List of main conditions treated in Podiatry
- Lower limb Sports injuries
- Foot and ankle pain
- Diabetic feet
- Heel pain
- Shin splints
- Knee and back pain (including all types of foot and related structural problems)
- Corns, callous and verrucae
- Hammer toes and bunions
- All types of common foot problems
- Ingrown toenails and nail infections
- Athletes foot
- Fissures, smelly feet, sweaty feet and cold feet
- Dry skin
Athlete’s foot is a condition of the skin that causes flaking, itching, maceration of the affected areas. It is usually caused by fungi that are spread through damp areas such as baths, showers and pools. The condition is most commonly seen in the feet but can spread to other areas of the body.
Aching feet is usually caused by muscle imbalances, either intrinsically at the insertion or externally where the muscles have to work harder to function. This is where the body is poorly aligned from the head to the feet and the muscles become tired and sore. Orthoses work very well to stabilize the feet and correct the structural imbalance.
The true name for a bunion is a hallux valgus. This is a medial deviation of the first metatarsal joint, causing it to stretch. This also causes the big toe to be pulled laterally or to rotate. This condition is usually accompanied with flat feet and hammer toes, that seek to make the feet even more painful. The feet usually swell which makes wearing shoes difficult. The causes can be hereditary, ill fitting shoes, imbalances in posture or a systemic disorder.
Bursitas is inflammation of the bursa. The bursa is a sack like cavity that is filled with synovial fluid. The aim of the fluid is to lubricate the joint. The bursas are located at sites in the body where friction occurs such as where tendons or muscles pass over bony prominences. They aid to reduce friction in the area.
Cold feet have a number of causes from poor arterial circulation to inappropriate hosiery.
The aim is to stabilize the ankle and correct any misalignments in the leg. This can be done with the aid of mobilisation techniques, orthoses, exercises, trigger point therapy and correct posture alignments.
See Diabetes in Podiatry
An ingrown toe nail is where the edge of the nail grows down into the margin of the toes and pierces into the skin. It is usually accompanied with swelling and pus. It is a series condition that if left untreated, the infection could spread into the rest of the foot and cause hospitalisation or even gangrene.
Hallux rigidus or Hallux limitus
Hallux rididus is a term used to describe pain and stiffness at the base of the big toe which is known as the hallux. As the condition becomes more chronic the pain worsens. The causes can be anything from trauma to ill fitting shoes. The condition is usually worsened through poor postural habits.
Generally heel pain is caused through overloading of the heel where the soft tissue structures are unable to cope with the pressure. This causes an inflammatory response in the area with pain and swelling resulting.
Lower limbs sports injuries
Morton’s neuroma is common problem that affects the plantar digital nerves that run between the web spaces. The most common site is the third and fourth web space. But the other web spaces can become affected. This causes pain and numbness locally in the area. It is most common in middle aged women. It is possible to have the condition in both feet, but it is usually only in one foot.
Plantar fasciitis is a term used to describe pain in medial part of a foot. Most commonly it is seen in runners or even in less active patients where the foot usually becomes overloaded. This causes the ligament to be strained and a surface of bone damage can cause an inflammatory response. The result of this is usually pain and swelling in the affected area.
Shin splints is a term used to describe a variety of conditions in the lower leg (between the knee and ankle). These can vary from stress fractures to soft tissue injuries. The common cause is usually over training by athletes, such as runners. Shin splints can affect the front back and side compartments of the lower leg.
Verruca is caused by the HPV Infection (human papillomavirus infection) it can occur on the soles of the feet or the toes. Verruca otherwise known as plantar warts can clear without treatment, but often Podiatry treatment is necessary.