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What does a Podiatrist Do?

Posted on: Dec 7th, 2017 by The Physio Movement | Categories: Sports Medicine & Nutrition

TPM Podiatry Townsville Podiatrist

What does a Podiatrist do?

Podiatrists are the foot and lower limb health experts. Podiatrists assess, diagnose and treat all conditions associated with the feet and legs.

The foot has 26 bones and is required to support the entire weight of our bodies when we stand, walk, run, jump and perform any weight bearing activities. With each step that we take during walking, each foot is required to absorb up to 1.5 times your body weight. Running can add up to four times your body weight in force through each foot. It makes sense that the risk of injury to our feet and legs increase as we increase the force (load) or increase the frequency of those loads or increase the amount of time the loads are occurring. The science of understanding the loads and forces that are applied to the feet and legs during activities is referred to as biomechanics.

Podiatrists are trained to assess the biomechanics of the foot and lower limb.

If there are any biomechanical abnormalities identified in the foot, this can have a corresponding negative effect on the muscles and soft tissue in the foot itself and also in the lower leg (think Achilles tendon injuries, calf injuries, shin splints/pain) and knee pain. Every muscle in the lower leg (below the knee) attaches on to the foot, so if there is a change in foot mechanics, this will have a corresponding effect on the way the muscles in the lower leg need to function. Some muscles may start to work a little harder and others may not be working as much as they should be. This imbalance in muscle function can be what leads to tissue breakdown and injury.

Wear and Tear to our Feet – How can a Podiatrist help?

Wear and tear that occurs over our lifespan can lead to degenerative changes in the joints of our feet and legs leading to arthritis. A Podiatrist can assess and diagnose arthritis in the joints of the feet and ankles. If a Podiatrist is concerned about the bones or joints in the feet, they can refer for x-rays or other radiological examinations to assist in making an accurate diagnosis.

Looking further than just our feet

Our feet can also have pain and discomfort from medical conditions that start elsewhere in our bodies. For example, heart disease and conditions that effect the blood vessels (e.g. atherosclerosis, varicose veins) can manifest in the feet and ankles. These manifestations include changes in the health of the skin around the foot and ankles, skin ulcerations, increased susceptibility to infection, swelling, and other nail and skin abnormalities. Heart disease can also cause pain in the feet and legs with activity as there is a reduction in the amount of blood supplied to the feet with activity. A Podiatrist can assess the blood supply to the feet and provide treatment to assist in managing complications arising from poor blood supply.

Another common medical condition that has a significant impact on foot health is Diabetes. Complications associated with Diabetes can impact on both the nerve and blood supply to the feet and lower legs. Anyone diagnosed with diabetes should be seen by a Podiatrist for a foot health check at least once every 12 months. A Podiatrist will assess the nerve supply, blood supply, conditions of the skin and biomechanics to identify any areas of high pressure that could be at risk of developing complications.

 

Podiatrists treat all age groups, from young children who are born with congenital foot abnormalities through to the elderly.

 

Our feet and legs are what keep us mobile and allow us to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A Podiatrist helps to keep you on your feet now and into the future.

 

Learn more about how TPM Podiatry could assist your health

 

 

 

Contact

     517 Flinders Street
Townsville City Qld 4810
     1300 TPM FIT or 4740 4516
     info@thephysiomovement.com.au
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