BOOMERS NOT BACKING DOWN FROM FOOT & ANKLE PAIN

Boomers not backing down from Foot & Ankle Pain!

Foot problems in older people can have a hugely detrimental impact on a person’s independence and quality of life. There is a vast range of musculoskeletal, dermatological, vascular and neurological conditions that can cause pain in ageing feet. 

Remember, our feet have carried us for so many years and never really get a break! So, it is helpful to be aware of common foot conditions in older feet and how to best care for your feet, so that you can stay as mobile and independent as possible for longer. 

Some research conducted in aged care facilities has found that corns, bunions at the big toe joint & callouses were the main cause of concern for older people- you are not alone!

Toe Deformities

Secondarily, toe deformities developed over a lifetime can be a major cause of discomfort as they create pressure areas to the tips of the toes or joint prominences, which can further increase risk of corn development, ulceration for those with high risk feet; or the exacerbation of the toe deformity if footwear is not addressed properly.

There are three main types of toe deformities at the lesser digits, claw, mallet and hammer toes as seen below: 

Podiatric Surgery

At the big toe joint, Hallux Abducto Valgus (HAV) is the most common deformity of the big toe joint. Also known commonly as a bunion, it is a misalignment of the 1st metatarsal (long bone that adjoins to your big toe) and the big toe itself. Contrary to popular belief, a bunion is not a growth on the side of the foot. 

For all digital deformities, there are treatment options available! See your Podiatrist for an Initial assessment to determine if offloading devices, padding, splints or a combination treatment may be helpful in reducing the pressure experienced at your feet due to structural changes to the toes. First step-get a shoe that is wide fitting (if you have a bunion) or has a deep, roomy toe box (if you have any other toe deformities). 

Nail Changes

Nail growth can differ as we age. The nails can become brittle and thin, but more commonly the nails become thickened which can cause pain. Nails can also become thickened due to various toe deformities, trauma (whether an acute incident like dropping an object to the toe, or repeated trauma to the nail over time), fungal infection, genetic causes and commonly callous growth underneath a nail; all of these in addition to age. 

Did you know, your Podiatrist has a mechanical nail file that can buff down a thick nail to half its thickness and smooth out any ridges? See us for a general care appointment and we can address thickened nails. 

Skin Changes

With age, it is well known the skin becomes drier and more fragile as well as one layer of our skin thinning out, giving the appearance of atrophy to the soft tissues of the foot. These changes to skin integrity promote the risk of skin breakdown, pressure and soreness to the soles of the feet. 

Vascular Changes

Hot or cold feet at different times of the day? Your Podiatrist can undertake a Doppler assessment (Ultrasound) of the two main arteries that supply blood to the feet, to determine if you have any diminishment to your vascular supply that could be related to temperature symptoms or colour changes in your feet. It is important to notice changes to the feet like temperature, colour, nail growth, hair growth or varicosities as you get older as they may be an indication of reduced blood supply to the feet; which if you have, can impair or slow healing if you are to encounter an injury to the foot. At Total Care Podiatry, we believe in a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to healthcare, especially in the care of older patients and vascular conditions of the feet which are very important to be aware of. We will communicate with your GP regularly when we see you so your progress is understood. 

Musculoskeletal Changes

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are more prevalent in the ageing population, and these degenerative joint changes are a common cause of foot pain related to loss or inflammation to the cartilage lining the joints -the protective soft tissue allowing smooth uninterrupted joint movement. 

Muscle weakness as well as foot problems are factors that are largely involved in falls risk for our older population. With muscle weakness, an individual’s balance is affected which increases the risk of a fall. At Total Care Podiatry we appreciate that balance is a core component of one’s gait and enables greater mobility, so we run a Balance Clinic that is able to assess your risk of falls. 

This blog is merely a summary of common conditions encountered as our feet get older as we grow too! If you have any concerns at all about your foot or lower limb health even if different to those aforementioned, please book your initial appointment to see one of our friendly Podiatrists. We are here to help you prevent foot and ankle pain and want to help you stay active!

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, please call us today for an appointment on 5223 1531

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.

GOING SKIING THIS SEASON? Make sure you fit your ski boots correctly to avoid injury!

Vital tips when it comes to Rental Ski Boots and Footwear at the snow this year

Ski boots are one of the most important pieces of equipment and a properly fitting boot will make a large difference in your skiing experience.
Ski boots are measured in Mondo sizes (Mondo (or mondopoint) sizing is basically the length of your foot in centimeters.
It is important to remember that ski boots should not fit like a pair of shoes. You want them to be tight and secure in order to maximize performance, stability and safety.
Most injuries and pain to the foot while skiing/snowboarding occur because of a boot that is too big.
Getting the sizing right goes a long way towards a comfortable time on the slopes.
Make sure to take the time with our ski boot fitting, to ensure that you can have a great day on the mountain.

Do’s

  • Wear loose-fitting pants that can be rolled up
    • Ski socks should be the only thing in your ski boots
  • A quality ski sock is made of wool or synthetic fibers.
  • Buckle up the boots before you make a fitting decision
    • Buckling up the boot will put your foot in the correct position in the boot
  • Walk around in the boot to better ensure you have a good fit
    • Keep them on while you look at skis or accessories
  • Flex your boot forward so that your foot slides into the proper ski position
    • You will naturally be flexed when you ski
  • Attach the Power Strap Firmly
    • The power strap should always be on while skiing

Don’ts

  • Wear multiple pairs of socks
    • This will cause friction in the boot, take up more space, and reduce breathability
  • Wear ankle or cotton socks
    • Your socks should come up above the top of the ski boot
  • Be afraid if your toes are touching the front
    • In a proper fit, your toes should be touching the front when you are upright
  • Choose a boot based on the color
    • Comfort over color!
  • Over tighten your bottom buckles
    • The top buckles are the ones that keep your ankle in place, not the bottom ones
  • Try on a boot based on your shoe size
    • Measure in Mondo size or centimeters
  • Forget that ski boots will continue to pack down
    • Even used ski boots will continue to break in

Don’t Forget to trim your Toenails!

Your feet probably aren’t accustomed to the tight fit of a ski boot and being slammed into the end of the toe box.
Protect your nails from damage and ingrown toenails by trimming your nails short and straight across.

If you are experiencing pain and/or discomfort during or after skiing please call us for an assessment today PH: 5223 1531

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.

WHAT RUNNER IS SUITED TO MY FOOT SIZE AND SHAPE?

What runner is suited to my foot size and shape? 

The choice we make in deciding on an appropriate pair of runners for walking or running can be made in relation to many features of our feet.

First and foremost to address is the size and shape of our feet. 

Our feet can change in size or length, shape and width across the time of our lifespan, including as you age. 

So it is important to get your size and width remeasured each time or every second time you get fit for shoes. 

 

Here are my top tips for fitting shoes to feet of all shapes and sizes!

 

  1. A rule of thumb- test that you have one thumb’s width of airspace compressible just beyond your longest toe in a shoe. 

This allows for the change in size to your foot: 

-When you are more active as your foot slides forward in a shoe

-When your feet swell up during physical exercise 

 

Source: https://www.blister-prevention.com/optimal-shoe-fit/

 

NARROW FEET

–> Ensure the fit of your shoe is secure through the heel and ankle, snug through midfoot and be cautious not to overpull laces too tight across the forefoot as we do require some wriggle room for any foot shape at the toes. 

-The sole or platform of the shoe in a curved last shape may assist to contour your midfoot as visible below

 

-In runners and some dress shoes, for women this means a 2A width (Narrow) and for men in very select shoe styles this means a B width (Narrow). 

-Note that regardless of a shoe’s stated width, some shoestyles may fit more narrow than others-speak to your trusted footwear professional instore for any particular shoe styles that suit!

 

Some of my favourites are:

  • Asics Gel DS Trainer 
  • Asics Glideride 
  • Brooks Ravenna
  • Brooks Transcend 
  • Brooks Adrenaline 2A (or B Width for mens)
  • Asics GT 2000 2A Width (or D width for mens fits more snug) 
  • Nike Pegasus 
  • Mizuno Wave Rider (fits very generously through the forefoot though)
  • Saucony Guide (fits very generously through forefoot though)
  • Brooks Levitate 
  • New Balance Fuel Cell Prism 
  • Brooks Glycerin 17 
  • Hoka Clifton 

 

Lacing technique tip: Lock lace by use of the extra eyelet at your ankle to secure heel and ankle into back of shoe, hugging a narrow heel and preventing slipping around inside. You can always ask your Podiatrist how to lock lace at your next appointment! There are other techniques available for narrow feet. 

 

WIDE FEET or feet with Bunions

–> It’s simple-ensure a wider fitting shoe! If you’re not sure when trying shoes on, compress the sides of the shoe on your foot and if you feel tightness or bony prominences-always if in doubt-go wider!

-The sole or platform of the shoe being wider also helps ie a straight lasted shoe such as visible below

Source: http://hub.therunningworks.net/running-shoes-everything-you-need-to-know/

 

Bunions are a change in alignment of our 1st or 5th Metatarsophalangeal joint that over time can create painful bony prominences to both sides of our forefoot. Excessive pressure to this joint deformity caused by narrow shoes can exacerbate the deformity and pain associated. 

 

It is most helpful upon fitting a shoe to test with your hands by compressing the sides of the shoe. The best case scenario is that there is an air bubble of space surrounding your bunion. 

 

In runners and some dress shoes, for women this means a D width (Wide) or 2E width (Extra Wide) 

For men this means a 2E width (Wide) or 4E width (Extra Wide) 

 

Some of my favourites are:

  • Brooks Dyad or Brooks Addiction 
  • New Balance 940 
  • Saucony Echelon
  • Asics Fortitude 8 
  • Asics Gel Pursue
  • Asics GT 4000 
  • New Balance 880
  • New Balance Fresh Foam Moar 
  • Mizuno Wave Inspire D/2E Width (good for forefoot width) 
  • Hoka Bondi D/2E Width
  • Hoka Gaviota 

 

Lacing technique tip: Start the shoe lacing from the 2nd eyelet from the front of the shoe, skipping the first to ensure the tightest point of fit is not across your bunion joint region. 

 

BROAD FEET, HIGH ARCHED FEET or feet with ORTHOTICS

–> Ensure adequate shoe depth

This will prevent: 

-A feeling of tightness or restriction across the top of your foot when you tie up the laces or fixate your shoe closed

-Heel slippage-commonly occurs in shoes that are too shallow to fit an orthotic. 

 

TOE DEFORMITIES and TOE ALIGNMENT

The toebox of a shoe in a closed toe shoe is the area encompassing all your toes. 

Some brands like Frankie 4 stock shoes with various toe box shapes to suit different toe alignments.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Toe_box_size.jpg

 

Tips:

-Ensure adequate shoe depth and width in the “toebox” of the shoe

i.e.  Avoid pointed toe shoes 

 

Source: https://www.somfootwear.com/blogs/news/wide-toe-box-shoes

 

This will prevent: 

-Pressure to the tops of claw or hammer toes, to prevent further deformity, pain, callous or corn formation. 

-Prevent interdigital pressure between toes and the formation of bunions. 

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, please call us today for an appointment on 5223 1531

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.

 

FISIOCREM ~ What is it?

Fisiocrem is a topical pain relief gel that you can rub into your skin to temporarily ease muscular aches. Used on muscle and joint injuries such as muscle tears and sprains such as ankle sprains.

So it’s used like you would use deep heat, tiger balm and the like.

You get no yucky residue on the skin after applying and the scent and feel of it is not too intense & smells fresh!

Fisiocrem has natural plant-based ingredients in it like Arnica, Hypericum (more commonly known as St John’s Wort) and Calendula.

While we often prescribe Fisiocrem when people are recovering from injuries, there are other uses for Fisiocrem too. Once your pain has relieved, there’s no need to put your Fisiocrem in the cupboard to be forgotten about!

Extra uses for your Fisiocrem:

Post work out soreness

Nothing feels as good as smashing out a gym workout! But the thought of walking the stairs the next day after 1000 squats? No thanks! Sometimes DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) can be a real pain! Have you considered Fisiocrem to get you through those post work out feels? Fisiocrem is popular with athletes, helping them to recover so they can continue to train hard.

Arthritis

Calendula is known to help with inflammation. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints and effects many people. Fisiocrem can be a nice addition to medications, especially when the pain is debilitating. Rubbing Fisiocrem into affected joints may help with temporary relief of arthritic pain, so you can get on with your day.

Bruises

Fisiocrem has the active ingredient Arnica in it. There has been some research to suggest that applying a topical cream with Arnica in it may help reduce bruises. With the combined ingredients of Calendula, the pain of bruising may be also be reduced quicker!

Stress

When you’re feeling stressed you might notice your shoulders creeping up to your ears. Massaging some Fisiocrem around the shoulders and the neck can help you take a moment to relax.

 

Total Care Podiatry stocks Fisiocrem in 2 sizes 120g $25.00 &  60g $17.50

Drop in and see the team at 209 Malop Street Geelong or call 5223 1531 for more information

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.

 

COMPLIMENTARY PAEDIATRIC CLINIC – Wednesday the 28th of April 2021

Complimentary Paediatric Clinic 

Every month at Total Care Podiatry we run a complimentary morning clinic to support the little feet that run around our community. We run short appointments designed to be a screening check of any areas of concern you may have for your child’s feet.

Commonly we check for: 

  • ‘Tired legs’
  • Being clumsy
  • Walking ‘pigeon-toed’
  • Curly toes
  • ‘Flat feet’

Following a short appointment, we can provide some advice for next steps forward. These may include a more in depth follow up appointment, footwear recommendations or activity changes.

Bookings are essential – please phone our friendly staff on 5223 1531 to secure your free paediatric appoint today

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.

GETTING BACK ON TRACK – Check their shoes!

Before you begin to encourage your family to move more, check everyone’s shoes still fit well and are fit for purpose.

Kids feet grow fast, so check to see if there is a thumb widths breadth from the longest toe to the tip of the shoe.

The last thing you (or they!) want is to be complaining about sore feet or legs…

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, please call us today for an appointment on 5223 1531

*Source foothealthaustralia.org.au

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.

CRACKED HEELS? WHY….

Cracked heels can occur as a result of the skin on the heels becoming very thick, dry and hard. The callous formation can crack, creating splits called fissures. The skin bordering the callused area may appear red and sore.

What are the most common problems with cracked heels

Cracked heels form gradually over a period of time and when any of the associated callous becomes too thick it can be very uncomfortable for you to stand and walk on. You may also experience pain as a result of increased pressure from unequal weight distribution and callous. Altering your style of walking due to pain may also cause other problems to occur.

How do these problems arise?

There are a number of things which may lead to you having cracked heels:

  • Wearing open backed shoes with no socks
  • Walking around barefoot
  • Skin conditions
  • Wearing synthetic material on the feet

How can they be treated?

  • Moisturising the heels daily.
  • Gently filing the heels with a foot file once – twice a week.
  • Limiting the period of time you spend barefoot.
  • Heel callus can be painlessly removed by a podiatrist. This can often help it to be managed much more easily at home through routine moisturising and filing.

When should they be checked by a podiatrist?

Cracked heels should be seen by a Podiatrist as early as possible so that the thickness of callous may be reduced and the underlying causes can be treated.

How can Total Care Podiatry help you?

At Total Care Podiatry, we can tailor a treatment plan which is specific to your needs in order to reduce discomfort related to your calloused and/or cracked heels.

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.