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October Blog Summary

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October

Are your feet the cause of your back pain?

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Posted by john under Health

Earlier this year I attended the Australasian Podiatry Council Conference in Sydney, Australia. New research was presented there which drew a connection between pronated feet and lower back pain in woman. (read the research here)

The easiest way to describe pronated feet is feet that roll inwards at the ankles.  A picture is worth a thousand words in these cases so see the picture on our page about pronation for what a typical pronated foot looks like.

If your feet look like this and you have lower back pain (but have never actually injured your back) then the good news is that consulting a podiatrist may well help you. 

A podiatrist will first look to establish that you do in fact have pronated foot function.  If this is the case the Podiatrist will be about to offer you orthotics to slip into your shoes.  Orthotics are great for changing foot function and may be the solution to your back pain.

Orthotics must be prescribed for you; over-the-counter orthotics/insoles are not likely to help.  There are many reasons why a foot might function pronated and your podiatrist will address the reason why your foot pronates through a prescription orthotic.  (Think optometrist with prescription lens for your glasses, you need to get the right prescription for your individual eyes).

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What’s your reason for staying active?

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Posted by john under Health

Are you 19 and trying to make the All Blacks quad, or 85 and wanting to remain independent, or somewhere in-between?

During the course of my career as a Podiatrist I have seen many people with different motivations for staying active.  I have learnt that fixing foot pain is less about the pain itself and more about what the pain is stopping a person doing that’s important to them.

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Do you have hard to fit feet?

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Posted by john under Health

The right shoe fit is vital for foot health and comfort while wearing shoes.  With an infinite number of feet out there and an infinite number of foot shapes, getting the right fit may require some help.  Add to this that the human foot is a bio-mechanically complex structure.  It deals with forces in excess of your body weight with each step taken.  It must act as a cushion for your body at heel strike and then as an efficient lever to propel you forward as you walk.

Shoes come in different widths, sizes, depths, various fastening systems, styles, last shapes and made from a huge range of materials.  All these factors further increase the need for some exert knowledge on how to get the right fit.

That’s where a Podiatrist can really help!

My 7 steps to ensure my customers get the best possible fit.

1. Discuss.     The purpose for the shoes and any previous foot/fit related issues.

2. Observe.    Look at the feet and note shapes and contours at the heel, arch, forefoot and toes.

3. Measure.    Take measurements of width, length and depth.

4. Select.        Use my knowledge of different shoes to select a few models that may suit.

5. Fit.              Put the shoes on the customer so I get a feel for the fit and to ensure the insole and/or fastening system has been fitted to the foot correctly.

6. Watch.        Watch the customer walking in the shoes, not just standing.

7. Feedback. Ask for feedback about comfort, support and fit.  I make sure I ask specifically about comfort in the heel and arch areas as these are highly associated with overall perceptions of comfort.

Keep these seven steps in mind when your shopping for shoes.  Any retailer that’s following these steps (or similar) is probably very good at what they do and will be able to get you into well fitted shoes.

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Strengthening Exercises Do Not Redistribute Pressure Under Diabetic Feet

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Posted by john under Health

Plantar pressure (under the foot) is very important in diabetes, especially for those with neuropathy (loss of feeling).  Other research has found that there is a loss of strength in the low limb associated with increases in plantar pressure in people with diabetes.

This research looks into the flip side of that coin.  Can regaining strength in the lower limb decrease plantar pressures?

If you're short on time the conclusion from the research was:

Plantar pressures under the forefoot increase progressively over time in people with diabetic polyneuropathy, but in this study were not affected by strength training. Future intervention studies should take this increase of plantar pressure into account and alternative interventions should be developed to reduce the progressive lower extremity problems in these patients.

The full article from the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research is linked below.

Strengthening exercises for diabetics.pdf

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Sitting Is The New Smoking

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Posted by john under health

Stay active to be healthy doesn’t have to take over your life.  Just 30 minutes a day.

Research from Australia has found that for every hour sitting watching TV there is a 22 minute reduction in life expectancy.

Dr Michael Evans has a great 5 minute animation about the health benefits of just 30 minutes of exercise a day.

 

Watch the animation on our YouTube channel.

Medical journal with published research on 30 minutes a day of exercise.

Online newspaper "Stuff" reports on "sitting is the new smoking"

 

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NZ Sevens Adidas Fitting

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Posted by john under health

Foot Mechanics Podiatrist Gerrard Huck from our Tauranga clinic joined the Adidas team in fitting the world Champions, NZ Sevens team for their boots and footwear for the start of the 2013-14 competition.

This is Gerrard second year fitting the NZ Sevens players and brings a wealth of knowledge about the right footwear for eahc player and their foot type.

The NZ Sevens team is full of top althletes who are on a mission to win again this year, however Gerrard is also avalible very Tuesday afternoon at Smiths Sports Shoes store in Tauranga to help anyone who wants correctly selected and fitted footwear.

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