30 Sep THE IMPORTANCE OF PODIATRY
Everyone will experience some sort of foot related issue in their lifetime so it’s important to know when and if you need to see a Podiatrist. I come across this question all the time so before we get into ‘when’ and ‘if’ we need Podiatry, its important that you know What is a Podiatrist and how we can help?
What is Podiatry?
Podiatry is a branch of medicine devoted to the study of the diagnosis and treatment of the disorders of the foot ankle and lower extremities. A Podiatrist is a trained health professional that has the experience and skills to assess, manage and provide treatment to anyone with a foot or ankle related issue.
The Importance of Podiatry
The feet are the foundation of your body as they provide stability and support to enable you to function properly. The foot is a complex structure with each foot made up of 28 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, all of which work together to provide support, balance and mobility.
Common foot related issues to see a Podiatrist
- Skin and toenail problems of the feet
There are times when managing your own foot care can be challenging. In certain situations, nails grow thicker, skin becomes harder, and feet can become more difficult to reach therefore affecting your ability to manage your own feet. A Podiatrist is well equipped to diagnose and manage skin and nail conditions of the foot.
- Aching legs and feet
Tired or fatigued feet and legs often present after a long period of walking and or standing. It can be related to poor footwear choices and change in foot posture such as high or low foot arches.
- Changes in foot structure or bony deformities
Changes in the bone structures in the feet are often due to a mechanical dysfunction causing a gradual shift in the bone alignment causing a protruding bony prominence. Osteoarthritic change at the joint or surrounding joints may also occur resulting in bunions, clawed or hammer toes.
A Podiatrist can provide conservative management to address the mechanical dysfunction of the foot. It can include providing simple padding in footwear, provide supportive devices and advice on appropriate footwear. This can result in a significant improvement in pain and function of the foot.
- Diabetes-related foot problems
Diabetes can affect the feet in a multitude of ways. The feet will show the first signs of any diabetes related complications especially relating to the circulation, nerve supply and the general health status of the lower limbs.
A Podiatrist will provide a diabetic foot assessment whereby they can perform several non-invasive vascular and neurological tests to determine the presence of any risk factors. They will also provide education on self-foot care as well as provide ongoing nail and skin care when required.
- Heel pain
Heel pain is related to inflammation and overload of the plantar fascia, pain in the fat pad surrounding the heel and or from heel spurs. It is a physical discomfort on the back or the underside of the heel that may make walking uncomfortable or difficult to weight bear.
In children, heel pain is a common overuse injury called Sever’s Disease or Calcaneal apophysitis whereby the growth plate at the heel bone becomes injured and inflamed by excessive forces during early adolescence.
Our aim at Foot & Sole Podiatry is to provide the best all round experience for all our patients. We believe that if your feet are happy so is the rest of your body. We pride ourselves in attention to detail and we will endeavour to offer our patients effective and practical solutions towards their foot care.
We look forward to taking care of your feet from the foot to the sole!
Roseana Haddad – Director/Podiatrist