Podiatry for adults
Our feet alter as we grow older and foot pain happens simply be leading our busy lives. It's the body’s way of letting us know that something is not quite right.
As adults, we put increased demands on our feet than we did as children. The stress of occupations requiring us to be on our feet all day, changes in the condition of our feet due to pregnancy, or injury from sporting activities all contribute to the development of foot problems.
Foot pain is one of the more common problems we treat and it is often the result of excess pressure placed on the feet. This happens simply by leading our busy lives. It's the body’s way of letting us know that something is not quite right.
Contact us or make an online booking for any concerns you may have regarding your feet and step up to better health with Blueprint Podiatry.
Common foot conditions in adults
Arthritis is a condition that involves inflammation and stiffness in the joints, often leading to pain and decreased mobility. Common types of arthritis affecting the feet include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. At Blueprint Podiatry, we offer comprehensive treatment options to manage arthritis symptoms, including custom orthotic devices, footwear modifications, pain management strategies, and exercise programs. Our goal is to improve joint function, reduce pain, and enhance your overall quality of life. Consult with our experienced podiatrists to develop a personalised arthritis management plan tailored to your specific needs.
Blisters are fluid-filled pockets that form on the skin due to friction, heat, or other forms of irritation. They commonly occur on the feet, particularly when wearing ill-fitting shoes or engaging in activities that cause repetitive rubbing. Blueprint Podiatry offers effective solutions for managing and preventing blisters. Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers:
What causes blisters on the feet?
Blisters on the feet are typically caused by friction or rubbing against the skin. This can happen when shoes are too tight, poorly fitted, or not broken in. Excessive moisture, heat, and certain activities like running or hiking can also contribute to blister formation.
How can Blueprint Podiatry help treat and manage blisters?
At Blueprint Podiatry, our experienced podiatrists can provide proper blister care and treatment. This may involve draining the blister using sterile techniques to prevent infection and promote healing. We can offer advice on appropriate footwear and socks to minimise friction and pressure. Additionally, we provide recommendations for blister prevention strategies to help you avoid future occurrences.
What should I do if I have a blister that has popped or become infected?
If a blister has popped on its own or has been accidentally punctured, it is essential to keep the area clean and apply an antiseptic to prevent infection. Avoid removing the overlying skin as it acts as a natural barrier. If you notice signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, or pus-like discharge, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly.
How can I prevent blisters from forming in the first place?
Prevention is key when it comes to blisters. Blueprint Podiatry can provide you with practical tips to prevent blisters, such as wearing properly fitted shoes with adequate cushioning and support. We can recommend suitable socks made from moisture-wicking materials to keep your feet dry. Additionally, applying lubricants or wearing blister pads in areas prone to friction can help minimise the risk of blister formation. Lastly and often most important, biomechanics can play a critical part in blister formations. Gait assessments can be beneficial for establishing why some blisters form.
Bunions, also known as Hallux Valgus, are a common foot deformity characterised by a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe. The big toe leans inward toward the second toe, causing the joint to protrude outward. Here are four frequently asked questions about bunions and how Blueprint Podiatry can assist:
What causes bunions to develop?
Bunions can be hereditary, meaning they run in families, and may also result from improper foot mechanics and footwear choices. Tight-fitting shoes with narrow toe boxes and high heels can contribute to bunion development, as they put extra pressure on the toes and joints.
How do bunions affect daily life?
Bunions can cause discomfort and pain, especially when walking or wearing tight shoes. They may lead to corns, calluses, and irritation on the joint. Over time, bunions can impact foot function and affect overall mobility if left untreated.
Can bunions be treated without surgery?
In many cases, bunions can be managed effectively without surgery. At Blueprint Podiatry, our experienced podiatrists can provide non-surgical treatment options, such as custom orthotics to correct foot alignment, padding to relieve pressure, and lifestyle modifications to reduce bunion-related discomfort.
When is bunion surgery necessary?
Bunion surgery may be recommended if conservative treatments do not provide sufficient relief or if the bunion is causing severe pain and interfering with daily activities. Our skilled podiatrists can assess the severity of the bunion and discuss surgical options, if necessary. We aim to provide personalised treatment plans that align with the individual's lifestyle and needs.
If you are experiencing discomfort or notice a bunion forming, it is essential to seek the advice of a podiatrist at Blueprint Podiatry. Early intervention and proper management can help prevent the progression of bunions and improve overall foot health.
Bursas are sacs of fluid that occur in the body between joints and tendons to assist the smooth movement of the tendons over the joint. Bursitis can form anywhere in the foot to protect joints from friction and commonly occur in the ankle or between the metatarsal heads (ball of the foot).
What causes bursitis in the feet?
Bursitis in the feet is often caused by repetitive movements, excessive pressure, or friction on the affected joint. Activities that involve repetitive motions, such as running or jumping, can lead to bursitis. Ill-fitting footwear, foot deformities, and certain medical conditions can also contribute to bursitis.
What are the common symptoms of foot bursitis?
Foot bursitis typically presents with pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area. The pain may worsen with movement or pressure on the joint. In some cases, the skin over the inflamed bursa may appear red and warm to the touch.
How can Blueprint Podiatry treat foot bursitis?
At Blueprint Podiatry, our experienced podiatrists can diagnose bursitis through a thorough examination and may request imaging studies to assess the extent of the inflammation. Treatment options may include rest, applying ice to reduce inflammation, and using orthotic devices to offload pressure from the affected area. We may also recommend appropriate footwear and activity modifications to promote healing.
A callus is an area of thickened and hardened skin that develops as a result of repeated pressure, friction, or irritation. It is the body's natural way of protecting the skin from excessive rubbing or pressure. Calluses commonly occur on the feet, particularly on the heels, balls of the feet, and sides of the big toe.
How can Blueprint Podiatry help with calluses on the feet?
Blueprint Podiatry offers professional care for calluses on the feet. The podiatrist can assess the underlying cause of the callus formation, which may be related to factors such as abnormal foot mechanics, ill-fitting footwear, or certain activities. Treatment options may include reducing the thickness of the callus using specialised instruments, providing advice on proper foot care and footwear selection, and addressing any contributing factors to prevent a recurrence.
Can calluses be painful, and how can Blueprint Podiatry help alleviate the pain?
Calluses can sometimes become painful, especially if they become excessively thick or if there is pressure on sensitive areas. Blueprint Podiatry can help alleviate the pain associated with calluses by carefully removing the thickened skin, relieving pressure through footwear and sometimes orthotic therapy, and recommending appropriate footwear modifications. We may also provide advice on using moisturisers or other topical treatments to keep the skin hydrated and prevent excessive dryness, which can contribute to callus formation.
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the inner layers of the skin that appears red, swollen and increases in size. It is painful and requires treatment with antibiotics. It is caused by a bacteria entering the skin usually via a break in the skin. Those with weakened immune systems such as the elderly and diabetics are at greater risk of cellulitis. Your podiatrist is able to diagnoses this conditions and refer you to your GP for treatment with antibiotics
Chilblains are areas of skin that are painful itchy and swollen and are caused by poor microcirculation and exposure to cold. Chilblains can appear red or blue in colour and get worse if they are exposed to heat too quickly. They can occur on feet or hands and usually only appear in the winter months. Keeping your feet warm is the key to preventing chilblains and your podiatrist can advise regarding creams to improve the circulation. If the skin breaks due to the swelling and irritation, the infection can be a risk and best managed by your podiatrist.
What are the symptoms of chilblains?
Chilblains often present as itchy, red, or purple bumps on the skin. The affected areas may feel tender, swollen, and may develop blisters or ulcerations. They can cause discomfort or a burning sensation, especially when exposed to warmth after the cold.
How can Blueprint Podiatry help with chilblains?
Our podiatrists at Blueprint Podiatry can assess your chilblains and provide recommendations for treatment and prevention. We may suggest strategies to protect your extremities from cold temperatures, such as wearing warm socks, and shoes. Additionally, we can offer advice on moisturising the skin, and certain creams to help the affected areas to manage symptoms.
Are there any home remedies for chilblains?
While self-care measures can provide some relief, it's essential to consult with a podiatrist for proper assessment and guidance. Home remedies for chilblains may include using over-the-counter creams or ointments to alleviate itching and avoiding further exposure to cold temperatures. However, it's important to note that these measures may not address the underlying cause or prevent future occurrences.
Can chilblains be prevented?
Prevention is key when it comes to chilblains. Blueprint Podiatry can provide recommendations on how to prevent chilblains, such as keeping your extremities warm by wearing appropriate footwear and layering clothing during cold weather. We can also advise on proper foot care and moisturising techniques to maintain healthy skin. Taking proactive measures to protect yourself from extreme temperature changes.
Claw toes are a result from the toes clawing and gripping down at the tips, they are bent down in the middle and up from the ball of the foot joints along with retracted tendons on the top of the foot. Claw toes and tight tendons can be a symptom of the muscles in the foot working hard to try to stabilise the feet during gait due to unbalanced foot mechanics.
What causes claw toes?
Claw toes can be caused by a variety of factors, including muscle imbalances, nerve damage, structural abnormalities, arthritis, or wearing ill-fitting footwear. These factors can lead to the tendons and ligaments in the toes becoming imbalanced, resulting in the toes becoming flexed or curled.
Can Blueprint Podiatry help with claw toes?
Yes, Blueprint Podiatry can help with claw toes. Our experienced podiatrists can assess your foot structure and toe alignment to determine the underlying cause of the claw toes. Based on the assessment, we can develop a customised treatment plan to alleviate symptoms and address the root cause. Treatment options may include stretching exercises, orthotic devices, footwear modifications, and in some cases, surgical intervention.
Can claw toes be corrected without surgery?
In many cases (depending on the severity), non-surgical interventions can help manage claw toes and alleviate associated symptoms. Stretching exercises, physical therapy, and wearing properly fitted footwear with adequate toe room can help relieve discomfort and prevent further progression of the deformity. Orthotic devices with modifications to the forefoot area may also be recommended to help reduce the severity while in footwear.
Is surgery necessary for claw toes?
Surgery may be considered for severe cases of claw toes that do not respond to conservative treatments or if the deformity causes significant pain or functional limitations. Surgical procedures aim to correct the underlying structural issues, realign the toes, and restore proper function. Our podiatrists can evaluate your specific condition and provide recommendations on the most appropriate treatment approach for your claw toes.
Corns (hard and soft)
Hard Corns are a localised formations of hyperkeratosis or hardened skin that often form in the shape of a cone. They vary in size and depth and usually cause pain.
What causes corns to develop?
Corns are primarily caused by excessive pressure or friction on specific areas of the feet. Hard corns typically form over pressure points, such as the tops or tips of the toes or over joints on the sole of the foot. They often result from poor foot mechanics and ill-fitting footwear. Soft corns, on the other hand, develop between the toes due to constant rubbing and moisture buildup.
Are corns treatable at home?
While there are various over-the-counter remedies available for corns, it is generally recommended to seek professional care from a podiatrist for safe and effective treatment. Attempting to treat corns at home using corn pads or other remedies may not address the underlying cause and can potentially lead to complications, such as infection.
How can Blueprint Podiatry help with corns?
At Blueprint Podiatry, our skilled podiatrists can assess the corns and provide expert treatment. We utilise gentle and pain-free methods to remove the corns and relieve associated pain. Additionally, we offer valuable advice on how to manage and prevent future corns. This may involve addressing the underlying foot mechanics, recommending appropriate footwear, and providing preventive measures to reduce pressure on the affected areas.
Dermatitis and Excema
Dermatitis/Excema are a group of diseases that result in inflammation of the skin. There are various conditions that cause dermatitis including as a result of allergies, irritants, and poor venous circulation, some causes are unknown. Many people suffer from some form of dermatitis which often begins in childhood. Some symptoms include blisters or dryness and thickened skin. At our clinic we can offer advice including natural remedies to help with these symptoms.
Diabetes Mellitis is a group of metabolic disorders where there is a high blood sugar level in the body.
Type 1 involves the pancreas not producing enough insulin and usually occurs in younger people including children (juvenile diabetes) .
Type 2 involves the body resisting insulin and is more likely to occur in middle to older adults as a result of poor diet and excess weight and lack of exercise.
Gestational Diabetes is a third type that can occur in pregnant woman with no prior history and often resolves post-natally.
At Blueprint Podiatry, we specialise in providing comprehensive foot care for individuals with diabetes.
Why is foot care important for individuals with diabetes?
Diabetes can lead to complications that affect the circulatory and neurological systems, increasing the risk of foot problems. Reduced sensation and circulation in the feet can make it difficult to detect injuries or wounds, impair balance and motion, and impact the overall health of the skin and nails as well as delay healing. Proper foot care is essential to prevent complications, and maintain overall foot health.
What is a diabetic foot assessment, and how often should it be conducted?
A diabetic foot assessment is a specialised examination performed by a podiatrist to evaluate the foot health of individuals with diabetes. It includes assessing sensation, circulation, skin condition, and foot structure. The frequency of these assessments may vary depending on individual risk factors and the presence of any complications. Generally, it is recommended to have a diabetic foot assessment annually, with more frequent assessments for high-risk cases.
Are Medicare EPC rebates available for podiatry services for individuals with diabetes?
Yes, individuals with diabetes are eligible for Medicare Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) rebates for podiatry services. To access these rebates, a referral and care plan from your general practitioner (GP) are required. Our team at Blueprint Podiatry can work in collaboration with your GP to provide the necessary care and ensure you receive the benefits entitled to you.
Dry skin and cracked heels
Dry skin is very common on the feet and occurs for a number of reasons including a lack of perspiration (also known as anhydrosis) exposure to warmer weather with open footwear, as a result of conditions such as tinea, psoriasis and diabetes. Some medications and hormonal changes in the body can contribute to dry skin and in some cases, it’s simply due to age. Dry skin contributes to a build-up of callus in some areas of the feet and can result in cracks or fissures of the skin which is common at the heels.
How does dry skin contribute to callus and skin cracks?
Dry skin tends to accumulate in certain areas of the feet, which can lead to the formation of calluses. Calluses are areas of thickened and hardened skin that can be painful. Additionally, dry skin can cause cracks or fissures, particularly at the heels. These cracks can be deep and increase the risk of infection. Proper treatment and moisturisation are essential to manage calluses and prevent skin cracks.
How can a podiatrist help with dry skin, callus, and skin cracks?
Our experienced podiatrists can provide comprehensive care for dry skin conditions. We offer professional treatment for calluses and skin cracks, including pain-free removal and advice on suitable moisturiser creams for your specific foot needs. Additionally, we can assess and address any underlying causes contributing to dry skin, ensuring a holistic approach to foot health.
Can moisturizing creams improve dry skin on the feet?
Yes, moisturising creams play a vital role in managing and improving dry skin on the feet. Our podiatrists can recommend the best moisturizer creams tailored to your individual foot condition and related factors. These creams help restore moisture to the skin, improve its texture, and reduce the risk of callus formation and skin cracks. Regular use of appropriate moisturisers can help maintain healthier and more comfortable feet.
Flat feet, also known as fallen arches or pes planus, is a common condition where the arch of the foot is reduced or absent, causing the entire sole of the foot to come into contact with the ground. This can be a congenital (present at birth) condition or may develop over time due to various factors. Flat feet can lead to a range of issues, including foot pain, fatigue, and altered walking mechanics.
What causes flat feet?
Flat feet can result from several factors, including genetics, weak foot muscles, injuries, and conditions that affect the development of the arches, such as tendon problems or connective tissue disorders.
Are flat feet a cause for concern?
In some cases, flat feet may not cause any issues or discomfort. However, if flat feet lead to pain, difficulty walking, or other problems, it's essential to seek podiatric evaluation and treatment.
How can Blueprint Podiatry help with flat feet?
At Blueprint Podiatry, we offer comprehensive assessments to determine the severity and underlying causes of flat feet. Depending on the individual's condition, we may recommend custom orthotics to provide support and correct foot mechanics, stretching and strengthening exercises to improve foot function, and footwear advice to ensure proper support and stability.
Can flat feet be corrected?
The extent of correction for flat feet depends on various factors, including age, the severity of the condition, and individual factors. While some children may naturally outgrow flat feet as they age, adults with flat feet can still benefit from management strategies to reduce symptoms and prevent complications.
Fungal nails, also known as onychomycosis, can be a persistent and challenging condition to treat. Blueprint Podiatry understands the complexities of fungal nails and offers various treatment options tailored to each individual.
How can I identify if I have a fungal nail infection?
Fungal nail infections often present with distinct signs. You may notice discoloration of the nails, such as yellow or brownish colouring. The affected nails may become thickened, brittle, crumbly, or difficult to trim. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is advisable to consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.
How long does it take to resolve a fungal nail infection?
Resolving a fungal nail infection can be a slow process, as it requires the eradication of the fungus and the growth of a healthy nail. The treatment duration varies depending on the severity of the infection, individual response to treatment, and adherence to recommended care. Our podiatrists will guide you through the treatment process and monitor your progress regularly to ensure optimal results.
What treatment options does Blueprint Podiatry offer for fungal nails?
Blueprint Podiatry provides a range of effective treatment options for fungal nails. These may include topical antifungal medications, oral antifungal medications (prescribed in collaboration with your primary care physician), or other advanced treatment modalities if needed. Our experienced podiatrists will assess your specific case and recommend the most appropriate treatment option tailored to your needs.
General toenail care
Anyone can present to have their toenails cut often because either the nails are difficult to manage (see conditions below) or due to issues related to age including an inability to reach or see, pregnancy and an inability to reach, and arthritis in the hands. Some people simply enjoy the pampering!
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, leading to severe pain, swelling, and redness.
What causes gout in the feet?
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. This buildup leads to inflammation and pain, which can occur in any joint in the body, including the feet. The most common causes of gout in the feet are genetics, high levels of uric acid in the blood, and certain medical conditions such as kidney disease or high blood pressure.
What are the symptoms of gout in the feet?
Symptoms of gout in the feet include severe pain, redness and swelling in the affected joint, warmth to the touch, and stiffness in the joint. These symptoms can come on suddenly and often occur at night. Some people may also experience fever, chills and fatigue.
How is gout in the feet diagnosed?
A physician will typically diagnose gout by taking a medical history, performing a physical examination and possibly taking a joint fluid sample from the affected joint. They may also order blood tests to measure the levels of uric acid in the blood.
What are the treatment options for gout in the feet?
Treatment options for gout in the feet include medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and colchicine to help reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, corticosteroid injections may also be used to reduce inflammation in the joint. Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and eating a diet low in purines can also help to prevent and manage gout.
Can gout in the feet be prevented?
While gout cannot be completely prevented, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of gout in the feet. It's always recommended to consult a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Hammer toes occur when the digit is in a retracted position
What causes hammer toes?
Hammer toes can develop due to a variety of factors. The primary cause is an imbalance in the muscles and tendons that control the toe's movement, leading to abnormal bending. This imbalance can be influenced by genetic predisposition, foot structure abnormalities, wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes, foot trauma, and certain medical conditions such as arthritis.
Are hammer toes painful?
Hammer toes can cause discomfort and pain, especially when pressure is applied to the affected toes, such as during walking or wearing shoes. The bent position of the toes can lead to the formation of corns, calluses, or blisters on the tops or tips of the toes, further contributing to pain and irritation.
Can hammer toes be treated without surgery?
In many cases, non-surgical treatments can effectively manage hammer toes. These treatment options may include wearing roomier and more supportive footwear, using toe devices or orthotic devices with modifications to help straighten and realign the toes, performing toe exercises and stretches to improve flexibility and muscle balance, and using protective padding to alleviate pressure and friction on the affected areas. However, if conservative measures fail to provide relief, surgery may be considered.
How can Blueprint Podiatry help with hammer toes?
At Blueprint Podiatry, our experienced podiatrists can assess the severity and underlying causes of your hammer toes. We can provide personalised treatment plans tailored to your specific needs, which may include a combination of conservative measures mentioned earlier. We can also offer guidance on proper footwear selection, foot care techniques, and lifestyle modifications to manage the condition effectively and prevent its progression.
Heel pain is a common foot condition that can affect people of all ages and lifestyles. It is typically characterised by discomfort or pain in the bottom or back of the heel. Here is some information about heel pain and some frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to this condition:
What causes heel pain?
Heel pain can have various causes, but the most common is plantar fasciopathy or sometimes fasciitis. This occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that supports the arch of the foot, becomes inflamed or strained. Other potential causes include Achilles tendinitis, heel spurs, stress fractures, bursitis, nerve entrapment, and many more.
What are the common symptoms of heel pain?
The primary symptom of heel pain is pain or tenderness in the heel, especially during activities like walking or running. The pain may be sharp or dull and can range from mild to severe. It is often worse in the morning or after periods of rest, and it may improve with gentle movement. Some individuals may also experience swelling, redness, or a sensation of stiffness in the heel area.
How can heel pain be treated?
Treatment for heel pain depends on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Non-surgical options are typically the first line of treatment and may include stretching and strengthening exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices, load modifications, footwear modifications, rest, and sometimes over-the-counter pain medications. In more severe cases or when conservative measures fail to provide relief, medical interventions such as corticosteroid injections or surgical procedures may be considered.
How can Blueprint Podiatry help with heel pain?
At Blueprint Podiatry, our skilled podiatrists specialise in diagnosing and treating heel pain. We will conduct a thorough evaluation of your condition, including a comprehensive medical history and physical examination. Based on our findings, we will develop a personalised treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Our approach may include a combination of conservative treatments, such as custom orthotics, targeted exercises, footwear recommendations, and lifestyle modifications, to address the underlying cause of your heel pain and alleviate your discomfort.
Our goal is to help you find relief from heel pain and improve your overall foot health. We are dedicated to providing evidence-based care and utilising the latest techniques and technologies to ensure optimal outcomes for our patients. Whether you have plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, or any other form of heel pain, we are here to support you on your journey to pain-free feet.
High arched Feet
High arched or supinated feet usually are quite rigid with more limited joint range of motion. This foot type isn’t able to absorb shock so well at the feet which then travels up the leg and can effect the knees and even hips and lower back.
A high arched foot usually has claw toes and retracted tight tendons on the top of the feet – these muscles have to work hard to prevent lateral instability during gait. High arch or supinated feet usually have a lot of pressure under the balls of the feet along with a callus build up and can be prone to plantar fasciitis and heel pain due to the tightness through the arch.
This foot type is more complex to control than flat feet and often orthoses are indicated along with extra shock absorption including with footwear.
Ingrown toenails occur when the nail grows into the surrounding skin. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including improper nail trimming (cutting nails too short or rounding the edges), wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes, trauma or injury to the toe, genetic predisposition, and certain foot deformities. These factors can cause the toenail to grow into the surrounding skin, leading to an ingrown toenail.
How can I prevent ingrown toenails?
To help prevent ingrown toenails, it is important to trim your toenails properly. Cut them straight across, and keep them at a moderate length. Wear comfortable and properly fitted shoes that provide enough room for your toes. If you have a tendency to develop ingrown toenails, your podiatrist may recommend additional preventive measures or provide guidance specific to your situation.
How are ingrown toenails treated by a podiatrist?
Podiatrists are trained to diagnose and treat ingrown toenails. Treatment options may include removing the ingrown portion of the nail, and providing advice on proper nail care and footwear. In some cases, a procedure called a partial nail avulsion may be performed, where a portion of the nail is permanently removed to prevent recurrence. Your podiatrist will determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on the severity of your ingrown toenail.
Leg Length Difference
A Leg Length Difference means you have one leg longer or shorter than the other and is quite common in both adults and children. LLD can be structural or functional – see below for both types.
Signs to look for both types of LLD – one foot rolling in or one foot rolling out more than the other, uneven wear patterns on shoes and one-sided pain in the foot, ankle knee or hip. A full assessment with your podiatrist will determine the type and likely cause allowing them to discuss your best treatment options.
What is the difference between functional and structural LLD?
Functional LLD is typically caused by a tight joint or muscles on one side of the body, often the hip, or a pelvic imbalance. This type of LLD can be resolved by addressing the underlying muscle imbalances and joint tightness. On the other hand, structural LLD is a result of a true anatomical difference in the length of the bones in the legs. Structural LLD may require a different approach, such as the use of orthotics or lifts, to provide appropriate support and alignment.
Can LLD cause foot pain in both functional and structural cases?
Yes, LLD can cause foot pain in both functional and structural cases. In functional LLD, the compensatory mechanisms adopted by the feet to address the imbalance can lead to altered foot mechanics and increased stress on specific areas, resulting in discomfort and pain. Structural LLD can also cause foot pain as the uneven leg length affects the distribution of forces and can lead to biomechanical issues.
How does Blueprint Podiatry approach functional and structural LLD?
For functional LLD, Blueprint Podiatry takes a comprehensive approach. We assess and address the underlying muscle imbalances and joint tightness, using stretches and exercises to rebalance the affected areas when possible and promote optimal body alignment. For structural LLD, we utilise orthotic therapy and footwear modifications to provide support and improve alignment.
Can Blueprint Podiatry help with both functional and structural LLD?
Yes, Blueprint Podiatry can help with both functional and structural LLD. Our team of experienced podiatrists specialise in assessing and treating leg length discrepancies. By providing personalised treatment plans, including exercises, orthotic therapy, and collaboration with other healthcare professionals, we aim to address the underlying causes and promote optimal alignment and foot function in both functional and structural cases.
A neuroma is a common condition that affects the foot. It is characterized by the thickening of the tissue around a nerve that leads to pain, numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation in the ball of the foot. The most common location for a neuroma is between the third and fourth toes and this is called a Morton's neuroma
Here are four frequently asked questions about neuromas and how Blueprint Podiatry can help:
What causes a neuroma?
The exact cause of a neuroma is not always clear, but it is often associated with repetitive stress or irritation to the nerve in the foot. Factors such as wearing tight or narrow shoes, high heels, foot deformities, and excessive pressure on the ball of the foot can contribute to the development of a neuroma.
How can Blueprint Podiatry help with a neuroma?
Blueprint Podiatry can provide a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose a neuroma and determine the underlying causes. Treatment options may include footwear modifications to reduce pressure on the affected area, orthotic devices to provide support and alignment, padding or taping to alleviate symptoms, and physical therapy exercises to improve foot mechanics and relieve pressure on the nerve. In some cases, corticosteroid injections or other medical interventions may be recommended.
Can a neuroma be cured?
While a neuroma may not be completely cured, it can be effectively managed to reduce pain and improve overall foot function. Blueprint Podiatry aims to alleviate symptoms and provide long-term relief through a personalized treatment plan. By addressing the underlying causes and implementing appropriate interventions, the impact of the neuroma can be minimized, allowing individuals to resume their normal activities with reduced discomfort.
Is surgery necessary for a neuroma?
Surgery is typically considered as a last resort if conservative treatments do not provide sufficient relief. Blueprint Podiatry will exhaust non-surgical options first and only recommend surgical intervention if it is deemed necessary. Surgical procedures for neuromas typically involve removing or decompressing the affected nerve to alleviate symptoms and restore foot function.
Oedema (Swelling) – peripheral oedema is an abnormal amount of fluid retention below the skin in the foot ankle or leg and can be caused by systemic diseases, pregnancy in some women, either directly or as a result of heart failure, or local conditions such as varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, insect bites, and dermatitis. Lymphodema is another type of oedema that is due to an insufficient lymphatic system.
Localised swelling in the foot ankle or leg can result from an acute injuries including breaks or soft tissue damage, or inflammation, arthritis or post surgery.
Chronic swelling can require the use of compression stockings. Your podiatrist can help diagnose and help manage this condition depending on the cause and what further tests may be required.
Peripheral neuropathy refers to a condition that affects the peripheral nerves, which are responsible for transmitting information between the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the rest of the body. It can result in various symptoms, depending on the nerves involved, such as pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. Here are four frequently asked questions about peripheral neuropathy:
What causes peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy can have multiple causes, including diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), infections (such as Lyme disease or shingles), autoimmune diseases (such as Guillain-Barré syndrome), vitamin deficiencies (such as B12 deficiency), exposure to toxins (such as chemotherapy drugs or certain medications), traumatic injuries, and genetic factors. In some cases, the cause may remain unknown (idiopathic neuropathy).
What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can vary widely depending on the type and location of the affected nerves. Common symptoms include numbness or reduced sensation, tingling or burning sensations, sharp or shooting pain, muscle weakness or loss of coordination, sensitivity to touch, and changes in skin, hair, or nail texture. Symptoms may be localised to specific areas or affect multiple parts of the body.
How is peripheral neuropathy diagnosed?
Diagnosing peripheral neuropathy typically involves a comprehensive evaluation of medical history, a physical examination, and various diagnostic tests. These are generally conducted by doctors specialising in the field.
How is peripheral neuropathy treated?
The treatment of peripheral neuropathy focuses on managing symptoms, addressing the underlying cause (if known), and preventing further nerve damage. Treatment options may include medications to relieve pain or reduce symptoms, physical therapy to improve muscle strength and coordination, occupational therapy for functional impairment, and lifestyle modifications (such as managing blood sugar levels in diabetes). It is important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or a podiatrist, for proper diagnosis and individualised treatment recommendations.
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes heel pain and discomfort. It occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed or irritated.
Here are four frequently asked questions about plantar fasciitis and how Blueprint Podiatry can help:
What are the common symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain, especially when taking the first steps in the morning or after periods of rest. The pain is often described as a sharp or stabbing sensation in the heel or along the arch of the foot. The pain may improve with movement but can worsen after prolonged standing or activity.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis can be caused by various factors, including overuse or repetitive stress on the plantar fascia, biomechanical issues, improper footwear, or a change/increase in load.
How can Blueprint Podiatry help with plantar fasciitis?
Blueprint Podiatry can provide a comprehensive assessment of your foot mechanics, gait, and footwear to identify any underlying factors contributing to your plantar fasciitis. They can develop a tailored treatment plan that may include stretching and strengthening exercises, load management/modification techniques to reduce stress on the plantar fascia, orthotic therapy to support the foot if needed, footwear recommendations, and other modalities such as taping. They will also provide education on self-management techniques to alleviate symptoms and prevent recurrence.
How long does it take to recover from plantar fasciitis?
The recovery time for plantar fasciitis varies for each individual, depending on the severity of the condition and adherence to treatment recommendations. With proper management and lifestyle modifications, most individuals experience significant improvement within a few months. However, it is important to continue with load management/modification techniques, as well as the prescribed treatment plan, to promote healing and prevent future flare-ups.
Pregnancy and your feet
Why do feet change during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, hormonal changes, specifically the hormone relaxin, cause ligaments in the body to become more relaxed and flexible. This is essential for preparing the body for childbirth. However, the relaxation of ligaments can also affect the feet by causing the arches to flatten and the feet to become wider. Additionally, the increased weight gain during pregnancy puts extra pressure on the feet, leading to discomfort and swelling.
Is it normal for feet to swell during pregnancy?
Yes, it is common for pregnant women to experience swelling, also known as oedema, in the feet and ankles. The weight gain and increased pressure on the vascular system can contribute to fluid retention and swelling in the lower extremities. Swelling tends to be more pronounced later in pregnancy, especially at the end of the day or after prolonged periods of standing. It is important to manage swelling by elevating the feet, wearing comfortable and supportive footwear, and avoiding prolonged standing or sitting.
Will my feet return to their pre-pregnancy size and shape after giving birth?
While some foot changes during pregnancy, such as swelling, tend to resolve after giving birth, other changes may be more permanent. The flattening of the arches and widening of the feet may persistpostnatally. It is not uncommon for women to go up a shoe size or find that their pre-pregnancy shoes no longer fit comfortably. It is important to wear proper footwear that provides adequate support and to consult with a podiatrist if foot pain or discomfort persists after giving birth.
When should I seek podiatry assessment and advice during or after pregnancy?
It is recommended to seek a podiatry assessment and advice during pregnancy if you experience foot pain, swelling, or discomfort that affects your daily activities. A podiatrist can provide guidance on appropriate footwear, offer strategies to manage foot and ankle swelling and provide customised orthotic solutions if necessary. After giving birth, if foot pain or changes in foot shape persist, it is advisable to schedule a postnatal podiatry evaluation to address any ongoing issues and ensure optimal foot health.
Please note that every pregnancy and individual is unique, so it's important to consult with your healthcare provider or a qualified podiatrist for personalised advice and recommendations based on your specific situation.
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition that speeds up the skin cell growth cycle, causing an accumulation of skin cells on the surface. This results in raised, red, and scaly patches that can be itchy and painful. While psoriasis commonly affects the skin, it can also impact the nails and joints, leading to conditions like psoriatic arthritis.
What are the common symptoms of psoriasis on the feet?
Psoriasis on the feet typically presents as scaly, red, and itchy patches. These patches can appear on the feet, shins, forearms, scalp, or any other part of the body. Psoriasis can also affect the nails, causing pitting, thickening, and a buildup underneath the nails. Some individuals may experience discomfort or pain due to the thickening and involvement of the nails and skin.
Can psoriasis affect the joints in the feet?
Yes (in some cases), psoriasis can also manifest as psoriatic arthritis, which affects the joints. Psoriatic arthritis can cause joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. It commonly affects the small joints of the fingers and toes, including those in the feet. If you experience joint symptoms along with psoriasis, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider for appropriate evaluation and management.
How can a podiatrist help manage psoriasis symptoms on the feet?
A podiatrist can play a crucial role in managing psoriasis symptoms on the feet. They can provide treatment options to alleviate discomfort, reduce inflammation, and promote skin healing. This may include prescribing topical medications, recommending moisturisers or emollients, and advising on proper foot care techniques. In cases where psoriasis affects the nails, a podiatrist can offer solutions to manage thickened and difficult-to-cut toenails.
Is there a cure for psoriasis?
Currently, there is no known cure for psoriasis. However, various treatment approaches can help manage and control the symptoms effectively. The goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation, alleviate discomfort, and prevent flare-ups. Treatment options may include topical medications, phototherapy, systemic medications, and lifestyle modifications. It is important to work closely with a healthcare team, including a dermatologist and podiatrist, to develop an individualised treatment plan based on the severity and specific needs of your condition.
Sesamoiditis occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed and irritated, pain usually develops gradually under the ball of the big toe
What are the common symptoms of sesamoiditis?
Common symptoms of sesamoiditis include pain and tenderness beneath the big toe, especially when walking or bearing weight on the affected foot. The pain may be accompanied by swelling, redness, and difficulty in bending or straightening the big toe. Individuals with sesamoiditis may also experience a dull ache or throbbing sensation in the ball of the foot.
How is sesamoiditis diagnosed at Blueprint Podiatry?
At Blueprint Podiatry, the diagnosis of sesamoiditis begins with a thorough examination of the foot, including a discussion of your symptoms and medical history. The podiatrist may perform imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRIs, to assess the condition of the sesamoid bones and rule out other potential causes of foot pain. This comprehensive evaluation helps in formulating an accurate diagnosis and developing an appropriate treatment plan.
What treatment options are available at Blueprint Podiatry for sesamoiditis?
Treatment for sesamoiditis at Blueprint Podiatry may involve a combination of conservative measures aimed at reducing pain and inflammation. These may include rest and activity modification, wearing supportive and cushioned footwear, using orthotic inserts to offload pressure from the sesamoid bones, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers. The podiatrist may also recommend specific exercises or physical therapy to improve foot strength and flexibility. In cases or when conservative treatments do not provide sufficient relief, more advanced interventions like corticosteroid injections or surgical options may be considered.
Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is a common condition characterised by pain along the shinbone (tibia) on the front part of the lower leg.
What are shin splints, and what are the common symptoms?
Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is a condition characterised by pain and inflammation along the shinbone (tibia). It commonly occurs in athletes or individuals who engage in repetitive activities, such as running or jumping. The symptoms include pain and tenderness along the inner edge of the shinbone, which may worsen during exercise and subside with rest.
What causes shin splints, and how can they be prevented?
Shin splints are often caused by overuse or repetitive stress on the muscles and tendons surrounding the shinbone. Contributing factors may include sudden changes in training intensity, inadequate footwear, poor running or walking technique, or certain biomechanical factors.
How long does it take to recover from shin splints?
The recovery time for shin splints can vary depending on the severity of the condition, individual factors, and adherence to the treatment plan. In most cases, with appropriate management and modifications to activities, symptoms can improve within a few weeks to a couple of months.
Can shin splints lead to more severe injuries?
If left untreated or if activities are resumed too quickly without proper healing, shin splints can potentially progress to more severe conditions such as stress fractures. Therefore, it's essential to address shin splints promptly and follow the recommended treatment plan.
Our experienced podiatrists at Blueprint Podiatry can conduct a thorough evaluation to diagnose shin splints accurately. We provide individualised treatment plans that may include activity modification, orthotic devices to support the feet and reduce stress on the shins, stretching and strengthening exercises, and footwear recommendations. Our aim is to relieve pain, promote healing, and help you return to your activities with confidence.
Skin Cancers are cancers that arise from the skin. They are due to the development of abnormal cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Skin cancers are surprisingly common on the feet. Any moles or dark patches of skin that are present and change or appear should be checked by your GP or specialist. Your Podiatrist can monitor the skin on your feet closely – especially for people who find it difficult to get down and see their feet – and will refer you to your GP for further assessment if they are concerned.
There are many bones and joints in the foot and therefore many ligaments tendons and muscles within the foot and also many tendons from muscles in the leg which finish up and attach to bones in the foot
Some sports require very different use of muscles on one side of the body to the other such as with soccer or tennis where there is a dominant arm or kicking leg. Over time this contributes to the over use or stress of certain joints and muscles more than others and can result in a leg length discrepancy which can lead to strain on one foot more than the other. Below are some common injuries…
-Ankle sprain, strains and fractures
-Foot injuries such as fracture of the 5th metatarsal, sesamoiditis, tendonitis, tendinitis, strain or rupture of the Achilles tendon , muscle strains, broken bones, damage to or loss of toenails
-Injuries of the lower limb that may be related to poor foot mechanics – shin splints, muscle strain or cramping, hip or groin strain, knee injuries
Stress fractures are small cracks within a bone, commonly caused by overuse and repetitive activities.
How can Blueprint Podiatry help in the diagnosis of a stress fracture?
At Blueprint Podiatry, our skilled podiatrists are trained to recognise the signs and symptoms of stress fractures. Through a comprehensive evaluation, including a detailed history and physical examination, they can assess the likelihood of a stress fracture. If a stress fracture is suspected, they may recommend further diagnostic tests such as a radiograph (X-ray) to confirm the diagnosis. Or in some cases, a MRI may be warranted.
What treatment options are available for stress fractures at Blueprint Podiatry?
Treatment for stress fractures at Blueprint Podiatry aims to promote healing and relieve pain. Depending on the severity and location of the stress fracture, treatment options may include activity modification, immobilisation with a walking boot, the use of crutches to offload weight, and specific rehabilitation exercises. Our podiatrists will create an individualised treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
How long does it take to recover from a stress fracture?
Recovery time for a stress fracture can vary depending on various factors, including the location and severity of the fracture, your overall health, and adherence to treatment recommendations. In general, it can take several weeks to a few months for a stress fracture to heal. Our podiatrists will closely monitor your progress and provide guidance on activity progression to ensure proper healing and minimise the risk of re-injury.
Can I continue my sports or physical activities while recovering from a stress fracture?
In most cases, participation in high-impact activities should be temporarily discontinued to allow the stress fracture to heal. Our podiatrists will provide specific recommendations based on your individual case. They will work with you to develop a modified activity plan that promotes healing while maintaining your fitness level. Once the stress fracture has healed, they will guide you on a gradual return to your desired sports or physical activities.
Sweaty Feet can be caused by a number of issues from sweat gland disorders to exacerbation due to synthetic socks and footwear. Sweaty skin can be at higher risk of blisters, and in some cases bacteria infection which causes a strong odour. Children often have sweaty feet – making sure socks are made from natural fibres helps to minimise this and spending time in bare feet when practical. There are treatment options depending on the severity and these can be discussed along with preventative tips with your podiatrist.
Tendinitis Tendinosis and Tendinopathy
Tendinitis, tendinosis, and tendinopathy are related conditions that affect tendons, which are tough, fibrous bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. While they share similarities, there are distinct differences between these conditions. Blueprint Podiatry can provide comprehensive care for individuals experiencing these tendon-related issues:
What are the common causes of tendinopathy in the feet and ankles?
Blueprint Podiatry can explain that tendinopathy in the feet and ankles is often caused by repetitive activities such as running, jumping, or excessive walking. Improper footwear, biomechanical issues, and sudden changes in activity levels can also contribute to these conditions.
How can I distinguish between tendinitis and tendinosis?
Blueprint Podiatry will clarify that tendinitis is associated with acute inflammation, leading to symptoms like redness and swelling around the affected tendon. Tendinosis, on the other hand, does not typically involve noticeable inflammation but may cause chronic pain and stiffness in the tendon area.
Can I continue physical activities with tendinopathy?
Blueprint Podiatry will provide personalised advice based on the severity and stage of the tendinopathy. In some cases, they may recommend modifying activities or temporarily avoiding certain exercises to allow the tendon to heal properly.
Thickened Toenails tend to occur over time and with age. They are difficult to cut and are easily managed by your podiatrist with the appropriate tools for the job.
Why do toenails become thickened?
- Toenails can become thickened due to various factors. Age is a common cause, as the nails naturally thicken and become more brittle over time. Injuries or trauma to the nail bed can also lead to thickening. Prolonged pressure from ill-fitting footwear or certain activities like running can contribute to the thickening of toenails.
What are the challenges of cutting thickened toenails?
- Thickened toenails can be difficult to cut properly. Their increased thickness and hardness make it challenging to trim them with regular nail clippers. Cutting them incorrectly can cause pain, discomfort, and potential injury. Moreover, thickened toenails may be more prone to splitting or developing jagged edges if not handled carefully.
How can we help with thickened toenails?
- A podiatrist is trained in the proper care and management of thickened toenails. They have specialised tools and techniques to safely and effectively trim thickened nails. They can also assess the underlying causes of the thickening and provide appropriate treatments, such as filing or thinning the nails, to improve their appearance and function.
Can thickened toenails be prevented?
- While some causes of thickened toenails, like aging, cannot be prevented, there are measures you can take to minimise the risk. Wearing properly fitted footwear that allows enough space for your toes to move freely can help prevent pressure on the nails. Regularly trimming and maintaining your nails, keeping them clean and dry, and avoiding trauma to the nail bed can also help reduce the likelihood of thickened toenails. Consulting with a podiatrist for personalised advice and care can further assist in prevention and management.
Tinea, also known as athlete's foot, is a fungal infection that affects the skin of the feet. It is caused by various types of fungi, and it can be easily transmitted in warm, moist environments such as public swimming pools, showers, and gym locker rooms. Here are some frequently asked questions about tinea and how Blueprint Podiatry can help:
What are the common symptoms of tinea?
Tinea typically presents with symptoms such as itching, burning, and stinging sensations on the feet. The skin may become red, dry, and scaly, and in some cases, small blisters may develop. The infection often occurs between the toes but can also affect other areas of the foot, including the soles and sides.
How is tinea diagnosed?
A podiatrist at Blueprint Podiatry can diagnose tinea by examining the affected area and assessing the characteristic symptoms. In some cases, a skin scraping or sample may be needed to confirm the presence of fungal infection.
What are the treatment options for tinea?
Blueprint Podiatry offers various treatment options for tinea depending on the severity and extent of the infection. These may include topical antifungal medications, such as creams or sprays, which are applied directly to the affected area. They may also provide advice on proper foot hygiene, including keeping the feet clean and dry, wearing breathable footwear, and using antifungal powders or sprays as a preventive measure.
How can I prevent tinea?
Preventing tinea involves taking certain precautions to minimise the risk of fungal infection. Blueprint Podiatry can provide guidance on preventive measures, including:
- Keeping the feet clean and dry, especially between the toes.
- Avoiding walking barefoot in public areas, such as communal showers or locker rooms.
- Wearing moisture-wicking socks and breathable footwear.
- Changing socks and shoes regularly.
- Using antifungal powders or sprays on the feet and inside shoes as a preventive measure.
Tired legs and cramping
Tired legs are often an indication that the muscles of the leg are being overused often due to poor foot alignment and mechanics. Children with poor foot and leg alignment often complain of tired legs and want to be carried after a certain distance of walking.
A full biomechanical assessment and gait analysis allows your podiatrist to determine if leg muscle overuse is linked to the foot mechanics and alignment and the best treatment plan from there. Muscle cramps can be caused by a number of issues including muscles over use, mineral deficiency or poor blood circulation to the muscle.
If muscle cramps occur during walking it may indicate a lack of blood supply and you should see your GP as soon as you can.
Ulcers and Wounds
Podiatrists can diagnose and treat all kinds of wounds and ulcers which can result from a range of issues including, trauma, injury, pressure related, footwear related, pressure from thickened nails, or as a result of poor circulation or complications from conditions such as neuropathy or diabetes.
Minor wounds and ulcers can be managed at our clinic however more chronic or high risk patients are most likely referred to specialised wound clinics or the community nursing for those who find it difficult to attend regularly.
Warts, also known as verrucae, are small, non-cancerous growths on the skin caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). While warts can develop on various parts of the body, they are common on the feet, especially the plantar surface (bottom) due to the warm and moist environment created by wearing shoes.
Blueprint Podiatry can assist in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of warts on the feet.
Are warts contagious?
Yes, warts are contagious and can spread from person to person through direct contact or by coming into contact with surfaces or objects that have been in contact with an infected person's wart.
Can I treat warts at home using over-the-counter remedies?
While over-the-counter wart treatments may be effective for some individuals, it is essential to exercise caution and follow the instructions carefully. Over-the-counter treatments are not always suitable for all types of warts, and improper use can lead to skin irritation or worsen the condition.
How long does it take to get rid of a wart with treatment?
The duration of wart treatment varies depending on the type of treatment used, the size and location of the wart, and individual factors. Some warts may resolve within a few weeks, while others may take several months of consistent treatment.
Can warts come back after treatment?
Yes, warts can recur even after successful treatment. Blueprint Podiatry can provide guidance on preventing recurrence and managing any potential new warts.
By seeking professional care from Blueprint Podiatry, individuals with warts can receive accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and comprehensive advice on wart prevention, helping them regain healthy and comfortable feet.