What is Digital Gait Analysis?

We have seen great strides (pardon the pun!) in the technology available to podiatrists over the past couple of decades.

digital gait scanner

We are all living longer and want the best possible quality of life – and modern technology can play a role in achieving this.

As part of our commitment to providing our clients with superior foot care, our Redlands podiatry clinic is equipped with the latest technology. By using a computerised gait scanner for example, we can conduct digital gait analysis to identify and prevent any potential issues, before they have a chance to negatively affect your mobility, health and wellbeing.

Digital gait analysis is particularly valuable as it can help detect potential long-term issues, which can arise due to conditions such as:

  • diabetes;
  • differences in limb length;
  • or even seemingly minor biomechanical flaws in your foot, ankle or leg.

What is a Computerised Gait Scanner?

The computerised gait scanner captures information about your gait (the way you walk) –  far more than can be seen by just observing you as you walk down a corridor.

This innovative diagnostic tool is comprised of around 4000 sensors, with a scan rate of approximately 300 frames per second, providing the podiatrist with a wealth of information that would otherwise be missed by the naked eye.

By capturing approximately one million points of data, acomputerised gait scanner allows your Redlands podiatrist to assess the actual pressure on specific areas of the sole, through each of the three stages of gait:

  • The heel strike phase;
  • Mid-stance – when your foot is directly on the floor and your body is directly above your foot; and
  • The toe off stage.

In years gone by, podiatrists had to rely on looking at the sole of your foot, and wear and tear on your footwear, to indicate any biomechanical flaws or problems.

Now, digital gait analysis can reveal any signs of overload in a particular area before it becomes a problem, and is particularly useful for a number of reasons.

digital gait analysis

Identifying Over Use Injuries

A lot of the conditions we see in our Redlands podiatry clinic are due to over use.

Over use does NOT mean that the client has done too much or too little. Rather, it may be that there is a biomechanical flaw in the way that the foot works in conjunction with the ankle, knee and back, and over time this repetitive strain, stress and excessive load takes its toll.

As a result that particular structure or affected area of the body becoming fatigued; when fatigue occurs, the chances of injury increase; and then the quality of life starts to decline.

Digital Gait Analysis for Diabetics

Digital gait analysis is just one of the ways a podiatrist can assist diagnosed diabetics, whose poor circulation and reduced nerve sensitivity can lead to a number of foot problems.

With our computerised gait scanner, your Redlands podiatrist can actually assess the loads under the various points of the sole of your foot. We know what is considered a normal load for a particular area on your foot – based on your foot size, the shoe that you’re wearing, the surfaces you’re walking on, and most importantly, your body weight.

If we diagnose overload, we can potentially prevent ulceration of the sole of the foot. Digital gait analysis allows us to detect any problems at a very early stage – long before you will even notice them – so we can prescribe an insole, orthotics, padding or shoe modification, to reduce that excessive load and prevent future complications.

We can help diabetic patients even when they have developed an ulcer, as we can still measure the load and then design a device or innersole specifically for that client’s foot, and their individual biomechanics. This will assist the healing process, reduce the risk of infection, and the risk of amputation – which not only has a huge impact on the patient’s life, but also places great strain on our health system.

Digital gait analysis is a valuable tool in the hands of a trained podiatrist. If you have any concerns with your feet or lower limbs, please make an appointment at our Redlands Podiatry Clinic, by calling 3207 4736 or you can book online.

Looking for a Podiatrist with Online Booking?

This month’s foot care tip is a little bit different to the normal.

It’s about how at our Redlands podiatry clinic, we are constantly looking for ways to improve, and better help our patients.

So we are excited to announce the launch of our online booking system, which allows you to make an appointment 24/7!

Redlands podiatrist with online booking

New Online Booking System

Now it’s even easier for you to book to see a podiatrist, for those times when your feet are in need of some expert attention.

Even if you are a brand new client at our podiatry clinic, you will love the ease and convenience of being able to make a booking online.

No matter what time of the day or night, you can make an appointment to see one of our podiatrists. You can choose a time and day to suit you, and even pick your podiatrist.

Book Online Now

Your Security Matters

Ensuring the security of your information is important to us, which is why we have invested in one of the best online booking software packages.

When you book online with our Redlands podiatry clinic, you should notice two things:

  1. the green lock symbol in the address bar;
  2. and the URL which starts with “https://”.

Make sure you always look for these two signs whenever you are making a payment online, or entering sensitive information such as your date of birth, passwords, and physical address.

signs of a secure online booking system

If you can’t see the green lock symbol, and the URL doesn’t start with https:// – do NOT enter your information, as the website is not secure and you are at risk.

The Best Podiatrist in Redlands?!

It’s no secret – at Trevor Lane Podiatry, we strive to be the very best podiatrist in the Redlands.

After all, we have not only been providing foot care in the Redlands for over 20 years, we:

  • are the only Redlands podiatry clinic providing foot mobilisation technique to help you achieve a full range of movement following injury;
  • use the latest technology (such as computerised gait scanning) in the diagnosis and treatment of any foot problems;
  • have both male and female podiatrists available;
  • stock a range of quality footwear, from school shoes to running shoes and even thongs, designed to support your feet in style and comfort.
  • are proud to offer friendly, personal service including professional shoe fitting;
  • regularly share helpful foot care tips here on our website;
  • and offer a secure online booking system.

So next time you need to come to our podiatry clinic, you can make an appointment quickly and easily using our new online booking system 24/7, or by calling 3207 4736 during business hours.

When Your Podiatrist Recommends Orthotics

What are orthotics and how can they help?

Orthotics are devices which are placed into your shoes, and are designed to adjust your movement pattern and so reduce discomfort and strain – perhaps in your feet, perhaps elsewhere in your body.

3d foot scan for orthotics

They may be used to treat a range of conditions:

  • to aid recovery from a sports injury;
  • to compensate for a difference between your two feet;
  • to prevent problems in the future;
  • or to relieve pain in your feet, knees and even your back (see my earlier article about podiatry and back problems).

There are orthotics for plantar fasciitis, orthotics for bunions and arch support, orthotics for heel pain, orthotics for running, orthotics for diabetics, knee orthotics, ankle orthotics, toe otthotics and orthotics for flat feet, to name just a few.

Seeing a Podiatrist about Orthotics

Before prescribing orthotics, your podiatrist will conduct a thorough assessment, and have an in-depth discussion with you, to gain vital information about:

  • your feet and how you walk. At our Redlands podiatrist clinic, we use the latest technology, including computerised gait scanning.
  • your weight;
  • your age;
  • your usual shoe style;
  • the surface you spend most of your day on;
  • your medical history (including any injuries);
  • your lifestyle.

Discussing Orthotics with Your Podiatrist

These are all taken into account so your podiatrist can recommend the best orthotics for your needs.

  • Will an over-the-counter orthotic suffice – or do you need custom-made?
  • What material should your orthotic be made of?
  • What will best suit your usual shoes and your lifestyle?
  • Is budget a concern?

What Type of Shoes Do you Wear?

Considering the combination of shoe and orthotic is critical.

The design and style of your everyday footwear has a direct influence on the type of support your podiatrist will recommend for you.

For example, if you work in a professional office and usually wear court shoes or dress shoes, this will restrict the size of the orthotic; whereas running shoes or kids school shoes allow for more design choices.

As a Redlands podiatrist for over 20 years, I know that orthotics that fit with your preferred shoe style are incredibly important. They may not be the most supportive device available – but experience tells me that the best results are gained when you actually wear your orthotic!

Another tip if you need orthotics: when purchasing shoes, look for those with removable liners, as this allows greater choice and selection of orthotics.

Cost of Orthotics

Orthotics range in price greatly, depending on the material type and functionality. The more expensive orthotics are custom-made, have more function, and offer the best quality in terms of technological innovation and material choice.

However once again, there needs to be a balance between offering a client the best orthotic for their condition, and what they can actually afford. Your local podiatrist should help you with a solution that ticks all the boxes: a good shoe, a good orthotic, and a good fit with your budget.

Type of Materials

Orthotics are usually made from materials such as EVA foam, polypropylene plastic, and carbon fibre, depending on whether it is a functional or accommodative orthotic device.

Different brands use different trade names for these materials, so a good podiatrist needs to be familiar with the various names and their equivalents, in order to prescribe the best orthotics for your needs.

orthotics Redlands

Functional Orthotics

Functional devices are often used for conditions which affect the body above the foot – such as ligament injuries; knee strain and lower back problems.

The more rigid the material, the further up the body you get the effect. Being more rigid, they have greater impact on the plane of movement which has excessive – or restricted – motion, and is therefore causing problems.

These rigid materials – eg polypropylene and carbon fibre are thinner; and because they are custom-made, functional orthotics generally cost more.

Your weight affects the thickness and rigidity of the material chosen for your orthotic. For example, for individuals less than 80kg, a 3mm polypropylene will generally be chosen; those weighing 100 kilograms will require a 4mm device; while heavier individuals will need 5mm.

Accommodative Orthotics

Accommodative orthotics are made of cheaper and less functional materials such as EVA foams and are usually molded to the entire length of the boot. Although they are cheaper, they are bulkier, meaning your shoe choices will be more limited.

Commonly prescribed for clients with Diabetes, Charcot’s, or high arch feet, they primarily provide comfort contouring of the foot.

They are most useful in treating problems in the feet themselves, while functional orthotics help with further up the body.

Why is Discussion about Orthotics so Important?

If you are unhappy with your orthotic, feel you have not been offered material choice, or don’t know why a specific recommendation has been made, I urge you to go back to your local podiatrist and to find out.

The staff at my Redlands podiatrist clinic know that the keys to achieving the best outcomes in the shortest possible time frame with orthotics, are making sure the client:

  • understands the reasoning behind their orthotic type and material,
  • is happy from an economic perspective.

We have found that this results in clients being more likely to adhere to their treatment program (which likely includes exercises as well as orthotics), thus achieving less pain, faster healing, and better quality of life.

If you have any questions, feel that you might benefit from orthotics, or would like to check out our range of orthotic-friendly shoes, call us today on 3207 4736.

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!