Podiatry/chiropody is the healthcare profession that diagnoses and treats disorders of the foot and lower limb.
The human foot and ankle are a strong, complex mechanical structure containing exactly 26 bones, 33 joints (20 of which are actively articulated), and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Over 70% of people develop a foot problem at sometime in their life.
Common Conditions Treated
- Achilles Tendon pain
- Athletes foot
- Ankle sprains
- Bunion pain
- Burning feet
- Cracked skin
- Diabetic foot care/Risk assessment
- Fungal nails
- Heel pain
- High/low arch pain
- Hammer toes
- Ingrowing nail surgery/removal of ingrowing toenails under Local Anaesthesia
- Neuroma pain
- Shin pain
- Sweaty feet
Foot Function – Good foot function is essential to avoid foot problems. Your body weight added to the stresses on feet from ground surfaces, footwear, and activity levels mean that even minimal misalignment of muscles and bones may result in foot pathology developing. Over time the entire body posture is affected which may lead to knee, back or hip pain. Other influences on foot function include trauma, disease and footwear.
Biomechanics is the study of the mechanics of a living body, especially the forces exerted by muscle and gravity on the skeletal structure.
The Podiatrist may carry out a biomechanical assessment, which examines the way the joints and muscles move as we walk, run etc. in our everyday lives. Our feet support our weight and act as shock absorbers when we walk and run. The feet are our foundation (similar to the foundations of a house) and many spinal, hip and leg problems start with poor foundations.
The basis of a biomechanical assessment is examining the cause-and-effect relationship between your foot, legs and upper body. Movement at one joint affects movement at other joints, and every time your foot takes a step, any imbalance is passed up your body. The foot is the stabilizing base between the rest of the body and the ground.
A foot that is poorly functioning in alignment is not a good shock absorber. With every step, shock is transmitted through your body. If your feet are balanced, they can absorb much of that shock. But if they’re not in balance, the shock can add strain to knees, hips and spine. Over time, your body will attempt to compensate for these imbalances causing pain and discomfort. Lifestyle, occupation or sporting activities may add to these existing physical stresses.
Based on the biomechanical assessment functional foot orthoses may be prescribed by the Podiatrist.