Category Archives: Podiatry

Foot Problems As We Age

Just like every other part of our body, our feet show signs of age as we get older. I tell my patients that foot pain is just a sign of growing up, which sometimes makes them chuckle, but the truth is it happens to us all one day and most people can get great relief with appropriate treatment. Four out of five people report serious foot pain at one stage in their lives, and a trip to your local podiatrist might just be the answer.

The human foot is a strong, mechanical structure that contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons and numerous ligaments. But we ask a lot of our feet in day to day life.

For example, over the course of a normal day the force that our feet impart would be in the order of hundreds of tons, or the equivalent of a fully loaded cement truck. That’s every day! Jumping down off a step with the forces of gravity can mean that we reach up to 9 times our body weight through our feet.

Have you ever thought how amazing the architecture is in the human foot? With 26 bones in each foot, that totals one quarter of all the bones in our body and each bone is laid out into archways, the most efficient architectural position.

Just like the stone arch bridges that were built by the Romans, such as the Pond Du Gard in the South of France, which is still standing over 2000 years after it was built, the arched structure can be very resilient. These stone bridges that have stood for millennia all have one thing in common, a keystone. The last stone that was laid in each arch is the keystone and it is the most important stone in the entire archway because it locks the arch into a stable position.

Unlike stone bridges the human foot arches are very mobile and rely heavily on ligamentous and muscular support to help hold them up under the effects of gravity as we walk around some 216 Million steps, or 170,000km in our lifetime. The other problem is that our feet were designed to walk on softer surfaces like dirt, grass and sand, not hard concrete and ceramic floor tiles. Over time the arches can begin to collapse which causes strain on the ligament that supports the arch, the plantar fascia. This causes a very painful and debilitating condition called plantar fasciitis, where the ligament pulls off the heel bone, due to over-stretching.

Foot X-RayIt also leads to compression between the bones as the keystone begins to drop, leading to wear and tear of the protective articular cartilage on the bones, resulting in osteoarthritis. This is a relentlessly progressive condition that only gets worse as we age, so it’s best to wear good shoes with a firm heel counter, cushioned soles and some arch support, especially if you are standing on hard surfaces that further flattens your arches. Other problems that occur are bunions, calluses and tightening of the calf muscles especially if we don’t stretch anymore

Fat pad atrophy, where the cushioned fat pad under our feet wears out is also common in older feet. Fat pad syndrome requires treatment with cushioning and arch support to redistribute the pressure away from the bony prominences under the foot.

Podiatry is covered under some levels of private health insurance, DVA, WorkCover and Medicare Team Care Arrangements and there are many things that your local podiatrist can do to help, so don’t let foot pain hold you back any longer.

Greg Dower, Podiatrist & Co-founder of my FootDr podiatry centres


Greg Dower
Podiatrist & Co-Founder of my FootDr podiatry centres.


Ultra-Slim Foot Orthotics

Many people are required to wear custom foot orthotics to manage or resolve their foot pain. One major limitation in treating feet and lower limb conditions, especially in the city environment is working with and sourcing footwear that is comfortable but still suitable for formal office wear. Typically, these shoes are quite minimalist with limited room inside these shoes, making fitting orthotics difficult or even impossible. Thankfully two new innovations in orthotics are now available exclusively through my FootDr podiatry centres.

Womens Dress Shoe Stealth Orthotic

The Stealth Orthotic

Womens Dress Shoe with Stealth OrthoticThis ultra-slim orthotic design is made out of a thin and flexible plastic material sandwiched between cushioned Ortholuna base, with a Orthoplush top surface that is odour resistant. The Stealth orthotic is semi-custom made and has contoured arch support and a soft metatarsal dome. They are very effective in alleviating symptoms of the heel, arch and forefoot pain such as neuroma’s and bursitis. They fit famously into many formal and casual footwear styles including high heels, wedges and ballet flats.

The stealth orthotic is often used in conjunction with a full length custom orthotic to give the patient an alternative option when at work. Coupled with a comprehensive treatment program it offers patients the best chance of curing their foot pain once and for all.

The Cobra Device

Womens Dress Shoe Stealth Orthotic "Cobra Device'"Made with the same orthopaedic material and manufacturing process as our well known Orthema CAD/CAM orthotic manufacturing system, the Cobra device is a full custom made alternative.

What do we mean by fully custom made? Well, exactly what it means! The orthotic will be made to measure, for you based on the exact contours of your foot. With the luxury of having access to CAD/CAM orthotic design technology on site we are able to contour the orthotic to match your foot perfectly, as well as make modifications to give you the maximum amount of support possible whilst maintaining a slim design.

If you think these are a great alternative for you, or you are suffering from any form of foot or lower limb pain contact any of our my FootDr podiatry clinics for a consultation with one of our podiatrists. Visit to book your appointment today!

Womens Dress Shoe and Stealth Orthotic

Oxfam Trailwalker - my FootDr

Oxfam Trailwalker

Oxfam Trailwalker - my FootDrWell it’s that time of the year again! Oxfam Trailwalker is for a wonderful cause and every year raises much needed funds and awareness. Unfortunately, it also goes hand in hand with some foot and lower limb injuries that could easily be avoided with a little preparation!

So here are 10 friendly suggestions from the team here at my FootDr podiatry to help you get through the hard yards relatively unscathed!

1.      Prepare

First and foremost, prepare your body for the challenge with some training. Covering a distance of 100 km in one hit with no training is a great way to get injured. Start preparing a few months out from the big day by going for regular walks (beginning with a smaller distance for novices) and progressing to a bigger team walk on the weekends (for instance 30 km) over varying terrain. The course incorporates a variety of surfaces and gradients so choosing walking trails that are similar will help you adapt when in the big event! Regular walks will also increase your fitness and get your body comfortable with walking/jogging long distances.

2.       Address any problems early!

If you have had any pre-existing injuries or worries with your walking/jogging style; seek advice on support/guarding against major injury. The team here at my FootDr podiatry centres conduct biomechanical assessments regularly and would only be too happy to advise you on best course of action!

3.       Wear in your footwear!

The shoes you choose to wear for the event should be supportive (adequate cushioning) and suited to your particular foot type.

The shoes should NOT be brand new. New footwear takes time to shape specifically to your foot; wearing them straight up for 100km WILL GIVE YOU  FootDr podiatry - blisters

It is best to wear the shoes for a couple of weeks prior to the event for some bigger walks to make them comfortable. Resting the shoes for 3 days prior to the event will also make sure that the rubber in the soles is at it’s full potential!

4.       Stretching

Regular stretching and massage can help keep the muscles pain and injury free. A tight loaded muscle is more likely to suffer injury when fatigued. Keeping flexible will help protect you from major injury; so stretching after warming up during regular exercise and after warming down will go a long way to conditioning yourself for the major walk. Through-out the course there are a number of health professionals including podiatrists and physiotherapists who can help you in the event of minor injury or pain.

5.       Stay hydrated!

In the days leading up to the walk drink plenty of fluids to prepare your body; starting a 100km walk/jog dehydrated will only lead you to fatigue quickly and predispose you to injury. Exercise causes the body to use up it’s water stores whether for fuel or perspiration. There are regular drink stations along the trail walk, do not hesitate to use them!

6.       Blistering!

my FootDr - BlistersThe dreaded blisters will inevitably make an appearance during Oxfam due to the constant friction war of skin vs shoe! There are a number of ways to reduce the friction including good socks, checking you footwear fits correctly and if you are aware of any specific points you are prone to blistering, a few well-placed bandaids or strips of strapping tape can also help to prevent the blisters.

Podiatrists and medical staff will be on-hand at the check points to help relieve any discomfort, but being proactive will help reduce the pain!

7.       Toenails!

Yes Toenails! Cutting your toenails 3 days prior to the event will ensure that they are not too long that they will cause injury but also not too short that they will cause discomfort!

8.      Health Professionals are there to Help

If at some point during the walk you feel you have injured yourself and are in worlds of pain, CONSULT A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL at the nearest check point. Everyone who participates in Oxfam is a hero in their own right, but major injury is not part of the legacy. Seek medical assistance even if you are unsure, it is better to be safe than sorry!

9.      Assess the damage

The finishing point! You will be very tender towards the end of the walk/jog, not only have your muscles and joints in your legs taken a bashing but so have your feet. After finishing the big race, it’s a good idea to assess for any damage and have it seen to- whether it is blood blisters, skin irritation, lost toenails or major callus build up the last thing you want is infected feet!

10.  Recuperation

The following day- you will be sore. It is important to rest and recuperate; basic first aid Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation is a good treatment for the residual soreness; especially for the feet and legs! So put them up, throw on some ice and rest easy knowing what a great job you’ve done!

If you have any queries regarding footwear advice, biomechanical assessment or injury prevention don’t hesitate to come in and see one of our helpful, friendly podiatrists.


Mid-Season Junior Football Injuries

Now that we are well and truly into the winter sport season our young sporting stars may be complaining of some aches and pains. Due to the nature of football codes it is not uncommon for our kids to suffer from foot, ankle and leg injuries at this time of the season.

These injuries may range from a bump or a bruise, sprained ankle or something a bit more serious like a fracture. Participating in sport should be an enjoyable experience and therefore attending to pain and injury is essential to ensure our children continue to enjoy their sport.

Inversion Ankle Sprain

The most common injury suffered across all the football codes would have to be an inversion ankle sprain.  An inversion ankle sprain occurs when the ankle rolls and is twisted inwards overstretching and damaging the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. The severity of the injury can vary greatly. In minor sprains this can consist of damage to a few ligament fibres resulting in a small amount of pain and swelling around the ankle. In the most severe cases, rupture of the ankle ligaments and damage to the bone can occur. Severe injuries involving rupture or minor fracture usually result in severe pain, swelling, bruising and often an inability to put weight on the foot.

Initial treatment should follow the regime of rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE).  Depending on the severity of the injury, crutches, ankle braces or cast walkers may be required to offload and support the ankle.  Poorly treated ankle sprains will often result in a recurrence of the injury and consequently a weakness and instability placing the player at an increased risk of further injury therefore a visit to your local podiatrist is recommended to ensure a proper treatment plan is initiated.

Severs Disorder

As a podiatrist heel pain is one of the most frequent problems to walk or hobble through the door.  Active children aged between 8 and 13 are particularly susceptible to heel pain or as we call it Severs disorder. This problem is caused by inflammation around the growth plate on the back of the calcaneus or heel bone where the Achilles tendon attaches. As the child grows the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon will often tighten up resulting in increased pulling on the back of the heel and growth plate resulting in inflammation and pain. This problem responds particularly well to treatment which usually involves stretches for the calf muscles, ice on the area and innersoles or orthotics to help elevate and stabilise the heel to reduce tension around the growth plate.

Shin Splints And Arch Pain

Shin pain (shin splints) and arch pain also top the list as the more common complaints we see in active kids.  These two problems can often come on gradually, starting as a mild ache during sport progressing to become a constant problem, impairing the child’s ability to participate in sport. Some kids will be more prone to these problems and this type of pain can often indicate that their feet and legs are not coping with the extra stress and strain that their sport places on them. Kids who have really flexible flat feet or feet that over pronate (roll in) are most at risk of these problems.  This is because the muscles that run up the inside and front of the shin bone and the along the underside of the arch work extra hard to keep the feet and legs stable and prevent them from rolling in and flattening out too much.

These Problems Are Treatable

The good news is that these problems are treatable and should not prevent our future footy stars from running around the park.

We recommend a check-up with a podiatrist when:

• Your child complains of recurrent pain in the feet and or legs.

• Your child is constantly tripping or falling.

• You notice any skin rashes, hard skin lumps or bumps on your child’s feet.

• Or if you have any other concerns about your child’s feet.


Spotting a Plantar Plate Tear

Plantar plate tear

Plantar plate tear

One of the most common forefoot complaints that presents to my FootDr podiatry centres is a plantar plate tear.   This is seen most frequently in middle-aged women who present with constant plantar metatarsal pain and swelling extending towards the toes (mostly affecting the 2nd toe).  Often swelling and redness can also be noted across the dorsum of the forefoot along with symptoms exacerbated by extended periods of walking or running and the use of high heel shoes.  As the plantar plate tear progresses, clawing and splaying of the toes is seen.

Early diagnosis and management of a plantar plate tear can often be challenging due to the complex structure and anatomy of the foot.  If necessary, furthe

r investigations can be ordered such as plain x-ray or diagnostic ultrasound to appraise the severity of injury.  However, the early stages of a plantar plate tear are best managed when there is only acute plantar metatarsophalangeal joint synovitis and no instability or deformity (clawing and splayed toes).  Conservative treatments primarily include symptomatic relief through NSAIDs, strapping, off-loading padding, footwear and activity modification.  Subsequently treatment will then focus on the underlying cause of the problem ie pes planus, bunions, hammer toes, mechanical stress.  At myFoot Dr podiatry centres we will perform a thorough physical and biomechanical assessment to determine the best course of action to offload the forefoot and decrease mechanical stresses.  Often a customised, soft, CAD/CAM orthotic device and footwear modifications are recommended that can prevent the problem from progressing.

Occasionally in chronic cases, an orthopaedic appraisal and surgery is recommended.  Generally, most patients are able to return to activity in 1 month of treatment and pain free within 3-4 months.


Heel Pain in Junior Footballers

Watching a young footy player hobbling off the field is never a good sight to see. One of the most common problems often responsible for this is a type of heel pain known as Severs Disease.

Severs Disease or calcaneal apophysistis affects physically active boys aged 12 to 14 years and girls aged 10 to 12 years, which corresponds with the early growth spurts of puberty.  Symptoms usually come on gradually and can include:

• Unilateral or Bilateral heel pain
• Heel pain during physical exercise, especially activities that require running or jumping
• Increased pain level after exercise
• A tender swelling or bulge on the heel that is painful on touch
• Limping
• Calf muscle stiffness first thing in the morning

So what causes the pain?

During puberty the calcaneus or heel bone consists of two areas of bone known as ossification centres. These two areas are separated by an area of cartilage known as the calcaneal apophysis or growth plate.  This growth plate does not fully fuse together until the foot has finished growing. The strongest tendon in the body the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone. It is through that as the body grows and the muscles become stronger the calf muscles that attach to the achilles tendon tighten up and cause more pulling strain around the growth plate on the heel bone. This often results in pain and sometimes inflammation which is known as Severs Disease.

The good news is that in the majority of cases Severs responds very well to treatment.

Treatment typically involves a stretching and or strengthening program to help stretch out the calf muscles and Achilles tendon.  Ice is also recommended to help alleviate pain and is best placed over the painful area immediately after sport. The use of orthotics with a heel raise under both heels is also commonly prescribed and usually results in quick resolution of pain.  In very active kids playing a couple of sports and training several times per week modifying their training load may also be required.

Podiatrists encounter cases of Severs disease daily especially during the footy season and know how best to diagnose and treat the problem.  A my FootDr podiatrist will conduct a thorough assessment of the patient including a hands-on assessment of the painful area, video gait analysis of the way the patient is walking and running and an inspection of the patients shoes and footy boots. This will enable our podiatrist to accurately diagnose the problem and outline the best treatment approach for the individual.


Barefoot Running

In the past decade somewhat of a “fad” has gained considerable support throughout the health and fitness industries. This is the belief that running barefoot is the be all and end all when it comes to running training. At one end of the spectrum there are barefoot enthusiasts who believe that running barefoot is better for you and running shod causes injuries. On the other hand there are sceptics who will tell you that barefoot running should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, as with most issues, these “extremists” gain the most media coverage and therefore it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that you are either a barefoot runner or not. Surely, however, there is a middle ground.

If we look back through the pages of history, humans have been running barefoot for millions of years. Even right up until the 1970’s our most elite athletes were running on nothing more than thin strips of rubber (1). Therefore it can be said that, evolutionarily speaking, we are well adapted to running barefoot. That being said though, as podiatrists, we regularly see patients who have suffered from various injuries by attempting barefoot running. This is not to say that those individuals who run shod are injury free either. What is known is that there is no scientific evidence linking running shoes to injury; conversely, nor that barefoot or minimally supported running prevent injuries or enhances running performance (2). This is obviously contradictory to much of what can be found by a quick Google search of barefoot running!

Running styles differ considerably between shod runners and experienced barefoot. Various studies have concluded that, when running barefoot, we tend to strike more with our forefoot which then allows the ankle joint to absorb the shock generated from impact. When running shod however, we strike with the heel first, relying on the shoes rubber sole and our knees to absorb the impact forces (2, 3). These differences in running styles tend to lead to variances in the injuries sustained by both camps. Often, barefoot runners experience forefoot injuries (eg. sesamoiditis, plantar plate injury, metatarsal stress fracture) and Achilles injuries (eg. Insertional tendinopathy, mid-portion tendinopathy). In comparison, shod runners often present with “shock type” injuries such as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome. Interestingly, both groups can present with the all too common injury, Plantar Fasciitis.

There are both advantages and disadvantages of barefoot running. Jenkins and Cauthon (4) summarised them nicely as follows:

  • Advantages
    • Changes to runner’s gait – decreased stride length, increased stride frequency, decreased range of motion at the ankle, knee and hip and more plantarflexed ankle at contact
      • This is not necessarily an advantage in itself, however the modifications are partially responsible for further advantages
  • Reduction in impact forces
  • Increased economy of running – some studies suggest that there is a decrease in oxygen consumption when running barefoot due to a reduction in weight
  • Increased proprioceptive ability – theoretically this may reduce the risk of ankle injuries however no studies have confirmed this statement
  • Potential increase in musculature strength – especially that of the intrinsic muscles of the foot
  • Decreased cost – no need for regularly changing footwear
  • Disadvantages
    • Injury from running surface, debris and general hazards
    • Thermal injury
    • Availability of adequate surfaces – no studies have yet determined the optimal surface for barefoot running
    • Exposure to microorganisms/Infectious agents
    • Runners who require mechanical control for existing conditions – an orthotic device dispensed by your podiatrist obviously requires a shoe
    • Potential injury to those with systemic conditions – the best example is a diabetic with peripheral neuropathy. If this individual was to run barefoot, his/her risk for serious injury is greatly increased
    • Potential increased shock at impact – this is particularly the case for those new to barefoot running. If an athlete has run in shoes their whole life it is more than likely they have developed a heel-toe strike pattern. If they were to continue with the same pattern they are at real risk of suffering from a stress related injury

As can be seen, there are various advantages and disadvantages for barefoot running. This is not to say that there is no place for it in a training regime however I think it is clear that it should not be the only modality used. Instead, it is my belief that barefoot running be used as an adjunct; something to enhance what is already being done. I see barefoot running as an exciting addition to training protocols, not a crazy fad that should be ignored or shunned in a hope that it will disappear.

It is important that, if you wish to begin barefoot running, the transition is a gradual one. These days there are many “minimalist” type shoes on the market that offer the protection of a shoe with very little support and cushioning. A slow progression to complete barefoot is essential to ensure that the foot’s structures are able to adapt to the increased loads being experienced.

Readers should be excited at the prospect of further diversifying their training. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of pieces of literature available on the topic. The trick is to decipher what is hype and what fact. And of course, if you have further queries or concerns, consult your podiatrist who will be more than willing to provide their perspective on the matter.

1)      Lieberman, D. (2011) What can we learn about running from barefoot running: An evolutionary medical perspective. Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews. Retrieved from

2)      Lohman, E et al (2011) A comparison of the spatiotemporal parameters, kinematics, and biomechanics between shod, unshod and minimally supported running as compared to walking. Physical Therapy in Sport. (12) 151-163

3)      Lieberman, D et al (2010) Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot vs shod runners. Nature. (463) 531-535

4)      Jenkins, D & Cauthon, D (2011) Barefoot running claims and controversies – A review of the literature. JAPMA. (101) 231-246


Solestar Cycling Orthotics

my FootDr Podiatry Centres is proud to offer cyclists the hidden secret which many professional cyclists have in their shoes called the Solestar cycling orthotics; the leading cycling orthotic as used by the pro peloton. Solestar orthotics have become standard for the likes of Fabian Cancellara, Frank and Andy Schleck, Andre Greipel and the entire Trek Leopard and Radioshack Nissan professional teams.

Solestar orthotics are handmade in Germany to ensure each one meets their high standards and build quality. The carbon simply offers a perfect combination of stiffness and flexibility whilst remaining extremely light and thin. Solestar orthotics store energy while pushing and give it back while pulling in your pedal stroke. An independent scientific study done by the Cologne Sport University (DSHS) showed that there was an increase of 6.9 % of torque at the pedal in sprint performance by riders using Solestar orthotics compared to standard insoles.

How Solestar works:

Solestar is made from a special carbon material, which makes the insole extremely light and thin, so the foot moves close to the pedal.

The metatarsal support provided by Solestar prevents the foot from deforming and the internal rotation of the leg during the pressure phase in the pedaling cycle; this will reduce the torsion stress on the ankle and knees.

Solestar lowers the joint of the big toe while also providing raised edges for the forefoot. This results in an equal distribution of force over the whole of the metatarsal axis. This aims to optimise the foot/pedal interface allowing for enhanced power transfer and minimising overuse injuries and strain caused by an unstable foot posture.

Solestar features a heel clasp that holds the rear foot and enables direct contact with the shoe sole.

my FootDr podiatry centres are an authorized fitting specialist of Solestar cycling orthotics. Each fitter has been trained by German developer Oliver Elsenbach to ensure a perfect fit. Your feet will be accurately measured during your appointment where we will assess your shoe fitting and cleat position, so don’t forget to bring your cycling shoes and your bike to the appointment! Good fitting shoes, orthotic and cleat position will allow you to have maximum power transfer during the power phase of your pedal stroke and therefore improved performance and reduced your chance of injury.

90% of the riders we equip with the insoles today are already trouble-free when they come to us and only look for added power. Be proactive not reactive about your cycling and cycling related injuries.

Solestar Cycling Orthotics - my FootDr podiatry

If you demand top performance from yourself, you must not waste power.
The new SOLESTAR cycling insole made from carbon optimizes the transfer
of power, increases comfort and reduces overuse.


Queensland Bulls use Podiatry to Ensure Peak Performance

my FootDr - Podiatrist for the Queensland BullsThe Queensland Bulls cricket team is already well into their preseason training and are hot favourites to retain the Sheffield Shield in the 2012-13 summer. So too the Brisbane Heat, who despite just falling short of the making the Big Bash finals last year are expecting big things this coming December and January. The squad welcomes back Nathan Hauritz after 6 years playing in Sydney and Usman Khawaja, the exciting left-handed opening batsman has also made the move north inspired by the unique coaching style of Darren ‘Boof” Lehmann. The squad is also bolstered by a number of emerging junior players and a solid list of experienced campaigners including captain James Hopes and veteran wicketkeeper Chris Hartley.

The Bulls squad in preparation for the compacted season ahead undergo a number of medical and fitness assessments and tests. Just like the rest of us, peak foot health is critical for optimal performance and comfort while on the field. Serious and debilitating foot and leg conditions commonly experienced by cricketers include stress fractures, tendonitis, sprains and strains, spurs, joint impingement and contusions. Fast bowlers in particular, can also suffer less serious but equally uncomfortable blisters, calluses and corns, bruised and broken toenails, and even open heel fissures (deep cracks).

my FootDr podiatrists and directors Darren Stewart and Greg Dower have been involved with Queensland Cricket for the past season and were yesterday invited to assess the squad and provide necessary treatment. The assessment of each player involved a thorough history, assessment of their joint and muscle range of movement, postural review, detailed gait assessment both relaxed walking and also the specifics of their playing mechanics, high definition peak pressure mat readings, and a 3D foot profile scan of their feet.

Each player will be provided with highly customised foot orthoses to improve comfort, optimise shoe fit, equalise pressure and overall assist in alignment and efficiency of the feet and legs. Some players have leg length discrepancies, a common anatomical variation, and benefit from having a raise inserted in the sole of the shoe to balance the pelvis and assist in spinal alignment. Both Darren and Greg will be in regular contact with the team physiotherapist and Queensland Bulls legend Martin Love during the season, and attend recovery sessions to provide onsite treatment and advice to the team.


Sore feet and legs after the Bridge to Brisbane?

my FootDr podiatry Bridge to Brisbane Team

my FootDr podiatry Bridge to Brisbane Team

Were you one of the 40 000 plus Queenslanders who braved the early morning chill to climb the Sir Leo Hielscher bridge and walk or run your way to the RNA showgrounds? This was the 4th time my 11 year old daughter and I have participated, and we love the exercise and carnival atmosphere of one of the Australia’s largest fun runs. We walk and jog the course, enjoy the scenery and make a mad dash for the line to try and improve on last year’s time!

Being a podiatrist, it’s an occupational hazard walking alongside such a large pack of people; I can’t help but to observe the variety or different walking and running styles, choice of footwear to participate in and how people cope with the gradual fatigue that can set in. I suppose in many ways this is a perfect cross section of our community, with elite runners up the front slogging it out for a podium finish, recreational runners just behind and then the weekend hackers (me included) making up the pack.

It amazes me that so many people may not be aware of how their foot and leg biomechanics affect their body’s overall function. So common amongst the participants was some characteristics, that after pointing out to my daughter a few cases of quite profound excessive pronation (the most common form of foot dysfunction, where the ankle leans inwards and the arch of the foot flattens when standing and walking) she started to point them out to me!

my FootDr podiatry Bridge to Brisbane

my FootDr podiatry Bridge to Brisbane

Every day in clinic I assist people recover from biomechanical related foot, leg and hip/back – sometime it can take months to return to normal activities following an overuse injury such as:

  • Plantar fasciitis (pain on the heel or arch)
  • Shin splints (pain typically on the inner shin, but this term encompasses all shin pain)
  • Achilles tendonitis (either at the back of the heel bone or just above)
  • Stress fractures (bone fatigue that leads to a partial break – commonly metatarsal of the forefoot)
  • Anterior knee pain (around or to the side of the knee cap)

Almost all of these conditions can be avoided with awareness of the biomechanical dysfunction and appropriate advice and treatment if necessary. Even being recommended the right type of shoe may be beneficial in some cases.

For those that would like to see what excessive foot pronation looks like check out the following link

If you’re feeling more than just muscle fatigue today, or suffer from one of the conditions above you should have your lower limb biomechanics investigated with video gait analysis. A podiatrist competent in assessing and managing sports injuries will then be able to provide you with the advice you need to ensure you run faster next year!

Darren Stewart – Podiatrist (my FootDr podiatry centres)