Wearing Heels Regularly? Every cm Matters.

The use of heels in an everyday setting has been a common trend amongst women for years. Work, social and personal requirements have all contributed to increasing use of high heels. Whilst most clinicians and most research all agree with consistent use as being detrimental to foot health, most people I see in a clinical setting do struggle to see the  effect that wearing heels often will have on their feet, they certainly can feel it. Read more

Pain between the toes? Probably a corn!

In this blog i have decided to write about pain in-between the toes as a few patients have presented this week with using acid patches on the sore area in an attempt to self-treat but causing more harm then good. A corn is technically keratin which is the most upper layer of the skin. It has no blood or nerve supply. When excess pressure is applied on the skin, particularly over joints, it leads to excess keratin in order to protect the site from breaking down. This extra keratin can taken different shapes and size depending on the direction and size of the pressure. A corn is simply excess keratin but it presents in the shape of a small cone with the sharp point being deepest. It can sometimes be confused with a wart due to the round shape you see on the surface. When corns occur between the toes, they can be very painful because it feels like having a splinter in your skin wedged. Inter-digital corns often present in winter due to frequent use of closed-in shoes.  Read more

How do shoes cause bunions , corns, hammer toes, ingrown toenails ?

It is a well observed and well documented fact that poorly fitting footwear can cause foot problems to arise in people who previously had no foot troubles. Whilst fact remains, people often still persist with shoes that are either too narrow or too small for their feet and often present to podiatry clinics with a number of different problems. Some of the most common problems I have seen in patients who have presented to the clinic are listed below and have often had footwear choice as major contributing factor to the development of problems. Read more

Different Lacing Techniques

Did you know that there are a number of different shoe lace techniques appropriate for each foot type. Here at The Podiatry Centre, we are aware that feet are as unique as the patients we see. So above is a lacing chart  from our good friends at the Athletes Foot showing a number of ways in which your laces can help your shoes better accommodate your foot type.

High Instep/Arch

For patients with a generally high arched foot. They may feel pressure through their instep due to the traditional lacing technique. The Volume Lacing technique aims to reduce pressure from above the top of the instep. Read more

Hammer toes, Clawed toes, Curly toes

 Toe deformities are becoming more prevalent due to lifestyle and shoe characteristics. Though most people are quick to diagnose misshapen toes as ‘hammertoes’, there in fact are four different types of toe abnormalities. These include:

  • Hammer toes
  • Claw toes
  • Mallet toes
  • Retracted toes

Whilst there is an appreciable difference in the abnormal alignment of each type of deformity the causative factors and consequences are generally the same.

The hammertoe deformity is possibly the most common misalignment condition that affects the smaller toes. The condition is characterized by contraction of the toe to a position that can cause pressure spots to form due to shoe pressure whilst walking. Whilst the deformity itself is not life-threatening it can become worse and more painful altering the biomechanics of the feet in the process.

Lesser toe deformities are generally progressive and whilst they cannot be stopped, the speed of onset, progression of condition as well as symptoms caused can be controlled. Read more

Shoes that Fit Orthotics

Part of my job when dispensing orthotics to patients, is to educate them on the type of shoes that fit orthotics as is can be often confusing as to what to buy and what to avoid. Fitting orthotics in sport shoes, or lace-up shoes is often a straight forward process with no difficulty. However, orthotics that have to be used in work or casual footwear is often confusing as they vary so much. I have written this article as a guide to assist those who use orthotics, and need professional advise and guidance on what features to look for in a casual or work shoe to comfortably fit orthotics.

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How to Treat Bunions?

What are bunions?

Medically referred to as “hallux abducto valgus”, bunions are a relatively common deformity found in the fore foot area which is usually characterised by a prominent ‘bump’ and deviation of the big toe from its original position. The condition can lead to painful motion of the joint when walking or difficulty when wearing or fitting shoes. The condition can occur at any point of life but research does show an increased incidence rate in people over 45 with females also being more likely to develop a bunion. A patient may present to a clinic with or without pain. Those who have discomfort, generally describe a pain centralised to the big toe joint. Aching pain may also be described with irritation from footwear on the prominent bump. Patients may report that physical activity may make the bunions feel worse and thus may limit their physical activity levels. Read more

Which Running Shoe to Buy?

It can be a very confusing and over-whelming experience trying to shop for a running shoe. Its great that running shoe companies are offering such a wide range of shoes with technical features, but in-turn this has left the public feeling even more confused as to what shoe they should get. We hear your struggles and understand that you may also not be in expert hands when getting fitted. Hence we have created a shoe table (Updated 2015) that compares different shoe brands. Some may know what they require but others don’t. If you don’t , then see a podiatrist for an expert opinion. Selecting a shoe is not simply about your arch height or shape. It is actually a bit more complicated. Shoes vary in their shape, density, elevation pitch, cushion, and weight. Patients often ask me “What brand do you recommend ?” and I often reply ” Its not about what brand is the best, but what shoe is most suitable for you ?” . Podiatrist will determine the most suitable running shoe for a person by asking the following questions:

– What is the frequency, mileage, speed, surface of you running ?

-What injuries have you incurred in the past ?

-Do you have any current or past foot or leg pain ?

-What shoes are you currently wearing and why ?

-What is the weight and build of your body ?

-Are you using orthotics and why ?

Read more

Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

What is an Ingrown Toenail ?

Ingrown toenails are a very common condition that presents to the podiatrist. An ingrown toenail is a very lay term that a person uses when they feel pain on the side of the toenail. This typically will involve inflammation, swelling and infection. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes there is neither redness nor infection, which can suggest another reason for the pain.

How does an ingrown toenail occur ?

An ingrown toenail is caused by the nail piercing the skin beside it leading to inflammation. If the skin is broken, this can lead to a local infection also.

Common causes of ingrown toenail are:

  • Incorrect cutting of the nail, leaving it too short or with a sharp corner or leaving a nail spicule.
  • Tight footwear can cause the nail and the skin to be pressed firmly together
  • Curved toenail can predispose you to an ingrown due to its odd shape
  • Trauma through sports or hitting a hard object with your toe
  • During a re-growth of a new nail
  • Pedicure salons can cut nails incorrectly, leaving you with a sharp corner or nail spicule

Read more

Are you wearing the right shoes for Crossfit ?

CrossFit is a fitness phenomenon that has taken the athletic community by storm. It is a regimen of constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensities within a communal environment.1 CrossFit incorporates a variety of exercises into daily workout routines. These exercises include biking, swimming, rowing, gymnastics and plyometrics to name a few. Read more