What’s all the fuss about feet (and Functional Podiatry)?

Nicholson Health & Wellness are thrilled to welcome Julia Coombes, Functional Podiatrist, to the practice. Read on to hear what everyone wants to know about feet!

Melbourne Podiatrist

What is Podiatry?

Podiatry is the health profession dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of medical conditions of the feet and lower limbs. These may include skin and nail problems, foot and ankle injuries, foot complications related to diabetes and other medical conditions and problems with gait or walking. Podiatrists play an important role in monitoring disease and managing lower limb issues to maintain an active, mobile and functional population across the lifespan. Therefore patient demographics can be diverse ranging from monitoring children’s growth and development, managing sports injuries, working with people with disease, disability and the ageing population.

Common Enquiries

Is a referral needed to see a Podiatrist?
No most people do not need a referral to see a Podiatrist. However your Doctor may refer you under a Chronic Disease Management Plan, but it is not essential.

What is Shockwave Therapy?
Studies have shown Shockwave Therapy is an effective therapy for musculoskeletal conditions with significant alleviation of pain and improvement of function. The treatment is aimed to accelerate tissue repair, cell growth, reduce pain and increase mobility. Essentially it kick starts the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Shockwave is excellent at treating chronic plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, shin splints and heel pain.

What does a general skin/nail treatment consist of?
Podiatrists provide the finest nail and skin care. Nails can be problematic to cut, especially if they are thick an unusual shape or hard to reach. All nails will be cut and filed as well as clearing any built up debris or dead skin surrounding the nail. Following that any corns or callous (dead skin) will be safely removed using a sterile blade and specialised sanding disc. All instruments are sterilised onsite using the highest quality sterilisation equipment.

What is KeryFlex?
Fungal or damaged nails can take many months to resolve and can leave those feeling embarrassed not wanting to show their feet. Keryflex is a nail restoration system that can safely be placed over the effected nail, creating the appearance of a healthy and natural nail. Keryflex can be left on for 6-8 weeks and needs to be replaced or removed after for hygiene reasons.

Do I need orthotics?
Much like glasses or braces not everyone needs orthotics, however some people do. There are many different kinds of devices available, custom-made and prefabricated. If orthotics are recommended to you a conversation around what type will best suit your lifestyle, footwear, biomechanics and overall function will be had. Orthotics can be greatly beneficial but they are not a magic pill and will be incorporated into a larger management plan. Deciding between a prefabricated and custom orthotic will be discussed between the patient and practitioner.

I have an ingrown nail do I need surgery?
An ingrown toenail is a painful condition where the nail digs into the skin on the side or end of the toe. This can be caused by improper trimming, inherited genetics, improper shoe fitting or trauma. Conservative treatment for ingrown nails is the first approach to take. By gently removing the nail spike and clean up any built up hard skin or debris down the edge of the nail, this relieves a lot of pressure and allows the area to heal effectively. If the ingrown nail is reoccurring a conversation around a surgery (partial nail avulsion) will be had to permanently solve the problem.

I have Diabetes, should I see a Podiatrist?
Those who have Diabetes are at risk of complications, such as infections, reduced blood supply, nerve damage and ulcerations. It is essential for a person with Diabetes to have a regular foot check, assessing the peripheral circulation and nerve sensation. That information gets collated and sent back to the persons GP. Low risk patients require this assessment annually and high risk patients may be advised to attend regularly for general skin and nail care (8-10weeks).