Podiatry and Back Problems

It may seem strange to think of somebody going to a podiatry clinic, when they actually have a problem with their back.

After all, podiatry is the branch of medicine which diagnoses and treats issues related to the lower limbs – heels, toes, feet, ankles and knees.

And yet I see many patients complaining of heel or leg pain, for example, only to discover that the cause is primarily a back problem.

podiatry and back problems

The Connection Between Podiatry and Back Problems

When I was in Cubs and Scouts years ago, we used to sing about how the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone, and so on.

We thought it was just a silly song, however in over twenty years of podiatry practice I have come to realise just how much truth it holds: the body is indeed a series of connective tissues, bones, nerves and systems, that all work in harmony with each other.

So when a patient is experiencing pain in the heels or legs, it may in fact be something called “referred pain”. That is, although they may not have pain there, it is actually a back problem which is causing the symptoms in their feet, knees or legs.

Conversely, lower back pain may actually be related to poor biomechanics of the feet. In such cases, a podiatrist may be able to address the back pain, by prescribing certain shoes or orthotics that improve your overall body balance.

How the Legs and Back are Linked

The lumbar region at the base of the spine consists of five vertebrae, which play a really important role in how we use our lower limbs.

So when a client presents at our podiatry clinic with pain in both heels, we not only check for conditions such as spurs, ligament or tendon damage – but we also need to consider the body as a whole.

It is extremely rare for a patient to have an identical injury in the same location on both feet at the same time. Instead, we usually find that there are lower back issues, or other pathologies such as:

  • thyroid disease;
  • osteoarthritis;
  • limb length discrepancies;
  • scoliois (curvature of the spine).

These conditions can put pressure on the nerves, which then refer that pain to whatever they innovate. The lumbar region, for example, refers pain to your legs and your feet.

A Whole of Body Approach

This is why a good podiatrist needs to assess your whole body, and not just your lower limbs.

Whatever we do to your lower limbs impacts on your hips, your back, and right up to your neck. When we treat foot pain, we don’t want it to cause an increase in lower back pain or headaches, instead!

So in addition to looking at your foot type, the surface you stand on, your shoes and how they are wearing – your podiatrist should also check things like:

  • Your body’s symmetry: are your legs the same length? Are your hips and buttocks level? Are your shoulders level or dropped to one side?
  • The condition of various muscles: are they tight, or weak?

Because of the way the various parts of our body are connected and impact on each other, there are times when we need to refer a patient to other allied health care professionals.

At our Redlands podiatry clinic, we have a great working relationship with some of the local physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths and the like, to ensure the best of care for the whole of your body in these particular situations.

The Problem with Growing Older

could your back be causing your leg pain

No body is perfect and we all have alignment imperfections. However as we grow older, our body’s ability to deal with these alignment anomalies starts to falter, so symptoms start to appear.

Patients often ask me: Why now? When I was younger I never had this problem!

And that is exactly my point – the body is no longer coping with or compensating for a certain twist in the back, a short leg, a bow in the bone, etc.

So next time you visit our podiatry clinic, don’t be surprised if as well as considering your fallen arches, or sore achilles tendon, we also assess your whole body alignment.

At our Redlands podiatry clinic, we treat each patient as a whole person, rather than just a foot! Call today on 3207 4736 for an appointment, if you are experiencing foot or leg pain. 

Super Socks for Happy Feet!

I’ve been sharing lots of tips for happy feet here on the website – from basic foot care, to knowing what to look for in running shoes.

best socks for sweaty feet

But what about our socks?!

Wearing socks is just as important as the correct footwear, for the health and wellbeing of our feet.

I know, I know – socks just don’t look appealing with all types of shoes!

However, if you are participating in any type of sport or physical activity, wearing socks and shoes is essential.

Why Wear Socks?

We have numerous sweat glands in our feet, so socks are primarily worn to absorb sweat.

Socks not only help keep us (and our shoes) dry and comfortable – they also reduce our exposure to the bacteria which causes Athlete’s Foot.

And if that’s not enough to convince you to wear socks and shoes next time you go for a walk or run – they prevent foot odour as well!

But what are the best socks for sweaty feet? And which socks should you choose?

The market is flooded with fashion socks, sports socks, thermal socks, knee high socks, crew socks, compression socks, hiking socks, funny socks …

And there are so many different materials to choose from – the traditional cotton, wool and polyester blends, to the more extravagant silver-lined socks.

Have a chat with your local podiatrist, as they can definitely help.

At our podiatry clinic, we often recommend toe socks to our patients. They’re not just a crazy fad from the 70’s and 80’s – toe socks actually have many benefits!

Toe Socks Australia

Injinji toe socks

1 – Moisture management. By having each individual toe wrapped, the foot will be dryer and more comfortable than in traditional socks – which is especially important if you are hiking, running, or participating in any form of sport. Plus, it reduces the likelihood of developing infections, blistering and odour.

2 – Prevent Blisters. If you are a runner, you are likely wincing as you read this! The good news is, toe socks reduce the friction caused by your toes rubbing together, or against your shoes – and that means no more blisters.

3 – Sensory Feedback. Traditionally, distance runners wore toe socks to prevent blistering but also to provide them with valuable “sensory feedback”. The connection between our brain and our foot (and vice versa) is proven to receive more sensory stimulation with toe socks, than when all the toes are clumped together in one little bag. This is important as it allows the runner or athlete to direct their attention to a proper toe push off phase, during their strike.

4 – Total Foot Utilisation. Even if you are not into sports, toe socks ensure that your toes are properly aligned and splayed so that your body weight is distributed evenly. This allows your entire foot to be engaged as you walk. Toe socks optimise the biomechanics of your foot, and the sensory loop between your foot and brain.

When you visit your local podiatrist with any foot concerns, they will not only assess your biomechanics, but also your choice of socks and footwear, in order to make specific recommendations for your individual needs.

That’s why we now stock Injinji Toe Socks at our Redlands podiatry clinic.

Introducing Injinji Toe Socks

Are they the best socks for sweaty feet? We think so!

The design and construction of these socks is second to none.

In addition to  a seamless design for maximum comfort, Injinji toe socks keep your feet dry and cool thanks to a mixture of quality materials:

  • Cool Max – a moisture management fibre with wicking properties;
  • Nu Wool – a non-itchy Australian merino wool, which provides temperature and moisture control; and
  • Lycra – a flexible material with bio-directional stretch, for comfort and durability.

The Injinji range includes socks for different activities, eg running, hiking, work and business, each with different padding, thicknesses etc; and in various styles such as crew socks, knee highs and no show socks.

There is even a range of compression socks, perfect for boosting circulation in diabetics, and to relieve muscle fatigue in active people.

So next time you visit our Redlands Podiatry Clinic, talk to us about Injinji toe socks – they’ll make your feet smile!

How Can a Podiatrist Help a Diabetic?

With one person being diagnosed every five minutes in Australia, diabetes is an increasingly common problem – so how can a podiatrist help a diabetic?

Effective management of diabetes requires the support of a team of allied health professionals, not just your local GP – such as a dietitian, endocrinologist, and a podiatrist.

podiatry and diabetic foot care

Podiatry and Diabetic Foot Care

A podiatrist provides medical diagnosis and treatment for problems of the feet and lower limbs: swelling and ankle sprains, ingrown toenails, foot fractures, bunions, spurs, hammer toes, warts, corns and calluses, fungal nails, ulcers and cracked heels.

Upon being diagnosed with diabetes, your risk of developing foot problems rises significantly due to two common features of the disease:

  1. Reduced blood flow to the feet – which means any sores or other problems will take longer to heal; and
  2. Reduced sensitivity of the nervous system – which means the diabetic individual may not even notice pain or sores developing on their feet and lower limbs in the first place.

How can a Podiatrist help a Diabetic?

At our Redlands podiatry clinic, we have three podiatrists trained to provide diabetic foot assessment and diabetes foot care.

  • For those with type 1 diabetes, a diabetic foot assessment every six months is required.
  • For type 2 diabetics, the risk is slightly less, so an annual visit is recommended.

What is a Diabetic Foot Assessment?

As part of a diabetic foot assessment, your podiatrist will check:

  • The blood flow to your feet by recording the pulse rate in two places – on the top of your foot (the dorsalis pedis), and the inside of the ankle (tibialis posterior). Should there be any concerns about reduced blood flow, your GP will be notified and you will need ultrasounds and further investigations.
  • Your podiatrist will also check the sensitivity of the nerve endings in your feet. While you have your eyes closed, you will be asked to identify different sensations, such as sharp, blunt, hot, or cold. While most people take these sensations for granted, the nerves can be damaged by diabetes.

You can see why it’s really important for diabetics to take extra care of their feet: The decreased nerve sensitivity means that as a diabetic, you may not feel and therefore notice any sores or other problems; and the reduced blood flow means that the body’s healing ability is impaired.

As a result, if left unnoticed and/or untreated, sores, ingrown toenails and other problems can lead to infection.

Infection can cause serious health complications, such as ulcers and even lead to amputation of toes or feet.

is there a diabetes podiatrist near me

Is There a Diabetes Podiatrist Near Me?

At our Redlands podiatry clinic, we offer personal diabetic foot care to help you manage the risk of complications, by providing you with education and support around:

  • Foot hygiene and cleanliness;
  • Daily foot examination, to check for visual signs of broken skin, punctures, cuts and wounds, because you may not feel or notice them otherwise;
  • Cutting toenails correctly, to reduce the risk of cuts and infection;
  • Footwear. This is crucial for diabetics, as poorly fitting shoes can lead to blisters, corns, calluses and worse. At our Redlands podiatry clinic we can provide guidance on the type of shoe and features to look for; we even offer a professional shoe fitting service and stock a range of quality footwear.

Regular appointments with your local podiatrist, in conjunction with the care of your GP, dietitian and other allied health professionals, will ensure that any potential problems associated with diabetes can be detected early when it is far easier to treat.

If you have ever wondered, “Is there a diabetes podiatrist near me?” – then call our Redlands podiatry clinic today on 3207 4736. 

Netball Injuries Season is Here!

March heralds the start of netball season – and at our bayside podiatrist clinic, there is a sudden influx of clients suffering from netball injuries.

Netball is the most popular women’s sport in Australia, with around a dozen clubs based in the Redlands and bayside areas – at Alexandra Hills, Capalaba, Lota, Thornlands, Thorneside, Victoria Point and Wellington Point to name just a few.

netball injuries are part of netball season

However, there are still a lot of netball players out there, unaware of just how much a podiatrist can help – particularly if they struggle with frequent injuries.

You might be surprised that there are so many netball injuries when it is a non-contact sport – the high rate of injuries is due to other factors, such as the hard playing surface, the fast pace, and sudden changes in movement and direction.

3 Most Common Injuries in Netball

Sprained Ankle – By far the most common of all netball injuries is the ankle sprain, due to the large amount of jumping, landing and pivoting actions. These actions involve numerous structures of the foot – when you have an ankle sprain, the ligaments, muscles and tendons can all be damaged and compromised.

The best way to go about healing a sprained ankle is the RICE technique – Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate your foot for the first two or three days.

If there is serious purple, blue or black bruising – an x-ray is generally the next step, to allow for correct diagnosis and treatment. But if in doubt, or if you are finding that things just aren’t the same after a netball injury, talk to a podiatrist.

Jumper’s Knee – This involves the ligament which runs just underneath your knee cap, the patella tendon, and is one of the most common injuries in netball due to the high prevalence of jumping and bounding.

Should your knee/s become sore it’s important to listen to your body; pain is your body’s way of letting you know that there is an injury. Again, the recommended treatment is to cut back on the activity and  ice the region down. We are the only bayside podiatrist clinic using the foot mobilisation technique to help your foot, leg, knee and thigh to work in harmony, so that you are not only back on your feet, but playing netball again soon.

And, we can also set you up with the correct footwear to prevent further problems.

Achille’s Tendon Injury – Any athlete or professional sports person will tell you that damaging the  Achilles tendon is their most dreaded injury. That’s because it is the largest tendon in your body, and helps propel your body forward. It delivers all the energy stored in your calf, transferring it down your leg through the tendon and into the midfoot.

The location of the pain, the swelling, and the stiffness will determine what treatment regime a podiatrist will prescribe. Once upon a time it was thought that all Achilles tendon pain could be treated by stretching the calf, hanging your foot off a step, however that does not suffice anymore. Treatment now is prescribed specifically based on the location of the suspected injury in the tendon.

Preparing for Netball Season

There are a few things you can do to minimise your risk of sustaining any netball injuries this season.

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Footwear – The most important part of your netball uniform is your shoes. Make sure your playing shoes:

  • provide the correct level of arch support;
  • have plenty of cushioning to protect your foot from the impact of hard court surfaces;
  • and that the sole suits the playing surface – outdoor and indoor courts require different materials and grip of the outdoor sole. For indoor netball, look for something like the Dunlop Volley with its fishbone pattern; whereas for outdoor courts, look for sports shoes where the spacing between the grip on the sole is slightly wider apart, to give you more traction.

Check the age and integrity of your netball shoes – the traction layer, the midsole cushioning layer, the upper. For more tips, including when to invest in new shoes, check out my previous article on what to look for in sports or running shoes.

Correct fitting is particularly important in a dynamic sport like netball. You don’t want to have too much movement of your foot within the shoe, but at the same time you don’t want a shoe that is too tight as it can cause compression on the nerves.

If you are in need of new sports shoes, we recommend you visit a reputable shoe fitting specialist – or your local podiatrist – somebody with the training and the equipment for a proper fit.

Player Fitness – Netball is an extremely fast paced game, with plenty of repetitive movements such as catching, throwing, and jumping, all of which increases a player’s chances of chronic leg and arm fatigue.

As fatigue increases – if your biomechanics is poor – if your footwear is aged – the consequence is that your body is not as well protected as it could be. This then increases your chances of fatigue; and the moment you start increasing fatigue, your chances of suffering netball injuries are going up exponentially.

So increase your level of fitness with a mixed program involving cardio vascular fitness, muscular strength, flexibility and balance, as these are vital if you want to see out the season without falling victim to netball injuries.

Netball injuries are not 100% preventable, but if these little things can be addressed, it does play a huge part in a player’s longevity and enjoyment of the sport.

Our bayside podiatrist clinic offers professional fitting of sports shoes, and treatment for netball injuries involving the feet and lower limbs – call us today on 3207 4736 for personal assistance.

A Podiatrist’s Guide to Basic Foot Care

Why is basic foot care so important?

basic foot care tips

Perhaps you remember the old song:

Your foot bone’s connected to your ankle bone;
your ankle bone’s connected to your knee bone;
your knee bone’s connected to your thigh bone;
your thigh bone’s connected to your hip bone … and so on?

In fact, your feet aren’t just connected, they bear the weight of the rest of your body.

This is why foot problems can impact areas further up the skeletal system, such as your knees, hips, back, etc. If your feet are sore, your body will compensate and place undue strain on other areas.

After 20 years as a Redlands podiatrist, I’ve seen many sad, neglected and abused feet – and the suffering they can cause. So today I thought I’d share with you my top ten tips to promote foot health and hygiene.

10 Basic Foot Care Tips

  1. Wash your feet every day with soapy warm water. You don’t have to soak them; just give them a couple of minutes’ wash. Make sure you dry well between the toes to prevent infection, which is particularly important with our Brisbane climate. With all that heat and humidity, moisture trapped between the toes provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and infection.
  2. Cut your toe nails straight across. Don’t go down at the edges, or you run the risk of ingrown toenails.
  3. Moisturise your feet regularly. I recommend using a good quality cream such as sorbolene with Vitamin E. Tea tree oil is also great, as it has anti-fungal as well as moisturising properties.
  4. Remove dry dead skin. Tackle your heels, calluses, or any other patches of dry dead skin, with a pumice stone or similar.basic foot care
  5. Limit wearing of high heels where possible. If you wear heels to work every day, at least take a good pair of running shoes and change into them for the walk to and from the bus or train, or if you are stepping out at lunch time.
  6. Shop for shoes in the afternoon. Our feet swell throughout the day, so what seems a perfect fit first thing in the morning will likely pinch your feet by nightfall. By trying on shoes in the afternoon, you can guarantee a comfortable fit.
  7. Change your socks daily. We can perspire up to ¾ to 1 cup of sweat a day – solely (excuse the pun) through our feet! And please, wear socks in sports shoes. Let your sock be the sponge, not your shoe, otherwise the bacteria living on your sweat will create “stinky shoes”.
  8. Rotate your footwear. You don’t have to be Imelda Marcos – whatever constitutes 80% of your week, have at least a couple of pairs on rotation. Use them on alternate days, and leave the pair you aren’t wearing in front of a window, or somewhere they can dry out.
  9. Preventing infection. Avoid fungus or plantar warts by wearing flip flops or thongs in communal areas – think swimming pools, amenities blocks when camping, motels, etc.
  10. Finally, your feet should be comfortable. If you are experiencing foot pain and discomfort regularly, this is not normal or just a sign of ageing. Ignoring foot pain could result in a chronic long term problem.

If you have any foot pain, questions or concerns, you can make an appointment at our Redlands podiatry clinic today on 3207 4736. 

Kids School Shoes: A Parent’s Guide

Summer holidays have just begun, but before we know it the back to school rush will be upon us!

Perhaps you have never thought of talking to your local podiatrist about your kids’ school shoes – yet we are the experts in all things foot care!

We can also offer professional fitting for kids school shoes.

professional fitting for kids school shoes

We can help answer your questions, such as:

  • Why are good school shoes so important?
  • Are leather school shoes better?
  • Should we choose velcro fastening or lace up school shoes?
  • What shoe will best suit a wide foot?

In addition to providing valuable advice, at Trevor Lane Podiatry we offer a good range of school shoes – for the littlest preppie, right through to the adult sizes needed by the end of high school – as well as a professional fitting service.

We recommend parents check their kids’ school shoes in early to mid January, as there can be a bit of a rush at the end of January and stocks can run low.

Why are good school shoes so important?

As a parent myself, I’m quite particular about the features I want in my kids school shoes! So you can be assured of quality, stability and support in the range we offer. Here are just some of the reasons why good school shoes are so important:

  • Your child’s feet can grow up to 17 sizes in the first 11 or 12 years – expertly fitted school shoes allow for correct bone and muscle development, preventing potential problems down the track.
  • Poorly fitting school shoes can actually cause damage, or increase the risk of injury such as a sprained ankle.
  • A quarter of the bones in your child’s body are located in their foot – they deserve to be looked after!
  • Your child will be wearing their school shoes for at least 30 hours a week.
  • School shoes aren’t just for school! You want to be sure your child has a good quality, supportive shoe for playing and running around.

Kids school shoes by Ecco

Professional Fitting for Kids School Shoes

It is worth visiting our Redlands podiatry clinic to check your kids’ school shoes before the new school year begins. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • We are the foot doctors! Our podiatrists have trained for many years and are fully qualified in foot care. Unlike shop assistants, with only a brief training session under their belts – we are the experts.
  • A podiatrist can pick up any potential problems or foot conditions in your child, and ensure that they are fitted with the best school shoes for their individual needs.
  • Our professional shoe fitting service includes measuring the length, width, and arch length of your child’s foot, as well as using a gait scanner to check for any abnormal foot function.
  • Feet aren’t always the same size! If your child has feet of a different length or width – we can adjust the shoe precisely to each foot.

In short, not only do you get great, professional service, you can be confident we stock only the best school shoes, with full money back guarantees.

School Shoes Brands

We stock Clarks, Ecco, and also school sports shoes, and can recommend the best for your child:

  • Clarks: Clarks have a great reputation. Their shoes consist of a good quality rubber sole and leather upper, and are built to offer maximum stability to support your child’s knees and back. Clarks caters for children with wide feet, with school shoes made up to F, G and H widths.
  • Ecco: This European brand offers very high quality in kids school shoes. They are a little more expensive, but I find they are particularly suitable for the senior years, eg students in years 11 and 12 that have finished growing. Older students find that they will get at least 2 years out of these shoes. Ecco school shoes are available predominantly in one width, but it’s a very generous sizing, around a B or C.
  • School Sports Shoes: Our school sports shoes range includes Orthaheels in white and black, and Saucony, which also caters for medium and wide feet.

At our Redlands podiatry clinic, we offer foot care for the whole family – and would love to help with advice and professional fitting for kids school shoes.

Most Common Sports Injuries Seen by Podiatrists

Many of the most common sports injuries affect our feet.

This is not surprising when we remember that a quarter of the bones in our entire body are located there!

podiatrist treating sports injuries

Sport and other high impact activities can subject our feet to loads and forces of up to 10 to 15 times our body weight so it’s no wonder we treat so many sports injuries at our podiatry clinic!

Here are the five most common sports injuries we see:

Sesamoiditis

The sesamoids are two small bones beneath the joint of the big toe, within the tendons; sesamoiditis is the name given when there is an inflammation in these bones.

Sesamoiditis can occur from the type of activities commonly found in high intensity boot camps – jumping, lunges, or activities with a heavy push off or loading.

If you are experiencing a painful big toe following physical activity, it is important to visit a podiatry clinic for diagnosis and treatment. Serious long term damage can result if the bones have fractured, or blood flow has been disrupted.

Stress Fractures

Sports and exercise can also cause stress fractures – tiny hair like fractures in the bones – usually in the five long metatarsal bones of the foot. Symptoms include swelling on the top of your foot, and pain when walking.

Stress fractures are associated with repetitive activity, or a sudden increase in training level and intensity. Other factors may include ageing footwear, the training surface (eg concrete, tar, grass, artificial turf). People suffering from reduced bone density – osteoporosis – are at a much greater risk of foot fractures.

The good news is, stress fractures usually heal on their own, following periods of rest and reduced activity, but it is still wise to consult with your local podiatrist.

Turf Toe

This painful injury occurs when the forefoot catches on the ground (usually grass or artificial turf) while you are in a forward motion, causing the toe to bend upwards, outside of the normal range of movement.

A podiatrist may recommend wearing footwear with a stiffened toe box, toe strapping, and/or reduced activity, for a period of time.

Plantar Fasciitis

Foot pain which improves over the course of the day, is generally caused by plantar fasciitis. Patients often report that the first couple of steps out of bed in the morning are the most painful.

Although plantar fasciitis is common in runners, dancers and people who jump, it also affects people with reduced flexibility (eg those born with a reduced calf length), or women with a high heel habit. It is a condition which often develops in flight attendants, after years of wearing heels at work. Over time the calf muscles shorten to adapt to the heel height – and the calf becomes so tight that it is no longer possible to wear flat or low heels. This places strain on the arch of the foot, resulting in plantar fasciitis.

Your local podiatrist can prescribe treatment such as ice, heat packs, exercises, and specific footwear.

Black Bruised Big Toenail

most common sports injuries

If you have been shocked to find a black bruised big toenail when taking off your shoes, this is a sign that either:

  • The shoe doesn’t fit properly, and your toes are repeatedly knocking on the toe box.
  • Or, your feet are moving forward in the shoe. Generally patients with this problem have a narrow foot, and a lacing technique called a heel lock helps to pull the foot back into the rear two thirds of the shoe.

Often seen in runners, hikers, snow skiers and tennis players, a black bruised toenail is caused by a bleed under the nail (called a hematoma). It can be quite painful, so it’s a good idea to visit a podiatry clinic, where they can relieve the pressure under the nail.

Eventually the damaged nail will come away, but it may take as long as 6 to 12 months to fully recover.

Avoiding the Most Common Sports Injuries

If you are looking for a podiatrist treating sports injuries, give us a call on 3207 4736. We have plenty of experience, as our podiatry clinic sees a definite increase in these types of sports injuries over spring and summer, as people become more physically active.

Although we are always happy to help with foot injuries, or to answer any questions – remember, don’t go too hard too fast, because prevention is better than cure!

Healing a Sprained Ankle

I often encounter clients that say, “Ever since I had that sprained ankle, my foot has never been quite the same”.

healing a sprained ankle

Usually, they are having difficulties with things like climbing stairs, squatting and getting a good calf stretch – because the ankle feels like it is “stuck”.

A sprained ankle is a particularly common injury within certain sports such as touch football, netball and basketball. Watching my daughter play netball one weekend recently, I noticed several players experience this terrible traumatic event.

What’s Happening Inside a Sprained Ankle?

When we sprain or roll our ankle, our immediate reaction is to catch our breath from the pain, as we watch it swelling up before our very eyes. Obviously, we’ve done some ligament or muscle damage. Ouch!

What is not so commonly known however, is that when you sprain your ankle, you have also:

  • placed incredible abnormal forces on the bones and joints in your foot and surrounding structures. With 26 bones and 43 joints in the foot, there is a lot of potential for something to go wrong!
  • disrupted the neurological pathway connecting your foot to your brain. Normally, we don’t need to think about being able to walk; our brain automatically knows the position of our feet, and how to move them. However, a sprained ankle can affect these messages between brain and foot.

This is why people often feel that the sprained ankle just “isn’t quite right”, many months afterwards – a lot more has been impacted, than just the ligaments or muscles of the foot.

Treating a sprained ankle begins with applying ice to reduce swelling and bruising, and perhaps seeking out x-rays for potential foot fractures. For many people, that’s as far as it goes. However, it’s important to seek treatment from your local podiatrist to achieve complete healing of a sprained ankle.

How Foot Mobilisation Therapy Helps with Healing a Sprained Ankle

Foot Mobilisation Therapy is a fairly recent development in the field of podiatry. It is a simple process incorporating gentle traction or stretch, while placing the joint through the normal range of movement.

your local podiatrist

The foot mobilisation technique allows the joint to simply realign itself. Sometimes, the patient may be lucky enough to hear a click or a pop when this happens, though not always. It’s not painful, and the pop or click does not indicate any form of damage – rather, that full range of movement in the joint has been restored.

What to Expect from Your Local Podiatrist

Your local podiatrist will work with you to regain muscular strength in your foot and leg, through the use of specific exercises, often using a resistance band (or theraband).

Restoring the electrical pathways between brain and foot (and vice versa) is an important part of the healing process. Your podiatrist may apply kinetic tape, to remind your body how the foot is supposed to function; and teach you simple balance exercises.

The good news is – the days of limping for a significant period of time, resulting in potential secondary problems such as sore knees and lower back pain – are now a thing of the past.

If you are a sports lover, there is nothing worse than having to sit on the sidelines due to injury. With Foot Mobilisation Therapy, you can be back to your beloved game, faster than you ever imagined!

Did you know – we are the only Redlands podiatry clinic with podiatrists qualified to provide Foot Mobilisation Therapy? If you are suffering any pain or difficulties with movement following an ankle sprain, call for an appointment with either Trevor Lane or Lachlan Whitwell today, on 3207 4736.

What to Look for in Running Shoes

Now that Spring has arrived, there is a real surge in people running, walking and enjoying the great outdoors.

The longer days and warmer weather make it much easier to get back into regular exercise!

However, running and walking may actually have a negative impact on your body – not just your feet – if you don’t know what to look for in running shoes.

what to look for in running shoes

Common questions include: Do I need professional shoe fitting? How often should I replace my running shoes? And which brands are the best?

Do I Need New Running Shoes?

Before you lace up your old faithful running shoes, consider if they are actually up to the task.

The Upper: Is the stitching coming apart? Are there any holes, or are your toes sticking out? Does the shape of the shoe look normal, or does it lean to one side (whether in or out)?

The Outer Sole: This is the treadlike layer on the bottom of the shoe, primarily used for grip and durability. Again, check for holes and signs of uneven wear.

The Mid Sole: The most important area of your running shoe however, is the part you can’t really see – the mid sole, which is usually made of EVA foam. Brands tend to use different names for this important layer: ASICS call it gel; Nike call it air; Brooks call it hydroflow – but essentially they all do the same thing.

The primary function of the mid sole is to absorb the shock of the foot as it strikes the ground; it is also designed to control the inward roll of the foot (or pronation as your local podiatrist is likely to call it). Pronation has been linked to conditions such as shin splints, kneecap problems, hip and lower back pain.

running shoes to control pronation

Unfortunately, the mid sole foam breaks down over time – as you clock up mileage, it becomes thinner and stiffer, losing its ability to control shock and the mechanics of your foot.

On the outside of your running shoe, the mid sole may be a different colour or pattern. If you notice any creasing, it may be time for a replacement.

Another way to test the condition of your mid sole, is how your shoes feel when you wear them. If you are running on the road or on gravel, and can feel that surface under your feet, the mid sole is tiring or has collapsed.

As a general rule, your local podiatrist will recommend that if you exercise regularly, you should look at replacing your running shoes on an annual basis.

What to Look for in Running Shoes

Tried and Tested: As with many things in life, tried and tested is best. If you have a brand that you are comfortable in, that you have been walking and running in without problems, then stick to it. Don’t change your running shoe because somebody in a shoe store or a certain brand is promoting something different.

Find an Assistant Familiar with your Sport: When you walk into a shoe store, try to find an assistant with relative knowledge. If you’re a runner, try to find a sales assistant who also likes to run. If you are a tennis or netball player – do they play tennis or netball?

Professional Shoe Fitting: Of course you won’t always be able to find help from somebody experienced in the same sport. However, you should make sure that your assistant measures the length and width of your feet with a Brannock, to get a truly professional shoe fitting.

what to look for in running shoes

Try Different Brands: Different brands cater for different foot dimensions, so again don’t get caught up in trends or marketing hype. Try on two or three pairs of shoes that offer the same features, and see which ones you think feel best, and most comfortable, under your feet.

If you are having problems with finding the right running shoe, your local podiatrist can help by looking into your specific needs and issues.

In the Redlands, Trevor Lane Podiatry is your local podiatrist, offering professional shoe fitting and footwear. Call us today on 3207 4736 for personal assistance with what to look for in running shoes.

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Foot Fractures

Participating in sports such as football or basketball, or activities such as gymnastics or dancing, are the main culprits when it comes to foot fractures.

foot care tips for fractures

However, even a simple stumble or fall can result in this painful injury, which can sometimes be difficult to detect.

The Foot Care Professionals

Podiatrists are the foot care professionals, undertaking four years of training so that they can provide expert diagnosis, treatment and management of all concerns relating to the feet – toes, ankles, toenails, heels and lower limbs. In order to practice, they must also be registered, which entails keeping up to date on all the latest developments in the foot care field.

That’s why we recommend a trip to your local podiatry clinic if you suspect you have a fracture, sprain, or other foot injury. Most people think of going to a doctor, or hospital Emergency Department, not realising that a podiatrist is the expert when it comes to your feet.

Sadly, we often see patients at our podiatry clinic, who have already visited a GP or physiotherapist regarding a foot injury – but have not received the correct diagnosis. Often this is because they were never sent for an x-ray which would have revealed that a foot fracture was present.

You do not require a referral to visit a podiatry clinic, and just like a GP, we can give you a referral for an x-ray to determine if there is a fracture present. Currently there are no out of pocket expenses for these x-rays, as they are covered by Medicare.

Recovering from Foot Fractures

Once your podiatrist has arrived at a diagnosis, they can prescribe the best treatment and rehabilitation options – so you will be running around again in no time!

If you suspect that you may have a foot fracture, or just want some advice on another aspect of foot care, call us today on 3207 4736.

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