If your GP has referred you to a podiatrist you may be wondering “what does a podiatrist do?”
In a nutshell, we’d say that we help patients stay active and happy on their feet, but we know you’re probably keen to know a lot more about us than that, so here goes …..
As trained podiatrists we are members of the Allied Health profession and registered with APHRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency). Our primary role is to examine, diagnose and treat abnormalities of the feet and lower limbs.
These problems commonly include foot and ankle complaints such as sports injuries, arthritis, diabetes, and other medical conditions as well as skin and nail disorders.
We care for people’s feet of all ages
Our highly experienced podiatrists work with all ages including children, adults, and seniors and are trained to examine patients for gait abnormalities as well as problems with posture and walking.
We can also give you and family members advice on what types of footwear to choose and how to look after your feet properly.
What does a podiatrist do at the initial consultation?
When you first arrive for your appointment at Cartwright Podiatry, you’ll be given a friendly welcome and asked to fill out a new client registration form.
This gives us all the information our podiatrists need to know before meeting you and also gives your consent for us to treat you.
While we’re primarily concerned with your feet and their function, people are often surprised when we ask them questions about their general health. Because all parts of our body are connected, something that is happening in another part of your body could have a big impact on your feet.
We look at the bigger picture so we can figure out what’s causing your condition and how best to treat it in the short term and follow up with a treatment plan going forward.
Getting to know you and your feet better
The initial consultation enables our podiatrists to get to know you and your feet better. As well as your foot health, it helps if we know about any medical conditions that could be affecting your feet. The more we know, the better we can explain what’s going on with them.
There are several medical conditions that can affect feet including
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Heart Conditions
- Parkinson’s Disease
As well as your medical history, we’ll also ask you about any regular medications you may be taking. There’s a need to know this since certain medications can explain certain podiatry symptoms. Don’t worry, everything you tell us will be strictly confidential.
We’re a chatty bunch and while we may ask lots of questions, it’s simply to ensure we have as much information as possible to make an accurate diagnosis.
What does a podiatrist do next ?
Next, a visual assessment will be carried out on your feet. We’ll be looking for, and checking out, things such as:
- Skin colour
- Skin thickness
- Foot posture/alignment
With diabetic patients, palpation of the pulses helps us assess foot sensitivity and blood flow.
We’ll also perform a gait analysis where we watch how you walk to enable us to assess and treat patients with conditions affecting their ability to walk.
We’ll discuss our findings with you, answer any questions, and use our knowledge to nurse your feet back to health.
So, that’s pretty much the answer to “what does a podiatrist do?”
Why not come and see for yourself by booking an appointment online or give Cartwright Podiatry a call on (02) 8405 6850. We’re your ‘go-to’ foot doctor.