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When people suffering from lower limb problems are advised treatment from a podiatrist, most aren’t sure exactly what this professional does. They wonder whether the person is a physiotherapist who also provides these treatments etc. A podiatrist can diagnose as well as treat various rare and common nail & skin pathologies of the feet.

These professionals play a vital role in helping disabled and the elderly, as well as other people including athletes, maintain mobility. They do this by regularly monitoring the foot health of their patients and pay added attention to those with diabetes and circulation problems.

A basic aspect of foot care undertaken by a podiatrist is the treatment of different types of acute and chronic nail conditions; they use specialised instruments to treat these conditions effectively and painlessly. For instance, podiatrists carry out procedures such as the surgical correction of ingrown toenails, under local anaesthesia. The treatment and prevention of calluses, warts, and corns are other common podiatric procedures.

Systemic diseases

A systemic disease like arthritis affects joints in the feet; a podiatrist monitors the feet for signs of degenerative changes. Most people suffering from these diseases are also prescribed certain medications to treat the condition, but this also predisposes the individuals to peripheral neuropathies and/or circulatory pathology. In turn, this can result in deformity of the feet, skin and nail lesions, as well as the increased probability of ulceration. Since there are multiple complications and possible causes of these conditions, there is a need for a detailed examination to establish a solid diagnosis on which the treatment can be based.

A podiatrist’s role is far more than just attaching labels to various conditions. It may also include neurological examination, monitoring of circulation as well as utilising methods such as motor and sensory tests and Doppler assessment. They will also help patients understand how functional or palliative orthoses have to be used; as these aid in the treatment and prevention of deformities and pressure lesions, enabling the patients to maintain a much more active and normal lifestyle.

Biomechanics

When evaluating specific needs of patients and treating chronic foot pain, the podiatrist will also often assess the function and anatomy of the lower limbs and the feet when the person is walking. This detailed assessment of the motion and shape of the limbs allows helps them diagnose the causes of the development of deformities and injuries.

Biomechanics is the analysis of the functioning of human motion. A podiatrist performs biomechanical and clinical evaluation of the lower limbs. Specialised equipment, such as video & computerised assessment equipment and mechanised treadmills are often used by a podiatrist to detect pathomechanical anomalies which help ensure effective and appropriate treatment. These treatments may include the prescription of foot orthoses and specific exercises.

Sports medicine

Any sports that involve running, walking, jumping or standing, place higher physical demands on our bodies than any standard day-to-day activities. Lower limb and foot injuries account for a large majority of sporting injuries. A podiatrist will examine the lower limb and foot and can diagnose foot conditions.

They also have deep knowledge of the biomechanics of different types of athletic movement, and can also recommend appropriate training regimens, footwear, and, if required orthotic devices that will fit into the sports shoes. Some of the common sporting injuries that a podiatrist can help treat include Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, shin or knee pain and ankle sprains.

We at Insync Physiotherapy have skilled podiatrists on board and can provide excellent treatments and care. For any more information on the different types of services we provide, feel free to contact us on 02 9569 5145. You can also send us your queries via this online form.

Thanks for reading,
Insync Physiotherapy Team
02 9569 5145