During an average day, we take about 8000 steps and, depending upon our weight, this adds up to a cumulative weight of about 600 tons through our feet. Therefore, any misalignment in the structure of the feet will often result in pain and can cause foot, knee, hip and lower back complaints.
In an average lifetime we walk up to 100,000 miles. The foot has a lot of demands made on it and in a normal working day, can easily travel fifteen miles. We rarely give our feet the attention they deserve, hiding them away in shoes and forgetting about them until they begin to hurt. Just as a car needs regular servicing, our feet do too? They are a complex network of blood vessels, nerves, muscles and bones. There are a number of ways that we can care for our feet at home and it's never too late to start!
Chiropody is the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the feet and lower limbs. It is the medical discipline for the treatment of the many foot ailments from which we suffer today. These complaints are caused by a variety of factors including incorrect footwear, poor posture, occupational habits, gait or by deformity due to accident or disease.
Bio-mechanics and gait analysis examines the alignment and structure of the feet and lower limbs.
Treatment can take the form of exercices, insoles or orthotics. The orthotics can be moulded to the shape of the feet and additions positioned at calculated angles. This aims to improve the mechanics of walking by aligning the joints of each foot and leg.
Here's a few of the awards and achievements I've earnt so far.
Awarded practitioner of the year 2014 by SMAE institute.
Member of the British Chiropody and Podiatry Association.
Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.
Registration number: CH30340.
Member of the Surgical School of Chiropody.
Athletes Foot is a fungal infection of the skin also known as tinea pedis. It is caused by the fungus Trichophyton. When the feet, or other areas of the body, stay warm and moist, the fungus thrives and infect the upper layer of the skin. The fungus can also spread to the toenails, which is much harder to treat. Up to 70% of the population will have Athlete's foot at some time during their lives.
The fungus that causes Athlete's foot can be found on floors and in socks and clothing. It can be spread from person to person by contact with these objects and is highly contagious.
Chilblains are small red, hot, itchy swellings that usually appear on the skin of the fingers and toes.
Chilblains develop as a result of the skins abnormal reaction to the cold. In cold and damp weather, if the skin is cooled down and then rapidly heated, a chilblain may develop, for example if feet or hands have been warmed by a fire or radiator.
Anyone can develop chilblains, though some people are more susceptible than others:
Corns are the most common skin problem for your feet and appear as small concentrated areas of hard skin. There are two main types of corns, hard & soft.
Hard Corns are a plug of hard skin usually found on the tops of the toes and underneath toes nails.
Soft Corns develop in a similar way to hard corns but are whitish and rubbery in texture. They appear between toes where the skin is moist from sweat or when insufficient drying occurs. Although the skin can be dried out with the daily application of surgical spirit, the corn will need to be removed by our Podiatrists. Vascular and Neurovascular Corns can be extremely painful and must be treated by a specialist. They usually occur through trying to remove a hard corn by yourself. The skin becomes damaged allowing blood vessels and nerve endings to push through to the corn.
If you have a corn you must consult your Chiropodist for advice and to arrange the removal of a corn. They will be able to prescribe protective pads and/or orthosis to relieve painful corns.
If you are elderly or have diabetes you must not use corn plasters or other products as they can burn healthy skin tissue around the corn.
The skin around the heel area of the feet can become excessively dry causing it to crack and fissure.
The skin around the heel is naturally thicker than other areas of the foot and so requires more moisture to keep it supple. If the skin becomes too dry and lacking in moisture, the upper layers start to lose their flexibility causing the skin to split and crack.
Anyone can develop cracked heels though certain factors can make some people more prone to the condition:
Fungal nail infections are also known as onychomycosis. It is usually a painless condition when the fungus infects the toenail causing it to become discoloured and unsightly. It can also affect the finger nails, though is less common.
The fungus that causes nail infections can be found on floors and in socks and clothing. It can be spread from person to person by contact with these objects and is highly contagious. The fungus can enter the nail and nail bed if the nail has become damaged or broken.
Sweaty feet is a common condition occurring when feet sweat excessively and inappropriately, sometimes causing an unpleasant odour. The medical term for this is Hyperhidrosis.
It is a natural process for the body to sweat. The body is covered with over 5 million sweat glands and the foot contains 250,000 sweat glands alone. Each sweat gland secretes moisture and salts onto the surface of the skin to cool it down. This explains why we sweat more during hot weather and exercise.
Sometimes the sweat glands of the feet are overactive and produce more sweat than is necessary to cool the feet at that time, this is known as excessive sweating. It may occur simply in response to feelings of anxiety or stress or as part of a medical condition such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, menopause or obesity. These medical conditions are likely to produce excessive sweating in other areas of the body as well as the feet.
Verrucas start as a small speckled lesion and can grow quite rapidly. They have a rough surface, often covered by hard skin and may vary in size. They may also spread to other areas of the foot. Although anyone can get them, verrucas mainly affect children and young adults.
A Verruca is a viral infection of the foot. Injuries and cuts to the foot can also increase the risk of infection. Although verrucas are often confused with corn or callus, they are usually more painful when pinched and may appear anywhere on the foot.
To help prevent verrucas, wash feet daily and dry thoroughly. Take extra care in communal changing areas. Hosiery should be washed at 60˚C to avoid cross-infection.
Verrucas have been known to disappear with the help of the body's natural immunity. However, if they are growing in size, spreading or becoming painful, treatment will be necessary. Please consult your Chiropodist for advice on the best treatment for you.
A number of treatments are available. Applying adhesive plasters, lotions and ointments are widely available, which often contain strong acids or natural oils to kill the virus, or a freezing method called cryotherapy.
Cryo-treatment is a technique used for the treatment of verrucae using Nitrous Oxide to freeze the verruca site to –60 degrees Celsius. The verruca site is cleansed and pared in the usual way. Two thirty second freezes are applied, with a two minute gap between each application, and the area is again cleaned and a dressing applied.
Please be aware that there are certain medical conditions where Cryo-treatment is not recommended. These are as follows: Diabetes Mellitus, Peripheral Vascular Disease, or any impairment of the circulation.
All treatments aim to kill the virus by destroying the affected cells. There is no guarantee they may not reoccur but to reduce the risks, take care of your feet.
A callus is a small area of hard skin, caused by pressure or friction. A callus can appear anywhere on the foot where the skin rubs against the bone, shoes or the ground. Most calluses are a symptom of an underlying problem such as bone deformity, a particular style of walking or ill-fitting footwear. By seeking advice from our HPC Registered Podiatrist these factors can be improved or cured.
Toenails are there to protect the skin lying beneath them. Unfortunately from time to time the toenail can be damaged.
The most common cause of injury to toenails is cutting nails too short or down at the sides. Other causes could be direct injury, a particular style of walking or poor foot, toe or nail structure. Ill-fitting footwear or hosiery will aggravate any problems.
The most common example of damaged toenails are ingrown toenails. These are caused by a splinter of the nail piercing the side of the toe and digging into the flesh. The toe may then weep or bleed, becoming red, shiny, swollen and infected.
Keep your feet clean by washing daily and drying thoroughly. Always wear clean hosiery and properly fitting shoes that allow the feet to breathe. Cut toenails straight across, but not too short, with proper nail clippers. If you are unsure or unable to cut your own toenails, please seek help from your Chiropodist
Wilde Pedique is a one component, light cured, Acrylester resin developed specifically for corrective and restorative toe nail treatments.
There are many conditions of the nail that can be effectively treated with Wilde Pedique.
She has given me devoted service for several years, keeping my feet in healthy condition. She is so thoughtful; she goes much further than the call of duty. In fact, she is a superb Chiropodist and a very nice lady.
Hilary has been my chiropodist for the past two years and apart from being an excellent clinician is an extraordinary person. Hilary was a lifeline during a very difficult period in my life. She allowed me to talk about my anxieties and distress without ever being judgemental.
FHilary has been my chiropodist for the past 13 years and not only is she a splendid chiropodist but her friendly manner means that her visits are always looked forward to. She is a very caring person, and is always happy to do anything for anyone.
For over ten years I have looked forward to her visits knowing that she will be as helpful as a friend and advisor offering to assist in many ways outside her professional expertise, which is of the highest standard. After each visit I know I will feel physically refreshed and mentally uplifted.