What can a podiatrist do for me?
Updated: Apr 11
Podiatrists are experts in the foot and ankle its influence other aspects of the body. An example of this is how a flat foot can cause the leg to internally rotate, which can alter the function of the hip. Podiatrists have a specialised knowledge of foot function, footwear, foot orthotics, dermatological conditions affecting the foot, conditions affecting blood and nerve supply to the foot, systemic conditions affecting the foot (e.g. diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis), and sporting and musculoskeletal injuries.
As part of a comprehensive treatment plan, people may consult a range of health professionals to treat a condition. For someone with lower limb pain, a physiotherapist may provide a rehabilitation program, a GP may prescribe medication and a podiatrist may address biomechanics. The combination of these interventions will result in optimal outcomes.
Podiatrists are best placed to offer treatment and advice in a number of broad areas, including:
Sports and Musculoskeletal Injuries
This will include any foot and ankle pain, such as tendon or bone injuries, rehabilitation following inversion ankle sprains, achilles pain, shin pain, and knee and hip pain. Podiatrists should be first consulted for plantar heel pain (plantar fasciitis), bunion pain, or other forefoot pain.
A range of conditions can affect children's feet including intoeing, toe walking, heel pain, flat feet, 'bowed' legs, 'knocked' knees and toe deformities. A podiatrist can provide initial reassurance and advice regarding foot and ankle conditions.
Podiatrists provide important additional care for people with systemic conditions such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. Accessing a podiatrist is important to improve quality of life for any systemic condition that effects the feet.
Nail and skin care
Nail and skin care provided by podiatrists include managing toenails that are hard to cut or reach, hard callous or corns, psoriasis, fungal infections, warts, sweating disorders and ingrown toenails.
Podiatrists are highly skilled in the management of ingrown toenails, and performing ingrown toenail surgery for nails that do not resolve with conservative treatment.
Footwear and orthotics
Podiatrists are experts at providing education and recommendations regarding footwear. Some people will require additional foot support and will benefit from orthotics. A podiatrist can suggest whether prefabricated (over the counter) orthotics or customised orthotics are needed.