We all know how important it is to have your teeth check regularly, but why are we failing to see the importance of an annual podiatry foot health check.
A podiatric 'Foot Health Assessment' is where a Podiatrist performs a series of tests and gathers information in regards to your current lower limb health. They then determine your risk of developing any neurovascular complications to the lower limb and initiate a management plan tailored to improving and managing your lower limb health. Prevention is better than cure. Just like regular check ups at your dentist which helps to avoid issues such as cavities, pain and decay occurring; an annual visit to a Podiatrist is essential to prevent lower limb and foot complications including pain.
What does the evidence say?
New research by the Australian Podiatry Association shows almost 2 out of 5 Australians had life-threatening health issues identified by their podiatrist. Highlighting the importance of having your feet checked by podiatrists – it could save your life.
Such research showed a large number of Australians who purely visited a podiatrist for foot pain were found to have other life-threatening health issues which otherwise may have gone undetected.
These issues included:
33% circulatory issues
11% heart problems
25% diabetes (including risk of amputation)
7% other health issues
This highlights how important it is for everyone to have an annual foot health assessment.
What to expect from a Foot Health Assessment ?
At your foot health assessment your Podiatrist will evaluate the overall health of your lower limbs. This includes a thorough assessment of your skin, nails, blood flow, nerves, foot mechanics and footwear.
Your podiatrist will use specialised equipment to accurately test your sensory nerves and listen to the health of your blood vessels. They may also refer you for imaging such as x-rays and ultrasounds to detect issues invisible to the naked eye. These may include arthritic changes, bony breaks and/or soft tissue abnormalities.
From these series of tests along with a thorough discussion of your medical history your Podiatrist will determine your risk status of developing lower limb neurovascular complications. Based on these findings we will create you a customised management and treatment plan.
Best evidence supports a multi disciplinary approach to foot care and your Podiatrist will communicate relevant information/findings with the rest of your health care team.
How often do I need a foot health assessment?
The answer isn't as straightforward as you may think, and will depend on your individual circumstances and risk status that is determined by your Podiatrist at your initial foot health assessment.
The current evidence based guideline ssupport the following:
Annual Foot Health Assessment + any additonal podiatric care requirments
Low risk feet have normal sensation and good blood flow. However it is important to know that low risk feet can become high risk feet without symptoms, so regular checks are still as important.
Foot Health Assessment 3 – 6 months at minimum + any additional podiatric care requirements.
People who have had a foot ulcer or amputation in the past have a high risk of developing future complications. Feet with calluses or deformities like claw toes also have increased risk if reduced sensation and/or decreased blood flow are also present.
Do I need a referral ?
You don’t need a GP referral to see a podiatrist. Podiatrists’ work closely with your GP, specialists and other allied health professionals to ensure you get the best health outcomes.
Is it safe to have a foot health assessment when pregnant?
Yes, in fact it is encouraged as your body undergoes many changes which can hugely impact your feet and comfort.
The difference between Podiatry foot health assessments and general treatments?
Regular podiatry treatments include caring for your skin and nails, managing lower limb pain/injuries to overall increase your day to day comfort.
A foot health assessment will be performed typically in addition to treatment at your initial consultation or as a separate appointment at the appropriate review interval. It is used as a screening tool to prevent foot health complications.
All of our podiatrists' are trained professionally to perform lower limb foot health assessments and ongoing management and care to help you minimise your risk of developing PREVENTABLE lower limb complications.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CustomPodiatryServices
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/custompodiatry_/
- LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/company/18627665
- Locations: http://bit.ly/2I4xNp8
- Contact Us: 7081 9805