1890 333 777 To Make An Appointment or book@spectrumhealth.ie

Your work and your shoes

Whether you work in food, sales, or nursing, a lot of jobs require you to spend more or less the entire day on your feet. If you do work one of these jobs, you’ll know just how bad your feet can feel after a full day of running around. While some days you might be tempted to work through the pain, that is not a long-term solution. In this blog, we’re going to give some tips on how to protect your feet and avoid any unnecessary pain.

 

The Right Shoes

The first and most important aspect of looking after your feet is to make sure you have the right type of shoes. Soft shoes with a lot of cushioning will help, but what you really want to look out for is arch support. Good arch support will prevent your legs from becoming tired or painful, and will enable you to go for much longer. If you have trouble finding good shoes with proper arch support, you can consider getting an insole or an orthotic. To learn what the difference between the two is, see our blog on that subject. Finally, to give yourself the most comfortable and least exerting posture, you should make sure that your heels are somewhere between a quarter of an inch and 2 inches.

 

Workplace Tips

There aren’t too many changes you can make to your workplace, but depending on the kind of work you do, there may be one or two things you can do to help. If you work a job where you stand in one place all day, placing a mat at your station can make a big difference. The extra layer of cushioning between yourself and the ground may not seem like much, but when you’re there all day, it can relieve a lot of pain.

One thing you can do almost anywhere is stretch your feet. A simple exercise that will stretch most of the muscles in your feet is to balance on the heels of your feet, and stretch out your toes for a few seconds. Do this ten times, and then reverse the exercise by standing on the ball of your foot, and stretch your heels as high as you can.

 

Home Tips

Even when you’re not at work, you can prepare for making the whole experience less painful (physically at least). Though it may not sound like the most appealing option at first, giving yourself an ice foot bath can help reduce swelling and inflammation, which will both ease the pain from the workday gone, and prevent it from worsening the following day.

An alternative to this is to freeze a water bottle, and the roll it on the ground against the bottom of your feet. This will have a similar effect to an ice bath, but with the added benefit of massaging the feet as well. Finally, when resting, you should make sure to spend some time with your feet elevated. Something as simple as lying down on the couch can help get the blood out of your feet and reduce swelling.

How to choose a pair of school shoes

For most kids, going shopping for school shoes is a chore to get finished as quickly as possible. As a parent, you may be tempted to do the same thing, but as chaotic as the whole experience may get, you want to at least walk away with a good pair of school shoes. Below, we have listed a few of the top tips to help you choose the perfect pair.

 

When to Buy

Lots of good, forward-thinking parents like to finish off the school year by looking at the list of requirements for the following year, and checking things off as soon as possible. While this is a great way to ensure you get the best price for a book and aren’t left rushing around last minute, it’s not the best approach to take when buying children’s clothes. Kids can grow at such a fast pace that shoes bought in June might not fit in September. In order to get the most mileage out of a pair of shoes, buy them in late August or early September, just before the school year starts.

 

Weather

Although fashion changes and certain shoes go in and out of style, we all have a pretty good idea of what school shoes are supposed to look like. Generally, we go for brown or black leather style shoes that they can wear to other nice occasions. While that’s fine in terms of style, there are now a lot of similar looking shoes that offer completely different levels of protection. Since we live in Ireland, one of the most important things to consider is how dry and warm the shoes will keep you child’s feet. This is especially important if your child has to walk more than a short distance to school, or spends a lot of time playing outside. You may be buying the shoes in summer, but they could be in use throughout the winter, so make sure they’re winter-ready.

 

Fastening

Most kids will learn to tie their shoes by the age of 6, though it may take a little longer for some. Since you don’t want your child to be singled out, or to simply tuck their laces in their shoes, you should make sure that your child is comfortable tying their shoes alone before buying a pair with laces. Some schools may have a policy about velcro straps, so check the school’s uniform guidelines before buying these. If they are not permitted, a pair of slip-ons is your best option.

 

Fit

Lots of kids have feet that are wider or more narrow than you might expect, but that’s no cause for concern. Most kids’ feet will grow into proportion, and lots of stores now sell shoes that will accommodate feet of all shapes and sizes. If you are having trouble finding shoes that fit them after shopping around, you may want to consider seeing a podiatrist to have orthotics fitted. But the biggest mistake to watch out for in terms of fit is buying too big. A lot of parents are tempted to get shoes that are half a size too big, so the kids will grow into them. The problem with this is that half a size is quite a lot when you’re a child, and this just means that the shoes they’re wearing are too big, which will make the child less comfortable and more likely to fall.

Buying shoes may seem simple, but like all things that involve children, it can be trickier than we first assume. These are a few of the main tips that will help you find shoes for most children, but if your child has trouble finding shoes that fit and are comfortable, you may want to consider taking them to a podiatrist. While most children will eventually grow into their feet, they may have a legitimate underlying problem. If so, addressing it as early as possible is the most effective way to treat it.

The best shoes for your feet

If you’ve never been to a podiatrist, then your idea of the best shoes for your feet is probably the pair that looks the best, feels comfortable, and falls within your price range. But choosing the correct shoe is much more important than most people realise. Not only do we spend most of the day with our shoes on, the type of shoes we wear will gradually shape our feet over the course of years. This means if we choose the wrong one, we could end up with problems such as hammertoes or fallen arches. In this blog, we’re going to help you identify what type of shoes you should be wearing.

 

How to Buy

For starters, you should always try to buy shoes in the afternoon. Our feet swell up during the day as we walk around, and buying shoes first thing in the morning can mean you end up with a pair that’s too tight. You should always ask to have your feet remeasured as well, because many people will simply remember roughly what size they are, which can also result in ill-fitting shoes.

Apart from size, there are two main things to look for when buying a standard pair of everyday shoes. The first is cushioning, and how much cushioning you want will depend on how long you spend on your feet. The final and possibly most important thing to look for is proper arch support. The arch is the middle of the shoe, and can be either totally flat, neutral, or high. To identify which is best suited for you, follow our instructions below.

 

Arch Test

To figure out what sort of arch support you need, there is a simple test you can do at home. Get a basin of water and a flat piece of brown paper, such as a torn paper bag. Wet your feet and stand naturally on top of the paper. When you step off, the middle of your footprints will tell you what kind of arches you have.

If the dark patch in the middle stretches less than half of the way across the feet, it means you have high arches, and need high-arched shoes or an orthotic device. This will help add extra stability, as will a wide-based shoe. If the dark patches stretch halfway, you have neutral arches, and so standard arches will do. Finally, if the dark patches stretch almost all the way across, then you most likely have flat feet or fallen arches. This can make it more difficult to balance and easier to injure your feet, so a heavy, tough shoe is the best option as it can reduce the risk of injury.

The importance of shoe shopping is the kind of thing that people can easily overlook. It can be easy to think that we know what we’re doing because we’ve been wearing shoes our whole lives, but making just a few small changes can have a dramatic effect on your comfort and health levels. In this blog, we looked at general everyday shoes, but for more information on this topic, see our blog on Choosing the Right Sports Shoe.

Does your child need a podiatrist

Spectrum foot clinics - does your child need a chiropodist.jpg

One of the most important aspects of being a parent is making sure your child is healthy. Not only do children understand less about their health than their parents do, when they know something is wrong, they will often try to hide it to avoid a trip to the doctor. There are so many different aspects of a child’s health & safety to monitor that it can sometimes be overwhelming, and some things can slip under the radar. In this blog, we will outline some of the biggest signs to look out for that indicate your child may have a foot problem.


Changes in Behaviour

There are few things children fear more than a visit to the doctor, so if they think something is wrong, there’s a good chance they’re going to try to hide it. If it seems like your child is trying to prevent you from looking at their feet, it could be a sign that something may be wrong. If they suddenly go from being an extremely active child to one who spends a lot of time sitting around, that is another red flag. Watch out for any changes in their behaviour, and if you are still unsure after examining them yourself, assure them that going to a foot doctor does not involve getting any injections.

Lack of Arches

All children are different and develop at different rates, so a lack of clear arches in the feet is not always a cause for concern. In children under two years old, some children may have clearly formed arches, while others will not, so there is no cause for concern. By 6 years old, most children will have arches that are easily visible, though it is still not unusual for kids to have flat feet. Pointing the child’s toes in a straight line is the best way to assess whether or not the arches are forming. Although it is still possible that your child’s feet may be forming, if there are no arches visible after 6 years of age, you may want to take them to see a podiatrist.

Struggling to Keep Up

Although society as a whole is generally less physically active than in the past, children are usually extremely energetic and always on the go. Unless your child has a pre-existing condition such as asthma, they should be more or less as capable as their peers. If they are struggling to keep up, it may be because of a lack of arches. Another possibility is that their legs or feet are overused, in which case you should ensure that they get some rest. If it is a frequent or long-lasting issue, an examination by a podiatrist could tell you if their ligaments are inflamed or torn.

Tripping

While tripping over occasionally is not unusual for anyone, frequently falling is not. If your child appears to be tripping a lot, it could signal either fallen arches or an issue with pronation, which is how well-aligned their heels are with the ground. If you look at your child standing up straight, the centre of their heels should line up with the centre of their legs. If they appear to be walking on the inside or outside of their feet, it could signal a problem with their pronation, in which case they may need to get orthotics.

Issues with the feet can be hard to notice, especially since many of them develop slowly over time. You cannot rely on your child to monitor this themselves, so if you notice any of the above signs, you should examine them yourself and consider taking them to a podiatrist. Foot problems will rarely go away on their own, usually growing worse over time, so identifying and addressing these issues early on is the best way to get your child back to normal as soon as possible.

Winter Foot Care Tips

Winter Foot Care Tips

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen the weather dramatically shift from a beautiful, calm summer to temperate, dramatic storms...In this blog, we’re going to lay out several tips to taking care of your feet throughout the winter.

Avoiding Foot & Ankle Injuries While Exercising

Avoiding Foot & Ankle Injuries While Exercising

Sustaining a foot or ankle injury is one of the worst things that could happen. Even the slightest misstep can result in a painful injury that can take us out of action for weeks or months on end. In order to help you avoid this kind of disappointment, we have compiled a list of ways to prevent foot and ankle injuries.

4 Amazing Toenail Care Tips to Try Right Now

So with our feet on display, many of us are thinking how we can make sure they look and feel as best as they can. But whether you’re showing them off in summer or wrapping them up in winter, taking care of your toenails is something we should all be conscious of. In this blog, we will look at a few of the top tips to help keep your nails beautiful and healthy.

5 Effective Natural Foot Odour Remedies

5 Effective Natural Foot Odour Remedies

Whether you’re an active individual or simply feeling the summer heat, nobody likes to experience foot odour. Fortunately, there are lots of different home remedies you can try yourself that will help you tackle this issue. Here, we’re going to look at several easy ways to tackle foot odour at home.

Common Summer Foot Problems

Common Summer Foot Problems

The likes of sunburn, dehydration, and difficulty sleeping are some of the more well-known issues we have in summer, but the effects that this season can have on our feet are usually overlooked. Today we will look at some of the most common foot problems people experience during summer, and what you can do to keep your feet healthy.

Does My Child Need Insoles?

Does My Child Need Insoles?

Flat feet can cause a lot of different problems. From the feet themselves, all the way up to the back, fallen arches can cause us a great deal of pain. It’s understandable therefore that you may be worried that your child has flat feet. Fortunately, this is rarely a problem in children. In this blog, we will outline the signs that suggest it may be an issue, as well as those worrying signs that are actually harmless.