Our Home Exercise Programs
We had an awesome day with our wonderful team Nicole & Vicki updating our take home exercise programs for our patients. Vicki has an amazing knowledge of rehabilitation exercises and works at our Galston clinic on Thursday and Friday. For an appointment call 9653 3373.
Athletes Foot Podiatry Training Night
We had a great training night with some of the team from Athletes Foot Castle Hill Store. Vicki Hewett our other Podiatrist and I used the time to show the team what we do, to provide our clients with the best outcomes possible. They experienced our Zebris Force plate video assessment and our Foot alignment casting method. We love working with these guys and so do our clients!
Congratulations - Our Amazing Client completed 250km!
A big congratulations to our client Alison who competed in THE BIG RED RUN . This is a 6 day 250 km ultra marathon starting and ending in Birdsville. This event raised money for JDRF for juvenile diabetes. We were proud to be one of this amazing young mums sponsors!!!
Heel Pain and Your Feet
Heel pain is one of the most common conditions treated by podiatrists. It is often a message from the body that something is in need of medical attention. Pain that occurs right after an injury or early in an illness may play a protective role, often warning us about the damage we have suffered.
This is the most common reason we see clients in our practice. The greatest incidence of heel pain is seen in middle-aged men and women. It is also seen in those who take part in regular sporting activities and those significantly overweight and on their feet a lot. Heel pain can also occur in children, usually between 8 and 13, as they become increasingly active in sporting activities.
THE CAUSES OF HEEL PAIN
While heel pain has many causes, it is usually the result of faulty biomechanics (abnormalities in the way we walk). This can place too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissue attached to it.
The stress may also result from injury, or inflammation incurred while walking, running or jumping on hard surfaces; wearing poorly constructed footwear, or being significantly overweight.
Systemic diseases such as arthritis and diabetes can also contribute to heel pain.
A common cause of heel pain is the heel spur, a bony growth under the heel bone. There are no visible features on the heel, but a deep painful area can be found in or around the middle of the heel.
Approximately 10 percent of the population may have heel spurs without any pain.
Heel spurs result from strain on the muscles of the foot. This may result from a biomechanical imbalance, a condition occurring in many people.
Both heel pain and heel spurs are frequently associated with the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot. This condition is known as plantar fasciitis.
Shoes that lack appropriate support, especially in the arch area may aggravate the inflammation, and cause pain.
Other Causes of Heel Pain
· Excessive rolling in of the feet when walking
· An inflamed bursa (bursitis), a small, irritated sack of fluid at the back of the heel.
· A Neuroma (a nerve growth)
· Other soft tissue growths
· Heel bumps or “pump bumps, a bone enlargement at the back of the heel
· Bruises or stress fractures to the heel bone
OVERCOMING THE PROBLEM
If the pain and other symptoms of inflammation – redness, swelling, heat – persist, you should limit normal daily activities and consult your podiatrist.
Early treatment might involve exercises, stretching, and shoe recommendations, taping or strapping and anti-inflammatory medication. Other physical therapies may also be used, including ice, ultrasound or manipulation.
Simple Facts About Growing Pains & How They Affect Our Children
There seems to be a lot of confusion and misinformation out there about growing pains. What are they and how does it impact our childrens’ lives? To treat or not to treat, to get supportive shoes or go barefoot – all sorts of contradictory stories, and opinions. So, what are growing pains?
The term “growing pains” by definition is “Non-Specific leg pain which affects otherwise healthy children. Defined by exclusion, the inclusion criteria for growing pains are: intermittent pains in the muscles (not the joints) of both legs which occur at night”. The reality is that a lot of aches and pains in childrens’ feet are often caused by specific problems.
Many times, more specific conditions have been assumed or self-diagnosed as “growing pains”. Such conditions include muscular aches, tendonopathies, osteochondroses, juvenile arthritis, or biomechanical anomalies, particularly of the foot and leg. What causes theses pains? It is difficult to say without assessment of the child however, an example may be: If the child is suffering from aches and pains in the lower leg area and also has flat feet, this may be due to a biomechanical alignment issue. Or if it is a specific focal pain in the back of the heel and may be associated with an osteochondroses such as Sever’s Disease. Whatever the case, it is important to have the child’s condition diagnosed by an appropriate health professional, such as a podiatrist, so the correct treatments can be prescribed.
Can it be prevented? Pre-sport or functional assessment of your child is often helpful to detect those who are at increased risk of injury. Flexibility, posture, biomechanics and motor skills are areas that can be assessed.
Encouraging your child to play a range of sports can reduce injuries associated with overuse. As does warming up and cooling down, as a part of training or playing levels and/or intensity of training also need to be age appropriate for your child. Sports Medicine Australia provides safety guidelines for children in sport (www.sma.org.au). Correct fitting supportive footwear is important as well as being sport specific. These should be fitted by someone knowledgeable in the footwear industry.
Where should I take my child for assessment? At Hills Podiatry we are passionate about working with children, especially in the prevention of problems as they grow. Call 9057 5657 for an appointment today.
CHILLBLAINS AND YOUR FEET
WHAT ARE CHILLBLAINS AND HOW ARE THEY CAUSED?
Chillblains are usually the result of an abnormal vascular reaction to cold stimuli. Chillblains occur at any age and the most common cause is re-warming the feet too quickly, causing rapid dilation of minor blood vessels.
Signs and symptoms usually include itchiness and redness followed by swelling.
Chillblains may be single or multiple and usually subside in two to three weeks. Sometimes the reaction is more intense with breaks in the skin, even ulceration.
Preventative Care for Chillblains
Patients who have difficulty in maintaining warmth in their feet during cooler months, should follow this advice for prevention of chilblains and care of their feet.
1. Sudden changes from cold to hot, and hot to cold, should be avoided. Example: warm the floor of the shower recess or bath tub before stepping out of warm slippers. Only warm baths and showers should be used, as hot water may cause a chilblain, especially if the feet are very cold.
2. Adequate exercise will prevent the feet from getting cold and should be undertaken as the first method in warming cold feet.
3. Wear warm socks in bed, and warm slippers around the house. Do not use hot water bottles in bed, especially close to the feet. Do not use electric blankets on extreme heat, only a low maintenance heat. Preferably, heat the bed before retiring and turn the blanket off when actually getting in.
4. If you have suffered from chilblains previously and the area of the foot is reddened, or even slightly painful, apply Lasonil® or Hirodoid®. This treatment should be repeated twice daily to prevent chilblains.
For broken chilblains apply a dry dressing over the area, and visit your Podiatrist or GP as soon as possible.
AGING AND YOUR FEET
Studies suggest that foot problems increase over the age of 65.
People in this age group are far from “old” but in fact 1 in 3 has a foot problem.
Factors contributing to foot pain:
· Lack of padding, particularly under the soles and heels
· Muscle wastage and loss of fatty tissue
· Increased body weight
· Oedema – too much fluid concentrated in our legs and feet
· Cardiovascular, circulatory and renal problems
Problems due to decreased flexibility
· Not being able to reach our feet
+Unable to clean or dry between our toes which can lead to soggy skin and fungal infections.
+Unable to cut our toenails or address thickening of toenails. They may be too hard, you don’t have the correct clippers or your wrists are too weak to use them. Cutting nails incorrectly can lead to infection or if left too long they can dig into the next toe.
Staying on Your Feet
It is important to wear well-fitting low heel shoes to reduce the tendency to trip. Sloppy slippers, loose carpets, shiny soles on wet surfaces all contribute to falls.
Many older people wear shoes that are unsuitable for them – often too short. For gardening, walking the dog, shopping or household activities, low heeled lace-up shoes are preferable. When reaching your feet becomes difficult, tying laces may become impossible. They tendency then is to wear slippers or slip on casuals all day. There is no support in these shoes and they become sloppy and your feet slide in them. This increases your risk of tripping. Look for shoes with Velcro straps, they are much easier to cope with.
Basic Foot Health Tips:
· A shoe with a firm sole and soft upper is best for daily activities
· Socks or stockings should be the correct size and preferably seamless
· Except at the beach, avoid going barefoot, even in your own home
· NEVER cut corns or calluses with a razor and don’t user over the counter corn products as they may do more harm than good.
· Inspect your feet regularly or have someone do this for you. If you notice any redness, cracks or sores consult your Podiatrist.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR FEET OR LEGS HURT
Australians have become increasingly health conscious and being fit is a widespread objective. Unfortunately as a result of this many people are experiencing foot pain more often. There are many misconceptions about the nature and origin of the most frequently occurring types of foot disorders.
We in fact inherit the skeletal structure and joint function that predisposes the human body to foot related problems. Most of the potential problems we inherit, pass unnoticed for year until a symptom occurs and our mobility or activity is restricted. In many instances people who decide to get fit by increasing their activity haven’t the anatomy or general muscular condition to cope with the added stresses of their body. For example, those who decide to run to get fit and take to the pavement without conditioning or consideration of appropriate footwear. Your foot is strong, flexible and functional, yet the human foot is complex, with 26 bones, 33 joints and a network of more than 100 tendons, muscles, ligaments, blood vessels and nerves.
The most common foot/leg pains can be related to overuse injuries from repeated stress, such as running or walking with poor foot function. As a result, stress fractures or tendon strains can occur. Shin splints along the front of the shin bone are another overuse injury. Ankle sprains are common where there is instability or incorrect choice of footwear, causing ligament damage.
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and this tendon can be overstressed when these muscles are tight or there is poor foot function. Problems often occur in the foot itself and can include pain in the ankle, heel, forefoot or on top of the foot. Manypeople presume the pain will pass and it is just part of getting fit. They continue to train through the pain and this will in fact increase the problem. Often they don’t know who to see and many times think the G.P. is the one who must decide the best treatment option available.
As podiatrists, we specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of conditions of the feet and lower limbs. At Hills Podiatry we will provide a full assessment of relevant joints, muscles, posture and gait (walking) analysis.