Corns and Callous Treatment
Callus can form on areas of the feet where there may be excessive pressure or friction during activity or when wearing certain types of footwear. There are other factors which may also contribute to callus formation.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can change the shape of joints and there is often also associated swelling around the joints in these conditions. Inflammation and swelling can become painful which can in turn have an impact upon mobility, the formation of callus will undoubtedly add to the discomfort or pain.
If these factors remain continuous there may be formation of corns which apply pressure to the deeper layers of the skin causing more acute pain further affecting mobility.
In those whose mobility is already an issue, these added problems can certainly further destabilise gait.
However it is not only these groups of people who will suffer discomfort, pain and destabilisation from corns and callus formation. They can hamper the performance of runners, footballers and many other sporting and recreational activities .
Biomechanics can help these conditions and therefore the varied groups of people. The Podiatrist will carry out a thorough and systematic assessment looking at alignment, muscle flexibility, joint range of motion, gait and more in order to gain a deeper insight into the possible cause of gait type and ultimately the formation of callus and corns. The information gained can then be used to determine what type of exercise regime might be beneficial and also what type of orthotics will help to improve the way that the feet work.
Contact us to book your biomechanics assessment now and take control of your foot issues.
Unpredictable, sometimes painful, can be unsightly, can spread to other parts of the feet and sometimes to other people. All good reasons to have verrucae treated by a professional.
Verruae are the result of a viral infection of the skin. Medical advice may be to leave them alone and they may resolve without intervention once the body produces its own defence against them. It is not possible to say how long that will take, however, your Podiatrist can offer treatment and advice options which can help to resolve them.
Diabetic Foot Assessment
A growing number of the population are living with diabetes.
Diabetes can have a profound effect on the body if it is not kept under control. However, with the right advice on medication, exercise and diet and lifestyle changes this does not have to be daunting or out of reach.
As a diabetic, you soon learn to notice the warning signs of blood sugar levels dropping too low or becoming too high.
It is also extremely important to recognise the effect that diabetes may be having on your feet as early detection of potential problems is essential to resolving issues and preventing escalation of these issues.
Your Podiatrist can help keep your feet in tip top condition. We will assess your circulation and sensitivity to pressure and other sensations. This is something that should really be carried out two or three times a year in order to make sure everything is working well.
We will also give you extensive advice on how to care for your feet and how to prevent potential problems from starting in the first place. Footwear advice is also extremely important in the prevention of issues.
For comprehensive treatment and advice on exercise, lifestyle, diet and treatment and advice on caring for your feet book an appointment soon.
Complex Conditions which affect Feet
Conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can have a profound effect on the bones of the body. They can impact the feet in particular due to the demands placed on them. Walking results in high pressure being placed on different parts of the foot at different points in the gait cycle. If these areas are also affected by disease they will not be able to overcome the stress placed on them very easily and this can lead to lasting issues.
As Podiatrists we can help by advising on footwear, orthotics, exercises, the use of creams and providing treatment to help reduce pain and improve quality of function thereby allowing you to get more enjoyment out of day to day activities.
Nail Problems Examined
Over the course of time nails can become damaged due to trauma. This can be direct trauma such as dropping a heavy object on the toe or it could be chemical for example certain types of nail polish or nail enhancement treatments.
Once there has been damage to the growing part of the nail it can be very difficult to reverse. The resulting growth may be irregular and thickened and unsightly. Damaged nails are also more likely to develop fungal infections which further distort and discolour the nails. The irregularity of the nails may also make them uncomfortable or even painful.
We as Podiatrists can help greatly in the management of problematic nails and can actually help to improve them with our treatment. We can also advise on treatment of fungal infections which when treated by us will also improve over time.
Ingrowing Toe Nails
Nails can change shape at any point for a multitude of reasons and this can result in an acutely painful toe. Ingrowing nails can be very painful indeed as a portion of the nail embeds itself into the side of the toe. As it grows further in the area around it becomes swollen and inflamed and quite often you will see a discharge coming from the area. In most cases intervention is necessary. The Podiatrist may recommend a surgical procedure which they will explain in great depth. A detailed medical history will also be taken. This is a procedure which would have to be planned in order to ensure a good outcome and also as time is needed for the initial healing to take place. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the area.
One thing is for certain, the outcome is definitely worth the short amount of time allowed for the procedure and healing.
This procedure can also be used to remove nails which are very badly damaged and painful.
Many conditions relating to the feet can be explained by biomechanics, issues relating to not just the feet but further up. So, they could be due to changes within the spine, hips , knees or ankles. Posture will also have a profound effect on pressure changes on different area of the feet. The joints in our feet are designed to accommodate the body’s weight for a certain amount of time during the gait cycle. When this balance changes, problems may start to materialise. You may find some hard skin starts to develop, corns may develop. Sometimes the area may become painful and inflamed.
Biomechanical assessment can help to determine where in the body the issue is centred around, we can then formulate a plan of treatment which would include an exercise regime to increase flexibility, strength and movement. It would also include footwear advice and orthotics which will help to improve the way in which the feet function.
A combination of compliance and monitoring of the condition can help considerably in improving the condition and reducing pain.
So why not book an assessment soon!
Childrens Foot and Gait Issues
As children develop many changes take place. The shape and sizes of bones change with growth and with that the foot shape and the way it functions also changes.
Children are individuals – as are adults- and therefore develop at different rates. The changes that take place are also therefore very individual. As a result treatment plans for each young patient is tailored to their needs. In some cases it may be necessary to refer on to other health professionals depending upon the treatment required.
Advice with regards to footwear, orthotics and exercise all form part of the treatment plan.
Orthotics and insoles
As has been mentioned, orthotics can benefit a very wide range of foot issues.
Orthotics have the benefit of improving the way in which the foot works as it gently realigns joints. We carry out a detailed assessment before issuing orthotics and ensure that adjustments are made taking into account the issues that an individual presents with. As a biomechanics assessment will have been carried out beforehand, these issues will have come to light. Exercises will also be issued with extensive advice as to how the orthotics should be used.
We also offer insoles which provide comfort and accommodate foot issues which for reasons cannot be altered. These would also be adjusted to suit the issues of the individual therefore providing comfort and pain relief.
Improving the Health and the Aesthetic Appearance of your Feet
As the foot health professionals we have the expertise and the knowledge to back up our treatments and the advice we give our patients. With ongoing training we keep ourselves updated so that our patients can feel reassured that our knowledge is always current. This ensures that the treatment we provide is of the highest quality.
We follow stringent hygiene rules. As professionals we are very aware of the need to guard against cross infection.
Heel pain may be caused by a number of different problems; for effective treatment you need to know the cause.
Why do people get heel pain?
The heel is a highly specialised part of the body designed to absorb the shock of walking and running. When walking the stresses placed on your feet can be 11/4 times your body weight and, during your lifetime, you could walk the equivalent of four times around the world. These stresses can increase to 23/4 times body weight when running. It is therefore not surprising that heel pain is a common occurrence.
Although most heel pain tends to be caused by mechanical injury, as a result of small but repetitive injuries that occur at a rate faster than the body can heal them. There are times when it can be caused by injuries to the lower back or diseases such as inflammatory joint conditions.
If I experience heel pain what should I do?
If you experience heel pain, you could follow the simple self-care measures shown in the brown box. However, if the pain persists longer than 3 weeks and it is affecting you, it may be appropriate to seek professional advice. This is necessary, as there are many types of heel pain, each with different causes and sometimes requiring quite different forms of treatment.
Who should I see if I have heel pain?
To ensure that you receive the right treatment, you need to see someone who specialises in heel pain. Podiatrists or Chiropodists, as part of their training, specialise in heel pain, its cause and treatment. They will also be able to determine if the pain is being caused by problems elsewhere in the body, for example back pain. To locate podiatrists in your area please see the back page of this leaflet.
- What could cause heel pain?
The following are some of the more common types of heel pain. This list however, is not exhaustive but may help you appreciate the complexity of heel pain and why specialist advice can be helpful.
Plantar Fasciitis (sometimes called plantar fasciosis)
Probably the most common cause of pain in the heel results from damage to the tissue band (fascia) connecting the heel bone to the base of the toes. It tends to be painful when you take your first steps after resting and especially when getting out of bed in the morning. Most often associated with middle age, however, it can occur in all ages.
Treatment will involve special stretching exercises and, if appropriate, shoe inserts designed to alter foot function which will reduce the tension within (and thereby injury to) the plantar fascia. Soft heel cushions rarely help plantar fasciitis. Unfortunately it can be a difficult condition to treat and sometimes it may be necessary to also consider medication.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
This sometimes feels like a burning sensation and at other times a tingling sensation underneath the heel and in the arch of the foot. Occasionally there can be loss of sensation on the bottom of the foot. It is caused by compression of the tibial nerve as it passes the inside of the ankle and tapping of the nerve will stimulate the symptoms known as Tinel’s sign. Special shoe inserts can reduce the pressures on the nerve and may be appropriate for certain foot types. On other occasions local injections of medication to the area where the tibial nerve is inflamed may be necessary.
An inflammation of a bursa (a fluid filled fibrous sac) under the heel bone. Typically the pain is more to the centre of the heel than that which is experienced with plantar fasciitis and significantly it worsens during the day. Medication and ultrasound can give relief but for long-term relief a shoe insert may be necessary.
Chronic Inflammation of the Heel Pad
Caused by a heavy heel strike or sometimes a reduction in the thickness of the heel pad, this can give rise to a dull ache in the heel when standing and walking that increases during the day. A soft heel cushion can help.
Can occur following injury, for example falling from a height. If this is suspected an X-ray would be required to confirm diagnosis and determine the extent of the injury and therefore treatment protocol.
This condition affects young children, normally between the ages of 8 and 12. It occurs when part of the heel bone suffers a temporary loss of blood supply, and as a result the bone dies only to reform when the blood supply is later restored. It is a condition known as osteochondrosis that can occur in growing bones, and one that fortunately is self-limiting, but can be painful at the time.
This can occur where the Achilles tendon is placed under more tension than it is able to cope with and so as a result small tears develop. These then become a source of further injury and gradually a swelling may develop within the tendon – this is called Achilles tendonosis (sometimes inappropriately referred to as tendonitis). Treatment will involve special exercises that strengthen the tendon and temporarily increasing the height of the heel with an insole.
Other forms of pain associated with the Achilles tendon include paratendonitis (involving tissues surrounding the tendon) and Achilles enthesis (inflammation of the insertion of the tendon to the heel). Once again differentiating between these conditions is important, as each requires slightly different treatments.
Simple self-care measures that can sometimes help with heel pain
- If the pain is associated with a particular shoe, avoid wearing those shoes for a while
- Avoid walking on hard ground
- Rest if possible, or maybe do not walk so fast
- Wear a slightly raised heel, only 6-10mm higher than normally worn
- Use a heel cushion to reduce the pressures on your heel when walking – seek advice from your Podiatrist.
- If the pain persists for more than three weeks consider seeking professional advice. It maybe more than a temporary injury.
As well as the treatments mentioned above we provide effective treatment for cracked heels, athletes foot and more leaving your feet looking and feeling wonderful!