We offer specialised footcare for several medical conditions…
Diabetes can reduce the circulation and the sensation in the feet. One of the early changes can be loss of sensation in the feet, often starting at the toes. This is known as peripheral neuropathy. As a result, foot problems can occur without the sufferer being aware.
Diabetes can also affect the blood supply to and within the feet and this can delay healing and increase the risks of infection. Blood supply can be checked by looking at the colour of the skin, checking the pulses in the feet and by asking questions about certain kinds of pains in the feet and legs.
People with diabetes are recommended to have a professional cut and file their nails in case of minor abrasions to the skin surrounding the nail edges which then acts as a portal of entry for bacteria to enter and cause infection.
During regular check- ups we can check the flow of blood to the feet with an ultrasound device called a Doppler and sensation loss can be assessed and monitored with a monofilament which is a plastic probe that is designed to buckle at a given pressure and with a special vibratory pen to check vibration sensation.
Footwear advice is very important and is given generally and where there are signs of pressure build-up affecting the feet in the shoes, sometimes orthotics or padding is recommended to off-load pressure points.
If the podiatrist conducting the assessment is at all concerned about any of the readings then they will refer you to a specialist diabetes centre or to your GP.
Arthritis is a disease of the joints which causes them to become inflamed and stiffen. There are three main types of arthritis; Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Gout.
You can download our PDF Arthritis fact sheet using the link below:
Rheumatoid Arthritis can be particularly damaging to the foot producing joint deformities that make shoe fitting difficult and build-up of callosities that can result in ulceration. Foot care may provide protective shields for toes or padding to relieve pressure and reduce friction and hard skin formation. Any secondary problems such as ulcers or corns that have been caused by foot deformities can also be treated. Sometimes Orthotics are issued which are a special type of insole that can be fitted into shoes. These will help walking in such a way to reduce the pressure on affected joints. Professional advice on fitting and styles of shoe available may help many of these problems to be minimised.
Osteoarthritis is sometimes referred to as the ‘wear and tear’ type of arthritis. It commonly affects the joint at the base of the big toe which is more likely to suffer from wear and tear due to pressures from walking. Sometimes the surface of the joint, the cartilage, becomes eroded and the two bones may join together with the big toe becoming rigid, known as Hallux Rigidis. Another effect of osteoarthritis in the big toe joint can cause it to change its joint position and lie closer to the lesser toes, known as Hallux Valgus or more commonly as a bunion. We can help in providing shoe advice, not just styles but what type of sole to wear and what heel height is best, sometimes with the application of special insoles that help re-distribute the pressure as you walk and also with silicone devices that help prevent the big toe pushing against the lesser toes.
Gout is the result of an imbalance of uric acid in the body; it affects more men than women and is an extremely painful inflammation in most often the big toe joint although it can affect other joints. The affected joint becomes very red and swollen, often overnight and is too painful to put any pressure on such as walking, this lasts 3-4 hours and then often subsides although not always. Podiatrists may suggest a visit to the GP as a prescription may be necessary to control the gout, again footwear advice and padding’s are often helpful.