“From an early age I had a great love of sport, exercise and the outdoors. This, along with a hunger to learn more about the fascinating human body, saw me enrol in a Physical Education degree at Otago University in 1990. After graduating I returned to pursue my long time holiday job of shearing sheep on a full-time basis. Getting paid to exercise – “perfect”. “While shearing and training for The Fletcher Marathon I developed a foot problem. After much consternation about who to consult it was suggested that I see a podiatrist. It was from here I learnt for the first time about the wonderful world of podiatry!”

Be careful of marketing hype – any Podiatrist is able to label themselves as a "Sports Podiatrist". There is currently no specific qualification that distinguishes a "Sports Podiatrist" in New Zealand. I feel that I am able to label myself as a Sports Podiatrist. I have had specialist training in the area having completed a four year Physical Education degree prior to my Podiatry degree. Two years after graduation from three years study in podiatry, 1999-2000, I worked in Wellington’s Top Sports Medicine Clinic under the guidance of the leading Sports Medicine Team. This was an invaluable experience that I built on.
Some Sports Podiatrists just deal with biomechanical issues, although this is my speciality I still deal with the full range of podiatric conditions and enjoy the variety this provides. Athletes are people too and develop a full range of foot problems and so these all need to be dealt with.
No you don’t. The term Sports Podiatrist can sometimes be a little misleading and suggests that only sports people can benefit from orthotic therapy or from biomechanical realignment and this is not the case – everyone is welcome.
Different people will have different requirements. As far as an evidence based approach goes, the orthotics are used to target the problem and the pain, when this has settled, it is down to consultation with your Podiatrist as to how long you will need to wear the orthotics. In a lot of cases this will not be for the rest of your life but for some people it will be. The most accurate predictor of future injury is a gait history of the same injury.
Shin splints is a general term that describes any pain above the ankle but below the knee (not including the calf muscle). Pain commonly includes throbbing and tenderness along the inside of the shin (tibia). If left untreated there is a risk of more serious stress fractures occurring. Waikato Podiatry can provide specialist assistance with the treatment and prevention of shin splints.
When fatigued muscles can no longer absorb the shock of repeated impacts during gait, they transfer the stress to the bones, causing tiny "micro fractures" in the bone. Collectively these small fractures can result in a small crack in the surface of the bone. This is a stress fracture. Waikato Podiatry can assist in relieving the pain of stress fractures and help prevent them recurring.
Deposits of calcium due to inflammation and tension of the plantar fascia attachment to the bottom the heel. These can be seen on an x-ray and sometimes cause heel pain. We frequently treat heel spurs in the clinic with excellent results.
This refers to an inflammation of the achilles tendon, located at the back of the foot between the heel and the calf muscle. The achilles tendon is one of the largest and strongest tendons in the body (able to withstand forces of up to x12 bodyweight). With achilles tendonitis the back of the heel and lower leg is often red, swollen and painful. Pain may be increased upon rising in the morning or during times of increased activity. Contact Waikato Podiatry to arrange an appointment to have your treatment reviewed – we provide specialist podiatric support for achilles tendonitis.
The Plantar Fascia is a very strong fibrous ligament that runs underneath the entire length of the foot. It fans out from the heel running forward to the toes. This is important for maintaining the long arch of the foot. Due to the tremendous forces placed on the foot during gait (2-4 times bodyweight) this ligament is put under a lot of strain and is very susceptible to injury. See Waikato Podiatry for an accurate diagnosis. We treat this condition daily with excellent results.
The illiotibial band (ITB) is a large fibrous structure which runs from high up on the hip down the outside of the thigh to insert into the lower leg (tibia) just below the knee joint. The main function of this structure is to stabilise the knee and hip. ITBFS occurs when there is an irritation or inflammation of the ITB as it rounds the outside of the knee. At this point there is a small sac of fluid which is designed to reduce the friction between the bone and the ITB. This may also become inflamed, compounding the problem. This structure can cause both hip and knee pain. Waikato Podiatry partner with a range of other practices to reliably treat ITBFS.
Inflammation and enlargement of a nerve in the forefoot. Usually located between bones of the forefoot. Symptoms involve localised pain that is intensified with wearing tight shoes and walking. Numbness and tingling of the forefoot can also be experienced. At Waikato Podiatry we do the basics right first to ensure successful treatment of this condition.
How long is a piece of string? This is something that can vary a lot depending on the individual and is mainly dictated by how much use they get. The main way a running or walking shoe wears out is by wearing through the "outsole" on the outside of the bottom of the shoe. The EVA midsole also becomes compressed during use. The midsole is the part of the shoe that absorbs all the impact when you are running and walking. This impact force can be 3 to 5 times your body weight when running so you can imagine the shoes take a fair hammering. The heavier the individual the harder it is on the shoe. To give a rough guide on how long a shoe should last you can work it out based on the average distance you run in a given week. Some say a shoe should last between 1200 and 1500 km, so for example someone running about 30km per week can expect approximately one years wear. On that same basis a person running 100km per week will probably wear their shoes out in about 3 months. All of the above is still variable depending on the individual, some people are harder on their shoes than others. A good way to get good life from your running or walking shoes is to keep them just for running/walking in and not for kicking around in the weekend (your old ones can be good for this purpose). Our experienced team of podiatrists will be happy to discuss our common sense approach with you, call us today – 07 838 0003.
A small skin lesion found on the bottom of the foot or toes, which closely resembles, and is often confused with, a corn. It’s size is usually under 1cm in diameter but can grow larger and can also occur in clusters (mosaic warts). Verrucae pedis are caused by the human papilloma virus and can be surgically removed. This is a slow growing virus, found in most of our environments and which gain entry into the body through a break in the skin, such as a scratch or cut. Children are the most susceptible to verrucae infection as at this age the immune system is not fully developed. Verrucae are also easily spread from person to person in places such as showers, around swimming pools, in gyms, locker rooms, saunas and rough wet surfaces where skin and infected particles are easily removed. Waikato Podiatry have experienced podiatric surgeons dealing with verruca on a daily basis with excellent results.
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For the Thames podiatrist, please call 020 419 41399.
Beginning 1st April.