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February is the month of love and this year, why not make this month all about yourself. Don’t forget to show your own feet some care and attention. We can often take our feet for granted, forgetting that they work tirelessly to keep us active and stop us falling, looking after your feet can prevent problems in the future. As the weather starts to warm up, we see a big increase in chilblains, fungal infections, and blisters.
Chilblains occur when the circulation cannot adapt to the rapid change in temperature. For example, stepping out of a warm house and into a freezing car. The blood vessels do not expand and recoil fast enough and as a result very significant colour changes can be seen in the toes.
Ultimately, the toes will turn a deep red colour before changing to a bruised black / purple appearance. The skin often returns to normal after this stage. However, the patient can experience intense itching and pain during this transition. It is important that chilblains are monitored closely as the skin can break down and ulcerate which can lead to infection.
A Podiatrist will ensure that your skin does not break down and recommend topical medicines to treat this condition if they are appropriate.
When the temperature drops, the winter shoes come out. These can vary from hiking shoes to knee high boots. Wearing footwear that is new or hardly worn can result in blisters forming on the heel or side of the toes.
Blisters are protective fluid filled bumps that develop in response to the skin rubbing against something that could result in a breakdown. Most blisters will disappear themselves and require no treatment. However, if the blister has blood in it, then you need to see a Podiatrist as soon as possible.
It is very tempting to keep your warm socks and slippers on during the Winter. However, if your feet are constantly in a warm, dark, and moist environment then it is a perfect breeding ground for fungus to develop. This can result in fungal infected toenails and athletes foot forming on the soles of the feet as well as in-between the toes. A Podiatrist can recognise the early signs of a fungal infection and with early intervention can use all preventative options to stop it from progressing further. To find out more or to speak to a specialist call us on 020 3327 0194 or email us at email@example.com
It’s that time of the year again! What’s your new year’s resolution?
So many of us set goals to improve our health and fitness. This must be the most popular of new year’s resolutions, which often involves starting a new diet as well as an exercise plan. However, if you have never done any form of exercise before and suddenly start something such as running every morning, then you are certainly going to experience other problems. Follow our health and fitness advice below as a guide to prevent any unnecessary injuries from occurring.
Before you start any form of exercise it is crucial that you warm up your muscles. Not only does this prepare you physically but it also helps you mentally to concentrate on the activity that you are about to do. Your warm up should consist of gentle stretches, but it should raise your heart rate and body temperature. By doing this your heart will pump more blood to the muscles and it will also reduce your chances of straining the muscles or causing any long-term damage to the joints.
If you are new to running, then it is a good idea to start by walking first to understand your health and fitness at this moment. You should build up your pace so that you are able to still speak while walking briskly. Once you are comfortable with the brisk walking then you should progress to jogging for 30 seconds before going back to a brisk walk. By building up your running pace gradually not only will your stamina increase, but you will also find that you are able to jog for longer periods of time without stopping.
One of the biggest mistakes we see regularly in the clinic is patients not changing their footwear when they start to exercise. Your everyday trainers that you wear may not be best for you health and fitness whilst running. Running trainers have additional shock absorption built into the soles, so that your joints are protected. Some running shoes also come with an air bubble feature which is extremely beneficial to runners who might suffer from ankle pain. Similarly, if you are deciding to walk long distances then instead of trainers you will require walking boots.
After you have finished your workout there is always the temptation to sit down or just stop. However, it is very important that you spend at least 5 minutes on cooling down. The cooling down phase is very important as it is responsible for slowing down the heart rate and minimising lactic acid build up in the muscles. It also plays an important part in preventing muscle tears and strains.
By following the above advice, you will reduce your chances of causing muscle damage and strains. However, if this still occurs then the affected muscle should be raised, and some cold compression should be given. If you do suffer from any pain and inflammation in the lower limbs then you should book to see a Podiatrist who will be able to offer you treatments such as Laser Therapy, which helps to kick start the repair process.
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