Mary Moore spoke to the RTE1 Claire Byrne Show on the 31st of May about top tips to get feet prepared for hiking and running events this summer, and raised the profile of Podiatry across the national airwaves on behalf of the SCPI. It was a superb interview, and Mary did us proud! If you missed it you can read a short synopsis below:

“My clinic is called Mary Moore Podiatry, based in Dublin, Glasnevin and Donnybrook clinics. I have worked in private practice since 2000, www.marymoorepodiatry.ie and hold an MSc in Clinical Podiatric Biomechanics and have a particular interest and expertise helping injured runners and hikers at all levels get back to the activities they love.


Over the last few months in clinic, we have noted a great uptake in preparation for the Camino de Compostela, the Dublin mini marathon or other similar hikes and races, these were trips and events postponed because of Covid and it great to see the excitement and optimism return even around preparation for them

So how should we get our feet ready for a race or keep them mobile during a hiking holiday? What should we before and after these events, to keep Fit Feet


10 top tips before & after these events, start with the basics.


1. Keep nails short and cut them straight across, the repetitive action of walking, running, and hiking increases risk of nail bruising particularly if socks and shoes are worn or ill fitting. Never wear a brand-new walking shoe, or runner on race day, make sure you find it comfortable from the moment your put it on.   This is a particular issue if you have bunions or hammer toes or cross over toes or a history of foot ulcers.
When fatigue sets in the latter stages of a race or hike our leg muscles tire and get tight, we don’t pivot through the ankle, foot, and big toe joints as smoothly we adapt to this by altering our foot mechanics twisting, flattening the foot, clawing the toes causing shear excessive pressure which can lead to bruising nails, blisters or even sports injuries such as Achilles tendonitis and Plantar fasciitis. 


The toenail is not vascular, but the nail bed is and this is what bruises, known as a haematoma. If you have bought new runners for the race or Camino get used to them before, make sure there is enough space at the toebox  and width, this seems obvious but poorly fitting runners brings on an array of foot problems, such as blisters, ingrown nails, haemotmas/bruising, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, ankle sprains. arch pain, sesamoiditis the list goes on. It can also lead to compensations at the ankle. knee, hip and low back

2. Good quality mixed fabric socks. Well-fitting socks a must as they create a barrier, do not recommend hiking or running in sandals particularly if you have diabetes. Seamless socks great for Diabetics, bamboo cotton, 1000 mile socks useful


3. If your feet tend to sweat easily avoid moisturising instead use surgical spirit as an astringent to manage hyperhidrosis or Anhydrol forte.


4. Examine your feet, where do you get pressure points this is likely to increase on hikes and races, make an appointment with your local Podiatrist to take care of the lumps and bumps before and after the event


5. Make sure shoe liners, insoles and orthotics are in good condition pre hike or race day. Orthotic are used to improve the geometry of your feet while dynamic and very helpful to reduce friction and pressure to areas prone to overloads such as the ball of the foot.


6. Calf and foot stretches. If you have a history of weak ankles or ankle sprains pre-event is a good chance to strengthen ligaments in preparation of adverse terrain in hiking and running. 


7. How to manage blisters.
 Blister stages. If the roof is intact, then protect with an island dressing such as Mepore.  Make sure the dressing padding is the size of the blister, do not de roof the blister as that will allow grit and sand which can lead to pain and infection. If after the race or hike you notice your blister is raw, bathe in salt and water pat dry but still allow a little moisture this is when you use Compeed or other hydrocolloid dressing such as duoderm are the dressing of choice and can be left on for a few days if no signs of infection. 
These dressing won’t prevent a blister and can make it worse if put on too soon. Blister prevention products are useful for sights prone to blister. e.g. Engo plasters applied to the blister site hot spot on the shoe not the foot this reduces the abrasion of the sock against the skin. Make an appointment with your local Podiatrist to understand the mechanics of why the blister has formed? Foot orthotics can help prevent areas of reoccurring overload. Your local Podiatrist can guide you regarding dressings and what to include in your first aid blister kit and how to apply them neatly to your feet


8. After race or hike, get into well-fitting sandals, check between toes for fungal infections cracks on your heels can turn to fissures. Pomphlyx blisters can occur especially with heat


9. Post Camino or mini marathon common overuse injuries such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, arch pain develops because of the change in workload needed by feet to get over the finish line. It is normal to feel stiff after an event for a few days but not on a continuous basis so if you are limping, experience first step pain, stiff Achilles tendons or your activity is limited and not responding to rest alone. Contact your local Podiatrist.


10. Make an appointment before and after with your local Podiatrist particularly if you have Diabetes, Arthritis or any condition that affects your feet.”

You can easily find your nearest Podiatrist on the website https://www.podiatryireland.ie  All the Podiatrists listed are members of SCPI


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