Recent Articles

Physical Education – Enjoy it at your best

Newcastle Podiatry - Thursday, December 15, 2016

Kids in Sport 2014

With access to so many forms of sport, physical and social activities these days it would seem hard to imagine a child that doesn’t get enough exercise purely due to availability. This is perhaps true. Schools have from my experience changed the model under which these activities take place with more focus on motor skills than purely physical education hence allowing a more inclusive environment. 

With the embracement of technology we also see a change in habits in the home that may see our children more sedentary and hence the need for more active physical education programs. Some children purely don’t wish to participate in physical education programs for various reasons. One of the overriding factors I have seen is poor lower limb function and gross motor skills. 

Put simply children who are less stable in there running, walking and playing will be less likely to join in. They may be slower in a running race or less able to catch and pass the football or netball. This may or may not be accompanied by issues regarding obesity, which in my view is often blamed for lack of activity rather the fact that the child will simply find it hard to run due of a flattened foot type or internally rotated hip position. Most children simply want to join in. 

Every child must be comfortable to achieve in an environment in which physical education assists them to develop and grow. But they must also have the right machinery under which to participate. Poor muscle tone (hypotonia), flexibility (hypermobility) and poor biomechanics all create a child that may decline participation and gravitate to activities that can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. Ensuring that our children are comfortable in their play and sport is vitally important. Optimising lower limb function to assist doing this is one of the most pertinent factors to achieve this. Not every child needs an orthotic to do this. I know at our practice hip, core and lower limb rehabilitation are commonly given in isolation as a physical therapy to aid enjoyment in activity. An appropriate podiatric approach and a broad range of experience with biomechanics are important to enable this to happen. 

Physical education continues to be a vital part of our children’s growth and school years, so let’s help them enjoy it at their best.

December Newsletter 2016 now available

Newcastle Podiatry - Friday, December 09, 2016
Heel Pain in our Children
Calcaneal apophysitis, commonly known as Sever’s disease is an inflammation of the growth plate in the heel of growing children. Bone growth in children occurs in a region called an apophysis (or growth plate) which are present in all bones up to closure in early teens. This region has either a tendon or ligamentous structure inserting into it and this causes traction over the growth plate resulting in frictional movement and subsequent pain.

Whilst it is predominantly a condition that occurs in more active children it commonly occurs in those less active but with poor foot and lower limb function. It is important to differentiate apophysitis from more serious conditions such as tumours or sub talar joint coalitions as a starting point. Further, children do not generally suffer from overuse injuries occurring in adults but are more likely to suffer referred pain from traction over the growth plate.

Primary symptoms are generally experienced along the inside and outside of the back portion of the heel along with centrally on the back of the heel. Externally the heel is almost always normal in appearance and is rarely accompanied with swelling and redness. You may notice your child hobbling in the morning or at activity or complaining of pain after a long day at school. Remember even inactive children can suffer from this condition.

It important to remember;

• Boys between 9 and 14 and girls between 8 and 13 are the common sufferers,
• Soccer and netball are the most common sports but not limited to by any means,
• Loading sports such as increased running, jumping and sidestepping increase the problem,
• Generalised increase in activity or sport or multi sport periods, ie; rugby and cricket or netball and touch football together or combination of both club and representative duties exacerbate,
• It is simply NOT growing pains and inactive children also can suffer this disorder

Treatment options;

Physiotherapy, ultrasound or massage do not offer the vast majority of patients any assistance in resolving pain and normalising childhood activities.
Clear clinical diagnosis is the key. Exclusion of more serious conditions such as coalitions and tumorous lesions is important.
X-rays are not useful in diagnosing this pathology but do exclude tumour if concern is valid.
Appropriate biomechanical measurement and gait assessment and the institution of orthotic therapy utilising prescription orthoses to correct the heel position taking stress of the growth plate offers the most effective resolution time. This is accompanied by stretching where necessary. Remember early assessment is the key.
Award of Accreditation
We have now been recognised for the quality and safety of service with the award of accreditation for Quality Innovation Performance (QIP) against the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards as applicable to the profession.

QIP is Australia’s most comprehensive not-for-profit accreditation organisation, dedicated to delivering accreditation and support services to a diverse range of organisations including podiatry practices, physiotherapy practices, diagnostic imaging services, optometry practices, dental practices and community services. 

We are continually striving to improve how we can support our patients to achieve the best health outcomes.

Everyone in the practice played a valuable role in ensuring we met the Standards. The recognition of working in an accredited practice gives our dedicated staff a feeling of accomplishment and pride.
Congratulations WILL RYAN!
We congratulate our patient WILL RYAN on his fantastic efforts to secure a Silver Medal 
at the Rio 2016 Olympics for Sailing 
Men's Two Person Dinghy 470.

Congratulations on this amazing achievement. 
Christmas Closure

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Tuesday 3rd January 2017 at 8am

Merry Christmas


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