A Podiatrist looks after the health of your feet and lower limbs. In Australia, Podiatrists are registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Registration Authority, also known as AHPRA. This is the same for New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
In the UK, the Health and Care Practitioners Council, known as HCPC, is the body where Podiatrists are registered.
If you are unsure about the therapist you are seeing, you can check their registration credentials on the APHRA or HCPC website.
Because Podiatrists deal with such a complex area of the body, being your feet, they can work in several key areas.
Biomechanics is the study and application of the physical structures of the bodywork.
A thorough understanding of Biomechanics is essential because the feet have about a quarter of the bones in your body. Feet also have about a third of your body’s skeletal muscles. When you combine feet and legs into the equation, it can get quite complex.
If you have foot pain or issues with your legs, then a podiatrist will be able to help you. Your podiatrist will assess how you walk and how you use your body. They will work with you to find a solution to your problems.
Within Biomechanics, podiatrists also work in sports and sporting injuries.
At Your Podiatry Canberra, our podiatrists can check your technique in sports such as cycling or dancing. They can help adjust your skiing, snowboarding or rowing foot position.
A podiatrist can help improve your bike set-up if you are a cyclist. Your podiatrist will optimise your foot, leg and hip position to enhance your power output. They will alter your saddle and handlebar positions to improve overall efficiency while at the same time reducing your risk of injury. Podiatrists can also do bike fittings with our experienced bike fitting physiotherapists.
Podiatrists are sought after to look after athletes from many different sports and activities. They will look at ways to improve your style, shoes and set-up that will bring improvements in your chosen sport. You do not have to be injured to see a podiatrist or need a referral.
- General Podiatry is the treatment of many other foot conditions that are not biomechanical.
- There are several local dermatological conditions such as nail and skincare that a Podiatrist will be able to help you with. If you have hard skin, thickened nails or corns and calluses, then Your Podiatrist will be able to help you. Treatments for warts and skin rashes can also be discussed with your podiatrist.
- Systemic problems such as vascular diseases or diabetes should be managed by a multidisciplinary team that includes your General Practitioner and Medical Specialists. However, an essential part of that team can be a podiatrist. (https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/foot-care) They will help you understand how your conditions will affect your lower limb (hips, feet and legs); they will also be able to help you manage your feet to keep them in the best of health.
- If you are already experiencing problems with your feet and legs, a podiatrist will be able to work with your GP and other health professionals to make sure you have the best care planning. In some circumstances, your GP might ask for a Podiatrist to be part of the primary care team.
- If your condition is ongoing, you can talk to your GP about a Chronic Disease Management Plan, where you can receive a rebate for some of your costs in treating your condition or injury.
Paediatrics and childhood development
- As children grow, they go through many amazing transformations. During this time, lots of things happen, and most of the time, these changes are normal and occur without any problems. Sometimes during the growth phases, problems arise. Common problems are “in-toeing”, flat feet and ingrowing toenails. Children also commonly complain of pain or discomfort in the lower limb, such as shin splints or Sever’s Disease. Sometimes, these problems resolve without any incident, but sometimes parents find it helpful to have some treatment to speed up recovery. Our team can make a thorough assessment and discuss with you the best courses of action. https://yourpodiatrycanberra.com.au/childrens-podiatry/
- Podiatrists also provide a thorough assessment of an individual’s footwear and can advise what types of footwear are appropriate for an individual’s needs. Wearing appropriate footwear is essential for all clients, from children and the elderly to athletes. Wearing poor footwear can contribute to issues such as ingrown toenails and common injuries like plantar fasciitis and shin splints. Also, in the elderly population and individuals with systemic medical conditions such as diabetes, poor footwear can cause more severe issues such as falls and ulcerations.
- So if you are unsure whether your current footwear is appropriate for supporting your feet and meeting your current needs, our podiatry team can perform a thorough assessment of your footwear and advise accordingly.
What to do?
In summary, a Podiatrist is an allied health professional. They can assess and treat most problems of the lower limb. At Your Podiatry Canberra, we are here to help. Our podiatrists can help you understand your conditions and work out the best course of treatment. So if you have any concerns regarding your feet, leg, knees or hips, try a qualified and experienced Podiatrist.