Do we trim toenails? Do we correct your foot posture using orthotics? Do we remove your corns? Do we help correct bunions? The answer is a big yes to all of the above – and a whole world more.
Every once in a while, we’re reminded that for those that have never been to a podiatrist, or only had one specific problem treated, they have no idea about the number of people with a variety of conditions that we help every year. So today, we’re sharing ten of the many problems that you may not have known that we can help you with.
In-toeing in kids
While in-toeing, as well as out-toeing, can be a normal variation when kids are first learning to walk, if in-toeing persists into the primary school years, or if it’s causing kids to trip, fall, be unable to keep up with their friends or causing them pain, they may need a little help with straightening their feet. This is something we absolutely offer, using an in-shoe device called a gait plate that your child won’t even notice! This is combined with some easy and child-friendly exercises to help kids walk straight and feel great on their feet.
Foot drop describes a situation where the forefoot drops down instead of being able to be lifted up to clear the ground. This can be incredibly frustrating for those affected, causing regular tripping with normal gait, or having to lift the knee at the hip to try to compensate, which may lead to pain at the hip, knee or glutes. We use specialised braces that are lightweight, modern and can often fit conveniently inside footwear, these prevent the foot from dropping down and help you clear the ground.
Bunions describe the bony bumps that develop on the side of your big toe (or little toe!) that make it difficult – and possibly painful – for you to fit shoes properly. We can help with both encouraging the toes to straighten, as well as preventing or at least slowing the bunions from worsening. We have a number of treatments to try for this – and none of them involves surgery.
Falls & instability
Feeling unstable and unconfident on your feet is scary – both inside and outside of the house. We get to the cause of your instability, selecting the best strategies and treatments to help promote stable and confident gait. Whether it’s from years of repeated ankle sprains that have left you with chronic ankle instability, an accident and subsequent surgery that has restricted the movement on your feet, or it’s a condition or disease that has left you feeling less stable, we will work with both your lower limbs and your footwear to help you walk and feel your best.
Poorly fitting footwear
Have good shoes you love but that don’t quite fit properly anymore? Whether it’s a bunion, an altered foot shape following an accident or something else, we’re one of the only clinics in Auckland that offer shoe stretching where appropriate.
Curly and overriding toes
Toes that are clawed or positioned over one another aren’t just an aesthetic problem – their position makes it difficult to fit comfortably into shoes, and puts you at risks of corns, callus, trapping moisture between the toes that may break down the skin, and much more. We can help by creating custom devices for the toes that will keep them separated and in a better position for regular foot function – and your comfort. We’ll also manage any corns, callus or wounds that have developed as a result of the position.
Retraining your gait (the way you walk and run)
The way you’ve learnt to walk and run can impact your energy output, performance, injury risk and more. We can help you retrain your gait by identifying your current patterns on the treadmill, prescribing stretching and strengthening exercises to help with any insufficiencies, and teaching you different techniques to promote healthy gait patterns.
Managing ulcer risk
Ulcers are one of the leading causes of lower limb amputations aside from Trauma. Whether you’ve recently discovered an ulcer or you’ve had one that hasn’t healed on its own for months, we offer wound care services to manage and monitor your ulcer, and help prevent it from causing you serious complications and side effects. We debride any build-up around the wound where safe and clinically appropriate, have a range of specialised dressings to offer the right level of moisture support and will help you offload the ulcer in a variety of ways. This might be using pads with your dressings or creating specialised orthotics (foot inserts) that have a cut-out or drop-down in the precise location of your ulcer, so that you stop applying pressure to it with every step you take in your shoes. We relay our findings and management plan to your GP and any other health professionals that you request, so we all work as a unified team to help get the best outcomes for your health.
Fungal nail infections
Fungal nail infections can be difficult to treat for so many reasons. Some studies have shown that up to 50% of people who thought that they had a fungal nail infection actually didn’t – their nails were being affected by something else instead! This is why we offer in-clinic testing to confirm that the discolouration and other symptoms in your nails are being caused by a fungus. This simple test takes about 5-10 minutes and is performed by our podiatry team. From there, we can recommend the best anti-fungal treatment and teach you our tips for not just getting rid of the fungal nail infection – but keeping it gone in the future.
Foot & leg pain
Okay, so this one we know the majority of you probably already know that we treat – but given that foot and leg pain is one of the most common things we manage on a daily basis, it’s definitely worth a mention! From heel pain like plantar fasciitis, to Achilles pain, shin splints, knee pain, toe pain and so much more, this is one of our areas of special interest that we know inside out and love helping you with!
Can’t see your problem on the list?
Don’t worry! We offer many more services, including medical pedicures, ingrown toenail surgery, sports medicine and much more. Check out our range of services on our website – or just give us a call and let us know your problem – we’ll be happy to either book you in or point you in the right direction if we’re unable to help with your specific problem.
Book your appointment online here or call us on 09 523 2333
We’ve all heard how most of us have one foot that is slightly longer than the other. It may be an unnoticeable difference, or it may be half a shoe size – or more. Well, the same goes for the length of our legs! Whether it’s our femur (thigh bone), our tibia (shin bone), or tight muscles that are causing an apparent shorter leg when we walk, many of us will have a shorter leg and not even know about it. But what does this mean? And will it cause any symptoms or pain?
Today, the Perform Podiatry team are talking all about how leg length differences can cause a great deal of pain without you even knowing what is going wrong.
How limb length differences cause you pain
Picture yourself standing straight with one leg being longer than the other. The short leg will be completely straight, and the longer leg will have to bend slightly to compensate for the difference. Your pelvis will be tilted, and the stabilising muscles and ligaments around your hips and pelvis will eventually get used to this tilted position and adjust accordingly. The muscles and alignment of your back will be affected, and the way that you walk will be affected. The longer left leg will have to perform a compensatory movement when it straightens to avoid hitting down into the ground as you walk. You may hike your hip upwards or move the leg out and around as you swing through your step.
As your body compensates and starts moving and using muscles differently, your risk for straining and overloading muscles and joints increases. For those whose leg length differences are big enough to cause symptoms, they may experience:
- Hip pain
- Back pain
- Knee pain
- Muscular strain and tendinopathies
- Uneven loading and pressure distribution between the legs
How big does the difference need to be to cause pain?
There is no universal value for how many millimetres of difference causes you pain. It varies from person to person and depends on your body, too.
In our clinic, when we suspect a limb length difference because a patient has come to us with pain, we usually measure a difference of at least ~6mm. With this said, we’ve also seen patients with a 6mm that don’t experience any symptoms.
To confirm that you have a limb length difference, after identifying a notable difference in our clinic (we wouldn’t classify anything less than 3-4mm as ‘notable’), we then refer you for a scan where your bone lengths will be measured radiographically. You’ll receive the precise difference in limb length, and this will help to direct your treatment.
What can be done to help painful leg length differences?
Treating a leg length difference includes both helping to correct the difference, and treating any problems that it has already caused. We start with a comprehensive biomechanical assessment to find out exactly what muscles have been affected so that we know how to best direct your treatment.
We often use custom-prescribed orthotics to help correct the difference by adding a raise to the orthotic for the shorter leg. This helps to equalise the leg length when wearing the orthotics and bring the pelvis and joints back into alignment. We can also make modifications to your shoes to add height to the shoe on the shorter leg.
We’ll then work to help rehabilitate any painful and strained muscles that have become damaged because of the leg length difference. Our goal is to help you stay healthy, happy and pain-free not just now but also for the years to come.
To book an appointment with one of our experienced Podiatrist, you can call us on 09 523 2333 or book online here. We’re located at the One Health building on Remuera Road, just up from Broadway, Newmarket.