keeping adults and children active

Do you treat children’s feet (Podopaediatrics)?

If a child reports foot pain, then it is something that should be checked out by a chiropodist/foot specialist. There are numerous foot/leg conditions that are specific to growing children. Sever’s disease, for example, is a common source of pediatric heel pain caused by growth plate inflammation.

Aside from pain, altered foot/leg posture should also be investigated. Alignment of a child changes rapidly through the years and it may be difficult to determine what is normal and what is abnormal. For example, as an infant, the legs will appear bowed, and as a young child, they may become knock-kneed. If abnormal development is suspected, your child should be assessed by a foot specialist/chiropodist.

Regular annual check-ups of children’s feet is something that The Footcare Centre facilitates. Foot check-ups can teach children the importance of foot health and can detect the potential for foot problems early and give helpful intervention advice.

Do you offer services for athletes?

The Footcare Centre offers a wide range of treatments for runners, ball and puck players. Chiropodists/Foot Specialists can offer the sporting community a ‘full house’ of advice and treatment services for their feet.

Comfortable athletic shoes are important, so why not ask your chiropodists/foot specialists advice on your running shoes – ensure you have the correct shoe for your foot type.

Are you ‘Pronated’, ‘Highly-pronated’, ‘Supinated’, ‘Highly-supinated’ or ‘Within norms’?

For the novice and advanced runner this is a confusing area, so let a chiropodist take a look!

More complex sports-related problems or recurrent injuries can be assessed by your chiropodist. A full bio-mechanical examination and gait analysis can be performed to help determine why the injuries are occurring. We can help speed healing of sports injuries through combination of taping, exercises/stretches, low level laser therapy, ultrasound, shock-wave therapy, custom foot orthotics, and footwear, depending on an individual’s specific needs.

A demanding athletic programme poses friction problems. Blisters, toenail traumas and corns or calluses can develop as a result. These conditions can be assessed and treated by your foot specialist/chiropodist too.

What kind of injuries do you see in the active adult?

Injuries of the foot are commonly seen in a chiropodist’s office.

Foot pain in hockey or sore feet skating and skiing are as frustrating as running injuries or painful feet playing baseball or basketball. These sporting injuries can be overuse injuries, acute trauma injuries or other chronic injuries.

Overuse Injuries: Common overuse injuries include Plantar Fasciitis (Heel pain), Tendinitis and Bursitis.

These injuries are common in the running or sporting population. They are often perceived by the sports player as not having a mechanism of injury – the pain just starts up with no injury, collision or fall being recollected. However, overuse injuries are, as the name describes, the outcome of overuse.

Overuse can either be attributed to an increase in training schedules or running mileage, such as training for a tournament or a marathon OR can be the result of doing the same activity at the same intensity over several weeks, months or years.

All connective tissue in the body such as muscle, tendon, ligament or bone has the capacity to withstand a certain amount of force placed upon it. However, repetitive and recurrent application of force to these tissues will slowly cause them to weaken and eventually they start to fail. Since we are all different, the threshold at which overuse injury develops is different for each of us.

Acute Trauma Injuries: These are injuries which happen rapidly and can often be attributed to a specific mechanism of injury such as uneven ground causing an ankle sprain, or a hockey or soccer injury.

Remaining well-conditioned and keeping supple by stretching effectively is a good way of avoiding injury.

Your foot specialist/chiropodist may check your gait and are skilled in the prescription of custom orthotics as foot and leg posture and management of forces can be an important component of the development of an injury.

How do you care for seniors?

Sore feet, the problems associated with the ageing foot and and the fear of falling becomes a worry for many seniors, their families and their care givers. Chiropodists can hope to help with foot care and the prevention of falls in several ways.

  1. Pain relief – Offering regular, maintenance foot care (‘palliative foot care’) can be important in the battle against painful feet. Keeping toenails in check, hard skin minimised and having painful corns regularly removed help people move more freely. By reducing the need of ‘guarding’ painful feet, chiropodists/foot specialists hope to reduce the risk of falls because of ‘antalgic gait’ – an altered gait pattern due to pain.
  2. Footwear – The wrong footwear can contribute to feet feeling unstable. Ill-fitting shoes that slip or cause pain lead to instability. Instability can lead to trips or falls. A foot specialist/chiropodist with a special interest in fitting footwear is particularly useful. Orthopaedic shoes, with features that are catered to an individual’s specific needs can help keep them safe and mobile. Get appropriate advice from your foot specialist.
  3. Custom foot orthotics may be prescribed by a chiropodist/foot specialist : they can help improve balance or proprioception and may help hold your feet in a more stable position, improving your body’s base of support. Custom orthotics can also relieve pain, helping avoid painful gait patterns.
  4. Improving stability may also be achieved by liaising with other professionals – a foot specialist/chiropodist can help co-ordinate this.

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy, short for Extra Corporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), is a non-invasive modality for treating painful conditions of the feet. It uses pneumatic, mechanical or piezogenic technology to generate therapeutic energy pulses (hence ‘shock’ wave). These are applied outside the body (hence ‘extra corporeal’), to generate a desired tissue response (hence ‘therapy’).

There are several products that offer ESWT on the market, however not all are created equal. At the Footcare Centre, we are proud to be using evidence based radial ESWT.

What conditions may benefit from ESWT?

Common painful conditions which may respond well to ESWT include:

  • Soft tissue injury (for example following a historic sprain)
  • Heel pain or arch pain (such as plantarfasciitis or plantarfasciosis)
  • Tendon Pain (such as Achilles tendinitis or tendinopathy)
  • Muscle pains (for example ‘tigger points’ of tenderness)
  • Painful attachment sites (for example enthesopathy or medial tibial stress syndrome)

What does it involve?

​During an appointment the area to be treated is located, or the ‘site of maximal tenderness’ is identified. A coupling gel, is applied to the foot and the ESWT handpiece is applied to the gel. Treatment commences and the handpiece is slowly moved throughout the treatment area. The treatment lasts a matter of minutes. Typically a series of three weekly treatment sessions are scheduled for most conditions.

Is it painful?

During ESWT we may hone in on tender areas, as these are likely the injured areas requiring treatment. Treating these areas can therefore be a little tender or uncomfortable. By focusing on these target areas, a cascade of physiological and pain-relieving events occur in the tissues, which speeds up recovery.

Does it work?

The energy pulse delivered from the ESWT machine are faster than sound and safely cause repetitive microscopic disturbances to the tissues. These shock waves help increase microscopic circulation and increases metabolism in the tissues. Learn more here.

A chiropodist/foot specialist can help develop a treatment plan and give advice regarding your specific condition. Aside from ESWT, other treatment options may also be appropriate. Contact us today to book an appointment or to find out more about the foot treatments we offer.