Men’s and women’s feet are naturally different. It’s the reason that you see noticeable differences in men’s and women’s shoe sizing and fit – leading shoe manufacturers are taking much more than just style into consideration in their designs, it is now commonplace to consider both structural differences like foot width, arch height, toe height and natural flexibility – as well as functional differences like the tendency to pound the pavement during running.Read more
Australian rules football is both a great team sport, and makes for an excellent endurance workout, with players quickly accelerating to high-speed running, making swift changes in direction, kicking, ball-handling and tackling over an 80-minute game. At a professional level, game analysis shows that every game sees the players cover on average 13.2km, make 19 tackles, 205 kicks, 169 handballs and 88 marks. That’s a massive demand on the body in a short timeframe, and with that, comes the very real risk of injury.Read more
Pregnancy has a remarkable effect on our entire body – and while our key focus may be on our growing baby and belly, there’s one part of the body that has to take on all of the effects of both the physical changes as well as the hormonal changes that a woman’s body goes through – our feet.
With foot pain and discomfort in pregnancy having the potential to limit our daily activities, exercise potential, and add further strain on our already exhausted bodies, taking small steps to look after the feet can make a massive difference to the way a woman feels and how she experiences day-to-day life throughout her three trimesters. Here are eight simple and effective ways to look after your feet during pregnancy, as recommended and used by podiatrists.
1. For Foot And Ankle Swelling, Wear Compression Socks
During pregnancy, your blood volume increases by around 50% and your growing uterus can put pressure on the surrounding structures, including the vena cava vein that is responsible for helping return the blood from your legs back to the heart, slowing its flow. This combination, with the heart having a harder time to pump blood back up the legs, can lead to swelling, which often presents in the ankles and feet.
To help reduce your swelling and the associated discomfort, start by elevating your feet and legs above the level of your hips (or heart if you’re laying down) to allow the blood to return to the upper body more easily, and drinking plenty of water to help promote healthy kidney function. Next, invest in some medical grade compression socks that have a compression rating in mmHg. mmHg stands of millimetres of mercury and you can interpret a reading of ‘20-30 mmHg’ as the amount of compression will not fall below 20mmHg or exceed 30mmHg. The most common rating available at the chemist is between 15-20 mmHg, which is the recommended place to start. For anything higher, we recommend you consult your GP.
2. For Achy Feet, Consider Orthotics
With the weight of your whole body resting on your feet with every step, achy feet are a common part of the pregnancy journey for many women. This is where orthotics may help restore a better foot posture, improve your comfort, and help your feet feel well supported throughout the day. Our orthotics are custom-made following a 3D scan of your feet and legs, paired with an extensive biomechanical assessment to ensure that you’re getting the right support for the best outcomes for your feet. Your orthotics will work every time you’re wearing them, so keep them in your everyday shoes and enjoy the relief.
3. Your Feet May Get Wider, Choose Wider Shoes
The normal physiological changes that occur during pregnancy can mean your feet may flatten and widen. Many women find that the width of their feet increases – and the length increases by between half a size to a full size too. This is where choosing a wider, well-fitted pair of shoes can make a world of difference. Just like length sizing options, many shoe brands offer different width options, which looks like a letter rating near where the size is displayed on the side of the box. For example, for Asics, their styles range from an A for a narrow foot, to E ratings (e.g. EE, EEEE) for extra wide feet. See our shoe store for the styles we recommend.
4. For Fungal Nail Infections, Treat Early
With your body and immune system working tirelessly throughout your pregnancy to support and protect both you and your baby, it may not be as focused on things like fungal nail infections. As fungal nail infections start as a minor infection that may look like a white or yellow spot or streak, and progressively worsen over time to become the full-nail infection you often see, treating fungal nail infections early is key to preventing them from getting out of control and becoming much more difficult to successfully treat.
We offer laser treatment for fungal nails, which is pregnancy-safe and doesn’t require any repeated painting of nail lacquers or products daily – which can be almost impossible if you struggle to reach your feet.
5. For Ankle Weakness, Choose Supportive Shoes
The normal physiological changes that occur with pregnancy can mean our ankles may feel weaker or less stable than they used to. An easy way to help with this is to choose supportive shoes that have a firm heel counter that enclose and support your ankles.
Our podiatrists can recommend the best shoes to match your foot type at your appointment, and you can also visit our online shoe store to see our recommended styles.
6. For Altered Walking Patterns, Keep Your Feet Supported
As your baby grows, your centre of gravity shifts and makes you adjust the way you walk. This can affect your hips, knees, legs and feet. If you are noticing any aches or pains, particularly in your feet, come in and see one of our podiatrists to discuss what management strategies might work best for you.
7. For Ingrown Toenails, See Your Podiatrist ASAP
With the extra blood volume in the body and swelling in the feet, this can mean that your nail is more likely to push against the skin surrounding the nail, which can then turn into an ingrown toenail. Even a small nail spicule piercing the skin can become incredibly painful – and with it being more difficult to see or reach your toes, the problem could quickly escalate if an infection occurs. If you have an ingrown toenail, see your podiatrist to get it treated ASAP, either as a one-off or if this isn’t your first ingrown toenail, consider getting it fixed permanently.
When it comes to caring for women’s feet, our podiatrists at My FootDr are trusted by hundreds of Australians every day.
Book your appointment with our experienced podiatry team by calling us on 1800 FOOT DR or booking online here.
Have you been watching your toes over these summer months and feeling unhappy with how they look?
While some people turn to a salon pedicure to help hide their toenails, a study that used ultrasound to observe the effects on nails when having a gel polish manicure found nail weakness, brittleness and nail thinning. This leaves two options: continue with pedicures indefinitely – or have to eventually deal with nails that are even more damaged than when you started. Or – you can start to improve the appearance of your nails today by using these five podiatrist-approved methods.Read more
Your custom orthotics provide support that’s unique to you! Give yourself twice the amount of support for $200* and redeem our second pair orthotic offer today. Having a second pair of custom foot orthotics saves patients significant time, money, hassle and the recurring question: “now which shoes did I leave my orthotics in?”. Call your local clinic to get your second pair* today.Read more
Dealing with a sore ankle is hard. These small joints bear your entire body weight over and over as you lift one foot off the ground to take the next step. Our busy lives mean that when ankle pain develops, you can’t just avoid using the ankle until it feels better. It’s often not just pain that you’re battling but feelings of weakness and instability that can leave you feeling unsteady and unsure of your footing, too. So what could be causing your ankle pain if you haven’t had something obvious like an ankle sprain recently?Read more
Podiatrists assess, diagnose and treat problems with the feet and legs. Working with people across the entire age spectrum and from all walks of life, from young children to professional sports teams and those in their older golden years, we see and treat a diverse range of foot problems every day.Read more
As a tradie, you know the difference that having a good set of the right tools makes in helping your day run smoothly and efficiently. While most thoughts jump straight to the tool belt or box, what many people forget is that your feet and legs are also one of your most important tools – and having good foot care is like keeping your tools sharp or well-oiled.Read more
If you’ve been counting down the hours at work until you can get home, take off your work boots, put your feet up and breathe that sigh of relief as you sink deep into your chair – this one’s for you.Read more
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, then it’s likely that your GP and diabetes nurse have made it clear: your feet are at risk, and you must look after them carefully. But what are they at risk of – why is foot care so important – and of all the areas of the body to be concerned about, why the feet?Read more