We are approaching the Easter long weekend, and this has got me thinking about how much I enjoy seeing the difference in people who are refreshed after a break. On holidays like this, many of us kick off our shoes and enjoy the feeling of freedom that being barefoot brings. Are you like me?
You might not expect this to be coming from a podiatrist, but I am an advocate of spending time barefoot. It can have powerful effects on your overall health and wellbeing. Getting your daily dose of barefoot time can have you feeling more grounded and connected to yourself and can be an important part of a healthy balanced lifestyle.
Have a think about it…. How do you feel walking barefoot on the beach? Skipping on the grass in the park or wandering along your garden foot paths in your backyard?
This is known as ‘grounding’ or ‘earthing’. Recent research evidence supports the practice of barefoot time. The concept of grounding is where you spend up to half an hour connecting your gorgeous souls….Oops I mean, SOLES… to the earth. This can be dirt, grass, sand and even cement. It is something our ancestors have done for thousands of years. I know I love the feeling of getting back in touch with nature.
We spend so much time walking on synthetic surfaces in synthetic shoes. This can lead to a build up of harmful static energy in the body that can cause pain and inflammation and may be a factor in the myriad of chronic diseases that can affect the body. Negative charged electrons from the Earth help the body balance out excessive positive charged electrons that build up in the body, which has an antioxidant effect that can protect your body from inflammation and disease.
Potential benefits of grounding:
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce affects of stress by lowering stress hormones such as cortisol
- Improve heart health
- Increase energy levels
- Reduce and prevent chronic pain
- Improve sleep
- Balance your nervous system
- Improve blood pressure and blood flow in your body
- Relieve muscle tension and headaches
- Shorten recovery time from injury or physical exertion/sporting activities
- Speed healing
If you experience pain in your feet when you’re barefoot, or if you are worried about the potential risks, please see your podiatrist. Podiatrists can help you enjoy your experience of grounding by ensuring your feet are functioning at their best when they don’t have the support of shoes or your orthotics.
People with Diabetes, nerve damage or circulation problems in their feet should check with their podiatrist to discuss the best ways to benefit from earthing without putting their feet at risk of injury.
For everyone else, give it a try and see how your body responds. Walk, stand, jump, or skip on the earth… You may be just a step away from better health and vitality through the power of your feet 🙂
Bailey Keatley is a Podiatrist at Posture Podiatry in Adelaide.
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!
Running styles vary according to distance, terrain and body type. Here are some helpful tips on how to maximise your ability to run strong and efficiently.
- Stand upright with a gentle lean forward
- Look straight ahead (unless you are on uneven terrain)
- Avoid twisting your body
- Run Quietly
- Visualise yourself as a ninja sneaking up on someone
- Your feet should touch the ground directly beneath you, not out in front of you
- You should avoid slapping ground with your feet, or pounding with your heels
- Kick the Dust Behind You
- It is much better to kick behind you than reach out in front of you to lengthen your stride
- Don’t over-stride – this can cause Shin Splints, Achilles problems, ITB pain and hip flexor pain
- Speed up those steps (Cadence)
- Think 3 steps per second (180 beats per minute)
- Run in time with fast tempo music
- Keep the same tempo whether you are running slow or fast
Make sure you have the correct shoes for your running style
The Podiatrists at Posture Podiatry can help you by assessing your running style, recommending the correct footwear and giving you helpful running drills to get the most out of your run.
The running began the day I received an extravagant package in the mail… We had been nominated for the Telstra Business Awards.
Having spoken to a couple of previous winners of the award, I knew what I was in for. It would force me to be vulnerable, to reveal the inner workings of our business, and it would take me around 45 hours to complete the application. I had to reveal personal struggles, successes and failures, plans for the future and a lot of numbers.
Very few allied-health businesses have won the Telstra Business Award in the past, which made me question whether to start the process at all…
…But it was worth it
Being able to take an honest look at who we were as a business allowed me to document our past, and organise our future.
Being shortlisted for the Telstra Business Award confirmed for me that we were on the right track, and industry analysts liked what they saw.
I admit I did check out the competition, and yes, I wrote a speech in case we did win.
And, although another business was chosen as the winner, the process revealed for me so many areas where we can fine-tune our service to really stand out (Those who know me will know that pun was intended!).
Now we are running again…
It gave me such a drive to achieve the vision I have for Posture Podiatry to be providing the best service, the best treatment and the best results for our clients.
As a result of this award we are more intent on being the best provider of podiatry services, but a little more relaxed about letting the award catch us if it does.
I really want to thank the team at Posture Podiatry for being the most amazing group of people to work with. They embody our culture and values, and they have aligned themselves with a common mission to be the best.
And thank you – our clients – for being so wonderful and supportive. It is because of you we love coming to work each day!
Do you think we should try again?
We all experience it at some point… walking into a shoe store only to be overwhelmed by choice! Scott Leslie from Posture Podiatry has tried out many shoes, and shares his thoughts on one of his favourites.
New Balance 870 V3
“The first thing I noticed with this shoe was the weight – or more importantly the lack of weight. This is a very light shoe for all the padding and posting it offers.” – Scott Leslie, Posture Podiatry
How does a cushioning shoe feel so light? The answer is a fusion of the REVLITE midsole, which feels very soft underfoot; and the light, soft upper material.
There is ample cushioning in the NB 870 for most medium distances. I have had no complaints on 10km runs so far.
The fit for me is excellent and felt comfortable as soon as I put them on. They don’t look too bad either.
The forefoot flexes very easily due to the design of the sole, and the shoe provides good support with a medial dual density post.
My thoughts are that the medial posting is softer (and therefore lighter) than most other shoes, and it looks like they have been able to reduce weight further with a cut-out in the middle of it.
… This might have an effect on the amount of support this shoe offers… so I wouldn’t really recommend it for anyone with highly pronated feet.
I have run over 80km’s in these shoes now, and they are not showing any signs of wear (although I do not usually wear through shoes quickly).
In summary, this shoe is a great transition to the light-weight market which is really popular with runners looking for a little bit of support in their shoe.”
For more information on choosing a good shoe, talk with Scott Leslie at Posture Podiatry by calling on 8362 5900, or contacting us here
Knee pain has the potential to stop you in your tracks.
But what has Mexico got to do with it?
Someone once told me they thought of the knee as Mexico… below the knee is the foot and lower leg – or South America, and above the knee there is the hip and pelvis – North America!
Often we blame the knee for the problem, but it’s likely to be something from either below the knee or above the knee that could be the cause.
So, when you think of your knee pain, consider the following 3 things:
- Are my feet in good alignment below the knee?
This is a good way to tell if your knees are having abnormal stress on them because of the position of your feet. Feet that roll in (pronate) will cause your knee to rotate inwards, feet that roll out (supinate) will make your knee rotate outwards causing stress.
- Does my knee tend to track in or out?
You can test this the next time you sit in a chair. Watch your knees as you sit down, and again as you rise, do they move in or out? Or do they stay in good alignment as they bend?
- Do I also have problems with hip pain and back pain? Or pain along the outside of my thigh?
Hip and back pain coupled with knee pain can be a warning sign that your knee pain is not just a problem with the knee. You may need to look higher to find the true cause of your knee pain.
The podiatrists at Posture Podiatry care about your knees, and can help you find the true cause of your knee pain, and treat it for you.
Contact us today if you have knee pain!