Podiatrists are experts in foot and ankle conditions, and how the foot and ankle can influence other aspects of the body. An example of this is how a pronated foot can cause internal rotation of the lower limb, and subsequently alter the function of the hip. Podiatrists have a specialised knowledge of foot function, footwear, foot orthotics, dermatological conditions affecting the foot, systemic conditions affecting the foot (e.g. diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis), and sporting and musculoskeletal injuries affecting the feet.
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 childrens 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 propel 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 trained in managing ingrown toenails, and performing ingrown toenail surgery for ingrown nails that are not resolving with conservative treatment.
Footwear and Orthotics
Podiatrists are experts in providing education and recommendations regarding footwear. Some people will require additional foot support and benefit from orthotics. A podiatrist can suggest whether prefabricated (over the counter) orthotics or customised orthotics are needed.