Children’s Footcare – Healthy Foot Foundations

Children Footcare – Building Healthy Foot Foundations

Article by Dorcas Sholanke


Senior Podiatrist

About the Author – Dorcas is a Senior Podiatrist practicing in Singapore. Dorcas is well practiced in the management of musculoskeletal conditions of the foot and ankle and has worked with many of Singapore’s most prominent Orthopedic and Sports Physicians.

Our children are precious. As new born babies, we marvel at their tiny toes. At this stage, their feet are soft and pliable. As your little ones grow, their feet will change and develop.  This is an exciting time of new discoveries, however parents may be unsure if the changes that they are seeing are normal or if there is cause for concern. Many also wonder if their children’s feet should be developing faster.


When our children start to walk, that is the time our attention is drawn to their feet. Before they get to this stage, it is a good idea to dress them in booties. This will protect the feet and will get your baby accustomed to the feeling of covered feet. Some research has shown that putting your baby in a walker may result in a delay in activities such as crawling or normal walking. In fact, in Canada the use of baby walkers is banned. Baby grows and sleep-suits should be long enough and socks should not be too tight as they may restrict movement. Once your child starts walking it is important that their footwear is fitted by trained shoe fitter.

feet 3

You are setting the footwear habits of a lifetime so here are some tips to help you along the way.

1) Shoes should have a firm sole and a wide toe box.

2) In hot weather the use of sandals are acceptable as long as there is a firm back and a Velcro strap. Jelly shoes, ballet flats, platform sneakers may be appealing but  these may cause foot problems due to poor fit and lack of good arch support.

3) When it comes to sports, footwear is very important. Always match the footwear to the sport and to your child’s foot type. It’s a minefield out there so if you are feeling lost, a podiatrist can help with foot type assessment and footwear advice.

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Standing Posture – Mistakes & Correction Tips

Standing Posture – Common Mistakes & Correction Techniques

In the previous article we discussed how we can correct sitting posture and minimize side effects of prolonged sitting. This article will focus on maintaining a neutral standing posture. Majority of people stand less compared to sitting. Regardless of that it’s important to practice it correctly. There are jobs which require standing for prolonged hours. Standing is better than sitting but doing it inappropriately can cause some health concerns.

From the previous two articles, we have almost understood the neutral positions of different joints and cues to correct them. This will make it easier to get into a correct standing posture.

Common Standing posture mistakes

  • Narrow stance
  • Excessive weight bearing on one foot
  • Hyperextended or locked knees
  • Bent knee specially seen in people wearing high heels
  • Anterior pelvic tilting (increase low back arch excessively) most commonly seen these days
  • Flat back – flattening of lower back
  • Shoulders dropping forward
  • Forward head – chin poking out
  • Looking down – eye gaze near feet

Incorrect foot and knee position


Incorrect pelvic position

Tips and sequencing of correcting posture

Shoulder exercise – Let’s do it right

 Dumbbell shoulder press

shoulder exercise

Dumbbell shoulder press

Dumbbell press is one of the pushing exercises to train those big shoulder muscles. It is a great functional exercise for upper body. However, it is one of the most common exercise to develop upper body issues if done incorrectly. To get that right technique and avoid injuries, it’s important to understand about shoulder’s axis of movement. There are two axis formed at shoulder joint. First one is body axis and second one is the scapular axis(refer pic 1). Majority of people do all their exercises in body axis, which leads to injuries. Poor posture is another reason for scapular axis to shift further forward and cause injuries.


Pic 1  – Red line – Body Axis                                Green line – Shoulder blade axis

The prime muscle we train with this exercise is deltoids. Other muscle involved is upper pectorals and triceps and rotator cuff muscle in stabilizing humeral head.

Common mistakes while doing dumbbell press exercise: Next Page

Foam Roller – A friend worth having

Foam Roller

Muscle tightness is a common thing, be it a sportsperson or someone who has a sedentary lifestyle. The only difference would be in the muscle group getting affected with respect to their sport and lifestyle. It will always be the more dominant muscle group used in any sport or activity prone to tightness. For example, a runner would develop tightness in leg muscles, a kayak will develop tightness in upper body and a desk bound person would develop tightness in upper back and neck. Many of the musculoskeletal conditions such as knee pain, hip pain, neck pain, muscle/tendon injuries and many more are a result of muscle tightness.

Muscle tightness and trigger points, commonly known as “Knots” in the muscle, are a result of activities or compensation happening in our bodily movement through our sports or lifestyle. Both have same contributing factors such as training load, poor posture, lifestyle factors, hydration, lack of rest, stress and diet. When these factors increase and exceed our ability to recover, it results is tight muscles and trigger points.

The most commonly used method to target muscle tightness is stretching and massage. Stretching is one of the easiest and cost effective techniques known but it’s also the most ignored and incorrectly done technique at the same time. In many cases only stretching is not sufficient to target muscle tightness. Massage is a convenient and relaxing technique but at the same time costly and time consuming. Not all types of massage target your muscle tightness until they are deep tissue massage or sports massage.

Foam Roller

This is where Foam Roller comes in handy as an easy and convenient way to work on the tight muscles. Foam rolling is a self-administered technique, which is both time and cost effective.

Continue Reading – frequency, duration and technique