Foot Care for all the Family

Think only elderly people visit a podiatrist? Think again! We are proud to be a family podiatry centre, providing the very best in foot care for newborns right through to seniors.

family podiatry centre

Baby Foot Care

From birth up until two years of age, babies may benefit from podiatric treatment for:

  • Hip Dysplasia – as discussed in our previous blog post “Podiatry and Back Problems“, any condition which affects the hips, is also likely to impact on the knees and lower limbs.
  • Ingrown Toenails – surprisingly, babies often suffer from ingrown toenails, which parents are anxious about trimming or treating.
  • In Toeing or “pigeon toe” – this is quite common in infants and is a leftover from their time in the womb, where (in most cases) the left foot curls over the right. Although it usually resolves on its own, as a parent you can promote correct alignment by encouraging your child to sit cross legged, rather than kneeling with their lower legs kicked out in a “W” pattern.

Podiatrist for Kids

Parents often seek out a podiatrist for their kids if they notice knock knees, or bowing of the legs, however there is no need to be alarmed – this is a normal developmental stage in children before the age of 11.

Complaints about “growing pains” are often heard from kids in this age group. Again, it’s usually nothing to worry about – it’s simply a matter of the bones growing longer and faster than the child’s musculature system, and therefore causing irritation. Typically it seems to affect the more active youngsters, causing heel pain (referred to as “severs”), or up to the area just below the knee.

If you do have any concerns about your child’s lower limb development, please see your local podiatrist, as it is usually easy to pick up and treat any abnormalities before growth is completed.

Sports Podiatry

As a family podiatry centre, a lot of our work is in the assessment and treating of common sports injuries – including foot fractures, sprained ankles, netball injuries, etc – in both children and adults. You’ll find we have a special interest in sports podiatry.

Senior Foot Care

As we age, it becomes more difficult to care for our own feet and toenails, due to a combination of factors:

  • we are no longer easily able to bend to reach our feet;
  • our nails thicken and become harder to trim;
  • and our close up vision deteriorates.

Added to this, our risk of wounds and infection increases, as:

  • the skin becoming thinner and more susceptible to bruises and cuts;
  • auto immune disorders such as diabetes, rheumatoids, lupus and sclerodermas become more common;
  • we are more likely to be taking blood thinning medication.

For all of these reasons, seniors are much more likely to need the services of a podiatrist.

Young families, seniors, couples, singles – if you live in the Redlands, Trevor Lane Podiatry is your local family podiatry centre.

Fascinating Foot Facts

If there’s one thing we know here at our Redlands podiatry clinic, it’s feet – and we’ve picked up a lot of fascinating foot facts along the way!

foot facts

These Feet are Made for Walking

Just think – if a person walks the recommended 10 000 steps per day from their first birthday up to the age of 70 – that adds up to over 25 million steps in their lifetime!

According to one website, the average person will walk over 128,000 km over the course of their life, the equivalent of three laps around the earth’s circumference.

Our early years are a time of incredible growth and development for our feet. For example, our toes start to form in the third or fourth month of gestation; and our feet double in length between birth and when we reach our fourth birthday!

I’ve previously written about how feet develop and when they stop growing, so today I thought I’d share a selection of both weird and wonderful foot facts.

10 Fascinating Foot Facts

1 – Bony Feet: Considering how small your feet are in comparison to your total body, you may be surprised to learn that fully a quarter of all the bones in your body are in your feet.

2 – A Feat of Engineering: Each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles. No wonder Leonardo da Vinci described the foot as ‘the greatest engineering device in the world’!

3 – Built for Strength: The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body.

4 – Through Thick and Thin: One of the reasons your feet can go the distance, is because the thickest skin is found on the soles of your feet (and the palms of your hands).

5 – Ticklish Tootsies? It could be because there are 8,000 nerves in your feet.

6 – Don’t Sweat It: With 250 000 sweat glands in each foot, not surprisingly we can sweat up to a cup per day through our feet alone!

7 – Famous Feet: Is your second toe longer than your big toe? Don’t panic, you’re not alone – the Statue of Liberty is the same! This is known as Morton’s syndrome or Morton’s toe, and is also called Greek toe, because it is commonly seen in the statues of ancient Greece.Statue of Liberty feet

8 – Feet ‘Grow’ in Adulthood: It’s estimated that most people over the age of 40, gain half a shoe size every 10 years or so.

9 – Slipping into Sleep: Wearing socks to bed to keep your feet warm, makes it easier for you to fall asleep (or so says America’s national sleep foundation).

10 – Going Up! And finally, you’ve probably heard that human beings are getting taller with each generation; well, it seems feet are getting bigger too. America’s National Shoe Retailers Association says both men and women have gone up a full shoe size in the last 30 years.

When you consider their intricate design, many moving parts, and just how much we rely on them, no wonder things can – and do – go wrong with our feet, with one in 5 Australians suffering from foot pain.

Why Visit a Podiatry Clinic

Unfortunately many people simply don’t realise that a podiatry clinic like ours, exists solely (excuse the pun!) to help with problems affecting the feet and lower limbs and have never visited a podiatrist.

The most common foot complaint? Arch or heel pain, which affects nearly half of all Australians at some point in their lifetime.

Runners also make up a fair proportion of the clientele at any podiatry clinic, probably due to the following statistics about running injuries:

  • 42% of running injuries are to the knee;
  • 17% to the foot/ankle;
  • and 13% to the lower leg.

So next time your tootsies are tender, remember: a podiatry clinic (like Trevor Lane Podiatry), is where you will find expert help for your foot care problems.

Heel Pain: Causes and Treatment

Heel pain would have to be one of the most common problems that clients present with at our Redlands podiatry clinic.

heel pain

Heel pain affects all age groups and genders; it can involve either the bottom, sides, or back of the heel; and the pain can intensify at certain times of the day. Some people find it is worst when they first get out of bed, while others are affected at night, or after walking or running.

It can be puzzling because in a lot of cases, heel pain doesn’t follow an injury such as a sprain. Instead, it usually starts out as a mild irritation, becoming more severe – even disabling – over time.

Persistent heel pain usually won’t go away on its own; it may even be a sign of a rare yet serious condition known as osteomyelitis, so if heel pain has been troubling you for some time, please visit your local podiatry clinic.

What Causes Heel Pain?

Heel pain may be a symptom of a vast number of conditions, and may develop as a result of any of the following:

  • Physical Trauma – in the wake of an injury such as a sprained ankle, where ligament, tendon, bone, or nerve damage has been sustained (this is where foot mobilisation therapy may be of benefit).
  • Arthritis – usually associated with ageing, and a lifetime of wear and tear on the body – although genetic factors and old injuries may also be contributing factors.
  • Sever’s Disease – this is a growth-related condition, most commonly seen in very active children under the age of 12.
  • Autoimmune Disorders – eg rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Plantar Fasciitis – inflammation of the ligament which runs lengthways along the arch of your foot.
  • Heel Bursitis – a bursa is a fluid-filled sac which naturally occurs in the body, usually sitting between two structures as a cushion – for example, to prevent tendons from rubbing on bone. It can become inflamed as a result of injury or repetitive movement.
  • Achilles Tendonitis – a chronic long term irritation, caused by abnormal loads placed on the foot and heel. Achilles tendonitis usually develops as a result of wearing incorrect footwear, or by suddenly getting back into exercise and doing too much too soon.
  • Nerve Damage – such as tarsal tunnel syndrome. You might have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist; the tarsal tunnel is located in the ankle region. It can arise as a result of abnormal foot mechanics, or perhaps due to systemic factors like rheumatoids.
  • Back problems – Pain in the heel may actually be “referred pain” – that is, stemming from a problem elsewhere in your body, eg your lower back, and then referred to your foot.
  • Heel Spurs – a bone-like growth which develops between the heel bone and the arch of your foot.
  • Gout – Contrary to popular opinion, gout doesn’t just affect the big toes – it can also cause heel pain. When there is too much uric acid in the bloodstream, it can crystallise and form deposits in the joints.

Less common but more serious causes of heel pain include ligament tears; nerve entrapment; circulatory problems; soft tissue matter such as lipomas and fibromas; an underactive thyroid; bone cysts; stress factors; and osteomyelitis (infection of the bone).

Treating Heel Pain

The first step in treating heal pain is to establish a possible cause. As a podiatrist, I will consider variables such as:

  • the age of the individual;
  • their preferred footwear, and if it is fit for purpose;
  • the surface or terrain upon which the pain is experienced;
  • the time of day when pain is at its worst;
  • lower limb alignment;
  • and the individual’s general health.

In the majority of cases, symptoms may be relieved with the application of ice, heat, calf stretching, rest, and wearing the appropriate footwear.

However to paraphrase the TV ads: “Should heel pain persist, please see your ‘foot doctor'” – your local podiatrist.

October is Foot Health Awareness Month

Because Foot Health Week falls in October each year – this year it’s from Monday the 15th to Friday the 21st of October –  at Trevor Lane Podiatry, we like to think of the whole month as “Foot Health Awareness Month”.

foot health awareness month

As part of our commitment to providing you with the very best foot care, we regularly share tips here on our podiatry blog, on everything from preventing and treating common sports injuries, to what to look for in kids’ school shoes.

Foot Health Fact Sheets

Another great source of information is the Australian Podiatry Association website, which has a number of foot health fact sheets designed to not only help you look after your feet, but also explain exactly how a podiatrist can help. According to the Association, only a fraction of people suffering from sore feet actually seek treatment, which means many Australians could be suffering needlessly.

At time of writing, there are nine Fact Sheets available:

  1. When to See a Podiatrist: Podiatrists are university-trained to be foot care experts and can help with symptoms and issues affecting the lower limbs and feet.
  2. Looking after Ageing Feet: After many years of use and often abuse (eg wearing ill fitting shoes and high heels), foot pain and problems may develop – discover tips to help keep you active and mobile.
  3. Corns and Calluses: Find out how they develop, how to prevent them, and how to treat them.
  4. Diabetes and Your Feet: Discover why having diabetes increases your risk of foot problems and infections, and the signs and symptoms to look for (you may also like to take a look at our blog post, How a Podiatrist can help a Diabetic).
  5. Footwear Health Check: A guide on what to look for when buying new shoes.
  6. Fungal & Nail Infections: Learn how to prevent and treat the nasties that can cause infections in your feet and toe nails.
  7. Gait Analysis: By assessing the way you walk, a podiatrist can diagnose any problems and prescribe treatment to prevent and minimise pain and risk of injury. You can also find out more in our article on Digital Gait Scan Analysis.
  8. Incorrectly Fitted Shoes: Ill fitting shoes can be the reason behind foot pain and problems – could your shoes be doing you damage?
  9. Pain: Pain is your body’s way of alerting you to the fact that something is not right. What is your foot and/or lower limb pain trying to tell you?

Each fact sheet also includes a handy checklist – if you tick one or more of the boxes on the checklist, the Australian Podiatry Association urges you to make an appointment with your local podiatrist as soon as possible.

To read and download the fact sheets, head to: https://www.podiatry.org.au/foot-health-resources/foot-health-fact-sheets.

Does My Child Need Orthotics?

When a parent brings their child to our podiatry clinic, it is often due to concerns about flat feet, and whether their child needs orthotics.

Flat feet are relatively normal from birth to about two years of age, as the arch doesn’t start to develop until the child is walking. Even after that, the soles of a child’s feet may look flat, but this does not necessarily indicate a problem.

does my child need orthotics

The term “flat foot” is a fairly broad term covering a number of foot alignment issues. True flat foot is a condition where the longitudinal arch of the foot has not yet developed normally. However excess pronation can also make your child’s foot look flat, and cause you to worry.

Flat Feet or Excess Pronation?

Pronation is the natural movement of the foot and ankle, where they roll inwards when you are in motion. It can affect one foot, or both.

However in many cases it can roll in excessively – ie excess pronation. As the child walks or runs, excess pronation causes:

  • the arch of the foot to flatten;
  • the fore foot to splay outwards;
  • and the ankle to pull upwards.

In a true case of flat foot there is no change in the arch contour (ie it remains flat), whether the child is standing or sitting.

A pronated foot on the other hand, will seem flat when the child is standing, but there is a fully developed arch profile when the child is seated.

Excess pronation is quite common in children from birth up to about age eight or nine, and is not usually painful (if your young child is complaining of aching legs, that they can’t sleep due to leg pain, or pleading for you to rub their legs to give them some relief, this merits further investigation for hidden pathologies).

The reason pronation is so common in children is because bone grows faster than soft tissue, creating a muscular imbalance. The child’s foot subsequently pronates to compensate; in some children, it might result in knock knees or bow legs for a time.

does my child need orthotics

There are other factors which may contribute to a change in the arch of the child’s foot – such as limb length discrepancies, or curvature of the lower back.

By the age of five or six, the foot bones have positioned themselves, and all they have to do is grow and get bigger. At this stage if the arch does not appear to be developing, it’s worth visiting your local podiatry clinic to find out if orthotics may be of benefit. Before making a diagnosis we will likely send your child for x-ray and/or ultrasound, to make sure there’s no congenital abnormalities (eg bony fusions, ligament or tendon damage, non-development of particular structures).

Orthotics for Excess Pronation

In a true case of flat foot, there is no arch – so there is no point in using an orthotic to support an arch that does not exist. In this case, it would simply hurt the client.

We find approximately 80% of children visiting our podiatry clinic are presenting with excess pronation. Treatment may include advice on footwear choices, exercises, or possibly orthotics.

What sort of Orthotics?

If your podiatrist recommends orthotics, there are two types to consider: off the shelf, or customised.

Off the shelf are cheaper, but provide only a certain degree of correction. If there is a marked deformity, we have no choice but to prescribe custom orthotics, because one foot is functioning quite differently to the other.

At our Redlands Podiatry Clinic we see clients of all ages, so if you have any concerns about your child’s feet, need school shoes, or want guidance on the best kids shoes for orthotics, you can book an appointment now using our secure online booking system.

Blisters or Bliss: Choosing the Best Hiking Boots

The winter months are prime time for mountain trekking and adventure – whether you prefer the rainforests of the Gold Coast Hinterland, or the snowfields of New South Wales, Victoria or New Zealand.

what to look for in hiking boots

As a trekking enthusiast from way back, as well as a local podiatrist, I know firsthand the difference that a good pair of hiking boots can make: blisters, or bliss!

The Best Hiking Boots

The best hiking boots for you, may be completely different to what your mate wears.

And there are so many different types to choose from – trail boots and mountaineering boots; high cut, low cut, mid cut; leather or synthetic.

So here are a few tips to help you determine the best hiking boots for your needs.

How Will You Be Using Your Hiking Boots?

If you prefer shorter walks on well-constructed paths, a low cut hiking shoe should meet your needs.

Heading out for an all day hike with a lightly loaded backpack? Then a mid-to-high cut day hiking boot should provide you with the perfect combination of support and flexibility.

If a 2 week trek through rugged terrain is more your speed, look for backpacking boots with stiffer midsoles, and a high cut, as they offer superior support and protection. These will also serve you well if you are hiking in snowy and icy conditions, as crampons work best with rigid soled boots. However they do take a while to break in – something that is best achieved gradually, before you set off on your next trip!

The 3 Main Components of Hiking Boots

1 – The sole: While it’s certainly not the only component to consider, start by examining the sole of the boot. The lug pattern will determine your traction and grip – the greater the spacing, the better the traction and mud dispersion. Also, look for a heel brake on the outside back corner of the boot. Good boots will have a heel zone separate to the rest of the boot, to provide grip particularly during steep descents.

2 – Midsole: The midsole, like the middle child, is often overlooked. The midsole provides cushioning and support; if you are hiking longer distances and over more difficult terrain, a firmer midsole made of polyurethane will give your ankle and foot more support, and less fatigue. For less strenuous hikes, a midsole made of EVA will be comfortable.

3 – The Uppers:  Again, your choice of upper material will depend on how you will be using your hiking boots. In rain and snow you will truly appreciate waterproof membranes like Gore-tex; leather may be the best option for challenging terrain; while synthetic might be a more affordable option for the casual hiker.

what to look for in hiking boots

Getting the Best Fit

If you are investing in a pair of good hiking boots, here are some tips to help you get the best fit possible:

  • A good boot should fit your foot snugly, without being tight. Make sure the boot is wide enough in the toe box area, that you can still wiggle all your toes.
  • It’s best to time your boot fitting for afternoon or evening, as our feet tend to swell over the course of the day.
  • If you wear orthotics, make sure you bring them to the fitting, as well as the socks you are planning to wear when hiking. From a podiatrist’s point of view, the style and fabric of Injinji toe socks not only optimises your foot’s biomechanics, it also creates a more comfortable – and less sweaty – environment within your boots when hiking.
  • Take your time – Walk in the boot around the store, and on different angles and gradients (if at all possible) to test how your foot is sitting in the shoe. Check if the seams, stitching, or any other areas are rubbing on your foot, and that there is sufficient width.
  • When it comes to length, your toes should not touch the end of the toe box: your longest toe should be a thumb width from the end of the toe box.
  • Your boot lacing technique can help or hinder the fit. If you have narrow heels for example, the heel lock technique will stop your toes sliding forward in the shoe when descending, preventing you from bruising and damaging your toe nails.

Breaking in your Boots

Finally, make sure you break in your boots before heading off the beaten track. Hiking shoes with their lower cut and softer midsole may be comfortable from the very first wear, but the more rugged models usually take time to soften and conform to your feet. Just remember that the breaking in process does not convert a poor fit into a good fit.

hiking boots for Overland Track in Tasmania

Looking for Hiking Boots?

At Trevor Lane Podiatry, our footwear range includes a European brand called Ecco, with styles including hiking shoes and back country leather high boots. I have worn a high cut Ecco hiking boot in Gore-tex, the Expedition, on hikes in the Snowy Mountains, Europe, and the Overland Track in Tasmania, and highly recommend them.

If you live in the Redlands, Trevor Lane Podiatry is your local podiatrist clinic. We’d love to assist you with choosing the best hiking boots for your needs, boot lacing techniques, and preparing for your next hike or overland adventure – so call us today on 3207 4736 or make an appointment 24/7 via our secure online booking system.

Symptoms of Limb Length Discrepancy

How can you tell if your legs are different lengths? And why does it matter?

Although most of the population naturally have a difference in the length of their limbs (1), it is usually slight, and not likely to require any treatment. It is only if you notice symptoms such as a head tilt, shoulder dip, limping, or a variation in shoe sizes, these may be worth investigating with your local podiatrist.

limb length discrepancy symptoms

But what most people don’t realise, is that injury and/or surgery can also cause limb length discrepancy.

Limb Length Discrepancy Symptoms

Should limb length discrepancy develop following these circumstances, it may result in pain in the:

  • lower back;
  • buttocks;
  • running down the back of the leg;
  • in, or on the outside of the knee;
  • ankle;
  • foot.

There may even be an increased risk of stress fractures (2).

These problems arise because the differing leg lengths increase pressure on the nerves in the lower back, which innervate the foot.

The Impact of Injury or Surgery

While surgical interventions such as hip or knee replacements, ligament or tendon repair, may fix one problem, these procedures – and aids such as crutches and moon boots – can affect the length of your limbs.

The simple ankle sprain is also a common culprit. We often see clients many months afterwards, reporting that although the sprained ankle is now healed, it still doesn’t feel quite right. The incredible forces placed on the site during the injury have caused joints to pop out of alignment. As a result the individual begins walking differently to compensate, without even realising it – upsetting the body’s natural balance.

It can take a full 6 to 12 months for the body to recover from surgery or injury. In the meantime however, our body has compensated and while we may have completed the rehabilitation process, all of a sudden something else is getting sore. The lower back, the ball of the foot, or the outside of the knee are suddenly causing pain! But why?!

All of these problems may affect your limb length, and ultimately, your body’s balance.

Treatment for Limb Length Discrepancy

Following injury or surgery, the connection between the foot and brain – and vice versa – can be lost.

In order to improve your body’s balance and reconnect that neurological pathway, at Trevor Lane Podiatry we may use treatments such as:

However we can only assess what else was interrupted during that healing process, by physical examination, digital gait analysis or other diagnostic imaging, once you’ve recovered from the initial bruising, swelling, stitches, crutches, boots etc.

Sometimes there are other factors which may be at play, meaning that podiatry treatment may not be suitable. At these times your local podiatrist may refer you to another allied health care practitioner such as a chiropractor, osteopath, or physiotherapist. While your podiatrist plays a key role in a complex overall picture, the aim is to work in conjunction with other health services to ensure the best possible result for you as the client.

If you have recovered from a physical trauma, but now experience pain in your feet, lower limbs, or lower back, you can click to book an appointment online or call Trevor Lane Podiatry on 3207 4736.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1232860/
  2. http://www.podiatryinstitute.com/pdfs/Update_2011/2011_35.pdf

Are Thongs Bad for your Feet?

Depending on your age or where you live, you might know them as flip flops, jandals, BBs, pluggers, or thongs.

Whatever you call them, one of the most common questions we hear in our podiatry clinic is:  “Are thongs bad for your feet?”

Australians Love Their Thongs!

Here in Australia, our climate means that we appreciate convenience, coolness, breathability, and comfort, in our clothing and footwear choices.

Add to that our casual lifestyle and love of the beach, and you can see why thongs could almost be part of our national costume!

are thongs bad for your feet

But is our love of thongs actually doing us harm?

Common Problems with Thongs

Some people have trouble tolerating thongs over long distances or periods of time. This is usually because their calves are tight and shorter than normal, or they have less flexibility in their lower back. This is not the fault of the thongs, rather, it’s the individual’s unique anatomy.

We often see clients at our podiatry clinic, complaining of sore feet after taking a couple of weeks’ holiday. They may even blame it on their thongs, saying things like:

  • “The feeling between my toes makes me feel ill”;
  • “I had to claw with my toes to grip my thongs”;
  • “I think I alter my walking pattern in thongs, maybe that’s why my feet are sore?”.

In fact, the culprit is not so much wearing thongs, but rather, the sudden change in footwear.

In the working world, we tend to wear more supportive shoes such as steel cap boots and lace ups, t-bar or mary jane styles.

However when we are on holidays, we suddenly switch to thongs – and our muscles, ligaments and tendons are not conditioned to this completely different style of footwear. Our feet have to work harder when we walk in thongs, which can lead to muscle strain and pain.

Should I Wear Thongs?

Wearing thongs comes down to things such as your individual:

  • Fitness;
  • Lifestyle, and activities – wear enclosed shoes, with cushioned soles, and preferably lace ups that have been scientifically proven to give you the most support, if you are planning a big day of walking, for example;
  • Health – some diabetics have little to no feeling in their toes and feet, so we recommend closed in footwear to protect them from injury;
  • Mobility and flexibility;
  • Lower limb mechanics;
  • And of course, personal style choices.

Today’s Thongs

In days gone by, thongs were just flat pieces of rubber with straps – even now, if you can bend your thong in half in your hand, more than likely it is not doing much for your feet.

Are thongs bad for your feet? Like so many things in life, moderation is key. If you wear thongs a lot, make sure they are good quality ones. Look for a sturdier make, and for features such as molded arch contours, or a cup in the heel to stabilise and support.

At Trevor Lane Podiatry, we understand that wearing thongs is part and parcel of our great Aussie Aussie lifestyle, so we stock Orthaheel thongs for men, women and children, as well as Vionic Beach.

And here’s a little secret – you don’t have to be afraid to mention thongs at our podiatry clinic – because our podiatrists wear them sometimes too!

3 Surprising Reasons to See a Podiatrist

A podiatrist is a health professional concerned with treating ailments of the feet and lower limbs (although some still refer to them by the outdated term, chiropodist – which is still in common use in the UK).

reasons to see a podiatrist

Both “podiatrist” and “chiropodist” come from the Greek word “pod” – meaning “foot” – which forms the basis of our English words tripod, podium and antipodes, etc.

It comes as no surprise then that if you have problems with your feet – eg an ingrown toenail, corns and calluses, or a sprained ankle – a trip to your local podiatry clinic is a good idea.

However, you may be surprised by these three more unusual reasons to see a podiatrist:

1 – Back Problems

Our bodies are made up of a complex network of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc. No one body part works in isolation; which is why if you suffer from back pain, a podiatrist – somebody who can diagnose and treat conditions affecting your feet – may be able to help.

If you are experiencing lower back pain, it could be that there is a problem with the structure and function of your feet – which is causing you to walk in a particular way, resulting in additional stress on your back.

As we age, years of poor biomechanics in our feet begin to take their toll and although we may never have had a problem before, all of a sudden we are plagued by backaches.

Conversely, if you are suffering from pain and discomfort in your feet, the culprit could very well be a problem in your back! The connective nature of the body means that you are experiencing what is known as “referred pain” – a problem with your back, is causing the symptoms in your feet.

2 – Diabetes

What does the level of glucose in your blood have to do with your feet? And how could a podiatrist possibly help?

When your body has problems with producing and maintaining your glucose levels, it can affect your feet in the following ways:

  • Diabetes can damage delicate nerve endings, causing reduced sensation in the feet. Have you ever had a blister develop when wearing a new pair of shoes? Ouch! A person with diabetes however, may not actually feel or even notice the blister. Although this sounds like a good thing, it can be dangerous especially when combined with the second side effect of diabetes, which is …
  • Reduced blood flow to the extremities. This means that a blister on your foot will take a lot longer to heal, increasing the risk of infection and serious problems.

For these two reasons,  your doctor will refer you to see a local podiatrist if you are diagnosed with diabetes.

3 – Before you take up running or a new sport

Yes, podiatrists treat injuries and ailments of the feet and lower limbs. Why would you see one before any damage is done?

It all comes back to that old proverb, “prevention is better than cure”.

Running and some sports (eg netball, football) place an incredible amount of force on the feet and lower limbs – a hard surface, speed, and sudden changes in movement and direction can all take their toll.

With 52 bones in your feet, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles – you can see why there is a lot of potential for damage!

Your podiatrist can give you information and advice – from choosing the best running shoes for your needs, to warm up exercises – to help you reduce your risk of injury.

Although problems with your toes, feet and ankles are the most common reasons to see a podiatrist, this article details some of the more unexpected ones.

At our Redlands podiatry clinic, we treat each patient as a whole person, rather than just a foot! Call for an appointment on 3207 4736 or book a Redlands podiatrist online now.

What Age do your Feet Stop Growing?

People are often curious to know: At what age do your feet stop growing?

The story of how our feet grow and develop throughout our lives is quite fascinating – even if you’re not a podiatrist!

Rapid Growth in the Early Years

The long bones in our feet start to grow, and our toes start to form long before we are born – in the third or fourth month of gestation.

During the first year of life outside of the womb, our feet are primarily influenced by hereditary factors, as well as applied pressures – which is why it is important not to constrict your baby’s feet with socks, booties or shoes that are too tight or rigid.

Between birth and the age of 4, our feet double in length, with growth of up to 10mm per year. So if it feels like your child is outgrowing their shoes long before they wear out, this is why!

By the age of 10, about 90% of girls have completed the majority of their foot growth, compared to about 80% of boys. This means that even though your child may still be at primary school, they are likely already wearing “adult” sized shoes.

There are noticeable changes to foot length between 9 and 11 years of age.

As the school years are a critical time in the growth and development of feet, it is a good idea to read our guide to children’s school shoes and/or have them professionally fitted (a service we provide at our Redlands podiatry clinic, in addition to stocking a range of quality shoes).

when do your feet stop growing

When do our Feet Stop Growing?

Feet usually stop growing a few years after puberty. In girls, the “normal” age for feet to stop growing is around 14 years, while in boys, it’s around 16.

However the final closure of growth plates in the feet occurs between 18 and 20 years of age.

Although technically your feet stop growing when you are a teenager, in actual fact your feet will change size throughout adulthood.

How Feet Change During Pregnancy

A classic example is what happens to women’s feet during pregnancy, when shoe size can change as much as half a size or more. This is due to:

  • Pregnancy hormones relaxing the ligaments in the body in preparation for birth; and
  • Increased body weight, which in turn reduces the arch height, thereby increasing the foot length and width.

There may also be some fluid retention which leads to swelling.

How your Feet “Grow” in Adulthood

As you get older, your foot shape and size will continue to change even though growth has finished. This is because your feet will flatten out and elongate with age – it’s estimated that most people over the age of 40 gain half a shoe size every 10 years or so!

Weight also impacts on the size and shape of your foot. So if at the age of 20 you weighed 80 kilograms and wore a size 9 shoe, chances are slim that you will able to fit the same shoes when you are 50 years old, and weigh 100 kilograms.

It’s important not to get hung up about the actual number or size on the box, next time you need to buy shoes; instead, concentrate on finding the best fit. Not only can brands be sized differently, but as you can now see, the size and shape of your feet can fluctuate as well.

And remember – if you have any concerns about how your child’s feet are growing and developing, you can always make an online booking or call our Redlands Podiatry Clinic on 3207 4736 to make an appointment.