What is Plantar Fasciitis and how can you prevent it?

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the Plantar Fascia. The plantar fascial is a thick band of tissue that runs along your heel to the middle of your foot bone.  The purpose of this Plantar fascia is to support the arch of your foot as well as acting as a shock absorber. When this tissue becomes inflamed, usually over a period of time, you begin to experience a lot of pain in the heel of your foot.

This is a fairly common condition with around 10% of the population experience Plantar Fasciitis at some point in their lives. As this is a condition that usually develops over a long period of time, most cases are within the 40+ age group.

What causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is usually the result of repetitive strain, injury or weight overload on the fascia. As this fascia starts to swell, this stress has a greater impact ultimately resulting in pain. We all put a lot of stress on our feet but if you walk a lot, stand in one position for long periods of time and/or run frequently, you are more likely to experience such a condition.  Other causes include being overweight, wearing shoes with poor support or having a tight Achilles tendon. 

 

Image Credit: Lucien Monfils

How do I know if I have Plantar Fasciitis?

Any sort of pain under your heel can be an indicator especially when trying to walk after long periods of rest. If you are unsure, it’s best to get a professional opinion from your GP or Podiatrist. Any sort of pain in your feet is not normal so even if you have your doubts as to whether this is Plantar Fasciitis, there is most likely some underlying problem.

Your GP/Podiatrist will examine your feet and if they believe you may have Plantar Fasciitis, will take a closer look using X-rays.

What is the cure for Plantar Fasciitis?

Quite often, pain will ease over a period of time with less stress and pressure on the foot. You will usually be given Ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory) and cream to use for a few weeks and symptoms will gradually ease. Ice packs can also help with the swelling while gentle exercises that stretch the Achillies tendon and Plantar Fascia can also help.

In more extreme cases, injections, therapy or surgery may be required. Getting your condition checked as soon as you are experiencing symptoms will dramatically reduce the need for this treatment.

 

How can I prevent Plantar Fasciitis?

The easiest way to prevent Plantar Fasciitis is to limit the pressure on the fascia and achillies tendon. Try to work on your balance to ensure weight is distributed evenly across the foot, wear comfortable, supportive running shoes and change your shoes up regularly. Practicing gentle stretching exercises is also a great preventative measure.

As always, I hope this was an informative and valuable post. If you did enjoy the post, I would be delighted if you liked, shared and commented below.

If you would like to chat about Plantar Fasciitis or any lower limb/ foot related issues, feel free to [mantra-button-color url=”#” color=”#47AFFF”]Contact Me [/mantra-button-color] at anytime.

Until next time, have a great day!

Chloe Forbes-Kindlen
What Is Gout?

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that results in recurrent inflammation attacks on the joint caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals in the affected joint. It is most commonly associated with the big toe but it can occur in your elbows, hands, wrists, knees, feet and ankles. As a result of poor diet, longer life expectancy and other medical conditions, as much as 1% of the population suffers from Gout.

What are the symptoms of Gout?

If you have gout, you will notice the joint swells up. It will be red, stiff and tender. The surrounding area will be hot and the skin may start to peel. As your body tries to fight off the symptoms of Gout, you may also feel a light fever, which is completely normal. This type of arthritis is acute and can happen fairly quickly.

What causes Gout?

There are a number of factors that can result in a Gout attack. Gout is most commonly found in men aged 30-60 but it can happen to anyone. As mentioned, Gout is the result of too much uric acid, a chemical we all have in our body. Uric acid is a waste product formed from purines, usually found in foods we eat, that are broken down. Normally, this uric acid passes through your Kidneys and out through your urine. However, if you have too much uric acid in the blood, it forms into tiny crystals that collect in and around your joints. This results in the inflammation, stiffness and pain you experience.

There are other factors impacting your likeliness of getting Gout such as your genetics, other health problems, obesity and the actual diet you eat. For example, high purine food such as beer and meat as frequent diet choices can cause Gout.

What to do if you think you have Gout?

Always, always, always visit your Doctor. The sooner you can get this checked out, the sooner you will be treated and the less likely your condition will worsen. Your Doctor will examine you and ask about some of the symptoms. They will then take a little sample to test the uric acid levels. If necessary, further tests will be taken to rule out any other possibilities.

Usually Gout will clear up in a couple of weeks and treatment can range from improved diet to taking Ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory), Therapy or an injection. If there is a lot of swelling, your Doctor may also drain the fluid to offer some relief. If Gout returns, you may require additional treatments to prevent this in the future.

I hope you found this a useful post. If there are any topics you would like me to cover, send me an email, comment below or contact me through Social Media. If you think you might have Gout and want to chat or schedule an appointment, that’s fine too!

Until next time, have a great day!

LD 

Chloe Forbes-Kindlen
7 Steps To Fit Feet

Isn’t it funny how we are so conscious of keeping our bodies healthy but often forget about one of the most important parts, our feet? We rely on our feet every single day yet we rarely consider the impact our busy schedules are having on our poor soles. Today, I wanted to share some quick tips for giving your feet some TLC.

1. Are your feet sore?

Ok, Ok, I know this is an obvious one but so many people are suffering from sore toes, sore feet, and sore ankles but don’t consider getting them checked out. It is possible you are suffering from an underlying condition that needs treatment so if you are in pain, call your Podiatrist or your GP.

2. Massage Your Feet

That’s right, get that moisturizer out and give those feet a good rub to relax all those muscles that have been working all day. Better yet, get your other half to do it for you This allows your feet to recover from the exercise and walking around you have done that day (especially for the ladies in heels) and supports circulation. Remember to include your nails.

3. Remember your calcium

Speaking of nails… it is important that you are receiving your recommended daily intake of calcium. If you are unsure, the daily recommended dosage is between 1,000 mg. and 1,500 mg. When we think about calcium, it’s often our bones, teeth and hair that come to mind. Calcium can result in dry and brittle nails resulting in higher vulnerability to picking up infections. Drink a glass of milk each day to keep the Podiatrist away –he he.

4. Soak your feet in black tea

Black Tea contains tannic acids that kill foot odour and shrink the pours in your feet. We all suffer from sweaty feet now and again ; this is a fantastic cure. We have covered this in a previous blog so for more information, click here.

5. Let your feet breathe

Feet stuck in socks or tights all day equal one thing; humidity aka the perfect breading ground for bacteria and in particular, fungi. Let the air in once in a while and your feet with thank you.

6. Trim, don’t cut

You know those annoying bits of skin at the side of your toenails that your really want to pull off? Don’t! This can rip the tissue leaving your feet/nails open to infection. By the same note, make sure to trim your toenails straight across instead of down the sides.

7. Pretty and Polished

If you are using nail polish regularly, you are most likely to be using nail polish remover too. If so, make sure to use Acetate-based removers instead of those containing Acetone or Formaldehyde. These will dry out your feet resulting in weakness and breakage.

7 Steps to Fit Feet! As always, I hope you found this an informative post. If you have any questions or comments to add, leave them at the bottom or you can contact me directly.

If you are on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, I would love to chat there too.

Have a great day,
LD.

 

Chloe Forbes-Kindlen
How Looking After Your Feet Produces A Great Golf Game

Golf is a fantastic sport and living in Perthshire, we are very lucky to be surrounded by amazing golf courses.

Which one is your favourite? (Comment Below)

 

As with any sport, there are common injuries you need to be aware of, Golf is no different. However, being aware of these injuries enables you to take preventative measures and avoid obtaining an injury yourself.

With Golf, one of the more common problem areas is the lower back. This is a result of the repetitive swing and the stress impact this action has on the discs, ligaments, muscles and facet joints of your back. Naturally, as you age, this impact becomes greater and you will need to seek advice and support from a Physiotherapist. Strengthening your core can help.

Today though, let’s talk about your feet and two things that can really help you improve your Golf game.

1.To keep your par in check, you’ve got to keep your feet in check!

Good balance is the basis of all fitness and you probably know that being balanced is going to help your golf game but do you know why?

We put a huge amount of stress on our feet just by standing and walking, if we are unbalanced or unevenly distributing that stress, we weaken vulnerable areas of our feet.  Feet problems (as a result of poor balance) can directly impact your lower back so this is something to be aware of and if you are in pain, seek help.

Good Balance = A good game!

2. Wearing the right shoes is also critical.

I know, I know, obviously you wear Golf shoes. The problem isn’t the shoe as much as it is the size of the shoe. Many of us are wearing the wrong shoe size and as a result, we are opening ourselves up to numerous foot problems in the future e.g. an ingrown toenail from our feet banging against the top of the shoe or athlete’s foot from our feet not having enough air to breath. Nothing helps your game more than a good old infection, right? Nope.

There you have it. It’s amazing how much looking after your feet can help your game but more importantly, your health.

There is one last thing to cover… the big one…

Who’s going to win? Leave a comment below and if you enjoyed this post don’t forget to like and share.

Lindsay

Chloe Forbes-Kindlen
How To Deal With Ingrown Toenail

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail occurs when the corner of your nail curls, pierces the surrounding skin then begins to grow directly into the soft tissue. It is a nail injury and not only can it be incredibly painful but if left untreated, it can lead to further foot problems e.g. bad infection.

Common symptoms of an ingrown toenail include inflammation, redness, pain and in more severe cases, there may be a foul smell as the toe starts to weep.

What causes an Ingrown Toenail?

They are several reasons why we get ingrown toenails, they include:

  • incorrect cutting of the toenail
  • tight-fitting socks and shoes
  • excessive sweating or poor foot hygiene
  • injury
  • nail infections
  • natural shape of the toenail


What to do if you do have an ingrown toenail? 

If you have an ingrown toenail that is only minor and you do not have diabetes, you can treat it yourself to stop it getting worse. You do this by soaking your feet in a basin of luke warm salty water for 15-30 minutes.  This process will soften the nail and stop the toenail from becoming infected. Once you have done this, rest your foot for 10 minutes before using a cotton bud and a pair of tweezers/cuticle remover to remove the cuticles. Trim your toenails straight across at a comfortable length (not to short and avoid cutting down the sides). Ingrown toenails occur when the nail curls therefore trimming the toenail straight across, prevents this from happening. You may also want to insert a little bit of clean cotton between your nailto prevent this ingrown toenail from growing back.

As the ingrown toenail heels, allow your feet to breathe for a few hours a day e.g. take socks off when in the house. You can where a bandage around the toe but remember to change it frequently and let it breathe daily. This should result in the toenail growing out normally within a few weeks. If not, then its important to visit your GP or Podiatrist. If you are unsure about treating this yourself, don’t. The worst thing you can do is to treat it yourself if you are unsure about how to do this. Seek help and this will be a fairly minor procedure.

How can you prevent yourself from getting an ingrown toenail?  

There are preventative measures you can take to avoid ingrown toenails. Below are some tips you can use safely:

  • cut your toenails straight across not don’t do it at an angle or down the edges.
  • wear loose shoes and socks so you don’t restrict your blood flow
  • making sure your feet are properly clean and look after
  • cream is recommended apply 1-2 times a week

And there we have it. If you are suffering an ingrown toenail and would like to seek professional advice, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly either on this website or through social media channels; linkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

As always I hope you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you liked, shared and commented.

Until next time, have a great day!

LD 

Chloe Forbes-Kindlen
How To Deal With Athlete's Foot

What is Athletes Foot?

Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal infection. This happens when the bacteria and fungi that live on your skin become infected. We all have harmless bacteria on our skin, it’s only when these organisms grow and multiply in certain conditions that the skin becomes infected.

How Do I Know If I Have Athletes Foot?

You will notice that your feet will become itchy and a dry, red and flaky rash will begin to develop. In more severe cases, the skin may start to blister and crack.  If this infection is left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body including the palms of your hands, toenails and the groin area, therefore, it is very important to seek help (even at your Pharmacist) if you think you might have Athlete’s Foot. Naturally, this can be very painful when walking. Use the picture below as a guide:

If you think you have Athlete’s Foot, visit your local pharmacy for quick treatment and relief.

What Causes Athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot is the result of a fungal infection meaning that it thrives in warm, dark and humid environments. Unfortunately, for most of us, this is the exact environment of our shoes/socks especially in these Summer months or if you are a sports enthusiast (Tip: watch out for tight trainers!). Storing our shoes in dark closets only makes this worse. Guilty?

Because Athlete’s foot is highly contagious, you can just as easily catch this from someone else. Sharing towels, swimming or even just walking around in bare feet can leave you open to a fungal infection- hence, why this is much more common in teenagers.

Taking precautionary measures to avoid these environments will help. Also ensure you properly dry your feet and in between your toes to prevent warm, humid conditions,

What is the treatment for Athlete’s foot?

The good news is that Athlete’s foot is treatable. Often, taking antifungal medication from your local chemist is enough to cure your infection in just a few days. If you are unsure, simply ask your Pharmacist and they will be able to point out the best treatment for you. If symptoms don’t disappear, seek advice from your GP/Podiatist.

As always, I hope you found this blog post informative. If you have any questions at all, please contact me. Lindsay Davidson Podiatry is also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and hope to see you there.

Chloe Forbes-Kindlen
How To Keep Your Feet In Tip Top Shape!

Number One: Dry/Cracked Skin

One of the biggest problems with feet during the winter time is dry or cracked skin. If you notice your heels are cracked, don’t ignore this. Use a good quality moisturiser daily after your bath/ shower or at bedtime. This will help to heel those cracks in no time- pun intended.  This doesn’t have to be a foot cream specifically; most moisturisers will do the trick but if in doubt, ask your local pharmacist.

Extra Tip: When soaking your feet, try adding a few drops of tee-tree oil. This is naturally anti-bacterial.

Number Two: Damp Feet

Try to keep your feet at a steady temperature and ensure they are dry at all times. Damp feet are a breeding ground for conditions like Fungal Nail infections and Athlete’s foot.  Foot pumps are out. Ensure your footwear has no holes and if they do, it’s time to upgrade.

Number Three: Party Nails

Be careful when trimming nails and toenails. Cut straight across and leave 1-2mm of nail. If you are on those Christmas nights out ladies, be careful when applying and removing nail polish especially if you have any cuts or scrapes. This could irritate and cause infection.

Number Four: Party Feet

In addition to being waterproof, ensure you are wearing shoes that are comfortable and fit correctly. This one is for men and woman. You can still look good and be pain-free. Plus, it’s a lot more fun to wriggle those toes, shimmy your feet and dance to the beat on your Christmas nights out when you’re not restricted by those tightly fitted shoes.

Number Five: Regular Check-Ups

If in doubt, give your regular Podiatrist a call. Having your feet checked regularly will keep your feet in tip-top shape and eliminate any issues before they occur. While a big part of a Podiatrist’s job is to help cure foot problems, it is just as important to prevent them. You will feel a lot better for it especially as the colder months draw in. If you are in pain, don’t complain, just give us a call and I’ll be there to sort you out.

That’s it for this week. As always I hope you enjoyed and if you did, don’t forget to like and share with all your friends.

Until next time, have a great day!

~Lindsay Davidson 

Chloe Forbes-Kindlen