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2014

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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The hardest 400m run ever

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Posted by john under News and Events

Red Bull - the hardest 400m run in Europe!

How good runners keep their feet happy

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Posted by john under Health

With each stride while running we generate at least 3 times our bodyweight in forces going through our feet.  Yet often it’s not until a runner has a foot or leg problem that any attention is paid to the feet.

I have treated 1000’s of runners in my career as a Podiatrist and have given the following advice to many runners who needed it to keep their feet happy.

Training

Our bodies get stronger as we continue to exercise, but this does take time.  Bones remodel continuously depending on the stresses but on them and muscles and tendons strengthen as we use them.

The key is not to do “too much, too soon”.  Allow your body time to respond to the forces that running puts on bone, muscle of tendon.  Often injuries I see are simply a result of putting more stress on musculoskeletal structures before they’ve had time to strengthen.

Build rest into your schedule of running knowing that while you’re not running your body is still working away making your stronger!

To learn more or find out about a running coach try Boost here.

Footwear

If there is a more crucial element to happy feet while running than footwear, I don’t know it!  Footwear is the interface between you and the surface you’re running on, footwear changes forces and promotes a feeling of comfort for your feet.

Footwear technology has come a long way during my 15 year career.  You really need to assistance of a specialty sports shoe store to help you get the right shoes now.  We work a lot with Smiths Sports Shoes, Shoe Clinic, Athletes Foot, and Shoe Science and in the regional areas of New Zealand Sports World stores. Most of the time these retailers receive excellent training on selecting, and fitting shoes. 

However in retail there will always be the forces of marketing and supplying to consumer wants which can be a problem (most recently the minimalist running shoe craze).  Podiatrists such as Foot Mechanics Podiatry often provide a Podiatrist free of charge into these specialty retailers each week to enable runners to have their footwear recommended by an independent third party.  Here’s a list of locations where you can get this independent third party advice in-store.

Recently I have also seen runners bring their shoes into our clinics and pay for a consultation just to have their new shoes approved by the Podiatrist within the return/replace timeframe offered by the shoe retailer.   

Cross training

We all know the song “the knee bone’s connected to the, hip bone.  The hip bone’s connected to the …”.  Well it turns out this is not just a popular song for kids, its actually science and when one part of your body moves it has an impact on other parts.

Keeping your posture good will help recruit the right muscles in your feet at the right times to keep your feet happy and you injury free. 

Mix up your running with other activities such as Pilates for core strength and Yoga for balance and flexibility.  Hit the gym to build muscle strength and take a swim to work on your cardiovascular system while not putting any strain on your feet.

Foot care

The two most common problems I see with runners in terms of foot care are blisters and toe nail damage.

Blisters are due to poor understanding and/or consideration of skin.  Maintaining good skin condition is essential to avoiding blisters.  For example the formation of hard skin (callus) around the heels or ball of the foot leads to blisters are the softer skin under the callus moves under the hard skin.  Hard skin should be reduced regularly to prevent this from happening.

There are other causes for blisters and there is a great resource available about the other causes and how to prevent and treat them here

Toe nail damage is usually due to poor shoe (or sock) fit or excessive downhill running.  Shoes which are too short and/or socks which are too short put pressure on the ends of the toe nails.  Micro-trauma to the nail occurs with each stride and quite quickly the nail becomes damaged. 

The damage may look like a bruised nail or a think nail or even an ingrown nail.  All are serious if you want to be able to continue running with happy feet.  If you have any of these it’s time to see a podiatrist to get the toe nails sorted and address the root of the problem too.

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Shin splits: What to do when changing your shoes hasn’t worked

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Posted by john under Health

Pain in your shins can really put you off doing exercise.

If it hurts to run, walk or jump, or if your shins are painful to touch afterwards, then people usually blame the problem on ‘shin splints’.

But what is a shin splint, and how can you fix it?

There are 3 common causes:

  • Overstrained tendon – pain often occurs when you’re first warming up or cooling down.
  • Overused muscle – if there’s not enough room between your leg muscles and the sheath that surrounds them, blood and oxygen can’t get through which can cause pain.
  • Fractured bone – this occurs when your leg muscles are contracting so hard they actually fracture your shin bone.

Correctly diagnosing what’s causing your shin splints is the key to treating them. So pay attention to when pain occurs – before, during or after exercise?

That will help pinpoint the problem.

I’ve bought new shoes… why hasn’t it helped?

Buying good quality shoes is a great first step. But new shoes often won’t fix the underlying cause.

It’s like taking Panadol when you have a headache – if pain persists, you need to see a podiatrist!

What will a podiatrist do?

A biomechanical assessment will analyze what’s going on:

  • Physical mechanics – Is your stride too big? Is the way you stand, walk or run overloading your leg? Do you have a leg length discrepancy?
  • Environment – What surface are you running on? How much training are you doing? What is your level of fitness? Have you done too much exercise too quickly?
  • Skeletal structure – Do you need to stretch your soft tissues more? Are your muscles strong enough?
  • Foot function – Are you wearing the right footwear? Do you need orthotics to help your feet absorb shock and maintain the right biomechanical position?
  • Onward referral – Do you need to see a physio to help reduce inflammation? Should you see a nutritionist to increase your bone density?

Don’t put up with shin pain

Foot Mechanics podiatrists will figure out exactly what’s causing your shin splints and offer the best advice to treat them.

Exercise is crucial to living a long and healthy life so don’t give up! Phone 0800 436 6860800 436 686 to book an appointment with one of our podiatrists today.

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Why surgery isn’t the only option for bunion relief

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Posted by john under Health

Do you hate that bony lump sticking out the side of your foot? But are you too scared to get surgery to fix it?

Don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to treat this common problem that don’t involve going under the knife.

Bunion blues

These unsightly bumps can occur on even the poshest of feet – Victoria Beckham is often photographed wearing sky-high stilettos with bunions poking out the side.

Oprah Winfrey, Paris Hilton and Uma Thurman are just some of the celebrities in the same boat.

So if you suffer from bunions, here’s what you need to know:

Myths about bunions

  • They are not hereditary
  • They are not caused by wearing pointy high-heeled shoes
  • They are not a bony growth

In actual fact, the lump of bone you can feel is your first metatarsal (the long bones which connect to your toes).

A bunion occurs when this entire bone moves sideways. You normally push your body weight through this bone when walking. If it moves out of alignment, the second or third metatarsal carries this weight instead, which can cause pain in the middle of your foot.

What causes bunions?

You are more likely to get a bunion if:

  • Your foot is pronated (rolls inwards when walking). Your body weight will help push the bone over towards the inside of your foot.
  • Your big toes are extra flexible

Bunions occur over time – often in your 40s or 50s. But kids as young as 10 have been known to get them too.

What does surgery involve?

A bunionectomy saws into the bone to straighten it up. It’s painful, and you can’t usually walk for up to 6 weeks afterwards.

But bunion growth can be slowed down or stopped altogether using the following treatments:

  1. Orthotics - Wearing orthotics will stabilize your foot joints. But they cannot reverse damage done, so see a podiatrist as soon as you see a bunion beginning to form.
  2. Footwear – There are many stylish shoes designed to comfortably hide bunions. Come and see us for some recommendations.
  3. Gels – We stock a range of gels to protect and cushion your feet and the bunion itself. These will help relieve the pain.

While surgery is the only way to straighten the bone once it has deformed, it won’t prevent it from happening again.

Your podiatrist will help you figure out what caused the misalignment in the first place and what you can do to prevent further issues.

Need help with your bunions?

Foot Mechanics can help reduce your bunion pain. To see a podiatrist in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Whaktane, Mount Maunganui, Rotorua, Taupo or Palmerston North, phone 0800 436 6860800 436 686 for an appointment.

Yes, your body is that smart!

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Posted by john under Health

Your body is smart. When it feels exhausted, it is exhausted and you feel like you need to rest. When it makes you thirsty, you need water, and when it tells you that one pair of shoes is more comfortable than another, it’s because the more comfortable pair fits better and allows you to walk more efficiently.

Yes, your body is that smart!

Researchers in Barcelona, Spain are looking into a range of biomechanical measures that are consistent with customer feedback of comfort when wearing different shoe designs.

Their finding could be significant as this would enable shoe designers to have their designs tested for “comfort” before proceeding to large scale manufacturing.

This research is the first of its type in the world and could have a significant impact on the future of shoe design and shoe comfort for shoe wearers.

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Why does my child roll their feet inwards when they walk?

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Posted by john under Health

Have you noticed anything strange about your child’s walk? Or do they complain about aching legs or pain in their knees, ankles or feet?

Their foot may simply have a low arch (which is no problem whatsoever) or they may suffer from pronation.

This is commonly known as ‘flat feet’ and can cause a great deal of pain for some kids.

It occurs when your foot rolls inwards and flattens your foot’s natural arch.

What causes pronation?

There’s a huge number of reasons such as:

  • Unusual joint shape or structure
  • Weak ligaments
  • Weak muscles
  • Legs that are of slightly different length

There’s often a hereditary component so flat feet might run in your family. 

Foot Mechanics podiatrists have worked all over the world and have noticed Kiwi kids are more likely to have pronation than their European counterparts who wear shoes more often than bare feet.

What will a podiatrist check for?

We frequently carry out biomechanical assessments for people of all ages to check the following:

  • Are the hip, knee and ankle joints working correctly?
  • What is the body’s natural alignment?
  • Are there any obvious difference between the two feet?
  • Is there a strange gait pattern (like having pigeon toes)?
  • What footwear is currently being worn?

Your podiatrist will also video your walk and run to analyse what’s happening in closer detail.

Is pronation a problem?

For some kids, no. Others may suffer problems such as:

  • More knee and ankle injuries when playing sport
  • Falling over a lot
  • Ongoing pain (including aching) in their legs, ankles and knees.

‘Growing pains’ are something many kids suffer from, particularly when they’re trying to go to sleep. This happens when muscles and tendons lengthen out to keep up with growing bones.

Pronation can make this process more painful as it causes misalignments in our lower limbs and our muscles have to work harder to compensate.

What can be done?

  • Buying good quality, supportive shoes are a must. Look for ones that have some stiffness in the mid and rear sections but flexibility in the toes. Leather uppers are good. If they’re stiff they will help resist that inward rolling movement.
  • Inner soles might be useful to give more support to the inner arch. Pre-fabricated ones are best when kids are young and their feet are still growing. They will typically last 1 year.

Need some help?

Is your child in pain or having trouble walking? Book an appointment with one of our podiatrists today.

We’ll also look at their current footwear and show you exactly what type of shoe to buy for your child’s specific needs.

Book an appointment at Foot Mechanics in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, Whakatane, Rotorua, Taupo or Palmerston North by phoning 0800 436 6860800 436 686.

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Why two thirds of children are wearing the wrong size shoe.

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Posted by john under Health

What size shoe does your child wear?

Does it constantly change depending on the style or brand?

And how long before they grow and need another size altogether?

Buying kids’ shoes isn’t easy.
But the problem is made worse by the fact there’s no accurate or consistent labelling system. A size 10 in one brand isn’t the same length as a size 10 in another! And US, UK and NZ sizing doesn’t always match up.
Kids under 5 aren’t good at deciding whether a shoe fits well or not. Their nervous systems aren’t fully developed, so even if a shoe is much too small they don’t feel any discomfort.

So how do you find the perfect fit?

The answer is surprisingly easy. Measure your child’s foot then add 12mm.
Extensive research in Austria shows this will guarantee you get the right size shoe that won’t cause long-term damage to your child’s feet.

Why getting the right size matters.

Badly fitting shoes can:
  • Cause blisters and reddened skin
  • Distort the natural position of the toes, causing joint pain and bunions
  • Lead to muscle and tendon pain
  • Shorten the foot muscles
  • Cause circulatory problems like varicose veins or sensations of cold and numbness
  • Cause a change in posture resulting in knee, hip and back problems

Why 12mm is the key?

Shoes are designed to flex in a certain spot underneath the ball of your foot.  If shoes are too long or too short, this ‘break line’ will be in the wrong place and can cause skeletal and muscular problems.  12mm will ensure the break line is correct no matter what brand of shoe you buy.
Kids’ feet are as soft and pliable as rubber, so they can squeeze into shoes that are too small. But if stress is placed on the soft sections of their bones, permanent damage can be done. This will affect their joints and determine how they walk or run for the rest of their lives.

What to look for when buying shoes.

Foot Mechanics suggests you follow these simple steps:
  • Trace the outline of your child’s foot. Add 12mm to the length, and cut a strip of paper from their longest toe to their heel. Use this as a measuring guide when shopping.
  • Put your thumb and fingers on either side of the shoe and do a ‘squeeze test’. There should be room for the material to give a little. If it’s too tight there’ll be too much pressure on the side of the foot.
  • Use laces or Velcro straps to tighten the width if there’s too much room.
  • Always measure both feet as they’re not always exactly the same size.
  • Buy shoes late in the day. Our feet expand in both length and width during the day, and kids are no exception.

Are you worried about your kids’ feet?

Foot Mechanics can do a biomechanical assessment of your child’s feet. To see a podiatrist in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, Rotorua, Taupo or Palmerston North, phone 0800 436 6860800 436 686 for an appointment.
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How To Avoid Ingrown Toenails This Winter

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Posted by john under Health

Do you suffer from ingrown toenails the minute summer ends and you put shoes and socks back on?

As winter approaches, this is a very common (and very painful!) problem.

Here's how to stop toenails from digging into your skin (and what to do if trouble strikes)

But first: How to tell if you have an ingrown toenail

You’re likely to have an ingrown toenail if the skin next to your toenail is:

  • red
  • swollen
  • has pus
  • is rotting
  • is sore to touch

And because you're on our feet all the time, it’s important to treat ingrown toenails as quickly as possible before things escalate.

Our toes’ winter woes

Why are ingrown toenails a problem heading into winter?

Because jandals don’t place pressure on the sides of our feet, so it’s not until we wear closed-in shoes again in cooler months that bacteria really get to work.

If some sand or dirt is trapped down the side of your toenail then a warm, moist environment can quickly lead to an infection. 

What can I do?

 

  1. The best way to avoid ingrown toenails is to cut them correctly. In most cases this will be straight across, and not too short (so the skin next to your nail doesn’t fold over it). 
  2. If you have particularly ‘curvy’ nails, you will need to cut around the edge that curves down at each side. This is a tricky thing to get right so ask your podiatrist to show you the correct technique.
  3. Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight or too short.
  4. Soak your foot in warm water and disinfectant like Dettol. Use your thumb to gently massage and flush water down the side of your nail to loosen any dirt or debris.
  5. Remember that repeatedly cutting your toenail can make the problem worse!

 

When should I get professional help?

If you’re still having trouble, it’s time to see an experienced podiatrist. 

The offending piece of nail can usually be easily removed and any infection treated. 

And if ingrown toenails are an ongoing issue for you, permanent removal of a portion of your nail can be a good option. But don’t worry, this is not as painful as it sounds! It’s a surprisingly easy procedure using local anaesthetic and a special chemical that prevents the troublesome piece of your nail from growing back. It’s virtually pain-free and 99 per cent effective.

Can we help?

At Foot Mechanics we're experts in solving foot pain, and ingrown toenails are a specialty.

Call us on 0800 436 686 to book an appointment, or follow this link to learn more and request an appointment over email.

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April

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Posted by john

The 3 Arches

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Posted by john under Health

I recently saw a piece of marketing material for some over-the-counter “orthotics”.  The product claimed to support all four arches of the foot!  This is quite incredible, has some-one has discovered another arch in the foot?

To clarify, the foot has three arches – at least from a scientific point of view.  These arches are the medial longitudinal arch, the lateral longitudinal arch and the anterior transverse arch.

The arches are made up from many smaller bones held together by ligaments.  This structure enables the arches to be flexible yet strong enough to support the rest of our body.

Standing for long period of time such as at work or social functions can cause the arches to become tired.  Shoes with insoles to support the three arches are often preferred for comfort and relieve as they provide some support to the arches.

The “orthotic” insoles in Ziera shoes provide support for all three arches. Good to know right?  This is why we receive so much feedback from our customers about the comfort of Ziera shoes especially when wearing them for long periods of standing.

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What I learnt form Simon Bartold

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Posted by john under Health

Simon Bartold is a Sports Podiatrist.  Simon was the key note speaker at our Foot Mechanics Podiatry conference in March 2014.  We learnt so much that I will be breaking our learning down into several blogs, including gait retraining, strapping, footwear advice and evaluation of common foot problems such as shin pain and plantar heel pain.

If you’re a health professional its worth joining Bartold Biomechanics, learn more here.

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March

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Posted by john

Why would a Podiatrist bother to refer a customer to a ZIERA retailer?

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Posted by john under Health

Foot Mechanics and thousands of other Podiatrists around the world have been referring to ZIERA retailers for years.  Most of us love the ZIERA product and we love how you sell it, but do you know why?

At ZIERA you are often dealing with “difficult feet” and you take extra time with each person to make sure they get what they need.

You “keep it simple”.  I have found that while you are working with Podiatrists regularly you don’t cross the line into using medical terminology with customers or trying to diagnosis their foot problems.  You fit shoes exceptionally and make great referrals to see a Podiatrist when you see the need.

We have history.  ZIERA was founded by two Podiatrists and we are proud that a couple of our fellow Podiatrists have done so well and created such a successful business.  Foot Mechanics and ZIERA share an ethos of fashion and foot health.  Whenever you have a commonality like that it is easy to get along and trust each other with the customers’ interests at heart.

We often receive great feedback from patients about how much they love their ZIERA shoes and seldom hear about any dissatisfaction.  As most of you will know people are more prepared to share their dissatisfactions than their satisfactions so the fact that we hear so much great feedback is a big statement about how good the ZIERA shoes really are.

The removable inlay is great for Podiatrists when we are introducing an orthotic therapy.  The summer sandal range with this feature which was introduced many years ago now continues to be one of the most significant improvements I have seen in my career in terms of being able to give patients a year round orthotic solution.

Its great to be able to provide customers with knowledge and treatment of foot problems along with a great looking and comfortable shoes.

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February

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Posted by john

Hammertoe is a painful foot deformity

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Posted by Tara under Health

Hammertoe is a painful foot deformity wherein the toe bends unnaturally.

Hammertoe can develop on any of the toes, but generally affects the middle three and, most often, the second toe.

When unusual stress is applied over a period of time, the joints and tendons of your foot can cease to function in a healthy and well balanced way. Toes in an effort to compensate start to bend into the hammertoe shape. Hammertoes also have a tendency to run in families.

Hammertoe can be caused when muscles malfunction and the toe joints bend over to form the hammertoe shape. If they remain in this position, the muscles and tendons supporting them tighten up and stay that way.  Medical conditions such as Diabetes and Arthritis are also common causes of Hammertoes.

The main causes of hammertoe include:

+ Squashing into too-small or ill-fitting shoes

+ Wearing high-heels that jam your toes into the toe box of the shoe.

+ Nerve or muscle damage from medical conditions including Diabetes and Arthritis.

The most visible sign of a hammertoe is bent toes; other symptoms include:

+ Pain and rigidity during movement of the toe joint

+ Painful corns on the tops of the toes or toes due to rubbing against the top of the shoe

+ Callus on the underneath the toes or ball of the foot

+ Pain in the ball of the foot

+ Redness or swelling of the toe joints

Prevention is better than cure:

As long as hammertoe causes no pain or any change in your walking or running gait, it isn't harmful and doesn't require treatment.  The key to prevention is to wear shoes that fit you properly and provide plenty of room for your toes.

Here's exactly how to get the appropriate fit:

+ Have your feet properly measured at the time of purchasing shoes

+ Make sure that while standing there is at least a centimeter (thumb width) of space for your longest toe at the end of each shoe

+ Buy shoes that fit the longer foot

+ Shop at the end of the day, when foot elongation is greatest

+ Don't go by numbers - shoe sizes vary by brand and by model even in the same brand

When to see a Foot Mechanics Podiatrist:

The hammertoe condition is usually irreversible, but often it's progression can be slowed or halted. You should visit a Podiatrist if the toe becomes painful and you have difficulty walking. A Podiatrist will be able to provide advice and treatment including orthotics to help maintain proper foot function and reduce excessive pressure on the ball for the foot created by the hammertoes.

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Back Pain

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Posted by john under Health

A study published in the professional journal - Rheumatology has shown again that problems with foot function are associated with lower back pain. The study was part of a large study in Framingham during 2002-2005 which involved 1,930 people. Participants were identified as having either low arches (flat feet), high arches, or normal arches. Their foot function was studied while moving to identifying them as pronators (tendency of the foot to excessively roll-in and flatten while while walking), supinators (opposite of pronators), or normal-functioning feet. This was done using pressure sensor technology on their feet as they walked, providing insight about how the feet are functioning while walking.

What they concluded from the study was that female participants who pronated excessively during walking also had a greater incidence of low back pain. It wasn't exactly clear why the connection between back pain and foot function was more prevalent in women in this particular study.

Lower back pain is a complex problem which has a variety of possible causes. Some back pain sufferers may find improvement by identifying and addressing foot problems, especially flat feet. A Podiatrist can help identify any problems with foot function, for example excess pronation, which the study found to be linked to lower back pain in woman. The next step is addressing these problems, which will involve orthotics to address the foot function.

Orthotics are shoe inserts that support the foot's arch and can help decrease excess pronation while reducing stress on the feet. Some arch supports or orthotics maybe found in pharmacies or sports stores or online. They range from flimsy over-the-counter orthotics, offering hardly any support to high quality brands that offer good support and last longer than a few weeks.

Custom-made orthotics from a Podiatrist generally offer the most effective support, can be customized to address specific foot problems, and last several years.

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January

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Posted by john under Health