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Healthy, Beautiful and Strong Feet: Exercises, Natural Remedies and More

Sports Specific Footwear for Kettlebell Training

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sports Specific Footwear for Kettlebell Training

The Base  Sports podiatrists have long since understood the importance of correct footwear for sports specific training. The correct footwear is essential for postural support, reducing the risk of injury and ensuring that correct technique is used throughout various exercises. Given the risks involved, this is particularly important when using a kettlebell. Many people train with footwear designed to offer cushioning and support when running by reducing the impact of force on the knees and ankles. This can often be the cause of knee and lower back pain. However some fitness methods require not cushioning but a solid and stable base from which to assist in lifting heavy weights and to support the rest of the body. Kettlebell training is one such sport in which the correct footwear can make the difference between safe and unsafe training.    Supporting the Kettlebell Swing Kettlebell training is effective because the off-balanced weight of the kettlebell requires the body to stabilise itself. It recruits core muscles across the mid-section in a bid to do this, however in order for the core to be effective, a solid, grounded base is required. Running trainers have padded heels that raise the heel off the floor and cause the centre of balance to shift. Should a person swinging a kettlebell stumble or fall off-balance the body would automatically recruit multiple muscles to help correct the posture. Unfortunately, the shock of this movement can result in strains on the muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Footwear for Support In order to prevent this type of injury sports podiatrists recommend various types of footwear. Cross-training footwear has been designed with a thin but solid sole and is highly recommended for kettlebell training. The firm sole with limited cushioning helps an individual to keep their balance whilst retaining the ability of the foot to naturally grip the floor, by keeping the heel low. The second recommendation is to wear hi-top baseball shoes. Again, these have a flat and rigid sole, with the added bonus of a canvas ankle support which provides additional support to the ankle, whilst retaining some flexibility of the joint. Thirdly, wearing no trainers at all allows the person to naturally grip the floor with their whole foot. This has the added benefit of providing slightly less stability because of the reduced base but encourages the strengthening of the muscles and ligaments of the feet.  Talk to an Instructor  If choosing to train with a kettlebell, it is important to speak with a certified instructor who will be able to offer advice and guidance on both correct technique and footwear to help you to train safely. Whilst running trainers can be worn, it advised that lighter weights are used to minimise risk until more suitable shoes can be...

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Simple heel pain exercises to do at home

Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Simple heel pain exercises to do at home

Heel pain is a result of too much stress exerted on the plantar fascia ligament when it’s stretched irregularly, causing small tears as well as inflammation. Generally, podiatrists recommend a variety of a strengthening and stretching exercises to help improve the flexibility of the ligament, consequently alleviating ligament stress and tension. When combined with other instructions such as rest, putting on shoe inserts and icing, heel pain exercises will likely alleviate heel pain. If you’re suffering from heel pain, consider trying out the following two exercises and notice a remarkable shift in recovery. The water bottle stretch Take a seat in a comfy chair or bench. Position a tennis ball or a water bottle on the floor underneath your foot. Slowly move the sole of your foot on top of the water bottle or tennis ball starting from the ball to the heel of your foot. Maintain this exercise for about 5 minutes. If both your heels experience this pain, you can use both feet to perform this stretch. Its importance The above-mentioned exercise gently stretches the fascia ligament affording it greater flexibility. Furthermore, you can also choose to freeze the water can before starting this heel pain exercise so that you can ice the bottom of your feet during the exercise to reduce the inflammation that’s associated with heel pain. The pebble exercise Take a seat in a comfy chair or bench. Position a mug or a container just in front of you on the ground. Distribute about fifteen marbles or pebbles in front of you, within the reach of your feet. Try to pick up every marble or pebble using your toes and deposit it inside the mug. Use both your feet to perform this exercise. The exercise should last about ten minutes. It should be done at least thrice a week. As you gain the skills and your feet improve in terms of strength, you can increase the frequency as well as the duration of the exercise. Its importance By using your toes to clutch onto pebbles or marbles, both the ligaments and muscles at the bottom of your feet are stretched and strengthened over time, and heel pain is reduced considerably. The beauty with these heel pain exercises is that they can be performed at the comfort of your home with little or no cost. When used in conjunction with rest, icing and a shoe insert, these exercises contribute to faster recovery from heel pain. If you have more questions, contact a podiatrist at a place like Dapto Podiatry...

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Hallux Rigidus: What To Do When Your Big Toe Bothers You

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hallux Rigidus: What To Do When Your Big Toe Bothers You

While Hallux Rigidus may sound like a spell out of a Harry Potter movie, it is, in fact, a condition that affects the joint located at the end of the big toe. The increasing pain you are experiencing in your foot as you move through your daily activities each day could, in fact, be caused by just one digit on your foot. So what is this condition, and how do you go about fixing the problem?  Hallux Rigidis Explained ‘Hallux‘ is the Latin term for the toe, and ‘rigidis’ is Latin for rigid. Therefore, this condition literally translates to rigid toe or stiff toe. Having a stiff toe causes pain because there is a lot of pressure put on this part of the foot whenever you stand, climb, and even walk. This explains why the pain in your foot progressively worsens during the course of the day until you are in extreme pain by the end of it. Hallux Rigidis is a part of the degenerative arthritis family. It often occurs as a by-product of another foot condition going untreated. People who have fallen arches, for example, will often end up with hallux rigidis because of the way they walk to compensate for their arch issues. This puts extra pressure on the toe joint, which then degenerates faster than normal. As the toe joint begins to fail, at first, the toe becomes limited in its function. But over time, this limited motion slows up until no motion happens at all. At this stage, hallux rigidis has fully taken over the toe joint. Hallux Rigidus Diagnosed There are a number of symptoms that will indicate you are experiencing degeneration in your toe joint. This includes: Pain in the toe area that gets progressively worse through the course of the day. An increase in toe swelling during cold or damp weather. Continual difficulty doing exercises that put pressure on the toe area. Running and squats are examples of these. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, a trip to your podiatrist is the best way to professionally diagnose your issue. While a podiatrist can’t wave a magic wand to instantly fix the problem, they can make recommendations about how to lessen the pain hallux rigidis is causing you. Treatment of this condition includes anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling, orthotic devices to correct the way you walk and take pressure off the toe, or steroid injections to remove the pain. Whichever treatment you allow your podiatrist to try, there are options to take the pain away. It’s just up to you to take the first step of making an appointment with the...

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Are You Diabetic? Five Simple Tips to Keep Your Feet Healthy

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are You Diabetic? Five Simple Tips to Keep Your Feet Healthy

If you are diabetic, this might be a real menace to your feet. For instance, diabetes could mean reduced flow of blood to your feet, depriving them of nutrients and oxygen. This could mean even double trouble for the cuts or sores in your feet to heal. If nerves are damaged, your feet might be numb. Imagine not being able to feel blisters or cuts in your feet, don’t you think you might be more vulnerable to infections and sores? Therefore, to help you maintain the best possible health for your feet, follow these five simple tips to prevent further foot injuries and keep your feet healthier for long. Care for Your Toenails You probably perform routine care of your toenail. Nonetheless, nerve problems or circulatory variations in your feet might make this unsafe. Therefore, to avoid getting foot sores or ulcers, proper trimming of your toenails is must do. To achieve this, you can avoid cutting into the corners or in curved approach. Instead, cut straight across to prevent ingrown toenails. Socks and Shoes for Keeps If nerve damage has affected the sensitivity of your feet, you might easily overlook bumps or cuts. Therefore, you will need to wear shoes to protect your feet. However, what are the right shoes or socks for you? Choose suede or canvas shoes or ones that can be adjusted with buckles or laces that can allow your feet to breathe. For socks, try wearing non-binding or dry socks and avoid those with seams that might be too tight on your feet or can create additional points of pressure. Daily Inspection of Your Feet Make it a routine to check your feet daily. Checking of your feet every day can help you identify infected toenails, cuts, blisters, or sores. If you have visual problems, place a mirror under your floor to help you view under your feet. If you identify any wound, treat it and use a bandage to cover it. In your subsequent inspections, pay close attention to this wound to determine whether it is healing well. Washing Your Feet You can wash your feet with warm water and mild soap and dry them thoroughly, particularly between the toes, which might be more prone and susceptible to infections. Avoid soaking your feet because you might risk infection if your skin starts breaking down. Consult Your Podiatrist It is always important to seek medical attention for regular examination of your feet to prevent further...

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Advice on treating hard skin and preventing it from developing on your feet

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Advice on treating hard skin and preventing it from developing on your feet

Hard skin develops as a result of extended friction or stress on the foot. The common areas where you develop hard skin is on the balls and sides of your feet as well as the heel. While you can leave them the way they are, these annoyances will often develop into further foot care problems such as corns if untreated. These problems can be extremely painful, especially for those who are constantly on their feet, such as athletes and tradespeople. You should develop a maintenance program for your feet in order to prevent hard skin from developing. Here is some advice on how to do just that. Visit a professional If you have not treated your feet very well for a number of years and they are in particularly bad nick, you should go and see a foot care specialist, like those at Quinns Podiatry. They will be able to use a variety of techniques and methods in order to make an immediate difference in the quality of your feet. They will get rid of the build-up of hard skin and apply treatments in order to soften up the particularly troublesome areas. Once you have a comprehensive visit to a specialist, you can develop a foot care program that you can regularly do yourself at home. But you should always ask the specialists for advice on the best way to prevent hard skin developing on your feet. Wear the right footwear Many people wear certain shoes solely because of the style and fashion trends. They completely disregard the health of their feet. It is important that you have plenty of space in your footwear to allow your toes to breathe and move. Shoes that are either too small or too tight will cause friction and develop thick areas of hard skin. Try to walk in your bare feet whenever possible. Have a regular foot care routine There are many different foot tools and lotions that are geared towards treating and preventing hard skin development. You should ask a foot care professional which products they suggest you use. Most utensils involve scraping the dead skin cells off the foot. Many people use pumice stones, a natural product, which is used all along the foot and heel in order to remove any dead cells and prevent future build-up of hard skin. After removing the dead cells, dry the feet thoroughly and use an intensive moisturising cream or lotion that will help keep the skin hydrated, soft and help prevent excess...

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Fond of Wearing Toe Rings? Take Care to Prevent (& Treat) a Toe Rash

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fond of Wearing Toe Rings? Take Care to Prevent (& Treat) a Toe Rash

Toe rings can be a pretty accessory for your feet, but they can sometimes be a pain for sensitive skin. The material in certain types of toe rings can cause an allergic reaction known as contact dermatitis, which can cause the affected area to become inflamed and intensely itchy.  Thankfully, you can still flaunt toe rings the pain-free way with the right kind of care. Follow these tips on how to look after your rings and avoid a toe rash. Buy the right ring Cheap body jewellery contains nickel which can be a common cause of contact dermatitis in most people. A cheaply made toe ring will often leave noticeable discoloration on your toe (a kind of green or yellowish ring) due to a chemical reaction with the nickel. To avoid this, it’s best to stick with a hypoallergenic toe ring made from either sterling silver or at least 14k white or yellow gold. As with earrings and most body jewellery, if they’re a regular part of your wardrobe its best to invest in high quality kinds. Hypoallergenic toe rings are free of cheap materials such as nickel and tin and do not tarnish the skin. Practice toe ring hygiene Whether or not you have sensitive skin, it’s advisable to always keep your toe ring clean to avoid general irritations that could lead to a rash. With sterling silver toe rings, it’s best to clean them around 3 to 4 times a year using a number of different methods. A quick touch-up clean can be done with a soft cloth and silver polish to prevent corrosion. Another method can be to rub a small dab of toothpaste — a plain white variety — onto the toe ring using a cloth. This can loosen up any grime and help your ring retain its gleam without scratching the surface. When cleaning gold toe rings, you can use dish soap, ammonia or boiling water. Boiled water is only appropriate with plain gold bands, however, since rings with delicate gemstones can become damaged or cracked. Normal dish detergent and warm water provides an effective gold cleaning solution too (you can also use club soda mixed with warm water). Allow the rings to soak for 15 minutes or so before rinsing them again in warm water and let them air dry on a soft cloth. Ammonia can be a very effective and powerful gold ring cleanser, so its best to use this for occasional ‘deep’ cleans instead of regular use. Mix one part ammonia with six parts tap water and soak the rings in this solution for no longer than a minute. Rinse and allow to air dry on a cloth or towel. Treating a rash at home At the first sign of a rash, ice cold compresses can help relieve inflammation and symptoms of itching. This can also be helped by soaking feet in a lukewarm oatmeal bath solution such as Aveeno oil. As the rash develops, the area can become increasingly dry and uncomfortable, so to combat this, it’s crucial to avoid hot baths or showers, chlorinated swimming pools and any skin exfoliants. While your rash is healing, you need to prevent it rubbing against hosiery, as this may risk infection while on the move. In helping your toe rash heal, your local...

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How to Choose the Best Podiatrist

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Choose the Best Podiatrist

You should always know where to turn to when you’re experiencing any health complication, and when you’re having trouble with your feet, you should see a podiatrist straightaway. Just like in any other profession, however, podiatrists are not the same, and you need to know how to find the best one. The following tips can get you started: Know about their specialty Foot care isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of health care service, because the nature of foot-related illnesses and deformities vary according to patient-specific cases. For instance, the foot care needs of a diabetic patient who is experiencing tingling, painful sensations in their feet are different from those of a young child with flatfoot deformity. Therefore, it is important for you to look for a podiatrist that has specialised in dealing with a particular foot illness or deformity so that they can provide you the one-of-a-kind treatment and care you deserve. Try before using them Once you have identified a podiatrist that specialises in handling your foot-related problem, the next thing is to try them. ‘Trying’ the podiatrist means that you shouldn’t wait until you have an emergency or a serious complication with your feet to finally visit their offices. It is best to know firsthand what a podiatrist can do for you rather than depend on what you have been told. For example, you can bring along your usual work boots during the first consultation visit to the podiatrist and see if they will come up with some clues about the source of the discomfort you experience when you wear the boots. Ensure they are easily accessible In most matters, especially those pertaining to your health, ensuring easy access is vital, because health emergencies should never be procrastinated. In terms of foot care, this means that you should be able to see your preferred podiatrist within the shortest time possible and at your earliest convenience. Look for a podiatrist that operates nearby so that you won’t have to spend long hours on the road or catch a plane just to get to an appointment. Also, make sure that their offices are opened 24/7, even if you’ll have to pay extra for services provided outside the normal working hours. The above-discussed tips will help ensure that your feet receive the best foot care if need arises. Start by contacting professional podiatry clinics, like CentrePod Podiatry – Foot Surgery Centre, to see if one of their doctors is right for...

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Common Reasons to Visit a Podiatrist

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Reasons to Visit a Podiatrist

When it comes to foot problems, people tend to ignore them until they develop excruciating pain. This is not advisable because if they are left to become exacerbated, you could end up dealing with a larger medical problem. There are an array of reasons why you may develop problems with your feet. These range from being hereditary to simply being caused by trauma. Here are some of the common reasons why you should visit a podiatrist. Hammertoes Hammertoes begin to form when the ligaments in your toes start shortening over time. They are characterized by all your toes, excluding the big toe, bending at the middle joint thus giving them the appearance of the stubby side of a hammer. This condition will typically arise in people who do not wear shoes that properly fit them. Since the toes do not have much wiggle room, the ligaments start receding. If left untreated, this ailment leads to chronic pain and eventual surgery to rectify the problem. Bunions This will typically occur at the base of your big toe. As it leans toward the adjacent toe, the joint begins to swell and become inflamed. Although commonly a hereditary ailment, bunions can also be caused by trauma, arthritis, some congenital defects and more. Once you notice the onset of a bunion, it is best to visit a podiatrist so that they may establish its cause. The sooner this is done, the better the chances of getting on a course of treatment that may not have to involve surgery. Bacterial infections One of the most common bacterial infections that people’s feet will suffer from is athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot tends to develop when your feet are constantly in a warm, dark and moist environment. Thus, people who are constantly in socks and not aerating their feet sufficiently will generally experience it. Since the feet stay constantly covered, it makes the space between your toes and the bottom of your feet a prime breeding environment for fungi and bacteria. Some of the symptoms associated with athlete’s foot include redness caused by inflammation, itching or a burning sensation. A podiatrist will typically recommend an antifungal cream to counter this and will recommend airing your feet for extended periods. Ingrown nails These occur if you fail to cut your nails appropriately. As such, the nail starts growing into the skin rather than out and can prove to be quite painful. If left unchecked, it can lead to a bacterial infection thus needs to be attended to by a podiatrist at your nearest...

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4 Reasons Why Custom Orthotics Are Great For Your Feet

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Reasons Why Custom Orthotics Are Great For Your Feet

Most people do not have a perfect foot, which ultimately means that there is a lack of support, a problem, or an imbalance with your gait. While it is true that this imperfection probably won’t cause any major medical issues, it could cause you to suffer from feet problems. In turn, this can lead to a wide variety of other problems as pressure is constantly applied to other parts of your body. In order to fix that, you can use a custom prescription orthotic. Here are 4 reasons why an orthotic may be good for you. Custom Orthotics Cushion Your Feet Probably the biggest advantage to getting custom orthotics is that they help cushion your feet. Imagine the pressure that your feet have to endure daily. Since you walk and stand on your feet all day, your feet will thank you for cushioning them with an orthotic. Some people suffer from various gait abnormalities, bunions, drop foot, or heel rolls. Getting a custom orthotic will prevent these issues while also preventing you from getting sore feet. Ultimately, an orthotic solution can even help release pain in your knees, legs, lower back, and even neck. A Custom Orthotic Supports the Arches of Your Feet Feet come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, which is why there isn’t one orthotic solution for everyone. Some people may suffer from flat feet, while others might have high arches. With a customised orthotic, your feet’s arches will be properly supported in order to absorb the maximum amount of shock, ultimately preventing pain. Having proper feet support means that all functional and structural disorders can be corrected. Orthotics Lead to Better Gait and Posture There is a correlation between your feet and the rest of your body; when your feet feel good, so does your body. Biomechanical problems can be resolved by using custom orthotics. For example, your joints will be properly aligned, which means that every moving part of your body will feel less pain and be much better supported. Orthotics correct the structure of your feet and aim to reduce pain and fatigue in your body. Orthotics Evenly Distribute The Weight of Your Body A lot of people don’t have an even weight distribution across their bodies. In this case, extra pressure is applied on various pressure points on your body causing pain. Without the proper biomechanics and proper alignment, your muscles need to work overtime in order to support the skeletal structure. Custom orthotics help with taking this pressure off, avoiding any unwanted pain. To learn more about orthotics, contact a podiatrist at a clinic like The Healthy...

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Could Your Ankle Pain Be Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Could Your Ankle Pain Be Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

The tarsal tunnel is located between your ankle bone and lower leg. It’s a small channel that houses the tendons and nerves required for flexing your foot, but it can be damaged if it’s put under too much stress. When damage occurs, you’re foot will be less flexible and you’ll experience ankle pain, but why does tarsal tunnel syndrome occur and what can be done about it? Here’s an overview of the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options: Causes Your tarsal tunnel can be put under too much stress as a result of repetitive foot movements such as using a sewing machine or driving for several hours each day. It can also be damaged if you experience a foot injury that causes swelling around your ankle as inflammation can squeeze the nerves in the tarsal tunnel and prevent adequate blood flow. The nerves can also be compressed if your foot arch falls as this can pull muscles and ligaments out of alignment. Fallen arches can occur when you have a condition that erodes your joints, such as rheumatoid arthritis, or when you break a bone or tear a tendon in your foot. Symptoms In addition to ankle pain, you may experience shooting pain up your lower leg, which can worsen if you’re on your feet for a while. Tarsal tunnel syndrome can also cause your foot to feel numb as a result of the increased pressure on your nerves. Additionally, the damage to your tendons and reduced flexibility of your foot can leave you feeling unsteady and you may go over on your ankle on a regular basis. Diagnosis And Treatment Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be diagnosed by a podiatrist who will take details of your symptoms and flex your foot to assess your current range of movement. They will formulate a treatment plan with the aim of releasing trapped nerves, restoring flexibility to your foot and strengthening your ankle. They may recommend painkillers or anti-inflammatory medication to make your symptoms more bearable at the start of treatment and reduce the swelling around the tarsal tunnel. Your podiatrist can show you how to do gentle stretching and strengthening exercises, which are useful for loosening tight muscles and preventing a relapse of the condition. Custom-made orthotic insoles can help your tarsal tunnel heal by altering the way your weight is distributed across your foot, which will take pressure off your ankle. If you have fallen arches, the insoles can be made to lift the arches and provide extra support. Your podiatrist will measure you for insoles and follow-up with you to ensure they are working as they should. If you’re experiencing ankle pain or inflammation, book a foot assessment with your podiatrist as soon as possible. Contact a company such as Morrison Podiatry Centre to learn...

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