Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Putting your best foot forward

“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art” – Leonardo Da Vinci

We each take between 5,000 and 18,000 steps per day and that is a lot of work for our often neglected feet. If there is a misalignment in our foot structure the constant repetition of walking can cause injuries and continued movement can aggravate these injuries.

This is where a podiatrist comes in. Podiatrists assess, analyse and treat foot and lower limb injuries, both those of a sporting and general nature. When dealing with a sports patient prevention becomes a focal point and it is essential that the podiatrist has an understanding of all potential risk factors, these include the demands of the sports, the demands of the training schedule and the level of competition and aspirations of the individual.  With a general patient there is focus upon the types of socks and shoes worn, muscle mass and lifestyle.

A podiatrist will often use orthoses which are primarily insoles that affect the foot and its intersection with the ground during walking or running. This can help with back, hip and knee pain, shin splints, achilles pain, tendonitis and heel pain. The podiatrist’s aim is to alleviate discomfort at an injury site and to prevent an injury occurring.

If your feet hurt, if they are getting an undue amount of hard skin, if their colour changes, if they are deforming or changing shape a podiatry check should be considered. Even masterpieces need a little maintenance now and again!

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