Podiatry – what can we do for you? by David Webby.
Podiatrists are health professionals trained to help prevent, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate medical and surgical conditions of the feet and lower body.
Do you Suffer from …
Ingrown toe nails, Fungal nails, Thick nails, Corns or Calluses, Cracked Heels, Tines, Warts, or other skin and nail conditions?
Flat or pronated feet, Heel pain, Knee pain, Lower back pain, Shin Splints, Arthritis, Poor balance?
Growing Pains, Heel pain (Severe’s), Knee pain (Osgood Slatter’s), Intoeing, Tip toe walking?
From Babies to early Adults, the feet go through stages of growth and change that may require professional advice and assistance to ensure good development and alleviate problems that may occur. It is said that the average human being walks around 128,000 km in their lifetime. That could be more, depending on the work or other activities we may engage in during our lifetime.
Children’s feet are still forming and are quite fragile. They can be damaged quite easily by shoes and socks that are too small. Early examination of children’s feet is a preventative measure, as well as attending to current issues. Uneven shoe wear, skin rashes, flat feet, pain in the feet or legs, frequent tripping or poor balance are signs of potential problems.
Sporting activity – walking, running, jumping – places greater demand on the body than normal day-to-day activities. While running, your feet can absorb up to three times your body weight. Not surprisingly, injuries to the foot and lower limb make up a large proportion of sporting injuries.
For example, Heel pain may occur in children, usually between the ages of 8-14, and may be worse during or straight after sporting activities. Podiatrists understand the structure and movement of the foot and lower limb; therefore, they can diagnose foot conditions and recommend appropriate footwear and treatment.
Working feet can cover as many as 24 kilometers in a day as well as absorbing heavy loads associated with walking, lifting, running and jumping on and off machinery or in and out of cars. Nearly 20 per cent of all workplace injury claims relate to injuries to the feet and toes, and research has shown that workplace foot problems, including those related to ill-fitting or inappropriate footwear, are common.
By the time we reach the age of 50, our feet may have covered 86,000 kilometers, making them more prone to injury and disease. Clinical studies also show that, by 50, we are 80 per cent more likely to develop arthritis in the foot and ankle, as well as being 100 per cent more likely to develop toe and joint deformities. Postural malalignments and imbalances also put stress on the feet.
Diabetes is also a very common condition that affects feet. People with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing serious foot problems because they are more likely to experience reduced blood circulation and nerve degeneration in their feet and legs, causing a decreased ability to fight infection. All these factors contribute to a reduced ability to heal wounds. Regular visual foot checks are vital for foot health, and Diabetes Australia recommends that people with diabetes see a podiatrist at least once every 12 months. We do Circulation and Neurological assessments which can help patients understand how Diabetes affects their feet and discuss practical tips to look after them.
As we age, our feet tend to spread and we lose the fatty pads that cushion the bottom of our heels and the balls of our feet. Many people, including older people, believe it is normal for feet to hurt, and resign themselves to enduring foot pain that could easily be treated. The Podiatrists here at Kingston Beach Health Center may prescribe orthoses for your particular foot problem after a comprehensive assessment, taking into account your own biomechanics, footwear and occupational and lifestyle factors.
Correct fitting for footwear is very important, to ensure no pressure on toes nails or toes, adequate width and length, good support, and contour of the feet. Poorly fitting shoes can result in Ingrown Nails, Calluses/Corns, Blisters Poor Support, Abnormal Pressures, and affect Gait. A Podiatrist can help assess abnormal wear patterns and discuss what to look for when fitting shoes, and what type of shoe fits your foot shape.
There are more than 300 different foot conditions. Some are inherited but for older people most stem from the impact of years of use. However, many foot problems can be treated successfully and the painful conditions relieved.
If you suffer from Painful Feet or any of the conditions discussed above, please make an appointment with our Podiatrists, so we can help you take care of your feet and body.
Daniel Lewis Podiatry and Associates
Kingston Beach Health Centre
2 Recreation Street, Kingston Beach. Ph 6229 9844