Monday, July 31, 2006

The British Influence

A brief history of Chiropody

In the UK . The profession of Chiropody has been established in the UK for approaching 100 years. Some countries like the USA have changed the word traditional Chiropody and have relaced it with Podiatrist in the last 50 years(1967 ) and the term chiropody there is now non existent there. The term "chiropodist" and the profession of chiropody is British in origin and the royal family helped initially to make the profession popular with regular visits to Chiropodists. It has been traditionally used to describe an individual who treats feet in various ways, and up until the 1950's and earlier, there were chiropodists in both the U.S. and Canada based on that British standard. Here in the UK now it is changing too; In 1993 the Society of Chiropodists added the name 'Podiatrists' to its title reflecting the use of this term throughout the English speaking world and with the objective of securing protection of this title for the State Registered profession. 
Although it was the Egyptians who first treated foot conditions and in the bible there are references to treating feet there also, but it was a British man whose name was David Low who invented the word back in the 1700's. There is also written documentation in an Egyptian papyrus of 1500 B.C. outlining a treatment for corns. Hippocrates advocated a sensible approach to corns (thick, hard skin which usually forms on the knuckles of the toes). He recommended a simple operative technique and getting rid of the cause (probably tight sandals or boots). There are records of the King of France employing a personal podiatrist, as did Napoleon. In the United States of America, President Abraham Lincoln suffered greatly with his feet and chose a Chiropodist named Isachar Zacharie, who not only cared for the president’s feet, but also was sent by President Lincoln on confidential missions to confer with leaders of the Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War.
Some Common Mistakes
The word Chiro ( Cheir ) the is relative to the hand, wherby, Pody is the foot hence the word Chiropody. The pronunciation of the word is actually Cheiropody ( Chiropody )with the K being more strongly pronounced than the ch sound. The word Chiropody has been wrongly pronounced . I often say to patients who wrongly mis pronounce this word by comparing it to Christmas, you wouldn't say Shristmas , now would you!

The new word for Chiropody today is now Podiatry & Podiatrist less chance of this word being mis pronounced or spelt incorrectly.

Podiatrist comes from the Greek Word Greek podos, "foot," and iatros, "doctor.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Turf Toe Syndrome

What is Turf Toe?

Turf toe can occur after a very vigorous upward bending of the big toe. It got it's name due to the fact that it occurs frequently in people who play games on artificial surfaces. The shoe grips hard on the surface and sticks causing bodyweight to go forward and so bending the toe up. It is also common in martial arts. You are more at risk if you have increased range of motion in the ankle and / or wear soft flexible shoes.

When the toe is bent upwards this causes damage to the ligaments which can become stretched. In addition the surfaces of the bones at the joint can become damaged. You should really have an X-ray to check if a bone has not been broken. 
Symptoms of turf toe include: 

Swelling and pain at the joint of the big toe and metatarsal bone in the foot. 
Pain and tenderness on bending the toe or pulling (stretching) it upwards. 
What can the athlete doto prevent turf toe?

Ice the injury immediately. 
Apply a compression bandage. 
See a sports injury professional for advice. 
Rest, which might include crutches to take the weight off the toe. 
Use a brace to protect the toe - or at the very least wear a shoe that has a firm sole that will not allow bending. 
What can a Podiatrist/Sports Therapist do?

X-ray to check for a fracture. 
Apply ultrasound or other electrotherapy treatment. 
After 2 to 4 days the athlete may be able to weight bear again. 
Tape the toe to prevent movement. 
Advise on a rehabilitation programme. 
Recovery of this injury can take three to four weeks depending on how bad the sprain is. If the athlete does not look after this injury then it may develop into Hallux Limitus! This is a decreased range of motion due to arthritis around the joint.
Reference Sports Injury Clinic

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

15 Ways To Keep Cool When it’s Hot

As temperatures reach record highs in the UK (England) in july 2006 it is time to review some sound advice to keep safe in the sun. 
Try some of these tips:

1: Alter your pattern of outdoor exercise to take advantage of cooler times (early morning or late evening). If you can’t change the time of your workout, scale it down by doing fewer minutes, walking instead or running, or decreasing your level of exertion. 

2: Wear loose-fitting clothing, preferably of a light color. 

3: Cotton clothing will keep you cooler than many synthetics.

4: Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors. 

5: Fans can help circulate air and make you feel cooler even in an air-conditioned house. 

6: Try storing lotions or cosmetic toners in the refrigerator to use on hot, overtired feet. 

7: Keep plastic bottles of water in the freezer; grab one when you’re ready to go outside. As the ice melts, you’ll have a supply of cold water with you. 

8: Take frequent baths or showers with cool or tepid water.

9: Combat dehydration by drinking plenty of water along with sports drinks or other sources of electrolytes.

10: Some people swear by small, portable, battery-powered fans. At an outdoor event I even saw a version that attaches to a water bottle that sprays a cooling mist. 

11: Pour a bit of ice cold water into the hat, then quickly invert it and place on your head. 

12: Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these will promote dehydration. 

13: Instead of hot foods, try lighter summer fare including frequent small meals or snacks containing cold fruit or low fat dairy products. As an added benefit, you won’t have to cook next to a hot stove. 

14: If you don’t have air-conditioning, arrange to spend at least parts of the day in a shopping mall, public library, movie theater, or other public space that is cool. Many cities have cooling centers that are open to the public on sweltering days. 

15: Finally, use common sense. If the heat is intolerable, stay indoors when you can and avoid activities in direct sunlight or on hot asphalt surfaces. Pay special attention to the elderly, infants, and anyone with a chronic illness, as they may dehydrate easily and be more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Don’t forget that pets also need protection from dehydration and heat-related illnesses too. 

Reference Source: