The word Podiatry must definitely be having you raise your eyebrows and wonder what it implies. But before we get into the details of Podiatry, let's answer the question that why is there a need to gain knowledge about foot or problem related to it ??? As we commonly known that while constructing any structure it essential for the basement to be strong and sturdy. Taking this fact into consideration we infer that when it comes to the Human body, Foot is that important base which is needed to perform the human functions of mobility and stability. There are 26 bones, 33 Joints, 107 Ligament & 19 Muscles which are intricately connected to each other to complete the anatomy of foot. Hence if the alignment of the base i.e. the foot is affected it will have repercussion that will affect our postural alignment. But unfortunately, most often, this amazing structure is neglected & not given the care & attention it needs.
Standing and walking are integral part of our daily routine. However people do not give heed to foot problems until it hampers their standing or walking routine severely. This is the fundamental reason foot problems are not easily treated and hence are ignored. However ignorance is not always bliss. Since our feet & the ability to move is what demarcates the difference between INDEPENDENCE & DEPENDENCE.
Now that we are acquainted to & agree on the importance of foot. Let’s get an insight on some common signs which will help you to identify any foot related problem and screen yourself. So you can check for yourself for following signs.
The human musculo-skeletal system can be considered facsimile to a chain link. If the position of any one end is changed or if any one link is broken then it will damage the entire chain link. Thus altered foot alignment can results in knee pain & back pain. Therefore there is an inter connectivity between the foot, knee and spine.
Diabetes is a multi system metabolic disorder which even has its implications on the normal functioning of foot. However the treatment of foot complications related to diabetes is an entirely different domain (elaborated in previous article)
It causes two major problems in feet
WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?
In case you have incurred any of the above enlisted problems, who do you approach for the same. The answer is a Podiatrist. Podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in treating conditions related to foot, ankle and lower limb. Consequently the medical science of diagnosis & treatment of foot, ankle and lower limb related problems is called Podiatry. Although still an alien term, Podiatry has been in practice since early 1900’s in America, Australia and Europe.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Before starting the treatment it is essential to identify the root cause which can only be known after a thorough assessment. This assessment involves the following
• Understanding the patient’s complaints & lifestyle.
• Visual inspection of FEET- Skin Condition, Colour, Corn/Callus/Ulcer
• Gait Analysis.
• Foot sensation.
• Measure foot size- Length & width.
• Inspection of the patient’s footwear.
THE INNOVATIVE SOLUTION
Once you understand the main reason of the problem Podiatry line of treatment includes following
- Shoes: Appropriate shoes as per patients problem & lifestyle demand, Doctor will guide you about sports shoe specifications, size & other details
- Prescribe corrective Orthotics:
The main solution is corrective Orthotics (also known as insoles). Use of such orthotics helps re-align the body in a corrected posture & thus provides a long term solution without any side effects.
COMMON FOOT RELATED CONDITIONS WHERE PODIATRY CAN HELP: