How can Smoking Effect your Feet and Legs?

What comes to mind when you think of the common side effects of smoking?

Typically, most of us think that smoking only affects our heart and our lungs, right?

I’m sure you wouldn’t think that smoking affects your feet? Read more

How to Look after Elderly Feet.

It is hard to deny, our feet are important. Not only do they help us ambulate around but they also form the base of our body and work to help keep us upright. As we get older, so do our feet and as they do, there may be issues arising which may require assistance and care to keep us happy and healthy.

Podiatrist will often look at a persons feet and obtain a good insight into the general health of the patient. Factors such as skin texture, skin colour, thick or discoloured nails, uncomfortable or tight feeling skin or generalised pain in the legs of feet can be indicative of problems not often easily observed. Conditions commonly seen in the elderly population such as arthritis, diabetes or circulatory problems can easily cause any of the mentioned symptoms. This is why, much like a classic car, the older we get the more specialised care we need to keep our body healthy. Some common podiatry problems seen in the feet of elderly patients includes: Read more

How to Avoid Dry Scaly Feet.

With winter around the corner, many patients often present to podiatry clinics range of conditions that are commonly seen during the colder months. In the following series of blogs, we will highlight a number of commonly seen problems that can arise during this time. This week’s blog will focus on dry skin.

A factor that most people do not consider, is that the human skin is an organ capable of miraculous feats. Not only does it provide a barrier that protects internal organs from infection and damage, but it also plays a big role in the regulation of internal systems. It is on this note, that the skin can be used as a methods of screening for potential problems both internally and externally in the body. Because of the skin’s ability to react and respond to external influences, it is no surprise that the texture of skin can change with changing environments. Dry skin often occurs during winter because of the low environmental humidity. This lack of humidity results in physiological changes in the skin cells that results in water being lost. The body is unable to naturally replenish this lost fluid and this can lead to potential problems that will be highlighted below. Read more

Does Medicare cover Podiatry Appointments?

In our podiatry clinic, we often have new patients who come for initial consultations and ask whether they can use their Medicare cards or whether we bulk bill consultations. The reality is, Podiatry as a speciality within the health sector is still developing and undergoing legislative changes. As such, the Medicare rebates are limited for Podiatry as they are for many other Allied Health professions.
Some patients are able to have a portion of their consultation fees subsidised through Medicare, if they have an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan referral from their doctor. Read more

Cracked Heels; More than just a Cosmetic Problem?

Cracked heels, often the bane of people’s existence and can cause people to hide their feet away from embarrassment. Whether from a personal perspective or comments made from others, cracked heels can impact on a person’s confidence and self-esteem, often opting to put into storage ones favourite pair of sandals. We all see commercials of model-esque feet and advertisements for various products that promise smooth, silky heels, however the truth of the matter is a little more complex than they would have you believe. Cracked heels can be caused by a myriad of different problems, some more serious than others. Some heel cracks (or fissures technically), do not cause any discomfort whilst others can become painful and infected if neglected long enough. So in short, yes, cracked heels are indeed more than just a cosmetic problem but to understand why, we need to delve a little bit deeper into the issue. Read more

How do I know if I have Osteoarthritis or Rhuematoid Arthritis in the Feet ?

A common question I receive from patients who present with joint pain is ‘Do you think I have arthritis?’ Whilst on some occasions the observation proves to be an accurate diagnosis, the use of the umbrella term ‘arthritis’ to describe joint related problems does not factor in the inherently different natures of the two most common forms of arthritis; osteoarthritic and rheumatoid.

This blog will focus on bringing to light some major differences between the two forms of arthritis and should in no way be taken as an exhaustive list. As with any other foot or lower limb related concern, specialist advice should be sought to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment is applied to the case in question. Read more

Avoid Painful Feet this Holiday Season with these Podiatry Tips

Your feet are vital. Not only do they carry the weight of your body and help you ambulate around, but they also help your joints function in a way that is most beneficial to your overall body health. So its easy to see how badly affected your life can be if your feet are painful and no time is this more obvious than during the holiday season. Heading into the shops for Christmas shopping can put considerable strain on your feet as you often can spend countless hours walking on unforgiving terrain, not to mention all of the additional weight bearing activities that need to be done to make sure everything is ready. Read more

Do You Have Pain at in the Ball of the Foot?

Have you ever experienced a soreness underneath the ball of your foot that was often hard to describe? Did the sensation feel like a burning hot press up along the inside of the bones of your foot? Has it left you hobbling or altered the way that you walk? If your answer is yes, then it is quite possible that you may have experienced an injury to an often overlooked structure called the ‘plantar plate’. In this blog, we will look at what makes this structure so vital to the functioning of the foot and how potential injuries can come about and what can be done about it. Read more

Wearing Heels Regularly? Every cm Matters.

The use of heels in an everyday setting has been a common trend amongst women for years. Work, social and personal requirements have all contributed to increasing use of high heels. Whilst most clinicians and most research all agree with consistent use as being detrimental to foot health, most people I see in a clinical setting do struggle to see the  effect that wearing heels often will have on their feet, they certainly can feel it. Read more

Is your foot and leg pain hiding a potential stress fracture? What you need to know

 

On an almost daily basis I encounter patients who present to me with some form of foot or lower leg pain. Some cases have involved a traumatic episode whilst others appear to have come out of the clear blue sky. Pain is often a very good indicator that something in the body may not be quite right and will push people to seek answers. More often than not, this may be due to an overload of joints, tendons, ligaments or muscles however other factors such as arthritis, soft tissue injury or fractures may also be the cause. Of the mentioned factors, it is often stress fractures of bones that go unnoticed and misdiagnosed leading to prolonged pain and time for recovery. The following will be a brief introduction into what stress fractures are and what you need to know to help you make an informed decision of when the pain is more serious and requires an assessment. Read more