A Podiatrist is one of those guys that you tease at parties for having a foot fetish. While this may not be entirely true, we do spend all of our working days looking at feet.
We spend 4 years at university doing a degree which allows us to qualify as foot guru’s. There really is no one better to see about your foot problem than a Podiatrist.
Some Podiatrist’s cover all aspects of foot health such as hard skin and toe nail problems, in addition to Sports Podiatry issues. At our clinic, we are different. We don’t perform any skin and nail treatments or look at any other aspect of Podiatry practice, and this allows us to fill our days with patient’s suffering from Sports Podiatry problems. This doesn’t mean you have to be a professional football player or a member of a sports team to come and see us. You might just be a recreational runner, or someone who enjoys long walks and hiking.
We treat conditions such as Shin Splints, Knee Pain, Ankle sprains, Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, Peroneal Tendonitis and more. Anything that causes pain or weakness in the foot, leg, hip or lower back. We see adults and children and commonly help those kiddies with flat feet and heel pain.
A Podiatrist will carry out a thorough physical examination to find out which part of your anatomy has been affected. We will work through the intricate layers of the foot – which can be broken down into 4 layers of muscles and comprises 26 bones and 34 joints. Our Podiatrist’s will assess the range of motion in the joints and pick out those muscles that are too tight and need work. We will educate you and show you how to perform safe and effective stretch techniques.
Foot fetish or not, a good Podiatrist will also have a bit of a footwear fetish! I know it sounds boring, and perhaps a little scary for fashion lovers, but a good Podiatrist should always assess the footwear that you use most commonly, in particular your sports shoes. At Sydney Podiatrist we actually match your feet to a particular brand and model of shoe. We also let you know about your foot function, which then allows us to recommend specific qualities to look for in every day shoes and work shoes.
At Sydney Podiatrist we perform a thorough bio mechanical assessment. This involves measurement being taken and bisection lines being drawn onto your legs and feet. The Podiatrist will then observe you walking and running on a treadmill whilst recording the video onto digital software. The video will then be replayed, in slow motion and tracking lines can be added to the screen to show the angles in your legs and feet.
A good Sports Podiatrist should have several treatment options available for you. We are not one dimensional and we do not over prescribe orthotics. You can be assured that you will be assessed and treated by a professional and honest Podiatrist who will tailor the most suitable treatment to you and your problem. We pride ourselves on outcomes and we care. We want you to get better as quickly as possible and we want you to get back to your normal routine, including playing the sports you love. This way, we know you will sing it from the rooftops and tell all your friends how good we are!
After we have worked our magic and diagnosed your condition, we will explain to you what is going on in your feet and then inform you of the best treatment. You can ask the Podiatrist as many questions as you like and we are happy to discuss treatment options with you until you are comfortable to proceed and understand everything. The sort of treatments the Podiatrist will offer you are things such as footwear changes, strapping or stretching. We can design prescription orthotics and have them made from plastic or snazzy materials such as Carbon Fibre. We also offer acupuncture, well dry needling, it’s similar and works really well for tight muscles and pain relief. We always stock a bunch of Immobilisation boots for those super acute cases, those patient’s in extreme pain and who sometimes have throbbing.
In complex cases, our Podiatrist’s can also offer injection therapy as a diagnostic tool. This is different to a cortisone injection (I will get to them next) which is used as a treatment to reduce the inflammation and pain and assist healing. The diagnostic injections that the Podiatrist administer contain local anaesthetic which take effect within minutes. If your symptoms disappear, then we know which part of your foot / leg is causing most of the problem. This allows us to focus on the most troublesome part of your anatomy.
Cortisone injections often scare patients away, and to be honest we don’t perform them on a regular basis. That being said, there are times when a patient has tried everything else and they simply need one. In some parts of your foot, the Podiatrist can pop that injection in on the spot – after all, we know our way around the foot very well. However, in some cases we will refer to an imaging centre and ask the radiologist to guide the injection using Ultra sound imaging. The Podiatrist will probably recommend a cortisone injection in those parts of your foot with poor blood supply that just won’t heal for that reason – such as a non- responsive retro calcaneal bursitis.
Our Sports Podiatrist’s are also well versed in running style and we just love to share our spiel with you on how to run safer and more efficiently. We talk about stride length, foot placement and cadence and a whole lot more. In the same way we don’t like to see angles in your foot and leg, we know that the quickest way from A to B is a straight line – so we can sort out your running style too.
So there you have a run down of what a Podiatrist does and how a Sports Podiatrist can help the pain in your lower limb. I certainly don’t have a foot fetish, but I’m addicted to the outcomes following treatment, I just love to help. I know I speak for my colleagues too as we all share that same caring nature. I mean, why else would we end up in a caring profession.