Tag Archives: Maidenhead Podiatry and Chiropractic Clinic

We are open! Read how we manage Covid-19 risk.

Although Covid-19 restrictions have eased, we are open, working, and taking appointments for Podiatry and Chiropractic

Covid-19 brought many changes to our lives during the lockdown. Although many regulations have been eased or lifted, wWe are still having to take measures and considerations that will be with us into next year.

As you are reading this we hope you are all well and staying safe.

The purpose of this page is to keep our patients in touch with what we are, and will be doing to ensure they can safely visit the clinic.

We are open and taking appointments for both Podiatry and Chiropractic.

The reception team is waiting to take your call

If you wish to make an appointment for Podiatry or Chiropractic please call 01628 773588 to speak to us or leave your name and number and a short message or email us at info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

What you can expect from us.

  • You will notice that Reception looks a little different.

  • We have perspex sneeze/cough guards for the desks similar to the ones now commonplace in supermarkets.
  • These stand 750mm high and run the length of the desk and provide protection for both staff and customers alike.
  • Reception is once more being used for waiting – socially distanced of course
  • You must still wear a face mask at all times while in the building – if you are exempt from wearing a facemask you must wear a face shield.
  • We ask you not to use the toilets but if you must, you must.
  • All magazines and newspapers have been removed from the reception area.
  • The water cooler will no longer be available to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
  • Your Podiatrist or Chiropractor will be wearing appropriate PPE.
  • Our receptionists will be wearing masks at all times.
  • All door handles and surfaces will be wiped down after each patient visit.
  • Where there is more than one practitioner working, appointments will be staggered to reduce the likelihood of queueing at the desk.

What we can expect from you.

  • Come in – wear a mask – sanitise your hands and wait, socially distanced, in reception.
  • You don’t have to wear gloves and there are automatic hand sanitising gel dispensers in the entrance lobby and reception area.
  • We ask that patients also wear a face mask at all times when in the building.
  • Wherever possible only one person at a time to attend for an appointment unless a carer, someone in the same bubble, parent or guardian is needed.
  • The contactless limit has gone up to £100. Most people will be able to ‘tap and pay’ thereby removing the need to key in an PIN.

During treatments

  • Appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) will be worn by your Podiatrist or Chiropractor.
  • Between patient visits additional time is now to be allowed for wiping down and sanitising the treatment room after each appointment.
  • Each room contains an industry-standard air cleaner/purifier to ensure as clean an atmosphere as possible.
  • As always, all instruments are cleaned and sterilised between patients and all consumables are disposable.

All these changes will be kept under constant review.

If you have any special requirements please let us know. If you would like an appointment then please call us on 01628 773588 or email info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

Ten reasons why your nails might change colour

My toenail is changing colour. What can be causing it?

The function of a toenail is protection of the tip of the toe. If we are lucky, we will progress through life with few changes to their appearance, but that isn’t always the case.

We all have a good idea of what we consider a ‘normal’ nail, but sometimes all or part of the nail can start to change colour. In this blog we look at how and why this can happen.

brown-black discolouration (occasionally red)

Although uncommon, the first condition to eliminate is (subungual – under the nail) melanoma. Speak to your podiatrist or GP if you are concerned. In reality, there are numerous benign causes.

Longitudinal melanonychia

This is a term used to describe a  strong and noticeable pigmented band – normally brown – that runs down the nail from the bed to the tip. This condition normally affects more than one nail at a time.

This is quite common in Black-skinned, Asian, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern individuals who frequently have benign/harmless longitudinal pigmented bands. This is due to the naturally occurring pigment cells or melanocytes that make their skin darker.

The number and width of the bands tend to increase with age.

However, the presence of a new, single – only occurring on one of ten nails –  dark coloured band in an adult could represent a melanoma and should be checked immediately.

There are additional uncommon causes including systemic disease and medication to numerous to list here.

Subungual haematoma (bruise)

Following trauma – kicking something, dropping something on the toe – blood can accumulate in the space between the nail bed and nail plate. It can  also happen following vigorous exercise/dancing when you don’t remember ‘bashing it’.

The discolouration is often accompanied by considerable pain due to the pressure created under the nail. If you visit a Podiatrist as soon as possible after the injury occurs, it is possible to painlessly drain the fluid and bring immediate relief.

Yellow/white discolouration (occasionally orange)

Onychomycosis (fungal nail)

Nail fungus usually cause a yellow-white discolouration, but occasionally it can be black or orange.

Nail fungus usually starts at the tip or sides of the nail and work their way upwards towards the nail bed frequently following trauma.It is very common for patients to report that fthe fungus appeared after damaging the nail.

If caught early, infected nail can sometimes be trimmed away to prevent spread.

If allowed to become established, treatment can be difficult and lengthy. For further information https://maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk/what-can-i-do-about-my-fungal-nail/

Some medications can also produce similar discolouration.

Cream, Dark yellow or white-yellow nails

Trauma

When nails have experienced trauma, the protective mechanism can be triggered, and they increase in thickness. That increase in thickness causes the colour of the nail to darken and take on a changed appearance. The nail will also grow more slowly.

Psoriasis

This condition can occur just on nails with no history or occurrence on the skin. The changes can be similar to, and are often mistaken for, a fungal nail infection and it is important to establish which you have, to allow appropriate treatment

Paronychia

Or infection of the nail bed. This can lead to a change in appearance as pus builds up under the nail. This condition can require release of the pus and prescription of anti-biotics, depending on severity.

Some medications can also produce similar discolouration.

Yellow Nail syndrome

This is a very rare condition characterised by very curved, transversely thickened, smooth, yellowed nails and is associated with lymphoedema, pleural effusion, and (usually) ascites.

White nail discolouration

Minor trauma

A common cause, and tends to produce small localized areas of whiteness, like white spots on the nail.

There are a number of other systemic conditions that can also lead to white nails but they are too uncommon and numerous to be listed here.

Green/blue nails

Pseudomonal nail infection

Pseudomonas infection is often found on the underside of a nail (it can also be found on the skin) which has already lifted, often due to trauma or previous infection. It is characterised by green-blue, or occasionally black, discolouration. This infection is relatively harmless in healthy adults. If you are immune compromised you should seek advice.

Some medications can also produce similar discolouration.

If you would like more information or to make an appointment with one of our Podiatrists, call 01628 773588 and speak to one of our friendly reception team.

Buying new school shoes online? How to measure your children’s feet accurately .

Have your children outgrown their school shoes?

You can measure your children’s feet yourself at home. It doesn’t matter if they are six or sixteen (or sixty), correct fit is important for anyone at any age. Read on.

When children’s feet grow, they grow quickly.

In a child’s first three to four years, their feet grow about two sizes a year, although by the time they are school age, at five years old, it has slowed to around a size a year. Of course, rate of increase varies from child to child.

You can’t currently have feet measured professionally because shoe shops are currently closed and ordering online has become a necessity.

You can take the guesswork out of it by taking measurements at home. Here is how to do it.

It is essential to get your children’s shoe size right first time.

Shoes being too big can be as bad for your children’s feet as being too small.

Of course, every child’s foot is unique, but a well-fitting shoe not only protects foot development, keeping growing feet comfortable and healthy but gives children the confidence as they work and play.

How does home measurement work?

All you need is a printable foot gauge. Click here – and follow the instructions.

  • make sure your printer is set to 100% and not to scale
  • once it has printed use a ruler to check it’s correct
  • place the paper gauge on a flat, hard floor
  • ensure the heel is level with the ‘base line’
  • make sure your child is standing with both feet taking even weight
  • measure both feet, it is common for one foot to be a bit bigger than the other
  • note down the size to their largest toe (this isn’t always the big toe).
  • repeat on the other foot.
  • for the width, cut the width measure off the right side and wrap it around the thickest part of the foot – diagonally from the ball joint on their little toe to the ball joint on their big toe
  • buy a shoe with approximately 2cm growth room

If you don’t have a printer, you can use a piece of A4 paper and a ruler/tape to get the measurements.

What type of shoe should you choose for school?

With children recently spending so much time at home and no time at school they will have been wearing all sorts of shoes, wellingtons, crocs or no shoes at all.

It will be quite a contrast but they will benefit from leather shoes that are supportive, correctly measured, and that fasten securely to the their foot.

It is also a good idea for them to wear them around the house for a few hours in the days leading up to them going back to school.

How to check if your child’s shoes fit correctly?

Once you receive the new shoes – try them on, then –

  • do the check in the afternoon as feet can swell as the day passes
  • fastened them
  • make sure your child is standing
  • ensure the back of the foot is snugly against the heel of the shoe
  • press your thumb firmly down sideways on the front of your child’s shoe to see where their toes are
  • If you can’t feel the toe through the shoe, get your child to wiggle their foot
  • With the foot firmly against the back of the shoe there should be a gap of about 2cm or a thumbs width for growth
  • check the width is just right using a finger and thumb.
  • remember that sizes vary between brands.

Finally, give the shoe a tug as if trying to pull it off. If there is a little give, but it stays on then you know it is fitting correctly. In any case, your child will soon tell you if the shoe isn’t comfortable.

If you would like more information or an appointment with one of our Podiatrists, give us a call on 01628 773588 or email info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

Ten things you need to do to protect your back when gardening

Mind your back!

As a nation, we love our gardens and spend a considerable amount of time and money on them. That has certainly been the case when national circumstances have forced us to spend more time at home. As we rush to get those jobs in the garden done, in the sunny periods between the rain, there is a risk that we may injure ourselves.

 

What everyone wants is to be fit and healthy enough to actually enjoy sitting in their garden and enjoy the fruits of their labours come summer time, so here are some helpful tips from our chiropractors at the Maidenhead Podiatry & Chiropractic Clinic.

How you can help yourself

1. Dress appropriately

  • Don’t wear clothes that are tight or constrict your movement

2. Gardening is like any other exercise; you need to warm up first

  • Don’t go straight into heavy garden work, start off with lighter jobs first
  • This will lessen the chance of muscle strain

3. Don’t twist again

  • If you have to use a ladder for any of your gardening tasks, make sure you are always facing it. Rather than lean or reach, move it regularly
  • When using the ladder, always keep your shoulders, hips and knees pointing in the same direction
  • Make sure the ladder is firmly and safely planted in position and, if possible, have someone else standing there to keep an eye on things

4. Clever pruning

  • Get as close as possible to the things you are pruning; avoid overstretching to reach the area you are dealing with
  • Invest in some long handled secateurs to reach plants and bushes that are beyond normal reach

5. Digging deep

  • When digging, try not to bend or twist during the movement and alternate the foot you use to drive the spade into the ground.
  • Raking is best achieved with short movements; don’t reach out too far.

6. Potting/planting

  • Use a mat and kneel when doing close weeding work or planting out
  • When potting up your plants, it is much better to do this at a table

7. Take a break

  • Vary your activity; spend no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing and take regular breaks

8. Be clever with the paving

  • If laying a patio keep the slab close to your body and bend your knees
  • It is sometimes better to bend one knee rather two, as your supporting leg gives you a position of strength
  • If using railway sleepers, two people will probably be needed

9. Plan ahead

  • If you are planning a trip to the local DIY store and buying heavy items, such as cement or gravel, buy smaller bags rather than one big bag as they are easier and safer to carry
  • If you do buy heavy items, ask an assistant at the store to help you
  • Shovel the contents of large bags straight into smaller containers or wheelbarrow from the back of the car
  • If having items delivered, have them unloaded as close to where you need them as possible; this will save the effort of moving them again
  • A specialist garden trolley might be worth investing in to move these sorts of materials around, especially so if you have lots of patio pots to move around as well

10. Allow enough time

  • Planned time allows you to take your time

Our Chiropractors

Our Chiropractors Rebecca Rees, BSc.(Chiro) and Lucy Steel, MChiro have nearly forty five years of experience between them, are members of the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) and are registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC).

Pain is a warning – don’t ignore it.

If you would like more information or are interested in booking a treatment with one of our experienced Chiropractors in Maidenhead, Berkshire, then please call us on 01628 773588 or email info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

Are your feet ‘summer ready’?

Summer is here and your feet need to be ready for action.

Now restrictions are lifting we are enjoying more freedom and holidays, even if they are in this country! The weather has generally been warm and sunny, and a walk on the beach in Britain is as good as a walk on a beach abroad.

If you are unsure how your feet can benefit, a great start is to visit to one of our Podiatrists for an assessment, trim and tidy. Get your feet ‘beach ready’!

Whether you need specialist care and advice, or simply removal of corns and callus, come and see us for a consultation. A general consultation can last up to half an hour and can include Doppler, sensation testing and general foot health checks.

We also offer gait analysis, musculo-skeletal assessment and bio-mechanical review as well as everything from verruca treatment to ingrowing toenails..

The blog below gives more information on who we are and what we do.

Have you ever thought about visiting a Podiatrist and wondered what they do?

Ever thought about visiting a Podiatrist and wondered what they do?

As the article suggests, a Podiatrist assesses and treats a wide variety of conditions below the knee. Anyone can benefit, from diabetics to someone who just wants their feet to look good on holiday.

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t going abroad this year, you still want to feel you can step out with confidence.Giveusacall.

Beauty is back

Once you have seen one of our experienced Podiatrists, we have some spectacular treatments to make sure you put your best foot forward for the upcoming season. Our beauty therapist, Carrieann, provides a range of treatments to compliment our Podiatry services.

For more information on the treatments provided by Carrieann, visit. https://skinsensations.co.uk/

Carrieann’s most popular foot treatments are  –

Luxury Pedicure

Treat your feet to some much-needed TLC with our luxury pedicure! Be whisked away from it all with a relaxing foot and leg massage and a deep exfoliation, plus a long soak in one of our massaging foot spas and finishing with a nail paint.

Medical Pedicure/Medi-ped

A medical pedicure – or medi-ped – is starts with a visit to a Podiatrist and ends with a visit to our beauty therapist.

Our medical pedicures are adapted to each client by our Podiatrist so they are tailor-made to suit your needs. You will receive a complete Podiatry treatment followed by all the wonders of our luxury pedicure (above)

Why do it?

Your feet feel good and you feel good. Sore feet can ruin your day, so why wait.

It doesn’t matter if you are walking miles on a costal path or sitting in the sun, relaxing with a good book,you want your feet to be at their best.

We cater for diabetics and a range of foot conditions. We are a Royal College of Podiatry accredited practice and we also offer home visits for those that require it.

Make an appointment

If you would like more information, to speak to one of our Podiatrists, or to make an appointment, call us on 01628 773588 or email info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

To make an appointment directly with Carrieann, call 01628 779909 and speak to a member of our friendly reception team.

Baby feet, shoes, bare feet and baby-grows

When should a baby start wearing shoes or should they wear them at all?

When it comes to baby feet, socks, shoes, baby-grows and bare feet there are so many questions. What is best? When should a baby start wearing shoes or should they wear them at all? How do you choose the best footwear?

At birth the human foot is not a miniature version of an adult foot actually containing no bones at all but merely consisting of a mass of cartilage, which, over a period of years, ossifies (turns to bone) to become the 28 bones that exist in the adult human foot.

This process is not complete until the late teens or early twenties, so it is crucial that footwear – when worn – is well chosen so it doesn’t compromise and change the shape of the young developing foot.

What is a shoe? and what do we mean by ‘footwear’?

‘Footwear’ in babies means anything that is used to cover the foot regardless of function. For example, in a new born until they start to stand, any foot covering whether it is socks shoes or baby-grow has a primary function of providing warmth.From a functional perspective, shoes aren’t really needed and there are more likely to be disadvantages and problems from wearing shoes than not wearing them – among them, deformation caused by a poor fit, ingrown toenails, and athlete’s foot.

When is a shoe a fashion accessory?

Manufacturers must take some responsibility for encouraging parents to treat their babies/children as fashion accessories and choose shoes on their attractiveness or coolness, rather than their fit or function.

There are exceptions of course. You have to consider the environment the child is in. You wouldn’t want your child walking on the streets or in the park barefoot, where there might be dog poo, dirt and possible hazards like glass would you? So common sense applies.

When to start with shoes

Wearing shoes at too young an age can hamper a child’s walking and cerebral development. Toddlers keep their heads up more when they are walking barefoot, The feedback they get from the ground means less need to look down, which otherwise puts them off balance and causes them to fall over.

Walking barefoot develops muscles and ligaments in the foot, increases the strength of the foot’s arches, improves proprioception (our unconscious awareness of where we are in relation to the space around us) and contributes to good posture.

The more parents know about the structure of children’s feet, the more we can prevent footwear-related damage being done.

What sort of damage?

Research published in podiatry journal ‘The Foot’ in 2007 suggested that structural and functional changes can result from the foot having to conform to the shape and constriction of a shoe, rather than being allowed to develop naturally.

And the younger the foot, the greater the potential for damage.

Not too rigid

Most children’s shoes are like awful little bricks – too stiff, too rigid, with no flexibility at the sole and too much heel raise. This is of particular concern with toddlers learning to walk, because it can cause them to bounce and tip forward.

A completely rigid shoe will restrict movement of the forefoot to zero. Kids this age should be turning cartwheels, skipping, climbing trees, running around. A shoe like this seriously restricts such playful physicality – make it less fun, and less enjoyable.

Size is important

Just as important is choosing the right size socks. Many parents dutifully check the size of their child’s shoes but never consider or know how to check the size of their socks.

How? Take hold of the toe and heel of the sock and without pulling or stretching it should meet around the child’s clenched fist. All socks should be checked regularly due to rapid growth but also because they can shrink during the washing and drying process.

Not to forget baby-grows?

Easily overlooked, baby-grows can place even more pressure on the feet and restrict growth, especially in a rapidly growing child. If you don’t want to replace the baby-grow then cut the seams at the feet to allow the feet to poke out and use socks for warmth.

…and bare-foot?

As a general rule, in the appropriate environment, whenever possible, bare foot is best in at least the first six years of a child’s life. There is no reason why this can’t extend to adults although common sense needs to be exercised with diabetics and anyone with peripheral neuropathy.

If you would like more information, to speak to one of our Podiatrists or to make an appointment then please call Maidenhead Podiatry on 01628 773588.

A guide to verruca treatment

 

At Maidenhead Podiatry and Chiropractic Clinic we are asked about verrucas and verruca treatment so frequently that we have put this ‘Guide to Verruca Treatment’ together to help decide on your best treatment option.

Do I have a verruca?

Many of us have experienced a verruca, usually as a child, or know someone who has.

There are so many opportunities to acquire a verruca from a variety of communal floors such as hotels, swimming pools and the gym.

In a similar way to a parasite, the virus that causes a verruca needs a healthy cell to infect that it can modify without killing it. The virus is quite hardy and can not only survive for months on floors without a host but can survive desiccation and freezing.

Verrucas can’t be ‘removed’ (other than surgically). Your body’s immune system is capable of dealing with them – it just hasn’t – and all treatments hope to stimulate an immune response, allowing the correct antibodies to be produced for a successful resolution.

The virus ‘turns off’ the cellular immune cascade that is a normal response to viral infection, and our treatments aim to turn it back on.

Verrucae are warts.

When they occur on the feet we call them a verruca and when on the hands, we call them warts. They are caused by infection with one or more of the 150-strong family of human papillomaviruses.

They vary in size from a pin-head to covering whole areas of the foot.

The virus infects a cell in the top layer of the skin, the epidermis. Usually the fourth layer, the stratum spinosum, the virus often enters through a tiny scratch or abrasion.

This triggers a rapid growth of skin/verruca cells, forming a harmless lump.

They occur most commonly in children and young adults, likely because this age group spend a lot of time padding around with bare feet, although they can occur at any age.

If in doubt, ask your local Podiatrist.

How do they spread?

They are highly contagious and are transferred by skin-to-skin contact or by walking across the previously mentioned communal surfaces.

And as we don’t like imperfection on our bodies, an increasing number of adults are seeking treatment.

It is estimated that the verruca home treatment market is worth over £5 million a year – despite the fact that none of them work consistently.

Is it a verruca?

Warts on the underside of the foot will appear flat as weight bearing pushes them into the skin. On the top of the foot, or hands they will appear raised.

They may contain little black dots (but not always) which are tiny blood vessels and it is normal that when treated they will bleed. Squeezing them will also likely be painful.

Verrucae generally appear in two forms, a small single lesion with black dots within the central core, and the mosaic verruca, which is a more widespread infection, often affecting both feet and is characterised by clusters of verrucae.

Whichever you have, the treatment is the same.

What can I do?

The best treatment for most verrucae if they are not problematic is to leave them alone and given enough time they will go of their own accord.

They don’t often become painful and without treatment, verrucae usually disappear within two to 18 months as the immune system does its job although in rarer cases they can persist for over twenty years.

But if you have already had them for a number of years and you are experiencing pain from your verruca, they are spreading, or you simply want rid of it, read on.

How are they treated?

Treatments are based on either destroying the infected tissue (e.g. Bazuka, DuoFilm), locally acting poison (e.g. Gluterol) or stimulating an immune response (E.g. Swift, freezing, needling) and fall into – over the counter, old wives tales and professional.

Over the counter.

The over the counter, at-home chemical treatments such as DuoFilm or Bazuka contain salicylic acid which works by forcing moisture into the tissue disrupting viral cell function, and lactic acid, which breaks down the hard skin over the infection.

The active ingredient in Gluterol is Glutaraldehyde which is virucidal and so inactivates the wart virus. Once on the skin, it also acts as an anhidrotic, drying the warts and surrounding skin, thus reducing the spread of lesions.

Whichever one you choose, perseverance is the key as it can take months to work, during which time the verruca may go of its own accord anyway.

The strength of acid used in over the counter products is only up to 24%, but in a clinic, strengths of up to 70% can be used.

Before carrying out any treatment, remove the top layer of hard skin using a foot file to expose the verruca. Remember to wash or discard the file after every use.

Even so the success rate is variable.

Old wives tales.

Old wives tales suggest duct tape, banana and others each of which may work for some people but not others.

Some of the less conventional ideas do have science behind them, others not so much. Self resolution can suggest an unlikely remedy has worked.

Professional treatment.

A Podiatrist can use salicylic acid, cryosurgery, Swift and dry needling among others.

Cryosurgery or freezing undoubtedly can work but it needs to be done in a clinical environment by a podiatrist or a dermatologist as it involves temperatures down to -190oC depending on the medium used.

Swift uses microwaves to raise the temperature in the verruca stimulating a powerful immune response though heat stress reaction.

Dry needling pierces the verruca many times under local anaesthetic to stimulate an immune response. This is thought to work by inoculating the underlying tissue with the virus prompting an immune response.

Lasers can also be used to remove the verrucae by cauterising, but there is little evidence to show this works, and it can lead to scarring

Prevention is also a consideration.

Wear flip-flops in the gym, hotel room or swimming pool to reduce the risk of infection. Avoid walking barefoot on communal surfaces.

To prevent infecting other people cover the verruca with nail varnish or a plaster or wear socks.

If you would like more information on looking after your feet or managing verrucae, or an appointment with one of our Podiatrists at Maidenhead Podiatry and Chiropractic Clinic, call us on 01628 773588 or e-mail info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

Hot feet? How to relieve the heat.

We have now had several consecutive days with maximum recorded temperatures over 30 degrees centigrade.

Typical of the UK, the heat comes on quickly, with no smooth transition, and then we feel uncomfortable for days while we try to get used to it. And, of course, our feet can feel really hot and throbbing locked in shoes while we work.

What actually happens to your feet?

As temperatures soar, the quarter of a million sweat glands in your feet start working hard. The job of the sweat glands is to make the skin cooler but can leave it damp and a little whiffy. This is often accompanied with swelling.

One of the functions of your skin is temperature regulation. Blood vessels dilate to help heat escape and fluid floods the tissues causing the skin goes pink or red – erythema. If you have a job that involves standing or sitting for long periods, gravity encourages fluid to collect in the lowest point of the body  – your feet, helping to make them feel tired and achy.

Sweaty, swollen feet aren’t just uncomfortable – they also increase your risk of foot health issues, such as blisters, foot odour and athlete’s foot fungal infections.

The fungi and bacteria that cause foot odour just love these moist, warm and dark conditions come with a heat wave.

So, how do you look after your feet in a heatwave?

Simple, reliable ways to cool your feet

At the end of your working day, you get home and your feet are so hot and throbbing that they feel like they might explode. there are some simple choices using items that can easily be found in most households.

• A hot water bottle can be used to cool as well as heat. Fill it with water and crushed ice and sit with your feet on it like a cold cushion.

• No hot water bottle? A cold, damp towel draped over your feet can work wonders.

• If you can, get outside and put your feet up on a footstool. They’ll soon feel cooler and less swollen.

• Peppermint is a popular essential oil to add to a foot spray, with a lovely cooling effect.

• A nice bowl of cold water and ice also goes a long way towards making your feet feel better.

Keep  your feet comfortable

Comfortable feet aren’t something that just  happens, you need to put some work into it.

• Keep your feet clean – wash and thoroughly dry your feet morning and night. This removes or neutralises sweat and odour-causing bacteria and fungi.

• Use antiperspirant on your feet daily to reduce excessive sweating and odour.

• Wear ‘wicking’ socks and change them at least daily. These draw sweat away from the skin which is why they’ve long been favoured by runners.

• Choose footwear made to breathe and if you are at work, buy shoes for comfort, not for fashion.

It is typical of the UK as a nation to grumble about poor weather and then to complain loudly when it improves, but sore feet are no joke. If you are concerned that your foot pain may have a deeper cause, then give us a call. Your first visit includes a consultation, discussion of concerns and the construction of a treatment plan.

Consult a professional.

If you would like more specific advice, if you experience sweaty, smelly or uncomfortable feet, then the first step is to consult a professional for the best advice and a treatment plan.

If you would like more information or to speak to one of our Podiatrists, or to make an appointment, give us a call  on 01628 773588 or email info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

Ten things you need to know about treating your fungal nail

We are open – call 01628 773588 today for and appointment.
So many people have fungal nails and become increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress using commonly available over the counter treatments. So how do you go about treating your fungal nail?
In this blog we will address infection mechanism and treatment and listed below are ten important things you should know about treating your fungal nail.

1. Generally but not always infection of a nail follows damage.

Treating your fungal nail can be a right pain in the foot.
Nail fungus is an opportunist and normally (but not always) infects following damage to a nail – which is why it often doesn’t spread to the next door healthy nails.
This is why runners often have multiple fungal nail infections because of the damage done to nails by ill fitting and poorly laced running shoes especially when running downhill.

2. You have may caught your fungus from someone else.

The dermophyte responsible for athlete’s foot is naturally occurring on most feet. It is when it reproduces unchecked that we experience the familiar itching, redness and macerated tissue between the toes and changes to the nails.

The fungus may initially been ‘caught’ or transferred to the foot from a communal surface such as a changing room floor, a hotel bathroom, a swimming pool surround, a family member and so on.Biomechanics Image
Having acquired the fungal spore(s) it can be carried in footwear for sometime without becoming active waiting for conditions for activation and propagation to present themselves.

3. Fungus loves shoes.

The warm, dark and moist conditions found inside your shoe when your foot is in it is an ideal environment for a fungus.
Athletes foot is often already present. If you see an infection between the toes it is likely that you already have it on the sole of your foot. And it doesn’t always itch.

4. Fundamental to any fungal treatment is sanitising footwear.

Think about it.

Our footwear is the only article of clothing that we wear day in day out and never clean apart from the occasional polish. Certainly not the inside.
Footwear must be treated at the same time as a fungal infection for comprehensive eradication or re-infection will follow.

5. Don’t just treat your nails.

In addition to treatment of the skin and nails of the foot, anti-fungal spray such as Daktarin Spray should be used every time you change shoes.
Wrapping your shoes in a plastic bag and putting them in the freezer for 24hrs will kill most micro-organisms and give you a head start.
Fungal spores don’t survive above 37degreesC and so wearing socks once and washing them in a 40degreeC wash will sanitise them.

6. Nail fungus is very difficult to eradicate with over the counter products.

First and foremost when a Podiatrist is going to apply an otc (over the counter) product they will remove all of the fungal nail as a starting point.
This will be done far more comprehensively than you will be able to achieve at home and is usually painless as the nail being removed is already lose and not attached to the nail bed.
This allows direct application of the product into the site of the infection.

7. Not all the discolouration you see is ‘live’ fungus. 

A fungal nail infection is like a forest fire – it is easy to see where it has been but it is only active at the leading edge and the ‘leading edge’ of a fungal infection is usually quite a way up underneath the nail towards the matrix – i.e. where it grows from.
This is one of the reasons that fungal nail tests can come back negative  – because the fungal nail clipped from the edge is dead and therefore nothing is produced by a culture.
Clippings need to be taken from high up the nail and include skin scrapings from the same place too. Get your Podiatrist to do it for you.

8. So, what can you do?

So. Having cleared the dead fungal nail away and exposed the site of the infection there is a plethora of products on the market that make various promises which should see them referred to trading standards under the trades description act as unsustainable.
Generally you have fungi-stats such as amorolfine and products which change the pH of the nail – in theory a fungus can’t grow in an acidic environment.
Neither and none appear to be better than any other, clinical evidence of efficacy is patchy and even if they are successful could take several years of assiduous application.

9. What about tablets?

Oral medication is an option and usually (but not always) successful. You will need to speak to your GP about this and they are frequently reluctant to go down that route as there can be side effects. Terbinafine Hydrochloride or lamisil tablets appear the most effective.
If you would like to read more about oral medication and possible side effects – click here.
‘Google’ the subject and educate yourself ahead of a visit to your GP so you can have an informed discussion. You will see liver damage mentioned repeatedly but this is a rare side effect (1 in 50,000 to 1 in 120,000, and if you feel unwell or fail a liver function test then stop taking them!
You will need to be on them for four to six months until a reasonable amount of new nail grows. You can then stop as the remaining fungal nail will be dead and will just grow out.

10. .…….and afterwards?

Two things you should bear in mind if you do get rid of the infection.
  1. getting rid of it does not confer immunity and you could get it again in the future
  2. nail fungus is an opportunist and normally infects a damaged nail so if in the future you damage the nail that is the time to be most vigilant for re-infection.

maidenheadso

Finally, it is generally accepted that lasers are very expensive and results are inconsistent although you will see much on the web to the contrary.

For more information or to make an appointment with one of our Podiatrists, please:

Call:                01628 773588

Email:             info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk

Visit:               www.maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk

Shin splints & metatarsalgia – a guest blog by Jeremy Ousey MSc MCPod

Do I have shin splints?

Frequently patients come into clinic complaining of conditions like shin splints and metatarsalgia.

These are two ‘diagnoses’ which are common labels used by many people, healthcare professionals, sports professionals and our friend Geena who works down the club and gets that exact same pain in her foot… We can all be guilty of it, but what do they mean and why is using these terms a problem?

Well… I’m sure we’ve all had that moment where we are laying in a dark room having maxed out on the pain killers we have in the cupboard and hoping that the clock quietens down with its ticking because it’s making that throbbing in our head feel even worse.

Then that thought comes into our head, “what is causing this pain??? Is it dehydration? Is it just a migraine? Maybe I ate something… and that is a stark reality, we can have pain in an area and not realise what’s causing it and while a migraine compared to an achy forefoot (metatarsalgia) is quite a contrast, we wouldn’t want the doctor treating our migraine like a hangover, and even less would we like him to treat our hangover like a migraine!

So why are shin splints, metatarsalgia and arthritis such a series of misnomers? Well, let’s break them down…

Shin splints

Shin splints is a term that gets used so interchangeably that it’s hard to know what people mean, but the commonly accepted diagnosis that it is linked to is “medial tibial stress syndrome”.

This being said, it can be used for multiple tendinopathies, exertional leg pain and even apophysitis (stress/injury to muscle/tendon attachment in children) such as that of Osgood-Schlatter’s.

Medial tibial stress syndrome is really a low grade stress reaction in the tibia that is typically the result of torsional (twisting) forces as the foot, ankle and leg make contact with the ground, ultimately causing a very low grade stress response (the precursor to a stress fracture).

So when its put like that, we’re dealing with a few different potential diagnoses… so if the diagnoses are different, surely the treatment has to be too? Let’s look at metatarsalgia…

Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia, when the word is broken down means “pain in the forefoot”. It doesn’t include toe pain, although the pain can radiate into the toes.

Metatarsalgia can be the result of inflamed joints, overloading of tendons, structural anomalies, arthritic changes or swollen, inflamed or trapped nerves. All of these things can cause foot pain, but the treatment for the specific condition should need to be different for each problem.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a highly generic term but in reality has a very specific meaning which varies on context.

There are various types of arthritis – osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis etc, but quite often a diagnosis of arthritis may be made based off of an x-ray due to a narrowing of the joint spaces – which is actually typical in a huge proportion of the population who are “over a certain age”.

That said, the presence of arthritic changes do not necessarily mean that pain is guaranteed; in fact, there are a huge number of people walking or even running around whose knees are “bone on bone” with minimal or no pain. Equally there are a huge number of people who have joint pain but an x-ray examination shows no signs of that dreaded “wear and tear”.

There is a real paradigm shift going on within healthcare where we are concerned about the language we use and what that language means for our patients.

Equally, there is general misdiagnosis being made by those less experienced in diagnosing foot pain, and as a result I see many patients who go through life suffering with their feet for years until they get the correct diagnosis.

Always make sure that you get a diagnosis when you see a clinician and are not given a generic condition such as shin splints or metatarsalgia… 

About Jeremy Ousey MSc MCPod

Jeremy Ousey  is an HCPC registered Podiatrist and CASE qualified sonographer.

Having worked in podiatric surgical units, physiotherapy and multi-disciplinary practices, he takes a multi-faceted and patient-centred approach to care. With a bachelors in Podiatry, postgraduate degrees in podiatric sports medicine and medical ultrasound and a masters in the theory of podiatric surgery he allows evidence to guide his treatment plans.

Jeremy lectures on heel pain, extra-corporeal shockwave therapy, musculoskeletal examination, treatment of the foot and ankle including management of ankle sprains and verruca needling.

His interests are in the surgical management of skin lesions, nail surgery, musculoskeletal and biomechanical evaluation, acute and chronic sports injuries, tendinopathies, diagnostic ultrasound and surgical management of foot and ankle pathology

If you would like any more information or to book an appointment with Jeremy then please call Maidenhead Podiatry & Chiropractic Clinic on 01628 773588 or email info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk

(Radial) Shockwave Therapy (SWT)

(Radial) SHOCKWAVE Therapy (SWT)

Radial Shockwave is a tried, tested, and well-researched treatment used in physiotherapy since the 1990s. It has gained popularity due to its effectiveness and application across a wide range of professions.

What would you use it for?

SWT is used by both our podiatrists and our chiropractors to treat a variety of conditions including those listed below. The list isn’t exclusive:

  • Heel pain – Plantar fasciitis
  • Shoulder pain
  • Tennis elbow – lateral epicondylitis
  • Golfer’s elbow – medial epicondylitis
  • Heel spur
  • Hip pain
  • Rotator cuff – calcifying tendonitis
  • Jumper’s knee – quadriceps tendonitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic tendinopathy including Achilles tendonitis

How does it work?

Shockwaves are transient acoustic waves which uniquely transmit high energy peaks used to both disintegrate and heal.

Shockwave Therapy is supported by numerous clinical studies attesting to its healing and reparative effects on tissue with over 80% success in relieving symptoms and reducing or eliminating pain.

SWT is tested and approved by physicians all over the world and used from out-patient clinics to amateur sportspeople to Olympic athletes. Also is used in rehabilitation, podiatry, chiropractic, physiotherapy, orthopaedics, veterinary medicine, aesthetics, and dermatology.

Medical effects

The high energy peak acoustic waves generated by SWT interact with tissue stimulating the medical effects of accelerating tissue repair and cell growth, reducing pain, and improving range of movement.

Some of the independent and combined effects of SWT are:

  • Capillary micro-ruptures in tendon and bone trigger repair processes leading to the creation of new blood vessels reversing chronic inflammation by increasing mast cell activity
  • Collagen production is stimulated by accelerated procollagen synthesis
  • Breaking down of calcium build-up in calcific disorders
  • Dispersion of pain mediators
  • Trigger point release.

Frequently asked questions

Will Shock Wave Therapy help me?

Most people experiencing chronic pain have unsuccessfully tried other treatments. Over 80% of the same people worldwide report SWT has helped resolve their condition.

How long does it take?

The application of SWT within your appointment is normally completed in around five minutes.

Does it hurt?

Depending on the level of pain already being experienced in the area to be treated there may be some discomfort. Treatments normally last less than five minutes meaning that any discomfort is tolerable but the intensity can be varied during the session to suit patient preference.

How many treatments will I need?

This varies depending on the nature of the condition being treated and the response of the patient. Effects are cumulative, typically more than one but fewer than six visits with relief normally experienced from the first visit onwards.

Will there be any soreness afterwards?

Sometimes there may be some tenderness for a short period but nothing intolerable or limiting.

Is there anything I can’t do following treatment?

It is sensible to avoid physical exertion for a couple of days following treatment to allow healing to take place.

If you would like more information or to book an appointment with one of our podiatrists or chiropractors please call 01628 773588 or e-mail info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk

Oral medication (terbinafine) has been recommended for my fungal nails – is it safe?

Terbinafine and fungal nails

There are too many topical anti-fungal preparations currently on the market to list them all here. Their success also varies enormously and is covered in another blog. click here to read.

Having visited your Podiatrist or GP and had your nail infection confirmed as fungal, there are three main options.

  • Do nothing
  • Try an over-the-counter or prescription anti-fungal topical application
  • GP prescribed oral medication

There are two mainly used oral anti-fungal medicines – itraconazole and terbinafine. This blog will look specifically at terbinafine (hydrocloride) because at Maidenhead Podiatry we are frequently asked about its potential side effects.

Liver problems were only reported in 0.1% of patients. 1 in 1000; but only 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 120,000 were serious

What is terbinafine (hydrochloride)?

Terbinafine is an allylamine drug, meaning it works by inhibiting squalene epoxidase, an enzyme involved in the synthesis of ergosterol, a component in fungal cell walls.

Terbinafine is available as cream, gel, spray and, of course, tablets for oral administration at the time of writing.

What is the history of terbinafine?

It is used in the treatment of onychomycosis or fungal nails (as well as a range of fungal skin infections). Terbinafine has been available since the early 1990s in the UK and the late 1990s in USA, but there has always been some reluctance regarding its potential side effects particularly those affecting the liver when taken orally.

When terbinafine was first deployed as a new antifungal, the choices for treatment of fungal nails were limited. Topical treatments were often, and remain, disappointing.

Until the 90s, oral griseofulvin and ketoconazole were the oral drugs of choice, indicated for dermatophyte or fungal nail infection, but they were far from effective. Generally, they required long courses with a narrow spectrum of activity leading to many patients giving up when they experienced unpleasant side effects.

The idea of a new, modern, antifungal drug was appealing with subsequent studies suggesting it had twice the success rate of griseofulvin and it became widely used in the treatment of dermatophyte nail infections.

How is terbinafine metabolised?

As with many drugs, terbinafine is metabolised by the liver and excreted by the kidneys, consequently a reduction in function of either of those two organ systems could result in serious problems and correct prescribing is crucial.

Terbinafine is highly lipophilic (combining with or dissolving lipids) and tends to accumulate in hair, skin, nails, and fatty tissue where it inhibits fungal growth..

What about terbinafine and liver damage?

The possibility of liver disease (hepatotoxicity) with terbinafine has long been known and drug manufacturers have highlighting that it should not be prescribed for patients with liver disease. Terbinafine, like nearly all classes of medications, has been shown to be able to induce idiosyncratic liver injury or drug induced liver injury (DILI), but that doesn’t mean it will.

The causes of DILI are many, although pre-existing liver disease may play a part. In otherwise healthy individuals it’s cause and reason for development is unclear, although genetic susceptibility may be responsible. As a consequence, The British National Formulary advises it should not be used in patients with known liver disorders. For those that are prescribed the drug, they should have liver function tests before starting and periodically after 4–6 weeks of treatment to assess liver function.

The test monitors the levels of liver enzymes present in the bloodstream. Elevation of these enzyme levels can signal early changes in liver function. Tablets are often prescribed a month at a time, the next month being prescribed only following a successful test.

Is terbinafine safe?

Hepatotoxicity or liver function problems are rare but the more common side effects in patients taking the drug include

  • gastro-intestinal upset,
  • taste disturbances,
  • headache
  • rashes

Further, liver problems may not be as common as is perceived. A 1996 British study reviewed 9879 patients who had taken the oral terbinafine. Half of these had other illnesses and conditions and were taking other medications at the same time. 14% reported various side effects but only half of these were thought to be related to the terbinafine as reported by their physicians.

Liver problems were only reported in 0.1% of patients. 1 in 1000

(14 cases) of which 10 cases were classified as minor and transient elevations in liver enzymes. In addition, some of these patients were found to have pre-existing history of liver disease (gall bladder disease, alcohol related changes, hepatitis and cirrhosis).

There were no terbinafine associated deaths.

The National Library of Medicine Liver Toxicity Database report on terbinafine shows less than one percent of patients see an increase in liver enzymes in the bloodstream and most resolve with stopping treatment. It estimates the probability of developing elevated liver enzymes levels requiring stopping treatment is about 0.31% for 2 to 6 weeks’ treatment and 0.44% for treatment lasting longer than 8 weeks.

It concludes that clinically apparent liver injury from terbinafine occurs rarely, in around 1 in 50,000 to 120,000 prescriptions.

How do I decide?

Remember,

  • no drug can ever be 100% effective for everyone so success isn’t guaranteed
  • successful resolution doesn’t mean you can’t get it again
  • re-infection within 12 months is not only possible but likely
  • successful resolution must be followed by an anti-fungal regime
  • leaving a fungal nail untreated rarely causes problems

As with most classes of drugs, terbinafine can potentially lead to liver problems. However, the data from the above control suggests that oral terbinafine is safer than perhaps it is perceived, and minor side effects are far more likely for most patients than serious liver damage.

Data from studies suggest the risk of serious liver injury to be between 1 in 50 000 and 1 in 120 000

Despite its rarity, patients taking terbinafine who exhibit any of the symptoms of liver problems (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, anorexia, general itching and dark urine) should urgently be referred for further assessment.

If you would like more information , or to make an appointment with one of our Podiatrists, call on 01628 773588 or email info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

Your feet are amazing, don’t ignore them!

Don’t ignore your feet

When we are standing, running, walking and exercising, we take our amazing feet for granted. We use them in almost every activity, from walking to skiing, from football to rugby, from jogging to swimming.

What do you know about your feet?

For most of us, our feet are just something we walk on, just the point of contact between our body and the ground, but read on for some fascinating foot facts.

Animals are classified as plantigrade or digitigrade, depending on how much of their foot they walk on.

  • Plantigrades walk on the whole of their feet (such as people, bears, baboons, alligators and frogs).
  • Digitigrades walk on their toes (such as dogs, cats, birds and dinosaurs).

A biped is an animal with two feet (from the Latin bis, “twice”, and pes, “foot”).

Feet have many functions throughout the animal kingdom, not just locomotion.

  • Gannets use their webbed feet to incubate eggs,
  • butterflies ‘taste’ with their feet
  • elephants ‘hear’ through the soles of their feet, picking up vibrations from the ground
  • Geckos feet are sticky to allow them to ‘stick’ to surfaces
  • Ostriches only have two toes, but combined with long legs, can reach 40mph
  • Horses are the only animal with only one ‘toe’
  • mosquitos have scaled feet to allow them to land on water
  • crocodiles webbed feet take them from water to land
  • flying lemurs have toes that act like suction cups

As humans, we use Podiatrists (Chiropodists) to ensure good and continuing foot health. From a legal and registration point of view, the terms Chiropodist and Podiatrist are interchangeable and both or either require registration by the HCPC – The Health Care Professions Council.

The word Chiropodist comes from the Greek ‘cheir’ meaning hand, ‘pod’ meaning foot and ‘ist’ the person who practices.

The term originated in England around 1785 largely to describe ‘corn cutters’ in an attempt to separate the emerging profession from its perceived humble roots, but is not widely recognised internationally. Therefore, the change to ‘Podiatrist’ in the mid 1990s.

Podiatrist comes from the Greek ‘pod’ meaning foot and ‘iatreia’ meaning healing, thus, one who heals feet.

A Podiatrist will not only treat your feet and lower leg, but will advise and educate you on the best way to look after your feet.

Many people ignore their feet while pounding the treadmill or cross training, but they can be considered the very foundation of physical well-being.

  • One quarter of the bones in the body are found in the feet and ankles
  • Most movement begins in your feet and much like the foundation of a building they determine stability
  • Perhaps the most neglected yet complex structure in the body
  • A marvel of biomechanics
  • When feet are strengthened it increases and reinforces whole body balance and core stability.

Almost eight out of 10  American adults have experienced a foot problem, according to a 2014 survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). The poll also revealed that 25% of adults were unable to exercise because of foot pain.

Many foot injuries are due to overuse, or trying to do too much with too little support.

Toes don’t need to have the dexterity of fingers but some dexterity is important and the muscles of the feet need to have strength.”

It is easy to exercise your feet.

  • Try picking up a duster, towel or marbles with your toes and strengthen the muscles that build arch strength
  • Stand on one foot for 10 seconds is a good way to build core strength. If it becomes too easy then do it with your eyes closed. This is useful in preventing falls in the elderly
  • spread, point and individually lift your toes
  • roll a tennis ball or drinks can underfoot
  • stand on tiptoe to strengthen your calves

Feet are integral to every movement and improving their fitness can only be beneficial.

many aspects of footcare can be tackled at home, but sometimes it is best to seek professional help and advice to determine the best way forwards.

If you would like more information about Podiatry or to make an appointment with one of our Podiatrists to discuss your treatment options, call 01628 773588 or e-mail info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

Biomechanics and musculoskeletal assessment – a guest blog by Jeremy Ousey MSc MCPod

Biomechanics and musculoskeletal assessment

As part of working in private practice I regularly visit online forums for patients with common conditions – such as plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma and shin splints.

I frequently read statements similar to “my friend said I need a biomechanics assessment” or “you need to go to the musculoskeletal clinic” or “find someone to do a musculoskeletal assessment”.

Great buzz words that sound impressive and potentially complicated – but what do they actually mean? What is involved?

As a professional who does both musculoskeletal and biomechanical assessments I know what they mean to me, but what do they mean to my patients?

Certainly, when your pain is a mystery and it isn’t getting better, you need to see someone who has a special interest and intimate understanding of the form and function of the body. It can sound like there’s some mystical excitement and curiosity about the process but these assessments can provide the answer to your problems.

What is the difference between musculoskeletal and biomechanical?

Musculoskeletal assessments

These are primarily focussed on the diagnosis and treatment of a condition.

Your clinician will identify the region of the body affected and then palpate (manually explore) the structures in that area to see if they can reproduce the pain. Once identified, and depending on the level of pain, they can then test the joints, muscles and tendons supporting it to see how normal function has been affected.

Musculoskeletal assessment typically involves taking a clinical history, clinical assessment with palpation, clinical tests and may utilise diagnostic tests such as imaging, injections and trial interventions.

Conditions that are likely to benefit most from a musculoskeletal assessment are:

  • Plantar fasciitis and heel pain
  • Morton’s neuroma and metatarsalgia
  • Achilles tendinitis

Biomechanical assessments

These are more movement focussed and look at the way that your appendage/limb/body moves and functions.

It doesn’t necessarily look for the specific anatomy causing pain but the interaction of your body as a whole, the idea being that more global information can be integrated to identify the mechanical source of your pain.

A biomechanical assessment may involve the use of gait and movement analysis and occasionally force plates and in-shoe pressure analysis (however this is rarely required). Conditions that lend themselves to biomechanical assessments are:

  • Shin pain (shin splints)
  • Recurrent stress fractures
  • Tendon pain when running
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Arthritis

When is each used?

This is where science and art meet.

Musculoskeletal assessment tends to be used to inform the need for a biomechanical assessment.

The musculoskeletal assessment looks to present a diagnosis for the pain, identify what may be related to and causing that pain, and then to strengthen or offload associated structures reducing pain and promoting healing.

Biomechanical assessment focuses in on the movements of the body and how they might cause pain.

Biomechanical assessment is most effective when one gets the same recurring pain that is not due to lifestyle choices or where the pain that you get is not enough to stop the activities you enjoy (such as running) but is enough to reduce that enjoyment.

What is the outcome of each assessment type?

Well, the outcomes can be quite similar. The recommendation following either assessment can include

  • Semi-bespoke or prescribed bespoke orthotics
  • Rehabilitative stretches and exercises.
  • Footwear advice or modifications
  • Prescription medication
  • Advice on taping and braces
  • Gait re-training.

Does it matter which assessment you book for?

Only if the clinic you go to labels them differently, however the clinician that you see should be able to perform both and direct your appointment as required.

It tends to be that the majority of people have an appointment that combines both, depending on time. This allows for components of each to be used as is necessary.

My advice however would be that starting with an initial consultation with a specialist and then allowing them to guide you in the direction will give you the best results.

About Jeremy Ousey MSc MCPod

Jeremy Ousey  is an HCPC registered Podiatrist and CASE qualified sonographer.

Having worked in podiatric surgical units, physiotherapy and multi-disciplinary practices, he takes a multi-faceted and patient-centred approach to care. With a bachelors in Podiatry, postgraduate degrees in podiatric sports medicine and medical ultrasound and a masters in the theory of podiatric surgery he allows evidence to guide his treatment plans.

Jeremy lectures on heel pain, extra-corporeal shockwave therapy, musculoskeletal examination, treatment of the foot and ankle including management of ankle sprains and verruca needling.

His interests are in the surgical management of skin lesions, nail surgery, musculoskeletal and biomechanical evaluation, acute and chronic sports injuries, tendinopathies, diagnostic ultrasound and surgical management of foot and ankle pathology

If you would like any more information or to book an appointment with Jeremy then please call Maidenhead Podiatry & Chiropractic Clinic on 01628 773588 or email info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk

Thinking of going back to high heels?

High or low heels?

Now that we have had the first relaxation in the rules that will, in time, lead to us returning to socialising as we knew it, we now have the prospect of returning to wearing high heels.

At Maidenhead Podiatry, our Podiatrists are regularly asked about the long term effect of wearing high heels and it is assumed we will disapprove, but that isn’t necessarily the case. So, here is the low down on high heels.

On the streets of towns and cities all over the country, during lockdown, people have made walking part of their daily routines. Choice of shoes for the task are practical and comfortable, with modest heel, laces and good foot support.

Why would you go back to heels?

There are many reasons for wearing high heels and although they are often worn for work, many reserve them for socialising. Of course, wearing heels can make you feel good, and they can have several effects on not just the foot,

The negative effects of wearing high heels are mostly temporary if they aren’t worn for too long.

Although a modest heel helps the feet work more efficiently, high heels cause you to walk with your weight on the balls of your feet.

How do heels change things?

It is estimated that for each inch of heel, the load on the ball of the foot increases 25%. Therefore, a three-inch-high increases the load by 75% over wearing flats.

Existing (foot) problems that can worsened by high heels include

  • neuroma
  • hammertoes, callous and corns, which are thickened, tough spots on the skin.
  • muscle and joint pain.The body has to adjust for an unnatural gait leading to compensation pain.
  • tightness in your calves and put yourself at risk of knee problems, low-back pain, and even neck and shoulder pain.

However as Podiatrists we are not completely against high heels. For everyday use, shoes with heels that are an inch to an inch and a half are fine. If you wear shoes with a heel of two inches or more, limit wearing them to a few hours, such as at an evening event or a wedding.

When you get home at the end of your day massage your feet and give your calves a nice long stretch too. Also, regardless of whether they have heels or not, always rotate your shoes so you’re not wearing the same pair day after day, This will make sure your feet and calves aren’t moving in the same position for long periods of time.

But I still want to wear them

If you are determined to wear heels then there is a way of telling which heel height could be ideally suited to you – it all comes down to the shape of your feet.

Surprisingly, some women are more suited to wearing skyscraper-high, while others will suffer after mere moments with the lowest of heels.

There is a tongue in cheek way to work out which category you fit into, with a three-step formula to quickly calculate your ideal heel height. Measurement is based on the flexibility of a curved bone that connects the foot and the leg – the talus.

If the talus tilts downwards when you are holding your leg out straight and relaxing your foot, then you have a lot of mobility and can wear high heels with ease, if it doesn’t, then you just aren’t cut out for wearing them and there’s nothing you can do about it.

So how do you measure your ideal heel height?

  • without shoes and sitting, hold your leg straight out in front of you keeping your foot relaxed. If your foot sits at a right angle to your leg without dangling then you have less mobility and will be more comfortable in a pair of flats. However, if the top of your foot follows the line of your leg and your toes pint, then you are a natural heel wearer.
  • to find your ideal heel height, get someone to place a tape measure from your heel in a straight line on the floor, then place a pencil at the ball of your foot at right angles to the tape.
  • Wherever the tape measure hits the pencil reveals your ideal heel height.

This simple formula can make footwear purchases more comfortable, although you still shouldn’t wear them all the time.

If you would like more information or to make an appointment with one of our Podiatrists or Chiropractors, give us a call on 01628 773588 or email info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

Need help with your feet or back – use our search bar.

Use our search bar the find what you are looking for

Many people visit our website for help or information on Podiatry or Chiropractic.

Both Podiatrists and Chiropractors offer a range of treatments and skills to benefit their patients but sometimes all you need is to be informed.

Below we describe what Podiatry and Chiropractic are and explain many of the treatments and services we offer but if you know what you are looking for then use the search bar in the top right hand corner of the screen.

A large part of what we provide for patients is help, advice and education and this website contains information on definition, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions and all can be accessed through the search bar.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for something specific or just curious. Give it a go. Find what you are looking for in our education pages and previous blogs. Click on the search bar.

Podiatry

Podiatry is defined as the diagnosis and treatment of foot disorders; however, we assess, diagnose and treat from the knee down. We also treat warts on hands.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic is the management consists of a wide range of manipulative techniques designed to improve the function of joints, relieve pain and ease muscle spasm.

Chiropractors don’t only treat backs and can help with any soft-tissue or structural issues.

What is Podiatry?

Podiatry like many health care professions has general practitioners and specialists.

A general practitioner will treat anything from corns to verrucas and from plantar fasciitis or heel pain to ingrown toenails. We are all licenced to use local anaesthetic, perform minor surgeries such as ingrown nail removal and dispense antibiotics, if and where appropriate.

We provide vascular assessment and diabetic screening as a matter of course when requested or required. We have Podiatrists with special interests in areas such as diabetic care and biomechanical assessment and gait analysisGait analysis includes being filmed on a treadmill followed where appropriate by prescription of custom moulded orthotics together with an integrated exercise and rehabilitation program.

Seven Podiatrists and two Chiropractors trained in using the latest treatment and cutting-edge technology for a range of common conditions.

Cutting edge technology

Shockwave, which is a percussive mechanical treatment for chronic, or long-term, soft tissue pain such as heel pain, Achilles pain, hip pain and of course plantar fasciitis although it can be used anywhere in the body. It is used by both Podiatrists and Chiropractors

We were one of the first clinics in the country to use Swift, a microwave generator for the treatment of verrucas. We also offer salicylic acid, freezing and needling.

We offer all general foot care too including fungal nails, athlete’s foot, splits, fissures and infections. We also provide foot care in nursing and care homes as well as a domiciliary/home visiting service.

Contact us

Hopefully you have found what you are looking for but just in case you haven’t, give us a call on 01628 773588 and let us educate you. To find us follow the map and directions or put SL6 5FH into your sat nav.

We have our own free car park directly outside the clinic. Our premises are disabled friendly with no door thresholds and easy access throughout the ground floor. Let us know if you have any special requirements.

If you would like more information or to make an appointment give us a call on 01628 773588, and speak to one of our friendly receptionists or arrange a call back from one of our Podiatrists or Chiropractors.

And, we will of course cut your toenails too.

What is gout and do you have it?

Do I have gout?

Arthritis is a disease of the joints which results in them to become inflamed and stiff.

There are three main types of arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteo-arthritis and the less common form, Gout.

What is gout and what causes it?

Gout is the result of too much uric acid in the body leading to a build-up in the blood. Small crystals can form, collecting in the joints causing irritation and inflammation, which can be painful and severe.

Is it serious?

Apart from the severe pain that gout can cause, most other side effects of gout are rare but can include kidney damage because crystals form to create kidney stones which are known for being extremely painful to pass.

Who gets it?

1 in 200 people are affected by gout. More men than women are affected and it tends to appear in middle age but can run in families.

How do I know I have it?

The main symptom of gout is waking during the night with an acute throbbing pain in the big toe, which is also swollen. Usually only one of the big toes is affected. The pain lasts for a few hours and usually subsides not returning for a few months.

If it is more persistent, pain may be constant accompanied by swelling, redness and heat. If symptoms are persistent a visit to your GP is needed as they can be controlled by medication.

How do I prevent it?

You can reduce your chances of having attacks by leading a healthy lifestyle by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a healthy diet including what you drink (i.e. avoiding too much alcohol or fizzy drinks)
  • Making sure there is plenty of Vitamin C in your diet.

What are the treatments?

Gout can be controlled and regulated with anti-inflammatory drugs, which your GP will be able to prescribe, and these will alleviate the attack over 24 hours or so. Anti-gout medications are usually only taken during pain episodes.

When gout strikes, it helps to elevate your leg to reduce swelling together with the application of ice or cooling lotions while waiting for your medication to take effect.

Your podiatrist will also be able to increase comfort through advice and adapting your existing footwear with orthoses or other specialist insoles to help redistribute pressure away from the affected joints.

Made-to-measure shoes can also be prescribed and your podiatrist will be able to advise you on the correct type of shoes to wear and where to obtain them.

They can also provide protective shields for your toes or padding to relieve pressure and thereby reducing friction. Any secondary problems like ulcers or corns can also be treated.  They can also refer you to a specialist for more serious cases.

When should I see a Podiatrist?

If you experience any foot care issues which do not resolve themselves naturally or through routine foot care within three weeks, it is recommended to seek the help of a healthcare professional.

To talk to a podiatrist (also known as a chiropodist) – https://maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk/what-is-a-podiatrist/ – about the options available regarding treatment, you can contact an NHS Podiatrist or a private practice Podiatrist.

In both cases, always ensure that any practitioners you visit are registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) and describe themselves as a Podiatrist (or Chiropodist).

In the NHS, through your GP, Specialist teams of rheumatologists, podiatrists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, along with specialist nurses, will provide the most effective care and treatment for patients with arthritis, especially those with rheumatoid arthritis.

To contact an NHS Podiatrist, please contact your GP practice for information on an NHS referral (in some areas you can self-refer).

If you would like more information or an appointment with one of our Podiatrists give us a call on 01628 773588 and speak to our reception team.

Choosing your baby’s first shoes

Choosing your baby’s first shoes is such an important purchase.

The Podiatrists at Maidenhead Podiatry are often asked for advice on children’s foot wear and what to look for when buying their baby’s first shoes.

As parents know, most babies don’t stay in one place for very long.

What a fascinating place the world is, particularly if it’s all new to you……and then you learn to crawl.

First things first

 

By about four months most babies start to rock and roll, first from their side to their back, and back again.

Soon after they’ll start to lie with their upper body supported on one or both hands – all the better to see the world around them.

Next, they learn to sit.

At first, they can stay in place when you put them down for just a few seconds before tumbling back, but later they’ll be able to sit up for themselves as their muscles strengthen and coordination improves.

Babies then work out that by pushing down with hands to raise their upper body, they can pull themselves along.

Later, their legs join in too and then they’re off.

Crawling

At high speed too – they can crawl 400m in the time it takes you to drink a cup of tea.

Obviously not all babies are the same and some don’t crawl, instead they perform a rather curious bottom shuffling.

Don’t use a baby-walker – your baby will stand when they’re ready and baby-walkers won’t make it any sooner.

In fact, badly adjusted baby-walkers are thought to hinder development.

Cruising

“Cruising” comes between crawling and walking.

Having pulled themselves up on the furniture children slide their hands to one side, then their feet. This allows them to move their whole body.

To stay upright they will always keep either two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand in place.

At first they crawl when confronted with a gap between furniture.

However, as they grow they learn to cross by moving their feet into the gap and letting go to totter to the next support.

Walking

Between 9 and 18 months old, most children learn to walk, depending on development of muscular strength.

But don’t hurry them or become anxious – your child is an individual and will walk as soon as they are ready.

First steps on a very long road.

First shoes

As soon as your child can take a few steps unaided then they are ready for their first pair of real shoes.

When choosing your child’s first shoes try and find a shop with a trained fitter.

Then look for these features in the shoes you choose –

  • close cropped soles to prevent tripping
  • space for movement and growth built in
  • soft leather uppers for cool comfortable feet
  • light, flexible soles to aid development of walking
  • whole and half sizes and a choice of widths to find the correct fit
  • fully adjustable fastenings
  • padded ankle for protection and support

At this age most children learn to run and perform little standing jumps.

Once they reach this stage you will need shoes that can take some punishment and still look good.

Infant shoes need room to grow without sacrificing fit.

Toddler

As your child grows, you will pass many other milestones together. First birthday, first words, as well as other occasions.

While all this is happening your child’s feet and their walking continue to develop all the time.

By the time your child is a fully-fledged toddler they will clearly walk very differently from when they took those first steps.

Arms are no longer used for balance so they can be used to pick up (and throw down!) things that catch their eye.

Knees and feet now point forward as the hip joints are fully in place.

Ankles and knees now flex too, reducing the shock that leads to head movement and, in turn, tumbles.

However walking is still flat footed (which is what can make can make toddlers look clumsy) so light and flexible soles are still vital.

Don’t be concerned by their feet appearing ‘flat’ at this age as it is all part of  a developing foot.

If you would like any more information or to make an appointment with one of our Podiatrists call 01628 773588 or e-mail info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

Red, itchy toes? Could it be chilblains?

We are open during lockdown. Click here to read our covid precautions.

Do you have chilblains?

Cold weather always brings an increase in enquiries prompted by cherry red, itchy and sometimes, weepy toe tips. With temperatures due to dip below -7degreesC this week we have already seen an increase in concerned callers.

Our Podiatrists at Maidenhead Podiatry understand many people suffer from cold feet in winter, but not all develop chilblains. A question regularly asked is ‘why do I have chilblains? What have I done wrong?’ But is isn’t a matter of doing anything ‘wrong’, some people are simply prone to them due to genetics or poor peripheral circulation.

Of course, not everyone with poor circulation develops chilblains but it can make you more susceptible.

What do chilblains look like?

Following exposure to the cold chilblains appear as small itchy, red swellings on the skin of the tips of the toes and/or fingers. They can appear in a little as a couple of hours and can become increasingly painful. They normally start as small cherry red dots or patches which can slowly increase in size with a slight feel of firmness. It is possible that they will swell, form small blisters, and may weep before drying out leaving cracks in the skin, exposing the foot to the risk of infection.

They normally occur on tips of toes, particularly the smaller ones, but can also appear anywhere on the foot, on fingers, face, especially the nose, and the lobes of the ears. They can also occur on areas of the feet exposed to pressure, for example, on a bunion, heel or where the second toe is squeezed by tight shoes.

Chilblains are usually caused by the skin’s abnormal reaction to cold although exposure, damp or drafty conditions, dietary factors and hormonal imbalance can contribute.

If the skin is chilled, and is then followed by too rapid warming next to a fire or hot water bottle, shower or bath, chilblains may result.Frozen leaves

Who is most at risk?

This condition mainly affects young adults working outdoors, in cold places, or people who do not wear socks or tights during .colder weather. Too often, even in cold weather, patients attend Clinic wearing light footwear with no socks leaving their feet vulnerable to extremes of temperature.

Also susceptible are elderly people, and those whose circulation is less efficient that it used to be, people who don’t take enough exercise, and those suffering from anaemia.

Chilblains can develop at any age and frequently skip a few years before reappearing predictably in cold weather.

What causes chilblains?

When the toe and skin is cold, blood vessels near the surface vaso-constrict or get narrower. If the skin is then exposed to heat, or experiences a rapid change in temperature, the blood vessels become wider or dilate.

If this happens too quickly, blood vessels near the surface of the skin can’t always handle the increased blood flow and this can cause blood to leak into the surrounding tissue, which causes the swelling and itchiness associated with chilblains.

What are the symptoms?

With the onset of the cold weather, chilblains will be experienced as burning and itching on their hands and feet. On entering a warm room, the itching and burning is intensified. There can be swelling or redness, and in extreme cases, the surface of the skin may break, with sores (ulcers) developing.

If in doubt – seek professional advice and visit your Podiatrist.

foot in snowHow long do chilblains last?

Some come and go over a few days, others can persist for a couple of months at a time, only disappearing with warmer weather. Chilblains are virtually unknown in warmer climates but Britain’s cold damp winters are ideal for encouraging their appearance.

How do I prevent chilblains

This isn’t as easy but try to keep your body, feet and legs at an even temperature. This is especially important if your circulation is poor and you have limited mobility. Your whole body, rather the just the feet, needs to be kept warm. No matter how it might look, trousers, long johns, long boots, long socks tights and leg warmers  all help.

Do chilblain creams help?

Most chilblain creams work by counter-irritation. This means they use a different sensation, such as heat, to distract the brain from the itching and pain. Generally though, although they can bring relief they aren’t treating the underlying condition and have little influence on the length of time the chilblain is experienced.

If  chilblains have developed what can I do?

Whatever you do, don’t scratch them. Soothing lotions such as witch hazel or calamine, which can be bought from your local pharmacy, will take away most of the discomfort.

Cover them with a loose, dry plaster and wear warm socks.

If the chilblain has ulcerated, apply an antiseptic dressing. If you have diabetes or undergoing medical treatment, have the ulcer assessed by your GP or Chiropodist/Podiatrist.

Ultimately, time and warmer weather will bring lasting relief, and in the worst cases, a move to warmer climes will provide permanent relief.

If you would like more information or an appointment with one of our Podiatrists, call Maidenhead Podiatry on 01628 773588 or e-mail  info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

What is a Podiatrist?

What is a Podiatrist and what can they do for me?

This article will guide you through the many and varied aspects of Podiatry and help you find the foot care that suits you best. To assist in stopping the development of preventable foot problems and advise you in self care.

To offer a better understanding of the foot care options available to an individual we have split this blog into sections starting with the simplest or self care and escalating to the most complex or podiatric surgery as an end point.

  • Self care and footwear

 

Not everyone needs to become a patient. Many foot conditions can be safely and appropriately managed with the right equipment, skills and confidence.

Many foot health advice leaflets are available through the NHS and the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and your Podiatrist will be happy to give you advice and guidance.

Poor choices in footwear can cause significant foot problems and seeking and following advice to make good choices of appropriate footwear can prevent development of new conditions, aggravation of existing ones and prevention of falls. Again, your Podiatrist will be happy to give you advice and guidance.

  • Footcare

Simple footcare is defined as nail cutting and skin care including the tasks that healthy adults would normally carry out as part of their daily personal hygiene routine.

Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone but it is an important aspect of footcare that ensures many individuals check their feet regularly while still mobile and pain free.

For those who do attend clinic regularly for simple footcare, examination of the feet during a routine appointment acts as an early detection system ensuring prompt intervention and prevention of developing more serious foot health problems.

PODIATRY

  • Core Podiatry
  • Nail surgery
  • Warts and verrucas
  • Fungal nails
  • Long term and neurological conditions

 

Core Podiatry is defined as ‘the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of common and more complex lower limb pathologies associated with toe nails, soft tissues and the musculo-skeletal system with the purpose of sustaining and improving foot health. (Farndon 2006).

The main foot conditions affecting older people (as opposed to children) requiring core podiatry are -nail problems, corns, callus, toe deformities, and falls prevention.

These conditions can be managed successfully by Podiatrists in the NHS and Private practice using a range of treatments including sharp debridement (scalpel), pharmacology (creams, tablets, steroid injection) and therapies (often in conjunction with footwear advice and and prescription of orthoses where appropriate0.

Although the call for Nail surgery is small – approximately 8 per 1000 GP patients – there is certainly a need for an effective, non-recurring treatment.

Since the 1970s partial or total nail avulsion has become a standard Podiatry procedure where part (the sides) or all of the nail are removed painlessly to the nail bed under local anaesthetic to resolve recurring problems with ingrown nails.

The likelihood of regrowth is reduced to almost zero (0.5%) with the application of  phenol to the nail bed.

Warts and verrucas are small skin growths caused by the human papilloma virus. Verrucas are warts on the feet, common in children and although harmless they can be painful.

Most verrucas will clear up without treatment within two years but there are numerous treatments available through your Podiatrist including

Fungal nails are very difficult to treat successfully. There are numerous topical applications available as well as GP only prescribed oral medication. Your Podiatrist will discuss your best options and agree a treatment plan.

Long term and neurological conditions include conditions such as Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke and Parkinson’s and a Podiatrist’s management often involves management and prevention of potential escalation of foot problems.

Core podiatry is essential in maintaining the integrity of the feet of people whose medical condition places them at risk of developing complex problems.

Falls prevention. Foot problems in older people are often associated with impaired balance and mobility and where there is a history of multiple falls there are usually more foot issues.

The existence of a corn, bunion or poor footwear choices are often at play and podiatry intervention can moderate the risks.

ORTHOTICS

  • Orthotics, footwear and Musculo-skeletal provision
  • Podopaediatrics
  • Sports injuries
  • Footwear

Orthotics, footwear and Musculo-skeletal provision. Bio-mechanics and bio-mechanical assessment are an essential part of podiatry provision and the discussion of findings and correction of underlying issues with orthoses can have positive implications across the breath of podiatry services.

Many patients present with musculo-skeletal pain caused by bio-mechanical problems which can involve foot, knee, hip and lower back affecting gait (the way they walk).

Often the most cost effective and appropriate treatment is the provision of orthoses (specialist insoles) which modify and correct the bio-mechanical problem.

There are a number of different orthoses that can be prescribed by your Podiatrist depending on presenting condition and patient need. Orthoses range from a simple heel raise or cushioned insole to specific complex custom devices.

Podopaediatrics focuses on provision of Podiatry for children. This ranges from treatment of warts and verrucas to early identification of foot deformities. From gait assessment to prescription of orthoses.

Sports injuries often occur due to abnormal rotation and deformation of joints and/or muscles. Podiatrists target improvement and resolution through bio-mechanical assessment and prescription of orthoses combined with strengthening exercises and footwear.

Footwear choices can directly affect foot conditions. Podiatrists offer advice from correct choices when buying shoes to measuring for custom made footwear depending on requirement.

SPECIALIST PODIATRY

– relates mainly to long term conditions and may or may not be provided within a general podiatry clinic.

  • Diabetes
  • Systemic musculo-skeletal disorders
  • Dermatology
  • Advanced technology

Diabetes care is one of the basic provisions of any Podiatry practice and your podiatrist can offer regular foot health assessment as part of good diabetic control and patient education.

Early detection of foot problems can ensure correct management and reduce the likelihood of critical long term changes.

Systemic musculo-skeletal disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) increase the need for a range of basic foot care services. Up to 90% of people with RA have some kind of foot involvement sometimes leading to the formation of callus corns and occasionally ulceration.

Early Podiatric intervention can improve long term outcomes.

Dermatology can be considered part of core Podiatry as many of the common skin problems seen on the feet are amenable to Podiatric treatment. From tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) to melanoma.

From verrucas to cellulitis you can ask your Podiatrist for advice.

Advanced technology is becoming more a part of day to day Podiatry provision. At Maidenhead Podiatry we use Swift – a microwave treatment – for verrucas, Shockwave for chronic soft tissue pain and Cryopen for freezing warts and verrucas.

EXTENDED SCOPE PRACTICE

Podiatrists who work in extended scope practice usually work in the NHS although they can be available in larger private practices and have undertaken additional training in their clinical areas  and may actively engage in the following –

  • non-medical prescribing
  • requesting blood tests
  • requesting scans
  • interpretations of test results
  • injection therapy
  • advanced vascular investigations

PODIATRIC SURGERY

Podiatric surgery is surgical treatment of the foot and associated structures carried out by a Podiatric Surgeon often as a day case and under a local anaesthetic.

In Conclusion good foot health has a fundamental link to health and well being. Poor foot health can have a significant impact on mobility, independence, and quality of life.

If you would like more information or to make an appointment with one of our experienced Podiatrists then give us a call today and make an appointment on 01628 773588 or email info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk and help lay the foundations of a healthy lifestyle.

 

 

 

Why do I have localised foot pain?

Why do I have pain in specific parts of my foot?

This is where the pain is usually sharp or persistent and is often focused on a single point or area.

Toes

Our nails tend to grow more slowly and more thickly as we get older. This is often a result of reduced circulation and years of bashing them against the inside of the end of shoes which make them thicken.

Nails

Nails are protection for the end of a toe. Trauma or repeat stress stimulates the body’s protective mechanism making the nails thicker so they offer more protection. This increases the pressure on the end of the toe and makes the sore and the nails harder to cut. One person in 50 will develop a condition called onychogryphosis. A thickened nail that looks like a ram’s horn – unsightly and painful when pressing against shoes.

This can occur at any age but is more likely as we get older.

What’s the best technique for nail cutting?

Use a file and a good pair of nail clippers on thick nails. Clippers are sharper and have a different cutting action to scissors which can split the nail. Have a bath first and, if you have a partner, and good eyesight, you can always cut each other’s toe nails.

What can we do for you?

People with onychogryphosis benefit from visiting a Podiatrist.

Thickened nails often need to be reduced and shaped with an electric file before they can be cut. This reduces discomfort, pressure and maintains the foot in better condition and prevents it from getting worse.

Why do I suffer joint pain?

One person in six over 50 will develop osteoarthritis in the mid-foot. According to a recent study at Keele University’s Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre. Osteoarthritis is characterised by inflammation around the joints, damage to cartilage and swelling, which causes pain, stiffness and restricts movement. Sometimes it causes bony bumps on the top of the foot. It is possible to develop osteoarthritis just in the feet.

What can I do about osteoarthritis pain?

The foot comprises 26 bones, 12 of which are in the mid-section. A big hip joint is well designed to take the whole body weight but that same weight has to go through each individual bone and small joint in the mid-foot. Risk factors include genetic predisposition, injury to the area and overuse.

Runners and people who stand for a living are more likely to develop problems. Good trainer-type shoes will help to minimise stress to the feet.

Losing weight can ease pressure on joints as well as judicious use of orthotic insoles.

What can your Podiatrist do for foot pain?

If you have pain in the mid-foot or the arch, see one of our Podiatrists for assessment and treatment plan. Advice will usually consist of management and guidance on footwear, padding and exercise but may include onward referral to an orthopedic consultant.

Is my pain due to corns or verrucas?

Commonly found over a joint surface, between the toes or on the sole of the foot, corns are a common cause of pain. They are usually caused by pressure and friction. Corns are areas of callous with a hard central portion that focuses pressure on the underlying structure and can cause momentary, eye-watering pain when compressed. They are formed of dead skin and have no blood supply.

A verruca is different because it is a viral infection of the skin and has a blood supply. Verrucas can also cause pain because they are also rich in nerve tissue. This means that when they are compressed – they hurt!

What is the treatment for corns?

Your Podiatrist can remove your corn completely but if the pressure and friction remain, they will grow back in time. Shoes are a common cause of corns and a change of footwear type can bring relief. Appropriate padding can also help.

Verrucas present a different problem and some treatment options can be found here.

What else could be causing my foot pain?

There are other possibilities including trauma, bruising, Morton’s neuroma, or a foreign body such as a piece of glass or an embedded hair.

If you would like more information, or to make an appointment with one of our Podiatrists, call Maidenhead Podiatry on 01628 773588 or e-mail info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

Foot in vice

Why do I have pain in the arch and big toe?

What is the cause of my arch and big toe pain?

At Maidenhead Podiatry and Chiropractic Clinic, our Podiatrists are often asked about foot pain located in the inner long arch or inside of the foot. The pain often associated with pain in the large/big toe joint. It can also radiate up the leg.

When do I get the pain?

When exercising, the pain often doesn’t come on straight away, but can develop some time after starting. What can be happening, halfway through a round of golf or some miles into a walk, is that the small supporting muscles of the foot become fatigued. It may come on more rapidly with high impact exercise such as running. Inflammation may be involved meaning that the pain worsens the day following exertion.

Where do I get the pain?

Pain or discomfort can manifest along the inside of the foot or the inner longitudinal arch. It can also be associated with pain the base of the big toe and into the joint.

Because the discomfort of the foot is usually due to mechanical changes this can refer to compensation pain up the leg and into the knee, hip, or back.

Why do I get the pain?

If you ‘overpronate’ it causes medial or inward rotation of the lower leg, which can cause stress at the knee, misalignment of the hips, and resultant lower back pain. The degree of ‘pronation’ can vary from person to person and used to be known as ‘flat feet’ although the actual cause is more complex. As the muscle fatigue, this allows the arch to over-extend further stressing the support tissues and increasing discomfort.

Think of your feet as the ‘foundation’ for the rest of the body. Ensuring your feet are correctly aligned allows the rest of the kinetic chain or biomechanical relationship between the feet and the rest of the body to function efficiently. Big toe joint pain can be due to a number of reasons including inflammation, arthritis, and poorly fitting shoes.

What can I do about it?

What is most important with any foot pain is to ensure a correct diagnosis. This ensures targeted and appropriate treatment. This starts with a bio-mechanical assessment.

The assessment focuses on structure, alignment, strength, and starts with the foot. This includes pelvis, hips, knees, feet and their relationship, as pain in one area can result in or cause weakness or a structural problem somewhere else.

A biomechanical assessment is essential where there is a pain in the feet or lower limbs but no cause has so far been established. Sometimes simple recommendations on footwear can make a huge difference especially sports shoes. Simply tying shoelaces properly can dramatically increase the support offered to the foot by a shoe. There are many different ways to lace a shoe. For ideas and a bit of fun, click here for lacing ideas.

Pain in the large toe can be associated with this but can also be due to shoe pressure on the inner edge of the apex of the toe.

Buy shoes that have a square toe box to reduce this pressure.

What can we do about it?

Podiatrist Jeremy Ousey has a special interest in bio-mechanics There are numerous choices following a biomechanical assessment. The outcome of the assessment determines the appropriate treatment. If the mechanics of the foot are contributing to injury or pain, orthotics or custom made insoles are prescribed, moulded from a foam impression of the feet.

The orthotics are prescribed in conjunction with exercises and a carefully constructed rehabilitation plan. Footwear is also considered and recommendations made.

Topical treatments such as Shockwave can be very effective in the treatment of foot and lower limb pain.

If you would like more information or to make an appointment with Jeremy  Ousey call 01628 773588 or e-mail  info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

Why do I have heel pain?

What is causing my heel pain?

At Maidenhead Podiatry our Podiatrists are regularly asked about heel pain which is often at its worst first thing in the morning or when walking after a period of rest.

The first part of the gait cycle, where your foot has its first contact with the ground, is called ‘heel strike’.

During walking and running your heels repeatedly hit, or strike, the ground with considerable force.

For correct function they need be able to absorb the impact and provide a firm support for the weight of the body through the gait cycle.

There are various types of heel pain.

Some of the most common are heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, heel bursitis and heel bumps (Haglund’s)

As heel pain is often associated with inflammation it means that the pain can worsen with rest.

This is why can can be at its most painful when we first get out of bed or when we have been sitting having a coffee and stand to walk.

“Pain is a warning – don’t ignore it!”

Heel spurs

These can generate pain but they are the most commonly misdiagnosed form of heel pain.

You can have heel spurs with no pain and pain with no heel spurs.

Even when pain is caused by heel spurs the pain may not persist even though the spurs do.

If you do have heel spur pain it is usually felt on standing, particularly first thing in the morning when you first put your feet on the floor from bed.

It is not uncommon, though tends to occur more in the over forty age group.

There is nothing to be seen on the heel but a deep localised painful spot can be found in or around the middle of the heel pad.

It is often associated with a spur of bone sticking out of the heel bone (heel spur syndrome), however approximately ten per cent of the population have heel spurs without any pain.

A clear diagnosis requires imaging, usually either X-ray or ultra-sound.

Plantar Fasciitis

Often similar in symptom to heel spurs, pain is usually experienced more to the inside of the heel around the insertion of a muscle called Anterior Tibialis towards the back of the inner arch.

This condition is often associated with over-pronation (rolling the foot inwards) during standing, walking and running.

Pain can also be due to inflexible calf muscles and repeat stress injury.

It can also be due poor footwear choices, old unsupportive shoes and injury, among other causes.

Diagnosis is often achieved with bio-mechanical assessment, with treatment through prescription of specialist custom insoles (orthotics) and the implementation of a rehabilitation and exercise programme.

Shockwave is also very effective treatment for plantar fasciitis.

Heel Bursitis

A bursa is a fluid filled sack the body uses for cushioning or padding, often under tendons.

When a bursa experiences trauma of repeat stress it can swell, leading to bursitis.

Pain can be felt at the back of the heel during ankle movement and there might be a swelling either side of the Achilles tendon.

Pain may also be felt deep inside the heel when it makes contact with the ground and can feel like a deep bruise.

Treatments can include rest, stretching exercises and orthotics.

Heel Bumps

These bumps are also known as Haglund’s Deformity.

This is recognised as a firm bump or enlargement of the bone on the back of the heel where the Achilles Tendon attaches.

Haglund’s are often associated with bursitis.

They are often caused by rubbing of the shoe heel counter and can be quite painful especially during exercise.

Treatments include changing or modifying footwear, stretching and ultimately, surgery.

What can you do for yourself?

Stretching can help with heel pain but it is dependant on knowing the cause so that your self-help is appropriate.

If pain persists consult a Podiatrist for assessment and a treatment plan.

Alternatively, you can speak to your GP who can arrange imaging, physiotherapy and if the pain persists, steroid injections.

Remember – pain is a warning – don’t ignore it!

What can we do for you?

Successful treatment is always based on accurate assessment.

We offer bio-mechanical assessment, gait analysis, custom orthotics and Shockwave – where appropriate.

More information is available on our website.

To make an appointment with one of our Podiatrists please call 01628 773588.

 

Why do I have foot pain?

Why do my feet hurt?

In a series of blogs this month we will look at the causes of foot pain. There are many reasons why anyone can experience different levels and types of foot pain.

Sharp or dull, bruised, or persistent, pain is a warning – don’t ignore it!

This list is not exhaustive but deals with some of the main reasons for calls to Maidenhead Podiatry and Chiropractic Clinic.

Ankle/heel pain

This is a very common condition and is often worse in the mornings getting out of bed, or after brief periods of sitting such as having a coffee. Plantar Fasciitis is widely known and there are numerous treatments available from stretching to insoles, from steroid injections to Shockwave Pain can also be caused by heels spurs, heel bursitis, Haglund’s deformity, and Achilles tendinopathy among others.

Arch and large toe pain

Pain is also often experienced along the inner arch of the foot and into the large toe joint although it can be in either of both. Arch pain can be due to changes in the strength and position of the foot and custom insoles following biomechanical assessment may be the best solution. This is common in runners and can be linked to over-pronation. Large toe joint pain can be due to ill-fitting footwear in the past and is often associated with enlargement of the joint and bunions. It can also be due to arthritic changes.

Localised, specific pain

This is where the pain is usually sharp and persistent, focused on a single point. Commonly found over a joint surface, between the toes or on the sole of the foot, the most common cause is corns. Corns are areas of callous with a hard central portion that focuses pressure on the underlying structures and can cause momentary eye-watering pain. Verrucas can also cause pain because they are rich in nerve tissue. This means that when they are compressed – they hurt! There are other possibilities including trauma, bruising, Morton’s neuroma, or a foreign body such as a piece of glass or an embedded hair.

Referred pain

Often pain in the foot or feet doesn’t have a local origin. Pain can often be referred from higher up a nerve but be experienced in the extremity. A common origin of referred pain in the lower back. Damage, degeneration, or repeat stress in the back can lead to the impingement or compressing of a nerve root leading to a reaction in the foot or lower leg.

Our Chiropractors or our Podiatrists will include this in their initial assessment as they form a treatment plan.

Ingrown nails

Anyone who has had an ingrown nail will know how painful they can be. This is where the nail grows painfully into the side of the toe, often made worse by shoes pressing. This can be caused by picking and tearing the nail, poor cutting – usually down the side, or simply be due to bad luck. Some toes are shaped in such a way as to make ingrown nails almost inevitable where others will never experience it. Ingrown nails vary in severity from constant soreness to infected and weeping.

Maidenhead Podiatry and Chiropractic Clinic offer a comprehensive ingrown nail treatment service, no matter the condition.

Compensation pain

Pain in the foot causes a person to walk differently or limp to take the load off the painful area. This is the body’s autonomic response to pain. This response is designed to protect the painful area. However, this in turn places increased stress on other structures that have to compensate for the change. In this way, a pain in the foot can cause pain elsewhere such as in the lower back, hip, and knee.

Other causes of pain

This list is not comprehensive and there are many other causes of foot pain. These include:

  • fracture
  • stress fracture-dislocation
  • soft tissue injuries
  • infection
  • skin infection
  • neuropathic changes

Remember, pain is a warning don’t ignore it!

Give us a call!

If you are experiencing foot pain and you would like more information give us a call on 01628 773588.

To make an appointment with one of our Podiatrists or Chiropractors, please give us a call on 01628 773588.

If you would like a comprehensive biomechanical assessment do give us a call on 01628 773588.

For more information visit www.maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.

If you would like to know more about how we are risk assessing and managing our Covid-19 click here.

In our lifetime we walk over 100,000 miles! Are you ready?

In an average lifetime, it is estimated that we walk about 100,000 miles / 160,000 km.

Just think about that for a moment. One hundred thousand miles! At Maidenhead Podiatry, our Podiatrists are often asked “how does walking affect my feet?”

What are the benefits?

Walking helps the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in our feet to work more efficiently and helps maintain suppleness and flexibility. Walking at a brisk pace for regular exercise helps condition your body and improves overall cardiovascular health in the same way as running and jogging. However, compared with running, walking carries a significantly lower risk of injury.

What can I do?

So even if your job involves sitting in the office or at home, try to get up and walk briskly for at least 30 minutes every day. Consult your Podiatrist if you start to develop any pain when walking, or consider a visit before embarking on a new walking program.

Feet are adaptable and will withstand a lot of pressure before they complain. If you enjoy walking, it’s important to wear the right footwear, which doesn’t damage your feet.

What about footwear?

The key to keeping your feet healthy and comfortable, regardless of the type of walking you do, is wearing properly fitting shoes or boots.

When buying walking shoes, try several different brands, styles, and most importantly, sizes. Remember, your feet can expand as much as half a size during the day, so buy shoes in the afternoon or early evening when your feet are at their largest. This will help protect them as they expand during your long walks. Also, wearing the same type of socks when fitting shoes that you wear when you walk will help you choose the right shoe and once you have made your purchase – take care of them.

What else should I think about?

If you are going on a long walk, prepare well ahead. Wear your shoes for a ‘trial walk’ and build up the distance gradually; don’t try to complete the London Marathon on your first trip! It’s also a good idea to pay a visit to your local HCPC – registered podiatrist who will be able to give advice and treat any corns, callus, or any foot issue you may have.

Take some first aid supplies, like plasters or antiseptic cream, on your walking trip in case of accidents. It’s also a good idea to put rub Vaseline/petroleum jelly between your toes to prevent chafing.

So, let’s get started

Begin at a slow pace and gradually increase the speed of your walk. This will give the muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments that make up your feet the chance to get gradually used to the activity. If you experience any discomfort or foot pain, then it may be an indication that something is wrong. In many cases, early diagnosis can prevent a small injury from becoming a larger one. You are never too old to start!

Here are 10 tips to bear in mind:

  • When buying shoes, wear the same socks that you will wear when walking.
  • Try on at least four or five pairs of shoes.
  • Don’t walk too far in new shoes.
  • Put on and lace both shoes of each pair and walk around for a minute or two.
  • Good foot care is essential in keeping your feet comfortable and fatigue and injury-free.
  • If you experience any sort of foot pain, consult a Podiatrist.
  • Build your distance up gradually.
  • Before and after you walk, go through a warm-up and stretching routine.
  • Look after your feet and you too will cover at least 100,000 miles!

For more information on walking or any other foot care issue, or to make an appointment with one of our Podiatrists, please call 01628 773588, or email info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.