Feet are an important part of our bodies. The average adult takes approximately 18,000 steps a day, and will walk 75,000 miles during their lifetime, the equivalent of circumnavigating the world four times.
The foot bears our whole body weight and as a consequence takes a lot of abuse. We take our feet for granted until something goes wrong. Regular foot care is therefore essential to maintain independence, mobility and quality of life.
Podiatrists (previously known as Chiropodists), are allied health professionals who are trained to assess, diagnose and treat disorders of the foot, and leg. They work either in the NHS or as independent private practitioners.
Podiatrist and Chiropodist are protected titles and may only be used by those with a degree in Podiatry. The profession is tightly regulated and registration with the Health & Care Professions Council is compulsory.
Examples of common foot problems seen by podiatrists:-
Corns are a pad of hard skin with a nucleus (core). They can be very painful and occur on areas of the foot which are exposed to abnormal pressure. Treatment involves removal of the nucleus. Sufferers should not attempt to remove the nucleus themselves as this may cause injury. A podiatrist can provide safe treatment. It is then necessary to address the cause of the problem and stop it recurring.
Commonly affect children but also seen in adults. Verrucas are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). There are many treatments available, some are expensive to buy. Podiatrists will recommend the most appropriate treatment for you, based on your age, health and lifestyle.
Plantar Fasciitis is thickening or micro tears in the plantar fascia of the foot. It manifests as severe pain in the heel or sole of the foot. It usually affects one foot although sometimes both feet are affected. Plantar fasciitis is usually worse first thing in the morning but eases throughout the day, only to become painful again when standing or walking for long periods of time. Some sufferers will limp or try to alter their gait to compensate for the pain. There are several causes, but being overweight is thought to be a major factor to developing plantar fasciitis.
Treatments include insoles (inserts for shoes), taping, rest, a healthy diet and lifestyle, and wearing good supportive shoes. Stretching exercises may also be beneficial.
If you have suffered with pain for more than two weeks then a podiatrist can examine your foot. They will discuss your symptoms and medical history before deciding on the best treatment for you.
For more information call Feet to Go Podiatry – 0845 241 1003