What you wear on your feet every day can be the main reason for your foot problems. Poor foot wear, shoes that are too narrow, unsupportive shallow or ill fitting shoes can give you corns and calluses on your feet, cause your nails to split and thicken or become ingrown.
Your podiatrist can assess your current foot wear for you, and the following information will guide you to getting better shoes for your foot health.
- An adjustable strap or lace across the mid foot stops your foot sliding around in the shoe.
- Foot wear that is supportive at the heel and through the sole of the shoe providing support throughout your the weight bearing contact with the ground.
- A deep toe box so your toes have enough space to move.
Choosing the right foot wear is dependent on your foot shape, your foot type and what activity you are wearing your shoes for. Wearing the right type of foot wear can improve your foot function, reduce foot pain and make your walks and activities comfortable and pain free.
Personalising your foot wear is part of what we do. Whether it be for running, tennis or hiking in the mountains. Getting the right sport shoe can help you achieve your goals without injury. Whether it is a barefoot running technique your aspiring toward or a more traditional running style we can help you choose the right foot wear and advice you on transitioning if thats what you are planning.
Heel to toe drop, thickness of the insole, a neutral shoe, the material type of the sole, the quality and properties of the upper and sole all play a part in how your shoes will affect your foot and lower limb function.
Some shoes have been made for running on roads, some have been made for running on trails and forest and fell.
Some running shoes can reduce stresses and strains of particular body segments and increase them in others. This means that if you have pain during running or sport, changing your foot wear can reduce strains in certain areas. Choosing the right shoes or trainers is part of what we do at Lewisham Foot Health.
Choosing the right foot wear
Childrens flat feet
Young children have flat feet. In fact development of the foot arch takes in some cases ten years to develop. I often get concerned parents who have looked at their children’s gait and foot posture and have wondered if their children’s feet are normal. In most cases they are. However there are some feet that don’t develop an arch and although this may not cause problems later in life, it can be difficult to know.
Who to treat?
There are some clues however for parents: if your child avoids running or other high intensity activities. If they prefer to be sedentary, or complain about growing pains this can be a sign that they would benefit from arch supports. The ‘growing pains’ may be difficult to discern for your children. They may say they have pain in their feet or legs, but when you ask where exactly the pain is, they can’t tell you. They may want to be carried a lot and feel tired or have achy feet. In other words your child may not be complaining of pain directly. Sometimes they can’t tell you where the pain is. And sometimes it is more specific. In one study adolescents with flat feet were twice as likely to suffer with knee and lower back pain.
Sometimes you or your partner may have foot, ankle or knee problems due to flat feet. This can be a sign that your children may grow to have the same problem. You may notice that your child’s feet turn out, or turn in when they walk. They may be unstable when they walk or you might notice that their feet ‘don’t seem quite right’ or may not be able to keep up with their peers. It’s in these cases it could be worth seeing a podiatrist for the right opinion or treatment.
Orthotics may help with your child’s foot and ankle posture. Improving this can help with your child’s overall posture. Orthotics fit into the shoe and change the way pressure is distributed through the foot. Orthotics also change the forces that work through the foot and improve gait and posture. This means that orthotics have an effect on the entire lower limb including the knee, pelvis and lower back.
There are two types: over the counter and custom devices. The ‘over the counter’ devices are ready made and will last a year or so. They can be a good alternative for certain foot types. Wearing these does depend on the severity of flat foot. Custom orthotics on the other hand are custom made to the foot. A cast of the foot is taken with plaster of paris. This cast is sent to the orthotics laboratory with a definitive prescription for that particular foot. As well as providing a better fit, the prescription is tailored for optimal functioning for that particular pair of feet.
Good Foot Wear
When wearing orthotics, good foot wear will improve your child’s foot and ankle stability. Important points to bear in mind are
- A deep and supportive heel counter: this will support the heel and provide a safe guide for heel contact when walking.
- A supportive sole, not easily bendable and ‘twistable’. The bending should occur below the big toe joint.
- A strap or lace across the mid foot to help hold the shoe onto the foot. A lace will also, being adjustable, customize the shoe to the foot.
- A wide enough toe box. Little feet need lots of space to grow into. Little toes are malleable and can easily become deformed over time in the wrong shoes.
Please come in for a Podiatry assessment for your child. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your child’s feet and posture.
Yagerman SE, Cross MB, Positano R, Doyle SM. Evaluation and treatment of symptomatic pes planus.Curr Opin Pediatr. 2011;23(1):60–7.
Fabry G. Clinical practice. Static, axial, and rotational deformities of the lower extremities in children. Eur J Pediatr. 2010;169(5):529–34
Yagerman SE, Cross MB, Positano R, Doyle SM. Evaluation and treatment of symptomatic pes planus.Curr Opin Pediatr. 2011;23(1):60–7
Harris EJ, Vanore JV, Thomas JL, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of pediatric flatfoot. J Foot Ankle Surg.2004;43(6):341–73
Foot pain treatment
Treating foot pain is tailored to the type of pain and where in the foot or ankle the pain is. At Lewisham Foot Health we will diagnose the foot structure that is painful and the cause of your pain. You will be asked a full history of the pain, when the pain comes on, for how long have you had pain, when the structure gets painful, when is it at its worst. What type of pain is it and when is it slightly better. You will be asked about any medication and other relevant medical history.
Foot pain can be can be caused by many factors: In some cases it is due to ‘wear and tear’. As we get older, we may get heavier and a little weaker. Our posture may start to worsen. This can cause undue stress on the joints, tendons and muscles. When you try to improve your posture it simply makes the pain worse. At Lewisham Foot Health we specialize in making adjustments to your posture so you can get back to the exercises you once enjoyed.
Sometimes foot and ankle pain comes from repetitive strain, for example working long hours on your feet. Other times pain can be due to an uneven training load. At Lewisham Foot Health we look at not only assessing your foot and ankle, but your entire body. We will assess how you walk, and how your feet, knee and hips work together. The range and quality of motion will be checked from your foot and ankle to your knee and hips. The painful structures will be assessed as well as the surrounding support structures for strength and movement. This will give us the right information on your strengths and weaknesses and allow us to work toward an effective treatment plan.
The treatment plan will look at your your foot posture, your body posture, your current strength and flexibility as well as your foot wear. The treatment plan will include strength and movement work, we may give you orthotics, and foot mobilisation to reduce pain and improve function. The exercise plan is included with your biomechanical assessment if you choose to book one of these.
Finding the physiological cause of your pain is the aim of your consultation. Once this has been identified we will put together a treatment plan: that suits you and that you can enjoy.
Lewisham Foot Health uses a combination of strengthening exercises, stretches, taping, foot mobilisation, myofascial release, gait modification, arch supports and change in foot wear as our tools to reduce pain and improve foot function.
Taping for foot pain
Lewisham Foot Health
An orthotic, insole, or arch support is a device made to fit your foot. The orthotic goes into your shoe. It is a support device that changes your pressure distribution under your foot, to improve foot function. Orthotics can also change your joint alignment and speed up or slow down various parts of your walking or running cycle. An orthotic support is usually made of a polypropylene type material, a very durable material that lasts many years. They can also be made of carbon fibre, but also more compressible materials. Choosing the right material depends on what sort of use the orthotic is for and the type of foot in question. The orthotic is custom made right down to the type of top cover.
An orthotic can support your foot to improve both comfort and function in your everyday life. It may surprise you to learn that the way your foot and ankle works translates all the way up your body to affect your back ! Changing your foot and ankle can therefore improve your quality of life in many ways. Going for walks without the discomfort you used to have, feeling less tired and simply not being in pain. Playing your favourite sport without having to stop because your ankle hurts for example.
Most people seen for evaluation for orthotics have pain in the foot, ankle, knee, hip and sometimes the lower back. They may also have issues with their posture or the way they walk or run. Sometimes the issue has been on going for years, sometimes only a few weeks or months. Orthotics are suited to all ages, enquire with your Podiatrist for more information.
After careful assessment of your bodies’ movement pattern and range of motion of your joints and muscles, a custom mould of your foot is taken and sent to the orthotics lab for accurate evaluation. An arch support is then made to tailor your personal needs. Although an orthotic is made to fit you, your body may take up to three or four weeks to adjust to them.
A fitting appointment is booked when the orthotics are back from the lab.
A six week review is normally booked at this point.
In addition to getting a long lasting pair of orthotics, you will get a tailored exercise program to improve the movement and function of your body.
Please make your enquiries with the Podiatrist at Lewisham Foot Health
Tel 0203 6022640 for more information. or book online here:
Verrucas can be painful and unsightly. Verrucas are caused by the Human Papiloma Virus. They can spread by direct contact or through shared towels or walking barefoot in changing rooms and swimming pools.
Verrucas can be very resistant to over the counter treatments, and despite what you may have been told by your GP some verrucas can survive for years.
Verrucas in children
verrucas in children can cause a concern for parents thinking that they will spread to other family members or that they are unsightly and will lead to stigma by other children. These are valid concerns. However most verrucas disappear by themselves in children within nine months. They do not therefore need treatment in most cases. Having said that if you have been trying to self treat, but the verruca(s) are still painful get a consultation with the podiatrist and we will see what type of treatment will best suits your child.
We are now offering needling for verrucas. Your podiatrist will give you a local anaesthetic so your foot is numb. A small needle is then used to lance the verruca multiple times. It is totally pain free. The appointment is an hour. You will usually be seen for a follow up at one week. You will need to arrange a lift home as you cannot drive or walk home.
Most patients state this treatment is much better than they first thought, and in more than sixty percent of patients the verruca will resolve with one treatment (Longhurst and Bristow, 2013).
‘If you have verrucas on both feet you may only need to treat one foot, as this is an immune boosting treatment. Multiple lesions do not all need to be treated’. As just stated the treatment works by initialising your immune system.
There are other treatments available. These are either freezing the verrucas (cryotherapy) or applying salicylic acid. You will normally need a few treatments for these to work. The number of treatments depends on the length of time you’ve had your verruca, the size of the verruca and your general health. Your bodies’ ability to mount an immune response will also play a part in the success of your treatments. The downside with salicylic acid is you need to keep your foot dry between treatments. You will usually have one treatment a week.
You can book a chiropody appointment for a diagnostic check up here
BOOK ONLINE: CLICK HERE
In most cases leg pain is caused by overuse, too much sport with not enough rest, exercising the wrong way or poor biomechanics. ‘Poor biomechanics’ means your body is not moving in the best possible way. This can be brought about by a previous sports injury , a traumatic incident , or long term decline in posture leading to weakness and joint and muscle restrictions. Some people are also hypermobile, meaning their ligaments are softer than normal. This can cause the foot and ankle to move more than average causing bending moments of the leg, leading to inflammation and pain along the medial (inside) of your shin bone. Normally you will be feel a dull ache along the inside of your leg, especially when you are active.
Pain in the leg, leg pain, can be brought on by a reduced blood flow to the leg, and is termed ‘ischemic pain’. This is a much rarer condition. Pain is brought on by the cells needing oxygen that is in short supply. This is most often the case in elderly and heavy smokers. Very rarely you may have a faulty blood vessel most commonly at the back of the knee. You may need a scan at the hospital for this type leg pain.
At Lewisham Foot Health we will assess your posture and function, and diagnose the type of leg pain that you have. We will look at your current training and activity level, and give you an exercise programme to get your foot ankle, hips and legs working in an optimal way thereby reducing exercise induced leg pain. Please inquire for more information on getting a biomechanical assessment so you can stay on your feet without pain.
Forefoot pain can be very painful and impact on your enjoyment of your activities. Most forefoot pain happens when you are weight bearing, standing up or walking/running. Even so, sometimes the pain can come on when you are sitting or lying in bed. It can start as a result of an injury or can come on with an insidious onset due to a number of different issues:
The pain can be coming from the tendons, the muscle, nerve or the bone or a combination of all four.
Poor foot wear, foot type or foot mechanics, tight or restricted foot and ankle movement, poor training methods, increase or a sudden change in training methods. There can also be calluses or verrucas under your foot that cause pain. Sometimes a nerve can swell in the foot and cause irritation, called a Morton’s neuroma. The toes can be out of place creating too much pressure under the foot, or the padding under your foot can become displaced or reduced with age. Forefoot pain can also be the result of a fracture. This can be a stress fracture from over training; or if you have just started training; or you have changed your training methods.
We will assess, diagnose and treat your forefoot pain at Lewisham Foot Health and provide you with a treatment plan. This might involve foot mobilisation, foot exercises, taping, orthotics, change of foot wear or change of activity levels. We may even give you a cast walker if you have a fracture. We aim to reduce your foot pain so you can get back to the activities you enjoy, whether its walking in the park or playing football.
Many foot and ankle problems are due to joint restrictions. Lewisham Foot Health offer foot mobilisation to free up your foot and ankle joints. Poor foot and ankle mechanics can reduce your foot joints range of motion causing poor movement patterns. Foot and ankle injuries creates scar tissue with a reduced range of motion if not rehabilitated properly. Whether you have a low arch or a high arched foot, you may have joint restrictions.
Lewisham Foot Health will assess and treat your foot and ankle injury with foot mobilisation. It may be that you had an injury many years ago and have noticed that your foot and ankle is getting stiffer and is aching or not functioning the way it used to. Most often these problems can be the result of an ankle sprain, faulty foot mechanics or other injury.
You may be in a job that requires you to stand all day. Or you may be an athlete that trains hard. This puts a lot of pressure on the joints of the foot and its associated structures. Foot mobilisation is a series of either gentle traction and joint specific movements, or fast chiropractic type actions. They do not hurt. Occasionally there can be some tenderness to the areas until this settles down. This can take a day or two. You may be offered specific foot and ankle exercises to restore foot and ankle strength. This is to improve foot posture and function.
Foot mobilisation is used to treat forefoot pain, heel pain, mid foot and ankle pain. In some cases knee pain can be treated through improving function of the foot and ankle. Some foot problems can be treated straight away. Other problems will need a biomechanical assessment. A biomechanical assessment is an hour assessment that includes a gait analysis.
Most patients find foot mobilisation both relaxing but also surprising when they find their feet work better straight away.
Knee pain and flat feet, a study to explore an association!
Association of flat feet with knee pain and cartilage damage in older adults.
To assess the cross-sectional relation of planus foot morphology to ipsilateral knee pain and compartment-specific knee cartilage damage in older adults.
In the Framingham Studies, we adapted the Arch Index to quantify standing foot type from foot recordings. We inquired about knee pain and read foot scans. We compared the chances of knee pain among the most flat feet to the chances among all other feet, and estimated chances within categories of increasing flat feet. Similar methods estimated the chances of cartilage damage in each knee compartment. We adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, and nonindependent observations.
Among 1,903 participants (56% women, mean ± SD age 65 ± 9 years), 22% of knees were painful most days. Cartilage damage was identified in 45% of medial tibiofemoral (TF), 27% of lateral TF, 58% of medial patellofemoral (PF), and 42% of lateral PF compartments. Compared with other feet, the most flat feet had 1.3 times more chance of knee pain, and 1.4 times chance of medial cartilage damage. Chances of pain and medial cartilage damage increased across the board for all categories of increasing flat foot. There was no association between foot morphology and cartilage damage in other knee compartments.
Flat foot type is associated with frequent knee pain and medial TF cartilage damage in older adults. Knee pain and flat feet is associated.
The effect of custom-made foot orthoses in subjects with excessive foot pronation and low back pain: a randomized, double-blinded, clinical trial.
Castro-Méndez A1, Munuera PV, Albornoz-Cabello M.
randomized, double-blinded, clinical trial.
Low back pain is one of the commonest disorders affecting the back. The literature reflects how over time excessive pronation of the foot has become to be recognized as linked to chronic low back pain, and how the problem can evolve for the better with the use of compensating foot orthoses.
The main objective of this study is to answer the question of whether the use of a certain type of custom-made foot orthosis alleviates low back pain.
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
In a sample of 51 participants with excessive ankle pronation and chronic low back pain (43 women and 8 men), the effect of custom-made foot orthoses in low back pain was studied. The study design was a randomized, double-blinded, clinical trial with two groups: experimental, treated with the custom-made foot orthoses, and control, treated with a placebo. Low back pain was evaluated by a visual analog scale for pain and Oswestry’s Disability Index Questionnaire for lower back pain at two moments–on the day of inclusion in the study and after 4 weeks of treatment.
The evolution of the low back pain showed significant differences in the experimental group, showing a significant reduction of pain and disability (p < 0.001, visual analog scale; p < 0.001, Oswestry’s Index).
In the sample studied, the use of custom-made foot orthoses to control foot pronation had an effect in reduction of perceived low back pain.