Podiatry Exercises and How We are Different
We see many clients every week who have visited a Podiatrist in the past for treatment of their foot and leg problems.
Often they come to us feeling frustrated that, even though they feel better, as soon as they try to run a little faster, walk a bit more or try to keep up with their grandkids, their old problem resurfaces.
At Complete Podiatry, we like to focus on helping our clients through the whole healing cycle, not just fixing their pain.
A vitally important part of this healing cycle is getting our clients stronger so they are not at risk of ongoing problems once their initial pain has settled. To do this we routinely prescribe exercises tailored to our client’s specific need and goals.
To understand why we do this, we first need to talk about how foot and leg problems are best treated.
HOW TO TREAT FOOT AND LEG INJURIES
There are three main phases to treating a foot injury or leg problem:
- Offload the damaged tissue so healing can begin
- Improve the health of the tissue to stimulate tissue repair and
- Make the tissue stronger so you can do more without risking ongoing problems.
Now, most Podiatrists do part one well, but parts 2 and 3 can often be neglected because pain may have settled down.
At Complete Podiatry, we understand the complexities of tissue healing at a cellular level and know the just throwing a pair or orthoses or new shoes at a problem will not fix it in the long term.
Let’s take a look at these phases of healing in a little more detail to help you understand the importance of your Podiatrist prescribing exercises as part of the management of your foot and leg injuries so they don’t become a lifelong burden.
1. OFFLOAD YOUR DAMAGED TISSUE
Injures in the foot and leg commonly occur after a bone, ligament or tendon is loaded more than it can tolerate. This can happen with a sudden change in your work situation, a health kick that sees you hitting the gym more regularly, the start of your kid's football or netball season, sudden weight gain and for any other reason the makes you more active. Your Podiatrist is the expert when it comes to managing stress and load in your feet, legs and body. We spend years at university learning to understand how human tissues respond to forces and loads and how best to reduce damaging forces.
There are a number of strategies that can be used to remove stress in the feet and legs:
- Foot orthoses
- Custom padded insoles
- Footwear changes
- Gait retraining
- Mobility aid prescription
- Walking casts/boots
2. HEAL YOUR DAMAGED TISSUES
At this point in the healing journey, clients often start to feel much more comfortable as the injured tissues are not getting as much damaging load and things are starting to feel better. This is the time when we start to see our clients trying to increase their activity levels again. It is often during this phase of healing that treatment starts to go awry. One of the risks at this time is that even though the tissues are starting to feel better, they have not begun to heal properly.
At Complete Podiatry, we use a number of manual therapy techniques in conjunction with advanced tissue healing devices to promote a rapid improvement in the health of your damaged tissues.
This may include any, or a combination, of the following techniques:
- Deep tissue massage
- Tool-assisted massage
- Foot mobilisation
- Shockwave therapy
- Trigger point dry needling
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- Paraffin wax and heat therapy
3. MAKE YOU STRONGER
Phase three is the one that is commonly neglected during the healing journey and often missed out altogether. Once the damaged tissues have begun to repair, they will usually heal to the same strength they were before the injury (or potentially weaker). What this means is that as soon you start to try to increased your activity levels again, you are likely to re-injure yourself. The human body has an amazing capacity to adapt given the right circumstances. This adaptation process, however, needs time, and the right stimulus, to occur. Adaptation begins when small amounts of tissue damage occurs which the body heals and makes stronger. To make the tissue stronger we need use exercises to strategically target the tissues in question and gradually increase the load in them.
PODIATRY EXERCISE PRESCRIPTION
Podiatrists are the experts when it comes to understanding how best to take stress out of damaged tissues in the feet and legs.
At Complete Podiatry, we invest a lot of our time in finding better ways to help our clients. We strongly believe all our clients can benefit from appropriate exercise prescription. From the athlete who has damaged their Achilles tendon to the older client who has started having falls, building strength in the feet and legs is such an important part of the treatment program it cannot be ignored.
Our Podiatrists use PhysiTrack to tailor our client’s exercise programs.
This an amazing cloud-based program allows our client to have on-demand access to their individualised exercise program and HD videos of their exercises via their smartphone or tablet, 24 hours a day.
You can read more about how we use this to help our clients HERE.
At the end of the day, Podiatrists can sometimes appear very similar, and it can be difficult to choose the right one for you.
At Complete Podiatry, we strongly believe in getting our clients to be their best, not just better. This is why we use exercises as an integral part of our client’s management plans to help build strength and reduce injury risk.
So, my challenge to you now is, if you are continuing to suffer from foot or leg problems, commit to the decision to do something about it.
Be your best, not just better.
I'm so confident I can help you that I'd love to chat with you personally about prescription exercises; it's what I'm passionate about!
Contact us on 8330 0004 or send us a message on our website.
Yours in helping to build healthy lives from the feet up.
Director of Complete Podiatry