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2018 06 25Podiatry is the field of medicine that specialises in assessing, diagnosing and treating conditions of the foot and lower limb. A podiatrist can also give you advice about foot care, gait analysis and on the best footwear for you and your family.

When do I need to see a podiatrist?

In many cases, following our self-care tips will help the problem improve. If it doesn’t, it’s best to seek professional help.

You should visit a podiatrist if:

Your feet hurt – they will assess your condition and advise you on the best treatment.

Your symptoms are getting worse – a problem isn’t improving naturally, or within three weeks of self-care.

You want to prevent foot problems – a regular foot check can help keep your feet healthy.

How do I get an appointment with a podiatrist?

There are different ways to see a podiatrist, and may depend on where you live:

Go through your GP

They may be able to refer you for an NHS podiatry appointment. Or in some areas, you may be able to self-refer.

Visit your local independent practice podiatrist

It’s important to find a professional who is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which is the UK-wide regulatory body.

Use the tool on our website to find a podiatrist near you: https://www.scpod.org/find-a-podiatrist

2018 06 18The good news is that there are some easy things you can do to help prevent any issues becoming more serious.

Heel pain

Can be debilitating, affecting walking and posture. The most common cause is plantar fasciitis, when the ligament that runs under the heel becomes swollen.

Who gets it?

Can affect anyone at any age, but is most common in those in their 40s or in athletes.

What can I do myself to help prevent or manage it?

  • Wear well-fitting shoes, with good heel cushioning and arch support.
  • Avoid walking or exercising on hard ground.
  • Rest regularly and try not to walk or run too fast.
  • Wear a raised heel (no more than 6-10 mm higher than normal).

Athlete’s foot

A fungal infection that commonly affects dry, flaky areas, like the heel – but can also occur on moist areas of skin, such as between the toes.

Who gets it?

Anyone. Walking barefoot around swimming pools or wearing the same shoes continuously may make you more likely to pick it up.

What can I do myself to help prevent or manage it?

  • If it’s affecting dry areas, ask your pharmacist for an anti-fungal cream or spray.
  • If it’s in moist areas, wash your feet in cold water then dry them thoroughly – dab, don’t rub.
  • Avoid using moisturiser or powders in between the toes.
  • Applying surgical spirit can help reduce moisture, but only use on unbroken skin.
  • If it is persistent, see a podiatrist.

Bunions

A bony lump on the side of your foot where the big toe excessively angles towards the second toe.

Who gets it?

Although anyone can get a bunion, they tend to be more common in women.

What can I do myself to help prevent or manage it?

  • Give your toes room to move by opting for wider shoes.
  • If you wear high-heeled shoes, do so in moderation.
  • If you want to wear a heel every day, keep heel heights to 4cm or less – and vary your heel heights from day to day.
  • Choose shoes with laces, or a strap or buckle over the instep.
  • If the bunion becomes inflamed or troublesome, see a podiatrist.

Corns and calluses

Hard, thickened areas of skin, caused in response to rubbing, friction or pressure on the skin.

Who gets it?

They can affect anyone, but may be caused by badly fitting shoes or a biomechanical irregularity in your feet.

What can I do myself to help prevent or manage it?

  • Gently rub the area with a pumice stone or foot file when you are in the bath.
  • Moisturising cream may help soften the thickened skin.

Ingrowing toenails

Develops when the side of a toenail pierces through the flesh of your toe, making it red, inflamed and painful. It most commonly affects the big toe.

Who gets it?

Anyone, but particularly people who cut their nails incorrectly leaving small spikes of nail behind. Sporty people are more prone because they are likely to get moist, sweaty feet – this can make the skin around the toenails softer and easier for a nail to pierce.

What can I do myself to help prevent or manage it?

  • Cut your nails properly – straight across, making sure not to trim them too low at the edge or down the side. Leave the corner of the nail so it’s visible above the skin. Doing it after a bath or shower is helpful, when your nails are softer.
  • Avoid moist feet by rotating your shoes and choosing well-fitting socks and shoes made from natural materials.
  • At home get your feet out and let the air get to your toes as much as possible!

2018 06 11

 

Follow our simple steps to help to keep your feet in tip top shape and reduce your risk of developing any problems.

1. Wash your feet everyday Use warm, soapy water and take care to dry them well, especially between your toes – this will help to prevent fungal infections, such as Athlete’s foot.

2. Do regular calf stretches. Get into a routine of doing these every day to keep your feet supple.

3. Pay attention to your socks Wear well-fitting socks and change them every day to avoid sweaty feet.

4. Trim your toenails Use proper nail clippers – and cut them straight across, not too short and not down at the corners, as this can lead to ingrowing toenails.

5. Keep them moisturised. If the skin on your feet is dry, put moisturiser on your feet before you go to bed, avoiding between the toes (this can lead to fungal infections).

6. Wear the right footwear it’s important to make sure your shoes are the right size for your feet. Buy footwear in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest. Get your feet measured if you are unsure of your size.

7. Rotate your shoes Try not to wear the same shoes two days in a row, to reduce your chances of developing a fungal infection.

8. Vary your heel height Keep high heels for special occasions, as regular use can damage your feet.

9. Check your feet regularly Giving your feet the once over every week will help you to spot any possible problems quickly.

10 If you have any concerns aches or pains then you should see a podiatrist

June is foot health month and so this year we will be
concentrating on looking after your feet.

2018 06 04

Look after your feet!

Our feet are incredible. And it’s easy to take them for granted.
We only have one pair of feet, so we owe them more of our attention!
Over the next month we will share some very simple steps for keeping our feet healthy and in peak condition. We will highlight five common foot problems that you can manage yourself at home – and advise when it’s best to seek help from a podiatrist.

2018 05 23So it's now been two weeks since the London Marathon and its finally starting sink in that I completed it and its over! I finished much slower than anticipated but the fact that it was the hottest ever London marathon I am just really glad to have made it safely round. The heat really took its toll, despite all my training my body really wasn't prepared for running in heat, especially when all my long training runs had been in snowy or icy conditions.


It was amazing what heat can do and for the first time I got cramp whilst running due to the amount of salt I was losing, lots and lots of stretching from mile 15 onwards got me round. I was so happy that my knee and hip injuries I had suffered with in training caused no problems on the day, so all the hard work with the exercises, stretching and sports massages really helped. I was also very grateful that I did not get any blisters, although I saw many injured feet at the finish line with blood blisters, damaged or fallen off nails, cuts etc. Having the right shoes and orthotics really does pay off in the end!


Throughout all the training I said I would never put myself through this again as the training was very intense, I said that the fact I raised a lot of money for charity was worth it but once only…. However of course I have already applied for a place again next year through the general ballot so I may get to experience it all again. I think it's impossible to experience that atmosphere on the day with strangers screaming your name and cheering you on to get you round the course and never want to feel that again! That feeling was worth every pain/ache/blood/sweat and tears from training and the day.


Finally, my last few tips for if were considering running a marathon for the first time:

  • Stick to a training plan- if like me you had no idea about how to train for such an endurance race having a plan to follow makes you make the right choices.
  • Listen to your body, if you need a few rest days take it… you will only suffer later on if you keep going when you need a break.
  • See experts – if you're having any issues seek expert help to make sure you stay well before the big day- health care professionals such as Podiatrists and Physiotherapists have a wealth of knowledge to keep you running.
  • Finally it is the biggest sense of achievement crossing that line to go for it, and ENJOY it!

Written by Laura Hembling

for advice or treatment call the Basildon/Romford Chiropody,Podiatry & Footwear Centres

One thing I have learnt about marathon training is that no matter how well you set your training plan, eat well, sleep well etc… things do not go to plan! The beast from the east hit us… twice! Causing mayhem generally but causing me to go off plan and change my runs as it was just too cold or too dangerous to be out road running. Fortunately im a member of a local gym so I was able to get in some shorter runs on a treadmill, but not even my dedication to training could give me motivation to do a 16 mile run run on a treadmill!

running4 knee

I am a great lover of plans and lists so this has caused me lots of stress and worry that I have had to change what I am doing but you cannot plan for every eventuality and have to do the best you can. It has definitely given my knee a bit of rest which is helping, as well as me sticking to my strengthening exercises and stretches and the dreaded foam roller which is torture! Whilst I was doing the shorter runs last week I had been keeping a close eye on the weekend forecast which was beast from the east 2… fortunately the snow hit us on the Saturday and although it was freezing it was safe enough Sunday for me to get out and do my longest run yet of 18 miles! I feel so relieved to have that under my belt. My knee is feeling it now but again im icing it regularly and now having a few rest days to recover.

Lateral knee pain isn’t the only knee issue that troubles runners, especially those increasing their mileage whilst training for an event. Runners are often plagued by Patella femoral pain (or pain in the front of their knee/kneecap). With this condition both knees can be affected and most pain is felt when bending the knee. Running, a repetitive bending of the knee, can cause the patella (knee cap) to compress against the thigh bone (Knott,2018). There are lots of reported reasons as to why this condition can occur ; it can be weak hip muscles which cause abnormal pulling on the patella, a physiotherapist or personal trainer will be able to work with you for this to give you specific excercises to help strengthen these muscles; poor foot posture, having low arch feet can cause your leg to roll inwards again putting strain on the patella, a Podiatrist will be able to assess this for you and give you insoles and exercises that will help to correct this; injury to the knee, repetitive stress could cause acute injury to the area. If you are suffering with pain in the knee then its always worth getting it checked out early on to try to prevent further issues!

by Laura Hembling - Podiatrist

for advice or treatment call the Basildon/Romford Chiropody,Podiatry & Footwear Centres

iliotibial band

Having survived my weeks snowboarding holiday without any major injuries (other than lots of bruises!) I have been back at my training plan this week. It’s been tough, it’s amazing what a week off of running does to you, but mentally I felt I really needed a break from running as I was starting to dread putting my running trainers on and going out in the cold! Having returned in one piece I felt ready to get back on plan and I gradually got back into it at the start of the week by doing some shorter runs and have just completed my long run of 14 miles… it was tough both mentally and physically and unfortunately at about 12 miles I started to get a lot of pain on the outside of my right knee.

As I know about knee anatomy from my profession, I was quickly able to establish the cause of pain once I hobbled home. The location of my pain and type of pain leads me to believe it is Illiotibial band syndrome. This condition is a very common overuse injury in runners. The Illiotibial band is a long tendon that attaches from your hip to you knee along your outer thigh (see photo one). Repetitive movements, like running, can cause this structure to become tight and or inflamed (Runners world, 2017) causing pain around the attachment at the outer knee.

Once I got home from running I applied ice for 10 mins and will repeat this later to help reduce any localised pain and inflammation. It will also mean taking a few days rest from running to allow my symptoms to settle before gradually building up my mileage slowly. Runners world (2017) also have lots of useful tips to try reduce the risk of this occurring again, these include foam rolling (all leg muscles), long and regular stretching, and doing leg strengthening exercises to help build up my leg muscles and reduce any potential weakness… I will let you know how I get on!

Written by Laura Hembling

for advice or treatment call the Basildon/Romford Chiropody,Podiatry & Footwear Centres

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