A podiatrist is a specialist of the foot & ankle as well as the lower limb in general. Podiatrists who specialise in the assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal aches and pains are focused on how the body interacts with the ground during our walking and running activities. This can be anything from just getting around in our daily routines all the way through to high performance running activity. Podiatry considers how the forces involved in these activities create stress in the tissues in our lower limbs and how we can modify these forces to help our tissues feel better.
This nearly always involves working together with physiotherapists to ensure that our tissue quality and movement patterns are optimal.
Sometimes, podiatrists also prescribe an orthotic device. This is a tailor made insole for your shoes that fits your foot shape exactly and balances forces around the foot and ankle to assist our muscles in creating these optimal movement patterns.
Our podiatrists treat skin issues such as calluses, corns and painful skin lesions as well as nail conditions including thickened or damaged nails and ingrown toenails. We are also able to help with the management and offer advice for other skin and nail conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and fungal infections and verrucae.
Integrated Physiotherapy and Podiatry assessment allows different experts to more accurately assess your foot structure, movement and function. This is so that the underlying movement problems associated with lots of walking and running pain or injury are identified and treated effectively. Whilst it is easy to observe running styles in other people, it is often hard to appreciate how we are moving ourselves. We use high speed video analysis to look, frame by frame, at your walking and running action. We are often able to see really clear reasons for the aches and pains you may have associated with these weight bearing activities.
Think of your body like a machine. Like the moving parts of any machine, they are susceptible to wear and tear eventually but they do so more quickly if they are moving inefficiently. If you can learn to run more optimally, not only do you significantly reduce your risk of getting recurring overuse injuries but you also stand to improve your performance at the same time.
Our patients often report big improvements in their PBs when they return to running after treatment. Many problems in the lower limbs and even in the pelvis and lower back are associated with the way we walk and run. The real skill is in interpreting this information and relating it to your clinical problems. This is not something that we feel you should do with confidence in running shoe shops by people who are not medically trained.