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Those painful lumps on the bottom of your foot: Are they Corns or Verrucae?

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Those painful lumps on the bottom of your foot: Are they Corns or Verrucae?

 

If you have a small, round lump on the bottom of your foot, then there’s a good chance you’ve already discovered that it’s likely to be either a corn or a verruca. Perhaps you’ve had one of them before. Both are small, round and may or may not be painful on walking. You may have many of them, or just one. Their appearance and presentation can be so similar that even health professionals still get them confused, yet the treatment and the cause couldn’t be more different. So, how do you tell? Here are some tips on how to tell them apart from our expert Podiatrists!

 

Corns

 

There are two types of corns: a soft corn and a hard corn. The most common type of corn is a hard corn and is medically referred to as Heloma Durum. Essentially, a hard corn is a build up of hard skin, but unlike standard callus which forms in larger areas on the outside of the foot, corns have a conical shape that protrudes beneath the surface layer of the foot at a precise location. Hence, it appears circular at the surface of the foot. Corns will be painful by direct pressure onto the lesion, that is, pushing directly down onto it. This may or may not irritate the surrounding skin, causing redness or minor inflammation. Often they feel like you are walking on a pebble.

 

Hard corns occur directly as a result of a high area of pressure at a certain location, often when a prominent bone rubs or presses against a shoe or surface. This is why corns often occur beneath prominent joints or on the sides of the 1st and 5th toes. If the top layer of skin is removed from a corn, there shouldn’t be much pain or any bleeding, unless the healthy, surrounding skin has been irritated in the process. Corns can occur at any age, but due to their mechanical nature are often associated with high levels of activity. Corns are not contagious.

 

Verrucae

 

A verruca is more commonly referred to as a wart and is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). As a virus, it is very contagious and once you contract it, it will always be in your system. Warts have a large tendency to be contracted at a young age, and can come and go at any time throughout your life. Warts can appear anywhere on the feet, with the most common areas being the ball of the foot and the heel, and often (though not always) appear in clusters.

 

The round surface of the wart may appear dry or crusty, with black dots observed throughout. This is unlike corns, that tend to have more of a thick and smooth surface. Pain may be elicited by pushing down on the wart, but the pain is almost always felt when squeezing or pinching the wart from the sides. Corns don’t often elicit this same pain on pinching unless you’re pinching the sensitive skin surrounding the corn.

 

Treatment

 

Treatment for corns and warts differs greatly. Corns can be quickly and painfully enucleated, with the conical core removed by a specially trained Podiatrist. This will give you instant relief. More than that, your Podiatrist will help you identify the cause of your corn to reduce the risk of it developing again.

 

Verrucae are much trickier. There are many treatment options available, ranging from silver nitrate all the way to surgery. Your Podiatrist will determine your best course of action after examining your verrucae and talking through your options.

 

We recommend against using at-home treatments, as a number of them use acids which when accidentally applied to the surrounding healthy tissue can cause it to become damaged and macerate.

 

The first step is getting your feet checked to determine whether you’re dealing with a corn or a wart (or in the odd case something completely different!). Both corns and verrucae can quickly become very painful to walk on and start impairing your day-to-day life and your ability to do the things you love.

 

Thankfully, you don’t have to put up with the pain. Our expert team here at Footcare Specialist Podiatrist is proud to be caring for our local community and delivering excellent Podiatry services with fantastic results. If you’ve got any concerns about your feet or are experiencing any pain, give us a call on 09 214 9585 – we’re here to help!

 

Sarah SaadatThose painful lumps on the bottom of your foot: Are they Corns or Verrucae?
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It is time for your Diabetic Foot Health Check

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It’s time for your diabetic foot health check!

Summer is fast approaching, which means plenty of time outdoors and on your feet! If you’re living with diabetes, this means it’s a great time to get your diabetic foot health check so you can stay safe and minimize your risks this summer. Because the consequences of diabetes on the feet progressively worsen, it’s important to check your feet annually. But what are the risks to your feet in diabetes and why is a foot check so important? Footcare Specialist Podiatry answers these two common questions about your feet.

 

  1. What risks does diabetes pose to your feet?

There are two primary ways that diabetes has a significant impact on your feet: through sensation and circulation. Sensation is affected by the damage to the nerves as a consequence of diabetes. This is called peripheral neuropathy. Because our nerves are responsible for relaying accurate sensory information to our brain, damage to the nerves alters and impairs our sensation. Common changes in sensation include:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Pins and needles

These unusual sensations reduce our ability to feel, meaning that if we step on an object, instead of feeling it immediately, we may not detect it until we’re standing directly over it and exerting a large amount of pressure. This can be dangerous as if the object is sharp, it may pierce our skin and pose a risk for infection.

Other changes in sensation include becoming unable to detect whether an object is hot or cold, or whether it is sharp or dull. These leave you vulnerable to burns and cuts, among other consequences.

The most dangerous of these changes in sensation is completely losing the ability to feel. This renders any object or surface that our feet come in contact with undetectable, leaving our feet vulnerable to damage without us even realising. If we can’t feel that something is wrong, we don’t know that we need to treat it and any wounds are left open to infection.

Circulation is affected by the impact of diabetes on the vessels responsible for circulating blood effectively throughout our body. The feet are already disadvantaged when it comes to circulation as they are situated at the longest distance away from our heart, where the oxygen and nutrient-rich blood is pumped away from.

Impaired blood flow to the feet means that the tissue repair and healing processes occur slower and infections are cleared at a slower rate. Slower healing leaves the body susceptible to infection and secondary infection for longer periods, and makes it more difficult for the body to clear these infection. This is why wounds often turn into ulcers for individuals with diabetes, and why these ulcers are slow-healing and difficult to treat.

At it’s worst, amputation may be the only option. Diabetes is currently the leading cause of lower-limb amputations aside from accidents and trauma.

  1. Why is a foot health check so important?

Knowing the effect of diabetes on your feet, foot health checks become vital for you to be aware of the current status of your feet when it comes to your sensation and circulation. They also mean that you regularly have a professional check on your feet and legs to exclude any warning signs or anything you may have missed.

During our diabetic foot health checks, we test your sensation and circulation with regards to your feet and from the outcome, are able to provide you with the best, timely advice on what you should be looking out for and what your current risks are. We compose a management plan and track your changes over time. We treat and address any issues that arise, such as cuts, wounds and ulcers. Additionally, with such high stakes involved, there is always a peace of mind in knowing your feet are being professionally cared for and that you’re in good hands.

To book a diabetic foot health check for yourself or any of your family, give us a call on 09  214 9585 or email us on [email protected]

 

Our expert, friendly team specialise in providing excellent podiatric care for the whole family!

Sarah SaadatIt is time for your Diabetic Foot Health Check
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Growing pains in kids – what can we do to help?

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, growing pains were accepted as a normal part of childhood growth and development. While there was sympathy for the pain that my siblings and I felt, particularly in the pre-teen years, we accepted that we just had to wait them out until eventually they’d dissipate. After all, you grow and you get growing pains – right?

Wrong!

Thankfully, in my years of Podiatry and working with kids and adults alike, I’ve been privileged to be able to helps kids just like my former self overcome their growing pains instead of having to wait them out and have to miss out partaking in the activities they love because of the pain and discomfort.

So how can we help growing pains?

You’ve got to think of why growing pains occur in the first place. Often it’s because the rate of growth or movement of a bone occurs at a faster rate than the surrounding muscles, tendons and tissues. What this does is place tension and strain on the tissues through the abnormal (and painful) pulling force – and you get growing pains! When the muscles and tissues grow and lengthen accordingly, there’s no more pain and you’ve literally grown out of it.

Sever’s disease

Let’s take a common ‘growing pain’ we see often in the clinic called Sever’s Disease. Despite its name, Sever’s is a condition that results in these growing pains at the back of the heel and up the legs. That’s because we’re looking at a growth plate (through which bones grow) at the back of the heel specifically and the Achilles tendon that attached into the back of the heel bone (calcaneus). When the heel bone grows at a faster rate than the attached tendon, it creates a strain through the tendon and your child gets pain at their heels, especially when they really engage with the action of the tendon like in running and playing.

Osgood-Schlatter disease

Osgood-Schlatter is another example of such a growing pain, except this time at the knee. Pain and inflammation is felt at a bump just below the knee and at the top of your tibia, called your tibial tuberosity. This bump covers another growth plate at the tibia and is also the attachment point for the quadriceps (the muscles at the front of the thigh). Through the same mechanism of action, pulling forces at the tuberosity cause these pains that we would otherwise shrug away as ‘growing pains’.

What should we do?

Instead of having to wait it out, however, we implement strategies in the clinic to help reduce the overall strain on the tendon day-to-day, as well as stretch it out to facilitate its lengthening to get rid of the pain permanently. You and your kids don’t have to keep putting up with the pain! This needs to be done carefully – if you jump straight into intense stretches then you can actually seriously damage and tear the tendons, so don’t jump into anything uninformed.

If your kids are suffering from growing pains through the feet and legs, or you’re generally worried about the development of their feet and legs, come in and see us at Footcare Specialist Podiatry. We’re parents too and love being able to help kids run, jump, play and do so with a smile!

Give us a call on 09 214 9585 or 0211248684

Sarah Saadat
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Do you keep suffering with Ingrown Toe Nails?

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Do you keep suffering with Ingrown Toenails? Here’s what you should know and how to get rid of them once and for all!

You feel the pain when walking, when driving, in your shoes, out of your shoes – sometimes even just with the pressure of a bed sheet over your feet! Yep, they’re ingrown toenails and yes they can be very painful!

But what are ingrown toenails and how do they occur?

A nail is deemed as ‘ingrown’ when the side of the nails curves or grows down into the side of the nail and pierces the surrounding skin. That’s like having a sharp splinter in your foot that moves and causes pain with movement and pressure to the area! Except that it can be tricky to remove, especially when it’s lodged deep down the side of the nail.

The causes of ingrown toenails can greatly vary but for a lot of people it comes down to an improper nail cutting technique. When nails are cut in a curve instead of a straight line can encourage the growth of the nail edges down into the skin. Often people will also cut their toenails but leave the nail hanging on by a small edge and pick it off, which can leave a small sharp edge at the side of the nail where it was picked that can then grow to pierce the skin. Other causes include genetic predispositions and tight or narrow footwear.

The symptoms

The biggest symptom is pain at the toe, which can range from a moderate discomfort if the nail is just pushing against the skin to a sharp, stabbing pain if the nail has pierced the skin. The pain may worsen on walking or any type of pressure to the nail and surrounding skin. The skin surrounding the nail edges is likely to be red and swollen, and there may be some yellow/white exudate if an infection has developed. Infections occur because once the nail penetrates the skin, the open tissue is left vulnerable to infection and given the area is so close to the ground, infections are not uncommon, though should be treated appropriately and carefully.

So what should you do?

There are multiple ways of addressing ingrown toenails. If you can’t stand the pain and just want it to stop, we can remove the ingrown section of the nail quickly and efficiently. Without any nail piercing the skin, you’ll feel an immediate relief from the pain, and the area it pierced will close up and the swelling and redness will go down over the next 24-48 hours.

If this is an issue you’ve been struggling with for some time now with multiple instances of ingrown toenails, then you may wish to take care of it more permanently. This will involve removing a small portion of the side of the nail that has the tendency to grow downwards and give you grief. Don’t worry – your nail won’t look odd – you’ll just have a very straight nail edge of the side that we treat. What actually happens is that after removing the small section of the nail, we apply a chemical to destroy the nail-growing cells at the problematic edge to stop nail from growing back down that side! We call this a chemical matrixectomy. Again it’s simple, efficient, and performed under local anaesthetic so you don’t feel a thing. We dress your toe afterwards and we’ll need to review it and redress it within a week.

Either way, we’ll let you know all our tips for minimising the risk of ingrowing toenails on any of your other nails and how to best care for your feet and nails!

If you want to know more or chat to us about ingrown toenails, get in touch with us at Footcare Specialist Podiatry on 09 214 9585 or 0211248684. We’ll see you soon!

Sarah SaadatDo you keep suffering with Ingrown Toe Nails?
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Does your patient have Plantar Fasciitis ( Heel Pain)?

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Does your patient have Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis describes damage to the plantar fascia – a band of tissue that starts at the heel and spans your arch like a fan to connect to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is a relatively common foot injury Podiatrists treat and is characterised by:

• Pain first thing in the morning when starting to walk that eases after a few minutes
• Pain on standing after rest
• Both sharp and throbbing pain that starts on the bottom of the heel and may radiate up into the arch
• Pain on palpation of the plantar heel and medial calcaneal tubercle

Plantar fasciitis occurs by overloading the plantar fascia to the point of damage. It can occur from you any activity that overloads the fascia but commonly occurs from:

• Increased physical activity
• Activity for a significantly longer time that the body is conditioned to
• Poor footwear that fails to support the arch and causes increased strain on the fascia
• Abnormal foot biomechanics such as flat feet that stretch the fascia beyond limits
• Poor training technique

This has a significantly negative impact on the lives of your patients because it limits not only their participation in physical activity and exercise but also their ability to work if they stand on their feet and move around for work. Additionally, business shoes often cause further irritation to the fascia and as such, the condition can persist for months and years.

Footcare Specialist Podiatry treats patients suffering from plantar fasciitis every day and so have extensive clinical experience in managing this painful condition that we’ve seen take years to begin to resolve naturally. Our management plan includes:

• Acute injury management if the patient presents immediately after sustaining the injury (though most patients wait months before presenting, thinking it’ll resolve naturally)
• Initially low-dye strapping to relieve pressure from the plantar fascia (patients notice a significant reduction in pain while the foot is strapped)
• Footwear assessment to ensure patients are not aggravating their injury through their footwear while the fascia heals
• Orthotic therapy to relieve strain from the fascia with every step and allow the fascia to heal while the patient remains mobile for work
• Identifying the exact cause of the plantar fasciitis where known and implementing techniques or educating to prevent recurrence once the tissue has healed
• Targeting any other biomechanical abnormalities that may have contributed to the development or persistence of the plantar fasciitis (e.g. tight calf musculature that pulls on the heel which in turn pulls and increases strain on the fascia)

If you’d like effective expert management for your patients with plantar fasciitis, please don’t hesitate to refer them to us. We will inform you of our initial assessment and their management and results over time.

Our clinic details are: www.aucklandpodiatryclinic.co.nz

Many thanks and it’s a pleasure to be working with you!

– The Footcare Specialist Podiatry Team

Call on 09 214 9585 / 021 1248 684 and bring them in today!

https://www.thebabbleout.com/running/best-running-shoes-plantar-fasciitis/

Sarah SaadatDoes your patient have Plantar Fasciitis ( Heel Pain)?
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Orthotic for your posture: Can they really help?

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While  orthotics are traditionally designed to help manage injuries to the feet and legs and do so effectively, they are now becoming a commonplace solution in helping general posture and are being distributed by multiple disciplines and retail stores alike. But is there any merit to this practice?

Absolutely – orthotics alter the alignment of the feet and how they move through every step, thereby altering overall posture. However, when looking for orthotics for you posture, you MUST consider the following factors:

1. Not all orthotics are the same.

Unfortunately, the term ‘orthotic’ has come to encompass a wide variety of products, ranging from bulk-made, identical devices you buy in retail stores that don’t take into account the unique biomechanical characteristics of your feet, to custom designed devices that are made specifically for you from a cast of your feet with years of expert experience behind the prescription. It’s like buying a cheap $2.00 pair of glasses and expecting them to give you perfect sight – you’ve got to have the right device from the right professional.

2. You prescription must come from a podiatrist with extensive biomechanical experience.

In order to create the best orthotics for you, you must have a thorough biomechanical assessment where a multitude of factors are assessed including:

• the range of motion available through your joints
• muscle strength and flexibility
• gait (walking) analysis
• foot posture index
• any limb length differences or other discrepancies

These and other tests ensure that if an orthotic can help in your management, the right orthotic will be prescribed that will help and not hinder your well-being. This is why it’s important that your podiatrist specialises in complex biomechanics and can create the right prescription, as different practitioners may specialise in other fields including palliative podiatry and minor surgeries.

3. The body is a complex web of muscles and tissues where one part of the body can greatly affect the other.

To illustrate how your feet may affect your posture, let’s say that you have a very flat foot posture. Thinking about the structure of your bones and joints – when you walk, as your foot rolls down flat, the toes will point outward, the knee on that side rotates inward and the pelvis will tilt, meaning that the opposite shoulder will drop, and your spine won’t be as stable. This can have an impact on the musculature of your back and can result in back pain.

In this case, having orthotics that will support your feet, accurately correct your foot posture and any other biomechanical abnormalities the assessment may show, can alter the position at the ankle, knee, pelvis and shoulder, thereby helping your posture. This can alter the abnormal strain on the musculature of your back and effectively alleviate your back pain.

4. Posture has many elements

Like the last point mentioned, the body is complex and there are many elements to your posture. This doesn’t only include tight muscles that can create abnormal pulling forces but variations in bone shape, bone composition which can be affected by illness and so much more. The best way to know if orthotics can help you specifically is to go and have an assessment from your podiatrist and they can discuss your options from there.

Here at Footcare Specialist Podiatry we love seeing our patients succeed, reach and exceed their goals. We’re passionate about biomechanical podiatry and are committed to providing you with the best care so you can get the best clinical outcomes. We are known for our ethical approach to healthcare and so stand by our guarantee that you will not be charged if we aren’t certain that we can’t help your injury or ailment. Give us a call on 09 214 9585 / 021 1248 684 and experience our excellent clinical care for yourself!

Sarah SaadatOrthotic for your posture: Can they really help?
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Worried about your kids feet? Get them checked if you notice these signs!

From the moment they take their first step, we watch as our kids gain confidence, strength and
stability as they learn to walk, run and play effectively. Their feet grow and change – but how do
you tell between what’s normal and what could be a sign that there’s something wrong or
something we can help them with? Here are 5 signs to look out for:

1. Regular trips or falls
If you’ve found yourself thinking that your little one is generally quite clumsy because they tend to
trip or fall often – and beyond what you’d consider reasonable for a growing and active child – then
it may be a good time to bring them in. Trips and falls can be caused by neuromuscular
abnormalities or deficiencies where a certain muscle group of the feet and legs may not have the
necessary strength to lift the foot up to clear the ground as expected. Additionally, it may be their
foot posture, such as in-toeing, or balance issues.
2. Pain
Pain occurs for a reason – it’s our body’s way of letting us know that something isn’t right. Pain in
kids is often labelled as ‘growing pains’ and we’re told there’s nothing that can be done – that’s
absolutely not the case. Even with growing pains – which describes an abnormal pull on a growth
plate within a bone – there are many things that can be done to help alleviate the pain without
medication through podiatric care (where the pain is in the feet and legs). It is also important to
identify and treat the cause of the pain, as it isn’t always growing pains, and take the right
measures to prevent the pain from coming back.
3. Hesitation in participating in physical activity or showing you their feet
If kids seem cautious or hesitant in participating in physical activities, it could be that they have
heel or foot pain. They may also try to avoid showing you their feet or talking about pain if they’re
afraid of the consequences like going to the doctor or missing out on doing something they want to
do.
4. Can’t keep up with peers
If your child can’t seem to keep up with their peers during sport or play, there might be a
biomechanical issue with the way their bones, muscles and joints are working together (or aren’t
working together). An example that often occurs is with flat feet because the muscles tire much
more easily and can become painful.
5. Odd or awkward walking habits
If you’re seeing some walking habits that have persisted over time, bring your kids in for a check.
What may start out as play, such as walking on their toes, can turn into a real issue if the toe-
walking occurs for so long that the Achilles complex shortens and they are no longer able to bring
the heel in contact with the ground. Kids may try all sorts of games and walking styles while they
grow and play, but if you notice it very regularly and it doesn’t look right then you’re best to get it
checked.

While your kids will definitely go through various stages of growth where their feet can totally
change, our golden rule is that if you see something is significant enough to capture your attention,

or that of your family or friends, then it can definitely be worthwhile to get it checked. Here at
Footcare Specialist Podiatry we are dedicated to delivering uncompromised, quality care for the
whole family – especially our little ones! Kids need to be able to do the things they love without pain
so if you’re worried about your kids feet, give us a call on 09 214 9585 / 021 1248 684 and bring them in today!

Sarah Saadat
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