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Foot Mechanics Blog

Welcome to the Foot Mechanics blog.  We like to talk about foot health, exercise and sports.  Please join in and become part of the discussions.

Did your know that 1 hour of exercise = 2 hours of life expectancy?

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Posted by john under Health

Why be active?

Your heart is a muscle and needs exercise to help keep it fit so that it can pump blood efficiently around your body. Without regular physical activity, the body slowly loses its strength, stamina and ability to function well.

Lifelong physical activity, such as a brisk walk for as little as 30 minutes a day, is important for:

  • Preventing heart disease
  • Lowering your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke
  • Helping to fight the battle to quit smoking
  • Aiding cardiac rehabilitation
  • Establishing good heart healthy habits in children
  • Building stronger immunity
  • Reducing blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure
  • Helping to reduce stress, tension, depression and anxiety
  • Helping to control weight
  • Improving overall health and wellbeing, prolonging your optimal health

For each hour of regular exercise you get, you’ll gain about two hours of additional life expectancy, even if you don’t start until middle age!

Read more here

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Tendinitis versus Tendinosis - What's The Difference?

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Posted by john under Health

 

Tendons connect your muscles to your bones and there are dozens of them in your lower legs and feet which can potentially cause pain if they’re pulled or damaged.

Diagnosing the exact cause of the problem is key to figuring out how to fix it.

Tendinitis and Tendinosis may feel exactly the same but the correct treatment is very different. So here’s a simple explanation about how they differ, and what you can do to literally get back on your feet.

What’s in a name?

Medical words that end with ‘itis’ mean inflammation.

Tendinitis is:

  • little tears in the tendon resulting from overload
  • caused by a heavy or sudden force pulling on the tendon
  • an acute injury
  • going to cause swelling and pain

Medical words that end with ‘osis’ mean an altered form or abnormal state.

Tendinosis is:

  • a degeneration of collagen fibres in your tendon
  • the result of chronic overuse from repetitive motions like running, standing, jumping
  • likely to occur over a period of months
  • not going to cause inflammation (but will be painful)

How long will it take to recover?

Generally speaking, tendinitis will take 4-6 weeks to settle down. Tendinosis will take much longer – about 3 to 6 months to heal.

What treatment do I need?

A podiatrist should always be your first port of call. They can make the correct diagnosis and form a treatment plan specific to your injury.

The goal with tendinitis is to reduce the inflammation. You can do this with ice and anti-inflammatories like Voltaren and Nurofen gels.

Deep tissue massage to create friction will also help, and sports tape is a good idea to help support the affected area. But be warned! Leave taping to the experts – otherwise you’ll risk making the injury worse if you don’t understand the complex structure of the foot.

You should also reduce your physical activity and give your tendon time to heal properly.

To fix tendinosis you’ll also need to rest but for a much longer period of time.

Deep tissue massage is also a great idea – although the method will be different as it’s designed to kick start collagen production and help reverse the damage done.

Long-term you’ll need to change the way you stand, walk, run or jump to reduce the stress on that part of your foot. Your podiatrist might recommend orthotics and will help you build your strength and endurance by giving you specific exercises to do at home.

These ‘eccentric exercises’ will help increase your collagen production as well as stretch and lengthen your muscles and tendons.

Same pain, different problem

As you can see, tendinitis and tendinosis are caused by two very different things.

Sore tendons in your feet can be very painful.JPG

Why All Podiatrists Aren't Equal

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Posted by john under Health

So you need to see a podiatrist… but how do you know which one to pick?

Obviously you want to see the best person in your area but a quick scroll through the yellow pages won’t give you any clue about who that might be.

We can’t speak for our competitors but there are a two key reasons why Foot Mechanics is the biggest podiatry group in New Zealand – expertise and technology.

We employ over a dozen qualified podiatrists in 10 clinics across the North Island and our training programme is what we think makes us the best in the business.

Learning from world-class experts

All podiatrists spend at least three years studying at university but many of our clinicians have honours or masters degrees, or post-graduate diplomas in things like sports medicine or rehabilitation.

And because of our size, Foot Mechanics is able to bring exceptional speakers to New Zealand at least twice a year to exclusively train our staff.

In March Simon Bartold (the lead researcher at Asics footwear for 25 years) spent two days mentoring our podiatrists and talking about bio-mechanical assessments, heel pain and the latest shoe technology for injury prevention.

Other podiatrists will occasionally travel to overseas conferences to hear such speakers but won’t have regular one-on-one access to professional development like we do.

Top technology

When you visit Foot Mechanics you will have access to technology you won’t find in most other podiatry clinics.

*Video analysis – you’ve probably seen these video cameras in shoe stores before. But like anything, you really have to know how to use this tool to get the best out of it. Our podiatrists will professionally interpret and analyse the way you walk or run to get to the bottom of whatever your issue is.

*Force mat – our ‘RS scan’ technology is imported directly from Belgium and shows our podiatrists how your body weight transfers through your foot when you move. Injuries are often the result of force but it’s not something you can see without this clever piece of kit.

*Pinpoint foot laser – we’re the only podiatry clinic in New Zealand lucky enough to have these lasers. They are used to safely treat fungal toenail infections without the need for oral medication that can have nasty side-effects.

So these are just some of the reasons why Foot Mechanics is a good place to start when looking for a podiatrist.

To make an appointment in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, Whakatane, Rotorua, Taupo or Palmerston North, just phone 0800 436 6860800 436 686.

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