Achilles Tendonitis occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed. The Achilles tendon joins your calf muscle to the heel bone. When a person is walking and running the Achilles tendon aids in lifting the heel from the ground. Athletes are more prone to this injury because excessive, repetitive activities — like running — can overuse the tendon. Injury can also manifest in individuals who have large amounts of stress acting on their feet. Standing for hours on end, too much pronation (flattening of the arch in the foot) and an increase in physical activity may also contribute to the development of Achilles Tendonitis. The first symptom of inflammation in the Achilles is typically mild discomfort around the region. As the condition progresses, other symptoms include:
Tenderness when the sides are squeezed
The assistance of a podiatrist is important in the treatment of Achilles tendonitis. Initially, they can assist in confirming your diagnosis and assess the extent of the damage. Your podiatrist will then determine how long the injury should to take to heal. Podiatrists can use a number of treatment techniques to assist in reducing the pain and enhance the healing rate of the injured structures. This will facilitate your return to activity and sport, and limit negative long-term effects.
Your podiatrist will be able to design a treatment plan to assist in alleviating the pain and to heal the tendon. f Achilles Tendonitis is not treated, the condition could worsen to Achilles Tendonosis, which is the degeneration of the tendon and can take longer to overcome.
Ankle ligaments connect the bones of the leg to the bones of the feet. When one of these ligaments sustains damage, it is commonly referred to as an ankle sprain. Sprained ankles are common among athletes. Any movement that puts the ankle in an abnormal position, particularly twists or falls, may cause an ankle sprain. When participating in athletic activities it is important to wear correct footwear because poor quality or inappropriate shoes may lead to this type of injury. Indications you may have a sprain include pain or soreness of the ankle. Other symptoms include:
Swelling or bruising
The assistance of a podiatrist is important in the treatment of ankle injuries. Initially, they can assist in confirming your diagnosis and the extent of the damage. Your podiatrist will then determine how long the injury should to take to heal. In addition, podiatrists can use a number of treatment techniques to assist in reducing the pain and enhance the healing of the injured structures. This will facilitate your return to activity and sport, and limit possible long- term damage. An effective rehabilitation program is required to strengthen the ankle, restore movement and reduce the risk of the same injury reoccurring. A combination of footwear advice, strapping and possible Orthoses may be employed to further reduce this risk.
Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are two types of arthritis that occur in the feet and ankles. OA, the most common form, occurs when the cartilage between the bones begins to degenerate. The most obvious symptom of OA is pain. Other symptoms include:
Swelling near joint
The assistance of a podiatrist is important in the management of OA. Initially, they can assist in confirming your diagnosis and the extent of the damage. Your podiatrist will then determine the appropriate management plan. In addition, podiatrists can use a number of treatment techniques to assist in reducing the pain and enhance the function of the injured structures.
RA is a type of arthritis that has unknown origins. Environmental triggers or genetics are two suggestions for the cause of RA. RA occurs when the cells of the immune system get confused and begin attacking healthy joints, causing a myriad of foot issues. Symptoms of RA include:
Rheumatoid nodules (lumps)
Pain and swelling
Similar symptoms of other foot conditions
Dislocated toes and hammertoes
Custom shoe inserts and appropriate footwear can relieve pain and assist with walking. Steroid injections can deliver an anti-inflammatory into the site of pain. Surgery may be required to help with severe foot conditions as a last resort.
Those who walk or run long distances are no strangers to foot blisters. When the foot intensely and repeatedly rubs up against the inside of the shoe, a blister can form. A blister is a puffy, bubble of skin filled with fluid that protects the skin and promotes healing of the injured area. Wearing poorly fitting shoes — or new shoes that haven’t been broken in – can set the wearer up for blisters. The main symptom is the appearance of a bubble-like, raised portion of skin. Other symptoms that may accompany the bubbled skin include:
When running or walking, wear comfortable, well-fitted shoes and clean socks. If you get a blister, wear shoes as infrequently as possible until it has healed or you’ve sort treatment. Definitely avoid the footwear that caused the initial irritation. Protect the blister with a loose, clean bandage until the body absorbs the fluid in the blister and the blister thoroughly heals. Podiatrists can assist in diagnosing the cause of chronic blisters and outline an appropriate plan to avoid reoccurrence.
Bunions are a result of structural changes of the foot bones and can become progressively worse with time. Bunions occurs due to a combination of factors including poorly fitting footwear, unstable foot biomechanics and high-heeled shoes. It is a progressive condition that may get worse if the causative factors are not addressed.
The characteristic sign of bunions is the inward leaning of the big toe. Other symptoms include:
A bump on the side of the big toe
Redness or inflammation
Pain isn’t always present with bunions. Depending on the extent of the joint deviation and soft tissue changes, the amount of pain will be variable between people. The pain may be described as an ache, and may be felt with movement of the joint, particularly at full point or extension. Activity that requires an increase in the joint motion available may impinge the joint and create painful symptoms (i.e. sprinting, dancing, and lunges at the gym). High-heeled shoes may also increase stress on this joint.
A podiatrist can accurately diagnose bunions and identity the extent of the changes. A treatment plan will be then implemented to reduce symptoms and hopefully limit progression. Biomechanical and alignment issues will be identified. Mobilisation techniques, and specific stretching and strengthening exercises are important in addressing this complaint. Appropriate footwear will be advised and orthoses may or may not be required.
Bunions will continue to degenerate if their causes aren’t addressed. This condition is often associated with other foot problems. If symptoms or the deformation are not reducible, surgery may be indicated.
Tight fitting shoes that squeeze your feet are the most common cause for toes curling and digging into the sole of the shoe. Alcoholism, diabetes, trauma, and excessive inflammation also are culprits that may trigger the condition of claw toe. Alcoholism and diabetes can cause nerve damage that weakens the muscles of the foot, causing claw toe. Certain neurological conditions can also cause weaken the foot muscles and these need to be ruled out with specific tests. Symptoms of claw toe include:
Toes that bend upward
Toes that bend downward
Toes that curl under the foot
Calluses or corns
When symptoms of claw toe first appear the toes are still flexible and the use of tape or a splint may correct the position of the toes. Properly fitted shoes with a deep toe box are recommended. Specific stretching and strengthening often form the cornerstone of the treatment plan outlined by your podiatrist. Prescription orthoses may be used to decrease pressure and reduce biomechanical factors. Toes become rigid during the later stages of claw toe and medical grade footwear is often indicated. Only as a very last resort should you consider surgery. Claw toes are often associated with bunions and other alignment problems.
Early stages of fissures on the feet, particularly the heel, involve the splitting of the skin to produce unsightly cracks. If heel cracks remain untreated, the cracks can progress into fissures. Cracks only effect the upper layer of the skin called the epidermis, while fissures begin to crack deeper into the skin, just below the epidermis into the dermis. Dry skin is the reason most people assume they have cracking heels, but increased weight, diabetes, neuropathy, poor circulation and poor nutrition can also cause poor foot health. Symptoms of heel cracks and fissures vary from mild to severe. The most apparent symptom is cracks in the epidermis of the heels. Other symptoms include:
Dry, itchy heels
Hard skin on the heels
Difficulties standing or walking
Bleeding or discharge
With proper treatment, heel cracking will not evolve into fissures. Moisturizing the feet two times a day will heal the cracks in most cases. Exercise will improve poor circulation to the feet that can help heal or prevent cracks from reappearing again. If cracks or deep fissures are persistent, a diet lacking proper nutrients may be the culprit. Your podiatrist can identify the cause of the cracks/fissures and provide you with an appropriate treatment plan.
We can study your walking pattern in great detail using a computer gait analysis system. We take a video of you walking and our special mat maps the pressure underneath your feet. This help us to work out what is going wrong with your feet and assists us to create your treatment plan.
Diabetes often affects the feet first, therefore it is important for diabetics to have a yearly assessment with a podiatrist.
In a diabetic assessment we will review:
Circulation (Blood flow to the feet)
Nerve Response (check sensation and feeling of feet)
Toe nails (shape and cutting technique)
Skin (dryness/callous etc.)
So if you are a diabetic and you haven’t had an assessment on your feet, you should call us now.
Adult acquired flatfoot (Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction- PTTD) and flexible flatfoot are conditions that may cause the flattening of the arches. People with this foot posture often describe their feet as ‘rolled in’.
When too much stress is imposed upon the posterior tibial tendon — the major tendon that supports the foot — the ability to support the arch is impaired. If left untreated the condition will worsen. The tendon can be damaged from overuse such as running, long-distance walking, hiking, or climbing stairs. It can also be inhibited by a high body mass index. Pains on the inside of the ankle, in the arch and along the tendon are indications that there may be an issue. Other symptoms of PTTD may include:
Inward rolling of the ankle
If the condition is left untreated, pain can migrate from the inside to the outside of the foot. Arthritis can develop as the tendon deterioration advances. Custom orthotic devices, immobilization casts or boots, and strengthening exercises through physical therapy can correct the condition during the early stages of PTTD. In extreme cases, surgical refera may be required to correct the issue and alleviate pain.
Flexible flatfoot shares the same common characteristic as PTTD, partial or full loss of the arch. When no weight is put on the foot, there is still an arch; when weight is put on the foot that the arch disappears. Progression of this condition will lead to ligament and tendon damage. Symptoms include:
Rolled in ankle
Your Podiatrist can provide an accurate diagnosis of your symptoms and outline an appropriate treatment plan to alleviate the symptoms and minimize the risk of progression.
Podiatrists are experts when dealing with lower limb pain.
It is extremely important that you do not ignore pain or discomfort in your feet or ankles. This problem may become chronic and cause you to alter your walking style or activity pattern.
Discrepancies in movement can have a chain like reaction on the upper body with compensation through the knees, hips, lower and upper back. This imbalance can cause degenerative changes in these areas.
If you are concerned with pain or unusual sensation in you feet we strongly recommend you see us. If you notice unusual wear on your shoes, suffer with corns or callus or have a unique foot posture, an assessment will point you in the right direction for immediate treatment and long-term relief.
Gout is an extremely painful condition that affects the joints and tissues, most commonly the big toe. It is a result of crystallized uric acid building up in the joints, causing pain and inflammation. Individuals with diabetes, high blood pressure, alcoholism, high levels of stress, or those who have undergone chemotherapy are at a greater risk of developing gout. A diet rich in red meat or shellfish may also produce high levels of uric acid that can contribute to the onset of gout. Symptoms include:
Pain in the joints
See your GP and follow the treatment regimen set forth by your doctor. When properly following this regimen, there should be fewer or no additional attacks of gout. Medications or injections can also be used to treat joint pain and reduce the inflammation. It is imperative to change your diet if it is high in red meat, shellfish, red wine, or beer as these types of foods and drinks produce excess uric acid. If Gout is not addressed, it can cause degenerative joint changes.
“Don’t worry – they’ll grow out of it,” is a common response to parents’ concerns about the development of their children’s feet or legs.
In some cases this can be true, however as children grow up their feet and legs undergo various stages of development. Your podiatrist will be able to advise you whether your children’s development falls within acceptable limits for their age, or if treatment may be required.
Don’t dismiss your child’s consistent complaints of aches as ‘just growing pans’. The reason for persistent aches and cramps can sometimes be due to poor foot or leg posture.
Beginning as a slight deformity of the toe, hammertoes are little toes that bend at the end joint. Factors that play a role in the bending toes are tight shoes, previous injuries, genetics, or an imbalance between the muscles and the tendons. Other than bent toes, the symptoms include:
Pain when wearing shoes
Corns or calluses
It is easiest to treat hammer toes in their early stages, prior to them becoming rigid or fixed. Hammertoe will not go away without treatment. Treatment for hammertoes generally begins with footwear advice. Properly fitted shoes with a wide/deep toe box are recommended. Visit your podiatrist to identify the exact cause and for advice on removing corns or to have calluses shaved. Custom orthotics can control the imbalance between the muscles and the tendons. To realign the toes, splints are often used. Surgery is only suggested for hammertoes when conservative options are exhausted.
There are many causes for heel pain, some more serious than others. Unusually long periods of walking or standing can irritate the heel and can be managed quite easily with rest, ice and inflammation reduction. Biomechanical stress from poor foot posture that compromises heel health generally needs more intervention. Replacing old shoes or improperly fitting shoes with new ones, and the use of shoe inserts can improve heel pain dramatically.
If the heel pain does not subside and is severe enough to interfere with your daily activities you have probably developed an overuse condition. Achilles Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, or a nerve entrapment are all conditions that arise from around the heel. You should see your podiatrist immediately if your symptoms include:
Swelling near the heel with severe pain
Inability to bend the foot downward
Heel pain, numbness, or tingling, along with a fever
An injury followed by severe heel pain
Your podiatrist will provide you with an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.
When an ingrown nail just keeps on coming back despite regular podiatry care, a minor surgical procedure may be warranted to fix the problem. This is a procedure that can be performed in our clinic under a local anesthetic. We remove the offending piece of nail, leaving you with a thinner nail plate.
Here at Feetology Podiatry Centre we deal with leg and knee pain on a regular basis and can assist you with these problems.
It is important if you experience leg or knee pain that you don’t ignore it. If untreated the pain could be causing irreversible damage to your joints or the prolonged pain may prevent you from completing your everyday duties. The alignment of your lower limb can be analyzed to ensure there are no abnormalities that could be contributing to this pain. In addition a podiatrist can lead you in the right direction to other medical or allied health professional’s that can provide further help with your pain or discomfort.
If you do suffer from leg or knee pain we strongly recommend you see us here at ‘The Podiatrist’ to undertake a lower limb assessment that will lead you in the right direction for immediate and long term relief of your symptoms.
Pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot, metatarsalgia, is a common symptom of several foot conditions. Injuries to the ball of the foot occur frequently in athletes who perform activities that put high-impact stress on the forefront of the foot. Diets that cause bone loss, hammertoe, high arches, and pronation of the foot or a tight Achilles tendon are just a few factors that can contribute to metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia has no symptoms other than inflammation and pain in the forefront of the foot.
Since this symptom may be associated with a myriad of foot conditions, it is best to visit your podiatrist to determine what the underlying condition that is causing the pain. Depending on the cause, treatment may include rest, ice, physical therapy and orthotic devices to offload the symptomatic areas and improve foot function and footwear advice. Physical therapy will include mobilization and appropriate strengthening and stretching exercises. Surgery is not usually indicated and only ever as a last resort
Onychomycosis, commonly known as a fungal infection of the nail, is more common than we think. This is because of poor recognition and understanding of the several types of fungal infections of the nail. The most common two seen in clinic are distal subungual onychomycosis (DSO) and white superficial onychomycosis (WSO).
DSO makes up the majority of fungal infections of the toe, caused by the same fungi that cause Athlete’s Foot. Symptoms of a DSO infection include:
A white or yellow nail
Skin or nail debris build up underneath the nail
Crumbling or splitting of the nail
Nail separation from the skin
Overtime, debris will build up underneath the nail and can cause discomfort when walking or wearing shoes. DSO can be a long-lasting condition that is hard to treat therefore prevention is ideal. To prevent infection wash feet daily, dry thoroughly, and wear clean socks and shoes. Avoid areas where fungi grow like public showers and swimming pools and nail parlours with poor hygiene practices.
WSO, on the other hand, is easily treated. WSO fungi affect the upper layer of the nail with the following symptoms:
White spots on the surface
Crumbly, chalky powder on nail surface
No nail thickness
Does not separate nail from the skin
Your Podiatrist can diagnose the problem and outline an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment may involve over the counter products and manual clearing.
In stubborn cases, we may need to work with you doctor to trial oral anti-fungal medication to eradicate the infection. It may take months or longer to eliminate infection. Steps to prevent nail fungus may be easier than trying to fight the infection once you have it.
Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of neuropathy affecting the peripheral nerves of the feet. Damage to peripheral nerves can alter the ability to sense pain or temperature and may affect muscle control. The most common cause is diabetes but poor nutrition, alcoholism, serious infections, or certain medications can initiate it. Neuropathy is a potentially dangerous condition as the individual loses their protection mechanism from pain or injury. Other symptoms include:
Numbness, tightness, or tingling
Shooting pain through the foot
Loss of balance
The best way to treat neuropathy is to control the underlying condition. People with Diabetes must start with getting their blood sugar under control. It is essential that an individual with neuropathy inspects their feet daily for cuts, abrasions, blisters, or swelling. Your Podiatrist can provide you with an appropriate diagnosis, perform a thorough neurological assessment and outline an appropriate management plan according to your level of risk. Some medications can assist in reducing the symptoms. Exercises may be prescribed to improve function, stability and strength.
Orthotics are arch supports that are worn with footwear to improve foot function and help relieve foot and leg pain. We use custom orthotics that are made especially for your feet. We choose the best orthotic (soft or semi rigid) for your problem. We take a 3-D picture or plaster cast of your foot from which your custom orthotic is made.
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a disease of the arteries that reduces the circulation to a body part- other than the brain or the heart. The main cause is atherosclerosis, which is a result of fatty deposits building up on the sides of the arteries making it difficult or impossible for blood to pass. PVD is most common in the legs and kidneys. Diabetes and infection are also common causes for PVD. Not all individuals who have PVD are symptomatic. Those with symptoms may experience:
Pain throughout the leg and sometimes the foot
Pain while walking
Achy pain in the feet or toes while at rest
Sores on feet that do not heal
Pale, bluish, or dark reddish foot color
Those with PVD must first address he underlying cause of the disease e.g. Diabetes. Your doctor will assist you in treating the relevant health factors. Begin a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious foods, staying away from foods that have unhealthy cholesterol, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight. Smoking hardens the arteries so it is important to quit. Your podiatrist can perform a thorough peripheral vascular assessment to identify the extent of the damage and monitor the progression over time. You will also be provided with important advice to minimize the associated risk factors and provide appropriate care for your feet and legs.
There are many possible conditions involving heel pain but the most common is plantar fasciitis. Heel pain from plantar fasciitis occurs when the tissue that stretches between the heel to the toe (the fascia) becomes inflamed. Common causes include inappropriate or worn out footwear, prolonged standing on hard surfaces and poor foot alignment. Symptoms may include:
Pain on the arch of the foot
Pain on the heel
Pain that hurts more upon rising
Pain that increases over months
Your Podiatrist can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Treatment will include strapping, ice, mobilization, strengthening and stretching exercises, footwear advice and often some kind of orthotic therapy. Surgery is rarely indicated.
Podiatrist’s deal with back pain and postural fatigue on a regular basis and can assist you with these problems. Poor foot posture directly effects knee, hip and spinal posture.
It is important if you experience back pain and or pain and fatigue from prolonged standing or walking that you have the alignment of your lower limb analysed to ensure there are no abnormalities that could be contributing to this pain. In addition a podiatrist can lead you in the right direction to other medical or allied health professional’s that can provide further help with your pain or discomfort.
If you do suffer from back pain or postural fatigue we strongly recommend you see us here at Feetology Podiatry Centre to undertake a lower limb assessment that will lead you in the right direction for immediate and long term relief of your symptoms.
The changes that occur to an expecting mum’s body is an amazing process and the feet are not excluded.
The load on the feet increases dramatically due to normal weight gain and postural changes associated with pregnancy. This sometimes coincides with swelling of the feet and ankles which may limit footwear choices. Not a good combination when you need more support from your shoes than ever before.
Your Podiatrist will be able to offer advice on supportive shoes, that can be adjusted with swelling, and if necessary provide you with arch supports or orthotics to maintain the foot’s natural alignment.
Reoccurring sports injuries are often the result of high repetition and/or poor technique. Often a technique flaw is not through lack of trying or coaching but an underlying biomechanical instability holding the athlete back.
Abnormalities in foot movement can have a chain like reactions on the upper body with compensation through the knees, hips, lower and upper back. This imbalance can cause increased stress and therefore injury risk in these areas.
Here at “The Podiatrist” we can assess the function of your feet and lower limbs, as it relates to your sports injury and performance, and help you return to your sport sooner and stay injury free longer.
Shin splits are pains that occur on the front of the lower legs. While runners may be most familiar with this pain, other individuals may suffer from them as well. Repetitive activities, like running, are the most well known cause, but flat feet, tight calves, inappropriate training or poor shoes may also contribute to shin splints. The repeated pulling of the muscle that attaches to the tibia causes shin splints. Symptoms may include pain and swelling along the front and/or the inside aspect of the lower leg. Shin splints may go away for some runners after they become accustomed to the activity, but for others, the pain can persist. It is important to get treatment as the condition can progress to stress fractures of the tibia. Your Podiatrist can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment will include a combination of rest, ice, massage, stretching and strengthening exercises, footwear advice and orthotic therapy may be indicated. For runners, advice on your training and running technique may also be required from your Podiatrist.
Many adults and children suffer from smelly feet. Excessive sweating causing bacterial growth is often the main cause for foot odor but it can also occur from fungal infections as well. Symptoms include:
Feet that smell bad
Infections (bacterial or fungal)
To treat foot odour check for bacterial or fungal infections. Bacterial infections occur when bacteria begin to eat away at the top layer of the skin, producing the bad smell. For this type of infection, a visit to the doctor and a prescription of antibiotics should clear the infection. Fungal infections, like Athlete’s Foot, can cause a myriad of issues that make the feet produce an odour, but can be fixed with over the counter foot sprays or creams. If none of these are the case, try the following tips. Practice good hygiene by washing your feet daily and drying thoroughly. Wear clean socks and do not wear shoes without socks. If your feet sweat a lot, try a different type of sock that lets the foot breathe (natural fibres) or change socks frequently. If the smell persists, try washing or changing your shoes.
Plantar warts are warts that appear anywhere on the foot. A wart is an area of tissue that appears thickened, raised, and is normally circular. They are normally not painful unless there is an application of pressure. Contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV) is the main reason warts develop. Anyone can have a wart, but warts occur more frequently in children and the elderly. Symptoms of warts include:
A circular area or clusters of thick, raised tissue
Pain when squeezed or stepped on
Tiny black dots (dried blood)
Warts can go away of their own accord but it will take a very long time. There are many DIY options available from the pharmacy. These can be often ineffective and sometimes dangerous if not used correctly. Your Podiatrist can discuss the many treatment options available. Treatments include: acid treatments, Laser therapy, freezing (cryotherapy), immune-stimulation therapy and minor surgery.