Issues with feet can affect anyone at any age. Parents shouldn’t assume that signs of foot problems in children are merely “growing pains.
Managing children’s health is complicated enough, especially for first-time parents. It can be a struggle to truly know and even understand which signs and symptoms are temporary and which point to more serious concerns.
In truth, the professionals a The Podiatrist and Kidsnmotion agree that there are some pediatric foot problems that resolve themselves with growth and time. However, there are clear signs when children need medical help.
Common foot problems can range from pediatric flat foot, toe walking, in-toeing and flat or high arches to tarsal coalitions (an abnormal bridge of tissue that connects two normally separate tarsal bones plus extra bone growth — quite simply, when the bones of the feet fail to separate during fetal development).
While these conditions of the feet and their treatments are different, they share some common signs that show parents there is a problem that needs to be addressed:
- Pain, swelling and redness that does not subside
- Development of thick calluses in one area of the foot
- Problems with the way your child walks
- Shins or thighbones that appear to turn inward
- Ankles that are weak or easily give out
As much as your child’s general health and well-being is important, do not ignore symptoms; foot health is just as important as any other medical examination.
There are several treatment options for these conditions. Whether a less invasive approach — such as shoe modifications, orthotic devices and physical therapy — or a more intensive intervention — such as bracing, steroid injections or even surgery — is needed, The Podiatrist can advise parents on which treatment offers the best long-term prognosis.
If you believe that a family member is experiencing any of the above symptoms, perhaps it’s time to seek professional help and book a consultation for a thorough examination, diagnosis and possible treatment with The Podiatrist.
We all start out with a clean slate on New Year’s Eve. It’s a time when most of us make a resolution to stop doing something that is making us unhealthy or unhappy; and to go in another direction for something new that will make us improve our quality of life. Time is not slowing down and it is taking a toll on our feet.
I encourage all of you to pay more attention to your feet this New Year and to take action for improvement. Here are some health tips that will help your feet feel younger and beautiful in 2016!
Tip 1: Wear Proper Footwear and be Size Smart!
Choose proper footwear for all occasions this year and be size smart. Pitch the old trainers that have been lying around in your closet. Ask The Podiatrist for some tips to select a shoe that is designed for the fitness activity and for your foot type.
Whenever possible, leave the stilettos in your closet. At least try to wear them less or scale down the heel height. Try to wear them on alternate days or slip into a pair of foot friendly flats when you get to work. There is nothing beautiful about painful feet and shoe wear that may lead to ankle sprains, bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, neuromas, and surgery.
Properly fitted shoes will help prevent corns, calluses, blisters, chafing, and foot or ankle injuries. Make a healthier choice of shoes this year. Foot-friendly shoes will help your feet; and your body will appreciate this.
Tip 2: Don’t Ignore Heel Pain!
The heel bone (calcaneus) is the largest bone in the foot that is subjected to the weight bearing load when walking. Heel pain is not something to ignore. It’s a signal that there is something that needs to be checked by your podiatrist.
Although the most common form of heel pain is plantar heel pain. It may be caused by arthritis, a stress fracture, a heel spur, an irritation of the nerves, or problems in the arch. Once The Podiatrist diagnoses the cause, the proper treatment can be selected.
In most cases, heel pain may be resolved with conservative treatment like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, different footwear that provides better support, stretching exercises, cold therapy, and rest. Other treatments may include corticosteroid injections, orthotic devices, removable walking casts, night splints, padding and strapping, and physical therapy.
Tip 3: Stop Bunion Discomfort and Pain!
If you are experiencing severe pain and discomfort because of a bunion that is interfering with your daily activities, it’s time to explore your surgical options. If your anxiety has caused you to avoid surgery, you may be doing yourself more harm than good. An altered gait (walking) pattern can contribute to other mechanical problems in your feet and put unwanted stress on your ankles, knees, hips, and spine.
Tip 4: Support your Feet with Custom Orthotics!
Custom orthotics are made from cast impressions of your feet and inserted into your shoes. Orthotics are designed to properly provide support for your arches and to distribute your weight bearing loads more uniformly. They are especially helpful for people with foot deformities, athletes, pregnant moms, and seniors who are experiencing greater changes in their feet.
A wide range of orthotics is available for various activities and shoe types, and for children and adults. Orthotics are not a permanent correction for a mechanical foot deformity but it can help slow down the progression of a deformity and need for surgery. New orthotics are generally needed every two years and should be checked for wear and tear.
Tip 5: Start Moving but Start Smart!
Physical activity contributes to your health and can provide benefits to your feet. Select activities that you enjoy and get your feet moving. Don’t rush into fitness. Start smart to avoid injuries like shin splints and plantar fasciitis (heel pain). A steady, gradual program is more beneficial in the long run than an intense program that puts undue stress on your feet. Avoid running on uneven surfaces and terrain; and incorporate cross training into your fitness program to reduce the stress on your feet.
Exercising your feet and ankles is also important to keep them strong and flexible. Talk with your podiatrist about easy exercises that can be done in your home. Strong feet will also have a positive effect on reducing pain in your back, hips, and knees.
Tip 6: Say Goodbye to Ugly Toenails!
If you are tired of having to deal with the embarrassment of toenail irregularities cause by fungus, we have some solutions for you.
Your feet deserve the very best in 2016! If you are interested in seeking help, call The Podiatrists.
We also have a huge range of foot care products- only the best for your feet.
You know we expect an awful lot from our feet. We walk, run and jump on them. We cram them into socks and shoes. We use them to stand a little taller. We subject them to sand, rocks and heaven knows what hazards they endure while walking barefoot in our homes. Then we complain bitterly when they hurt. Makes sense to me.
Want to talk about foot pain? Talk about an ingrown toenail. Also known as onychocryptosis or unguis incarnatus (I dare you to pronounce those words) an ingrown toenail occurs when a sharp corner of the toenail digs into the skin at the end or side of the toe. Although it can happen to any toe, it’s most likely to be your big toe.
An ingrown toenail can be the result of trauma, such as stubbing your toe, having an object fall on your toe, or engaging in activities that involve repeated pressure on the toes, such as kicking or running.
The most common cause of ingrown toenails is incorrect trimming. Cutting your nails too short encourages the skin next to the nail to fold over the nail. Another cause of ingrown toenails is wearing shoes that are tight or short. Certain nail conditions are often associated with ingrown toenails. For example, if you have had a toenail fungal infection or if you have lost a nail through trauma, you are at greater risk for developing an ingrown toenail.
Treatment of Ingrown Toenails
If you don’t have an infection or any medical conditions that may affect your healing, you can soak your foot in room-temperature water with Epsom salts, and gently massage the side of the nail fold to help irrigate the area.
Avoid attempting “bathroom surgery.” Repeated cutting of the nail can cause the condition to worsen over time. If your symptoms fail to improve, make an appointment with The Podiatrist.
Home treatment is strongly discouraged if you suspect you have an infection, or if you have a medical condition that puts your feet at high risk, for example diabetes, nerve damage in the foot, or poor circulation.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
Many cases of ingrown toenails may be prevented by following these two important tips:
•Trim your nails properly. Cut your toenails in a fairly straight line, and don’t cut them too short. You should be able to get your fingernail under the sides and end of the nail.
•Avoid poorly-fitting shoes. Don’t wear shoes that are short or tight in the toe box. Also avoid shoes that are loose, because they too cause pressure on the toes, especially when you run or walk briskly.
Myth Busting – Ingrown Toenails!
Myth: Cutting a “V” in the nail will reduce the tendency for the nail to curve downward.
Truth: Cutting a “V” does not affect the growth of the toenail. New nail growth occurs from the nail bed and will continue to grow in whatever shape the nail bed is in.
Myth: Repeated trimming of the nail borders is a good way to treat ingrown toenails.
Truth: Repeated nail trimming fails to correct future nail growth and can make the condition worse.
Myth: Cotton placed under the nail will relieve the pain.
Truth: Cotton placed under the nail can be harmful. It can easily harbour bacteria and encourage infection.
Myth: You can buy effective ingrown toenail treatments at the Pharmacy or Chemist.
Truth: Over-the-counter topical medications may mask the pain, but they fail to address the underlying problem.
Get started on resolving your foot problem today.
Visit The Podiatrist for all your foot care needs
Orthotics are often prescribed by Podiatrists to help treat pain in your lower back, legs or joints. The two most common types of orthotics are accommodative and functional, both of which can have a positive impact on your skeletal system. The former are built to better support your feet to help reduce stress on your joints, while the latter are designed to change the way your foot functions when you stand, walk or run.
If you’ve been prescribed orthotics, you may be wondering what to expect when you’re fitted for them. The Podiatrist will typically go through the following steps to help make sure your body gets exactly what it needs from your new orthotics:
1. Medical history and lifestyle analysis: The Podiatrist will review your medical history, including any previous injuries, and also consider your lifestyle, including the activities you engage in and the different types of shoes you wear.
2. Exam: The Podiatrist will conduct a hands-on exam of your feet and lower limbs to analyze the structure of your foot, your range of motion, and identify any abnormalities. They will also analyze your gait by observing you walking or running. This will help determine any issues, such as whether you favour one leg over another, or whether you pronate etc
3. Casting: Taking a mould of your feet will help ensure that your orthotics are constructed exactly to the contours and shape of your foot. The Podiatrist may use techniques including traditional plaster of Paris casting from boxes to get an accurate representation of your feet.
The Podiatrist uses orthotics selectively to treat all sorts of foot, leg, and lower back problems among its patients. If you’re in pain and think orthotics may be the answer, contact The Podiatrist today.