy shoes that aren’t comfortable. There should be no reason to “break in” a new pair of shoes.

It’s no surprise that kids want to be like other kids and wear what their friends are wearing. Even in pre-school, style is important. Still, from mom and dad’s point of view, there is more to shoes than looking good.

These tips will explain why:

• Shoes need to be flexible and able to sustain extreme activity. They should also provide support and cushioning and be breathable, to allow body heat and moisture to escape.

• However, a bad fit can negate all the benefits of a good shoe, so finding the right size is essential. Since shoe sizes tend to vary by manufacturer, an accurate fit can only be assured once the foot is inside the shoe.

• A tip for making sure that the shoe size fits, is measuring the distance between the second toe and the end of the shoe. The second toe is usually the longest.

• Have your child walk around in the shoes to make sure that they don’t hit the ankle bones or have seams that rub against the foot.

• Though it may seem children quickly outgrow their shoes, buying shoes that are too big isn’t a good idea. A loose fit can cause painful calluses and sores, because there is too much movement in the shoe. On the other hand, shoes that are too small can cause an abnormal gait that can misalign growing bones in the feet.

It may be time to get a new pair of shoes if your child begins to complain about shoes that are uncomfortable; be aware, however, that trend conscious youngsters have been known to “need” new shoes because of what the others kids are wearing. Shoes can put a dent in any household budget, so make sure that the shoes fit when you buy them, and before you buy a bigger pair of shoes.

Buy shoes at the end of the day

While you might decide to head out bright and early to get your child’s shoes fitted, bear in mind that it’s best to go during late afternoon. This is because children’s feet often get a little more swollen by the end of the day. That way, you’ll get school shoes fitted when your child’s feet are at their biggest.

Other things to look out for

While you might usually expect to only think about school shoes and your kids’ feet once a year, here’s a checklist of things to look out for, and see a podiatrist/foot health practitioner if necessary:

• Children complaining of pain in the feet, heel, knees or legs

• Unexplained tripping and falling (if it happens regularly)

• Uneven shoe wear, or one shoe that wears down before the other

• Skin or toenail irritation.

Do share this information with your kids who are old enough to appreciate the advice to minimise peer pressure, and ultimately your stress levels … Happy shopping!

Your feet mirror your general health… cherish them!

There is a great range of summer sandals ideal for school and casual wear available from Scooters.

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

http://www.scooters.net.nz

Learn Athlete’s Foot Warning Signs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes Athlete’s Foot can creep up on a person without any warning at all. And since many people have the preconceived notion that the ailment only actually happens to real athletes, or to those who work out regularly, it can be difficult to recognize the warning signs of the infection.

The fungus that causes Athlete’s Foot breeds in places that are warm and damp. If you frequently walk barefoot in warm, wet places—such as a locker room or a pool—the chances are good you might have already encountered the fungus without even noticing it.

Other warning signs of Athlete’s Foot include:

  • Burning sensation in feet and between toes.
  • Your feet and toes frequently itch, but scratching them provides temporary or little relief.
  • You have the tendency of wearing the same hot, sweaty socks all day, from early morning until you arrive home late at night.
  • Your feet and heels are very dry and cracked.
  • You do not often dry your feet completely—especially between your toes—before putting on your socks and shoes for the day.
  • You frequent a public gym, pool or sauna, and freely walk about without shoes or socks on.
  • Someone in your household has or recently has Athlete’s Foot and you share a bathtub, shower, bath mat, or other potentially damp surface with that person.

If Athlete’s Foot is left untreated, it can develop into something serious and quite painful. Contact The Podiatrist at the first signs of Athlete’s Foot.

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Jandals could be bad for your feet.

Nobody loves their jandals more than us Kiwis. As the warmer weather approaches (we hope), we start digging out the jandals.

They’re so easy and breezy, such an obvious choice, especially when summer reaches its peak and the holidays are in full swing.

But the next time you reach into the closet and pull out your favorite pair, be aware: You could be opening a Pandora’s box of podiatry problems.

Your favorite sassy and affordable flats are an unstable form of footwear, known to wreak havoc on arches, heels and toes, says The Podiatrist.

It’s a disaster waiting to happen. And sure, many people make it through just fine. But the shoes are a problem.

Here are the of wearing the favourite Kiwi fashion accessory and the risks and  some tips

Tension for the toes: Wearing jandals may feel like the next-best thing to going barefoot, but your feet are working harder than you think. Jandals force a change in your walking stride. With each step, the toes pull down on the shoe to stabilize the foot against the ground. Your foot has to step forward a little quicker. It’s trying to keep the flip-flop on. The result, is toe pain and stubbed toes.

Bound for blisters: The classic jandal features two straps sprouting from between the first two toes.  Everyone dislikes how the rubbing triggers blisters. Problem is, there’s no other place for toes to hang on to the sandal.

Arch of no triumph: Spend too much time walking in jandals, and the muscles that hold up the foot’s arch start to fatigue. Arch pain comes when those muscles change the way they function just to keep you moving along. Runners, hyper-fast walkers and heavier folks will feel this more often.

Plant this: About 15 percent of all adult foot injuries involve plantar fasciitis, that awful pain that comes from the tissue stretching from your heel, through the arch to the toes. It’s impossible to ban jandals, especially in the tropical environment, so  if you’re going to the beach, wear your jandals, but don’t take your four kilometre morning walk in jandals. Don’t walk around the Malls doing Christmas shopping in jandals, and don’t go sight seeing on holiday and  walk around all day in jandals, because you’re just looking for trouble.

Fractured feet: Stress fractures, often on the top of the foot ,typically don’t come from an injury, but from normal activity. With a stress fracture, you might as well trade in your jandals  for an immobilizing foot boot.

Domino effect: One andals injury can lead to more problems, he says. You start walking differently and then your ankle hurts, your knee hurts, your back hurts. It works its way up. People with existing chronic health problems can unknowingly put themselves at risk, too. Anyone with balance problems or foot instability should not consider jandals. Those with diabetes or circulation problems should be careful, as foot punctures and extreme pressure on the balls of your foot can lead to blisters and ulcers.

Hot foot: Everyone has, at one time or another, forgotten to put sunscreen on the top of their jandaled feet. The resulting sunburn is painful enough, but those blisters can evolve into even more serious problems.

Be cautious: Jandals are not the proper footwear for yard work or backyard play. The Podiatrist  urges common sense. If you’re mowing, pulling weeds are using a shovel, pull on a sturdy pair of shoes. If you’re getting ready to play catch, touch football or horseshoes, grab your sneakers. You can slip back into your jandals when you’re done.

For all your footcare needs and advice- visit The Podiatrist

www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

High-heeled shoes a danger

One of the first pieces of advice I give any new runner is in regards to shoes. I tell anyone who’s just starting out to go to a running specific store and to get fitted for a proper running shoe.

Many assume the name brand they got off the shelf at a major sports store is sufficient, but they are not. A properly fitted shoe can make or break a running career. One of the leading causes of running injury is due to improper footwear. Most runners accept this truth about shoes early on. However, one thing we don’t do is focus on the proper footwear when we’re not running.

Most runners fall into the category of wearing expensive shoes while they run, yet walk around in flimsy jandals the rest of the day. Many office professionals spend the majority of their day in dress shoes. They look great, but may be the root cause of your next running injury- especially high heels. Of all the flawed footwear, high heels may be the most risky choice for a runner. Research points to the fact that runners who wear high heels may be at greater risk for foot, knee, or back injury.

High heels are honestly not a great shoe for anyone. They are the number on cause of ingrown toenails, they can lead to lower back pain, hip soreness, osteoarthritis, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, dislocated toes, calluses, joint pain, bunions, and sprained ankles.

When a runner puts on their heels, she’s more likely to experience these problems and then some, as her feet are going through additional strain.
“If you wear heels all day and then I go running you can sometimes feel the bones in your foot stretching out afterwards because they’ve been compressed all day. It often hurts around the balls of my feet and you can notice the changes of the feet and toes from wearing pointy-toed heels.

While running brings its own soreness and possible ailments, the heels just add insult to injury. As running will cause tightness in the legs and calves, wearing heels will cause even more tightness on top of that, potentially leading to injury. Heels can squeeze the toes and cause a neuroma, or pinched nerve, especially in people with flat feet. Running can aggravate a neuroma. Sensing a theme here? Heels hurt the body, running on these hurts will only make it worse.

Many women have just decided to ditch the heels all together. For runners not willing to give up their pretty shoes, just limit your exposure.

Simply put, runners need to be more cautious than the average heel wearer about how often they slip on their high-heeled shoes.

For expert advice on any foot problems, visit The Podiatrist

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Your feet – Morton’s neuroma

Definition

A neuroma is a noncancerous (benign) growth of nerve tissue that can develop in various parts of your body. Morton’s neuroma occurs in a nerve in your foot, often between your third and fourth toes. The condition isn’t a true tumor, but instead involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the digital nerves leading to your toes. Morton’s neuroma causes a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. Your toes also may sting, burn or feel numb if you have Morton’s neuroma.

Also called plantar neuroma or intermetatarsal neuroma, Morton’s neuroma may occur in response to irritation, injury or pressure — such as from wearing tightfitting shoes. But Morton’s neuroma may also occur for unknown reasons.

Treatments for Morton’s neuroma commonly involve changing footwear, resting your foot, and using arch supports or pads to help take pressure off the area. In some cases, your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory drugs, a cortisone injection or even surgery if you have Morton’s neuroma