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Foot Health Month – Why should we look after our feet?

The foot health professionals

 


The profession of podiatry launches their annual foot health awareness this month through The College of Podiatry.  More about the Foot Health campaign later.

As a podiatrist and independent author, I believe our work is vital to maintaining the Nation’s health. Foot health matters to all people, not the elderly or young but everyone. But surely every health profession, covering from teeth to toes makes the same promise or uses a similar strap line? ‘Tooth pain,’ ‘back pain,’ ‘foot pain,’ is the worst type of pain!

Of course, we are all passionate about health. Why take up a career in health if you are not passionate. So, to kick start why feet?

Basic Principles

We need them to walk on? Yes, of course, but they are more than just wheels/tyres driving the body forward. They are shock absorbersand they change into levers. Anything that affects those two principle functions is going to impede the body’s progress. Contacting the ground given the accelerating mass of the body the build up of forces from movement need absorbing; muscles, tendons, fat, skin and correct foot adaptation help with this contact, but also bear the brunt.

As the body moves forward, leverage through the foot occurs by changing into a rigid structure to propel us. Chimps, with similar foot anatomy cannot do this and adopt a curious pattern of walking that is not that efficient or can be kept up. Joints lock together, muscles and tendons

from one set to another to produce smooth movement. Movement comes in the form of walking, running or sprinting. Feet should not hurt while standing still or moving about.

Car analogies

Don’t you just hate having to pay out for new tyres on the car. The treads have worn or you have a crack in the wall. Foot skin is thickest under foot. It is the soul of contact (pun intended). If the skin weakens, breaks down, then this is a big deal. Unlike your tyres there is is no ‘Kwick-fix’. Infection, pain, ulcers… not nice; but what of their impact?

The body no longer wants to move as it did. Mobility crisis means giving rise to plenty of concerns for the podiatrist. Your foot health is letting you down and we need to find the source of the pain. Is it infection, skin quality problems, fixed deformity, or are those muscles and tendons not working. Have you had an old injury come back to haunt? Arthrosis (better term than arthritis) affects shock absorption. This is where joint surfaces are damaged, often through wear and tear. In some cases we can replace joints, but it is best to deal with the problem before that is necessary. Muscles imbalanced with tendon strain are bad news for walking free from pain.

The go to profession

Can we fix it? Yes, mostly. Some 95% of foot problems can be helped, many cured with timely intervention. Lost days from work, impact on social life and family and side effects from medication, weight gain, are all matters podiatrists work with patient’s GPs and other health professionals. Our aim: TO KEEP YOU MOBILE.

So, is foot health month just another fad? No, it is an attempt by a caring profession to reach out to people to take a greater interest in their foot health. The College of Podiatry, the driving force behind Podiatry in the UK, hope to make 2018 a notable campaign extending from one week to one month. They have said,

‘We want more people to understand the importance of foot health as part of their overall health, and for people to visit a podiatrist when they need to – and to know when they need to!’

The campaign started in 1983 by The Society of Chiropodists and later incorporated the modern name of Podiatry shortly after. Foot Health Month has a health education focus, and the College of Podiatry hopes to deliver information in an appealing and engaging way.

Look out for loads of information this month from independent podiatrists and the professional body, promoting itself now under the banner, The College of Podiatry. Mr Steve Jamieson, the Chief Executive Officer pointed out to groups of Podiatrists earlier on in the year that there is much confusion having two names where one branded name makes clearer who podiatrists are. In 2011 the profession tried to change the name of its Society, dropping the term chiropody, but this was rejected.

Also watch this space as the profession considers voting to keep or delete the old term chiropody later this month. Footlocker will be publishing more on confusing titles.

If in doubt about you foot health consult a podiatrist early. The profession has not changed overnight to podiatry from chiropody but developed as powerful force offering wider scope and expertise over the last 25 years in both the NHS and Independent sector.

Also this summer:

 

  1. Why is podiatry being driven into the independent sector
  2. What’s in a name? Confusion with titles
  3. When should we throw away our shoes?
  4. When patients become desperate recognition of reversible PVD saves a foot

 

 

 

 

 

 

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