Musculoskeletal Podiatry Assessment
During your initial appointment, your symptoms will be discussed with you and a physical assessment carried out. The assessment involves checking the joints and muscles of your feet and ankles, locating that area causing pain, looking at the way you stand and walk and assessing your footwear and lifestyle.
Podiatrists can often diagnose your pathology by careful history taking and clinical examination. However, sometimes it is necessary to arrange diagnostic images, blood tests or specialised gait analysis.
After your consultation, an individual treatment and management plan will be suggested and agreed.
What to Expect
At your first appointment, we will try and establish the pathology and mechanism of injury. We will examine your feet, legs, pelvis and spine alignment in stance and gait. Please wear clothes that allow easy visualisation and access to the feet, legs and pelvis (avoid long skirts and dresses).
Please bring or wear your regular footwear. It is helpful to bring with you a variety of shoes you wear for different activities, such as work shoes, walking shoes or footwear used for sport e.g. running and in particular any footwear that causes symptoms.
Initial consultations last approximately 45 minutes and at the end of which we should have tailored a treatment plan, some of which we can start straight away. Most treatment plans will need between four and six visits, but some conditions may need long-term care.
After manipulation and stretches you can feel a little sore and stiff after treatment although this tends to last no more than 24-48 hours. Insoles and other supports can also feel odd for a few days and can initially cause a few new symptoms. This is rarely for more than a few days.
Treatment, by the use of insoles to realign, cushion or offload structures can provide symptom relief in many situations by improving foot function thereby improving walking, standing, dancing and sports injuries. Treatment can involve footwear guidance, orthoses, manipulation, strapping, and stretching and strengthening exercise therapy.
Strapping applied to the foot and ankle in the form of supportive tape can be helpful to diagnose and treat a number conditions.
Manipulation & Mobilisation
Manipulation and mobilisation are specialist techniques used by podiatrists to treat lower limb and foot problems. It may be recommended following your assessment. This treatment is particularly useful for aches and pains in the feet. It is used to adjust the position of your joints so that they function better.
The mobilisation is a very subtle movement and requires the clinician to feel for small movements in specific joints. They will be able to feel if the joint has become stiff and with the smallest of pain-free directional movement, adjust the joint position.
Manipulation is slightly more forceful but is not painful. Again the practitioner will be feeling for individual joint abnormalities, but this time the joint is forced into the correct position by applying pressure.
Following the initial appointment, further appointments are usually required – you will be advised accordingly following your assessment.