When things are going smoothly in our lives, it’s easy to take our feet for granted. It’s not until something goes wrong, when we realise how much it impacts our everyday lifestyle.
Podiatrists are health care professionals that are specifically trained to treat, diagnose and prevent abnormal conditions of the feet and lower legs. They can treat infectious disease, perform corrective surgical procedures and even recommend antibiotics/medicine to treat a range of foot conditions. Podiatrists also provide professional advice on how to look after your feet and recommend proper footwear for better foot health.
Here is a list of issues that a podiatrist sees and treats on a daily basis.
- Corns and callouses
Is hard, thickened skin that forms as a result of excess friction on the skin. This can happen anywhere on the body where there is repetitive use such as the sides of the toes and balls of the feet. Some of the common causes of corns are arthritic conditions and poor footwear.
- Dry and cracked heels
Do you spend a lot of time standing on your feet? Do you wear thongs or backless shoes with no support? Dry and cracked heels develop much more rapidly if your feet aren’t fully supported. Over time, you can lose some of the padding on the bottom of your foot too, increasing your risk of developing deeper cracks and infections. Applying a heel balm can help increase hydration to this area and wearing more supportive shoes can correct this problem in the long-term.
- Toenail problems
Some common toenail problems include ingrown nails, bruising, fungal infections, thickened nails, poor circulation and other direct traumas. This can affect people of all ages but is particularly prevalent in older people. Without realising, our toenails are subjected to a great deal of pressure everyday ranging from footwear friction, squeezing, exercise and general exposure to fungal infections (think swimming pools, showering at the gym etc).
- Sports related injuries
Ankle injuries, shin splints, heel pain and Achilles Tendonitis are just some of the things that happen with sports related injuries. A podiatrist can work closely athletes to improve overall foot, leg and spinal alignment with the use of either orthotics, antibiotics (if infection is present) and even provide advice on foot exercises for quicker recovery.
- Flat feet
People with flat feet usually have no natural arch, foot arches that are low and flat to the ground. However, not everyone with flat feet experience problems - some go through life without feeling much pain or stress at all. For those that do, the most common symptom of flat feet is pain associated with stretched muscles and ligaments. Stiffness is also a big indication. A podiatrist can look at your medical history and recommend the use of orthotics (tailor made insoles) and arch supports to relieve pain in this area.
A podiatrist’s work is handles a very extensive range of foot problems on a daily basis. This is only a small snapshot of what we treat. For painful feet or other trauma related injuries, Toorak Village Podiatry can help rectify a range of issues relating to the feet, ankles and knees.