It is FOOT HEALTH WEEK! This weeks theme is ‘Podiatrists are Foot Health Experts. They assess, treat and keep you on your feet!’ highlighting the difference podiatric intervetion makes and celebrating the work podiatrists do.
Podiatrists can assess, diagnose and treat foot, ankle, knee, leg, hip and back pain. Given your feet alone house a quarter of the bones in your entire body, a podiatrist is best placed to get you moving, active and pain-free.
New research by the Australian Podiatry Association shows almost 2 out of 5 Australians had life-threatening health issues identified by their podiatrist. Highlightning the importance of having your feet checked by podiatrists – it could save your life.
The research showed Australians who had visited a podiatrist for foot pain were unexpectedly found to have other life-threatening health issues, including:
33% circulatory issues
11% heart problems
25% diabetes (including risk of amputation)
7% other health issues
What is a Podiatrist?
Podiatrists are lower limb experts who are university-trained to prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate medical and surgical conditions of the feet and lower limbs. Podiatrists typically spend 4 years at university to understand the structure and movement of the foot and lower limbs and therefore are experts at diagnosing foot conditions, identifying systemic overall health conditions that present with foot or lower limb symptoms – and recommend/implement appropriate treatment plans.
When should you see a podiatrist?
Prevention is better than cure. Just like regular visits to your dentist help 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.
Some of the reasons you should make a Podiatry appointment:
ingrown or discoloured skin/nails
for a general check-up to review the blood vessels and nerves in your legs and feet are working correctly
thickened skin such as corns or calluses
if you are experiencing pain in your feet, legs, knees or back
if you have arthritis
if you have diabetes
to get the best advice on what shoes to buy
foot/knee or back injuries
foot odour/excessive sweating
recurrent tripping or falling
if you notice swelling, lumps, or redness on your feet or legs
assessment of developmental milestones in children
It is a common misconception that painful feet are a normal side effect from everyday activities. Yet research shows that only a fraction of individuals suffering from sore feet seek out professional advice. Just as you would visit your dentist for a toothache, you should visit a podiatrist if you suffer from painful or tired feet and/or lower limbs.
Annual check up!!
You should see a podiatrist 1-2 times a year for a general check-up/maintenance in the same way as you should a dentist. 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.
Remember, Podiatrists are the Foot Health Experts! See a Podiatrist and your body will thank you for it!
Foot Health Week recourses:
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