Maintaining healthy, happy feet is extremely important—after all, you’re on them for much of the day! Without foot comfort, your mobility becomes increasingly restricted, and this restricted mobility can in turn have serious implications for your general health. Because we’re committed to helping you optimise your health, from top to toe, Collins Place Physio’s resident podiatrist Louise Anderson has put together a handy list of nine sure-fire signs you should see a podiatrist. If any sound familiar, it’s time to book an appointment and take the first steps towards improving your foot health, today.
1. Sore toes/ soles of feet
Sore toes and/or soles of feet can occur because shoes are too tight and may be too high in the heel. This places pressure on different parts of the foot, resulting in excessive hard skin and the development of corns. These can be removed fairly simply, and different shoes might be an additional solution recommended by your podiatrist.
2. Cracked heels
Cracked heels can simply occur as the result of very dry skin. However, in certain people, the skin overreacts to pressure and dryness and produces excess keratin, resulting in callouses and cracks. Treatment and a daily management program recommended by your podiatrist can help with both concerns.
3. Ingrown nails and other nail issues
Thick nails, fungal, ingrown, and curly nails can cause great discomfort, even in well-fitting shoes. Thankfully, any number of nail problems can be dealt with with proper podiatry care.
4. Warts on the foot
Papillomas (a viral skin infection, known as verrucas) are a frequent issue for people who go barefoot into swimming pools, gyms and public bathrooms. While wearing flip-flops is a good preventative measure, if you already have papillomas, a podiatrist should be your first port of call.
5. Tinea and general fungal issues
Itchy feet? Interdigital tinea and general fungal infections are very common—often picked up from other people, and sometimes related to poor hygiene. A podiatrist will be able to recommend the right course to resolve your fungal foot problems.
6. Pain in the hips, ankles, knees, shins or lower back
Pain throughout the body, for example in the hips, ankles, knees, shins or lower back, can often begin in the last place you’d expect—the feet. For this reason, podiatrists and physiotherapists will often work together to improve a patient’s bodily alignment and resolve pain. Have you ever checked the soles of your shoes to see where the wear occurs? If the wear is uneven, you may need correction. Do you feel that your feet are rolling in? The realignment of your feet with corrective orthotics can remove discomfort in many areas of your body.
7. Generalised foot pain, after a period of rest, and sharp heel pain
These are signs of soft tissue inflammation (often plantar fasciitis) caused by poor biomechanics of the feet. With a regime of exercise (stretches) and orthotics, this debilitating condition can be overcome.
8. Foot joint pain
A podiatrist has many cushioning and padding materials, including soft insoles, which can assist in protecting joints in people of all ages with all types of arthritis that affect the lower limbs.
9. You’re diabetic, or have compromised circulation
Podiatrists undergo many years of training to become very skilful in fine motor skills. They are therefore the only practitioners that should be allowed to tend to the feet of those with compromised immune systems or poor circulation. A podiatrist is an integral part of any diabetic’s healthcare team.
If you are experiencing any of the above concerns, call Collins Place Physio today on 9650 2220 to discuss whether a podiatry or physiotherapy appointment may be required.