BACK TO SCHOOL MEANS NEW SHOES!

Take advantage of our FREE foot check for all students

Problems with your child’s feet could become problems for life if not treated early. Foot conditions have the potential to develop into knee, hip and back pain that can have serious consequences on development and posture. Bones and joints in children are constantly growing and are not fully developed until adulthood.

Every school term there will be some kind of change in growing feet, particularly in the 8-12 age bracket. After the summer break, spent mostly barefoot or in thongs, it’s good to remeasure feet and purchase correct fitting school and sports shoes for the upcoming year.

Tips for purchasing shoes at any age:

  • Choose a store that measures foot length and width to ensure best fit
  • Buy shoes in the afternoon as the foot may be larger at this time
  • Always walk around in the shoes at home on the carpet, checking for comfort and tight spots – if any issues develop take them back!
  • When standing you should be able to wriggle your toes
  • Ensure the sole of the shoe is firm and bends across the ball of the foot
  • The material breathes and is flexible/durable

*Wear hand-me-down shoes with caution. An old shoe belonging to someone else will take on their shape and gait, which will not be the same as the new wearer. Buying a new shoe is recommended.

Every year at Total Care Podiatry we have a Back to School Free Foot check event and mid-year a Free Family Foot check event.

Call 5223 1531 for the next event.

DANCE ASSESSMENTS

The Dance Assessment at Total Care Podiatry is designed to help prevent injuries and solve any issues which may be limiting your success in reaching your dance goals.
With her in depth knowledge of structure and function of the foot, our Podiatrist Esther Francavilla ensures she creates the best possible plan for each dancers’ individual needs.

Esther started classical ballet at 5 years of age in Melbourne. She learned the methods of Vaganova, Borovansky and R.A.D. She also learnt other styles such as contemporary, jazz and character to name a few. Esther went on to study for one year at the Victorian College of the Arts. During this time Esther wanted to further her studies and realised how important feet are to dancers! This is what inspired her to study Podiatry.

Since graduating, Esther has combined her passion for podiatry with her knowledge of dance to help young dancers achieve their goals. She prides herself on teaching dancers correct technique to help enhance their capabilities and reduce the risk of injuries.

The Dance Assessment of Foot Function has three steps to success:
1. A thorough Initial consultation to assess and address the dancer’s needs.
2. A tailored treatment plan, that combines the condition, treatment, and prevention as well as educating the dancer along the way.
3. A review plan depending on progress.

Conditions this service treats

• Prevention of injuries
• Understanding the individual’s dancing mindset
• Treating dance injury in accordance with the dancer’s goals
• Ensure the dancer is informed and understands the process so that not only current issues are taken care of, but future injuries will be prevented

How does the treatment work?

Initial assessments can help determine a dancer’s structure as well as current mobility and strength.
Each dancer is different and therefore will be provided with unique feedback and tips to help achieve their goals.
Depending on the style of dance, Esther will customise full injury and rehabilitation programs as part of the return to dance and injury prevention.

What are the benefits of this treatment

There are many contributors to dance injury, including poor technique anatomical anomalies, footwear, and surfaces. Our personalised treatment goals will benefit with assisting in preventing these injuries and provide you with tips and tricks to prevent them from occurring in the future.

Pre-Pointe Assessment

A specific pre-pointe assessment is recommended before a dancer progresses to pointe work.

The screening will help develop an awareness about correct and incorrect positions which will help the dancer on her pathway to going en pointe.

During a pre-pointe assessment, Esther will take the following into consideration

  • Basic Ballet Technique
  • Foot, ankle and leg strength
  • Joint range
  • Posture and core control
  • Anatomical structure of the foot and compensations
  • Growth and maturity

Once a pre-pointe dancer can correctly perform the assessments, she is strong enough to commence pointe work with the guidance of her ballet teacher.
The follow up review helps the dancer improve her strength and mobility for pointe work.

A review every six months is recommended if there are no concerns along the way.

DO YOU HAVE A SOFT TISSUE INJURY? JOINT CONDITIONS? POST OP PAIN? Then this post is for YOU!

THOR Low Level Laser Therapy

Healing from the inside out!Check out this amazing new therapy now available at Total Care Podiatry

Posted by Total Care Podiatry on Tuesday, 26 February 2019

FOOTWEAR FOR CHILDREN

One of the most commonly asked questions in our monthly paediatric clinic is around what footwear is most appropriate for children. Before offering our advice, we like to point out that the brand doesn’t matter – what is more important, and more cost effective for you, is to be equipped with what to look for in the shoe features, to alleviate the stresses of shopping for children’s shoes!

FIT: 

Have the shoes fitted professionally at a footwear store – this is important because the fit of a child’s shoe will largely dictate the comfort and ability to move without pain – crucial for development! We recommend they be re-checked every 3-6 months to ensure there is still about a thumb distance between the end of the shoe and the longest toe (this may be the 2nd), and that the width is still appropriate. 

FASTENINGS: 

They should have adjustable fastenings to make sure the shoe stays firmly on the foot when they’re running around. It doesn’t matter if it’s Velcro, laces or straps – ideally something that your child can adjust themselves. 

THE SOLE (SHOE LAST): 

This refers to the bottom of the shoe – assess the shoe and ensure that it is more straight than curved. Often adult shoes have more of a curve than children’s shoes. 

THE BEND (FLEX POINT): 

When holding the shoe, fold it so that the shoe bends – shoes should bend at the flex point of the toes – not in the middle of the shoe. 

If you are unsure about how appropriate your child’s shoe is for them, or if they have any lower leg or foot concerns – give us a call.  It may be worthwhile for you to bring your child to our monthly paediatric clinic for up to 6 years old or to one of our back to school and family foot check events for school aged children. Call us on 5223 1531 for dates. 

 

BEST THONGS

We all need some flip flops to cruise around in during the upcoming summer months – so now is the time to talk all things thongs! 

Generally, we recommend a sandal over a non-supportive, flat thong. But if you need a throw on pair – here’s some advice we recommend: 

  • Ideally something with a small heel 
  • Arch support is offered in some of the designs and you may find this more comfortable 
  • Fastening – a strap will help keep them on and prevent tendon problems from gripping too much 

If you can wear your preferred comfortable shoe for longer walks and sandals/thongs for periods where you will be sitting or going for short walks, we recommend you do so! 

At Total Care Podiatry we have thongs and sandals from Vionic, Revere and Orthaheel.

Orthaheel Spangle

TOP 5 TIPS FOR BEGINNER RUNNERS

People are not ‘born runners’ – if you have an urge to start running and to chase that ‘runners high’ – start ASAP before the urge to start goes! People often ignore it and think I’ll never be a runner’. This is not true! With patience, and a slow, steady approach, you will get there – ideally injury free!!

  1. Find a running friend/group – these days it’s hard to be self-motivated. Life is busy – find a friend with a common goal (running!) and start the gradual training process together. When starting you should be able to hold a conversation and not be so out of breath that you are unable to speak. – a good sign you’re going too hard, too soon!
  2. Have a good sleep/wake cycle – our bodies thrive off a good routine. Set a time to go to bed and try and stick to it! If possible, complete your run first thing in the morning to motivate sleep! 
  3. Use an app – a good way to start and to stay motivated is to download an app – try something achievable like the ‘C25K’ (couch to 5km) app – it will encourage a steady training program and prevent over training. 
  4. Stay positive – its not easy starting something new. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge the fact that you won’t always feel like going for a run – push through this a few times and you’ll find a habit forms – remember the feeling you get after your run and let that be the motivator!

 

WARNING: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. If you have any concerns or pain in your feet you should seek professional advice.  Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist.

ARE YOU READY FOR THE SURF COAST TREK?

Free Foot & Leg Assessment

Total Care Podiatry is offering Surf Coast trek participants a complimentary Foot and Leg Assessment.  This will take into account your individual requirements and help you work out a strategy to help your feet and legs stay the distance.

Call Total Care Podiatry on 5223 1531 to book in your Free Foot & Leg Assessment.

Make sure you mention that you have registered for the Surfcoast Trek.

Preparing for a long distance walk

Getting your feet ready for a 40 km trek needs a lot of planning and preparation. You’re asking a lot of your poor feet pounding into the ground, and they’ll need some TLC to get you there.

Every individual’s body will respond differently so there’s no one solution that will suit everyone, especially in an endurance event lasting many hours like the Surfcoast Trek.

Just like your fitness, preparing your feet and legs has to start early, not the week before or the day before.

During the 40 km trek, your body will change in a number of ways to keep you going. The extent of the changes will very much rely on how you’ve trained your body prior to the event.

Here’s what will happen for most of us at the 20 to 30 km mark:

  • Muscles in our core and legs will tire and as a result our walking pattern will change, placing more pressure on our joints.
  • Feet may swell causing changes in how the foot fits into the shoe, causing pressure areas, and
  • The heels may start slipping up and down in the shoe as the calf muscles tighten, increasing the risk of blister formation.

Footwear

For endurance walking the shoes you wear will have a significant bearing on whether or not you enjoy the trek. The runners you use around the house or for activities such as walking around the block will probably not be appropriate.

  • Footwear should fit your foot comfortably, not too tight or loose.
  • The upper should be made of a material that will easily breathe and allow the perspiration that your feet generate evaporates into the environment rather than build-up heat in your foot.
  • The sole should not be too stiff or controlling and provide good cushioning.
  • The toe box, (the area of the shoe where your toes are), should be deep and rounded to accommodate any swelling.
  • No part of your foot should slip in the shoes, at any time.
  • It is best if the lace area is as long as possible so you can alter the fit around the heel from the midfoot and the forefoot. You may have to adjust the lacing a number of times during the walk, to make sure your foot is supported and any pressure areas lessened.
    For more information regarding lacing techniques look here: How to Lace a Hiking Boot

Blisters

Blisters are caused by friction, where the surface of the skin is held in one place and the tissues underneath the surface are stretched to the point of tearing. It is influenced by 3 things:

1. The nature of your skin

Our skin often has different qualities depending on age, sun exposure, gender, shoes we wear etc. Some people have firm strong and resilient skin. Others have tender, thin and easily affected skin. The latter type of skin can be toughened to cope and protected for the walk using a number of different taping techniques. Skin temperature also needs to be maintained so that the skin does not become overly sweaty and moist which increases the risk of blisters.

Socks that are designed to ‘wick moisture away’; that is take the moisture away from the skin out through the sock to the other side of the sock, is the best way of managing this.

2. How your foot works

Your foot has two main functions, it has to adapt the body above to the ground beneath, and then has to be stable enough for the body to move over a solid foundation. If these functions are not working properly areas of high pressure develop which can directly cause tissue injury. The most obvious is blisters but also stress fractures and indirectly, increased risk of ligament or tendon damage as muscles get tired; often seen in cases of rolled ankles. Research shows that cushioning insoles can address the direct high-pressure areas, but the reasons why the foot is not functioning properly, causing risk of injury, needs to be understood and then addressed appropriately.

3. The level of friction.

There are many ways people use to reduce friction. For most people the best strategy is wearing well fitted merino padded socks. These socks should have built in padding to assist with small pressure areas.  If you have bony feet, or a tendency for rubbing, wearing two pairs of socks can be the solution. If you often have blisters on or in between your toes, ‘toe socks’, worn under the padded merino socks, can be the answer.

A final note on blisters, if the top of the blister rubs off and you’re left with a red raw sore, a band-aid type of dressing is not a good option as it may cause more friction. Instead, compound dressings are good for this, as is some taping, so long as your skin is not sensitive to the adhesive.

We congratulate everyone who is taking on the Surf Coast trek for the challenge it provides as well as supporting a fantastic local charity which benefits our whole community. Total Care Podiatry is proud to support your effort with a Complimentary Foot & Leg Assessment.

WARNING: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist.

MEDIAL TIBIAL STRESS SYNDROME – aka ‘Shin Splints’

MTSS is one of the most common exercise induced, overuse leg problems. It is associated with poor shock absorption which results in excessive load through the tibia (shin bone) causing pain and inflammation. Overuse of the muscles in the calf are thought to be a big causative factor of the pathology. Excessive foot collapse or high arches, hard training surfaces, and poor footwear may cause the leg muscles to work even harder than usual which enhances the risk of shin splints.
MECHANISMS OF INJURY:
1) TRACTION INDUCED PERIOSTITIS: inflammation of the sheath that covers your shin bone
causing pain
2) MICRO TRAUMA: inflammation and tiny micro damage to the shin bone because of the
stress put through it, resulting in inflammation of the sheath covering the shin bone.
RISK FACTORS:
– Increased hip external rotation
– Flat or high arched foot
– Enlarged calf muscle
– Increased internal rotation of the shin bone
– Muscle dysfunction
– Females are more susceptible
– Running history of at least 5 years or exercising ‘too fast too soon’
– Exercising on hard surfaces
– Increased BMI
– Running or jumping activities

– Previous history of shin splints

 

ARE YOUR FEET SUMMER READY?

We all look forward to warm summer days and having our toes in the sand!
Here are just a few things to keep at the front of your mind to ensure that when it comes to achieving your new year’s resolutions, (which we can all admit isn’t all that far away), we can!
Toenails and skin:
Summer can often lead to dryer skin so although the salt water at the beach does wonders, ensure that you regularly moisturise your legs and feet, to reduce the chance of painful splitting callous on the heels and infection.
Now, if you’re the opposite, and are always wearing closed-in shoes, perhaps invest in a more open-toed shoe, and alternate your shoes to allow air flow to the feet.
If you have reduced or absent sensation in your feet, it’s best to avoid going barefoot, especially as the hot temperatures on the ground can burn your feet. Always empty your shoes to get rid of any sand or stones.
If you like to wear nail polish, try to avoid leaving it on for the whole duration of summer. It’s best to remove it within a few days to avoid damage to the toenails.
If you tend to sweat a lot when wearing shoes and socks, summer can be a nightmare for you! Try changing your socks a few times throughout the day and make sure you are wearing a clean pair each day. Excess moisture can lead to irritating skin conditions and infections. If changing your socks doesn’t help, book in with your Podiatrist.
Did you know?
We apply sunscreen to most areas of our bodies, but often forget our feet. Podiatrists sometimes pick up on moles on the feet that are or can become cancerous. So, don’t neglect your feet and check them out! If you are concerned about any new skin spots/moles, please consult with your GP asap for a skin check! Don’t forget to also check underneath and in between your toes.
Footwear:
Footwear options are all about balance! It is completely fine to wear thongs on warm days, but if you plan on doing a lot of walking,  consider wearing your runners or walkers.
Or, if you could never see yourself wearing runners, think about a good sandal or thong with a bit more structure than your every-day ‘flip-‘flop’. Key features to look for are a more contoured and supportive sole and a small heel.
If you are experiencing foot pain, address your footwear first. If you experience no change, it is worthwhile seeing a Podiatrist for advice and an assessment.
Have a fantastic summer!

Keep playing the sports you love

Pre-season training? Chances are, if you’ve been playing sport since you were a child, you’d love to keep it up. If you’re worried about injury or fitness you need good preparation, and that includes knowing how much your feet and legs are really up for it.

How does your body handle it?

Did you know, your amazing body compensates for all the structural misalignments, (knock knees, bowing of lower legs, legs that turn in or out, leg length differences, etc) using the mobility in your joints and the flexibility and strength found in your muscles? This process allows us to do some amazing activities from contact sports like martial arts and rugby, through to gymnastics and ballet.

Through this, your body adapts, often resulting in stress being placed where it shouldn’t be. Add to that, your type of work, the sport you play, injuries you may have had when you were younger, your age, weight and overall health all place a fair bit of strain on your body.

This can place you at risk, where a niggling ache in the background may predispose you to a big injury later on. The good news is we can help you keep going AND perform better!

Help your body do more.

You can reduce your risk of injury by improving your body’s ability to compensate. This might mean improving the flexibility and strength of particular muscle groups or improving the range of motion of your joints.

Maybe it’s because your feet are not working as well as they should or your runners or boots are not the best choice for your particular structure and function. Maybe a taping technique, that we can show you how to do, will really reduce the risk of injury or re injury.

Your level of compensation, and your risk of injury, can be assessed at Total Care Podiatry. This is the first step to helping your body cope with whatever sport you want to do.

If an injury does occur to your feet, ankles or knees, it’s important to get the best treatment option quickly, before your body starts adapting itself around the injury. That’s because your feet, ankles and knees are working with every step you take. To avoid pain your body will change your posture and the way you walk, affecting more areas than the original injury site.

You don’t have to be watching from the sidelines!

At Total Care Podiatry we look at your whole body when assessing your feet, ankles, knees, hips or back. We integrate musculoskeletal podiatry with in house physiotherapy to help you enjoy all your activities, including your chosen sport.

There are many treatment options, so don’t put up with pain, hoping it will go away by itself.

Book online or Call Total Care Podiatry on 5223 1531 so we can help you get moving again.

WARNING: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist.