You Need to Know This
Treat Your Feet with a DIY Foot Bath
There’s nothing like a foot bath at home to pamper your feet. It’s not difficult or expensive to do either.
In this post, you’ll learn how to create a relaxing and yummy foot bath for your feet from the comfort of your own home.
Just mix all the ingredients below and you’re relaxing mineral salt foot bath with essential oils will be ready for you!
Here’s what you need
- A large bowl or plastic tub – something that’s just right for you to place your feet inside without feeling squashed.
- Warm water – Not too hot, not too cold, but just right.
- Epsom Salts – Adding 1 Tbs Epsom salts to your foot bath can benefit your feet greatly. It can soothe dry skin, relieve aching feet, and help to remove foot odour.
- Bicarb soda – 1 tsp Bicarb soda helps exfoliate the skin, has antibacterial properties and also removes foot odour.
- Marbles – A few marbles in the base of the bowl give you something to gently roll your feet over for a luxurious massaging touch.
- Pure Essential oil – Just a couple of drops of lemon myrtle oil can add to the experience, as well as the health benefits.
The scent of the oil, the soothing mineral salts, the exfoliating baking soda, and the gentle massage from the marbles all work together to soothe your senses and relax your nerves.
Easy Foot Bath Recipe
So, you’ve got the ingredients, now here’s the recipe for an easy do-it-yourself foot bath at home:
In a large bowl, add:
- 1Tbs Epsom salts
- 1tsp Bicarb Soda
- 3 drops of pure Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil.
- Then add marbles and fill with warm water.
Relax and enjoy!The ideal DIY footbath - Essential oil, mineral salts, exfoliating baking soda, and gentle massage from marbles Click To Tweet
And if you want to see what it looks like in real life, check out this video below:
Will you be trying out this easy DIY footbath? We’d love to hear your experience!
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The term plantar fasciitis means inflammation of your plantar fascia. The plantar fascia runs along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toes. It’s a very strong ligament, so problems usually occur at the attachment to the heel bone. That’s why people with plantar fasciitis complain of heel pain, and it’s usually worse in the morning or after resting for a while.
You can easily feel your own plantar fascia. Just run your finger along the arch of your foot. Go on, try it – feel that rope-like connective tissue that pops out when you pull your toes back? That’s your plantar fascia… and it’s really important.
When you’re walking, your plantar fascia stabilises your arch to enable you to push off properly. It’s the longest ligament in the body – and the strongest as well, able to withstand up to 30 times your body weight.
Technically, the problem is actually more to do with degeneration of the plantar fascia. That’s why podiatrists usually refer to it as plantar fasciosis. However, I’ll use the more popular term, plantar fasciitis here.People with plantar fasciitis usually complain of heel pain in the morning or after rest. Click To Tweet
Plantar Fasciitis is a common diagnosis for anything heel pain-related, but can be mis-diagnosed in up to 80% of cases. It’s important to get the right diagnosis for the most effective treatment for you.
What are the symptoms?
You can feel a sharp pain when you are on your feet, and a dull ache when you’re resting, but usually it is worse in the morning when you are hobbling, or after you’ve been sitting down for a while.
Usually it will hurt mostly directly underneath the heel bone right in the centre of the pad of your heel.
What causes it?
New shoes, doing more activity than normal, or perhaps just standing for longer periods of time can cause micro-tearing of the plantar fascia. The extra load pulls the plantar fascia from the heel bone and causes inflammation.
Usually this damage will heal if you are off your feet for a while, for example, while sleeping overnight. However if your foot isn’t getting a chance to rest properly the new tissue can be damaged again and you start the cycle of pain again. That’s why plantar fasciitis often hurts most after you’ve been resting for a while.
Over time the tissue starts to thicken and inflamed, which can be painful to stand on. The body is clever, though, and if you let it go too long it will grow extra bone. This is the beginning of a heel spur.If you let plantar fasciitis go, you can develop a heel spur. Click To Tweet
Are some people more likely to get Plantar Fasciitis?
People who have recently changed jobs or started on a health kick can be more likely to get plantar fasciitis, and it’s not limited by age. More often, though, it’s middle-aged women and men that get it.
Some people who have injured themselves in the past can be more likely to get plantar fasciitis as the body tries to compensate for the injury.
It’s actually amazing how our feet put up with what we put them through. In a lifetime we will walk the equivalent distance to walking around the earth 3 times. There will be natural degeneration and weakening depending on your activity levels and injury history that might also contribute to getting plantar fasciitis.In a lifetime we will walk the equivalient distance to walking around the earth 3 times Click To Tweet
If you have it, are there forms of exercise you should avoid?
If you have plantar fasciitis, make sure you are giving it a chance to heal. Long runs on hard ground, beach sprints that require bursts of power, jumping and lunging can all make it worse. You want to give it a chance to heal without damaging things further.
You need to find a balance between giving it enough rest to heal, and enough work to stay strong. That’s the tricky part, but if you get it right you can recover well.
You’ll feel better with cushioning or padding under your heels. But again you need to have a balance between something soft, and having enough support. So, wear comfortable, supportive shoes, and make sure you stretch every day.
It can also help to massage the area by rolling your foot over a tennis ball or golf ball.
What can a Podiatrist do for Plantar Fasciitis?
Podiatrists are the health professionals dedicated to problems involving the feet, and have expert knowledge and training for helping people with plantar fasciitis.
A podiatrist will:
- Order an X-ray and ultrasound to find out exactly what’s wrong
- Help you find the right shoes to wear
- Give you exercises to strengthen your feet
- Help the muscles and joints work together with foot mobilisation to encourage healing
- Make orthotics for your shoes to give you padding and support
- Work with you to make sure the problem doesn’t return
Everything is focused on treating the cause of the problem, and reducing the load on the plantar fascia. That’s how you can speed up healing and prevent the problem returning.
What other treatments are available?
Podiatrists can also help you by checking your posture or walking style. They will also ask lots of questions about your injuries, and also check every muscle and joint in the area. This gives clues about other treatments that can help.
- Massage and stretching
- Making your feet stronger
- Shock Wave Therapy
- Ultrasound-guided Cortisone injection
- Platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP)
It’s important to find the true cause of your plantar fasciitis, otherwise the problem will return later.
How long does it last?
Left untreated, plantar fasciitis will take 12 months to develop the right amount of spurring and thickening to be pain free. However this isn’t the most ideal outcome because the extra thickening can lead to further problems later.
You can reduce pain in much less time with the right treatment.
People with plantar fasciitis experience heel pain in the morning or after rest. It’s common, and podiatrists are the experts dedicated to helping people with plantar fasciitis.
There are things you can do to help, but it won’t go away by itself for at least 12 months, so have it checked properly by a podiatrist.
Healthy, Happy Feet
There’s one foot exercise you can do that can really help to reveal problems with your feet. Many people will neglect their feet. But in general, athletes, sports enthusiasts and active people everywhere understand the importance of well-functioning feet. Some, because a simple foot injury sidelined them in the past, and others because they recognise the benefits of good foot exercises for better performance.
Consisting of one quarter of the bones in your body, your feet are an engineering marvel designed to withstand huge forces, which for an athlete on the track can be up to a staggering 30 times your bodyweight. Just let that sink in for a moment – you times 30. Yep, the feet deserve some attention.Your feet are designed to be able to withstand up to 30 times your body weight! Click To Tweet
There are 20 muscles inside each foot, and another 20 muscles that act on each foot from the lower leg. These muscles need to be work together in synergy to enable you to perform at your best.
Problems arise when one muscle is being over or underused leading to imbalance, compensation and loss of efficiency.
That’s why at Posture Podiatry we’re big on helping athlete’s feet to function well by themselves. And there’s one exercise that can determine whether your feet are fit for competition or not…
One Simple Foot Exercise
The exercise is so simple, you can even do it right now while reading this.
- While seated, stretch one leg out in front of you and make a big, slow circles with your foot – moving only your foot and ankle. Now, the temptation is to rush this, but it’s really important to make SLOW deliberate circles with your foot (it should take more than 10 seconds to complete one revolution).
- The key is to be able to balance your muscle action to be able to complete a full circle smoothly and deliberately. Take note of any small jolts, pauses and twitches as you move your foot in a circle.
Just make a full, slow circle with your feet. Any interruption to smooth circle movements could mean you have a problem with muscles working together, and that could mean problems down the track.
Practice this until the slow circles are smooth and consistent, and you’ll be training your muscles to communicate better with each other. Repeat before and after your training sessions to ensure they’re still working well together.Not being able to make slow circles with your feet can reveal bigger foot problems Click To Tweet
Revealing Other Foot Problems
If you’re having problems doing this foot exercise, or if you find it hard to make smooth circular movements it could be an indicator of a bigger problem, and that’s why this exercise is so important. From the perspective of a sports podiatrist, it’s exercises like these that help to identify the best treatment approach to address the true cause of your foot problem.
If you’re having trouble getting the movements right, book an appointment to see a podiatrist who uses foot mobilisation and manual therapy in their approach to improving foot function and mobility.
Foot strength. Let’s talk about it! In this post, I discuss why foot strength is critically important, the best ways to develop it, and whether bare feet have a place in warm ups and warm downs. Intrigued? Read on.
Your feet are incredible. Here’s why.
During sport, your body can encounter forces of up to 30 times your body weight through the feet. That feet can withstand this force and direct it appropriately through the body is a marvel of bio-engineering! With ropes, pulleys and stabilisers all working around complex articulations, it’s surprising how much goes on down there – yet how little attention feet receive, being typically the least trained part of the body (unless, of course, they’re injured or in pain).
Foot anatomy: the basics.
There are 20 intrinsic muscles in each foot, originating from one part of the foot and inserting into another. In addition, another 20 extrinsic muscles act on each foot, originating from higher up the leg and inserting into the foot.
It’s a complex arrangement, but essential for good mechanics and performance.
When your feet are weak, problems occur.
Weakness or dysfunction leads to poor joint alignment, which magnifies the effort required to perform simple tasks.
This makes you far less efficient when trying to perform at the highest level, which is a handicap no athlete wants or needs.
Strengthening the foot muscles is key to enabling your body to find control, stability and limit preventable injuries. By increasing foot strength, you’ll avoid being hampered by wonky mechanics, and maximise your performance.
But before strengthening the feet, it’s important to focus on mobility.
Your joints should be working in harmony, with no restrictions or adhesions. That’s why a podiatrist who provides foot mobilisation therapy is a great addition to your therapy team.
Next, condition your muscles.
Ensure your muscles are primed to improve by keeping them in good condition, with massage and stretching. As a basic measure, your warm-up regime should always incorporate lower leg and foot flexibility sets. (Want to know which stretches to include? Ask your podiatrist!)
Congratulations! You’re ready to strengthen.
Although strengthening exercises prescribed for you are best discussed one-on-one with your sports podiatrist, here are three essential strengthening exercises every active person should be doing to keep feet performing at their best.
- Take a walk in bare feet on soft sand
- Even imagining this feels good, right? The extra effort required by walking through soft sand is fantastic for those forgotten little intrinsic muscles. If you don’t have access to soft sand, going bare foot on the grass is the next best thing as you warm up or cool down.
- Use your feet to pick things up
- Not just a neat party trick! While seated, practice picking a towel up off the ground with your toes. Make sure to spread your toes, grab the towel, and curl them to pick it up. It’s harder than you might think! Channel your inner primate.
- Rise onto your toes and lower slowly
- Make sure you’re in a neutral foot position (where the foot is neither rolled in or out). Feel the strength on the inside of your arch as you rise, and lower. Repeat.
The final word on foot strength
These tips may sound simple, but improving foot strength offers huge benefits.
Even though they’re way down there, don’t forget about your feet. They’re your springboard! Help them become supple, flexible and strong, and bound towards better performance today.
Did you know that every time you take a step you have the force of you and 4 other people on your shoulders pushing through your body?
What’s more, it has been shown that during sport up to 30 times your body weight can go through your feet!
It’s no wonder people get sore feet, and sports people can suffer with injuries.
That said, with 3 simple steps anyone can achieve drastic improvements for feet that are falling apart.
Condition Your Joints
The main reason your feet can withstand such huge forces is because your joints are able to pronate – rolling in and acting like a flexible loose bag of bones which is good for absorbing shock and adapting to the terrain; or supinate – acting like a rigid lever on which to propel yourself from one step to the next.
In sport we pound our feet into the ground, we make sudden changes of direction, and we accelerate and decelerate at great speeds which places a lot of load through the bones of the feet.
Simply writing the ABC’s in the air moving only your feet and ankles can help to improve the range of motion in your joints, and allow them to better handle the forces that go through them.
Try it now… see if you can make it all the way through to Z!
Condition Your Muscles
Muscles engage in the final 3% of joint range of movement to protect the joints. Muscles are great protectors, and they engage to protect the joint whenever it is placed in a compromised position.
Muscles are connected to bones by tendons, which allow them to gain leverage by working around corners. Problems with tendons often occur when there is abnormal sheering force as they run close to the bones.
Rolling your feet over a broomstick, tennis ball, or length of PVC pipe can relieve tired, aching muscles and bring your feet back to life.
Know When To Seek Help
A mentor of mine told me once,
“Refine the things you do wrong and do them a little less wrong each day”
If you want to identify the true cause of your pain and find a solution for foot pain or injury, it may be time to ask someone who knows more for help.
The biggest challenge for most of us is finding someone who can work with us to achieve our goals. The good news is there is help available, and people who are highly trained to work with you.
Improving the ability for your feet to function without falling apart can be a powerful tool to help you enjoy life, walk strong, stand tall, and get an edge over the competition.
I hope this helps you find your fit feet again.
I hope you enjoyed reading this, it’s just another way we like to spread the word about what we do, and demonstrate that our clients come first.
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Hitting the Streets
It is the time of year when hordes of people are dusting off the winter cobwebs and hitting the streets to prepare for spring time fun runs.
So, with research telling us that up to 79% of runners will suffer an injury, some may be forced to question whether all the hard work is worth it.
There comes a point when training for a big event where the training loads can become too much for your body, and it’s at that point where injuries can be more prevalent. Some runners are frustrated because they are unable to do the training loads required before a big event – and with the Yurrebilla trail 56km Ultra event approaching that can equate to a lot of kilometres!
If you were at the Adelaide marathon you may have even noticed the Ambulances dotted along the route attending to people in various states of disrepair. Here at the clinic we are seeing an increasing number of people who have little injuries that turn into bigger injuries simply because of inadequate preparation to be able to handle the training load and force they are placing on their bodies.
Have you ever found yourself at a mental cross-road? On one hand you think, “Do I just give up on the training and turn up on the day for the event? And the other, “Do I keep training and risk not being able to do the event at all?”
You might be like Sally…
…(not her real name), who has been doing great work with her long distance training regularly running 20+km with no issues. When she was asked to join her office Corporate Cup team she did so thinking that a 4km run would be easy in comparison. So easy, in fact, that she could run it a lot faster than usual, and the next week beat her own time by nearly 2 minutes!
While thrilled with the Corporate Cup results, she started getting niggling pain with her long distance training, and perhaps not sticking to her running plan may have been too much for her body to handle.
The Good News
For Sally, our assessment revealed that while her body was fit for long distance, it was becoming less able to cope with changes in activities or running habits, leaving her exposed to injuries when running shorter, faster distances. However, like Sally, there are some simple things everyone can do to increase capacity before a big event.
Handy Training Tips
Try these tips to improve your body’s ability to handle changes in activity and increases in training load:
- If you have a niggling pain that annoys you on a typical road training run, try breaking up your training sessions with a trail run or grass run (and vice versa).
- Instead of trying to run a long distance in one go, try doing it in 3 runs – you will still get the mileage, and protect your body
- Running drills under the supervision of your podiatrist can help to retrain your body to work more efficiently
- Make sure you have the right shoes well before the event – use a pair of “faithfuls”, but not a pair that’s “Dead”
These easy exercises can help improve your overall capacity:
- Rolling your feet over a tennis ball
- Foam rolling your legs
- Massage and Epsom salt recovery baths for muscle tension
And of course, if you have any concerns that are out of the ordinary, please speak to your podiatrist. Looking after your body through the training period means it will hopefully reward you at the finish line!
Children’s feet are constantly changing. The shoes they wear need to be durable, supportive and well fitted while also allowing for growth. It’s the time of year when we start thinking about school shoes and preparing the kids to go back to school. Here are some common back to school mistakes we see, and how you can avoid them.
Mistake#1: Don’t buy shoes to last the whole year
- Not only are school shoes worn almost every day, they are also stomped on, scuffed, splashed and buried in the sand pit. As the shoes get worn out it is important to replace them immediately.
Mistake #2: Leaving Your Child at Home
- Would you let someone else go out and buy shoes for you? How would you know if they fit well and are comfortable?
- It is simply not enough to go out at pick the next size shoe for our child. You must bring them with you to the shoe store to take advantage of fitting services and ensuring they will have happy feet.
- Ask if the sales assistant is trained shoe-fitter, as shoes that are not correctly fitted for width and length can damage your child’s feet.
- There are a number of reputable shoe stores that can take care of your child’s feet and assist you in finding the right shoes for your child
Mistake #3: Buying shoes for school that are not school shoes
- Sneakers can be good for a particular purpose, but not for everyday wear. Ballet flats might be ok for casual wear, but not for the daily rigours that face the playground. I would recommend avoiding shoes with a high heel.
Some things to look out for:
- The length should be a thumbs width longer than the longest toe
- The heel should have a wide base and be made from a shock absorbing material
- The shoes should fit snugly around the heel with no allowance for the heel to slip in and out
- Leather and natural fibres can be better for your child’s feet
- Check the inside for seams and stitching that might irritate
- Make sure the shoes are not too heavy or rigid for small feet
- Avoid sling back or open back shoes – Velcro, laces or buckles will be more secure on your child’s feet
Also, remember that blisters may develop with new shoes. Children’s feet are naturally sweaty, and the inside of their shoes are potential sources of infection so make sure any blisters or abrasions are dressed with antiseptic and a bandaid.
Be mindful as well that older children may be embarrassed and hide foot problems from you, so don’t be afraid to check for sure.
So, that’s it! I hope these simple Back to School Shoe Tips are helpful for you to find the right shoes for your child. And, of course, we would be more than happy to help if you have any further questions.
People of all ages and walks of life are trying out yoga. From Bikram Hot Yoga styles to the more traditional Hatha yoga, the yoga world is inviting you to summon your inner Yogi or Yogini!
Have you thought of giving it a go? Many people are embarrassed because they are either not flexible enough, they have poor balance, or they worry someone might see their feet.
Remember your first class… Did you feel pain and tension in your calf muscles, shins, arches, big toe joints or ankles while you were inverting yourself in downward dog, summoning your inner warrior, or twisting yourself in knots in eagle pose?
Your feet are the foundation for your posture. This means better feet can mean better balance, strength and posture in your asana poses.
Your body recognises weak or unstable feet, and compensates to prevent injury. This compensation can make it very difficult to use your strength effectively, and can leave you feeling weak and unstable.
Consider a house built on an unstable foundation. It will develop cracks and creaks as it shifts to find the most stable resting position to prevent it from completely collapsing.
A podiatry assessment might be just what you need to find weaknesses before they become a problem.
Podiatrists can assess your foot stability, and improve the function of your foot joints and leg muscles using a range of manual techniques including massage, dry needling, and foot mobilisation techniques.
The result? Better grounding and balance for your yoga poses, better strength through your body, and you get more out of your yoga.
Podiatrists can also show you what you need to do to help yourself. Simple exercises such as stretching, strengthening and self massage can get your feet prepared for the mat, and improve your balance on the mat.
Oh, and for those worried about the appearance of your feet, podiatrists can help by painlessly removing unsightly corns, callus, fungal or thickened toenails, and cracked heels.
So, I ask you please. Consider your feet! Healthy feet will allow you to discover the transformative power of yoga. Yoga helps you move with more freedom, ease your back pain, sleep better, improve vitality and find energy you never knew you had.
You will be back-bending, toe-touching and sun saluting in no time.
Bailey Keatley is a podiatrist at Posture Podiatry in Adelaide, and a Yoga practitioner and instructor.
One thing we love to do as podiatrists is to look at the wear pattern on the base of your shoes.
A common problem we see is wearing down of the outside of the heel. Contrary to what people may think, this is not a sign that your feet are rolling in or out, but it is actually more to do with your hip position as your foot swings through from one step to the next.
Another common problem is a circular wear pattern on one or both of your shoes under the forefoot. This is telling us that as you push off from one step to the next you may be twisting your foot slightly in order to clear the ground.
Take a look at the shoes you are wearing right now and see what areas are wearing down.
By looking at your shoes, podiatrists can detect problems with hamstrings, Achilles tendons, big toes, knees, hips, back pain and even headaches.
Your shoes don’t lie!
The wear pattern on the base of your shoes can give podiatrists valuable clues as to how your posture is affecting your walking, and where there may be a loss of efficiency.
Try this out
A good thing to do at home is to line up three pairs of shoes, turn them over and study the wear pattern of the base of your shoes to see if there are any inconsistencies.
Do you notice that the wear pattern is the same from one shoe to the next, or does it change?
And of the shoes you have chosen, is the wear pattern different on the ones that are least comfortable?
Do you notice that one shoe looks different to the other shoe? Even minor differences can be an indication of asymmetry, which could be contributing to pain or injury.
If you do notice any of these, it may be worth investigating further. You may have just discovered the map that could lead you to the source of your pain.
The podiatrists at Posture Podiatry are trained to interpret the wear pattern on your shoes to find the best outcome for you.
My mother is a physiotherapist, and she has always told me, “Invest in what you sit in and sleep on”.
We spend a lot of our time sleeping; we also spend a lot of our time sitting. However I am going to take it one step further (no pun intended)…
We also spend a lot of time walking.
That’s right. Did you know that in your lifetime you will walk on average the distance equivalent to 4 times around Earth?
While my mother’s sage advice still rings true, when I now pass on the same advice I add, “Invest in what you sit in, sleep on, and walk in.”
There is no avoiding it. You actually do get what you pay for in a shoe. And with the amount of force that goes through your feet, it is good to wear shoes that help your body move efficiently.
How do I know what shoe is right for me?
Not all feet are equal. There are some shoes that are suitable for some people, and not suitable for others.
However, with an entire shoe industry dedicated to providing us with unlimited choice, how can we choose a shoe that is appropriate for us?
Remember the “4 S’s” when it comes to choosing the right shoe for you:
- Size – Ensure there is a thumb-width space at the end of your shoe so your toes don’t get cramped. Try them on at the end of the day when your feet are more swollen.
- Support – Check your shoes to make sure they are rigid in the middle, flexible at the toes, and have a firm heel counter for support.
- Secure – Loosely fitting shoes cause aching and tiredness. Choose shoes that are secure on your feet with laces or a buckle so you will be able enjoy your day for longer.
- Soft – With the force of 4 times your body weight going through your feet with walking, it is good to have some cushioning in your shoes.
At Posture Podiatry, we realise that fashionable footwear is also important, so we have worked out ways to help you cope with those shoes that would otherwise need to be peeled off your feet at the end of a long night.
If you would like us to help you find the right shoe for you, recommend good shoe stores, or even assess your shoe collection (we have had people bring suitcases full of shoes to their appointments!), come on in and have a talk with one the podiatrists at Posture Podiatry.
We can help you find the right shoes for you.
And remember to think carefully about what you sit in, sleep on and walk in!