What is Podiatry?
Podiatry is the study of the foot and ankle, and mechanical injuries from the waist down as a result of foot function. Dysfunction of the foot and associated soft tissues whilst walking and running can contribute to a whole host of injuries. Identifying and addressing these issues helps to decrease pain and improve foot efficiency.
This process includes assessing ‘biomechanics’, the alignment and function of the lower limb during normal walking and running. The aim is to prevent and treat injury whist improving performance and prolonging sports careers. This type of assessment also provides advice to enable increased comfort during daily activities and prevent common pains.
- Gait Analysis and Orthotics
- Sports Injuries
- General foot and lower limb pain advice
What issues can Podiatry help with?
- Lower back pain – such as Sacro-Iliac Dysfunction
- Hip pain – such as Trochanteric Bursitis
- Knee pain – such as Patello-femoral pain or Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome
- Shin pain – such as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (shin splints) or Compartment Syndrome
- Foot pain – such as Plantar fasciitis or Forefoot pain (metatarsalgia)
Podiatrists also deal with children’s growth problems, complications from medical disorders and provide routine chiropody.
What are orthotics?
Orthoses are special inserts that go inside your shoes to help with foot function. They can be ‘off-the-shelf’ or if needed they can be designed from impressions of your feet. These are intended to control or improve the way your foot and leg works during normal walking and running (functional), or redistribute force and cushion your foot and leg from the pressure it receives during walking and running.
What is involved in the consultation?
Your consultation will enable the Podiatrist to assess your problem and provide a detailed treatment plan. The assessment always starts with a detailed history of the problem, a physical examination and then an assessment of the function and alignment of the lower limb in relation to the primary concern of the patient (biomechanics).
What to wear to the consultation?
The appointment often involves assessment of knee and hip function, so clothes that allow ease of movement are preferable (e.g. shorts/loose trousers). It is preferable to be able to see all of the lower limb exposed if possible.
Your current footwear for daily activities or sport may be contributing to your problem so please bring a selection of your current shoes for them to be assessed.
What treatments could be offered?
- Exercise prescription
- Strength training
- Stretching programmes
- Orthotics (special shoe inserts)
- Referral for physio / sports massage / surgery
Our podiatrist works within the Sportswise multidisciplinary team and you may be referred to our sports medicine consultant for further investigation or injection treatments, or to one of the physiotherapy team. Treatment can be covered by most major insurance companies.
What is Video Gait Analysis?
By running or walking on a treadmill the podiatrist can use computer software to video your motion, which allows him to highlight the positions of your feet, muscles and joints. This helps us understand why you might be having a particular problem and what can be done to help. It can also be very informative for the individual to see themselves running, if aspects of the running gait need to be altered.
Choice of footwear can have a significant impact on foot and lower limb problems and we can help advise you on this. However, as a general rule – if the shoes you are wearing feel comfortable than they probably suit you!