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Sports Podiatry

The vast majority of sports involves the use of the lower limbs and as such, is particularly susceptible to injury. Our Sports Podiatrists work closely with our Sports Physicians in assessing your lower limb biomechanics, and any mal-alignment, to establish how these may contribute to your injury. The muscles and joints of the lower limb are assessed, as is your footwear and your walking and running gait.

The Sports Podiatrist uses a variety of orthotics, or splints, to influence the Biomechanics. These devices range from simple padding and wedging to supplement footwear, right through to carefully prescribed, custom-made Orthotics. Orthotic devices are specifically designed to get you back to performing at your optimum with maximum comfort.


 

Children Footcare: building the foundations of healthy footcare habits for life

 
 
Our children are precious. As new born babies, we marvel at their tiny toes. At this stage, their feet are soft and pliable. As your little ones grow, their feet will change and develop.  This is an exciting time of new discoveries, however parents may be unsure if the changes that they are seeing are normal or if there is cause for concern. Many also wonder if their children’s feet should be developing faster.
 

Often it is the time when our children start to walk that our attention is drawn to their feet. Before they get to this stage, it is a good idea dress them in booties. This will protect the feet and will get your baby accustomed to the feeling of covered feet. Some research has shown that putting your baby in a walker may result a delay in normal walking activities such as crawling or normal walking. In fact, in Canada the use of baby walkers is banned. Babygrows and sleepsuits should be long enough and socks should not be too tight as they may restrict movement. Once your child starts walking it is important that their footwear is fitted by trained shoe fitter.
 

You are setting the footwear habits of a lifetime so here are some tips to help you along the way.
  1. Shoes should have a firm sole and a wide toe box.
  2. The weather is hot in Singapore so the use of sandals are acceptable as long as there is a firm back and a Velcro strap. Jelly shoes, ballet flats, platform sneakers may be appealing but  these may cause foot problems due to poor fit and lack of good arch support
  3. When it comes to sports, footwear is very important. Always match the footwear to the sport and to your child’s foot type. It’s a minefield out there so if you are feeling lost, a podiatrist can help with foot type assessment and footwear advice.
Some foot conditions are hereditary, so if you have a foot issue, then check to see if your children’s feet look similar. Often parents get an intuitive feel that there is a problem with the way that their child is walking or running. You should seek professional foot care advice from a qualified podiatrist if you notice your child walking on tip toes, walking with their toes pointing outwards or inwards, or if your child is complaining of persistent pain in their feet or experiencing excessive tiredness in the legs and feet.
 

It is not just children’s unique development pattern that differentiates their feet from adults. Children are always on the go, they are doing so many different types of activities that can give rise to foot problems. Children are more prone to verrucae pedis (warts), corns, athletes foot (fungal infection) and ingrown toenails. Some good foot hygiene habits include ensuring that your child’s feet are washed and dried thoroughly. Special attention should be paid to the area between the toes. Toe nails should be trimmed regularly and trimmed straight across.  If you notice that your child has any of these conditions, a podiatrist is well equipped to help treat them.

Unlike teeth and eyes, foot health in kids is often neglected. This may not only lead to problems in the feet, but elsewhere as well such as the knees, legs and back. If you are in doubt about your child’s feet, do make an appointment with a qualified podiatrist. A podiatrist with a special interest in sports and paediatrics will be well able to assess your child thoroughly. A thorough check should include assessing alignment, joint movement, bone, muscle and soft tissue of the foot, leg, back and sometimes up to the spine. It is important that the assessment includes non-weight bearing assessment (sitting), weight bearing (standing) assessment as well as dynamic (walking and running) assessment.  In our clinic, we use video gait analysis equipment to assess if your child is walking and running properly.

Our podiatrist will be able to explain all of their findings clearly. Once we have determined if there is an issue and what the cause is we will set out a treatment plan to get your child back on track. The treatment plan may involve stretching or strengthening exercises for your child and footwear advice. For children in sports our podiatrist may teach parents and children how to tape the foot, this can provide support to the foot and reduce pain levels. Orthotics may also be prescribed to support the arch of the foot or realign foot position. Our podiatrist will use the findings of their assessment to determine if your child needs orthotics. For those children that do require orthotics our podiatrists will help you and your child through the process of getting used to the orthotic offering advice along the way.


 

Women foot health: The highs and the lows

 
Women are more prone to certain types of foot related problems than men. As women, we usually have a type of shoe that we like to wear, some of us like high heels while others may prefer wedges, ballet flats or kitten heels. Some women are happy to walk around in narrow shoes that squeeze their feet because the look is more attractive than wider fitting shoe. Although these shoes are uncomfortable, they do however make our posture look more appealing and attractive. Unfortunately, these shoes may cause women to walk in a forced unnatural way and will often put strain and pressure on the joints.  
Research shows that approximately half of women wear high heels and that around 70% of these women complain of foot pain as all their weight is shifted to the ball of the foot and the toes. On the other hand, totally soft and flat shoes such as ballet pumps or loafers may not be any better in preventing foot problems as these types of shoe lack structure and support and can leave the wearer with arch and calf pain too. Often ladies will not only experience injuries of the foot but the knee, hips and lower back may also be affected.
 
 
As women we are often so invested in our footwear that we have conditioned ourselves to believe that a little pain is normal. How many times have we suffered pain while we “wear a shoe in” convincing ourselves that it is just a matter of time before a hard unforgiving shoe becomes comfortable and stops giving us blisters. However pain may be an indication that there is a problem with your footwear or your feet. If you are experience pain, swelling or fatigue in your feet for more than a few days we recommend that you see one of our podiatrists. Women that make poor footwear choices may also suffer with long term problems such as bunions, corns, callouses and problematic toenails.
 

Early Stage Bunions

As a shoe lover myself this all sounds very depressing, however fret not as we podiatrists are on hand to help. If you are in doubt about your feet, do make an appointment with a qualified podiatrist. A podiatrist with a special interest ladies footwear will be able to assess your thoroughly. Our podiatrists are up to date with what is out there in terms of ladies footwear and will be able to advise you on fashion forward options. We also work with selected shoe retailers to ensure that you get the help you need when you are looking for shoes.

A thorough check by a podiatrist should include assessing alignment, joint movement, bone, muscle and soft tissue of the foot, leg, back and sometimes up to the spine. It is important that the assessment includes non-weight bearing assessment (sitting), weight bearing (standing) assessment as well as dynamic (walking and running) assessment.  In our clinic, we use video gait analysis equipment to assess if you are walking and properly. For ladies that like to run we will also assess them running too and give advice on sports footwear. Furthermore we can treat issues such as bunions verrucae pedis (warts), corns, athletes foot (fungal infection) and ingrown toenails.

Our podiatrist will be able to explain all of their findings clearly. Once we have determined if there is an issue and what the cause is we will set out a treatment plan to get you back on track. The treatment plan may involve stretching or strengthening exercises. Orthotics may also be prescribed to support the arch of the foot or realign foot position. Our podiatrist will use the findings of their assessment to determine if you need to wear orthotics. Orthotics are a good option for ladies who wish to wear a less structured shoe as they will add support to your footwear.