My most asked questions as a Podiatrist

My most asked questions as a Podiatrist

Alexa answers your top 5 questions 

We see thousands of patients in clinic every year. From children, to athletes, to our elders, we’ve seen it all.

But have you ever wondered what we get asked?

As part of our brand new Q&A, this series gives you practical advice and tips on prevention and pain management, as well as a glimpse of life behind the clinic curtain! 

Kicking off our first Q&A is Podiatrist, Alexa who shares her most commonly asked questions in clinic since joining us earlier this year.

1. Is it a heel spur? Is it plantar fasciitis? 

A long time ago it was thought the cause of heel pain was from a ‘heel spur’, where there was a bony growth in the heel that caused pain with each step. This then progressed to ‘plantar fasciitis’ where there was believed to be inflammation of the plantar fascia (tissue from the sole of the heel to the toes). These days we refer to this as plantar fasciopathy, where it is believed that recurrent tissue stress leads to low level inflammation and degeneration of the plantar fascia. Symptoms include pain on the heel or sole of the foot with the first few steps in the morning and after rest, which dissipates when warmed up. 

The first thing you can do at home is make sure you’re wearing supportive shoes, gel heel cups and stretch your calf muscles. If pain persists with these changes, it’s important to see a Podiatrist for treatment as plantar fasciopathy can last for 12 months.

2. When I have pain in my feet, why doesn’t it go away when I rest?

There are some injuries where rest is really important – think stress fractures or muscle tears. However, most soft tissue injuries, such as tendon injuries (Achilles tendon and ‘shin splints’) will often not improve or may even get worse with rest. That is because tendons need to be loaded, the key is finding the sweet spot! 

Underload (rest) = deconditioning of the muscles /tendons

Overload (too much activity) = irritation of the tendon/flare in painful symptoms

The ‘sweet spot’ = mild pain symptoms, which reduce within 24 hours of the activity, which allow the tissue to get stronger and reduce pain.

3. Why did I get this injury?

Some injuries are very clear – there is an incident or ‘trauma’, however some injuries sneak up on us, particularly as we get older. Tissues in the body (muscles and tendons) are elastic and resilient when they are loaded, however sometimes we increase the demands (load) on our body, without allowing the body time to rest and adapt before we increase this load again.

This repeated increase can cause low level inflammation and degeneration of tissue, which over time may lead to pain. 

If you trained consistently for 6 months and could do a 20KG bicep curl, then didn’t go to the gym for 3 months, you wouldn’t go back to the gym and start trying to do 20KG bicep curls because you know you might injure yourself and be sore. It’s the same for our feet and legs!

4. Is it a verruca or is it a corn?

It is common to confuse a corn and verruca but here are some tips on how to differentiate between the two. A corn is a hard piece of skin with a glass like appearance, which will hurt when direct pressure is applied. A verruca often has a cauliflower-like appearance sometimes with little black dots and is sore when squeezed from the sides. 

Both conditions are treated by a Podiatrist. Corns are very easily removed using a scalpel, but will return over time if the pressure that caused the corn to form in the first place is not addressed.

A verruca is a virus that is often picked up in public areas (e.g. swimming pools) and requires a number of treatments using cryotherapy, strong acids or needling procedures to clear the verruca.

5. How did I get a fungal nail infection?

Fungal infections are spread through fungal spores in public settings, e.g. nail spas, swim pools, public bathrooms. Usually there is a fungal infection of the skin, called tinea pedis (athlete’s foot), which thrives in damp, dark and warm environments (inside our shoes).

If left untreated, the fungal infection can then spread to the nail, which may appear with white powdery spots or yellow-brown discolouration of the nail. It’s important to treat this ASAP, as the longer you leave the infection the harder it will be to treat it in the long term.  

A final word of advice…

Visit a podiatrist for regular check-ups, especially if you notice any changes or experience foot pain. Early intervention can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems.

Our feet play an important role in our overall health. By paying attention to foot health, we can prevent a host of other health issues, maintain our mobility and independence, and improve our quality of life. Remember, happy feet make for a happier, healthier you! 

 Take a step towards a healthy, active life by giving your feet the care and attention they deserve. 

Visit our booking page or call our team on 020 7381 6682 to book your appointment in our Fulham or Putney clinics today.

 

We are here to help you to #TakeSteps

  • To an active recovery following injury
  • To active, healthy feet for your family
  • To a personal best
  • To an Active Life

Why Foot Health Matters 

Why Foot Health Matters 

The Importance of Foot Health in Overall Health

When we think about health and wellness, we often think about our physical and mental health. However, there’s a crucial aspect that often goes overlooked – our feet. 

Our feet are like the foundations of our body, and taking care of them can have profound impacts on our overall health.

Why Foot Health Matters

Mobility and Independence

Our feet are often our primary means of getting around. Healthy feet allow us to walk, run, and engage in a wide array of physical activities. When our feet are in pain or not functioning properly, it can severely limit our mobility. This can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, which is associated with numerous health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Keeping our feet healthy helps maintain our independence and ability to move freely.

Posture and Balance

The condition of our feet affects our posture and balance. Poor foot health can lead to issues such as misalignment, which can cause pain in other parts of the body, including the knees, hips, and back. Conditions like flat feet or high arches can alter the way we walk and stand, leading to an uneven distribution of weight and additional stress on our joints and muscles.

Early Detection of Health Issues

The feet can be a window into our overall health. Many systemic diseases manifest initial symptoms in the feet. By paying attention to changes in our feet, we can detect and address these health problems early.

Preventing Chronic Pain

Foot problems like plantar fasciitis, bunions, and Achilles tendonitis can cause chronic pain. This pain can lead to altering our gait or posture to avoid discomfort. These changes can result in additional problems and pain in other parts of the body. Addressing foot issues promptly can prevent this domino effect of pain and discomfort.

Common Foot Problems and Prevention

Understanding common foot problems and how to prevent them is crucial for maintaining good foot health.

  • Bunions: These are bony bumps that form on the joint at the base of the big toe. They can be managed, and following our advice on footwear/orthoses and special exercises we can reduce the problems this common condition can lead to.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: This condition causes pain in the heel and is often due to biomechanical issues that cause repeated micro trauma to the plantar fascia. Our custom orthoses / insoles, footwear advice and exercises for the feet and legs can help treat this painful condition and reduce the risk of recurrence. 
  • Athlete’s Foot: This fungal infection thrives in warm, moist environments. Keeping feet dry, changing socks regularly, and using anti-fungal sprays and creams can help prevent and treat this common issue.

Tips for Healthy Feet

Choose the Right Footwear

Wear shoes that fit well and provide adequate support. Avoid high heels and narrow shoes that squeeze the toes. Opt for shoes with good arch support and cushioning.

Maintain Good Hygiene

Wash your feet daily, dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes, and trim your toenails straight across to prevent ingrown toenails.

Keep Your Feet Moisturised

Dry, cracked skin can lead to infections. Use a good foot moisturiser, but avoid applying it between the toes to prevent fungal infections.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise improves circulation to your feet. Activities like walking, stretching, and strengthening exercises can keep your feet flexible and strong.

Regular Check-Ups

Visit a podiatrist for regular check-ups, especially if you notice any changes or experience foot pain. Early intervention can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems.

Our feet play an important role in our overall health. By paying attention to foot health, we can prevent a host of other health issues, maintain our mobility and independence, and improve our quality of life. Remember, happy feet make for a happier, healthier you! 

 Take a step towards a healthy, active life by giving your feet the care and attention they deserve. 

Visit our booking page or call our team on 020 7381 6682 to book your appointment in our Fulham or Putney clinics today.

 

View our services or head over to the booking page to book your appointment today.

We are here to help you to #TakeSteps

  • To an active recovery following injury
  • To active, healthy feet for your family
  • To a personal best
  • To an Active Life

A Podiatrist’s guide to choosing the right running shoes 

A Podiatrist’s guide to choosing the right running shoes 

Choosing the right running shoes is essential for comfort, performance and injury prevention. There are many things to consider including your running surface (for example cross-country versus pavement or trail running) and distance can also play a factor too.

With so many choices available, it can be overwhelming and hard to know where to start. 

We’ve put together these handy tips to consider when you’re buying your next pair of running trainers.

1. Understand your foot type

Your first step is to book a running assessment with us. We will determine if you have a neutral, overpronation, or underpronation (supination) foot type and advise on the best type of running shoe and cushioning for you. 

We do this by observing your gait and form n the clinic with 3D technology to track your movements on our treadmill.

Book your gait analysis here.

2. Lean into expert advice 

Be fussy and take your time when choosing running shoes. The experts in running shoes at your local store can guide you to the right pair based on your needs and running style.

3. Try on shoes later in the day

This will ensure the fit is right and accounts for any foot swelling. 

Different socks can affect how the shoes feel so stick to your usual pair for an accurate assessment.

4. Use the ‘thumb-width’ rule

Aim for a finger’s width between your longest toe and the shoe end. This prevents cramping, nail damage and allows natural foot movement.

5. Don’t skip local retails for online deals

Supporting local keeps expertise alive and you’ll often get a much better service. Cheap, online deals may seem tempting but local shops provide invaluable knowledge for your foot health. 

Shopping local also supports the community, creates jobs and often has a smaller environmental impact. 

There are plenty of great local retailers near Active Life Poditry’s clinic in Fulham and Putney. Or, if you’re venturing a little further out – give our friends at Up and Running in Richmond a visit. Active Life Podiatry customers will get 10% off in-store by quoting ALP10

Book your gait analysis as a standalone assessment or an add-on to your routine appointment by calling our team on 020 7381 6682

 

View our services or head over to the booking page to book your appointment today.

We are here to help you to #TakeSteps

  • To an active recovery following injury
  • To active, healthy feet for your family
  • To a personal best
  • To an Active Life

#WalkThisMay for National Walking Month

#WalkThisMay for National Walking Month

#WalkThisMay for National Walking Month

Now the evenings are a little lighter and the days a little longer, it’s the perfect time to get outside and in nature for a walk. 

Walking is not only great for your overall health, but did you know it’s also great for your foot health?

Here’s just a few reasons why:

  • It strengthens the bones and muscles in your feet and ankles 
  • It supports and increases flexibility in your muscles, tendons and ligaments 
  • It gets the blood pumping around your body, helping oxygen flow and increasing your circulation 
  • Oddly enough, walking can actually reduce swelling in the lower limbs (although please do check with your Podiatrist first) 
  • It’s great for a lower limb workout. Walking activates your calves, glutes, hamstrings and quads
  • If you suffer with gout, walking can help reduce pain caused by uric acid build up
  • Regular walking helps maintain a healthy weight and relieves stress on your lower limbs 

How to make the most out of your walks:

  • Make sure you wear comfortable, supportive shoes. Don’t forget, we make our orthotics on site so can tailor your shoes to your specific needs and return them quicker than most places 
  • Pain when walking is not normal – if this is happening to you, please get in touch with our team and we can help
  • If you’re taking part in a sponsored walk for charity as part of National Walking Month, let us know! Active Life will sponsor our patients £10 to help you on your way. 
  • So many of us are deficient in Vitamin D, so walking in daylight will help your natural exposure. Go get your daily dose! 

 Don’t forget to tag us on your walks @activelifepodiatry using #WalkThisMay 

If you’re in pain, don’t wait. Get in touch and we’ll get you back to an active life. 



 

Experts in movement and the treatment of foot pain and problems, Active Life Podiatry will get you back on your feet again.

#TakeSteps to look after your feet

Active Life have invested in high-tech specialist equipment and combined with their expert knowledge and technology can provide useful advice on your personal running style and how to improve.
Activate your personal best

Activate your personal best

Activate your personal best

We have two clinics, our flagship in Parsons Green and our second clinic in Fulham. Lots of our patients are keen runners and many enjoy the challenge of local running clubs and races.

We’ve helped thousands of patients overcome injury and get back on their feet, as well as supporting many on their performance journey; with biomechanical assessments, gait analysis and more.

Will this be the year your activate your personal best?

We’ve shared a few of our favourite races and running clubs, but there a lots more available. If you’d like to add your favourite to the recommendations, please email us at info@alpodiatry.co.uk

 

Join a running club

Whether you’re looking for a serious sweat, scenic river runs or a light jog to a different coffee shop, we’re spoilt for choice in the Fulham, Putney and surrounding areas.

Clubs have members of all speeds and abilities, so you’ll always be able to find someone at a similar ability or just a little bit faster to work towards. Even if you don’t want to enter races, simply improving your fitness and being a part of something is a great way to stay active.

Spending time with people that share your goals can be hugely motivating and help foster great new friendships.

Our top picks:

 

Running in a race

There’s nothing like a hard deadline to get you motivated! Whether you’re a first time runner or an esteemed athlete – there’s a race for you.

If you’re in a running club already, you’ll more than likely be taking part in races with people you already know so you’ll have you’re you’ll own personal squad of cheerleaders.

Here are our top picks for upcoming local races:

February

March

April

May

June

September

 

Whether it’s a biomechanical assessment and gait analysis or a pain management plan, our experts are on hand to help. You don’t have to go fast, you just have to go. Let us help you get there.

#TakeSteps to look after your feet

Active Life have invested in high-tech specialist equipment and combined with their expert knowledge and technology can provide useful advice on your personal running style and how to improve.