Ready for Summer – How to choose awesome shoes for your fitness kick!

Ready for Summer – How to choose awesome shoes for your fitness kick!

Ready for Summer - How to choose awesome shoes for your fitness kick!

Ready for Summer - How to choose awesome shoes for your fitness kick!

It’s that time of year where we look to putting away the winter Woolies and start pulling out the T-shirt’s and shorts. For many of us summer means trips to the beach a pool or somewhere else that requires us to bare more than we normally would hide away in winter.

This often means we also start getting back to fitness. Diving into exercise sometimes we are less prepared than we should be and we end up with foot or leg pain. Ouchie Mumma!

At a step ahead foot & ankle care If you were to ask our team of Professional foot doctors all qualified Podiatrists where people go wrong they will tell you it’s two primary areas.

Wrong shoes for the job

That’s right you decide that your jumping into activity so you rush down to buy new kicks based on ..... umm lots of you get things really wrong from here. You choose your new shoes for training based on;

  • Colour - really because you like blue?
  • Based on a brand you saw your favourite marque football or tennis star wears. - They are Professional mostly because they don’t get injured much and have awesome mechanics. Both of which you may lack!
  • You choose them because a fancy advertisement told you they were awesome. Ask yourself have you ever witnessed an advert that say “buy this, they are sort of ok”.
  • You choose them because your friend has some and they say they are awesome! Great idea if it’s a burger joint not so great when it comes to health advice.

How you should really choose a shoe

 

Generally your shoe should not only fit your foot but also your activity. Feet like both shoes and activity are all different! This means you should base your decision on more than the above. Particularly colour please not colour!

Here are tips that will help:

  • Flat feet generally go better with firm supportive runners. So if they say “super soft” and have nasty big air bags hanging off the sole these probably aren’t for you!
  • High arched feet like cushioning but not too much. Think moderation, look for shoes described as for under pronators or high arches.
  • Buy running shoes for running activities. Sounds simple but there are a lot of fashion shoes that are “runner” inspired. ASICS for example have separate fashion style shoes. Of you’ve decided to take up tennis with friends head out and get great TENNIS shoes!
  • Ensure they fit! There should be a fingers width between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe, when standing up. Your toes should NEVER touch the end of the shoe.

So that’s the first things as Podiatrist our team are going to tell you! As you read above this is two areas that people get a tad wrong. The other is getting into activity to fast and getting injuries that stop their activity. We will chat about that next week. So see you then.


Oh if you need help with your feet ankle or leg pain or problems the team at A step ahead foot & Ankle care would be more than happy to help you.

Our team is lead by Dr Brenden Brown who is a Podiatrist with over 20 years experience in that time serving as President of the Australian Podiatry Association. You may know Dr Brenden from his regular appearances as a medical expert on foot and lower limb problems in Magazines, television shows such as The Today Show, A Current affair or The project. He’s also been a regular on radio including ABC Sydney where he is well known as Dr Foot!

If you haven't booked your appointment time for your gap-free heel pain assessment yet, please call our friendly reception team on (02) 9673 2987 to secure your appointment today.

Have you tried our Heel Pain Calculator? https://heelpaindr.com.au/

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/podiatristsydney

Want more information? That's fantastic. There's stacks of videos that we've made. Look down below. There's most likely a link there, or check us out on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc., all the normal socials because we've got stacks of educational videos on heel pain and all the other conditions that we look after. Thanks and stay happy, healthy and active.

ABOUT DR BRENDEN BROWN

Founder of A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care in Sydney, and former president of the Australasian Podiatry Council, Dr Brenden Brown (A.K.A Dr Foot) is a wealth of knowledge on how to take care of your feet, including how to find the best shoes.

Follow him on social media:
 instagram.com/askdrfoot
 facebook.com/podiatristsydney
 twitter.com/AStepAheadFAC

* No medical treatment can guarantee 100% success. Registered medical and health professions in Australia are by law not allowed to guarantee success. This comes as a result of all human bodies reacting differently to treatments. Patients should thoroughly consider all treatment options available to them.

Best shoes for Heel Pain Dr Brenden shows you what to look for!

Best shoes for Heel Pain Dr Brenden shows you what to look for!

Best shoes for Heel Pain Dr Brenden shows you what to look for

When I'm looking for a shoe for heel pain and recommending it to my patients, I'm looking for a more structured shoe.

What does that mean? In the back of the heel, this area is called a heel counter. It should never press in. It needs to be firm to hold your heel. I believe that the middle of the shoe should never bend.

Your foot doesn't bend in the middle and nor should your shoe. Really firm. However, the shoe should always bend at the Toe. Grab it at either end. It's great. It's bending there really easily. You should never wring or twist out.

See how it just can't do that? And finally, make sure that you're doing the laces up Firmly. Make that shoe feels like a glove. These are my tips for shoes when you've got problematic heel pain. It's my one tip that helps most people get out of pain reasonably quickly.

If you haven't booked your appointment time for your gap-free heel pain assessment yet, please call our friendly reception team on (02) 9673 2987 to secure your appointment today.

Have you tried our Heel Pain Calculator? https://heelpaindr.com.au/

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/podiatristsydney

Want more information? That's fantastic. There's stacks of videos that we've made. Look down below. There's most likely a link there, or check us out on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc., all the normal socials because we've got stacks of educational videos on heel pain and all the other conditions that we look after. Thanks and stay happy, healthy and active.

ABOUT DR BRENDEN BROWN

Founder of A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care in Sydney, and former president of the Australasian Podiatry Council, Dr Brenden Brown (A.K.A Dr Foot) is a wealth of knowledge on how to take care of your feet, including how to find the best shoes.

Follow him on social media:
 instagram.com/askdrfoot
 facebook.com/podiatristsydney
 twitter.com/AStepAheadFAC

* No medical treatment can guarantee 100% success. Registered medical and health professions in Australia are by law not allowed to guarantee success. This comes as a result of all human bodies reacting differently to treatments. Patients should thoroughly consider all treatment options available to them.

Ready for Summer – How to choose awesome shoes for your fitness kick!

Ready for Summer – How to choose awesome shoes for your fitness kick!

Ready for Summer - How to choose awesome shoes for your fitness kick!

It’s that time of year where we look to putting away the winter Woolies and start pulling out the T-shirt’s and shorts. For many of us summer means trips to the beach a pool or somewhere else that requires us to bare more than we normally would hide away in winter.

This often means we also start getting back to fitness. Diving into exercise sometimes we are less prepared than we should be and we end up with foot or leg pain. Ouchie Mumma!

At a step ahead foot & ankle care If you were to ask our team of Professional foot doctors all qualified Podiatrists where people go wrong they will tell you it’s two primary areas.

Wrong shoes for the job

That’s right you decide that your jumping into activity so you rush down to buy new kicks based on ..... umm lots of you get things really wrong from here. You choose your new shoes for training based on;

  • Colour - really because you like blue?
  • Based on a brand you saw your favourite marque football or tennis star wears. - They are Professional mostly because they don’t get injured much and have awesome mechanics. Both of which you may lack!
  • You choose them because a fancy advertisement told you they were awesome. Ask yourself have you ever witnessed an advert that say “buy this, they are sort of ok”.
  • You choose them because your friend has some and they say they are awesome! Great idea if it’s a burger joint not so great when it comes to health advice.

How you should really choose a shoe

 

Generally your shoe should not only fit your foot but also your activity. Feet like both shoes and activity are all different! This means you should base your decision on more than the above. Particularly colour please not colour!

Here are tips that will help:

  • Flat feet generally go better with firm supportive runners. So if they say “super soft” and have nasty big air bags hanging off the sole these probably aren’t for you!
  • High arched feet like cushioning but not too much. Think moderation, look for shoes described as for under pronators or high arches.
  • Buy running shoes for running activities. Sounds simple but there are a lot of fashion shoes that are “runner” inspired. ASICS for example have separate fashion style shoes. Of you’ve decided to take up tennis with friends head out and get great TENNIS shoes!
  • Ensure they fit! There should be a fingers width between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe, when standing up. Your toes should NEVER touch the end of the shoe.

So that’s the first things as Podiatrist our team are going to tell you! As you read above this is two areas that people get a tad wrong. The other is getting into activity to fast and getting injuries that stop their activity. We will chat about that next week. So see you then.


Oh if you need help with your feet ankle or leg pain or problems the team at A step ahead foot & Ankle care would be more than happy to help you.

Our team is lead by Dr Brenden Brown who is a Podiatrist with over 20 years experience in that time serving as President of the Australian Podiatry Association. You may know Dr Brenden from his regular appearances as a medical expert on foot and lower limb problems in Magazines, television shows such as The Today Show, A Current affair or The project. He’s also been a regular on radio including ABC Sydney where he is well known as Dr Foot!

If you haven't booked your appointment time for your gap-free heel pain assessment yet, please call our friendly reception team on (02) 9673 2987 to secure your appointment today.

Have you tried our Heel Pain Calculator? https://heelpaindr.com.au/

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/podiatristsydney

Want more information? That's fantastic. There's stacks of videos that we've made. Look down below. There's most likely a link there, or check us out on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc., all the normal socials because we've got stacks of educational videos on heel pain and all the other conditions that we look after. Thanks and stay happy, healthy and active.

ABOUT DR BRENDEN BROWN

Founder of A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care in Sydney, and former president of the Australasian Podiatry Council, Dr Brenden Brown (A.K.A Dr Foot) is a wealth of knowledge on how to take care of your feet, including how to find the best shoes.

Follow him on social media:
 instagram.com/askdrfoot
 facebook.com/podiatristsydney
 twitter.com/AStepAheadFAC

* No medical treatment can guarantee 100% success. Registered medical and health professions in Australia are by law not allowed to guarantee success. This comes as a result of all human bodies reacting differently to treatments. Patients should thoroughly consider all treatment options available to them.

I Just Want to be Fit For Summer

I Just Want to be Fit For Summer

I Just Want to be Fit For Summer

Walk run and skip and dont stop for foot pain

Don't let foot pain stop you from reaching your goals!

The warm weather had started last September, we had a series of warm spring days and this is when Sarah appeared in my office. “I just want to get fit for summer” I am so sick of not getting there and I just need some answers. Sarah went on to explain that this was not her first attempt at getting fit, frustratingly she had tried the year before and throughout winter to get there. But despite eating the right thing her training or more accurately her foot pain always got in the way!

New Shoes might be the answer?

Sarah had been to a reputable sports footwear retailer and had grabbed a pair of runners that the store had recommended. While initially comfortable and her looking seriously cool in them ;-). After her attempts each night to walk or run she still found herself in pain. If not that night, over the following days she developed pain in her arch on the inside of her foot. It went from being a dull ache to at times being a sharp pain. It also felt like it ran up the inside of her leg a little. (ahhhh ok so that’s a bit different) If she stopped running or walking for a few weeks / days it got better but once she started again it was back!

A visit to the doctor

Kühlpack auf Fuß mit SchwellungFrustrated with this she saw her GP who suggested she try putting some ice on the area. Again, she went home determined to get better but with little result, YUP the ice made it immediately feel better, but straight after on the next walk it came back.

Ok let’s try the physio!

Still not deterred she headed to a local Physio. He said it was a heel pain may be fasciitis or a heel spur? He did a short massage, used a machine that created a type of heat and showed her some stretching. Ok so this was a bit better she thought, for several days and even a session of walking it felt bearable but ………. on trying to increase her activity again, there it was like that old uncle you can’t stand but see every now and then at family function, you don’t want to see them but bam!!! There they are!!

A solution!

Finally, after speaking to a friend, who had a similar problem, she came across our clinic. “My friend drove across the city to see you and you got her better.” She said. “You must be worth it because my friend had been everywhere and now raves about you” (feeling pretty chuffed right now)

Its NOT a heel spur!

That’s right nope and it wasn’t fasciitis! Yep these are super common MISdiagnoses for this type of pain!  If you don’t see this multiple times a day, and you are also trying to work on shoulder pain and fix dodgy knees its easy to get it mixed up!

Tibialis Posterior pain is NASTY

On watching Sarah’s walk on our Video Walk run analysis equipment it became pretty clear that her walk or “gait” and “biomechanics” in podiatry speak was lousy! We found that Sarah’s feet were rolling in too much and that put very simply her arches needed more support, to give her muscles a chance to work properly.

While the physios stretches and exercises were great, the lowering of her arch needed assistance for her to be able to do all the work they required. NO amount of super special exercises are going to get this muscle strong enough. Not if you actually want to get active!

So, what’s the plan?

I chatted to Sarah and developed a treatment plan that meant we could get her back to training and finally fit for summer! So what did we do?

  • We made a custom-made pair of orthoses for her after taking a 3D laser scan and a detail series of Biomechanical measurements – fancy talk for checking each joint in your foots movement – all the muscles strength and how all the joints and muscles work together! SOFT SOFT SOFT but more below.
  • Arranged a series of Deep connective tissue massages. While the orthoses will fix why the problem was occurring the soft tissue therapy will address the muscle, we need to help the muscle along it way to being healthy again and ready for activity.
  • Stretches which is pretty standard BUT really importantly strengthening exercise were also prescribed if you don’t get the muscle STRONG we are running in circles.
  • We addressed Sarah’s shoes. While her shoes were fantastic, and truthfully loads of patients aren’t as good as Sarahs. If you don’t get this right with patient’s treatment falters! The right shoe for the patients foot type helps, not only supporting the foot, but also working with the orthoses. The aim is to get Sarah back to exercise as soon as possible to reach her health goals.

SOFT pliable inserts – NOT rock-hard harbour bridges!

That’s right SOFT devices we never make hard rigid devices! All our custom-made orthoses are made and designed exclusively by our clinic, in our onsite orthotic laboratory it takes about 3 weeks for the process of computer aided design by our me, they are then milled out using CNC milling and finished by hand. We have a super dedicated team and these are flicked off to a lab somewhere overseas like other clinics often do. Our devices are produced by our awesome lab technician right at the practice!

While waiting for these we began the treatment plan and her DCTM, strength and stretching.

So, what happened?

In four weeks at her review Sarah reported her discomfort had dropped dramatically. She no longer had pain after every walk and had found that she was able to increase to running. We reviewed her stretching and asked Sarah to increase her Km’s of running per week. She was stoked! 8 weeks later on her final review Sarah was ecstatic “I can run” she said. “I haven’t been able to run pain free in years”!

So, where to from here?

woman runner running at tropical parkYou don’t have to put up with Foot pain! There are answers other than waiting for it to go away and pills! At A Step Ahead we see dozens of people like you with foot and lower limb pain all day and we love it! We love getting people better so they can kick their health goals whether its running 5 km or 50 km’s or if it’s professional sport or simply ridding yourself from foot pain so you can play in the park with the kids!

Why not call our friendly team and ask if we can help? Chances are we can! You can also check out more of our website for information on other common conditions we see regularly!

Call us on 9673 2987 or 4732 2007. We are located in St Marys and Penrith in Sydney and unlike Macquarie street you can park right out front and it doesn’t cost 65 dollars an hour its free! We are privilege to have patients travel from all over Sydney and NSW to see us: From the North shore and as far away as Port Macquarie and Wollongong.

We would really love to help you get on the track so please give us a call.

Dr Brenden Brown
Podiatrist

Shen glasses

BB and Shendi Yes they have 3d glasses on at home. Because they can 😉

How Fiona Beat Heel Pain

How Fiona Beat Heel Pain

How Fiona Beat Heel Pain

Meet Fiona

Is it really a heel spur's that causes the pain?

Fiona is a 43-year-old lady with two teenage daughters and a busy household. In the past six months she has returned to exercise by joining a gym, which she is …. or was really enjoying.

Lately she has been waking up in the morning, placing her heels on the ground, only to get what she describes as "excruciating pain". She feels the same pain if she sits for long periods and tries to stand: the pain, while not as bad as those first few steps in the morning, can make her hobble. This is now a BIG problem as she was really enjoying her return to fitness and wants to see what she can do to rid herself of the pain.

A visit to the GP

She visited her GP who spoke to her about a heel spur, he took x-rays and indeed there was a heel spur in the picture. He explained to her that generally very few surgeons will operate on heel spurs and there is little she can do but wait out the pain which on average would go away after about 18 months! He did give her some general stretches and said he could try an injection if she really wanted, but it was painful!

 

Off to the chemist

Fiona also went to the chemist to try to buy some heel pads to take pressure of the heel. She tried these for about a month. While they worked for a short while, the pain quickly returned.  She also tried some very cushioned shoes, again while this was comfortable at first within a short period of time this very expensive pair of sneakers gave little relief.

On attending an appointment at A step Ahead Foot and Ankle care Fiona was just about to give up. A friend referred her after they had suffered a similar pain and our podiatry team had made her pain free.

A diagnosis

Did you know that there is over a dozen different diagnosis for heel pain – YUP if you don’t get that part right you’re off to a rocky start! Our Podiatrist, after a thorough assessment, diagnosed Fiona with plantar fasciitis in this case. Plantar fasciitis is a soft tissue condition of the underside of the foot starting at the heel, where much of the pain is located, however the pain can radiate out towards the toes where the fascia again ends. The pain can begin quiet subtly at first and can last on and off for many patients for many years. Now that all sounds easy but guess what?

Shock wave is a new and highly effective treatment.

Treatment

Shock wave is a new and highly effective treatment.

We discussed a treatment plan with Fiona to rid her of her heel pain, this included looking at some new more appropriate runners, a series of STRENGTH exercise NOT stretching, and soft tissue treatment options. Our Podiatrist provided Fiona with options which included:

  • New Footwear- A super important component of stopping this pain FAST is getting really specific! Our Doctors never leave this to chance! Like Fiona they will look at your foot shape and type, and your walking pattern, then recommend a shoe exactly for you!
  • Deep connective tissue massage – This is a firm to hard massage which is in this condition under taken on the base of the foot around the heel and into your calf muscle as this is almost always also tight. These sessions can range from as short as one a week for 3 weeks but up to 12 – 18 weeks long, dependent on how long your pain has been present.
  • Shockwave Therapy (Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)) – While Shockwave is a relatively new treatment which we have found very successful. Our Doctors have been suing this for over 7 years with great success! The basic principles behind shockwave therapy are the high-pressure acoustic shockwaves that travel through the skin to stimulate pain relief and tissue repair. We have found this treatment very successful and sees patients recover quicker. Most patients like Fiona recover within 6 to 9 weeks. This treatment is often recommended by sport physicians and orthopaedic surgeons. (Be warned - How long has your Practitioner been using this?)
  • Progressive Muscle Loading – Much to Fiona surprise our Doctors asked Fiona to STOP stretching! Despite what you may read on DR Google and friends the most modern research says stop stretching and start working on building your tendon strength!
  • Orthotic therapy – Orthoses are designed to hold your feet in a “corrected position”. Feet that are in poorly positioned or have poor foot posture have to over work which in turn causes muscles to over work and is most often the reason why people develop foot pain. While there are varying devices that do this there is no replacing custom made orthoses. These devices are made to match your foot exactly. - HARD RIGID orthotics can cause you MORE PAIN!! Soft pliable devices are the way to go!

A choice

In this instance Fiona opted for the quicker Shockwave therapy and orthotic therapy. Her podiatrist helped her select the correct foot wear to purchase from a footwear retailer. We then also provided her with an Isometric Strength exercises - NO NOT STRETCHES! that's right NOT stretching! Our team worked with Fiona to build up her strength readying the surrounding muscles for its work ahead at the same time as repairing the damaged tissue. On each occasion of shockwave reviewed these and provided supportive sports tapping to further support her foot.

A recovery

Fiona attended for shockwave over a period of five weeks and made good progress over that time with her pain dropping slowly over the first two weeks and then quickly once combined with her orthoses and more appropriate footwear.

At week five it was decided to push her appointments out to fortnightly and then when this was found successful out again another month. In total Fiona attended a total of seven times before her pain was relieved completely.

We introduced Fiona slowly back to attending the gym, with strict instruction on stretching and appropriate footwear for her foot type.  Fiona made a full recovery and with a month had returned to three gym sessions a week and a walk with friends for exercise on weekends.

 

How Can We Help?

If you’ve read this far you most likely have Heel Pain…. good guess right! If you have heel pain and you are serious about getting better it’s time to take action.

If you need more info you can book a  phone consult with one of our Heel Pain Experts. Our Foot Doctors will revise where you are and advise you on your next steps – Book a call back here!

Want to read more?

How about the common myths around heel pain?

DOWNLOAD Dr Brenden’s FREE report on beating heel pain!

Or call our helpful team who are used to speaking to literally thousands of patients with heel pain! Our number is 02 9673 2987. We would love to help!

 

4 hacks for a successful warm up

4 hacks for a successful warm up

Dr Brenden Brown, sports podiatrist from Sydney-based A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care, says, “Cold muscle is less pliable which means it has to work harder to accommodate a given load and will be more resistant to sudden stretch. Less pliable muscle tissue is also more susceptible to overuse injuries so never underestimate the importance of warming up (correctly!).”

He provides 4 steps to a successful warm up

4 hacks for a successful warm up - 1

4 hacks for a successful warm up

#1 Set aside adequate time

Warming up prepares the body for sport by improving blood flow to the different areas, increasing the muscle temperature and making muscles more pliable. The result – less likelihood of injury!

“The warm-up routine needn’t take half an hour, but it should take a good 10-15 minutes,” says Dr Brenden.

4 hacks for a successful warm up - 2

#2 WALK, before you run!

All too often players arrive at their sports training session and the coach shouts, “Right, go for a run”. This is way too much sudden change for the muscles.

No matter what sport or activity, players can begin their warm-up by walking.

Dr Brenden advocates the ‘Two footy fields or eight netball courts’ approach to warming up…

  1. Start slowly walking around the outside of 2 footy fields, end-to-end or side-to-side. For court sports, this equates to approximately 8 laps of the court!
  2. As you walk further SLOWLY pick up the pace. “NEVER get to a run!”
  3. You will do 2 complete laps of the 2 fields or 8 laps of the courts.
  4. NOW you are ready to look at further warm up exercises and maybe that coach’s run!

4 hacks for a successful warm up - 3

#3 Perform activity-specific warm ups and training

Let’s take netball as an example, there’s little point in netballers shooting hoops and running straight up and down the court in their warm-up and training sessions. It’s far better to do side-to-side jumps, high jumps and lands, as well as cutting movements. This is much more specific to what they’ll likely to be doing on the court and will help ensure the appropriate muscles are warmed up.

Same goes for footy, rugby or any other sport for that matter; make sure the warm up exercises you perform are relevant to what you’ll be doing on the field or pitch.

4 hacks for a successful warm up - 4

#4 Should you really stretch before sport?

This is an important question, particularly as when you stretch out a muscle and hold it there (static stretching) you can push the tissue past where it needs to go, which could do more harm than good!

According to the experts, stretching is NOT PROVEN to help prevent injury, curb muscle soreness after exercise or improve your performance.

In his paper ‘Does stretching improve performance? A systematic and critical review of the literature’1 sports medicine physician Ian Shrier writes, “An acute bout of stretching does not improve force or jump height, and the results for running speed are contradictory. Regular stretching improves force, jump height, and speed, although there is no evidence that it improves running economy.”

Another article2 states: “Static stretching before exercise can weaken performance, such as sprint speed, in studies. The most likely reason is that holding the stretch tires out your muscles.”

It goes on to say, “you should warm up by doing dynamic stretches, which are like your workout but at a lower intensity.”

Dr Brenden explains, “Dynamic stretches differ from the norm in that they stretch the body fluidly through an entire range of motions. Instead of holding the muscle in a stationary stretched-out position, you move gradually through the movement. This also allows you to make the stretching movement more specific to the sport you’ll be playing.”

Related:

4 hacks for staying injury free this winter sports season

Warming up for sport—why bother?

Sources:
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15377965
  2. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/how-to-stretch#1